Allison Benner allowed me to realize I did not have to live with the pain I had been enduring for more than 15 years. After countless sports injuries, a car accident, and working in front of a computer for 10 hours a day, I felt spent and depressed that the condition of my body and spirit would never change.
The first time I met with Allison, the pain in my lower back was extremely intense, but had been with me for so long, that I did not realize how bad it had become. I no longer touched, leaned, or otherwise engaged my back and hips. My feet would go completely numb and my calves seized up when I went for a walk. This was because I was holding my posture and joints in such a tense state to mitigate the pain in other parts of my body. My shoulders were constantly sore from holding the same working position, creating a numb sensation in my neck and shoulder blade. I felt that this was simply the way my body worked, and that I had to accept it, which left my body and spirit feeling disconnected.
After meeting with Allison for the first time, I realized that I did not have to live this way. The release I felt within my back was immediate and long lasting. Allison worked with me to regain my natural footfall and end the numbness in my calves and feet. She gave me stretches and exercises to do outside of our sessions, and encouraged me to get up from my computer hourly, do pilates, yoga, go for long walks, and dance. I had never even thought I could dance without pain. Now I try to dance at least once a week, hike with my daughter, take yoga classes when I can, and otherwise live my life feeling whole. I was able to have a natural birthing experience with my daughter, which I was once told by a doctor would be impossible given my injuries.
Allison has not only helped my body to recover through her Rolfing technique, but has connected me to a network of natural health practitioners in Denver which I now consider part of my continuing healing process. I don't know where my mind and body would be without the thoughtful, caring, and experienced approach Allison Benner offers.
Rolfing and Allison’s knowledge of the practice and awareness of the body have helped me through painful migraines, pregnancy, and recovery after surgery.
At 25 I was a healthy, active woman, but started to suffer from debilitating migraines. I had tried all the OTC pain relievers with no success. At that point, my primary care physician prescribed me a heavy-duty migraine medicine (complete with a myriad of side effects) to take every day. I knew that was not a path that I wanted to go down and began searching for a more holistic way to heal my body. My husband had seen Allison for some time and recommend that I contact her to see if she could help me with my migraines. After a couple of rolfing sessions and some recommended yoga moves to practice daily, my migraines became less and less frequent and eventually subsided.
I did not suffer migraines for several years and continued regular rolfing sessions to maintain my health. Unfortunately, my migraines returned when I became pregnant for the first time. Allison was once again able to help me reduce the frequency of my migraines through rolfing. In addition to reducing my migraines during pregnancy, rolfing helped me to remain pain free and not experience many of the dreaded pregnancy symptoms (nausea, swelling, fatigue). My body felt like it was doing everything it needed to do. I was able to continue my active lifestyle throughout my entire pregnancy and maintain a feeling of openness and alignment in my body. Rolfing after pregnancy helped my body to quickly return to functioning as it did pre-pregnancy.
Receiving Allison's specialized form of Rolfing work throughout my entire pregnancy and post-partum (& onward) has been tremendously supportive to me and my baby! My growing and changing body was educated from Allison's insights of how to move with more integrity, more wisely by learning how to carry myself with increased awareness in the foundation of my feet, all the way upward through my hips, pelvis, chest, neck, head…this whole ladder of integrated parts that she cares for brings forth a feeling a wholeness.
I am so thankful to have had such great pain relief from Allison's work on my hips, pelvis and sciatic area during pregnancy. I felt more spacious and lighter in my body as Allison worked with the connective tissue, fascia, nerve pathways and musculature to bring an expansive feeling to me and my baby's evolving positioning in utero.
I have learned how to better breath into areas of my body that were feeling comprised or even "collapsed".
Areas of my body that I didn't even realize were "stuck" have been freed, reeducated and aligned to bring me more ease, grace and comfort.
The scope of Allison's knowledge base, experience and additional holistic views on how the Somatic Body-Mind work together is just one of many other added benefits that she is able to offer as she integrates all her fields of study into a "more than just Rolfing" approach to her therapeutic offerings.
I am so grateful for all I have received from Allison's skilled, caring and highly effective work.
Fitness Instructor & Mom of 3
What first brought me to Allison was a right hip issue. While teaching a group exercise class, I could no longer demonstrate lunges because it was so painful. A friend recommended I see Allison and explained what Rolfing was to me. I had NEVER heard of it before, and even had to ask my friend how to spell it. At this point, I had been teaching exercise classes for 20 years, and had 3 C-section deliveries within the last 5 years. All these factors, plus daily life stress, led up to my hip issue.
I asked around to see if anyone else I knew had heard of Rolfing. The ones who had responded with “Man – that is excruciating, but totally worth it!” As much as my hip hurt, I really wasn’t interested in MORE pain to fix the problem. I called Allison after checking out her website, explained my issue, and asked her to please be up-front about the level of pain. If it was as bad as everyone else said it was, then I would find a different solution. Allison said on a scale of 1-10, most clients would say the intensity is never more than a 4. Okay, I thought, I can handle a 4, so I set an appointment.
I have told the story of my first appointment with Allison MANY times – it is something I will never forget. I had not told my husband about the appointment, afraid he would not be supportive. I was also still skeptical, but figured I had nothing to lose. Allison did an initial assessment, asking lots of questions, then watched me walk back & forth. When she had me lie down on the massage table, she started messing with my right foot. It felt as if one of my kids was gently poking me to get my attention. In my head I thought, “Oh great! This is it? My husband is going to kill me if he finds out I spent money to get my foot poked. What does my foot have to do with my hip? Not sure why other people said it was excruciating – it doesn’t feel like she’s doing anything.” Then Allison broke my internal conversation and asked me to walk again.
The moment I stood up from that table, my right foot went flat against the ground, my hip shot back in place, and I could stand up without any pain. It felt like a miracle, and I was completely sold on Rolfing and Allison’s expertise. I know others have not had as dramatic of an experience, but anyone I have ever referred to Allison has had a positive experience working through their own muscle & alignment issues WITHOUT experiencing excruciating pain – including my husband ☺
WHAT KEEPS ME COMING BACK:
A painful issue got me in the door, but Allison’s ability to help me create muscle symmetry is what keeps me as a client. Having Allison’s help to keep my alignment intact allows me to live an active lifestyle without “working through pain.” Whether it is teaching classes, going on hikes with the family, playing tennis, or enjoying the occasional run, I want to enjoy ALL these activities and more without complaining about back/hip/knee/foot/shoulder, or any other kind of pain for as long as I can.
Allison is a remarkable in many ways. She is an excellent listener, and is incredibly thoughtful & gentle in her recommendations. I always feel “lifted up” after leaving a session with her, never beaten down by what I haven’t done right. I’m constantly amazed at her passion for further education in her field, and feel I always benefit from the latest research and techniques in regards to Rolfing. I am very proud to have been one of Allison’s clients for the past 5 years, and would whole-heartedly recommend her services to anyone looking to bring balance to their bodies.