Manager & Instructor, PH7 Pilates
I started working regularly with Allison a year-and-a-half ago and couldn’t be more grateful. Everyone always says to me, “Doesn’t Rolfing hurt?” Not with Allison is my response. Her hands on technique is gentle yet strong enough to work out the kinks. As a Pilates instructor, Rolfing is very healing to my body since I am consistently on my feet, looking down, putting myself in somewhat awkward positions to adjust people, etc. As a Pilates practitioner, Rolfing has advanced my practice by months if not years as an effect of having worked out some imbalances. On a personal level, Allison is one of the few that actually walks the walk. She will always be able to inspire you with numerous ideas on how to eat better, where to go for a great hike, or take your next adventure. When it comes to whole living, Allison Benner is a great example. She’s passionate, caring, spirited and vibrant.
I have been going to Allison since early 2011. At that time, I was 55 years old and it seems when you get older your body does not respond as it did twenty years earlier. Being in the amusement business from my early 20s moving pool tables, pinballs, etc. I had plenty of time to abuse my body as well as gain additional weight due my metabolism slowing down over the years. In my early 40’s, I started to go to a chiropractor for my back aches as well as have an occasional massage, which only provided me temporary relief. In my late 40s, I partially tore both meniscuses simultaneously when I sat back on my legs cleaning a floor. I went to an orthopedic doc who wanted to use the knife. I decided otherwise and just dealt with the pain. A few years later I tried Synvisc to lubricate my knee joints. That provided temporary relief for a few years but the pain never completely went away. I exercised less because of my knees and got to weigh more than I had ever before. About a year before I went to Allison, I decided that to help my knees I would lose weight through diet and exercise. In the mean time the wheels continued to fall off. I hurt my shoulder picking up a 100lb 14 year old dog who at the time was having trouble getting up.I could not move my arm above my shoulder ("frozen shoulder"). I went back to the doc who wanted (you guessed it) to use the knife, so I went to the chiropractor who helped unstick my shoulder but could not restore my full range of motion. By this time my wife said " Why don't you go to a Rolfer?" Not knowing much about Rolfing, I read up on it and figured I had nothing to lose. I booked an appointment with Allison after doing a search on the internet. It was one of the best choices of my life. I started out seeing Allison about twice a month. She has helped me with my problem areas- shoulders, back, knees, posture, carpal tunnel and more (losing 25 lbs and casual exercise has not hurt either).Through her gentle but firm touch she she has awakened parts of me that I never knew existed and helped blood flow back into the tissue she would break up through her whole body approach.This has allowed me to get my full range of motion back in my shoulders. Allison helped my posture that has helped my back ( I have not been to a chiropractor since Rolfing). My right knee no longer has any pain and my left one probably would not either, if our new dogs had not clipped me from behind, but it is still far better than it was when I started with Allison, plus I have no scar tissue or rehab from surgery. My carpal tunnel is gone thanks to Rolfing and some simple exercises she recommended. Besides Rolfing, what makes Allison special is that she continues to educate herself about the human mind and body and takes that knowledge and applies it in her practice. I still and will continue to see Allison about once a month for maintenance as I am not getting any younger although I feel a lot younger due to seeing Aliison. One thing to remember, although you may experience some immediate relief from Rolfing in one session, it will probably take several sessions and in my case what took 55 years of abuse to develop, I could see dramatic change in the way my body felt and continues to feel within a year. Thanks Allison! By the way I continue to move amusements devices. I just hope I will still be able to get an appointment after this testimonial, as she is already popular.
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.