When I returned to Austin after my initial SourcePoint session in Kansas City with Kelly Battiston (read our conversation here), I soon felt able to bring about many positive changes in my life. In order to continue this progress and further cope with my anxiety (more on that here), I was determined to find a practitioner I trusted and could visit regularly.
Luckily, Kelly helped me with a bit of research and suggested I see Kara Imle, an Austin-based certified Rofler, SourcePoint therapist and owner of Right Place Rolfing. The first time I met Kara, I knew I’d found what I was looking for. Her calm presence itself is incredibly therapeutic, and she truly listens to what I’m feeling, physically, psychologically and emotionally. Plus, she often has her adorable dog and gentle giant, Benson, hang out in our sessions. And if there’s one way to my heart, it’s through dogs, of course!
As I’ve mentioned earlier in this blog series, Rolfing is a similar energetic therapy that, like SourcePoint, aims to eliminate blocks one has built up that hinders the ability to be our best selves. Yet Rolfing takes a more hands-on approach to manipulate the body physically. In my sessions with Kara, she combines both of the practices to help me feel my best in every way. Below is my Q&A with Kara to dive deeper into both of these healing modalities.
Tell me about your personal journey as both a Rolfer and SourcePoint practitioner.
“I sought out both because I needed healing on many different levels, but this work is not what I set out to do when I first graduated from college with a Creative Writing degree. In fact, my first career was as a grant writer, working both stateside and overseas with various non-profit organizations. Humanitarian issues have always been close to my heart.
I first sought out Rolfing just after my 30th birthday. I was living with chronic pain that started after a trampoline accident in my teens. That, coupled with several other mishaps (a broken leg while skiing, a few falls from my horse, and physical abuse from a partner) had left me with constant pain in my neck and shoulders, frequent migraines, and blown-out ACLs in both knees. I also struggled with PTSD, which kept me in a state of constant high-alert, and my muscles were very tense.
My first Rolfer, after I told him about the neck and back pain, worked to open my ribcage, sternum, forearms, and the front of my neck. It felt like he was pulling a tight, restrictive wetsuit off of me, one I had not even known I was wearing. When he was finished, I could breathe easily for the first time in a long time. I knew I needed to learn more about Rolfing. A few years later, I finally decided to go back to school–this time in Boulder, CO–to the Rolf Institute.
During my training at the Rolf Institute (now called the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute), I first heard of SourcePoint Therapy through one of my instructors. She used SourcePoint in the classroom as a daily meditation to help us all “tune in” to our bodies and minds and to let go of the noise of the outside world so that we could learn more effectively.
After graduating and starting my own practice, I took SourcePoint classes to continue my education.”
What are the differences between these two practices?
“SourcePoint dovetails well with Rolfing in that it seeks the same goals: to address restrictions and blockages in the system, and aid the body in healing itself. Rolfing does this on a purely physical level, which then often leads to emotional healing. SourcePoint Therapy is primarily an energetic modality, working first with the energetic blueprint that surrounds and contains the physical body and all of its patterns.
I found that, for me, both Rolfing and SourcePoint helped heal my own physical and emotional pain. I have seen them do this for many clients under my care in the past nine years.
When I work with Source, it guides and informs the session, allowing that individual person’s system to ask for and receive the input it needs. Often, Rolfing becomes integrated into a SourcePoint session. Sometimes there is no touch involved, or there may be a place on the body that’s pressed or held. I integrate CranioSacral work into most sessions as well.”
Is there anything you personally have to do to prepare before and/or reenergize after a session with a client?
“I have found the best preparation for my work is to maintain a meditation practice of my own. Both Rolfing and SourcePoint (as well as CranioSacral therapy) are, at heart, meditative practices in which one is “listening” to the person’s body and allowing it to guide the session.
In order to listen in this way, one must become still. I can’t bring stress into the office; I can’t be thinking about what happened on Facebook or in politics or the errands I have to run that afternoon. I have to practice clearing my thoughts so that, when I’m in the room with a client, sweeping my thoughts away becomes natural and I can enter that listening space.”
In your opinion, who would the ideal candidate be to begin these therapies?
“SourcePoint Therapy should, I think, be part of one’s self-care routine along with exercise, good food, and maintaining mental health. In the case of Rolfing, there is a specific protocol developed by its founder, Ida Rolf, where we do ten sessions. Each session has a different goal, and builds upon the session before it.”
By the tenth session, we have essentially removed many of the client’s old habits and patterns and cleared space for her to adopt new, healthier patterns. I recommend this to anyone with chronic pain, postural issues, extensive scar tissue, or any issues caused by “tight” muscles.” — Kara Imle
For more information on the Ten Series, Rolfing and how to make an appointment with Kara, check out her website here. Likewise, if you’re looking to find a SourcePoint practitioner in your area, please email Donna Thomson at Dthomson@cybermesa.com.
It’s obvious that I’m a huge proponent of both of these therapies, as they’ve helped set me on a more optimistic, balanced and authentic path. For those who struggle with anything from anxiety to chronic pain or autoimmune diseases, I can’t recommend SourcePoint and Rolfing more. Everyone deserves to feel their best and live to their fullest potential, and I genuinely hope that this blog series helped to better illuminate these life-changing methods!