Here is the final part of my 3 part series on In Part 3 I discover my love for dance, receive my first taste of hands-on manual therapy for a dance injury, and discover my life’s work Rolfing® SI.

My soul death is averted by Rolfing® Structural Integration | Soul’s Code.

Rolfing® treatment of the hamstrings


Here is Part 2 of the 3 Part series is doing about my personal journey of discovery that led me to become a Rolfing® practitioner.

Do check out their website which features articles on psychology, spirituality and mind-body healing.

And while you’re there check out . . .

Freedom from twister cables as I stretch my body and soul | Soul’s Code. has published Part 1 of my 3 Part series about Rolfing® Structural Integration. Please give Soul’s Code a visit and check out their website.

They are creating a virtual meeting place and sounding board where people can come and go with the ease of a few keystrokes.

Featured articles cover the actual life events, both the highs and the lows, that provoke spiritual exploration. The things that lead to reinvention, recovery . . . even realization.

Kind of like my journey to becoming a Rolfing practitioner.

From twister cables to pointe shoes: The birth of a Certified Rolfer™ | Soul’s Code.

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minnesota has earned the 2010 Governor’s Award for Innovative Measures in Workers’ Compensation from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council. Here is a 1997 video clip about Starkey’s program from WCCO TV.

Starkey Laboratories has 1,760 U.S. employees and is a world leader in the design, development and distribution of comprehensive hearing solutions.

To combat the rising number of repetitive strain injuries that are common in the light electronic assembly and administrative work of the company, Starkey incorporated conventional approaches for eliminating musculoskeletal injuries, such as encouraging stretching exercises, increasing job rotation and providing adjustable, ergonomic workstations.

It also went beyond such approaches by securing the services of a Certified Rolfer™.

Starkey created a systematic approach, introducing employees to its on-site Rolfing® practitioner by starting with those employees who had active workers’ comp claims and were reporting pain. The focus was then expanded to those employees who had the potential for developing repetitive stress claims due to the nature of their job duties. Eventually, the company-paid service was expanded to any employee who was experiencing symptoms of discomfort or mild fatigue.

By focusing on injury prevention, employee comfort and the use of Rolfing, carpal tunnel syndrome cases have been virtually eliminated from the workplace—there have been six carpal tunnel claims since 1999, with an estimated savings of up to $20 million dollars.

Since implementing the on-site Rolfing program, Starkey’s workers’ comp claims cost has dropped from $150,000 a month to just $58,000 a year. (Nationally, $345,000 a year in claims is considered quite good for light electronic assembly.)

An unexpected benefit of the Rolfing program at Starkey is that its cost per hire is 50 percent of the national average. Starkey has higher retention rates than most companies in light electronic assembly and an easier time recruiting employees. Starkey believes their employees know they are cared about; an employee with fewer health issues has fewer absent days and wants to come to work.

© Carole LaRochelle, 2010.

Over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of credentials, undoubtedly with more to come. 🙂         A friend suggested I write a humerus blog post to explain each abbreviation, acronym, or initialism. So, in an effort to educate all of you and help you become more informed consumers welcome to…

Credentials I Have Come to Know and Love

Starring In Reverse Chronological Order

Certified ITT Pilates Mat TrainerThis certification means of I have completed a three month long training program in ITT Pilates mat work. This course included 45 hours of class time and 40 hours of personal practice, teaching practice and observation. To receive my certificate I had to pass a written and practical exam that was 3 hours long. Certification date: 4/1/2009

BCSI—Stands for Board Certified Structural Integrator(CM). This is a certified mark granted by the Certification Board for Structural Integration℠. The purpose of CBSI is to examine and maintain standards of ethical and professional practice in the delivery of services through a credentialing program that promotes the competency of practitioners of Structural Integration; and identifies to their peers, the profession, and the public those Structural Integrators who have voluntarily sought and obtained Certification. CBSI shall establish and enforce education, examination, experience and ethics requirements to strengthen the interests of Structural Integration professionals and protect the public.This credential means that I have graduated from an IASI approved Structural Integration training program, and taken and passed the Certification Exam for Structural Integration℠. Certification date: 2/21/2009

ABMP—Stands for Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals. I am a Professional Level member in good standing of this organization which exists to advance the professional interests of its members. I get my professional liability insurance through them. As a member of this association I am required to maintain the highest standards of professional conduct and strictly adhere to the ABMP Code of Ethics. Joined association: 4/27/2010.

IASI LogoIASI—Stands for International Association of Structural Integrators®. I am a Professional Structural Integrator member of this organization. This means I have graduated from an IASI approved teaching institution, and agreed to abide by the IASI Continuing Education Requirements and Code of Ethics. Founded in 2002 this association seeks to be the leading professional organization for the advancement and promotion of Structural Integration as a cornerstone to health and well-being through education, community and communication. Joined association: 2/10/2003

Rolf Movement® Practitioner—This certification is granted by The Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration. It means I have successfully completed 144 hours of training in Rolf Movement Integration. Rolfing movement works with a holistic understanding of the body’s function in gravity, honoring the client’s ability to integrate with and adapt to his/her environment. The Rolfing practitioner works with a combination of touch and verbal instruction to guide the client’s body towards greater ease, elegance and freedom of expression. As with my other certifications through The Rolf Institute I agree to adhere to their Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Certification Date: 2/14/2002

Little Boy Logo

Certified Advanced Rolfer™—This certification granted by The Rolf Institute means I have successfully completed 168 hours of training. The Advanced Training emphasizes how to make more precise and subtle distinctions and how to recognize and manipulate specific kinds of motion restrictions, including myofascial, articular, and functional. Working outside of the Ten-Series is emphasized. Certification Date: 11/16/2000

LMP—Stands for Licensed Massage Practitioner. I am licensed as a massage practitioner by the Washington State Department of Health. This license means that I have graduated from a state approved training program (The Rolf Institute), taken and passed WA state’s licensing exam, and continue to meet their continuing education requirements. I have chosen to maintain my license even though I no longer practice in Washington. Licensed since: 1996NCTMB Logo

NCTMB—Stands for Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. This certification granted by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork means I have completed a minimum of 500 hours of instruction; demonstrated mastery of core skills, abilities and knowledge; passed the standardized NCBTMB exam; and pledged to uphold NCBTMB’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. I must renew this certification every 4 years. Certified since: 1996

Certified Rolfer™—This certification means I have graduated from The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration through  successful completion of 731 hours of training. This training is offered in three parts, Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration (218 hours), Embodiment of Rolfing and Rolf Movement Integration (244 hours), and Clinical Application of Rolfing Theory (269 hours). Graduated 4/18/1996.

CMT—There is a new law in the state of California that creates a voluntary certification for massage therapists administered by the newly created California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC). This law creates a two-tier certification of CMT (Certified Massage Therapist) and CMP (Certified Massage Practitioner). To use the title CMT a therapist must complete at least 500 hours of massage education and training at an approved massage therapy school. To use the title CMP a practitioner must complete at least 250 hours of education and training. As of September 1, 2009, practitioners will no longer be able to use the CMT or CMP title in the State of California unless they have been certified by the CAMTC. The state of California does NOT license massage therapists. For any of you who are interested, I completed my California basic 150 hour massage training in 1992.

BA—Bachelor of Arts I am a 1990 graduate of Sonoma State University’s School of Business and Economics. The university now offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, but at the time I attended it was a Bachelor of Arts in Management. I completed a double concentration in Finance and Accounting.

I think that’s all for now. I’ll keep this page updated as things change.
© Carole LaRochelle, 2010.

Or, Are You Ready For Me San Francisco?

Pilates reformerI am pleased to announce I have a new Rolfing office in San Francisco. On Mondays, beginning May 3, I started working at A Body of Work a highly respected San Francisco Pilates Studio and Gyrotonic® Center. I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to bring my skills to a wider audience and the location is beautiful! A Body of Work is located in the Presidio at 569 Ruger Street just inside the Lombard Street gate. We’re literally across the street from the Presidio Social Club and just up the hill from Lucasfilm’s Letterman Digital Art Center.

For me, this is a personal homecoming of sorts. Being of the relatively rare species known as San Francisco Native I feel like I have come full circle from my arrival in 1967 at Kaiser Foundation Hospital on Geary. Here’s a bit more for you to read about my personal journey and how I ultimately became a Rolfing practitioner.

I hope you will check out the excellent trainers at A Body of Work as well as come and receive some Rolfing at my new office. Since this is a new venue for me I would appreciate you spreading the word to your family and friends.

© Carole LaRochelle, 2010.

Beatles and MaharishiLong before Michael Murphy and George Leonard coined the term “human potential movement’ in 1965¹ and The Beatles met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in August 1967 Ida Rolf, Ph.D. was interested in the development of human potential. In addition to osteopathy and homeopathy one of the biggest influences on Rolf’s understanding of the human body was yoga. Throughout the 1920s she participated in a group that practiced yoga asanas and held meetings and lectures in Nyack, New York with American yogi, Pierre Bernard. Rolf has this to say in her 1978 book Ida Rolf Talks About Rolfing® and Physical Reality.

His father had been a tantric and he was brought up as a tantric. He had spent most of his childhood in India. In tantric families, boys of seven years of age are taken from their families, put into another home of the same culture grade, and are brought up with the other family. In Hindu tantric families, through the centuries, the basis of the boys’ education was the Tantras—the five Indian sacred books. These they had to learn by rote, which is something like the mental equivalent of doing five hundred cartwheels.²

I believe Rolf is referring to Sylvais Hamati here, a Syrian-Indian, who Bernard met at the age of thirteen in Lincoln, Nebraska. Hamati was an accomplished Tantric yogi and he and Bernard traveled together from the late 1880s into the early 1900s. Bernard made his first dynamic splash into public view on the front-page of the New York Times on January 29, 1898. “He had given a public demonstration of his Kali-mudra or ‘death trance’ to a group of physicians in San Francisco, during which he seems to have successfully slowed his vital functions sufficiently to mimic death.³”

American Yogi Pierre BernardBernard capitalized on this publicity becoming known as “The Hypnotist Dr. Bernard” and quite a famous personality in the San Francisco Bay Region before he left the area around the time of the 1906 earthquake. He published what is likely the first Tantric publication in the United States, the International Journal of the Tantrik Order.

By 1909 Bernard was in New York City and had emerged as a successful teacher of yoga. With the help of New York’s elite, including Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt, in 1919 Bernard moved to a 73 acre estate in Upper Nyack, New York. It was here where Rolf met and trained with Bernard in the 1920s.

Robert Love has just published a biography of Bernard titled The Great Oom: The Improbable Birth of Yoga in America, a name modeled after “Omnipotent Oom” given to Bernard by the local press after reported accusations of such things as “wild Oriental music and women’s cries, but not those of distress.⁴” I refer you to Love’s lively biography for more details about Bernard’s life.

What Bernard offered Rolf through his teachings was unique at the time and is, I feel, still relatively rare today: physical experience as a pathway to spiritual enlightenment, or the evolution of consciousness if you will. Yoga aims to develop the whole person through the practices of breath awareness, meditation and movement. Rosemary Feitis writes of Rolf:

In those years of practicing yoga and discussing its principles, she was establishing the basis of all her future work: that bodies need to lengthen and be balanced, and that a balanced body will give rise to a better human being.⁵

How fascinating to me, as a Rolfing® practitioner for 15 years now, to see the early origins of Rolf’s work. From the turn of the 20th century popular interest in hypnotism, Theosophy, and the self-proclaimed mystics such as G.I. Gurdjieff, to the Jazz Age roots of yoga in America, it seems the interest in the “human potential movement” has been with us quite a long time indeed.


1. Jeffrey J. Kripal, Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007), p. 207.

2. Ida Rolf, Rolfing® and Physical Reality, ed. Rosemary Feitis (Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 1990) p. 7.

3. Kripal, p. 236.

4. Kripal, p. 237.

5. Rolf, p. 8.

© Carole LaRochelle, 2010.