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


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.

I have been involved with Pilates more or less since the late 1980s. I was first introduced to Pilates principles while studying dance with Mercy Sidbury at Sonoma State University. My curiosity piqued, I went to the SSU Library and checked out The Pilates Method of Physical and Mental Conditioning by Philip Friedman and Gail Eisen. This was a hardcover book, originally published in 1980, and the first of its kind to bring Pilates out of private studios and present it to the general public. I studied the book and began practicing on my own both at home and before ballet class to strengthen my awareness of and build my ability to move from and stabilize my core.

The Art of Dance MedicineIn the spring of 1989 I attended The Art of Dance Medicine presented in San Francisco at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital’s Dancemedicine Center. Alan Herdman presented “Floorbarre for the Dancer” which for me, at the time, was synonymous with Pilates mat work.  A couple of years later, after I injured my left hamstring dancing, I ended up rehabbing at St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s Dancemedicine Center where I was exposed to Pilates in more depth. At that time, Pilates was not readily available in Sonoma County, and traveling to San Francisco for one hour of therapy was a bit of a burden to me. I decided to treat my hamstring injury with hands-on manual therapy, rather than through corrective exercise. That choice led me down the path to become a Rolfing® practitioner which I have written about previously.

I drifted away from Pilates after I moved to Washington state in 1992. I was busy preparing to train as a Rolfer and it was difficult to be present with ballet and Rolfing and Pilates all at the same time. I had to focus on one or two things. Through dance, however, I continued to do some mat exercises, in particular with Marcia Quigley at the Maple Valley School of Ballet.

Many of my colleagues in the Rolfing community are quite drawn to the Gyrotonic Expansion System® and that type of non-linear, undulating movement began to appeal to me. By early 2000 I had experienced a couple of unpleasant episodes doing Pilates mat work classes at the local gym. One in particular stands out in my mind. The instructor had us stand at the wall and attempt to flatten our backs against the wall, trying to “imprint” the lumbar spine. That had the effect of putting my sacrum “out” and lead to several days if not weeks of an intense low back pain episode. I began to become a fan of what is known as the “neutral spine” in Pilates and decided to check out Gyrotonic as soon as I had the chance.

When I moved back to California in 2002 I contacted local Master Gyrotonic Instructor Manisha Holzwarth, and I did months of private work with her. Also, percolating through the Rolfing community, primarily through the World Congress on Low Back & Pelvic Pain, came much discussion about low back pain and spinal stability. The Rolfing community was talking about physical therapist Diane Lee and Australian researchers Carolyn Richardson, Paul Hodges and Julie Hides. Their research has shown that anticipatory recruitment of the transversus abdominis and multifidus is absent or delayed in patients with low back pain or a history of low back pain episodes. Why is this important? Because these muscles stabilize the spine so that other muscles can move the trunk without compromising the integrity of the spinal joints. I started researching co-contraction, the simultaneous activation of the transversus abdominis, multifidus, pelvic floor, and diaphragm. I found out that physical therapy had, so to speak, incorporated Pilates into their own body of knowledge.

As a Rolfing® practitioner I see many clients with low back pain. I believe it is not enough to correct motion restrictions and structural imbalances in people’s spines and pelvises without educating and re-training them in the correct use of their bodies as well. The research has shown this essential. And so I find myself in 2009 having come full circle from 20 years ago. I just became a Certified Mat Trainer in ITT Pilates. My desire is to become a better teacher and resource to my clients who suffer with back pain and stability issues. I also would like to bring all my knowledge to bear in teaching groups and in general improve the quality of what’s out there and available to the general public. Having worked one on one with people for so many years now I feel the impulse to share my knowledge in a bigger way.

© Carole LaRochelle, 2009.