Wilton native brings Rolfing to Yogapata

Nearly 100 years since it was first developed, Wilton native Christi Mueller Caspe is bringing Rolfing Structural Integration to Wilton every Thursday at Yogapata, on Danbury Road in Cannondale.

Using a set of techniques developed by Ida Pauline Rolf in 1920, Ms. Caspe, a certified Rolfer, RYT, helps patients realign their bodies, easing many physical ailments caused by day-to-day life, she said.

“This is a modality that can help you reset your body,” Ms. Caspe says. “If you have old injuries, or bad patterns and postures that we all accumulate over the course of our lives, this is an opportunity to make those disappear completely, or make them more manageable so you’re not constantly feeling it.”

According to Ms. Caspe, Rolfing is also good for those with specific injuries, as it allows a person to “get their tissue moving in a healthier way so the person can recover faster. Whether you’re an athlete or you’re aging and haven’t been physical your whole life, it really has benefits for everyone.”

Her own experience with Rolfing as a form of therapy inspired Ms. Caspe to become a certified Rolfer, she said. As a dancer for more than 30 years, she had seen injuries come and go, but a particularly bad shoulder injury made her to turn to Rolfing for the first time.

“I saw a practitioner in the city, and I walked out of there feeling incredible. I felt taller and more firmly planted in the ground — very free and light,” she said. “It got me really thinking that this body work was in line with the philosophies I was already forming within myself. I wanted to go into a field where I could help people — that’s one of the major factors.”

Specifically, the best metaphor for Rolfing is to compare it to braces for teeth, Mr. Caspe said.

“The way that braces are for the teeth, that’s pretty much what we’re trying to do with Rolfing. We’re moving things around by guiding them in the right direction,” she said. “If you remap where a muscle goes, then that muscle sends information to the brain which learns: ‘Oh! That muscle really is supposed to be over here. When we move the muscle, the brain says that’s a better spot for it, let’s go for that.”

The Rolfing expert spent a good chunk of her childhood in Wilton, where her parents still live. A lack of accessible Rolfers in the area helped Ms. Caspe decide to provide the service one day a week in Wilton.

“There is a community of people up here in need, and I had heard about Yogapata, and heard about their philosophy with their students and it made a lot of sense to me,” she said. “People in Wilton have busy lives and families. If I’m able to share this work with other people in my home town I would be very happy to do that.”

Though the technique has a tendency to be known as a painful process, Ms. Caspe said her treatments are anything but.

“Research shows you don’t need to apply all of that [painful] pressure in order for change to happen,” the Rolfer said. “We know you can work in a very light way, or you can be a little more aggressive with your touch depending on what your client needs.”

Ms. Caspe says the best form of Rolfing treatment is a 10-series, which includes 10 sessions of treatment. Depending on their needs, clients can take multiple sessions per week, or one session per month.

“When I went through my 10-series, I spaced out my appointments by about a month or so,” she said. “That was fine for my body. After every session, I started to notice things. Over the time period, if you’re conscious about it, it’s fine to space it out. If you’re totally not conscious about it, weekly might be better.”

One session with Ms. Caspe costs $180, making a full 10-series $1,800.

Information: ineedrolfing.com.