Santa Barbara Rolfing®, Bodywork & Structural Integration – Sara Soltau
Certified Advanced Rolfer – Somatic Experiencing Practitioner
Office located near downtown Santa Barbara
Rolfing® is a system of connective tissue work developed by Dr Ida P. Rolf. It consists of a series of 10 sessions that cumulatively organize the body, each session focusing on a particular area, with the goal and intention towards greater structural integration, balance and a sense of ease for the person.
Sara has been Rolfing since 1990 – a graduate of The Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colorado and a current member, she also uses a number of complementary modalities that assist in the Rolfing process of the whole person approach.
Overtime, she has found that an awareness and sensitivity to the craniosacral rhythm and visceral motility, help to locate and address related restrictions that further assist in achieving stability and integration. In addition, tension of an involuntary nature may be a holding or bracing coming from the autonomic nervous system. Bringing the clients awareness to the different sensations and qualities in the tissue acts as feedback to loosen and release the holding that is often a residual effect from some past traumatic experience.
These approaches, as well as Rolfing from an advanced perspective and using Rolfing movement awareness, all contribute to treating each client individually. In general, the focus is working with the client in a way that addresses their particular structure and concerns so they may experience greater ease and movement and lasting change.
Sara is also a graduate of the method that Peter Levine, the author of ‘Waking the Tiger’ developed called Somatic Experiencing, and is a Practitioner providing personal sessions since 2003. In addition, she completed the Touch Skills Training for Trauma Therapists in 2009 and the Somatic Resilience and Regulation after Early Trauma in 2014, both trainings offered by Kathy Kain, a senior teacher for the Somatic Experiencing Institute.
Sara describes the Somatic Awareness work:
The somatic experiencing work helps to release energy that is held in the body. Often from a fight-flight or freeze experience, the body has not had an opportunity to discharge the activated survival energy that was stimulated for a life threatening incident. One where it felt as-if death were a possibility, the physiology is likely still stimulated and set for alert. Or, it can be more like the vector of impact from a fall, where the bone is stressed. Or, the range of motion is affected, and the tissue is holding due to the attempted prevention of impact, a thwarted defensive response. Learning to sense ones own tactile sensations within the body reveal possible avenues for release and softening of the tissues from the inside out.
The more practice, the more fluent one becomes. The assistance of touch for the client then becomes an aide to sense themselves, an aide to coming home, an embodied sense of self. This added touch brings a sense of support and containment. For some, it begins a healing process for either receiving the touch that was not given at an earlier time of trauma, even a time when the physiology, the central nervous system was not fully formed and able to regulate on its own.
For the body-mind, all traumas are accessible now and linked together, therefore, healing can take place in the present moment through this holographic storage container of our living experience. Advanced training in the somatic experiencing involves additional training and practice in the sense of touch. This includes further refinement of the ability to focus and fine tune awareness into different layers of tissue. Areas of focus are the skin, superficial fascia, muscle, deep fascia, bone. Systems of focus and practice are the lymph system, blood, endocrine system, internal organs.
It is possible to single pointedly focus into these living systems of movement and flow and feel the pulses, waves, constrictions, shocks and roller coaster rides and with awareness, and in relationship, a witnessing support to help loosen, and become more resilient and more in accord with the present moment and environment, i.e. out of the past response. What a wondrous way to be with someone. and witness their fullness.
My goal is to assist people in becoming more at ease with themselves be it physical, emotional, spiritual. A kind of freedom. My path has been one of service, healing, and self discovery, and sharing this with compassion and lightness.