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Posts Tagged ‘Breckenridge’

Structural Integration: A Fresh Approach to Pain Management

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

By Eriks Peterson

Summit County residents and visitors alike understand the effects of an active lifestyle. High intensity sports such as biking, skiing, hiking, snowboarding, and golfing can lead to tight muscles, lack of flexibility, back, hip, and neck pain.

Over time many of our ‘healthy’ activities result in shortened muscles, compressed joints and decreased range of motion. Our daily habits make matters worse. Poor posture, past injuries, chronic dehydration and low quality diet can also bind up the body’s freedom of expression making life less enjoyable. Waking up to chronic aches and pains becomes a normal part of our daily lives. Structural Integration aims at freeing these restrictions, resulting in pain reduction and enhanced well-being.

Getting a monthly massage, spending a few minutes stretching the hamstrings before a workout, or attending a weekly Yoga class is often not enough to offset the effects of an active lifestyle. Few people invest enough time for these activities to be truly effective.

Injuries, repetitive use and illnesses leave residues throughout the body called compensations. Compensations are adaptations to stress that provide support to stressed areas of the body by thickening and shortening tissue.

Although compensations are the body’s natural response to stress, they often lead to one or more of the following side effects:

Lack of flexibility
Inefficient movement patterns (i.e. Limping)
Shallow breathing
Decreased range of motion
Poor posture
Compressed joints
Lower energy levels
Higher stress levels
Decreased circulation
Asymmetries (e.g. Hip and shoulder imbalances)
A burdened feeling often associated with aging (’getting old’)

Connective tissue wrappings called fascia surround muscles, bones and organs. Fascia is highly adaptable and will shorten and thicken (compensate) in response to stress. Unfortunately, these adaptations do not dissolve when they are no longer needed and over time accumulate, creating strain patterns throughout the body.

Fascia not only surrounds, but also connects bones, muscles and organs to each other. This web of inter-connection is the reason why there is no isolated effect in the body.

Shortened tissue pulls on all of the surrounding structures, which in turn effects the placement of every other structure in the body. After a period of time these new relationships become set in the body’s matrix. Compensation anywhere eventually becomes compensation everywhere.

That’s why merely freeing a single muscle is often an ineffective strategy for creating lasting change. The rest of the body eventually pulls the tissue back into pattern (rebound).

For long lasting change to occur, a comprehensive approach that reorganizes and balances the body’s soft tissues must at some point take place. One such approach is Structural Integration (“S.I.”), often referred to as Rolfing®.

The S.I. process seeks to reverse the destructive cycle by systematically freeing up restrictions throughout the body. By applying specific pressure, the S.I. practitioner dissolves connective tissue adhesions, which restores length and space to the tissue. As space is reestablished the body experiences increased circulation, flexibility and range of motion. An easy upright posture emerges as the body is freed of its burdens.

The basic process takes place over ten sessions. Each session has specific goals that are accomplished through a combination of soft tissue manipulation and neuro-muscular reeducation.

Benefits of the Rolf Ten-Series:
Increased flexibility and range of motion
Enhanced balance and athletic performance
Quicker injury recovery
Increased circulation and energy levels
Lower stress levels resulting from a relaxed structure
Expansive breath
Upright posture
Feeling of lightness
Long lasting changes

Structural Integration compliments other therapies like massage, physical therapy, accupuncture and chiropractic. By restoring space to the connective tissue, muscles lengthen and joints unwind. This enables the interventions of these complimentary therapies to be more effective and longer lasting.

The series can erase the residues of our various activities and poor habits so that overall performance is enhanced and chronic pains are reduced. After completing the initial Rolf Series when patterns start to set in again, it usually only takes a tune-up session to restore the openness achieved during the series. Seasonal tune-up sessions can be an effective strategy to help maintain healthy resilient tissue throughout the year.

Structural Integration has been around for over fifty years. Many professional athletes have used this process in both injury recovery and athletic enhancement with great success. Notable ones include: Charles Barkley, Ivan Lendl, Danelle Ballangee and Edwin Moses.

This process effectively wipes the slate clean of the degenerative effects of an active lifestyle, repetitive use, poor posture and injury. Imagine hitting a reset button for your body. The commitment to this process is rewarded with enhanced well being and a better quality of life.


The Yellow Emperor’s Superior Vacation, or Why Breck Locals Do It Better

Friday, March 20th, 2009

More than 2200 years ago, Chinese physician-Emperor Huang Di drew distinctions among health care practitioners that is as valid today as it was then. In one of Earth’s oldest known medical texts, Huang Di said that inferior physicians treat disease, mediocre physicians prevent disease, and superior physicians foster wellness and vitality.
As a group of practitioners, we at Sacred Tree shares Huang Di’s vision. We see it as a necessity, given the challenges we face both as a society and a species.
While we treat our clients to heal sprained ankles, or to enhance digestion or fertility, the most fundamental motivating force of our work is to create in our clients a deep interest and momentum towards deep health, vitality, resilience, peace, and joy.
The most important aspect of creating wellness and vitality is to impress upon our clients the need to create positive lifestyle change—impeccable diet, appropriate exercise habits, emotional presence and vulnerability, getting good sleep, and being deeply rooted in the present moment. Teaching these ideas becomes quite a challenge, which is why Huang Di placed the ‘wellness’ practitioners at the top of the heap more than 20 centuries ago. Even back then, more than two millennia before pharmacological drugs took hold in the marketplace, it was easier to get patients to pop some herbal pills, rather than to look deeply within and make positive changes.
Several Sacred Tree practitioners have made an interesting observation while providing treatments and teaching workshops and yoga classes for our wintertime tourists and visitors. We have observed that people who are outside their normal, day-to-day environment and routine are more likely to absorb and implement lifestyle practices that create a strong health reserve. Being on vacation opens people up because they are processing novel stimuli in a new environment, and are separated from old habitual anchors their home and work environment.
Living in a destination mountain town, this flexibility and openness, the feeling of being on vacation, rubs off on us locals. More than one Breckenridgian has been heard uttering the phrase ‘on permanent vacation’ in describing the local lifestyle. Our local climate also demands flexibility. It may be 60 degrees, calm and sunny, and within hours, it could be 20 degrees, with heavy wind and snow… in June. Our local residents must be prepared to embrace the moment, sun or snow, wind or rain, and enjoy the moment, for the moment is fleeting and is guaranteed to change. This flexibility in mindset and attitude, along with the deep sense of being present fully in the here & now, make for an excellent foundation for creating deep health and well being.
So, capitalizing on our geographic home-field advantage for both locals and visitors, and with nurturing vitality, creativity, and adaptability in mind, Sacred Tree offers bimonthly workshops and retreats, focused on working with the deepest parts of ourselves, facing fears and old patterns, and creating positive lifestyle change.
Attracting nationally recognized speakers is a natural progression growing from Sacred Tree’s dedication to wellness and vitality, as well as its continued success in creating compelling programming.
Our next retreat encourages participants to view the world through Native eyes, draws our attention inward. Using the processes, practices, and metaphors of horsemanship, the Medicine Wheel Model demonstrates that life mirrors our internal environment, and “what you do to others, you do to yourself.” The Medicine Wheel Model will be offered May 9 and 10 at Storm King Ranch in Glenwood Springs, CO, and will be presented by nationally recognized horseman Phillip Whiteman, Jr.

Because the deepest vitality begins prenatally, with a healthy pregnancy and birth, we will be offering a holistic and integrative Art of Birth course. The Art of Birth will be presented in late May. The Art of Birth will be presented by nationally recognized author, midwife, registered nurse, and waterbirthing expert Barbara Harper, and our own Corrie Burr.

For questions, comments, or information on registration, please contact us at Wellness@Sacredtree.com


Virtual Roots and Internet Love

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

For the past few weeks especially, Sacred Tree has been developing its root system in cyberspace as well as here in Breckenridge.

On the web, we’re working to extend our root system to the world, disseminating information on health & wellness throughout the cyberworld. So we’ve begun to create partner sites on social networking sites along with registration sites for local businesses, blogs, practitioners, and anywhere else where we find a niche… as it’s said, got to get in where you fit in.

We’re working on letting the world know about our world-class menu of integrative medicine offerings, including massage, acupuncture, doula & natural childbirth services, natural skin care, and a whole lot more.
Most importantly, we want to let the world know about our immersive workshops, like the Medicine Wheel Model of Natural Horsemanship, found here: http://sacredtree.com/featured-retreats/medicine-wheel-model.php

So we’re on a mission to deepen our root system in Summit County and on the web.

Here’s a sampling of some of our connections online. Please click on the links below visit these sites.

If you’re a client of ours, please rate your visit so others can know about our superior level of service and caring.

Merchant Circle

Get Fave:


Health Professionals:

Trip Advisor:

Google Local:

More to come–we’re on Yahoo, rVita, Manta, and several others that are waiting to be updated & verified by the hosting sites..
Show us some internet love!

With many thanks,



What is Integrative Medicine?

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

The health care crisis in the US continues to challenge our most visionary leaders to come up with effective solutions. In his inaugural speech as well as on other occasions, President Obama made mention of his view of the best solution—prevention. It costs far less to prevent a heart attack with nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle interventions, than it does to treat a patient for a heart attack in the emergency room. One study shows that focusing on ‘prevention’ will save more than $9,000 per patient per year in health care costs.
The question then becomes, how do we create a culture of wellness and vitality in our communities? For five years, Sacred Tree’s answer has been ‘Integrative Medicine.’ But what exactly is integrative medicine? What exactly are we integrating?
These are fantastic questions, and the answers are still being discovered. The short answer is, we are integrating the skills, philosophy, tools, and modes of practice of many distinct disciplines of medicine, blending them into one seamless whole for the benefit of our clients and community.
Some synonyms for the word ‘integrative’ might be synergistic, holistic, collaborative, cooperative, community. One of my recent favorites is ‘expressive,’ as in Expressive Medicine, vis-à-vis ‘suppressive medicine,’ meaning that we honor the myriad human expressions of all nature. Expressive medicine might mean allowing a patient to be feverish, as long as the fever is below a certain temperature range, instead of recommending herbs or drugs that suppress the fever. This philosophy respects the body’s infinite wisdom, recognizing that the fever is the body’s metabolic response to a pathogenic invasion, and represents an evolutionary adaptation over millions of years. It has a purpose, a goal, and an innate wisdom that would be arrogant or hubristic to believe we know enough about to completely suppress.
The same is true of the range of human emotions and internal experience. Suppressive medical culture seeks to medicalize experiences that may have deeply adaptive reasons for existing. Suppressive medicine may attempt to suppress an emotion such as sadness due to loss of a loved one, through the use of drugs, herbs, or any other method. Yet the expression of that emotion may allow a more full and dynamic experience of life by catalyzing internal processes and recognition of the loss on a deep level. To suppress that ‘negative’ emotion would be to diminish the life and shared experience of the loved one who passed on. The suppression of emotion, sadness or any other, may and likely does have negative effects on health. Therefore, expressing and addressing these emotions directly, in the light of day, will likely benefit health, wellness, and vitality, and prevent disease.
Through this expressive lens, Integrative medicine represents the ability to weave together and integrate a diverse array of human experiences and processes, from biological to emotional, financial, physical, nutritional, and even cultural.
We believe that this integration of diverse aspects of life in a movement characterized by a strong focus on wholeness, vitality, and honor of our body’s innate and natural healing power, vis medicatrix naturae, represents the future of medicine.
We invite anyone interested in a deeper and more personal discussion of what Integrative medicine means and how it serves our clients, families, and community, to attend our roundtable discussion with area medical practitioners.
This roundtable disussion will be held Tuesday March 10, 2009, at 6 PM in the conference room at Blue Sky Breckenridge, 42 Snowflake Drive. It is free for all to attend, and light refreshments will be served.
For more information, call (970) 453-8558, or email Luke@SacredTree.com.