Find Your Passion, Leave A Legacy

How many of us are living a life that is joyful and fulfilling?

Some recurring questions and themes have been popping up lately. Existential crises are alive and well. What are we doing?! How does one find one’s passion and thereby feel more joy in living?

Ask yourself this question, “What brings me joy?” Once you identify what it is that you enjoy most about being in a body on this blue planet, DO IT!

I realize this sounds crazy and simplistic. The only reason I even propose it is because I’ve lived my entire life this way. It may also sound unrealistic to live an authentic joy-filled life doing what you love because, hey, we still have to make a living. So, the key question may be “How do I make a living doing what I love?”

The possibilities are only limited by a lack of imagination. Imagine, visualize, see your life the way you want it to be. We create our own reality. The choices we make, the people we choose to share our life with all shape our reality. Everything I have set my mind to, I have actualized. I’m not saying it hasn’t been without struggles and hard work!

I attended a workshop over the weekend on addressing joint restrictions. It was my second time taking John deMahy’s Algorithm for the Cervicals, Ribs and Shoulders. Amazing work. The techniques he has developed are ground-breaking, in my opinion, and his legacy.

As for my legacy…I’m still working on it. I have a few ideas, as I also have several things that I’m quite passionate about :-)

Courage my friends. The universe is on your side. Stay strong.


Spring Hopes Eternally

The life force, that is nature itself, is an inspiration that reminds us every year to be hopeful and to continue on.

Winter is a time for introspection, for moving inward not only physically but emotionally as well. I notice this in my own life at any rate. And then, Spring erupts with new life as bulbs emerge, birds twitterpate (not an actual word) and people in Oregon smile more, as we witness the sun’s increasing brilliance and the days lengthening.

Hope. Life is going on around us. We’re still here.

Some of you know my story. For those who don’t, I will share it now. Part of it at least.

When we were living in eastern Oregon starting a brewery and raising our two daughters, we experienced disaster. We lost our eldest in a rafting accident on the Imnaha River on Memorial Day. It will be 19 years ago this May.

We see tragedy in the news on a daily basis. We can sometimes feel numbed or desensitized by it. When it happens on a personal level it then becomes very real. After years of grief and many springs that somehow weren’t enough to give me the hope I needed to go on, were even a reminder of her death, I found hope in my surviving daughter and in something that got me passionate again about life. Rolfing.

When I say Rolfing changed my life I often think it more accurate to say it saved my life. It gave me renewed focus and something to inspire me. This work continues to inspire me as I explore my own embodiment while bearing witness to that of my clients. It has brought me to a new decade of self. I’m still here.

I recently attended an Alexander Technique workshop on the Sacred Geometry of the Body. I have had 6 lessons with Linda K. Johnson (fellow dancer) and have been fascinated by our relationships to self. This somatic work is, for me, the missing link. The subtle relationship of our skull to our first vertebra and our torso to our legs has changed how I stand and walk; how I AM in my body. How we move and stand/sit, our posture is learned and can be changed with awareness and practice. It has helped me feel more at ease and, at times, almost as though I’m able to defy gravity. No, I haven’t levitated yet but hey, everything is possible.

As I continue to deepen my practice, my self-awareness and curiosity as to what is possible I hope you find similarly something that inspires and helps you find meaning in this thing we call LIFE.

Plant your garden, my friends, and watch it grow!


What a world we live in! When I think of how the world has changed in the past 100 years, what it was like in the year 1919, I’m blown away. Change is certain and seems to be happening at an exponential rate. It can be overwhelming!

As we enter the New Year we often reflect on the past year and may make plans for this one with renewed hope or, let’s be honest, struggle to find happiness amid feelings of hopelessness. Life is hard!

One of my teachers in a workshop spoke about what he felt was most important as far as goals with his patients. He’s an osteopath. He doesn’t worry about balance in structure as we are not symmetrical beings and needn’t strive towards an impossible ideal. The question he asks is “Are they adaptable?”



*able to adjust to new conditions

synonyms flexible, versatile, cooperative, accommodating, amenable

*able to be modified for a new use or purpose

As a Rolfer, I help “bodies” find better balance, ease in function and the ability to perform at the best possible level, which is different for everyone. Humans are complicated creatures. Does an adaptable body mean an adaptable human? What does it mean to be adaptable? And what happens when we fail?

Another teacher of mine often reminds us, as we come to our mats, “to welcome all parts of ourselves to the table”. We will make mistakes. Then we have a choice. Give up or go on. We’ll never reach perfection but we can become more adaptable. We heal. We are hard wired to problem solve. It’s about survival.

So, as the world seems to falling apart one day and the next day the sunrise takes your breath away. just inhale deeply and be grateful for another day.


Rolfing is Cool!

One of my first instructors at the Rolf Institute would always go on about how Rolfers are "cool". But, after practicing for about a decade now, I have to say, "Rolfing Structural Integration is what's cool!".

My greatest joy, and what keeps me interested in this work, is not only my innate curiosity and desire to help others, but in bearing witness to the change and process work my clients are experiencing. 

When the body is reorganized change happens on so many levels. I'm not sure if people who are ready for change are drawn to this work, or it's the other way around and that people change as a byproduct of the work? Either way, change happens.  

And it's a beautiful thing. Not always easy, but brilliant and vital to living a life that's on point.


Women's Pelvis Class

I wrote a blog about tone in your pelvic floor after the workshop I attended a year and a half ago. (see below) Now, after personally experiencing the benefits from applying the techniques I learned, I'm offering a class to share this often neglected, yet very important work.

The class will focus on the anatomy of the pelvis- its bony structure, as well as the muscles that make up the floor of the pelvis. I like to think of it as integrity from the inside out.

I've had female clients in the past whose pelvis would not stay balanced. Something continued to pull it back to an unbalanced state. My story is similar. Though my Rolfer was able to balance my pelvis early in my 10-series, something shifted it back. It wasn't until I began to consider the muscles of the pelvic floor and learned to develop correct tone, did my pelvis gain stability.

This is great for everyone, including men (think prostate health). I'm offering it first as women only classes, however. Since many of us have been through pregnancy, child birth and even trauma as relates to this area of our bodies, to regain control, sensation and ease is a powerful thing. 

For the details please go to my Rose City Rolfing Facebook page, or click on the "Schedule Now" button on my contact page of this website which takes you to my calendar, or you can contact me directly.  

I look forward to sharing with you what helped me sneeze without needing to cross my legs.

10-Series Practice in Life

Each session of the 10-series has a focus. Even if you haven't been through the series, here are some suggestions of how to bring these area of focus into your daily life. 

*Take time to pause and breathe deeply(session1-breath)

*Ground yourself by walking barefoot on the earth. I know it's cold but do it anyway. :) Our bodies store static energy which is released when we practice this! Otherwise, wear comfortable shoes. (session2-support)

*Think about your back body- especially the space behind your head and tail bone. Notice the relationship of your head to your spine with this awareness. (session3-front/back balance)

*Engage the muscles of your pelvic floor. (session4-inside line of legs/pelvic floor) If you're not sure what I mean by that, think refined Kegel. Be sure to spend an equal amount of time releasing the contracted muscles. I offer classes by arraignment on this important area.

*Eat simple, nourishing food. Activate your deepest abdominal muscle the transversus abdominis, or "corset muscle" everyday to help with low-back and internal organ health. (session5-abdomen/psoas)

*Don't sit for long periods of time. Get up and fold forward to stretch hamstrings and back body. Take the spine into extension-supported backbend over an exercise ball. (session6-back body, sacrum )

*Relax your mind and your eyes. Try not to stare at a screen, (like I'm doing right now) for too long. Meditate with palms of hands over closed eyes for several minutes. (session7-neck/head)

*Walk, hike, cycle, swim, do yoga or however you like to move your body. Spend time in nature. "Motion is lotion."(sessions 8,9 & 10-integrative)

May 2019 bring well-being, joy and ease to your life!

Summertime and the Rolfing is HOT!

Greetings Friends!

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the weather and the outdoors. Whether your job requires you to sit at a desk all day, spend hours in the garden or both, take some time for self care. Do some "forest bathing" (walking in nature) There is a Japanese word for it! Shinrin-Yoku. Or is that two words? It's good for brain health. Perhaps because all the senses are stimulated- even the sense of taste, if one knows what is safely edible in the forest. The suggested protocol is 4X week for at least an hour.

We all know that sitting for long periods isn't good for our low backs. Motion is lotion! I wanted to turn you all on to a great YouTube channel called "Yoga with Adriene". If you don't have time to get to class you can take 15-50 minutes on your device in the comfort of your own home to breathe and move. Your spine will thank you.

On another note, I'm looking forward to working with my friend and colleague Daniel Martin's clients! I take over her practice starting Monday June 17th at her downtown location. I will be at 917 SW Oak St. Suite 202 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am-7:30pm. I will also continue to work from my studio as well. You can now schedule on-line with Schedulicity. You will find the link simply by clicking on the "Schedule Now" button on my contact page. Ah, technology:)

Also, please note that my sessions will now be 75 minutes for $120/ $100 for students and seniors. Cash or check preferable but I do have a chip reader and PayPal options.

Stay cool, hydrate and enjoy the sun while it lasts!!




I'm excited to announce a new location for Rose City Rolfing beginning mid-July. My friend and colleague Daniele Martin is leaving our fair city for more education and experiences abroad. Bon Voyage mon amie! I will be taking over her practice in an historic building downtown at 917 SW Oak St. 

I will offer sessions at this new location on Mondays and Wednesday, $120 for 75 minutes, $100 students/seniors with $5 fee for credit cards, I now have a Schedulicity account to make scheduling easier. Simply click on the "Schedule Now" button on my contact page. 

In addition to seeing her clients, I welcome my clients to take advantage of this new location if it proves more convenient. 

I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my life as a Rolfer! Get Rolfed!




"Goals" - The New Resolutions

So, rather than "New Years Resolutions" goal-setting is the new thing, apparently. What goals have you set for 2017? 

One of mine is to grow my practice. I recently moved my practice to 111th and NE Skidmore St. in Portland, Oregon which for some is too far out. Most of my clients are referrals from people who have experienced  my work as a Rolfing/ Structural Integration practitioner. I survive on word of mouth. I am approaching my 9th year as a Certified Rolfer practicing in the Portland/Vancouver area. We are in Parkrose, near PDX just across the 205 bridge from Vancouver, WA. It's conveniently located just off I84 (102nd exit) if coming from downtown Portland. 

If you dislike driving as much as I do we can schedule around the busy times. No one wants to add stress when the goal is to let go of stress! We've all heard that stress is the number one cause of dis-ease. Our bodies are very good at hanging on to trauma. Held stress and trauma can create issues that greatly affect our well-being.

Whether you are a returning client in need of a tune-up, one of the many unfortunate people that have experienced a recent car accident thanks to the winter driving conditions, or simply want to feel better in your body, come see me for a session and get on track for this new year.

PS My other goals are to take better care of myself, get more involved in my community in Parkrose, do more yoga and volunteer.  Best wishes for achieving your 2017 goals my friends!! Hope to see you soon :)

Challenges and Self Care

"If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you."For the times, they are a changing! I think many of us are feeling challenged these days. There's uncertainty and downright fear. It seems difficult to continue on our paths some days. 

I don't offer gift certificates to people who want to "gift" this work to a friend or family member and here's why. Rolfing can be life altering and not everyone is ready for the change it may bring about. It's a personal choice. It will challenge you to pay attention to yourself, to notice subtlety and may even lead to life altering decisions. 

In my Unit III at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration we were in the final phase of our basic training. We were taking outside "clients" through the 10-series. One of my fellow student's client was a man whose wife had signed him up to receive the work. After the 3rd session he not only left her, he left town. I'm not sure what his experience was exactly, but the work seemed to be a catalyst of change for him.

My greatest challenge in this ever changing world is to stay grounded. In times of struggle, reminding ourselves to breathe, to notice our feet on the ground and all the space around us can help to keep us calm and connected to this earth. A soak in a warm epsom salt bath is also a nice choice as our winter settles in. Be kind to yourself. Do yoga. Stress less.

I like to think that I'm helping to make the world a better place one Rolfed body at a time. 



How is the tone in YOUR pelvic floor?

Most people are familiar with Kegel exercises. Now let's take them to a whole new level.

I recently attended a 6-day workshop on THE FEMALE PELVIS that rocked my pelvis! Literally. The workshop was led by two of the leading women in the Rolfing community, Mary Bond and Carol Agneessens. We were a group of 22 women and, I'll guarantee you that what we learned will keep us out of Depends as we inevitably age.

This work of toning the muscles of the pelvic floor is important, not just for women who have birthed children, had abdominal surgery, or trauma but for men's prostate health as well.

Everyone can benefit from increased tone in the pelvis! I have only been practicing these exercises for about a month now and already see results. I can sneeze with confidence. 

We learned how to isolate the different muscles of the pelvic floor, how to activate as well as release, or relax these muscles, not only to gain awareness but better control. 

"The Female Pelvis- anatomy and exercises" by Blandine Calais-Germain is a great resource to begin you pelvic journey. Your trampoline jumping days are not over!





Rolfing for Athletes! How Rolfing Helps Endurance

For all you athletes out there. Yeah I'm talking to you! I'm always happy when I stumble upon other resources talking about how Rolfing can change your life. In this article from the popular Sports site, Active it talks about the benefits of Rolfing for Endurance. 

It's important to take care of your body and to avoid overuse resulting injuries! Always feel free to contact me as well for more questions!


- Debra

What is Rolfing aka Structural Integration?

The founder once said:

"Some individuals may perceive their losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in their back, others as the unflattering contour of their body, others as a constant fatigue, yet other as an unrelentingly threatening environment. Those over 40 may call it old age. And yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem, so prominent in their own structure, as well as others, that it has been ignored: They are off balance. They are at war with gravity." 

- Ida P. Rolf PH.D.

"Over 40" old age?! Many of my clients are thirtysomethings who complain that they don't feel as they did in their twenties. Many of them also have desk jobs. Our bodies are built to move. I'm not sure where this quote originates but I heard it first from Ron Murray D.O., "Motion is lotion."  Most people are learning the hard way that sitting for too long, always crossing legs on one side or any repetitive patterns create imbalances that may cause pain or discomfort as they age.

The way in which we use our bodies shapes our bodies. This is one factor that affects structure.  The imbalances may show up as a golfer's spiral pattern due to repetitive strokes on his or her dominant side. We explore these patterns, looking at ways to bring ease from using hands on work to free up the stuck tissue, to movement that helps counter the strains of repetitive usage.

Rolfing is a method that incorporates education and fascial reorganizing to balance the human structure in gravity. Then, as Ida P. Rolf said, "Gravity is the therapist."