Liesje Smith

Certified Rolfing ®

Life Without Pain? Of Course You Can!

For me, the journey to becoming a Rolfer began when I was four years old and knew I wanted to be a dancer. I grew up in Huntington, VT, but at age four moved to Boston, where I was enrolled in the Boston Conservatory of Ballet.

A world of imagination and physicality came alive to me then that has steered me since.

When we returned to Huntington a year later, dance classes were miles away, so I stopped dancing. When I was 11, our family doctor suggested I do some kind of physical activity to relieve back, shoulder and knee pain.

I can still remember the excitement and shyness in my voice when I asked, “Can I dance?”

“Of course you can!” he replied.  Shortly thereafter, I was taking classes every afternoon.

I held on to my dream to dance beyond my college years, but as structural pain continued to persist, my chances of being a professional worsened and my disappointment tore me up.

At age 24, I found a new beginning that brings me to where I am now – Rolfing. Rolfing offers a simple, hands-on approach to healing that gives the body a chance to be heard, not only for its aches and pains, but also for its aliveness. I discovered a school called, Moving On Center, in Oakland California, offering something I had never heard of before, Somatic Movement Therapy. I figured if I could not dance professionally, at least I could understand how to move in a way that could curtail structural damage and cultivate a sense of wholeness and well-being.

In 2000, I returned to Vermont with my new certification, but to little effect, since few people here knew what movement therapy meant. And so I offered massage and taught yoga… Starting in 2009, I started studying Structural Integration. I completed certifications in Kinesis Myofascial Integration, Rolfing Structural Integration and Rolf Movement.

Becoming a Rolfer allowed me to finally validate that simple joy in imagination and physicality I had discovered as a four-year-old in dance class. What’s more, it opened up vast possibilities in helping others feel connected, functional and alive in their bodies.

I use both hands-on tools and subtle movement awareness to bring people through a three-session series or a more comprehensive ten-session series. These systematic sessions intelligently unbind restrictions in the fascial system (connective tissue) of the body and resolve them toward greater balance and function– a natural resonance with gravity. Adhered strains due to injuries and accidents get lodged in the body when we compensate our movement during the healing process. Unless we fully release and realign these impacts in a resilient and coordinated way (we often don’t), they eventually become chronic strains that limit coordinated movement and cause pain.

Rolfing is uniquely effective with its hands-on intervention that thoroughly and gently restores tissue toward greater fluidity. Clients experience lasting results that continue to improve over time. They often express an inherent ease and flow in their bodies and a level mobility they had not noticed before.

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After moving from Burlington to Vergennes last October, I transitioned my 14 years of practice to Shelburne in May. In the carriage barn tucked behind the house at 29/33 Harbor Road (a sign is coming soon!), I inhabit the only downstairs office, creating a very safe, quiet and den-like atmosphere that allows people to deepen into the work. It is an ideal space!

Those interested can find a $35 discount off their first session on my website.

I will also be teaching a monthly two-hour Rolf Movement Class at 2 Wolves Holistic Center.

Can you feel alive, balanced and ease-full in your body?

Of course you can!