Books by Noah:

Kindle editions, too.

Getting Better at Getting People Better

Freeing Emotions and Energy Through Myofascial Release

Meet Your Body

CORE* Bodywork

     *Coax Order, Restore Energy

Noah Karrasch has developed CORE Bodywork as a natural evolution from his training at the Rolf Institute in 1984-86, coupled with the clients, challenges and trainings he has since pursued. The basic series of Ida Rolf is usually performed in 10 sessions and is focused on achieving release of layers of connective tissue in specific sequence — early work is superficial, middle work is deep and final work is integrative. Noah honors and respects and still uses this recipe for clients who want the total Rolf experience but has developed his own 5 series recipe which he believes gives clients good value as well as lots of personal growth.

While it is useful to perform only one session of CORE Bodywork on a client if there are time or financial constraints (and indeed, Noah suggests a client only commit to a first session before deciding whether to move through a series), generally this work is initiated in 5 sessions with specific goals for each session. The overall goals — for a session or a series — are to touch and soften the core, the place deep within each of us where we hold on to all of life's challenges, disappointments, and traumae. In the model of CORE Bodywork, this is the primary way to overall health. We — client and practitioner in relationship — challenge the core to soften, to release connective tissue holding patterns, and to integrate the changes into the bodymind of the client. Verbal skills from the practitioner are sometimes as important as the body work skills, as we are asking clients to examine old ways of being and see what may be appropriate to change.

As the work is constantly evolving and shifting based on both practitioner/client experiences, research, observations and feedback from clients and their bodies, it's an exciting practice. Currently Noah is moving towards the concept of the vagus nerve, the only cranial nerve moving down into the body, as the nerve of well-being. This gives great credence to the idea that we need to learn to be better massagers of the gut area — home to not only psoas muscle and diaphragm connections, but also the innervation for much of the body. He's also currently very interested in trauma release, or more hopefully, trauma resolution in the bodymindcore. Trauma is stored in the body's connective tissue, or fascia, unless or until someone is wise enough to release, or is helped through this release process to resolution.

The connective tissue layers of the body can best be explained by using several different images: First, imagine that the body is wearing five wetsuits and the third one down is too tight and on crooked. Our job becomes to try to stretch and straighten that layer. Second, visualize a sponge. If all the air bubbles contained muscle tissue, the sponge tissue itself is the too dry and too tight connective tissue. Further, imagine a three-dimensional crocheted wetsuit — any place that you touch the wetsuit will stretch and stress the rest of the suit. Finally, see an orange where all the pulp has been removed yet all the segment skins are intact. These images taken together give an idea of what connective tissue is like. It is our job to stretch, realign and integrate this connective tissue into the most effective and appropriate configuration possible.

Clients who choose a series generally space the sessions one to two weeks apart. Each session lasts approximately 1 to 1-1/4 hours and usually costs $80-150, depending on the practitioner. For ease in working, clients disrobe to underwear if they can be comfortable in that state, although some choose to remain fully clothed. As each session is about creating safety for the client to resolve trauma, their modesty is thus respected. A session is a very active partnership with the practitioner identifying and holding "stuck" places in the body's connective tissue webwork while the client breathes and stretches to release these holding patterns. Generally a further awareness assignment is given the client to enhance the work that has been done. It may be as simple as "put your feet on straight when you walk." The goal is to keep the client engaged and in charge of the process.

CORE bodywork is work! The client will actively participate in a session...if layer one is a nice massage, we strive to keep clients on layer two, where they know good work is happening, without taking them to layer three where the body further resists or holds onto old patterns.

People choose CORE bodywork for a variety of reasons including chronic or acute pain, postural difficulties, as an adjunct to other therapies, to maintain good health and flexibility, or just to help them remember to relax and breathe! Clients often report feeling opened up and expanded breath capacity and energy.

Generally CORE bodyworkers are massage therapists (some are pilates or yoga instructors, a few are psychotherapists) who have chosen to expand their education and skills. A Level I worker has taken a 20 hr weekend training, Level II is a 24 hour training, Level III is a 60 hour and Level IV a 72 hr training. (See CORE Certification page.) It is good to check with your practitioner how much training he or she has had — it is in Level III that the five-series recipe is learned.

Links

Guild for Structural Integration
The Rolf Institute 

Who practices this technique?

Noah Karrasch
CORE Bodywork Practitioners Directory