MIPAWORK is a method of soft tissue manipulation that restores your balanced relationship with gravity. The practitioner uses their hands and elbows to work your muscles and connective tissues, using a slow, direct, and sensitive pressure. The work is designed to unwind whole body tension patterns, while at the same time gradually uncovering your body’s natural length, resilience, and graceful ease.
MIPAWORK was developed by Structural Integration practitioner and mindfulness teacher Craig Mollins. The method brings together two main streams of teaching: a ten-session protocol that balances the human structure with gravity, and mindfulness-awareness practice that synchronizes body and mind in greater harmony. MIPAWORK incorporates these two streams to create a system of connective tissue manipulation that brings together body, mind, and the field of gravity.
The hallmark of MIPAWORK is in the sensitivity of touch used by practitioners. Infused with mindfulness-awareness training, MIPAWORK uses a gentle yet direct pressure that is sensitive and responsive. The practitioner is highly attuned to working at just the right depth for your body to unwind, lengthen, and rebalance.
Our body’s tissues naturally want to be open, relaxed, and balanced. We all know this feeling, we all know what it’s like to go for treatment with the feeling of, “Oh, I wish they would just work THIS way.” We all know what “the right depth” feels like for us. For the MIPA practitioner, working at exactly the right depth in just the right way is of paramount importance. The work proceeds with a gentle and steady rhythm, area by area, session by session, unwinding and releasing soft tissue compensations and rigidity, and gradually uncovering a body that is stronger and more at ease with itself and the field of gravity.
Craig graduated in 1995 from the Guild for Structural Integration, where he studied with two of Dr. Rolf’s principal students. Craig has extensive training and practice in yoga, tai chi, and qi gong, and has studied various movement modalities including Authentic Movement, Continuum, and Rolf Movement training with Dorthee Nolte.
Since 1982 Craig has been a student of Buddhist mediation, and practices meditation on a daily basis. He is certified as a meditation instructor and teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, and has taught meditation and Buddhism in various settings in Canada, the U.S., Spain, and Brazil. Craig studied Kyodo (Zen archery) for 12 years under Kanjuro Shibata Sensi, the 20th generation bow-maker to the Emperor of Japan. Since 1995 Craig has served as a personal bodyworker to numerous Tibetan Lamas in North America, India and Nepal.
In 2009 Craig began teaching workshops for manual therapists in Canada and Europe. He developed MIPAWORK to synthesize his experience, and give back some of the learning he has received over the past thirty years. Craig travels extensively teaching MIPAWORK workshops, and also maintains private practices in Halifax and Toronto.
In Craig’s expert hands, the body is like a fine instrument being tuned to perfect pitch and balance. He probes and finds the dissonant chords, releases hidden tension and restores harmony. Craig has developed a unique and precious skill: his hands can read your body and coax it back to a state of balance. They can seek out deep seated tensions and imbalances and correct them. It’s like being taken apart and reassembled again with all the kinks removed.
In the first session, Craig took time to explain the uniqueness of rolfing and the benefits I should expect. He was extremely confident that rolfing would do wonders for me. The session began with shoulder/pectoralis work. Being a muscular guy I really liked the “deepness” of the work. Too many massage therapist I had seen in the past would not to deep tissue (I mean deep deep). However, this felt still different from deep muscle work I have had done (like ART or myofascial release).
After about 20 min of work on my left shoulder girdle, Craig asked me to stand and just take it all in. Upon standing I felt like my left shoulder was floating upwards almost as if gravity was no longer pulling it down. It made me immediately aware of how much tension the rest of my body was feeling. Especially the right shoulder. The before and after was amazing. I believe I said right there and then I was signing up for the full 10 sessions in the series.
We proceeded to do weekly sessions or bi-weekly sessions depending on the times. I remember that at hockey the next day after a session that my body moved more freely. I did however have not have the same fine motor control. That took a few days to catch up. The work Craig did allowed for so much more “input” from the nervous system that it would take a bit of time for the body to learn/process this new input. Fellow hockey players even asked what I was doing different as they could see the difference in my play. My girlfriend said my torso looked more elongated as well.
The constant pain I had in my shoulders was considerably less and my 3-4x/yr back pain/spasms went away for over 16 months. I have continued to see Craig since ’99 and will continue to see him as long as he practices. I have been to 3 other rolfers with limited success. Craig is excellent at what he does. If I won the lottery, in addition to my yoga instructor and my pilates instructor, Craig would be included in my first 3 purchases lol.
As a chiropractor, I have also included some of his techniques a bit into the myofascial work I provide for my patients. I believe going through the full 10 sessions is vital. And since then we do work depending on my condition. I usually play hockey almost 200x/yr and get many injuries. Craig has helped me through many of them.
Sincerely and with much appreciation and thanks,
Jessica has been practicing as a registered massage therapist since 2000. After graduating from Northumberland College’s massage therapy program she later went on to teach for three years. In her private practice she draws on her knowledge of myofascial release, trigger point release, neuromuscular techniques, Thai Yoga Massage, and traditional Swedish massage. In 2007 Jessica founded a clinic in Halifax that provides free alternative health care for people living on low or no income. She is also a recreational soccer player, a screenplay writer, and a published short fiction writer.
Since 2008 Jessica has been mentoring with Craig Mollins in the study of MIPAWORK. In addition to her six years of practice and study of the method, Jessica brings 13 years experience in private practice as an RMT, three years teaching at the Northumberland College, and her rich life experience in the liberal and healing arts, to offer a dynamic learning experience in the MIPAWORK workshops.
Tom Pathe has been a Structural Integration practitioner since 1973, when he studied with Ida Rolf in her first class in Boulder, Colorado. Thus, he is a first-generation practitioner. Tom did both his initial and advanced classes with Ida, this most unique and daring pioneer of the healing arts. He has practiced Vajrayana Buddhism since 1971, as a student of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, and Shambhala Training since its introduction by him in 1976. For nine years Tom also studied Huichol Shamanism with Don Lupe in Mexico and Dagara Shamanism with Malidoma Some in Burkino Faso, Africa. He has taught in the states and abroad. The healing power of breath has been the river of rhythm that has run through Tom’s life as a healer.
Tom was a faculty member at the Guild for Structural Integration where he taught both the basic and advanced trainings. Tom is also a certified meditation instructor and teacher in the Shambhala tradition and has taught meditation and Shambhala Training in various locations throughout the U.S. You can learn more about Tom and his work here.
Kathrine Walker has been a Structural Integration Practitioner since 2000, after graduating from the Guild for Structural Integration. She has been a registered massage therapist for over twenty years, and has facilitated workshops for massage therapists that include elements of mindfulness and Structural Integration.
Kathrine and her husband live in Fredericton with their three beautiful children. She spends her free time seeking adventure in the forest, hiking, bicycling, skiing, paddling, practicing yoga and tai chi, and has recently taken up the challenge of strength training.