From the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Touch Meets Talk: The Rubenfeld Synergy Method,” by Shelly Meurer and Theresa Pettersen-Chu, in the June 2009  issue. Article summary: The Rubenfeld Synergy Method is a holistic approach distinguished from other methods by its combined use of gentle touch, talk and compassionate listening. Sessions are done on a cushioned table or in a chair. Clients are fully clothed.

by Shelly Meurer

For massage therapist and Rubenfeld Synergist Shelly Meurer, Rubenfeld Synergy provided the missing piece that helped her avoid having major surgery. Here’s her story:

 “In 1993, I was diagnosed with a debilitating bladder disease that caused excruciating pain. Initially, I went the route of traditional medicine, visiting Mayo Clinic several times. After years of searching for relief, I was told the disease had progressed to advanced stages. The only option I had was to remove my bladder, which was not a good option; I decided to try alternative therapies.

“I began treatment at a holistic center, and within a few months there was marked improvement; however, I was still not completely pain-free. I remember expressing to my acupuncturist my feeling that there was a piece missing. She handed me the January/February 1998 issue of MASSAGE Magazine, which featured a write-up about the Rubenfeld Synergy Method. After reading this article, I knew immediately that I needed to work with a synergist.

“I decided to join the Rubenfeld Synergy training program and experienced a turning point in my healing when I volunteered for a demonstration with Ilana Rubenfeld. Her warm touch and sincere interest in what I was saying communicated a safe, supportive environment.

“During the session, I felt I was being listened to in a way I had not experienced before. A traumatic experience from my childhood that was buried deep inside of me began to emerge. As I shared the events that took place, Ilana listened to my physical story with her gentle touch and supported my verbal and emotional story with words that validated my experience. I was able to rescript my responses to the people who had hurt me, saying things I was not able to say in the past. As my body let go and my muscles relaxed, I felt a tremendous sense of freedom and relief.

“What I know today, from my experience as a client and a synergist, is our minds and our bodies are not wired separately; our physical experiences are connected to our emotional experiences.”

Shelly Meurer, L.M.T., is a Certified Rubenfeld Synergist and licensed massage therapist in private practice in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area.