Cyclist, Comic, Coach, Big Picture Thinker
Why I do this: I’m motivated by helping people see the bigger picture when it comes to their body. As a certified Rolfer, therapist and coach for Cycling BC & Team Squamish, I’ve helped both young and elite athletes manage their injuries, learn proper recovery techniques and maximize their potential. It’s definitely rewarding.
What Makes Me Tick: Patients who are engaged and committed to their healing process.
Major Moment: Crossing the finish line of a 100K race.
Practicing Since: 1985
Words to Live By: “Youth has no age.” Pablo Picasso
Mike is a Registered Massage Therapist and Certified Rolfer (Structural Integration). Rolfing is an alternative medical treatment which involves the movement and manipulation of soft tissue. Mike was first introduced to the world of massage therapy back in 1985 during a Sports Injury class at Brock University and later graduated from West Coast College of Massage Therapy. Mike has been a Certified Rolfer since 2003 and has recently completed his Advanced Coaching Diploma at the National Coach Institute. He’s favourably known throughout Squamish for his sharp wit and sound advice. He lives in Squamish with his partner Kim and his four step-children.
Mike is a National Team therapist who has worked wonders with our best Olympic and Worlds riders. He is a key part of the National Track Cycling Team and we always enjoy having him as part of the team. His passion for all things cycling always shines through.
Mike Charuk’s body work was an integral part of my cycling career. As an elite
athlete, your body is a fine tuned machine and so deserves the best treatment.
Without proper recovery techniques and injury management you simply cannot
train as hard for as long. Mike helped me push my body to the limits all the way
to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Mike is a highly skilled practitioner with an excellent knowledge of functional
anatomy and sport performance which is critical to achieving desired
rehabilitation outcomes. I have full confidence in his care of my patients and in
my own pursuit of athletic performance.
Dr Cathryn Zeglinski
Northlands Medical Clinic Cycling Team
M.D. C.C.F.P. Dip Sport Med
Director Northlands Medical Clinic Whistler BC
Curious what Rolfing is? Here is info from Rolfing Institute of Structural Integration (www.rolf.org)
What is the difference between massage and Rolfing?
One of the most common misconceptions about Rolfing is that it is a nothing more than a type of very deep massage. There are many varieties of massage, which are particularly effective for loosening tight tissue, reducing stress, detoxing the body and an increased feeling of relaxation and well-being. Since these benefits are also a byproduct of Rolfing, the general public experience confusion as to the precise difference between our work and the proliferation of effective touch modalities currently available. Ray McCall, an Advanced Rolfer in Boulder and former student of Dr. Rolf, once said that what Rolfers do can be summed up in three words: palpation, discrimination and integration. We palpate, or touch the tissue, feeling for imbalances in tissue texture, quality and temperature to determine where we need to work. We discriminate, or separate fascial layers that adhere and muscles that have been pulled out of position by strain or injury. Finally, we integrate the body, relating its segments in an improved relationship, bringing physical balance in the gravitational field. Other soft-tissue manipulation methods, including massage, are quite good at the first two, but do not balance the body in gravity. As Dr. Rolf used to say: “Anyone can take a body apart, very few know how to put it back together.” The true genius of her method is the art and science of reshaping and reorganizing human structure according to clearly defined principles in a systematic and consistent manner.
In addition to our skill as structural integrators, we are also educators, a point Dr. Rolf stressed frequently in her training classes. The role of teacher is something every Rolfer takes seriously. In each session, Rolfers seek to impart insights to clients to increase their awareness and understanding, to help the client make the work we do their own. Our job is to make ourselves obsolete, by empowering our clients to take charge of their own physical and emotional health. Influencing the structural evolution of man on a global level was Dr. Rolf’s fondest dream.
How does Rolfing work?
Rolfing strives to align and balance the body’s components until the entire system is a smoothly functioning coordinated whole. For example, the legs are aligned to the hips, shoulders to rib cage, the body is positioned over the feet, and then all of these joints and related tissue is integrated to one another. A few of the many benefits people experience are reduced pain, increased flexibility, an enhanced sense of body awareness, and improved posture.
These wonderful transformations are possible because Rolfing addresses the body’s internal system of flexible support, otherwise known as fascia. These connective tissues surrounds ever muscle fiber, encases all joints and even has a role in the nervous system. Think of the fascial system as an intricate internal guide wire network for the body. And if one set of support wires becomes tight or out of place, the excess tension may appear as nagging joint pain, muscle soreness, or a postural shift.
To correct internal misalignments, a Rolfing practitioner uses mild, direct pressure to melt or release facial holdings and allow the body to find health through the reestablishment of balance. It is currently believed that the slow, deep strokes of Rolfing stimulate intra-fascial mechanoreceptors (sensory neurons of the muscle nerve), which in turn triggers the nervous system to reduce the tension of the related muscles and fascia.
Put another way, Rolfing allows the brain and nervous system to “re-boot” areas of the body that are receiving too much electrical stimulation (chronically tight or sore muscles). And once a healthy level of muscle contraction is established, someone’s entire structure is free to express a pain free from.
from Rolf Institute of SI