Introducing Gemma

Gemma Oaten, Rolfing blog

So now I’ve been Rolfed (well, had my first session of ten sessions). Not to be mistaken with the term ROFL… I’m NOT rolling on the floor laughing. I’m talking about a new form of treatment aimed at physical and mental well being. Here is a little exert from the European Rolfing Association website explaining in technical terms…

What is Rolfing?

“It was Dr. Rolf’s theory that the cause of human discomfort, both physical and emotional may lie in our internal connective tissue and the     relationship it has with the earth’s gravitational field.

There is, she argued, an optimal, more natural alignment for each of us – an easier interaction between self and gravity. When through            external factors this alignment is lost, it causes internal stress that can result in real discomfort best diet pills for women. Prevent or correct the misalignment and you may eliminate or limit the stress. This is at the heart of Rolfing.”

 Still not sure? Ok, let’s start at beginning.

My name is Gemma Oaten and I am an actress…you may know me best for my 4 years playing Rachel Breckle in the ITV soap Emmerdale. I trained at Drama Studio London from 2009 – 2010, where upon we had movement classes with a fantastic teacher called Aidan Treays. Now, I was no mover, and certainly no dancer. My co-ordination was a wonder to behold, in that there’s no wonder, I was awful! But Aidan helped change all that, not in that I could all of a sudden tap dance with the best of them, but he taught me to walk tall and to find a confidence and peace with my body, that in many ways changed my life.

To explain, from the age of 10 – 23 years old I had battled fiercely with anorexia, the severity of this illness almost taking my life on many occasions. Thankfully I fought and can say I am now fully recovered and living my life in the way I’d always dreamed. But when I got to drama school, although recovered, I was still so unconfident and unsure of who I was and still felt so disconnected from my body after the years I had abused it.

Aidan helped me find that inner growth I needed and after I graduated I secured the job of my dreams on Emmerdale, but more than that I grew into a positive and confident young woman.

2 years ago I became patron of my parents eating disorder charity SEED (Support and Empathy for Eating Disorders) which was born out of our struggle with the devastating illness and my parents determination to help carers and sufferers and support anyone going through what we did as a family all those years. Cut to last year when Aidan approached me with the idea of Rolfing as he had recently trained and qualified in the technique.

Aidan’s idea was that Rolfing may well help eating disorder sufferers and also those now recovered, like me, in finding a new sense of gravity, space and awareness in our bodies and also bring about an emotional relief as well as physical.

I loved the idea, any form of help in the growing number of eating disorders cases is something I am always on the lookout for, as well as looking at our mind sets, so I decided to try the experience myself. In the blogs to follow I will aim to share my experience of the 10 sessions and hopefully see and feel the proof in Aidan’s idea.


If you think you suffer from an eating disorder, you may want to contact SEED. Here’s the link SEED Eating Disorders Support Service


Maybe you are considering trying a Rolfing Session with Aidan, in London, here’s how to MAKE AN ENQUIRY OR BOOK A SESSION


If you want the list of UK Rolfers, take a look here

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