The Rolfing Process is an wholistic therapy that looks at and treats the whole body and the whole person. It is necessarily then a process – not simply remedial techniques applied to ‘fix’ a specific problem.
Dr Rolf originally developed her ten session process as a way to advance the teaching of Structural Integration. It is a formal teaching protocol and also generally an efficient strategy for Structural Integration. However, the number of sessions and their precise content can be varied according to the clients needs and the Rolfers level of training and experience.
It is not then always necessary to undertake the ten session approach and shorter series of 4 or 5 sessions are possible and a lot of good can still be achieved in this way.
Rolfing 10 Series – The Recipe
The Logic of the ’10 Series’ Underpins Rolfings Success As A Therapy
Dr Rolf designed a basic 10 session strategy to restructure and integrate the human body and the profound logic of this sequence is one of Rolfings’ great strengths as a therapy. However while the logic of ‘the recipe’ remains essential to the Rolfing process in practice ‘the recipe’ can be tailored to take into account variations in human structure and the individual circumstances of the client.
The series is not a collection of ad-hoc myo-fascial sessions but neither is it a formula applied indiscriminately to every body. Each session of the builds on the preceding session while laying the foundation for the one to follow and the adaptability inherent in the Rolfing process ensures that the uniqueness of each body can be addressed. The Rolfers’ assessment of the clients’ structure will lead him or her to add a little ‘pepper’ here and use a little less ‘salt’ there while remaining within the parameters of ‘the recipe’.
The first three sessions are often referred to as the ‘sleeve sessions’. Mobility in the tissue must proceed its re-positioning and these sessions, in part, are devoted to loosening the more superficial layers of connective tissue.
The next four sessions are the ‘core sessions’ and deal with releasing the deeper structures from the inner leg through to the cranium. Sessions 8, 9 and 10 are the ‘integrative sessions’.
In the preceding sessions the various parts of the body have been differentiated from one another, now they need to be re-articulated into a more balanced relationship with each other and with the larger environment.
Each session in the ‘ten’ has its own territory and objectives.
“The way we breathe is the way we walk”. The focus of the first session is on the relationship of the thorax to both the pelvic and shoulder girdles. Differentiating the shoulder and pelvic girdles from the ribcage begins to free the breath and involves working the more superficial tissue of the ribcage, shoulders, arms, and hips. Every Rolfing session ends with neck work and seated back work which is designed to integrate the work into the body. Generally the response of clients to this session is one of deep relaxation as well as a sense of lift and lengthening.
The feet are the bodies’ structural foundation. Whatever happens at the foot and ankle will affect every joint above them and influence every movement – dysfunction here is often at the root of muscular-skeletal problems from back pain to headache. In this session the lower legs are opened and aligned to improve the quality of support to the body. The connection of the feet with the ground and the capacity to land and to push off in walking is essential to the activation of the bodies’ core. Clients will feel a greater sense of support and balance from their feet, as well as improved contact between their feet and the ground.
The territory for this session is the sides of the body from ankle to neck. Strain patterns through this ‘lateral line’ are eased increasing the potential for the body to move freely in all three planes of movement. Whereas in the 1st two sessions the focus has been on the sagittal plane of front/back movement in this session the capacity for side to side or coronal movement is addressed. It is only when the body is free to move in these two planes that fully integrated movement in the third plane, the contra-lateral or horizontal plane, is possible. Most clients will feel a sense of lengthening through the sides of their body but also more connection with and direction through their feet and chest.
In this session as in the preceding session the emphasis is on the capacity for side to side movement and in terms of the myo-fascial system on the relationship and balance between the adductors and the abductors. The territory is the inside of the legs and the outside of the hips with the aims of, amongst others, differentiating the adductors from the hamstrings and the quadriceps and co-ordinating the two halves of the pelvis through the sacro-iliac joints. Many clients report a sense of lengthening not just through the inside leg but also upward through the core of their body.
The work commenced in the 4th session continues up through the quadriceps, the front of the abdomen and then into the psoas the deep hip flexor which directly connects the leg to the spine and is one of the key co-ordinating and stabilizing muscles of the body. The freeing up of deeper pelvic and abdominal restrictions opens the potential for improvement in pelvic movement and position, breathing and the capacity for contra-lateral motion. The front of the body will seem to lengthen – a sharp contrast to the flexion pattern that most clients are habituated to in their work in front of computers or as commuters.
Call Gary Hehir today to discuss how Rolfing can help balance your body
on 0422 742 045 or Book a Session.