Rolfing happens in a series of ten sessions; each session is an hour or an hour and a half long and has a particular goal to be achieved. The first three sessions work to align and open the superficial tissues in preparation for deeper work. The next four sessions then go deeper and work to create adaptability, and freedom of movement with in the core and at the joint spaces. The finishing sessions then work to create integration, length, and alignment of for the new open body.
This session is all about the respiratory diaphragm and how the shoulder and pelvic girdles relate to the diaphragm. This session frees the breath and helps create adaptability and movement of the upper body during changes to the lower body during the following sessions.
A base of support for the body is paramount. The feet need to be strong and supple the arches capable of doing their job for grounding. The medial arch of the foot transmits core lift upwards to the rest of the body while standing. The lateral arch straightens the the leg through the swing faze of the stride.
The lateral line reaches the length of the body. This session is about how the outside of the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder and ear balance and align above the foots lateral arch.
The midline reaches up the inside of the ankle and knee to feed the support of the leg into the pelvic floor. A supportive connection to the mid thoracic hinge from the pelvic floor is also worked.
The core of the torso or the visceral space is the subject of this session. Containment, length and strength for the abdominal balloon creates a base of support for the lungs and heart. Openness of the rib cage and deeper structures of the thorax allows for full breath and ease of heart.
The spine is a pole of support that mediates the oppositional movements of the legs and arms. It transmits undulating lift from the pelvis through the shoulder girdle to the head. How smoothly that lift moves through the bones of the spine is important for the operation and comfort of the nervous system.
Throughout the series the neck and head are clear indicators of how well the body is transmitting support. The head leans toward or is pulled down by fascial restrictions and is consequently tilted by gravity's pull. This session puts the finishing touches on how well the head elongates or sits over the newly organizing body. The arms are also released to hang more freely during this session.
These sessions are interchangeable and are used to integrate the previous gains by weaving length and space through all aspects of the person. The aspects include top, bottom, left, right, front, back, core, sleeve. This integration encourages smooth easy movement across joints and a more naturally coordinated body.
The last session puts the finishing touches on integration of the body. A natural relationship with gravity allows the body to maintain a tropistic lift within the core by the supporting structures. This lift within gravity is a natural function of the body's wisdom and once unlocked naturally continues looking for order, balance and freedom.
Rolf movement is the functional aspect of Rolfing. It is about how people get up and move. Structure is important and the groundwork of any integrated body. Rolf Movement is about harmonizing the nervous system and muscles within the newly organized fascial compartment. The muscles are essentially taught to move within the improved structural alignment.
After eight to ten years of Rolfing the Rolfer has a deeper understanding of the ten series and then returns to the Rolf Institute like a Capistrano Swallow to learn non-formalistic Rolfing. The formula of the ten series is transcended and the ten series format is released in favor of tailoring a series more specifically to the needs of the client. Essentially, a Rolfer then Rolfs the client not the series. This new rolfing format helps create ongoing ways to help the client.
It is recommended that the sessions not be spaced any further than three weeks apart so the client can receive a sense of continuity and a better awareness of the effect of the Rolfing experience.
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Co-located with Holistic Family Medicine