A series of ten-hour sessions of Structural Integration was developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf. Although each Rolfer interprets this protocol in their own fashion, the format of ten sessions remains the standard.
The first three sessions focus on “lift”, the concept of relief of the heaviness that we have in relation to gravity. Indeed, even when working on the feet in the second hour for example, the objective is to assist the body to rise up and find support.
The middle four sessions (hours four through seven) are for grounding and centering, coordination and the transmission of movement through joints, as we work extensively on the pelvic region and its connections to the rest of the body.
The remaining three sessions are for balancing and for the integration of the entire body structure in its relationship to the surrounding environment. Ultimately, the goal is to integrate and align the body during each session. Coordinating neck and pelvic movement at the end of each hour, helps us to achieve this goal.
Once the ten sessions protocol has been completed, you will know better balance with the understanding that balance is never a fixed position. Rather, balance is a fluidly of movement constantly changing and adapting to each given situation.
The spacing between sessions can be based on each client’s availability.
Post 10 & Advanced Sessions
After completing the 10 Basic Rolfing Sessions, a client may choose to continue the work with either “Post 10” sessions or a series of “Advanced Session” work, which become more personalized with time in accordance with each individual client’s needs.
Post sessions are individual sessions that can be considered basic maintenance work, or a “tune up”, focusing on the benefits achieved from the 10 Basic Rolfing Sessions. Post sessions can help further advance the client’s process of resolving and understanding their own functional patterns of movement, structural organization and expression.
Advanced session work may consist of a series of three to five sessions that address specific problems along with concurrent focus on balance and alignment.
Rolﬁng Movement Sessions
Rolﬁng Movement Integration aims to break the sensory blindness of inefficient movement patterns and body habits. The goal of these sessions is to overcome these automatized tendencies and to help the body to move in a healthier way.
Our body habits reﬂects our developmental history, which is rooted in our interactions with our environment and culture. Some habitual movement patterns can keep us from experiencing the full richness of our lives. This work facilitates us to move freely, feel more deeply, and realize broader possibilities for expressing ourselves. Psychological changes may occur, and we do not ignore this, however we also do not delve into emotional history and areas of which a Rolfer’s training does not address.
Rolﬁng Movement Integration sessions are explorations of guided and free movement routines, of gestures, of ways of breathing, walking, sitting, standing, etcetera.
The movement work can be done before, after, or in combination with the structural Rolﬁng work. This approach to movement work is greatly appreciated by athletes, musicians, dancers, actors, singers, desk workers, clerks, cooks, painters, waiters, models, trial lawyers, and by anyone that wants to improve the quality of their physical performance and their body awareness.
Focus on The Pelvis
Focus on the Pelvis work is primarily intended for those clients who have completed the 10 Basic Rolfing Sessions.
FOCUS ON THE PELVIS
“In working with the pelvis, one must constantly remember that the area does not exist in isolation. There are connections to the legs and trunk, as well as fascial and muscle relationships to the entire body. Tightness in the shoulder will affect the movement of the pelvis. The swinging of the arms in walking will liberate movement in the legs and pelvis. Balance in the pelvis can not be achieved without balance in the rest of the body.” - R. Louis Schultz, Out in the Open: The Complete Male Pelvis
The pelvis is an area which can carry heavy emotional baggage and fear of touching. It is the area which is often “shut off” from feelings both emotionally and physically. Such disconnection often exists as a result of cultural and developmental histories.
There is a tendency, especially for men, for a disassociation of the genitals from the rest of the body. The work here is to encourage men to come to terms with their genitals in ways to achieve greater sexual enjoyment, overcome nervousness, resolve negative cultural attitudes about the relationship between the genitals and the anus, and help with structural and functional problems of the area such as pelvic ﬂoor tension myalgia/ spasm, pelvic pain syndrome, prostatitis, pudental neuralgia, premature ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction, among other issues.
In working with women, the approach is similar and yet differs due to the difference in structure. Factors employing strong inﬂuence on the female pelvis are child bearing, abortions, fertility treatments, menopause, episiotomies, and groin injuries, among others.
In both sexes, adhesions in the area of the inguinal canal can cause discomfort and problems with fertility. Also, physical injuries and tightness caused by excessive exercise and/or working out frequently can appear in the groin, pelvic ﬂoor, and buttocks. Additionally, histories of both physical and emotional abuse can be manifested by manipulation of the tissue. The work also focuses on such issues as urinary urgency or incontinence, chronic constipation, inguinal hernias, sciatica pain, piriformis syndrome, low back, hip, groin, and pelvic pain. Restrictive habit patterns can be modiﬁed by a combination of sensitive movement techniques and equally sensitive bodywork.
Movement, including the breath response, is a major component of working on the pelvis. The ideal movement of the pelvis in walking is that the pelvis moves with the rest of the body. A direction which can be effective is to ask a man or woman to walk “through the genitals”. This can be accomplished only after some work has been done on the pelvis and embarrassment is lowered.