The Rolfing 10-Series
I am happy for your interest in Rolfing® Structural Integration (SI) and the Rolfing 10-series!
The 10-series is a thoughtful and strategic set of 10 Rolfing sessions that addresses the entire body. The goal of the 10-series is to bring one’s body into greater alignment, increase one’s freedom of movement, and bring one’s body into a more balanced homeostasis.
Why should one care about being in better alignment and having a more balanced posture? Because structural imbalances and being out of alignment can trigger pain. We — meaning Rolfers™ as a collective as well as you, the client — work to break up fascial adhesions and teach your body a new way of being. Fascia is the intelligent web of connective tissue that encases and connects everything in our bodies. It holds our structures the way they are. That is why we focus so heavily on working with the fascia throughout the 10 series and in any Rolfing session.
Here is an overview of the Rolfing 10-Series so you know what to expect:
First, I recommend that you wear light, loose clothing for your Rolfing sessions.
The first session is a torso session. We focus on freeing around the diaphragm, shoulder girdle, and pelvis so that one’s breath can flow easier. Because it is the initial session, it is a time for the receiver to get to know what Rolfing SI is like before getting into deeper work.
In session 2 the focus is on the foot and lower leg. We seek to increase the flexibility of the ankle and foot and ease excess tension in the calves. Dr. Ida Rolf thought it very important to immediately address the support system for the entire body, the feet.
In session 3 we connect the work we did in sessions 1 & 2 along each side body, from neck to ankle. We get back to any shoulder/scapula tension that needs to be addressed, as well as the lower back, hip, and IT band. This tends to be a favorite session for most and can often leave you feeling more limber.
Session 4 is the first session of what we refer to as the “core sessions.” The session focuses on the midline of the legs, from the pelvis to the feet. It balances out the work we did on the outside of the legs in session 3.
In session 5 the focus is back to the upper body and pelvis. In addition, we place special focus on the psoas and iliacus, the body’s two main hip flexors. Much of the stability of our pelvis and freedom of movement in the lower body is based on the state of our hip flexors. We continue needed work in the shoulders, arms, and abdominal muscles, thus connecting the upper and lower body through the deep core.
Session 6 is all about “freeing the sacrum.” The goal is to balance the alignment of the pelvis from the backside of the body. Therefore, we address the backs of the legs, gluteal muscles, ligaments around the sacrum, and lower back. We want the sacrum to move independently in relation to the rest of the pelvis, as small as that movement may be.
Session 7, the last of the “core sessions,” completely focuses on the head and neck. We integrate the muscles of the neck that support and move your head into the rest of the body’s increasing coherence and freedom. Further, we touch into any tensions in the skull and jaw. If you’re open to it, we also work inside the nose and mouth, opening up the sinuses and releasing jaw tension.
Sessions 8 and 9 are integrative sessions. One addresses the upper body and the other addresses the lower body. Our goal is to integrate all the changes, tying the body together as a whole. We also do final touch-ins on the areas that need more attention.
Session 10 is the bow on top. It is a very unique and relaxing session completely focused on the superficial fascia covering the whole body. The pace is slow. Further, unlike the more precise focused pressure of previous sessions, the contact is a broad hand affecting a larger area.
Most sessions throughout the 10-series have “back-work” components unique to the Rolfing technique. Lastly, be prepared to move! Rolfing SI is an interactive technique. Therefore, the receiver is often asked to do small movements while the practitioner applies pressure. For example, hinging at the ankle while the practitioner applies pressure to the quad muscles.
Thank you for your interest in the Rolfing 10-series! I hope this overview was helpful and I look forward to taking you through this transformative journey!