The Ten Series
Rolfing® Structural Integration generally works in a series of 10 sessions each dedicated to specific regions of the body in a systematic order to best serve the pursuit of integration. Whilst the series is recommended, benefit can be felt from single sessions, also individually tailored series can be structured to suit specific client needs. Benefits of the work include pain reduction, increased flexibility, balance tone and athletic performance. Sessions last 75 – 90 minutes and are conducted in underwear or swim costume (briefs for male and two piece for females).
Sessions begin with a standing and movement analysis. Work can be conducted on the table, a bench, standing or during movement. Client participation is required be it via movement or directing body awareness. Structural Integration is not a massage, however whilst at times it can be relaxing, clients are not expected to check out, instead to work with the practitioner in achieving the goals of the session.
1-3 SLEEVE SESSIONS
Called the “sleeve” sessions, session 1-3 strive to loosen and balance surface layers of connective tissue.
Specifically, the first session is devoted to enhancing the quality of breath with work on the arms, ribcage and diaphragm. Opening is also started along the upper leg, hamstrings, neck and spine.
The second session helps give the body a stable foundation by balancing the foot and muscles of the lower leg.
The third session typically involves a “side view” for an understanding of how the head, shoulder girdle. How the hips are appositionally related to one another when standing whilst under the influence of gravity. Then, the body is addressed within the context of this new vision.
4-7 CORE SESSIONS
Sessions 4-7 are referred to as “core” sessions and examine terrain found between the bottom of the pelvis and top of the head. The idea of core also includes the deep tissue of the legs for its role in support.
Session four begins this journey, its territory extends from the inside arch of the foot and up the leg, to the bottom of the pelvis.
The fifth session is concerned with balancing surface and deep abdominal muscles to the curve of the back.
Session six seeks to enlist more support and moment from the legs, pelvis and lower back, while the seventh session turns its sole attention to the neck and head.
8-10 INTEGRATION SESSIONS
“Integration” is emphasized throughout the remaining three sessions, as session 8-10 provide an opportunity for the practitioner to blend previously established advancements (and ones yet to be made) into the body in a way that encourages smooth movement and natural coordination.
During sessions eight and nine, the practitioner determines how best to achieve this integration, as the protocol is unique for each individual. The tenth and final session is also one of integration, but more importantly, serves to inspire a sense of order and balance.