Previously, we explored the first three Rolfing sessions, which are referred to as the sleeve sessions. The purpose of the sleeve sessions is to balance and loosen the surface layers of connective tissue. Moving forward, sessions four through seven are known as the “core” sessions. As the name implies, the focus is to work on everything between the top of the head and the bottom of the pelvis. Since the legs play a part in supporting this core, we include the deep tissue there as well.
Session Four begins the process of working on the legs in order to properly support the core structure. We begin with the arch of the foot, moving through the ankles, continuing with the deep tissues of the legs, up to the pelvis floor, and to the front of the spine. This sets the stage for us to access the core.
Session Five is about upward orientation. It teaches us how to balance both deep and surface abdominal muscles with the curve of the back. Here we use what we learned in session four to extend the midline from the ground up, and further to the abdominal and chest areas. The focus is on deep tissue relating to the front of the spine and core space. The goal is to establish or improve flexibility in the lower back.
Session Six explores how the lower back, legs and pelvis need to be aligned to provide more support. In this session we access the core from the back. Work is concentrated on the deep tissue of the back of the core space and spine. This is the first session where most of the work is done while the client is prone, allowing the Rolfer to work specifically with the back, posterior leg, and sacrum while also working with this area in relation to the whole body. This will help improve the flexibility of the upper and lower back.
Session Seven turns attention to the neck and head. The goal here is to balance the head and neck as they sit on top of a flexible spine. The work is done on, around and in the neck and head. This will bring together the work done in the first six sessions while preparing the client to move on to the Integration Sessions—numbers Eight through Ten.