What Is the ‘Ten Series’ of Rolfing?
As you probably know, Rolfing is a technique of deep tissue manipulation designed to release and realign the body and to reduce muscular and psychic tension. It’s also called structural integration. People frequently ask how Rolfing is implemented and what techniques are involved. In other words, what do Rolfing sessions entail?
The hallmark of Rolfing Structural Integration is a standardized “recipe” known as the Ten-Series. The goal is to systematically balance and optimize the shape and movement of the entire body over the course of ten Rolfing sessions. Each session focuses on freeing restrictions trapped in a particular region of the body. The practitioner maintains a holistic view of the client’s entire system during each session, ensuring that the transformational process evolves in a comfortable and harmonious way.
Called the “sleeve” sessions, sessions 1-3 strive to loosen and balance surface layers of connective tissue.
The first session is devoted to enhancing the quality of breath, with work on the arms, rib cage and diaphragm. Opening is also begun along the upper leg, hamstrings, neck and spine.
The second session helps give the body a stable foundation by balancing the feet and muscles of the lower legs.
The third session typically involves a “side view” to promote an understanding of how the head, shoulder girdle, and hips are positionally related to one another when standing under the influence of gravity. The body is then addressed within the context of this new vision.
The territory addressed in session four extends from the inside arch of the foot, up the leg, and 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 from the legs, pelvis and lower back.
The seventh session focuses solely on the neck and head.
“Integration” is emphasized throughout the remaining three sessions. Sessions 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 session 8, the practitioner determines how best to achieve complete and harmonious integration.
Session 9 is a continuation of Session 8 as the practitioner works to achieve the integration protocol best suited to the unique individual in his care.
The tenth and final session is also one of integration, but more importantly, serves to inspire a sense of order and balance. Once completed, the wisdom of the Rolfing Ten Series will support the body’s health for years to come.