Your First Rolfing Session
You’ve done your research and have familiarized yourself with the basic tenets of Rolfing. You’ve decided it’s something that could significantly contribute to your overall well-being and you’re ready to make your first appointment. Now you may be wondering just what that first appointment will encompass. Let’s explore that a bit!
As you know from your reading, Rolfing Structural Integration is a standardized system consisting of ten sessions. The goal is to progressively balance and optimize the shape and movement of your total body, allowing you to move with greater ease and increased energy. Many people have found that Rolfing has helped reduce their stress and chronic pain as well as improving their balance and flexibility.
The main goal of the first session is to improve the quality and depth of your breathing to support the chest, shoulders, and neck. This is essential preparation for the work you’ll undertake in future sessions.
Your first session will begin with a consultation. The Rolfer will ask “Where are you now, where have you been, and where do you want to go, physically and emotionally?” Typically, they will ask about your health history, your emotional challenges, why you chose Rolfing, and what benefit you hope to achieve.
Next will be a visual assessment of you standing, sitting, and transitioning from sitting to standing and walking. You will stand with your feet together to enable the Rolfer to visualize how your body structure is organized. Each person has a unique way of collecting themself to adjust to their own life experiences and proceed with what they need to do.
The Rolfer will be looking to see how your body aligns under the force of gravity, and how your body parts relate to the vertical axis in front of your spine under the effects of the stresses and strains of daily living. Does your head sit directly over your shoulders? Are your shoulders over your hips? Are your hips and knees over your ankles?
Then will come an assessment of how you sit, and how you transition from sitting to standing and walking. Your stride pattern is of particular interest since every time your feet hit the ground the impact travels upward through your spine.
In addition to assessing and enhancing your breathing, your first session will also involve working toward the goal of creating openness in your shoulders, chest, lateral and posterior hips, back, and neck. The Rolfer will encourage this through sustained hand pressure designed to open chronic holding patterns in the connective tissue surrounding each muscle.
Now that you’ve completed your first session, remember that Rolfers endeavor to perform the basic ten session series on all clients, allowing them to work through the entire body structure in a progressively. While there are specific goals for each session, every client’s ten se m based on the assessment done in session one.