Rolfing is typically received in a series of three, six, or the traditional ten-session series. Sessions can be scheduled as often as twice a week to once a month. It is standard for the client to wear underwear, yoga wear or shorts and a tank top.
Anti-aging 3-session Treatment Block
Recommended for people who don’t have chronic and or acute pain but want to improve posture, balance, and awareness while getting back vitality and flexibility.
Session 1 – the goal here is to create more space and support for the body in the feet and lower legs, addressing the imbalances as they relate to the hips and shoulder girdle.
Session 2 – here we balance the hips, legs and lower back, allowing room for greater breath and movement flow.
Session 3 –finally, we balance and integrate the shoulders, neck, and head, completing the work of previous sessions to bring the client new awareness, balance, and vitality.
Rolfing 10-Session Body Makeover
Throughout this series there is an element of education (home exercises, stretches, and awareness practices) that can enhance the client’s progress.
Session 1 – client is introduced to the mechanics and intent of Rolfing, with this session developing greater space for breath. This session will systematically release the body’s “stocking” or facial sheath that lies just below the skin’s surface. A sense of body lengthening is common—a freeing of breath and relaxation.
Session 2 – here we create more space and support for the body in the feet, legs, and hips. Emphasis will be focused on walking behaviors which hamper posture and flexibility of the entire body.
Session 3 – the goal is to create balance in the body, front to back and sis to the upper arm, to the top of the thighbone. Client lies on their side as the Rolfer works to arrange the shoulder, ribs, and pelvis into an even stack. The Rolfer will begin to differentiate the rib cage from the shoulder girdle on top and the pelvis underneath.
Session 4 – begin to open up more space in the client’s center or “core” space. Work is done from the inside of the legs beginning at the ankles up to the base of the pelvis at the pelvic floor. This is followed by work on the hamstrings and organizing the back and the neck. Although most of the work is on the legs, a client will also often feel a “lift” throughout the torso.
Session 5 – continuing the previous session, the Rolfer further opens space in the client’s center or core-space. The focus is with the abdominals and hip flexors of the body. People usually over- use their abdominal muscles in doing the work intended for the stronger and deeper muscles. The Rolfer will create more space between the strong but more superficial abdominal muscles and the deeper hip flexors (psoas) and the organs of the body.
Session 6 – here the goal is to free the pelvis from the legs, sacrum (tailbone), and the torso/spine. This session has a very specific approach to the pelvis. Key are the deep rotation muscles around the top of the femur (leg bone). If the client’s legs are unable to function smoothly while walking, balancing the “rotators” deep in the gluteal (buttocks) will usually balance out the operation.
Session 7 – now effort is placed on balancing the neck and head on the spine. Dr. Rolf often remarked: “The seventh session is the last chance to “horizontal” the pelvis,” but in fact, this session is directed entirely toward relating the head and neck to the rest of the body. Work will focus on the neck fascia, opening the connective tissues around the skull and face. This further helps to improve breathing as the constricted nasal passages are opened.
Sessions 8, 9, 10 – The goal of the last three sessions is to integrate the body as a whole: the integrative hours. In sessions 1 through 7, the Rolfer focused on one area of the body. The goals of each session centered on placing its part in vertical body balance. During these final sessions, a broader and more comprehensive approach to the problem of integrating the entire structure becomes necessary. It should be noted that as individual needs vary, some clients may choose additional sessions.
Four months to a year after completing the ten sessions, many clients opt for continued Rolfing sessions. They return because they want heightened improvement in health. Many Rolfers recommend one to five sessions per year after the initial work for maintenance benefits.
What about Rolfing structural integration and Yoga?
Rolfing can enhance yoga practice by breaking through old injuries or patterns and help you reach deeper layers and levels of awareness. The opposite is also true as yoga is an excellent way to maintain the changes achieved through Rolfing structural integration. A regular practice will allow you to examine the how and why of your structure and your movements.