The most important thing is not a specific Rolfing® hour; it’s the progression from hour to hour.  It’s the way you prepare in the second hour for the third hour so that you can get the results of the third hour.
— Ida Rolf

The process of Rolfing is initially carried out over ten sessions.  At the beginning of each session, I will do a body reading of your alignment in the standing, sitting, and walking positions. I will ask you to perform certain movements according to my observations and then I will take corrective action on the massage table to adjust the fascia (see below). I will alternate between soft tissue work and movement education, where I will release blockage by creating new connections in the body and will teach new movement techniques.

Clients will be asked to examine the way they perceive movement and will learn techniques to help them take control of their own physical and emotional health.

The sessions have been elaborated in a specific order defined by Ida Rolf.  The body is organized into different layers of tissues and systems that are interconnected with another by the membrane we call fascia. Each session coordinates the different structures starting from the superficial to the deep fascial layers to provide order and alignment to the whole body. This allows the layers of fascia to slide and enhance ease of movement and nourishment of cells.

At the end of the ten sessions, we will review your posture and quality of life as a result of this transformative process. At this point, you may either decide to stop or you may choose to follow up with sessions from time to time.  Many continue Rolfing® to maintain their new habits and make further explorations into their new integrated body, while others simply utilize the process to stay injury-free. Either way, the choice is yours.

Fascia is the organ of posture. Nobody ever says this; all the talk is about muscles. The body is a web of fascia. A spiderweb is in a plane. This web is in a sphere (…) The body process is not linear, it is circular; always, it is circular.  One thing goes awry, and its effects go on and on and on and on.  A body is a web, connecting everything with everything else.
— Ida Rolf

First mini-series
Undo your body armor

These three sessions defuse the tensions that live in the superficial fascia layers. These layers reflect the way we represent ourselves, our story and the way we use our body in our daily activities.

Second mini-series
Reveal your inner core

These sessions accentuate the midline of our body. We activate deeper fascia layers and work with the viscera in order to make you feel the direct link between the inside space and outside of your body.

Third mini-series
Integration and closure

The focus here will be more around coordinative patterns of movement. We look at how your spine can spiral with your legs and arms. When we are well aligned, controlateral movement must happen during walking letting the arms swing freely.  We will question gesture and its spontaneity, movement autonomy and being centered in your LINE.

Rediscover volume
to ease the act of breathing

Are my ribcage and pelvis independent while I’m breathing?
Space orientation / upper session

  • Evaluation of your main postural tendency and body history (a health form should be completed prior to your first session).
  • Breathing is at the foundation of our capacity to go out into the world where we should expand and retract our ribcage around a stable spinal column during inhalation and exhalation.
  • Understanding the function of the back during breathing: can my back stay stable and quiet when I open the ribcage?
  • Mobilizing and differentiating the hip and the pelvis: is my pelvis free to move around the hip and are my hips able to rotate around a stable pelvis?
  • Vertical axis consciousness: is the back of my body, including hamstrings and erectors, supporting my movements?

Opening our relationship
with the ground as a support

Do my ankles have space to articulate, glide, bend, and extend at each step?

Does your foot take time to be in contact with the ground and to smoothly move from heel to toe? Do you dare to go forward? Do you stay back? Can we choose not to go if we feel like something is pulling us back? As in breathing, walking is a repetitive activity. These actions can shape and deform by dint of our body use patterns. The plantar surface of the foot has a large number of receptors that sense variation in temperature, pressure, and texture. It informs the inner ear of the roughness of the floor in order to adapt rapidly to various surfaces.

  •  Awakening of the proprioception of the feet:  The plantar surface of the foot has a large number of receptors that sense variation in temperature, pressure, and texture and communicates the inner ear.
  • Mobilizing the feet: Does your foot move smoothly from heel to toe in concert with your legs and pelvis?
  • Awareness of the ischial tuberosity: What position is your pelvis in when sitting?
  • Walking from the spine: What part of your body initiates your walk?

Lateral space
and expanding perception 

Do I have a clear awareness of the space that divides my body from front to back?

By opening my lateral space (the sides of my body), we can allow a horizon to arise and open our vision to a further perspective.

  • Lateral space: balancing the volume in the front and back of the thorax opens vision
  • Differentiating focal and peripheral vision: open your horizons
  • Expand perspective: Freeing  the frontal plane provides greater awareness of the world around you
  • Free the shoulder and arm on your side ( frontal plane)
  • Stretch the Quadratus Lumborum (QL) and connect/differentiate QL from ribs/arms/pelvis

A longer break can be considered before starting the second mini-series

Finding
the inner line

Did you know that your core is not in your belly?

Discover your center line: Can you push the ground using the length of your body from the big toe to the pelvic floor?
Your core is the way you build yourself through your midline. Here the session starts from the big toe up to the inside of the leg arriving to the adductors and the pelvic floor.

  • Stability under foot: Using the middle line balances the musculature from the soles of your feet to top of your pelvis
  • Mobilize and balance the internal arches of the feet
  • Balance adductor/abductor fascias
  • Create span in pelvic floor and link to distal function of the psoas
  • Release the thigh/hamstrings
  • Start coordinating leg with Lumbo-Dorsal Hinge (LDH; the area where the movement of the lower and upper body meet in spirals. It is anatomically located at 12th thoracic vertebrae but functionally is often found at around T10 or T9)
  • Start addressing deep neck fascia
  • Sacro-iliac

Our visceral
core

Imagine your leg starting not at your hip but deep inside your abdomen. Can you walk from high up in the front of the spine?

  • Connecting the abdomen: did you know your organs had motility? ( the fascia bags of the peritoneum, pericardium, pleura should slide with the structures around)
  • Open the lumbars Releasing and Opening: Optimization of the psoas, abdominal muscles, lumbars, and diaphragm provide a proper connection with the middle line
  • Visceral neck; can the neck respond to the core and legs?
  • Can your arms hang?

Presence
of the whole back line

From heels to the back of the skull, can our back be is our serene and mobile support to express ourselves in the world?

See your back: do you know why some people have a greater awareness of what’s behind them? For instance, in martial arts, the back is an important place to develop awareness. That’s where threats and enemies come from, so martial artists need to develop « eyes » in the back.

 

  • Often we lose the relationship with the back by overworking the front in our activities and body conditioning. We lean against the chair, lie on the bed to find a moment to let go of the front and release the back.
  • Sacrum & lumbar breathing: often we lose the relationship with the back by overworking the front in our activities and body conditioning.
  • Balance in the spinal groove: can we learn how to let go without compressing the back like couch potatoes do?

Rediscover
the sensitivity of your head

Can my skull find its suspension and elevation?  The oral cavity is a space of exploration and expression.

  • Furthest from the ground: How do you carry your head? Does it relate properly to your torso, legs, and feet?
  • More than meets the eye: discover your oral, nasal and ear cavities
  • Jaw Dropper: when do you clench your jaw?
  • Do you know your arms feel can hang from your throat?

Stabilize and balance the lower
and upper girdles to your core

What are my resources? Am I more integrated in my relationship to the ground or to the sky?

 —

  • Starting from the LDH area if going down to the lower body
  • Give more autonomy to the pelvic girdle and shoulder girdle to be able to move them independently and with co-ordination around a well-distributed spine
  • Classically in Dr. Rolf’s sequence the 8th session put emphasis on the lower body by initiating the spiral from feet to spine and by asking the client to move from the core in order to integrate the flow from down to up and passing through the LDH.
  • At the end of the session we check the upper body as a transition to session 9 which will develop the spiral from the upper body.

The spine at the center
of the spiral dynamic of walking

Do my arms and torso swing freely around my central axis while my feet anchor in the ground ?

 —

  • Starting from LDH area to go up
  • Can the arm cross the LDH in a spiral, from the upper girdle down to the feet?
  • Can i be both inside my body and outside my body?
  • Can i sense the sides opening?
  • Relating ears to eyes
  • Where does the client still feel holding, preventing a fuller letting go and which could ease the whole relationship with gravity?

Undulating spine
and a breathing skin

Let yourself perceive the skin, this organ. Let it become radiant, breathing. Let it envelop your entire body.

The 10th hour comes to awaken the skin as our organ of unity. In our Rolfing touch we try to stay in the superficial layer in order to connect the big fascial planes and let the whole surface of our body envelope radiate. Ida talked about freeing the deep and superficial layers to let the “middle layer” emerge. This is to emphasize that balance lives in the ‘in-between’ of things. Then we can live in our middle, in our line, balancing the inside and outside, the emotional to rational.

  • Horizontalize most of the joints
  • The touch is global, opening the sense of wholeness. We use lemniscates ( like a figure 8) to link body areas.
  • Finding three joints in the body that need to be related (often ankles, LDH, atlanto occipital joint at the top of the spine where it joins the head).
In the 10th hour we work to bring movement to, and through, all articulations. We are taking the body from static to dynamic.
The line is the place inside the body that is the center of that being. It is the place from which we live; it is the center of our energy, of our emotions, of our spirit. — Ida Rolf

Post-session: 
Deepening and Maintenance


Advanced Sessions

After the 10 sessions, your body will continue to integrate new perceptions and potentials. After some time, you may feel like doing more sessions to address some specific questions, and deepening what was important for you in the process or clarifying what is still obscure. Often, we will keep looking at the integration of the two girdles in relation to the spine. We want to improve your capacity to move from your core and help you refine your understanding of what is it to be on your line. These post-sessions are also a way to be more communicative about your needs and your feltsense.


Movement Sessions

These sessions will concentrate on co-coordinative movement sequences that you could use in your daily life. Movement sequences will be always be in relation to the way you feel your body, so that I can help you can free the unconscious inhibitions that prevent you from doing movement with ease. The Biomechanics model is used in combination with proprioception exercises. In that way, your body can act as a whole during any movement you perform. Today, neuroscientists agree that perception plays an important role in our coordination and is prior to our function as opposed to our past mechanical model. Google neuroplasticity if you are interested about that field of research.
* See group and individual classes page