Why Do A Rolfing Ten Series?

If something hurts, the reasons for the pain are most likely to be in the connective structures above and below the area. The chain of dysfunction might stretch all the way from your feet to your head, affecting multiple components and manifesting anywhere along the chain. Most massage therapy modalities only treat the superfical symptoms, which might make you feel better at first. However, there usually aren’t any long-lasting effects.

The systemic, multilayered approach of the Rolfing SI Ten Series allows me to affect the client’s structure in a methodical manner. This includes loosening superficial fascia before working deeper areas, improving support in the feet and legs, lengthening the front of the body, lifting to the sternum, integrating the pelvis so the feet’s kinetic force transfers effortlessly to the upper body, and aligning the head and the neck. Rolfers call it “putting the head on.” The last three sessions are dedicated to connecting all the pieces and improving overall structural function.

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The Benefits of Rolfing Ten Series

Dr. Ida Rolf, Ph.D., treating a client

Dr. Ida Rolf, Ph.D., treating a client

The Rolfing® Ten Series is about whole-body structural integration and functional efficiency as opposed to specific symptom relief. Some of the benefits of Rolfing® Ten Series are:


Release of chronic muscular tension and pain
Elongation and integration of the body
More efficient energy use
Psycho-emotional opening and growth
Expansion of breath & mobility of rib cage
Freer joint movement and flexibility
Increase body awareness

The Ten Series Overview

Sessions 1, 2 & 3: Freeing the Fish Body

These three sessions focus on the head, neck, and shoulders and can be booked as a series.

Session One: Removing “pins” from superficial layers
This session focuses on freeing the diaphragm, mobilizing the rib cage, and beginning to free the shoulder and pelvic girdles from the ribcage. Most people report feeling immediately relaxed after this session and for several days later. This session is excellent for addressing shoulder, rib, and neck pain.

Session Two: Enhancing the Foundation of the Body
The feet and lower legs are opened and aligned to better support the body in gravity. Often clients feel a greater sense of support and balance from their feet, as well as better contact between their feet and the ground. Conditions such as high or fallen arches, plantar fasciitis, neuromas, and knee pain are addressed in this session. Many clients report better balance and feeling more grounded after this work.

Session Three: Freeing the “Fish Body” Within the Human Shape
Although the human body looks nothing like a fish, the spine bends from side to side in lateral flexion. Freeing the "fish body" opens "seams" along the sides of the torso, neck, and hips which improves the relationship between the upper and lower body. Sometimes clients feel slight dizziness halfway through this session as the deeper structures are approached. Later, there is often a tingly, relaxed “high” and a shifted sense of front-to-back balance.

 

Sessions 4, 5, 6, & 7

Session Four: Opening the Core of the Legs
The focus of this session is aligning the inside of the leg from the ankle to the pelvis. Torsions at the knee and hip are also addressed and manipulating adductor attachments allows an increased range of motion of the pelvis. One effect of this session is that the abdominal space feels supported and the front of the torso feels elongated, which may provide relief for back pain sufferers. This session can also be effective for hip and knee pain.

Some clients report feeling emotional mood swings after this session. Many people don’t realize how much physical and/or emotional tension they hold in the pelvis until this session disturbs that holding pattern. Although these physically and emotionally unsettled states are usually mild when they occur, it’s best to schedule sessions four and five about a week apart. Session five continues the work started in four and brings the body to greater balance.

Session Five: Balancing the PSOAS
Work continues up the front of the abdomen, quadriceps, and psoas, lengthening the front of the body and lifting the center of the structure. By freeing deeper pelvic and abdominal restrictions, the pelvis shifts to a more supportive and balanced horizontal position. This lengthens the front of the upper body, counterbalancing the hip flexion we experience working in front of computers, commuting, sitting in meetings, etc.

Session Six: The Hour of Breathing Pelvis
This session lengthens the deep muscles of the back and hips, matching the change achieved in the front in Session five. Starting in the legs, if necessary, we address the calves, hamstrings, back of the pelvis, and up both sides of the spine to the head. This work can be extremely beneficial to back pain (including soreness due to scoliosis), sciatica, and tight hamstrings.

Session Seven: "Putting the Head on"
All the work we've done so far has been necessary before we could organize the head and neck. This session focuses on the upper shoulders, head, neck, and sometimes the arms. After this session, clients often feel that their head is more "on." By this time in the series, flexibility, athletic performance and body symmetry are usually noticeably improved.

Sessions 8, 9, & 10

Integrating Function into the Structure

Session Eight
The final three sessions are about integrating the work done in the previous sessions. The human pelvis is an amazing structure that links the upper and lower segments of the body, supports the spine in a vertical position, and allows rotation of the spine. To improve these functions, our work has emphasized freeing and horizontalizing the pelvis. Sessions eight and nine revisit the upper and lower segments of the body and work to integrate them with the pelvis and each other to work as a fluid whole. Session eight is often a lower body session, integrating the legs with higher structures, but many clients will benefit more from upper work at this stage.

Session Nine
This is the other half of session eight. If we worked the lower body in the previous session, this one will target upper structures. The ribcage, shoulders, arms, and sometimes the neck and head are the focus, with the goal always being integration.

Session Ten: The Final Integration
This session is usually customized to each individual’s body and needs. This is our opportunity to complete, for now, all we've been able to free. We will smooth the fascial wrappers over the structural changes that you have gained, and make peace with anything that remains. This session usually involves the whole body at a somewhat more superficial layer.