The human body is diverse and complex. In order to thoroughly work it from head to toe, Dr. Rolf created a “recipe” that outlines what areas should be worked first, second, third etc. for best efficiency and effectiveness. The body is worked in a series of ten sessions that start on the superficial fascial layers and then progress deeper. They build on each other until integration of the body is complete.
The following descriptions are by no means complete outlines and only point out the general focus of each session.
Session 1: The Hour of Vital Capacity
Compared to building a house, session one can be seen as the preparation of the land prior to digging the foundation. We begin the series by opening up the rib cage so that the heart and lungs are not restricted. We also work on the shoulders and low back. Easier breath and a sense of feeling lighter, taller and balanced are usually achieved.
Session 2: Hour of the Feet and Legs.
During this hour we are laying the foundation for all of our work. Our two feet support the entire weight of the body. In order to properly integrate the body, the supporting structures must be balanced and in place just like the foundation of a house. In an uneven foot the weight of the body is distributed unevenly. The foot takes on unnatural positions and displaces the rest of the body as a result.
In session two, the legs and feet will begin to move to their natural, balanced position and the client will feel more grounded and stable.
Session 3: Hour of the Quadratus Lumborum.
We move back up to the top half of the body to complete the work done in session one. We are working on making a straight line on the side of the body between the outer hip and the ear. The quadratus lumborum is a muscle that originates from the top of the pelvis and attaches to the lowest ribs and the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae. Freeing this area will allow more movement between the upper and lower body.
The client usually feels straighter and taller and walking becomes easier as a result of the combination of this session with the first two.
Session 4: The Adductors.
When thinking about the upper leg, the quadriceps and hamstrings generally come to mind. In fact, those two groups of muscles are only 2/3 of the picture. The adductors are the group of muscles on the inside of the thigh and are responsible for a multitude of actions including walking and stabilizing the pelvis. When shortened, the adductors cause the pelvis to be tilted and imbalanced. Freeing them allows the pelvis to begin to assume its proper position.
We can expect to see the client’s stride become longer and their gait become more even. The pelvis will begin to move in a more natural “figure 8” motion while walking.
Session 5: The Psoas
Ever get a stitch in your side from running or jogging? You are feeling your psoas muscle cramping up. The psoas is a very deep muscle that runs from the front of the lumbar vertebrae down to the top of the femur. It initiates the walking movement and is the only muscle that crosses from the top half to the bottom half of the body. When shortened, the psoas causes the pelvis to be tilted forward and does not let the leg extend back while walking. The bodywork in this session further allows the pelvis to move while walking. All of the previous sessions combined with this work on the psoas allow the body to line up evenly on top of the feet and the client will feel balanced and grounded.
Session 6: The hour of the sacrum.
The sacrum is the triangle-shaped bone in the pelvis of which the tailbone is the end. It serves both as a meeting point for the two sides of the pelvis and as the base of the vertebral column. Session 6 works on the fascia of the posterior side of the lower extremities as well as the fascia of the gluteal area and deep hip rotators.
Session 7: The hour of the Sphenoid
This is an important session because it allows the head to assume its correct posture. The rest of the body follows the head and if it is out of place the rest of the body will be also. The sphenoid is a uniquely shaped bone inside of the skull, which acts as a fulcrum for everything in the head. The therapist also works to free the head from the neck and the neck from the shoulder girdle.
The client will feel (sometimes for the first time) that they no longer have to hold their head up on top of their body.
Sessions 8 & 9: Balancing Sessions:
In these sessions, the body is being “put back together”. All of the work that has been done so far is now integrated with an upper and lower balancing session. Areas of tension that were not resolved before are now released and the body moves toward its final stages of integration.
Session 10: The Joints
Achieving balance in all the major joints of the body is the final step to integration of the body. The whole body is worked in a “fine tuning” session before the body is given time on its own to adapt to its new structure.
Ready to start your series? Contact us today for a free consultation.