Sessions 8 – 10

(excerpt from Rolfing® Structural Integrationby Jason Mixter, Certified Advanced Rolfer)
illustrations © 1993 by Vickie Kovar

sessions 8-10The Eighth, Ninth & Tenth Sessions

In each of the first seven sessions of Rolfing, the practitioner focuses on one area of the body. The goals of a particular session center around placing its part in the vertical balance of the whole body. With the eighth session, a broader and more comprehensive approach to the problem of integrating the entire structure becomes necessary. These last three sessions are called the “integrative hours,” and in them the client prepares to end his Rolfing series.

The dictionary defines “integration” as “a combination and coordination of separate and diverse elements or units into a more complete and harmonious whole.” This is the job of the client and Rolfer in these final sessions. “It is easy to take a body apart,” Dr. Rolf would declare, “but it takes skill and understanding to put it back together.”

In the last three sessions, the practitioner tries for a body that is poised on a narrow base and can move in any direction with equal ease. Large fascial sheaths are related one to the other, and a “silky” quality in the muscle tissue is sought. Several times during these sessions, the client will be asked to stand up and walk about in order to assess the result of the manipulations. Much work will be done with the client sitting or standing, because the relationship of a particular body part to gravity is the most important goal in these hours.

In these sessions, it is time to get the client ready to leave Rolfing, and it is suggested that he avoid more deep structural work for six months to a year after the initial series, because the change that is initiated by the first sessions will continue for months, even years, after the series is completed. During this fallow time, however, many clients see Rolf movement teachers who are trained to teach them ways of using their “new” bodies to maximum benefit. The Rolfed individual is encouraged not to lean on the Rolfer for further changes by his or her body but to look to the intelligence within it for new plays of using the initial changes.

After receiving Rolfing work, you’re encouraged to look within your own body for new ways to use the changes that Rolfing creates.