Rolfing vs. Massage
Rolfing is often associated with massage, but they’re actually quite different. Massage, while therapeutic and relaxing, does not usually illicit permanent changes in your body. While you may ‘zone out’ during a massage, a Rolfing session asks you to be an active participant. This creates a dynamic and continuous conversation between both people. Here you’re asked to ‘zone in’ and will gain heightened awareness of your body as it becomes stacked and integrated.
How Does It Feel?
Rolfing normally feels like slow, deep and intentional pressure. It can be localized or it can feel like the contact is affecting your whole system. Sometimes the touch can be quite light with an energetic quality. Rolfing should never hurt, sensations may feel intense but never unbearable. Many experience moments where the pressure “hurts so good” similar to the feeling of stretching out that really tight hamstring: you know it’s going to be intense, but it feels really necessary! Generally you will feel a release of long-held tension.
The Ten Series
What is the 10 series?
The 10 series is the recommended format for Rolfing. As a series of ten sessions, each session builds off of the previous one. Ida Rolf described it as one long session performed in ten sittings.
In the first three sessions we look at how breath can expand and support your skeletal and muscular structures into lateral space. The work is performed both laying on a table and seated. You’ll be asked to walk around the studio and perform simple tasks before and after the session to see how your body has changed.
These sessions are the core hours. Here we dive deeper to bring support to the legs, pelvis, thorax, neck, and cranium. Seated backwork and movement education become more sophisticated. Many people describe these hours as the most intense both physically and emotionally. You’ll be asked to focus on specific movements that engage particular parts of your body.
In the final sessions we focus on integrating the lessons from the previous sessions to create a cohesive and unified body. They focus on fine tuning the changes occurring in your body and aligning them within your body’s systems. You’ll be asked to perform integrated movements that engage your entire body. These sessions are also focused on closure and giving you a sense of ownership of your new integrated body.