The Rolfing Series

What is Rolfing?  |  The Rolfing® Series  |  Common Benefits of Rolfing® | About Ida Rolf

The Rolfing® Series is a sequence of ten sessions, each emphasizing specific regions and functional relationships of the body. It is a process of re-organizing the body and re-patterning movement. The over-reaching purpose of the Ten Series is to help someone be more conscious of how they are orienting within their environment. Dr. Rolf, who created Structural Integration®, later nick named Rolfing, was a scientist and an intuitive. The Ten Series is based on her insights into anatomical, physiological and kinesthetic relationships with respect to the way a body relates to itself, and to the field of gravity. 

The re-organization of a body, and re-patterning of movement is something best done as a process. The Ten Series process takes into consideration the complexity involved in dealing with the whole being. Compromised movement patterns often begin early in the development of the body. We literally become “set in our ways” as we get older. This situation is compounded by injuries and other unnatural habits that we get into as we go through life. 

The body is naturally inclined to compensate for weaknesses and vulnerabilities within its structure. The body as a whole adapts so that strain (and experience) is taken away from the vulnerable areas. The result is that proper, complex function in the areas of compensation becomes limited. This is how a twisted ankle causes conflict in the knee, the hip, eventually creating back pain. The whole body adapts to the injury, and new, less functional movement patterns result. It would not be enough to treat the area of greatest restriction—the back or hip for instance. The whole strain pattern must be addressed in order for the person to have enough order in her whole system to accept new patterns of sitting, standing, and moving in general. 

The Ten Series has proven itself to be an extremely effective way of undoing deep-set patterns of strain and movement. Rolfing re-establishes more appropriate relationships within the body, and between the body and its environment. It is a process that is complete in its self, while also being a way into the potential of the body. Engaging in this process is an excellent way to gain awareness into what is possible physically, emotionally and spiritual when you are not leaking vital energy; at war with gravity. 

Ultimately, Rolfing is not the Ten Series. It is a set of principles that is used in the service of aligning the body with itself, and within the field of Gravity. In this respect, Rolfing is very effective for what we call “fix it work”; when a body part is not functioning well, Rolfing can be an effective means of increasing function. Much of what we experience as pain, discomfort and imbalance has its roots in structural misalignment; a little bit like a sliding door that is slightly off its runner. So, while we address the whole strain pattern involved in this dysfunction, the principles and techniques we know are also good for bringing clarity to the area of principle complaint. 

Because it is the whole system that is constantly adapting to its physical and emotional vulnerabilities and strains, Rolfing is usually best done for the first time within the ten-session format. However, Rolfing can be utilized in any number of ways, and does not necessarily need to be conducted as a Ten Series. Still, Rolfing is always done with the complexity of relationships in mind. A Rolfer® always works toward integrating the entire structure. This means that while (s)he is helping to undo certain inappropriate relationships within the body, (s)he is also helping the client to establish other, more appropriate ones, which will ultimately be more beneficial the client.