Rolfing is also known as Structural Integration. The goal of Structural Integration is to achieve balance around and through an energetic core in the body, allowing gravity to support the structure rather than to drag it down. Rolfing had been recommended to me in the hope that it could help with my posture, chronic pain, and never ending pursuit of a deep and intense massage. There are ten sessions which compose the Structural Integration work.
Prior to the session I was told that the work would be done in my bra and underwear. I’m an extremely self conscious person so the idea of parading around a room and having my posture assessed while in my skivvies wasn’t something I was excited to do. I asked what other options I had. I ended up wearing a lycra tank top and a pair of swim shorts. I felt comfortable and the Rolf therapist was able to assess my body just as well as if i had less clothes on. I would suggest to anyone with issues related to partial nudity to speak to their Rolf therapist about clothing options. The goal is for you to be comfortable and they seem very willing to work with modesty concerns.
At the start of the session we discussed my medical history and my goals for the work. I was asked if I had any questions. I had spent hours online researching the process so I had no questions and was excited to see what the first session would be like. The session felt more like a visit to the chiropractor than a massage therapist. The lights remained fully on. I kept my tank top and shorts on. There was no soothing music or lotion. My eyes remained open and I was expected to be an active participate in the process. Throughout the work we had many interesting conversations and got to know each other better. I was asked to position my body in different ways. The pressure was intense but not painful. I was occasionally asked to make small movements with my hand or my leg. As one side of my body was worked on I was asked to stand and walk around the massage table. This was both for me to feel any difference from the work and for the Rolf therapist to see any changes and the next necessary steps.
The session lasted almost two hours. When it was over I was given a fabulous book that describes the goals of each of the ten sessions. It states that the goal of session 1 is, “a superficial one, an exploration meant to ease the outer sleeve of fascia from patterns of strain and the downward effects of gravity. The areas of the body where we will be focusing are mainly the thorax and outer hips, making space for your breath and unpinning your outer fascia of its buckles and crimps. This session feels great, people usually leave feeling uplifted and light.” I found that description most accurate of the first session. I am eagerly awaiting session 2!