Rolfing® Ten-Series

The Ten-Series

Your first experience with Rolfing® Structural Integration is likely to be within a 10-series format. Rolfing is different from most forms of bodywork because it focuses on improving the organization of the entire structure (often visible as better posture), rather than focusing on a place that hurts, feels stiff, etc. Although massage is relaxing, you may find the same area bothering you again shortly after you leave the office. This is because the area that hurts is often a compensatory or secondary issue. You may have neck pain because you’re not getting the proper support from your feet, or because your pelvis is askew, or because your shoulders are rounding forward (or all of these). Until we balance the entire structure, that neck is going to stay strained trying to keep your head upright. Focusing where it hurts goes after the symptom, not the problem.Designed by Dr. Ida Rolf, the ten-series is like a tune up for your body. The ten-series is a systematic approach to aligning your structure; each session builds upon the last and prepares the body for the next.

The first three sessions work on the more superficial layers of connective tissue. Sessions four through seven remove strain from deeper layers of the body. The remaining sessions organize and align the body as a whole, providing better balance, enhanced range of motion, and a higher energy level. If your schedule requires a break between sessions, after sessions three and seven are ideal places to pause in the process.

The ten-series provides RolfersTM with a map, but as anyone who travels knows, “the map is not the territory.” Although structural goals may be similar, the same session may look very different for different clients based on their structure, learned behaviors, and movement patterns. Each session is as unique as the person receiving it.

Session 1
Breath and the Ribcage Ease in breathing is fundamental to a balanced structure. The ribcage works with the head, neck, shoulder girdles, chest and back in bringing space to the lungs.
Session 2
Support Through the Feet Any support rests on a solid foundation. For some the feet are a primary source of pain, for others it is necessary to prepare the lower leg for the changes that will come in the pelvis.
Session 3
Length up the Sides Lengthening the sides means opening up the space between the lower ribs and the pelvis. The low back, often a source of imbalance, can find a freedom of movement and a greater sense of ease.
Session 4
Opening the Bottom of the Core The core begins at the inner arch and continues up through the pelvic floor along the anterior spine to the head and neck. Session 4 works with the arch, inner leg and pelvic floor to achieve a ‘base’ of support for everything above it.
Session 5
Continuing Through the Pelvis Every Rolfing ® session tries to ‘horizontalize the pelvis.’ In session five, we focus completely on this goal by opening the hips and lower belly. New found movement through the pelvis is a wonderfully grounded feeling.
Session 6
Giving Space to Sacrum As the pelvis opens from below and through the front, the Sacrum in the back has started to feel a new sense of potential. This ‘sacred bone’ is really the bottom of the spine and by giving it space, the spine can start to feel longer and freer.
Session 7
How the Head Balances it All Now that the pelvis is more settled, we must balance the ‘upper pole’ over it. The head, neck and chest need their own sense of direction and support for the system to feel complete.
Session 8
Integration Begins Now that the body is more aligned in gravity, we must give it dynamic balance. We start to revisit areas of particular stress to promote a greater ease of movement across the whole system.
Session 9
Integration Across the Body Motion through the body is best balanced when it crosses to the other side of the body. This ‘contra-lateral’ movement gives fluidity and power to the body.
Session 10
Balance the Horizontals The ankles, knees, hips, waist, chest, shoulders and cranium are sections of the body where movement gets restricted. Session ten looks to bring the balance of the series to a close by opening these horizontals and leveling them.