The 10 Series
Structural Integration or Rolfing as it is more commonly known now is normally applied in a series of 10 sessions in its original format. It is not essential however to go through the process in this rigid formulaic style. People present with an enormous array of problems and have very different ideas of the goals they want to achieve through receiving the work. It is because of this I now work non-formulaic or “freestyle” as I like to call it. Tailoring the work to the individual. working only where it is required to bring the structure and function of the body back into an integrated whole. I retain the goals, principles and philosophy of Ida Rolf’s vision but streamline the process.
So what is a 10 series?
The 10 series if you are working formulaic to the recipe is a process which progresses through the superficial “sleeve” layers of the body to the deeper “core” layers of fascial anatomy, it’s like peeling off the layers of an onion. Each session has a specific region of fascial geography which is addressed and has its own unique goals to be obtained. There are also areas which are touched on nearly every session, like the neck. Each session builds on what was achieved in the last session and is a continuation on the path to integration. The first 3 sessions are “sleeve”, 4 to 7 are “core” and the final 3 are integration sessions.
Session one: Begins with a detailed client history and a discussion of what your goals are and expectations, as a result of going through the process of the 10 series. It is the start of planning an individual theme specific to those goals. This is followed by a body reading which is performed with just your underwear on, or as little as you feel comfortable with. Here we begin the search for the structural and functional imbalances present in the body. Body readings will be done at the beginning of every session and at various times throughout the session. If we take a formulaic approach session one is about freeing the breath from the structures which prevent its flow. The touch is broad and superficial as we work with large areas of the thorax and pelvis.
Session 2: The first thing we do in the second session is to finish the first session. The feet and lower legs are critical for supporting the structures which lie above them. This whole session is based on creating this strong and stable support system by organising and balancing the structures of the foot and ankle to give functional bilateral support.
Session 3: Is the end of the superficial “sleeve” sessions. It is about integrating the previous 2 sessions and creating front to back balance of the vertical plumb line which runs from ear to hip to ankle. The Little Boy Logo is a good example of this. The structural relationships of the shoulder girdle and pelvic girdle are also addressed.
Session 4: This is the start of the core sessions. We use the term “core” to describe the area from the inside of your leg, pelvis and all the way up to and including your head. The goal is to lengthen the midline and is about transmitting the support which was initiated in session 2 up and across the pelvis to the front of the spine.
Session 5: Sessions 4 and 5 are like one long session broken into two. In 5 we continue up the mid-line into the abdomen where we are looking to create harmony between the abdominal container and its contents (the organs). Order is established in the two functions of breathing and walking by addressing the Psoas (deep postural muscle) and Diaphragm (large muscle used in breathing).
Session 6: We continue the work on the deep structures of the pelvis initiated in the 4th and 5th session, but whereas 4 and 5 are important in creating lift and balance to the front of the body, we now work from heels to the base of the head to stabilise front with back.
Session 7: In the 7th session we turn our attention upwards to address the relationship of the neck to thorax and cranium. Even though every session includes neck work it is non-specific, looking just to create more length, allowing the structures to live together better and preparing it for the changes that will happen in the 7th session. The session is the closure for the “core” sessions and the beginning of the 3 integrative sessions.
Sessions: 8, 9 and 10: This is the stage where all the lessons learnt in the first seven sessions are brought together. Now in 8 and 9, we organise the parts amongst themselves towards a better integration. “Integration is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” Gregory Beatson. These last 3 sessions don’t have a fixed territory like the previous ones but have very clear goals and the work is non-formulaic. Session 10 is the close of what we started in the first hour, here we are looking to not make further changes but cement and integrate everything we have already achieved.