The session begins with me having a good look at the client. Looking at the client standing from all sides and then having the client walk so I can see how the different segments of the body fit together. I ask about any operations and accidents and about anything that the client wants to tell me. I ask where the pain is, or where they feel the most constricted and the heaviest. Where the pain is, is not where the problem is. Its common that I’m working on the legs, and my client reminds me that they came in because of neck pain. It is still exciting when a client gets up and says "wow, I can move my neck”, then looks at me, and says, " you hardly touched my neck” That’s the work of Dr. Ida Rolf.
After having a good look and seeing what is going on, or not going on, I have the client lay down and I begin. I go around the body and find what is stuck and not moving, and get it unstuck and to move. I do this in a particular order one layer at a time, trying to take the wrinkle out of each layer, to differentiate layers. These layers are similar to the layers of an onion. We start from the surface and work inward toward the core. You put enough order into the physical body and you change the energy and the energy field of that body and the way that body relates to the energy field it resides in, the Earths gravitational field.
Session 1 we work to release the outer most layer of the body and on getting the lungs more space so we can take a deeper breath. Getting more oxygen, alone, changes the metabolism. We also work to make enough space in the upper body to accommodate the big change coming from session 2. Session 2 our goal is to straighten out the legs. create good feet and legs, and get the legs to work as a pair. Then lengthen and create more freedom in the spine. Session 3 is the outside line. We are working to clean the sides of the body from the knee up to the head. . Every part of the body has an attachment to the sides. Moving what should be in the back to the back and in the front to the front. Session 4 we are helping the inside line the adductors. Getting the adductors free from the quadriceps and hamstrings, and waking up the adductors so they engage. They are 25% of our upper legs and should be used as so. Waking up the pelvic floor. Lengthening the lumbars. Session 5 we lengthen the front line of the body. Getting the rectus abdominis free from its deeper layers and balance the psoas. Session 6 we get the sacrum to work as part of the spine and not as part of the pelvis. Session 7 is to get the head so it balances freely on the top of the body so the back and other muscles are not engaged trying to keep the head from falling off. By session 7 we are not working on the same body that walked in for session 1. The new things we are after in sessions 8, 9 and 10 are layers that were not available to us before now. The major goal of sessions 8, 9 and 10 is integration. What integration means in structural integration is that we would like to get all the segments of the body working as a whole. For example, when you lift up a glass to drink, in a structurally integrated body the whole body is lifting the glass, the arm movement comes from the middle of the back, the glass is supported from the whole body, from the ground up. Sounds strong? It is strong! This is a different kind of moment then we would see in a random unprocessed body.
What I have mentioned here are the goals of each session. The territory changes depending on the body, but the goals remain the same.
After the initial 10 series, advanced work begins. I do the original advanced 5 series that was developed by Dr. Ida Rolf and Emmett Hutchins. Dr. Rolf said she was saddest about dying because she wouldn't get to play with the recipe anymore. She said the recipe was the cumulation of her life work.
There comes a point where there is a major shift. This point comes at different times for everybody. Its the point when the body is more organized and upright then tight and twisted. When that point is reached, the body starts to unwind on its own. Pictures taken after the 10 sessions and then again after 6 months or a year attest to this.
Is the 10 sessions permanent change? To borrow a great analogy from Dr. Ida Rolf. "Getting the 10 sessions is like taking a ford pinto and turning it into a Mercedes Benz. You can bang up that Mercedes, but you will never be a Ford Pinto again no matter what you do".
Right from the beginning, as clients feel better, lighter and move more easily. They comment on how they feel less stressed and how their thinking has become clearer and more positive. I have had on more than a few occasions parents bring me their child, who could not sit still in school and could not concentrate, and after the 10 sessions they were totally different and in many cases, top of their class. Dr Rolf used to say there is no such thing as psychology, only physiology.
What to wear: Please arrive with no lotion or oil on the body. That makes the body slippery and difficult to differentiate the layers. Please wear loose gym shorts or underwear. Sports bra or singlet for a top, no wire bras please. Also no spandex, as it makes it difficult to get the best results.