The hallmark of Rolf Structural Integration (S.I.) is a standardized “recipe” known as the Ten-Series, the goal of which is to systematically balance and optimize both the structure (shape) and function (movement) of the entire body in the gravitational field over the course of ten S.I.- sessions. This series was developed by Ida P. Rolf.
Each session focuses on freeing restrictions developed throughout life that are trapped in a particular region of the body. Trauma (physical as well as mental) and the resulting loss of balance in the body which leads to development of compensatory patterns, degeneration and pain are systematically addressed, keeping a holistic view of the client’s entire system in relation to it’s environment. Thus ensuring the transformational process evolves in a comfortable and harmonious way throughout the body and mind as a whole functioning unit.
The Ten-Series can be divided into three distinct units:
Called the “sleeve” sessions, session 1-3 strive to loosen and balance surface layers of connective tissue.
Specifically, the first session is devoted to enhancing the quality of breath with work on the arms, rib wall and diaphragm. Opening is also started along the upper leg, hamstrings, neck and spine.
The second session helps give the body a stable foundation by balancing the foot and muscles of the lower leg.
The third session typically involves a “side view” for an understanding of how the head, shoulder girdle, and hips are positionaly related to one another when standing under the influence of gravity. Then, the body is addressed within the context of this new vision.
Referred to as “core” sessions and examine terrain found between the bottom of the pelvis and top of the head. The idea of core also includes the deep tissue of the legs for its role in support.
Session four begins this journey, its territory extends from the inside arch of the foot and up the leg, to the bottom of the pelvis.
The fifth session is concerned with balancing surface and deep abdominal muscles to the curve of the back.
Session six seeks to enlist more support and moment from the legs, pelvis and lower back, while the seventh session turns its sole attention to the neck and head to create a sense of a structure spanning between earth and sky.
“Integration” is emphasized throughout the remaining three sessions, as session 8-10 provide an opportunity for the practitioner to blend previously established advancements, and ones yet to be made, into the body in a way that encourages functional intrinsic movement with natural ease and efficiency. The utilization of the gained freedom in the tissues through movement manifests the changes of neural re-education and supports long-lasting positive results.
During sessions eight and nine, the practitioner determines how best to achieve this integration, as the protocol is unique for each individual. The goal is to initiate all movement from the deep core – made up of intrinsic tissues responsible for proprioception as well as initiation of a skill full response to sensory input to the nervous system.
The tenth and final session is also one of integration, but more importantly, serves to inspire a sense of order and balance around “the Line” – a felt sense of alignment in the body spanning between up and down (Gravity and Ground Reaction Force).
Once completed, the lasting effects of the Structural Integration Ten Series will drive and support your body in its self-centering process to get you closer to your true potential for years to come.
“This is the gospel of Rolfing: When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself.” Ida P. Rolf