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Structural integration (including Rolfing)

Structural integration aligns, balances and lengthens the body by pressing into the connective tissues of the body and maneuvering them back into place.

If you have less than the Basic 10, do you lose the benefits gained?

Sally Cina (Saint Louis, MO) on Nov 15, 2011
To answer your question, let me first quote Heraclitus of Ephesus - "You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you." One can not be the same person they were before new awareness and knowledge changed them. The benefits you have gained include knowledge and awareness that cannot be lost. The postural changes that happen in life are affected by our habits and our habitat. (Do you have to crouch to wash your face in your sink?) So it is possible that an activity can bring about the same types of tensions that existed before, and yet it will be a different and probably less tension-filled pattern than existed previous to the knowledge that the tension could be released. Completing the 10 Series establishes a foundational exploration of all of the functional sectors of the body, as well as opportunity to integrate the knowledge gained in that exploration. Session 1 intends to increase vital capacity and provide more space for breath and the movement of the heart. Sessions 2 through 7 work roughly foot to head through the functional sectors of the body. Sessions 8, 9 and 10 integrate the changes in the various functional sectors into the body as a whole, which helps more permanently change those habits and yes, even those habitats that our continuously affecting the structure of our body.
Leah Nelson (Salt Lake City, UT) on Nov 15, 2011
First off, let me start by saying I'm not a certified Rolfer or Structural Integrationist. I have taken some courses on Structural Integration and have also had 7 series of the 10. I don't think you would lose any benefits gained by not doing the full 10 sessions. However, it might make sense to do at least the first 7, or maybe even the first 3- talk with your Rolfer to see what he/she thinks. You just wouldn't get all the benefits you'd get from doing the 10 series. And I do believe that as long as you find a great practitioner (in whatever the modality, be it Shiatsu, Rolfing, Acupuncture, Reiki...) you can find different ways to release stress and emotional holding patterns. I don't believe our bodies are a perfect science- everyone is different and heals differently. Find a great practitioner that you trust, and go with your intuition. Hope this helped, Leah Nelson, LMT
Anne Hoff (Seattle, WA) on Nov 23, 2011
The Basic Ten-Session Rolfing® Series is a wonderful overhaul for the body, kind of like your 50,000-mile tune up for your car. It is the optimal way to create lasting change, but fewer sessions should also give good results as Rolfing sessions work to balance the body even when doing "fix-it" work, and a body in alignment and balance experiences less strain. As for the aspect of emotional and stress release, if you are dealing with old stuff, then, yes, freeing the fascia as Rolfing work does should help. However, if the emotional and stress issues are cause by current situations - like a stressful job or relationship - you would probably want a multi-pronged approach, including also perhaps meditation or therapy to bring the stress levels down in your environment, or make them more manageable.
Minki Kim (Astoria, NY) on Nov 22, 2011
Hi, Interesting question. Realistically, not every client completes the Basic 10 Series. I'd recommend experiencing the 'Superficial or Sleeve' sessions (1-3), and then decide if you'd like to continue with the series. I do not think that you'll necessarily lose the benefits but the Basic 10 was systematically designed to maximize the benefits of Structural Integration and give the bodywork some longevity. The beauty about the Rolf Method of Structural Integration is well after each session or series, the fascial matrix continues to unwind and reorganize your entire structure. Although there are plenty of modalities and methods to release emotional and stress, the fascia is a reflection of your bodily history and very effective to release emotions, stress, and trauma. Hope this somewhat clarifies things for you. Best, Minki Kim