Arriving early will give you a chance to relax, review your homework, or listen to a meditation tape before the beginning of your session.
In preparation for your Rolfing session you will probably disrobe. As for the pictures, a brief bathing suit, two piece for women, or underwear are appropriate attire. As mentioned above, your Rolfing can be done fully clothed. The manipulation may happen while you are sitting on the stool, standing, or lying on the table or a mat on the floor. Each session seems to be different so exact instructions will be given.
Each person's response to pressure is different and an individual's response to the same pressure in different locations can vary significantly. It's important that the pressure stay moderate enough that you can work with your practitioner in freeing movement. This is a dual responsibility; your responsibility to communicate with your Rolfer and your Rolfer's responsibility to listen and observe when that limit is being broached.
As the restricted tissue in the body is freed, your Rolfer may explore with you more appropriate patterns of use. This may develop into a homework assignment. You may want to take notes about this homework assignment. If you haven't yet scheduled for your next session, you may be reminded to do that now.
If this is your first Rolfing series:
Here is a typical sequence of session goals, known as the recipe. The "recipe" was devised by Dr. Rolf as an ingenious way of teaching a practitioner to use his hands in learning Rolfing. Rolfing is not "the recipe" but is used as a set of general guidelines for structural goals. How these goals are approached and accomplished depends on your individual needs and body structure. The recipe does not dictate what happens in a given session.
In general, the recipe is as follows:
Freeing the ribcage and shoulders: To increase the client's ability to breathe, increasing their vital capacity, to lift the thorax off the pelvis which lengthens the waistline, to initiate freeing the shoulder and pelvic girdles, and to lengthen the spine.
Standing, Lengthening the back and organizing the feet: To change the way the weight goes through the client's body when in a standing position, to organize both the feet and the back, to free the joints of the feet, to improve the alignment of the legs, to lengthen and widen the back, and to soften the neck muscles.
Clarifying the lateral midline and lengthening the waist and lower back: To establish in the client's mind and body where the lateral line of the body is and to establish a balance, to free the rib cage for more movement, to free the shoulder girdle from the ribs, and to further lengthen the waist line.
Freeing the legs from the pelvis and horizontalize the pelvis: To free the legs from the pelvis; to free the back from the pelvis; to get the pelvis wider from right to left; to get the wings of the pelvis capable of more movement; and to create a balance between the lower and upper body.
Balancing the abdominals and deep structures of the lower back: To lengthen and flatten the midsection of the body; to get more mobility in the pelvis; to get flexibility in the lumbar spine; to lengthen and widen the body at the core level.
Freeing the sacrum and lengthening the back: To free the legs further in their relationship to the pelvis (especially the front and back); to gain more mobility in pelvic movements; and in particular, freeing the sacrum from the lower back, legs and the rest of the pelvis.
Organizing the head and neck: To put the "head on the body," to put more softness and symmetry in the face and scull; to widen the face; to soften and align the neck; to further drop the shoulders; to get more space within the mouth; and to have more balance throughout the whole body as the head moves back over the body.
Deeper freedom and movement in the shoulder or pelvic girdle: To complete the freeing of the chosen girdle (either pelvis or shoulder). To get the core to lengthen, and lift.
Like session 8 but on the other girdle: To balance and align the remaining unworked girdle at a deep level, and to integrate the two girdles.
What remains to horizontalize the joints: To horizontalize the major segments of the body and free remaining restrictions to this overall balance. Generally, the whole body is worked in this session.