Rolfing® Structural Integration

Donald Soule
Certified Advanced Rolfer™

Rolfing® Structural Integration Sessions

Rolfing sessions are done with the client lying or sitting on a table.  Clients will sometimes sit on a bench while I work with them.  I gradually press on very specific spots on the client’s body until their tissues release.  Another part of a session can be movement coaching, where we explore new patterns of movement that become available as a result of the table work we have done.  Clients sometimes have assignments between sessions to develop their awareness of their patterns of movement and relaxation and to practice the new patterns we have developed.

How does it feel?
Each of us will experience our body and the Rolfing work a little differently.  Many people say that they feel some discomfort and that they can tell a part of them is being relieved at the same time.  People want to know, “Isn’t Rolfing very painful?”  Rolfing has gotten a reputation for being extremely uncomfortable dating from the days when Rolfers trained by Dr. Rolf applied her instruction in formulaic and inflexible ways that stressed and over-worked many of their clients.  The bottom line in my work is that you, the client, are always in control of the session.  This means that, comfortable or uncomfortable, we only proceed when you say so.

If you decide to have a Rolfing session, you will feel like you are working with me, using your breath and other specific motions to enable and enhance the releases that happen in your tissue.  Best results are gotten through the combined efforts of your attention, relaxation and movement synchronized with the specific pressure that I will apply.

The Rolfing Series.  
People starting the Rolfing process can elect to work in the series of Basic Rolfing or can have sessions focused on addressing a specific problem or issue.  In either case, we start with discussion of your history and your goals.  We need to be sure that I understand your wishes and that your wishes are realistic goals for Rolfing.  I may take photos before and after your sessions as a way to document the visible patterns of strain that we discuss in your history and to observe progress that we make session to session.

When Dr. Rolf began training others in her work, she designed a 10-session series that is now known as Basic Rolfing.  This series is designed to systematically restore balance and fluidity to the body, working with different body segments and depths with each session.  With the series, clients usually find that they make steady progress without disruption or sliding back between sessions. 

Given the development of this series over the past 30 years, I tell people to plan on 10 to 12 sessions for the Basic Rolfing series.  Sessions last between 1 hour and 1¼ hours.  People usually come for Rolfing every week or two, however, over the years, I have had many clients who have had sessions spaced as much as a month apart.

When clients are unsure about whether they want to go through the entire Basic Rolfing series, I suggest that they go through 3 sessions to find out how they will experience this work, and then decide whether to continue with a longer series of sessions.

Advanced Rolfing.  People who have completed a Basic series often return for additional sessions.  This is often done in a series of 3 to 5 sessions that I design in collaboration with the client.  The Advanced Series can be started after a waiting period of several months or longer after the Basic Series is completed.  Clients come for Advanced sessions to continue the work that is started in the Basic Series and to work with any new traumas that may have occurred since the Basic work was completed.

What to wear to a session.
I want you to feel comfortable while you are in my office.  Most people, men and women, go through sessions wearing their regular underwear.   With men, it is easier for me to work with you if you wear brief style underwear rather than boxer style, which usually do not stretch.  
Women can also wear a 2-piece bathing suit instead of underwear.  Sports bras with fabric covering much of the back surface are hard to work around.  

Anyone who wishes to can be covered or draped while they are on my table.  There are usually times during a session when we will want to look at you standing to understand your balance in gravity.