On my way to meet Marie, I took a few moments to think about the past two rolfing sessions and their after-effects. Has anything changed since we first started this project? The most noticeable change for me has been in how I THINK about movement; in my posture, gait, and body mechanics. Rolfing cultivates a body awareness and movement mindfulness more than any other massage modality. Our work together has improved my proprioception, kinesthetic awareness, and allowed me to move throughout the world with proper alignment. This has extremely reduced daily aches, pains, and even my stress levels. I think about my mechanics and movement now more than ever before. I put one foot in front of the other and feel grounded, stronger.
I show up and Marie greets me with an enthusiastic smile. Despite the fact that her day has been filled with clients, she is vibrant with energy and ready for our session. It’s a sign she has a true passion for her work, the Rolfing method, and for sharing for this healing skill with others.
Before we begin, Marie takes the time to explain session three and what to expect out of our appointment. She introduces session three as the “side session”. Its purpose is to ease the body in the front-back dimension, and create a peaceful union between the upper and lower body. Session three works on the sides of the torso, neck, and hips in an effort to get each segments to better support each other.
We begin with a standing posture assessment. Marie’s trained eyes first check in with my alignment to best understand how to use the Rolfing work to support my body’s specific needs. She then props a big fluffy pillow up for my head and has me lay on one side to work down my body’s “lateral line”. We work all the way from top to bottom; my neck, shoulder, arm, torso, and hip are “rolfed” into massage heaven. There is a method behind each massage stroke, it is all in an effort to arrange the shoulder, ribs and pelvis into an even stack. Our goal is to provide more space in the spinal column and to promote proper posture for my body in the long run.
Once down the chain, Marie has me stand to compare sides. I was surprised to see the rolfed shoulder had completely DROPPED; it made for quite a contrast to the unworked counterpart. The difference between the two sides was impressive and was the perfect argument for the power of the “Rolfing method”. I quickly hopped back on the table for the other side, eager to balance out my body. With both sides complete, we finished the session with neck and head work. It was heaven… I mean, who DOESN’t love a good neck rubbing? It wasn’t an average chair neck massage , she used techniques I’d never experienced before. Each one blissful, leaving my neck feeling loose and rested.
I found the third Rolfing session to be an integrating one. It seemed to tie the first two appointments together into a complex whole. Leaving Marie’s studio, I felt as if my shoulders had dropped 2 feet. My torso felt loose and spacious; my arms long and lengthy. The third Rolfing appointment taught me a LOT about my upper body, torso, and spine. I hope to use this knowledge to promote good posture and performance in the long term. I have a feeling this Rolfing experiment is doing a world of good for my mind, body, and longevity.
Session three is the last of the “superficial” sessions and a great introduction to Rolfing. I’ve heard that from here on out, the work is deeper and more powerful for the rolfing client. Session four is supposed to get in to the pelvis….. Im nervous, excited, and ready to ROLF!
Marie is certified in the Rolf Method of Structural Integration, also known as Rolfing® from The Guild for Structural Integration in Boulder, Colorado. Her massage training was completed at National Holistic Institute where she was trained in Swedish, Deep tissue. Shiatsu, Myofascial Release, and Reflexology. CLICK HERE to continue reading about Marie Thiebaud, structural integration specialist.