Monday, February 11, 2008

Rolfing and Emotions

As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, your emotional life can become quite rich while you are getting Rolfed.

Since this is such a complex field, I thought I might simply share with you some of my thoughts and observations.

I. Experiences.

In my newsletter I talked about some of the emotional phenomena that begins to unfold during Rolfing. "During Rolfing" entails not only the session itself, but the time in between sessions, and even after the completion of Rolfing.

On one end of the spectrum, clients have experienced feeling a sense of melancholy or loss. Others have wept freely as they finally lay claim to lost memories and old pain. There are those too who have felt a deep sense of exhaustion, as if their nervous system has found the space and place to finally "let go."

On the other end of this emotional continuum, you will find those who become really pissed off between sessions for no particular reason. Indeed, this new found felt anger can be quite empowering. Clients have told me how assertive and clear they become in their relationships.

And every one's favorite: bliss. I have been told that client's begin to feel new movement within their body that feels spacious and clear. With this new found space, many begin to feel a greater sense of peace.

These, ladies and gentlemen, are simply but a few examples of the emotional stuff to be found during Rolfing.

II. What happens?

OK Jim, that's all informative and what not, but what in the hell happens to bring all this up?

Let's break it down to two categories: blunt and atmosphere.

Blunt first...

Sometimes during the course of our lives, you will experience a blunt trauma to your body and or soul. This can be a car wreck, broken leg, or that fall you took while playing soccer. When this happens, sometimes the brain is unable to fully integrate or "deal" with all that has happened.

So, our nervous system responds with gusto and glory to deal with the situation. The injury mends, but the memory of the event remains carved out in our bodies.

Afterwards, our nervous system may get stuck in a loop, a perpetual circle which never breaks. This ongoing tension may stay "On Hold" for years and years in your fascia, muscle tissue, and nerves. Along comes your good hearted Rolfer, and whammo, this cycle is touched, released, and the whole body is finally able to integrate this old, but simultaneously, new found information.

Certain thoughts or feelings around a charged emotional situation may be so overwhelming for someone that their body may simply begin to" hunker down" or adapt for the long haul.

Even though their might be a deep, deep need for our bodies and soul to heal, this is overridden by the organism's top priority: S U R V I V A L. Vulnerability simply isn't an option when one is under constant stress or threat.

Thus, during Rolfing, our bodies begin to slowly but surely let go of this long held armor.

This is rich territory. Clients might begin to feel anxious during this transition. Understandable. After all, our structures; our bodies have gotten us this far, why in the world would we want to deconstruct what has worked? This begs another question, is survival the same as living fully?

As this shell begins to fall, those once overwhelming emotions may finally begin to surface. As the emotional dust settles, where one was once frozen in the past, they suddenly begin to look around and, lo and behold, there is a life to be lived!

III. In Conclusion.

Never ever hesitate to touch base with me about any new, wonderful, and even scary emotions and or experiences that may crop up during Rolfing. Sometimes, as was mentioned in the above paragraph, one's survival may have depended on NOT sharing one's emotional state.

Not with me...

I consider it a gift to bear witness to your transformation, whether it be rage against everyone and everything, delight at being in your body, or a heart filled with sadness.

As a toddler told me the other day, "It's all good..."