Sunday, April 22, 2018


We are all quite adept at conveying what hurts or feels wrong with our body.  Yet, when we begin to feel positive shifts and changes in our body during and after a Rolfing session, words seem limiting.  It is hard to give voice to a newly felt sense of embodiment, to be in your body for the first time in perhaps years.

To merge with your body and it's felt sense, is to merge with that which is ancient.  I have noticed how we sometimes dismiss these new felt sensations as being coincidence or even illusionary.  That somehow, that which is most definitely real, living in your body, is simply happenstance and nothing more.     

Even when we give credence and validity to those shifts that take form in our body, words escape us.  Yet to express what we feel to be different, grounds our lived experience.  This can be quite powerful.

So, here are some ways in which to help you integrate new found changes during and after a session.

I.  Language.

Even though language seems like a barrier at times, do try.  At first what comes out of your mouth may seem silly, almost goofy.  As your Rolfer, I will do my best to understand you.  Yet, even if I don't, what matters most is that it has meaning for you!  Words like lighter, heavier, grounded, open, compact, balanced, still, quiet, alive, energized, and taller have all been used to express the changes that clients have felt. 

Yet, what of others that might be...unique?  I have heard the following words to convey the changes they are feeling: Green, mountainish, void like, brighter, loopy, cascading, trippy, w.t.f., weird, good weird, Purplish Red, comical, absurd, brighter, etc. 

II. Imagery.

Now this can be rich.  Yes, let me know what you are seeing as well.  Not just the anatomical and physical changes taking place, but what you are seeing in your mind's eye.

Perhaps you glimpse natural vistas, like a forest, mountains, a river or ocean.  You might see the faces of old friends and loved ones.  Or perhaps a myriad of colors and textures.  Memories of long ago places and people may arise as well. 

Sometimes these images take on the forms and movements of natural phenomena.  The colors and textures you see may ebb and flow like a river, or shimmer like leaves in the wind.  This place is very much in touch with the natural world.  Enjoy it...  :)

III.  Movement.

Sometimes the best way to express the changes taking place is to . . . move.  I have seen folks use their hands and arms to express how much bigger they feel.  Sometimes they shudder a bit and have to walk in circles.  Throwing your head back while laughing also works.  Just walking around the room a bit helps as well.

After a session you might want to go for a long walk, while exaggerating the changes you feel in your body.  Perhaps Dancing.  Yoga.  Gardening.

IV. Art.

I remember the first time I was Rolfed.  I was trying desperately to convey to my Rolfer what my hips felt like after a session.  We got out some paper and a pen and I drew a stick figure with HUGE hips.  "This is what I feel like right my hips are huge floating balloons." 

I also remember back when I first started my practice.  I shared a space with other practitioners.  On the wall outside of one of my colleagues, was a series of paintings done by a client who had gone through a series of structural integration sessions.  Each painting conveyed the transformations this client went through.

They were beautiful. 

If you need some paper, pencils and coloring pens, let me know.  Have fun with it!

V.  Silence.

In the end, silence is also a wonderful option.  This is not the same as "shutting down."  Many of us give out so much energy during any given day.  Sometimes it is best to quietly enjoy these new felt senses throughout your body.  Much can be shared in silence as well.  Not all that is shared must be overt, much can be conveyed in subtle and gentle ways as well.