Saturday, February 01, 2020

Exploring a Session.

 The Where.

If you have noticed after I do a visual assessment of how your body is doing, as you stand and or walk, I will put my hand gently on your head.

Why do I do this?

Well, I am feeling for lines of tension in your body.  All of which, generally speaking, can be felt through and on top of your cranium.  Sometimes these lines of tension are obvious, and other times more subtle.  Sometimes there is only one line of tension that I can feel, and at other times multiple ones, radiating from various points in the body.

Hypothetically, let's say you have come in with an aching lower back and a great deal of pain and stiffness in your left shoulder.

So, I put my hand on the top of your head and feel a line of tension radiating from just below the left side of your rib cage.  This is where your stomach resides.  Interestingly enough, at the beginning of the session I noticed your left shoulder and thorax bending forward and down a bit.  Another clue.

Now, I put one hand around the area I felt the line of tension coming from.  I take my other hand and check the top of the head again.  Interesting!  The pull left and downward is less, the body as a whole is more stable.  We are on to something here...

This area of tension we have discovered is considered a "Primary Lesion."  It sounds scary, but it's really not.  It's just an area of tissue that is perhaps adhered to another structure, is too tight, or perhaps too lax.  Either way, it needs tending to, for it has affected not just the area discovered, but your entire structural integrity. that we have discovered where we are going to work, onto another question, what is it exactly we will be working on?

The What.

Ok, so what we do know is that we have found an area just below the left side of your rib cage, towards the front that needs some work.

Now we need to figure out what it is exactly we will be working on.  This will help ascertain a more exact location and what kind of treatment is indicated.

So...believe it or not I will begin to, without speaking, ask your body some questions.  Yup, you heard that right.  Now, I am not a woo woo kind of guy.  Well ok, I do have some woo woo tendencies.  What or who we are asking questions to is a mystery.  All I know, and as many other practitioners have discovered, is that it's pay dirt.  It helps immensely.

Ok body/entity/deeper wisdom/all of the above, what do we have here?  I will put my hand near the area we are going to work on (for best results I put my hand on the right side of your cranium), and start asking questions.

Which direction is "yes"?  My hand will get pulled gently up and forward a bit.

Which direction is "no"?  My hand gets pulled down and back a bit.

Now that we have that figured out...

Is the affected tissue a nerve?  "No."  Is it a blood vessel?  "No."  Is it a bone?  "No."  Is it an organ?  "Yes!"


Ok then, knowing my hand is right on the stomach but also knowing I could be totally wrong, is it the stomach?  "Yes!"

Yet, before we move on, I check around the area again just in case.  Lo and behold there is another lesion just below the stomach.


I ask some more questions, and also palpate the area, and come to realize that it is an organ as well, the Transverse Colon.

I have two to choose from.  How do I decide which one to work on?

I put my hand on the stomach lesion, and something beautiful happens, your body will gently glide my hand showing me the shape and contour of the lesion.  Let's say the stomach lesion is shaped like an inverted Nike swoop.

I then put my hand on the colon lesion.  My hand is gently moved again.  This lesion is shaped like a circle, moving clockwise.

After doing this I notice that the stomach lesion did not move.

The plot thickens.

This time I reverse the order.

I put my hand on the colon first, clock wise circle, and hand moves.  I put my hand on the stomach, Nike swoop, the hand moves AND the hand on the colon moves again.

We have now found which is primary.  The stomach.

Why is this important?  When we find the lesion which is most primary, and treat it, it tends to resolve other lesions with it.  More bang for your buck.

Now that we have decided what we will be working on, how shall we work on it?

The How.

Alright body/deeper wisdom/alien essence how shall we work on this stomach?

Should I take the affected tissue into effort?  "No."  Taking the tissue into effort means taking the tissue into slightly tighter direction.

Should I take the tissue into ease?  "No."  Taking the tissue into ease means taking the tissue into a slightly looser direction.

Shall I Listen and Follow?  "Yes."

So we know the pattern and contour of the lesion, now it's time to kick back and let your body do most of the work.  My job at this point is to allow my hands to be as receptive and sensitive as possible.

I put my hands gently on your stomach and ... something remarkable happens. Your body will gently draw my hand deeper into the pattern that it presented earlier.  I listen and follow, adjusting pressure and sensitivity as we go.

Sloooowly it goes a bit deeper and I follow until it has taken me fully into the shape of the lesion.  My hands follow the full shape of the Nike swoop and my hands come to a rest.

We have landed, and there I wait.

After a bit the tissue starts to move.  This is where I come in.  "Nope, no can do fussy tissue, stay put."  I don't let it go into the direction it is taking me.  There ensues a gentle game of tug of war, and then there is a release.  I follow the release.

Then we wait.  Again there is a pull in a slightly different direction.  I hold the line, and then there is another release.  Again, I follow.  Hold.  Release.  Follow.

This will happen a few times, some times more, and then voila!  The lesion has been resolved and the tissue gently releases my hand.

I double check to make sure.  I ask your body a few more questions.  I palpate the area.  There is more movement, the tissue is warmer.  The thorax is a bit easier to move.  I check the left shoulder that was pulled down and it is further back as well.  I check the shoulder for better range of motion, which there now is.

I also check the colon from earlier.  That lesion is no longer there.

Client's might sigh after a release like this.  They tend to feel much more relaxed as well.  Some of these lesions might be decades old.

Even though we might work on a particular area, client's have reported feeling other areas in their body release that they didn't even know held tension.  "That was weird, I could feel a release in both of my shoulders." Or, "My lower back released and my whole right leg feels longer!"


After we have resolved this particular lesion, your stomach, there is a good chance we will find more.

By the end of our hypothetical session, we have found and treated a total of 6 lesions.

1.  The Stomach.

2.  The Visceral Pleura of the Lung.  This is a membrane that wraps around your lung.  Adhesions here are quite common.  Lo and behold it was just below your left shoulder, drawing it and your neck forward and down.  We found this restriction with general listening and released it like we did your stomach.

3.  A blood vessel to the Longissimus Muscle in your left lower back.  We found this by having you sit as I gently tapped on your head.  Another technique I use to find a primary lesion.  Think of this as a type of sonar where after a tap, I can feel a sort of blockage that keeps the tap from reverberating through your body.  We released this artery by taking it's tissue into ease.

4.  A loop of the small intestine.  This was below your stomach.  We found this by just asking your body where the lesion was.  This time you didn't have to get off the table.  We released it the same way we treated your stomach.

5.  The Thyroid Gland.  We found a small restriction here by having you sit while using gentle tapping.  We remedied this by taking the issue into ease.  After the release you reported a substantial release in your lower back and left side of your jaw.  Good stuff!

6.  Skin.  Here we found a patch of skin that was far too tight on the right side of your neck.  We treated this adhesion by taking the tissue into effort.

After the session, we discover that your shoulder pain has lessened a great deal.  There is still some tension, but much better than when you came in.  Your lower back pain is almost completely gone.

You are standing more upright, noticing less pain, and feeling much more relaxed.



I have been utilizing this approach to Rolfing for over 10 years now and have discovered it to be highly effective.

For the purpose of this newsletter, I have laid out for you some of the more basic formulas for assessing and treating.  There are many more.  It is a continuous process of learning and discovery.

I would also like to emphasize that the beauty and effectiveness of this work lies not entirely on what I am doing, but what your body is doing.

My job is to listen and provide additional input and support that your body cannot do on it's own.  For the most part, your body is directing the show.  Your body has the innate wisdom and brilliance to heal.  It just needs some help from time to time to get there.

Also, always feel free to ask me any questions you might have about the work I do.