I arrived at Rolfing session 3 burbling with the news that my foot pain had disappeared following Session 2–the “foot” session. My Rolfer was very pleased and opined that the sudden improvement was unusual, but good. As of a couple weeks later, my feet are still pain-free. This seems to be a permanent change. (My husband’s Rolfer is much more of an evangelist for Rolfing, but my Rolfer is very modest and always pleasantly surprised by good results, although she believes in it no less.)
I don’t remember that much of Session 3, because it’s been a while, now. She worked on the sides of my body, including ribs, shoulder area, under arms, and hips. A recurring theme is appearing. “Boy that hip is tight.” My right hip is very tight and tender, and some of the most intense moments are when she works on it.
I figure this results from the birth of my son. It was a long and difficult labor. At the end, I had an epidural, but it only “took” on the left side, resulting in full sensation on the right. And oh what sensation that was!
As I recall, Rolfing kitty was off duty for Session 3, and Rolfing dog had gotten into something nasty, so his belly was rumbling like crazy through the whole thing, until, at the very end, he began to vent the pressure.
I didn’t notice any big changes after session 3. Yoga is my “test run” and mostly in yoga that week I just felt like I was starting over with everything, which I was because I hadn’t been to yoga in several weeks.
Session 4 is the beginning of the internal/core work. As the rolfer says, it’s not necessarily deeper pressure, but directed toward fascia in the core of the body, in a line starting at the instep of the foot, going all the way up to the roof of the mouth.
She focused on the lower half in Session 4, mostly, working up from the instep through the insides of the legs, to the hips and abdomen. Part of this session involved some very personal areas, and I was glad for the rolfer’s professionalism. They work the muscle attachment points at the groin and the sit bones. Not my favorite thing, but I can see how it was necessary.
She also did some hamstring work. This was an area I knew was big trouble for me. My hamstrings are tight tight tight. And when she started working on them, she definitely noticed. “Your hamstring is like wood,” she said.
Because they were so tight, it was extremely painful to have them worked over. Often she’ll back off a bit if she’s working on an area that’s tender, but this was a case where the job needed to be done. She apologized, but did not back off. I felt my hamstrings releasing as she worked on them, and there was improved flexibility right away that has been sustained.
For my yoga “test drive” today, I noticed the difference in the hamstrings right away. I don’t think this is even the big hamstring session. I think that is around session 6. But it does seem like a big improvement.
I also feel like the hip and groin area has been reset to “factory defaults” finally, thirteen years after the birth of my son. It’s not that I had any particular problems in that area, or none that I was aware of. But now in retrospect I think there may have been some general tightness that affected functioning of all of the stuff “downstairs.” ‘Nuff said.
For Session 4, the Rolfers Other Kitty made an appearance. Then Regular Rolfing Kitty joned us, and Rolfing dog is always in the room, so we had a full complement of animal helpers.
I continue to feel like the $1000 cost of the whole program was a worthwhile investment just for the changes in my feet. But it’s also funny how quickly I’ve come to take it for granted. When something *doesn’t* hurt, you don’t think about it. How often do you think, “Gosh, it’s so awesome that my left elbow isn’t sore right now!” So it’s a bit hard to hold onto the feeling that Rolfing has made this huge change in my life, when the change has been a return to normalcy. I keep thinking about the expense and the discomfort and the “You want me to sit on your hand? And I’m paying you how much?” and I have to remind myself, “Two months ago like a ninety year old woman you couldn’t go shopping at Ikea without pain, silly.”