Rolfing Session #7 was by far the strangest massage experience I have ever had in my life. When I went in to meet with Marie, I was under the impression that the seventh session would be an hour of head, shoulder, and neck work. It was for the most part with an interesting twist. I was committed to experiencing the authentic 10 series experience, so with an open mind and brave heart I went for it. The WHOLE nine yards, nasal work included.
Let me explain. The work of the seventh session is directed entirely toward balancing the neck and head on the spine. During a seventh session, the Rolfer works on the fascia of the neck, opens the connective tissues around the skull and face and helps to improve breathing further by opening constricted nasal passages. Yes you read that right…. nasal passages. Session 7 is the most unusual massage experience you could ever imagine, one that can prove to be incredibly eye opening for everyone.
Marie always begins our appointments with a structural assessment and a check in on our progress. My body has become stronger through our work together and every time we meet its nice to get a progress report on my journey towards healthier spinal alignment. She begins session 7 where we left off in six, moving up the torso into the shoulders, neck, and head. The first half of the session is pure heaven. All specific work on releasing the upper traps, shoulders, and chest. From chronic computer work and stress of daily life, we all could use a half an hour on these hot spots. I am at ease when Marie moves up the body to work on my head. The head work is similar to cranial sacral massage with a rolfing twist. She works on specific points along the skull, ears, and forehead with unique techniques and a perfect pressure. I’m in a whole world of bliss when Marie informs me its time for the “internal work”. Latex gloves come out and I start to get nervous.
The last part of session seven is known as “internal rolfing”. You should have seen the expression on face when she slipped the gloves on – I was intimidated and not sure what to expect. The “internal rolfing” only lasts a few minutes of the appointment and can be skipped if you do not want that experience. I had committed and was ready for anything, so when Marie asked permission, I agreed. First she worked on the inside of my jaw, releasing both the upper and lower parts of my mouth. It was a bit like seeing the dentist without the minty aftertaste. She then moved on to work INSIDE the nose. The nasal massage was a brief and strange experience. It goes down in history as the most unusual sensation I have ever felt in a massage session. Words can’t describe what it is like, you will have to sign up for the 10 series if you are curious enough to find out. As strange as it was, all of the internal work seemed to free up a lot of jaw and facial tension. Rolfing is one way to find out just how much work the facial muscles DO in our bodies. I think singers, those who suffer from chronic stress, and chronic gum chewers would especially benefit from this Rolfing release. As odd as it “nasal massage” sounds, I think you would regret opting out of the internal work in session 7. It could be seen as a right of passage towards a healthier head, neck, and nose 😉
While the internal work wasnt my favorite, Im glad I had the chance to experience session seven’s unusual techniques. We finished our appointment with standing structural assessment and reviewing the physical changes brought about by our time together. Marie concludes by offering more guidance on how to move in my body with a posture that provides optimal wellness.
It’s amazing how our entire body is connected and is always surprising to discover where we store our stress. After 7 sessions of Rolfing I am feeling in tune with my body, am seeing improvements in my movement, and health benefits in my daily life. I am forever grateful for this experience (Nasal massage included). Looking forward to session 8 and continuing the journey. Till next time…
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.