Session 3

The essence of the 3rd treatment can be explained by my car ride home.

After finishing up with Gary, I had a quick snack and jumped into my car for my 45 minute commute to Lewiston. I was bright eyed and bushy tailed and jammin’ to Janelle Monae when…very suddenly my neck and upper back clamped up. My left temple began to ache. I felt a quick, shooting pain into my brain.  I immediately turned off the music and experienced a surge of worry that started in my belly and ended in my hair follicles. The tiny, neurotic voice of anxiety began to suggest terrible things: “You have a ruptured disc. You’re having a stroke. It’s meningitis.”

Since I’ve had lots of practice quieting that awful voice, I picked up where I last left off (the previous day, for those of you wondering). The voice got quieter within minutes of slowing my breath, and in it’s place came the rooted voice of reason. “So, your neck hurts. Slow down and get into the right lane. Relax your face. Why does your neck ache? Do you think it’s the result of Rolfing, or is it something else? Sit up for a second. Check in.”

I rectified my quasimodo’d driving slouch. Turned my neck to the left and right, up and down. No pain.

I re-embraced the slouch. Pain came back.

Sat up straight, relaxed my shoulders. No pain.

Apparently, my body had decided that it’d had enough with the slouching; in fact, it seemed like it was punishing me for slouching. (Since I’ve started commuting from Lewiston to Portland, I’ve developed some not-so-great driving habits, especially during the drive home after work. During my ride home, my lower back tends to collapse, and my nose often pushes forward in rapt attention to the mesmerizing voice of Terry Gross, who is usually delivering a series of pointed and probing questions to someone whom will either answer gracefully, or not.)

Apparently, this crap posture was suddenly NOT OKAY. I suspect that the Rolfing session had reminded my body of what balance looks like, when considered from the perspective of sinews, bones, and fascia.

As for the specifics of the session itself, it was more of the same technique, but in places I’ve never had worked on, like deep in my armpit. Many times during this treatment,  I experienced what felt like weighted sheets sliding off of my body – like big layers of snow from a mountainside. Felt really, really good.

Lastly, a small detail – possibly relevant if you’re considering trying Rolfing. If you apply lotion during the winter to avoid casting off your skin like a lizard, skip the slathering if you have a session scheduled. Apparently, the slip factor makes it more difficult for the practitioner to get a good grip.