I had an incredible strength and hill running workout two days before my sixth Rolfing appointment with Marie. Needless to say when I showed up for our session, my legs felt like they could use some lovin’. Marie introduces session number six as the “back of the legs” and I am overwhelmed with joy. Our appointment will address my ankles, calves, hamstrings, and glutes – the perfect match for how my body is feeling the day of our session. Funny how the world works out exactly how you need it to sometimes.
Marie begins every Rolfing session by looking at my current structure and identifying postural shifts since our last appointment. For session 6, she starts by asking me to lay belly down on the table with my feet hanging off the end. My heels are in her hands and she starts to work on my feet. Her fingers rub down the sides and back of each heel; the work is INTENSE and I practically jump off the table. How often is it that you address the tension going on in your feet? Well until you are brave enough to find out for yourself, let me tell you… theres A LOT going on back there. Fortunately for me, we move on quickly and into the calves and hamstrings. Calf work is typically excruciating for most, but I always seem to enjoy it. Years running and dancing have given me strong calves… with a lot of tension. Marie works along all lines of the calf muscle, using her elbow to apply powerful pressure. My tight, ropy calves eventually give into the work and melt onto the table.
Moving up the leg I start to get nervous… the hamstrings are my super sensitive spot. For some reason, I have never been able to find a massage therapist to work on the backs of my legs without me begging for mercy and preventing them from doing their work. Everytime I have had hamstring massage, there have been sharp sensations down the back of my legs and I have to call it quits early. I tell Marie in advance that Im scared and to watch out incase I accidentally kick her. She eases my worries by assuring me to work slowly and patiently coerce the muscle to let go. I try to keep calm and carry on – with the phrase, “bring it Hamstring Rolfing.”
Surprisingly, Marie is not only able to work on my hamstrings, but to get them to release as well. Her unique rolfing techniques applied in a slow, steady pace ease my back leg muscles into surrender. She is able to work the entire back side of my legs with very little wincing (or crying) involved. To date, Marie is the only therapist who has actually been able to access and work on my hamstring muscles. I am in awe; my jaw has dropped on the massage table.
From the hamstrings we move on to the back of the hips and sacrum. . Now let’s be honest, butt massage is always something EVERYBODY wants – but is too shy to ask for. However, the sixth rolfing session isnt just your average “bootay rubbin”. It works all the attachments of the hip in addition to the glute max. The work feels similar to trigger point massage, but is differently deep and re-structuring for the body. All the spots around the base of the spine and sacrum are intense in a good way, leaving my tailbone with the feeling of length.
We finish with a little lower back spinal work and then Marie asks me to flip over onto my back. Face up, she has me to bridge my hips and uses her hands to help my pelvis settle into alignment. This pelvic tilt helps allow all the positive changes from our work settle in. My body feels long from the top of my tailbone to my toes.
We conclude by practicing proper pelvic alignment and posture together. Training in something I so desperately need, yet would NEVER do on my own (posture lessons – Im positive we could all use that in our daily life). The back side of my body has experienced significant release, causing my posture to shift to a more beneficial place. Session six ends like all the sessions before – with me walking out of our appointment 10 feet taller.
The day after Session six with Marie, I enjoy one of the STRONGEST running workouts I’ve had in weeks. I could write it off as just a lucky workout…. but Im thinking it might have more to do with all this Rolfing 😉
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.