The Rolf practitioner must become skilled at recognising all forms of discharge, both emotional and physical. Often the psychology of the discharge, the emotional outpouring (generally in a vocal form) is the most dramatic, and the most obvious. However, the physical expressions the soreness, pains, chemical changes that would be manifest either in sweating or coldness, shivering, shaking, flushes, nausea, headache, dullness, or excessive urinary or fecal discharges will be present as well.
“Changes” recognized during and after deliberate growth experiences (such as Rolfing, Yoga, psychodrama, etc.) Are frequently the discharges preceding the evolving condition or accompanying it, but are not recognized by the student of life as transient, and are treated as new and “lasting”, if unwelcome, qualities or quantities.
There is a need to recognize that any change from the “standard” pattern could be a natural, and desirable effect of the evolutionary experience (in this case Rolfing), and a need to let it happen. One goes about one’s business as usual, but observes the discharge as an interesting phenomenon that is “leaving” rather than “happening now”.
The important thing for the therapist to realize is that the client probably will not be able to discharge freely at first. Much more likely are in completed forms of discharge such as dramatization (acting out), or physiological symptoms which indicate that the waste products are accumulating rather than being disposed of. Tissue soreness that persists, for example, or constipation can be signs that the natural cleansing process is being interfered with. In fact the client will often try to stop himself, because the physical sensations involved remind him of the original hurts which are unpleasant when they are re stimulated. The person is apt to feel that these sensations are present time problems of same sort that are not related to his growth experience. I have found it helpful to have the client observe these things as possibly being part of his change. I suggest to him that his whole being is getting rid of stuff that interferes with his goal. I encourage him to be as objective and as “care less” about it as he can, i.e. just to observe it. It is important that he not try to do anything about it, especially to try to stop it. If the symptoms continue, or if they get worse, of course, then perhaps there is something besides the discharge going on. In that case we look at it in terms of what it is doing, rather than what the person is trying to do about it.
Students (clients) generally need to become more objective about them selves, without losing touch with their subjectivity. This is not easy. People are so used to thinking of everything they are feeling and doing as something that is happening to them at this moment, because of something at this moment. They need to realize that their present actions could be, and quite likely are the result of past phenomena that are being triggered by something in the present. I try to impress on my clients that their total being is a composite of everything they have lived up to now, Much of the material is just sitting there. It is undesirable or obsolete baggage, so to speak. Much, of course, is desirable, and material that they have worked hard to attain consciously and want to keep. It is the undesirable stuff that it is difficult to be objective about, mainly because during the past they have tried to suppress anything that they couldn’t handle, and they have difficulty recognising this undesirable aspect as part of themselves.
As I see it, the process we are engaged in is one of ridding the person of his past failures. These he has “stacked up” in his body and his psyche. The client has come to me to bring his whole being into as near an ideal condition as we can attain between the two of us. This implies that it is going to be functioning from its basic blueprint, its basic programming, which in my opinion doesn’t allow for the thoughts of failure, the thoughts of fear, and other enturbulating conditions that he has lived with all his life. When these come to the surface I want him to know that they will affect him in various ways, such as the various uncomfortable physical manifestations that we have mentioned. I also want him to understand that he is going to be feeling emotional things that were his in the past that he applied to various conditions I have touched, various areas in his body where these things were stored, obviously, and they are being released.
Generally the client needs most help in learning to let go of the undesirable patterns. Let me give a recent example of a case where I succeeded in communicating this need to the client. A young woman, thirtyish, had never been able to cry; in fact, she considered it a normal condition, in her case. In her seventh session she started crying, and continued, off and on, for three days. Of course, the second day she came to me and asked me to “make it stop”, that it was interfering with her work, besides being quite uncomfortable. I explained to her that this was the accumulation of a lifetime of tears and that it would be to her benefit to let them go, rather than stifle them again. I further reassured her that she would be able to be more genuinely cheerful and energetic without all of the suppressed grief that the tears represented. She accepted my explanation, and let them flow, while making jokes about them to her associates.
I feel that the Rolf work facilitates the goals of the person toward higher evolution by literally “cleaning house”, helping to sort out the trash from the treasures, if you will, and to reorganize much of the material of the total person, so that he has a clearer picture of what he is, what his total structure is, and what his filing cabinets hold. If the client trusts the process, and we are successful, he will have an easier way to utilize the whole thing. himself. He will be clearer in his goals because he is not so cluttered. He literally will have dumped a great deal of the nonessential trash that he has gathered indescriminately through his life. The person who emerges is a clearer example of himself, a closer approximation to the blueprint.Discharge Freeing Past Failures