When someone else's finger goes inside your nose, it leaves a permanent impression.
Catherine stood over me with her latex glove pointer finger inside my right nostril.
"I never force the nose work," she says "I just wait for it to open."
I could hear the clock ticking, feel her finger sliding deeper into my nostril. I wondered if she would reach something painful, or sweetly discomforting. Her finger just kept going in. I imagined her finding my brain up in there. When it didn't go any further she just stopped. At some point I opened my mouth to breathe out.
I'd always been taught that a finger in the nose is not a polite gesture, but I've found Rolfing is not much concerned with politeness.
Since June, I've been receiving the Rolfing 10 series as part of the initiation or prerequisite to attend the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration in Boulder, CO. Flash back to my first session, undressed taking laps around the table. Laying curious, asking..."are you pulling on my intestines?" Yes, she was.
"If you like the nose work you're a natural Rolfer."
Catherine slid her finger out of one nostril and into the other. I giggled.
Rolfing is a form of bodywork and way of seeing that works with the human form in gravity. And the form is worked directly on through connective tissue. Its been around more than 50 years and many people that I talk to have either received some Rolfing or knows someone who has. It's been interesting to navigate the stories of people who have received the work. Some people I'd talked with in the beginning reported pain or aversion, that it felt like too much. I've never felt it to be the case in any session, even when the Rolfer did have my intestines. Curious what feels like pain to some.
It's hard to communicate the essence of a fundamental change while in it. I feel like a vitally different person, and it feels wild that I appear as the same person I was to anyone. The loudness of my voice has changed, I can feel my legs, and differentiate the vertebrae of my low back. My morning walks feel like I have taken awareness into a whole new person's form.
It occurs to me that I will soon be putting my fingers in other people's nostrils. And in other people's mouths. I will soon be looking at the human form in a new way and using my fists and elbows to work and move flesh, and tissue. I will be putting my hand in people's armpits and backsides.
And I can't wait!