Teaching and Presenting on Rolfing® Structural Integration Neck Work

By Neal Anderson 

The Request 

In March of 2023, I was asked if I was interested in travelling to Munich to present at the 2024 ERA biennial membership conference and to teach a workshop afterwards. Several people were involved in asking me: Christina Howe, executive director at DIRI; Libby Eason, chair of the DIRI board; and Marcel Teeuw, chair of the ERA board. Thanks to each of them for initiating this experience. 

While I was confident in offering a relevant workshop on the neck, I had not made a short accessible presentation on the topic. Honestly, teaching for three days seemed much easier than talking for 20 minutes! 

The Conference 

As the first presenter at the biennial membership conference, I had no way of measuring my presentation against other presenters. This was good and bad. It was good in that I had no time to second guess myself. It was bad in that I had no time to refine my presentation if needed. I had to trust that my preparation had been enough. 

Once I began speaking about “Resilient Necks”, a magical thing happened: I rested into my body and the presentation simply came out of me. Speaking before a hundred ERA Rolfers® in an auditorium seemed as effortless as lecturing before a dozen students in the classroom. In both cases, embodiment as a Rolfer was what allowed me to succeed. 

 

 

 

The Workshop “Effective Rolfing® Neck Work” 

Effective neck work in the Rolfing series is based on the themes and goals of each session. When neck work is delivered sequentially in the first six sessions, the client and practitioner are much better prepared for session seven. The three deep fascial layers of the neck - investing, prevertebral, pretracheal - provide the anatomical framework for the series neck work. The Rolfer must also understand the connections into the cranium, shoulder girdle, and axial complex.  

The classroom space at the ERA offices was a lovely venue to teach seventeen Rolfers from all over Europe and the world. Each Rolfer worked with all the others providing a broad range of necks on which to practice the techniques. We ended with a full session exchange giving an embodied closure to our three days together. 

The Takeaway 

Presenting and teaching in Munich has been a highlight of 2024. I enjoyed every moment and felt well supported by the staff of ERA. I shared my workshop teaching material with my ERA faculty colleagues, and I trust they find it useful. If the opportunity presents itself again, I hope I can make my way back to Europe to teach and share in our passion of spreading Rolfing throughout the world. 


Author: Neal Anderson, Certified Rolfing® Instructor

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More Information on “Resilient Necks”: Watch Neal’s lecture here 

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