Sounds like normal "see-saw" development, with liberal additions of bullsh!t in the article. This was how people would develop rollfilm, back in the old days, before daylight-tanks were common and when most emulsions were not yet panchromatic. When complete darkness was needed for the new panchromatic emulsions, daylight-tanks gradually became more popular among hobbyist users. I still recall the method being detailed on the film-information sheets in the box with Verichrome.

The "amateur" user, with one roll to develop, would have trays (often the same trays that were used to produce the contact-prints from the film) of dev stop and fix laid out, then the roll would be held with one end in each hand and by lifting and lowering the hands alternately it would be moved through the bath, from one end of the roll to the other, in a see-saw motion. If the film was sufficiently insensitive then it could easily be developed by inspection using this technique, otherwise development would be done on time.

The "professional", on the other hand, would typically be using a deep tank system with a cage containing the reels and sheet hangers. The cage was lifted out of the tanks and tilted to drain momentarily for agitation. This is how I developed customer films while working in a lab. The cage we used would take twelve 4x5" or six 10x8" sheets, or umpteen reels, and development was always very even using replenished D76.