Rolfing is a technique of muscle and tissue manipulation intended to optimize the health of the body's connective tissues, known as fascia. The goal of Rolfing is optimal alignment of the body and the benefits of corrected posture. The standard Rolfing program is known as the Ten Series and is carried out over 10 sessions.
The first three "sleeve sessions" target the surface layers in the chest, ribcage and diaphragm (breathing); the lower leg and foot (balance); and the total alignment of the body from the head to the hips.
Sessions four through seven address basic body alignment and balance, from the feet to the head. The sessions work through deep tissues in the legs; abdominal and lower back tissues; the pelvis and lower back; and finally neck and head tissues.
The final three sessions of the Ten Series are tailored to the individual. The goal is optimal coordination, alignment and balance of the whole body, as achieved by attention to individual muscle groups and tissues.
Rolfing sessions typically last one hour, sometimes 90 minutes, and the frequency can be tailored to the needs of the individual. Certified Rolfers charge between $80 and $140 for a single session, with the average cost about $100 per session. After a complete series of Rolfing sessions, some patients return, after a waiting period of six months to a year, for a short series of three to five tune-up sessions that help to maintain the benefits of the original series.
Insurance companies sometimes cover Rolfing sessions as myofascial therapy after a specific trauma or accident. Coverage often includes the standard Rolfing series of 10 sessions, without any follow-up. Insurance often doesn't cover Rolfing simply as a wellness treatment or when it's classified as chiropractic or massage therapy.