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Exploring the Rolfing® Ten Series: What to Expect in Each Session

Updated: Jan 15

Rolfing, a form of bodywork pioneered by Dr. Ida P. Rolf in the mid-20th century, has gained a strong reputation for its holistic approach to improving posture, alignment, and overall well-being. One of the core components of Rolfing is the "Ten Series," a structured series of 10 sessions designed to systematically address and realign the body. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the Rolfing Ten Series and what you can expect from each session.

What is Rolfing?

Before delving into the specifics of the Ten Series, let's briefly understand what Rolfing is. Rolfing is a manual therapy that aims to reorganize and balance the body's fascial system. Fascia is a connective tissue that surrounds muscles, bones, and organs. Over time, due to injury, stress, or poor posture, fascia can become tight and restricted, leading to discomfort and limited mobility.

Certified Rolfers use their hands to apply pressure, release tension, and manipulate fascial tissue to encourage better alignment and balance within the body. This leaves clients with a greater sense of awareness and comfort in their bodies, as well as reduced pain, and enhanced ease of movement. Rolfing also supports psychological and emotional wellness. The Rolfing Ten Series is a comprehensive and progressive approach to achieving these goals.

The Rolfing Ten Series: An Overview

The Ten Series is a sequence of ten Rolfing sessions also known as the Recipe. Each session focuses on freeing restrictions or holdings trapped in a particular region of the body. These sessions are typically spaced out 1-2 weeks apart (sometimes more depending on the client) allowing the body time to adjust and integrate the changes made during each session. Let's explore what you can expect from each session in the Ten Series.

The Ten-Series can be divided into three distinct units:

Sessions 1-3: Called the "sleeve" sessions, sessions 1-3 strive to loosen and balance surface layers of connective tissue.

Session 1: "Opening the Breath"

The first session is often centered on improving the function of the breath. A practitioner may spend time releasing restrictions in the ribcage, diaphragm and arms. Opening can also start along the hips, upper leg,, hamstrings, neck and spine.

Session 2: "Getting Grounded"

In this session, the focus is on the feet and lower legs. The goal is to establish a stable foundation by addressing issues like high or low arches, ankle restrictions, and imbalances in the legs which will provide greater support for the upper body.

Session 3: "Side Body"

The third session typically involves a side view for an understanding of how the head, shoulder girdle, and hips are positionally related to one another) or stacked on top of one another) when standing under the influence of gravity. Then, the body is addressed within the context of this new vision as you move into the next set of sessions. This session tends to be quite impactful as it addresses multiple joints from head to toe as well as addressing the deeper components of the back.

Sessions 4-7: Referred to as "core" sessions and examine terrain found between the bottom of the pelvis and top of the head. The idea of core also includes the deep tissue of the legs for its role in support.

Session 4: "The Mid Line"

Session four begins this journey, its territory extends from the inside arch of the foot and up the leg, to the bottom of the pelvis. This session is especially important for those who have received pelvic floor therapy however still feel their challenges haven't been fully resolved. This is also an important session for those who are having continued challenges with the arches and support of the feet.

Session 5: "The Front Line"

The fifth session is concerned with balancing surface and deep abdominal muscles to the curve of the back. An opportunity to address the deep hip flexors, ribcage and anterior neck compartment.

Session 6: "The Back Line"

Session six seeks to enlist more support from the legs, pelvis and lower back up the entire back.

Session 7: "Head, Neck, and Jaw"

This session focuses on the head, neck, and jaw, aiming to relieve remaining tension. This area often carries discomfort associated with issues like headaches, migraines and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Sessions 8-10: "Integration" is emphasized throughout the remaining three sessions, as sessions 8-10 provide an opportunity for the practitioner to blend previously established advancements, and ones yet to be made, into the body in a way that encourages smooth movement and natural coordination.

Session 8: "Lower Integration"

In this session, the focus returns to the legs and how they contribute to overall movement and posture. The practitioner works on balancing legs and addressing gait issues. If a client has enough support in the lower body, the upper body may be the focus of this session.

Session 9: "Upper Integration"

This session revisits the upper body, building on the progress made thus far. It further refines function and works to create more efficiency in the use of the upper body.

Session 10: "Whole Body Integration and Closure"

The final session is a culmination of the Ten Series. It aims to synthesize all the changes and improvements made throughout the previous sessions, leaving the client with a more balanced and aligned body. More importantly, serves to inspire a sense integration, order and balance.

Benefits of the Rolfing Ten Series

The Rolfing Ten Series offers a range of potential benefits, including:

  1. Improved Posture: By addressing structural imbalances, Rolfing can lead to better posture, reducing the risk of chronic pain and injury.

  2. Enhanced Mobility: Clients often report sustainably increased flexibility and ease of movement after completing the Ten Series.

  3. Pain Relief: Many individuals seek Rolfing to alleviate chronic pain and musculoskeletal conditions, and the Ten Series can provide lasting relief.

  4. Stress Reduction: Rolfing sessions promote relaxation and stress reduction by releasing deep layers of tension stored in the body.

  5. Increased Body Awareness: Clients often gain a heightened awareness of their bodies, allowing them to make conscious choices about posture and movement.


The Rolfing Ten Series is a structured and comprehensive approach to bodywork that can lead to lasting improvements in posture, alignment, and overall well-being. Each session in the series has a specific focus, allowing practitioners to systematically address and realign the body. The series is addressed uniquely to the individual and their goals and challenges. Whether you're seeking relief from chronic pain, improved mobility, or a greater sense of balance, the Rolfing Ten Series offers a holistic path to achieving your goals. Remember that individual experiences may vary, and it's essential to consult with a Certified Rolfer to determine if the Ten Series is right for you or if you would be better suited for a single session or Three Series.



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