Rolfing Vs Chiropractic [Technique, Benefits, Cost]

Rolfing and Chiropractic treatments are techniques that can help treat pain. Rolfing is a form of massage that uses deep pressure along trigger points, whereas Chiropractic adjustment manipulates the vertebral column and joints to relieve pain.

We will elaborate on the differences between these techniques and their benefits, and I will give you professional advice on which treatment will be better for you. 

What Is the Difference Between Chiropractor and Rolfing?

1. Techniques

1. Technique used in Chiropractic and Rolfing


The Rolfing technique is a form of massage that focuses on releasing tension in your connected tissues. These tissues, also known as your Facia, help support your muscles, nerves, bones, and organs. Your therapist will use deep pressure to release the tension that is causing pain and can restrict your movement. 

It can also help to realign and balance your body as a whole. When your body is in pain, you tend to compensate for the sore muscles. Rolfing allows us as therapists to work on the muscles that have issues and avoid your other muscles for overcompensating. 


A chiropractor will use gentle force to manipulate and adjust your joints beyond your normal range of motion. This can be done using their hands or using an Activator tool. This helps release trapped gasses in your joints and realign the vertebrae in your spine if they are just slightly out of alignment.

There are six main chiropractic techniques: Spinal Manipulation, Drop Technique, Activator Method Chiropractic Technique, Gonstead Adjustment, Flexion-Distraction, and  Direct Thrust Technique. All these techniques can be used to help relieve the pain and readjust the bones. 

2. Convenience

2. Convenience

Rolfing massage can be done in a spa, or massage parlor, or a professional can come to your house, and you can have your sessions at home. Personally, I prefer performing Rolfing sessions at my practice as my clients do not get disturbed by things they need to do at home. 

Chiropractic treatments, on the other hand, can only be performed in the chiropractor’s office. They need to use a specific bed and equipment, and these tools are not portable. In acute conditions, a chiropractor can come to your house, but I have worked with a mobile chiropractor in the past, and he told me that the treatments are not as beneficial at home as they are when you come in for your sessions. 

3. Purpose and Benefits

3. Purpose and Benefits


Rolfing’s primary goal is to help relieve pain and discomfort in your body. This treatment has several benefits as the trained therapist will look at your body and not just focus on the pain at hand. 

Some of the benefits include:

  • Reduces chronic pain caused by illnesses such as Fibromyalgia.
  • Aids relieves lower back pain and pain in your neck and shoulder area.
  • Helps manage your stress and anxiety.
  • Uncovers deep psychological emotions that might present in your body as physical pain.
  • Addresses the structural and functional aspects of your pain, i.e., helping you better your posture and regain movement in your muscles and joints. 


Every patient who visits a chiropractor has a different reason for going, yet all adjustments help your musculoskeletal system. People with the following ailments can choose to go for chiropractic treatments: 

  • Arthritis
  • Migraines
  • Whiplash
  • Neck and lower back pain
  • Loss of mobility in your joints 
  • Sciatic nerve pain

A chiropractic adjustment can provide several benefits, including:

  • Reduces headaches from the neck and migraines.
  • Corrects posture. 
  • Enhances your spine’s and other joints’ range of motion while reducing pain.
  • Reduces the signs and symptoms of long-term diseases like Osteoarthritis.
  • Treats whiplash and other mild neck and spine injuries.

4. The Price

Price of Rolfing and Chiropractic

The price of Rolfing will vary depending on your area. You are looking at a range of $100-$300 per session. 

A chiropractic session can cost anywhere between $60 – $200. The cost will be higher if you do not have health insurance or a plan that can cover chiropractic treatments. 

5. Frequency

You shouldn’t attend more than two sessions weekly because the Rolfing approach is more invasive than other treatments. Having said that, it is advised that you go once a week at first until your muscles are accustomed to the manipulation.

It is advised that you go for a complete Rolfing journey, a series of 10 sessions. The ten sessions will go through the following stages:

  • Beginning the journey
  • The ground
  • The bridge
  • The core
  • Upward orientation
  • The back
  • Crowning
  • Sessions 8.9 and 10 are known as the closing

When it comes to chiropractic care, there is no limit to how many treatments you can have. The trick is to ensure you do not exceed your body’s limits. Some people can feel discomfort after their session for 48 hours. Your trained professional will be able to tell home often you should go for your session and when it is time to take a break. 

6. The Aftercare


After your session, you want to drink at least two glasses of water. This will ensure that the toxins in your system can be eliminated. These toxins can cause flu-light symptoms as well as tiredness after your session. 

Do not work out for 24 hours after your treatment, as this can cause you to injure your body. 


Your chiropractor may suggest aftercare for you to complete after your visit to ensure you get the most out of your treatment. These suggestions could include:

  • Icing the area you treated
  • Stretches for the muscles around the joints
  • Using a TENS machine at home to improve circulation 

Chiropractic Vs Rolfing [Comparison Summary]

TechniqueRolfing works on the connective tissue surrounding your muscles, organs, and joints. Chiropractic works more directly on the vertebrae of your spine and the joints. 
For Whom?Suitable for people who need massage therapy for trigger points and connective tissues to ease discomfort from stiff, strained muscles.Chiropractic is ideal for those who suffer from muscular-skeletal problems such as whiplash, Osteoarthritis, and a curve in their spine. 
BenefitsIncreases circulation Reduces pain and discomfort, Releases muscle restrictions, Increases endurance and mobility, and  Reduces stress and anxiety Reduces symptoms of chronic muscular issues, Reduced migraines, Improves the range of motion in your spine and joints Treats minor neck and spinal injuries such as whiplash 
ConvenienceCan be done at home or spaOnly be performed in the chiropractor’s office
Price$100-$300 per session$60- $200

Rolfing Or Chiropractic? Which is Better for You?

If you have problems with your circulation or have just undergone surgery, you need help to ‘kick start’ your system, Rolfing is the treatment for you.

It will not only help you manage the pain better, but it will also help you deal with the trauma or stress that your body has gone through. Rolfing will increase your blood flow which will improve your circulation. 

As a professional, I see people coming to me for Rolfing techniques because they have debilitating chronic pain that stops them from doing everyday activities such as washing the dishes and laundry. Rolfing has benefited my clients tremendously because it is a physical way to treat their pain and relieve their discomfort naturally. 

In my professional opinion, those who have suffered trauma to their bone structure, such as whiplash, and need an adjustment to their spine, should go for a Chiropractic session.

People who sit for long periods or suffer migraines might have a nerve trapped. A chiropractor can release the nerves that are causing the pain. 

Sometimes, during labor, a baby can suffer trauma to their skin. A trained chiropractor can adjust the baby so that permanent damage is not done. 

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