Ida P Rolf History

Photo courtesy of David Kirk-Campbell

“The Rolfing process enables the body to regain the natural integrity of its form, thus enhancing postural efficiency and freedom of movement.“

History of Ida Rolf & Rolfing® Structural Integration 

Dr. Rolf referred to her work as “Structural Integration,” and her students gave it the name of “Rolfing”. The basis of the work is aligning one’s physical structure in gravity. This allows a person to be more easily supported, find more fluid movement, and gain more comfort and ease in daily activities and athletic endeavors.

“Rolfing” is named after its founder, Dr. Ida P. Rolf. She received her PhD in Biochemistry from Columbia University in 1920 and was the first woman to hold a research post at the Rockefeller Foundation (1917–1927). She worked for over a decade at the Rockefeller Institute in the Chemotherapy and Organic Chemistry departments. During the 1930′s, Dr. Rolf studied Osteopathy, Chiropractic Medicine, Tantric Yoga and the Alexander Technique. By the 1940′s, Dr. Rolf developed her work and spent the next 30 years perfecting and teaching it.

Dr. Rolf recognized that the body is inherently a system of seamless networks of tissues rather than a collection of separate parts. These connective tissues surround, support and penetrate all of the muscles, bones, nerves and organs. Rolfing Structural Integration works on this web-like complex of connective tissues to release, realign and balance the whole body, thus potentially resolving discomfort, reducing compensations, restoring flexibility and alleviating pain.

“If you can imagine how it feels to live in a fluid, light, balanced body, free of pain, stiffness and chronic stress, at ease with yourself and Earth’s gravitational field, then you will understand the goals of Rolfing Structural Integration.”
Dr. Ida P. Rolf

Photo courtesy of David Kirk-Campbell
Photo courtesy of David Kirk-Campbell