IDA P. Rolf. Ph.D.
Creator and Founder of Structural Integration
Ida Rolf earned her Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York in 1920. She then worked at the Rockefeller Institute for the next twelve years in the Chemotherapy and Organic Chemistry Departments. In 1927, she took a sabbatical to study physics and mathematics at the Swiss Technical Institute in Zurich.
All this metaphysics is fine, but be mighty
sure you got physics under the metaphysics.
Dr. Rolf also had an interest to look at body centered and healing modalities beyond the conventional medical models of that period. This led her to explore and study osteopathy, chiropractic medicine, yoga, and The Alexander Technique.
In addition, Dr. Rolf studied Korzybski's work on states of consciousness and communication. This helped lay the foundation for many of the metaphysical and philosophical insights delivered with a brilliant clarity to be seen in her later work.
The 1940s saw Dr. Rolf striving to synthesize the domains of science and medicine with an alternative intuitive approach to working with the body. This lead her to making breakthroughs with people who were unable to find relief from their pain and disabilities with other medical and health disciplines. This inspired Dr. Rolf to continue to refine her work of blending scientific knowledge and systematic processes with an intuitive experiential approach in what was to become known as Structural Integration. In the 1960s and 70s, the name Structural Integration was also popularized as "Rolfing" as the new holistic structural approach to the body became more commonly known.
As in all matter organized into biological units, there is a pattern, an order, in human bodies. Humans can change towards orderliness, or they can change away from it. Human bodies do change Ð your body can, any body can. We do not mean deteriorate or age in the commonly accepted sense. We mean that bodies Ð average physical bodies of flesh and blood Ð are amazingly plastic media, which can change quickly toward a structure that is more orderly and thus more economical in terms of energy.
In 1967, Dr. Rolf helped form the first Guild for Structural Integration. Ten years later, she completed her book "Rolfing, the Integration of Human Structures." This book gave an overview of her life's work of mixing science with the art of healing the human body through balancing and integrating the body's structure with the force of gravity.
Dr. Rolf passed away in 1979. Today there are schools in several countries which continue her remarkable legacy by teaching Structural Integration as a profession practiced throughout the world.