Ida P. Rolf, Founder of Rolfing®
Ida Rolf earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Columbia University in 1916. Somewhere during her scientific research, she made a fundamental discovery about the body: the same network of connective tissue which contains and links the muscle system when it’s healthy can be used to reshape it when it’s been pulled out of efficient order. This interconnected system, called fascia, covers the muscles, organs, bones and nerves in the body creating a 3-dimensional web of support for the entire body.
Dr.Rolf’s discovery of the importance of the fascial system revolutionized the thinking about the body. She focused her teachings not on the muscles, but on a technique that addressed the fascia that enwraps the muscles and holds muscle-bone combinations in place. Dr. Rolf’s second major insight was the recognition that gravity is the fundamental influence on our bodies. Throughout our lives our body will self-organize to find balance within the pull of gravity. This can cause compensations and strains throughout our structure causing the body to actually change its shape to reflect how it’s being used. Because of Ida’s teachings Rolfer’s now understand how to help restore the fascial web back to a more efficient positioning through refined and appropriate pressure that aids in lengthening the fascia, allowing the body to reorganize itself. Ida taught her students that most humans are significantly out of alignment with gravity, and that when we are lined up more efficiently in the gravitational field we function better. Since the human body is so malleable, its alignment can be brought into harmony with gravity at practically any time in life.
Dr. Rolf originally called this bodywork and movement education “Structural Integration,” but today we refer to it as “Rolfing.” It is the product of fifty years of study and practice by Dr. Rolf and the many practitioners around the world who continue to carry her work. I am honored to do this work and share this gift with anyone who seeks change.
”Our personal evolutionary potential lies within us.”
-Ida P. Rolf