Ida Rolf PhD was the brilliant innovator who developed the work that carries her name. Dr. Rolf had great insights and developed a field of work that she called Structural Integration. Born in Brooklyn in 1896, she earned her PhD in Biological Chemistry in 1920 and then spent a dozen years working as a research scientist. She then dedicated the rest of her life to the relentless pursuit of her vision: she saw the potential of vertical human functioning fully within the gravitational field.
That fuller function was achieved through systematic change to the body’s structure made possible because of the inherent plasticity, the "sculptability", of our tissues.
Ida developed her system through studying various methods to improve the human structure that already existed: osteopathy, yoga, and various movement therapies. Two keys underlie her system: Dr. Rolf’s main goal, to bring the body into harmony with the field of gravity and to avoid fighting a losing battle with that field. She saw this was possible due to the nature of our bodies that allows change to our form through the application of her method.
Dr. Rolf spent several decades developing her system, teaching others to do this work and teaching a core of Rolfers to teach her system at the Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Finally, towards the end of her life, Ida applied her method to working with children, as she is doing in this photo by Rolfer Ron Thompson,