History of Rolfing
Rolfing® is the product of 50 years of study and practice by Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D. Ida viewed her work as both body education and physical manipulation. The result of this combined technique she originally named, “structural integration.” Her work is based on the concept that most of us are significantly out of alignment with gravity, and upon aligning with gravity our bodies can heal and move towards it’s best nature.
As Ida furthered studied her practice, she established a series of sessions (today known as the Rolfing® Series), which she felt unlocks the body’s greater potential, relieving it of distortions created by past injuries, emotional tensions, and/or general long-term overuse. This series became popular, being that it was more than “fix-it” work. Simply, it was a systematic approach to realigning the body that produced dramatic and long-lasting changes. Clients flocked to this new method, which towed a longer, leaner, and more resilient body, which then could radiate youth and vitality. Today, some still look for this in Rolfing but most contemporary clients know that these results are elusive if ones diet, and life habits do not continually support the work. With this modern understand that nothing is a silver bullet, outside of life long good habits, Rolfing is often sought for short term needs such as reducing chronic tension, stiffness, and or pain.
The number of therapist, that Ida educated before her death in 1979, is not known by me but I was fortunate to study with several Rolf practitioner that were educated personally by her. The Rolf practitioner that has influenced me the most is Jim Price. He has cemented in my mind that fundamentally, Rolfing® consists of some simple ideas about human structure:
(1) most human beings are significantly out of alignment with gravity;
(2) we function better when we are lined up with the gravitational field of the earth; and
(3) the human body is so malleable that its alignment can be brought into harmony with gravity at practically any stage of life.