I am NOT a Rolfer® 

[And ... I Can Prove It!]

Regarding the above pictured license, more later. So sue me! But, you'll have to sue the city of Scottsdale as co-conspirator.

In the field of Structural Integration there's a lot of undercurrent contention over just what the heck it is in terms of how we present to the general public and other professionals. Another hot issue is over the terms Rolfer® and Rolfing®. Because of legal agreements only some folks get to use those titles, even though people — the few who have heard about this peerless and definitive approach to health and performance —  pretty much equate Structural Integration with those terms.

Used to be when I first began practicing as a Rolfer® there was only one school. The one founded by the late Dr. Ida P. Rolf. The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration. Since then by now there are some 20 recognized schools.

The service marks Rolfer® and Rolfing® are assiduously legally guarded by the Rolf Institute from use by anyone not certified by that school. Since I no longer maintain membership in that organization I don't/can't use those terms myself. It seems to be when things get legal, other considerations fall by the wayside. I've been critical over the Rolf Institute's handling of their brands. From my vantage point I would characterize the brand management of those service marks to be feckless and non-existent in areas other than the aforementioned legal guardianship.

To give an example of how this affected me once as a professional: In applying for licensure the overseeing government agency required a copy of my diploma. Since that document is by agreement the property of the Rolf Institute, I had previously returned it. Even dutiful enough to not keep a copy. When I received a copy to include in my license application, written prominently across the only document which proves I had been properly trained in my chosen life career was this: "David D. Wronski is not a Rolfer and is not allowed to practice Rolfing."

The really interesting part of this is that at the time the City of Scottsdale, Arizona where I was applying had an official license title, "Rolfer". What this meant was in Scottsdale anyone other than a graduate of the Rolf Institute who maintained membership/certification could only get a license for therapeutic massage. I brought this to the city's attention, but the whole thing disappeared soon enough when the State of Arizona took over licensing of all professionals in the field of manual touch.

On an online forum recently I gave this service mark issue a little jab. Following the cartoon is verbatim what ensued.

The administrators of the online group sent me this:

“Hi David. Hope you're well. I'm reaching out as an admin this time. The admin found your comic of the trademark bothersome. Though it didn't break any rules we do think it was a bit political which could encourage inter-school bickering, which it did. XXX's post was disrespectful to another school, calling the Institute "insecure." XXX is also a new graduate so needs to learn this is not how we treat fellow practitioners. Would you in the future please help our cause by correcting XXX or any young (or old) graduate to stay within the boundaries of respecting others so not to break down this community and specifically online community? Thank you for all you do.” 

I replied with this post to correct the mistake:

I goofed. As XXX pointed out, I stepped not too lightly on sensitivities. In my defense, I did train in 1982. That is, when it was painful. And … that’s the way we liked it!

Seriously, please accept my apology for the post satirizing what I see as quandaries and inanities around the matter of service mark management. In particular, for letting it rip, full well knowing it would touch murky territory. And, apologies for the consequence of giving others a forum to trot out their own issues and opinions, which apparently exacerbated the sensitivities around the topic. In short, this is not the place for that. For me, or anyone else. From now on I’ll look for more effective ways to foster change and fellowship.

As for any of my criticisms, the rascals know who they are and if they want my two cents, they can only ask. As you can tell I am in no way short of opinions, and willingness to express them. I have a blog that lets me rant to my heart’s content. Only, it seems, people are watching there too. Last resort, my buckwheat hull pillow will patiently listen to my cries of anguish.

But I digress.

Without debating the facts, or defending my point of view, it is wrong of me to spread and spew what boils down to “gossip” and “venting” over things outside my control, and with anyone other than the subject party(s) of the first part..

I see that no one I was directing my message toward is in fact asking for or wanting my opinion. I accepted that a long time ago when I resigned membership, and consequently certification. I was invited in this string, being a prodigal, to approach RISI to request being taken back into the fold. I truly am not worthy. And somewhat afraid. I would have to not only run the gauntlet to prove my worthiness to rejoin, I would have to cough up some bucks for that privilege. And here I am thinking there’s an apology due to me for some more than pretty rough handling way back when. But … oh, yes … the past is over. Forgive me for looking back just to lick old wounds. I’m for resolution, after all. Oh, I see. I just did it again. What a goof!

As a professional consultant to large and important marketing corporations in the past, I should also be true to that school and offer advice directly, not under cloak of (attempted) humor and sarcasm. Also I should not give it away for free. From now on — and you know who you are — your gonna have to pay. And, big. You know what they say about the value of free advice? Nuttin’. I don’t have standing enough in this community to say something about what I see as a problem and have it be heard or accepted as the truth. Least of all, acted upon. Please, and may I never. I’m enough of a fool who values his own opinion. Don’t let me foist it on anyone, anywhere. Ever.

As you may discern, I am a sarcastic twit. As someone once told me, a wit: but, only half right. Since my name is David, it seems to be in me to throw a stone or two. And, believe me, I have way much more a bigger fish to fry. You should know my middle name is Daniel. So I have a penchant for putting myself in the middle of difficult situations. But, I don’t need to go around creating new ones. There’s plenty already right now to go around.

In any event, I do hope you like me also. That’s one subtext for my cartoonery. Humbled being brought up on charges that my neurotic ego projections are still attracting my attention and throwing me into action. Ouch. And, thank you. There goes that mind again. Rather, there I go entertaining that mind again.

I also apologize for the consequences of that particular posting. I don’t think any of us should under any circumstances indulge in gossip about others. Best to take it up, as I said before, with the party(s) directly. And, I stress, only with permission from them to relate in such a way.

Also, I promise (and also recommend this to others) to not delve into inferring motive(s.) Even in the best of company this is a temptation, and only keeps you in samsara. That’s hell, to any of you God fearing Christians. Motivation is an inscrutable domain. Heck, I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. It’s tempting to characterize other’s 


The terms Rolfer® and Rolfing® are service marks of the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration.