Dr. Ida P. Rolf: What is Rolfing? 

Dr. Ida Rolf was undoubtedly one of the most significant women of the twentieth century. A great mind and pioneering thinker, a creative scientist years ahead of her time, she spent much of her life exploring the human capacity for healing. 

Her education, professional career and life circumstances led her to explore various modalities that gradually evolved into what become known as “Structural Integration”, and then took on the name “Rolfing.” 

Her work was founded upon the physics of aligning the human body within the field of gravity. Essentially, Rolfing® seeks to address the development and liberation of an individual’s innate human potential, with the palliation of symptoms an ancillary benefit. Dr. Rolf conceived of Structural Integration as a gateway into making progressive changes within the human organism, encompassing [the whole person] the physical, intellectual and emotional aspects. 

Dr. Rolf was initially educated and trained within the empiricism of scientific academia and remained firmly rooted in those traditions. She integrated her scientific perspective with mind-body awareness without relying on an Eastern mystical philosophy to justify her conclusions. It is clear from her writings and teachings that her studies of biological chemistry and physics provided critical insight, inspiring such statements as, “You cannot change the energy field, but you can change the man — the body will go as far as it will physically go, within the laws of physics.” And, “What would happen to behavior if you changed chemistry? The first way to change chemistry is to change physics.”

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