Rolfing® Structural Integration was developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf during a lifetime of research and inquiry into a fundamental question. "What conditions must be fulfilled in order for the human body-structure to be organized and integrated in gravity so that the whole person can function in the most optimal and economical way?" Her life's work was devoted to this investigation, which led to the system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that we now call Rolfing®.
Dr. Rolf received her PhD in biochemistry from Columbia University in 1920 and went on to do additional research in organic chemistry at the Rockefeller Institute.
Driven to find solutions to her own health problems as well as those of her two sons, she spent many years studying and experimenting with different systems of healing and manipulation.
Throughout most of her life she was intrigued with and explored many forms of alternative healing including homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic and yoga. The notion that proper alignment, physiologic function and anatomical structure are related is the basis of many of these healing methods.
Dr. Rolf agreed that the body functions best when the bony segments are in proper alignment. She added her observations that lasting improvement in alignment and an overall sense of well-being required a closer look at the effects of gravity on our bodies. She believed that the imbalances in structure placed demands on the body's pervasive network of soft tissues: muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments, thereby creating compensations throughout the body structure. She developed Rolfing SI to reduce gravity’s adverse effects on the body. Essentially, the Rolfing SI process enables the body to regain the natural integrity of its form, thus enhancing postural efficiency and freedom of movement.