About Dr. Ida. P. Rolf (1896 - 1979)
Rolfing was the “creation” of Dr Ida P. Rolf, and has evolved over a 50-year period. Starting with an early family illness Dr. Rolf began to study the work of the early Osteopaths, and the pioneers who brought yoga from the east. She was a researcher at heart having graduated with a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1916, which lead to a career in organic chemistry at the Rockefeller Institute. It was this strong foundation, willingness to learn, and down right curiosity that led to some fundamental additions to the understanding of human movement potential.
Up until the 1950’s the body of work was yet to be taught to others. After realizing what she had to offer, Dr. Rolf began teaching what was then known as Structural Integration; with her earliest students being Osteopaths, Chiropractors and pre med. Students. Looking for a group of people who would follow her method of understanding the body, Dr. Rolf created the Rolf Institute in 1971 and began a program teaching that became known as Rolfing (Structural Integration). She looked for students who were willing to work within a window of understanding that would allow Rolfing to evolve as a discipline of its own, not an adjunct or a subject within another school of thought.
This proved to be a fruitful choice as the Rolf Institute has produced over 1200 Rolfers and Rolf Movement Practitioners globally; and has satellite schools in Germany and Brazil.
History of the Rolfing Little Boy Logo
The logo which represents Rolfing is based on actual before and after photos of a 4 year old boy, Tim, who was rolfed by Dr.Rolf in 1959. Diagnosed as having Legg-Perthes disease, the child, was told that he would be wheel chair bound by the age of 20.
His mother made a difficult and courageous decision to have Dr.Rolf work on her son, instead of following the doctors’ advice to put him in a cast for five years. This proved to be the correct choice as Tim went on to be a champion surfer in high school and college.