The History of Structural Integration

ida_rolfDr. Ida P. Rolf was the founder of Structural Integration. In 1920, she earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. For twelve years she worked at the Rockefeller Institute in the Chemotherapy and Organic Chemistry departments. In the 1930’s, challenged by a friend’s disabilities and dissatisfied with the available medical treatment, Dr. Rolf explored Osteopathy, chiropractic medicine, Tantric Yoga, the Alexander technique, Homeopathic medicine and Korzybski’s work on the consciousness. By the 1940’s she had developed and experienced many breakthroughs with the work she did on chronically disabled persons who were unable to find help elsewhere. During her scientific research, she made a fundamental discovery about the body: the same network of connective tissue that contains and links the muscle system when it’s healthy can be used to reshape it when it’s been pulled out of proper order. Dr. Rolf further refined her technique and developed a training program to insure that this important work would continue. There are two schools that conduct Dr. Rolf’s training – The Guild for Structural Integration and the Rolf Institute. Both are involved in research to enhance the understanding of gravity’s relationship to the human structure. Graduates are required to have an extensive knowledge in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, body awareness and a mature sensitivity to psychological mediation. Structural Integration is also known as Rolfing. Dr. Rolf called her system of Before After bodywork Structural Integration, a name that is descriptive of the process. Rolfing was a nickname, first coined in the 1960’s at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA.

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