Dr. Ida P. Rolf


From the Guild for Structural Integration Catalog

Ida P. Rolf, a native New Yorker, graduated from Barnard College in 1916. She earned her Ph.D in Biological Chemistry in 1920 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. She worked as a research scientist for the Rockefeller Institute in New York for the next 12 years. In 1927 she studied mathematics and physics at the Swiss Technical University in Zurich. During this time she also studied homeopathic medicine in Geneva.

She spent the next ten years seeking answers to personal and family health problems which led her to explore osteopathy, chiropractic medicine, yoga, the Alexander technique and Korzybski’s work on states of consciousness.

By the 1940’s she was working in a Manhattan apartment with people seeking help for their problems. She called her work Structural Integration and devoted the next 30 years to developing her technique and training program

In the 1950’s she worked in England and was a guest of John Bennett, a student of Gurdjieff.In the mid-60’s Dr. Rolf was invited to Esalen Institute in California at the suggestion  of Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt Therapy. There she began training practitioners of Structural Integration. The Guild for Structural Integration was formed in 1967 and later the Rolf Institute for Structural Integration was formed in 1971. Both teach Dr. Rolf’s work.

idawithbaby2Until her death in 1979, Dr. Rolf continued to teach her work, direct her organization, plan research projects, write and publish and do public speaking. In 1977 she published Rolfing: The Integration of Human Structures (Harper and Row, Publishers) In this book is Dr. Rolf’s definitive written statement of her work.

Another book compiled by Dr. Rolf’s close associate and companion, Rosemary Feitis is Ida Rolf Talks About Rolfing and Physical Reality. It is truly a jewel; giving us insights into Dr. Rolf’s experience and thought.