Dr Ida P. Rolf (1896–1979), one of the first women to earn a PhD in biochemistry in the US, developed the method of “Structural Integration” beginning in the 1940s. Motivated by professional interest and chronic illness in her family, she began her own work with the human body. Influenced by many alternative treatment methods such as homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique and yoga, she developed her own approach to bodywork, called “Structural Integration” and also known under the brand name “Rolfing®”.
She realised that structural imbalances in the body could lead to painful compensation in muscles, connective tissues, ligaments and tendons. Reorganising the fascial web in relation to gravity allowed for greater wellbeing and freedom from pain.
In the mid-1960s, Dr Ida Rolf began teaching her method. In 1971, she founded the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration (RISI) as a training centre and professional association in Boulder (CO), USA. Today, she is still viewed as a pioneer in the field of fascia work and movement education. To this day, the idea of aligning our bodies in the field of gravity by taking into account the fascia inspires more than 2000 therapists throughout the world.