Ida Pauline Rolf (1896-1979) is the founder of the Rolfing® Structural Integration method that she developed and first taught in California, U.S.A. She is one of the first women to have obtained a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Columbia, New York, in 1920.
During her research into chronic diseases, she became interested in different body work such as yoga, osteopathy, and studied the effects of physical structure over physiological and motor functions. She developed the concept of Structural Integration based on the observation that posture and movement are dependant on the law of gravity, and can be supported by gravity rather than being weighed down by it. By modifying the network of connective tissue (or fascias) with a precise touch, posture can be reorganised and conditions of health improved.
Invited by Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy, Ida Rolf started to teach at the Esalen Institute in California in the sixties, and created her own institute in Boulder Colorado in the seventies. She taught until her death in 1979. Later on, the method of Structural Integration took the name of Rolfing® Structural Integration.