From early childhood, Ida P. Rolf had a marked swayback, and a pre-diabetic diagnosis.  She went looking for answers to both these problems.  In 1920, she graduated at Barnard College in New York.  She was a gifted student and she earned her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University at the age of 25.  Dr. Rolf worked for twelve years at the renowned Rockefeller Institute, first in the Department of Chemotherapy and later in the Department of Organic Chemistry.She rose to the position of Associate Professor, a rare accomplishment for a young woman in those days.

In 1927, Dr. Rolf left the US and travelled to Europe.  She studied mathematics and atomic physics at the Swiss Technical University in Zurich and homeopathic medicine in Geneva.

Dr. Rolf returned to the US in 1930.   She kept on searching for solutions to family health problems but finding available methods inadequate at that time.  Dr. Rolf spent the next decade exploring osteopathy, chiropractic medicine, yoga, the Alexander Technique and Korzybski’s study of consciousness.  Bringing together these diverse learning experiences, she investigated the effect of structure of function. She came upon the idea of Structural Integration.

Over the next twenty years Dr Rolf actualized the Structural Integration in a series of ten sessions, which became and were recognized worldwide to take her name ‘Rolfing’.   Her desire was to pass on the fruit of her life’s work to as many people as possible.  For more than four decades, she taught classes in Rolfing worldwide, and in 1972 she established The Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colorado.  She wrote the book 'Rolfing: The Integration of Human Structures', gave direction to the organization, planned research projects, published and gave public speeches. 

By the time of her death in 1979 Rolfing centres were emerging in Europe, South America, and Australia.

Further Reading on Ida P. Rolf
These links provide additional information about Dr. Rolf.

Ida P. RolfIda P. Rolf, a native New Yorker, graduated from Barnard Collegein 1916.

Annette Pearsall
Rolfing has been the best manipulation therapy for me. I no longer have a frozen shoulder and my muscles and joints are feeling much better.
Lee Wei Seong
Catherine Fong has helped me to regain the use of my right knee after a few sessions of Rolfing.
Jan Signell
I have tested many types of sport massages, gym sessions and Pilates in order to improve my posture and to reduce back pain.
David Yong
After seeing many doctors and numerous pairs of "new technology" shoes the pain at my left heel not only persisted but got worse.
Celine Ooi
I never thought of doing Rolfing because I do not have any injuries or body pains. I was pre-occupied, "hooked" actually with my private Pilates sessions with Cat.