Driven to find solutions to her own health problems, Dr. Rolf spent many years studying and experimenting with different systems of healing and manipulation. Dr. Rolf posed this fundamental question: “What conditions must be fulfilled in order for the human body‐structure to be organized and integrated in gravity so that the whole person can function in the most optimal and economical way?” Her life’s work was devoted to an investigation into the conditions that must be met for the person, as a whole, to function optimally.
This investigation led to a system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education designed to organize the whole body in gravity. She discovered that she could achieve remarkable changes in posture and structure by manipulating the body’s myofascial system. Dr. Rolf eventually named this system Structural Integration and later it was nicknamed “Rolfing” by clients and practitioners. In order to pass along her work to others, and to make the education process accessible, she developed an expedient series of ten sessions, which came to be known as the Ten‐Series.
Quotes from Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D.
“This is the gospel of Rolfing: When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself.”
“Form and function are a unity, two sides of one coin. In order to enhance function, appropriate form must exist or be created.”
“The body process is circular – If one thing goes awry, its’ effects go on and on and on…..A body is a web connecting everything with everything else.”
“A balanced body lengthens. There is no shortening. If the “Psoas” muscle is where it belongs, the body lengthens in all movement.”
“Rolfers make a life study of relating bodies and their fields to the earth and its gravity field, and we so organize the body that the gravity field can reinforce the body’s energy field. This is our primary concept.”
“Organization in a body is not static, it is the way muscles are used in a movement. To make a significant difference, the whole man’s system has to be taught a new, more balanced organization.”
“Fascia is the organ of posture. Nobody ever says this; all the talk is about muscles. Yet this is a very important concept, and because this is so important, we as Rolfers™ must understand both the anatomy and physiology, but especially the anatomy of fascia. The body is a web of fascia. A spiderweb is in a plane. This web is in a sphere. We can trace the lines of that web to get an understanding of how what we see in a body works. For example, why, when we work with the superficial fascia does this change the tone of the fascia as a whole?”
“We are not truly upright, we are only on our way to being upright. This is a metaphysical consideration. One of the jobs of a Rolfer is to speed that process along. We want to get a man out of the place where gravity is his enemy. We want to get him into the place where gravity reinforces him and is a friend, a nourishing force.”
“When the pelvis is not balanced, we do not have the upward thrust that creates zero balance, the sense of weightlessness that can be experienced in the body. When the pelvis is aberrated, it does not allow this equipoise, this tranquility in experience that a balanced pelvis shows. The combined forces acting on a balanced pelvis are in a moment of inertia near zero. It is always in dynamic action, but the forces balance out to near zero.”