Dr Ida P. Rolf, a biochemist from New York, developed Rolfing Structural Integration between 1930 and 1950. To help understand and deal with health problems of her own, spinal arthritis, and health problems within her family, she researched Osteopathy, Yoga, Chiropractics, and the teachings of Mensendieck, T.M Alexander, among many others, and began to look closely at the function of the Fascia, (link to FASCIA). Her search led her to develop a new way of rebalancing the tissues in the body to help the person find a more comfortable and healthy supporting alignment.
Rolf theorized that in case of an injury, the fascia tightens around the injured site, like a bandage, to support and protect the area. Years after the injury has healed, the fascia is often still there protecting the area, and the body has in some way learned to compensate for that tightness, often causing chronic pain.
A Rolfer is a little bit like an engineer...
...checking the structural problems that might not yet be causing pain. Author and Rolfer, Owen Marcus, compares Rolfing with the problem of cracks in the walls of a house. Marcus says: "Until the foundation is repaired, no matter how often the cracks are repaired, they will return. Your body is the same. Until the shortness and rotation in your leg is released, your neck may always be going out."