If Ida Rolf were still alive at 117 years on May 19, I feel certain she would be on Facebook receiving salutations. As it is, Rolfers especially speak of her during this time, running children’s clinics and throwing major and minor remembrances of her.
When Ida Rolf began to pass on her ideas in earnest, not just as private lessons, taking advantage of an invitation to the Esalen Institute c.1964 for her first formal class, she was charting a course to solve a very large problem which was human growth and development. Others who were considered on the cutting edge of the very large problem were there involved in the human potential movement, and acknowledged that the problem was important and that she was important.
The very large problem still exists, and has gotten more and more huge. The place of Rolfing structural integration however remains the same: an alternative-complementary bridge between the scientific community and the human growth and development community. When we do our job well, we can pay attention to what people need towards either end.
1. Ida Rolf’s concept of organization of the human structure has not been seriously challenged by any other. It hasn’t been seriously supported either, except by success of many long term adherents, anecdotally, though we keep working away at it, and polishing the functional movement aspects as well.
2.We are constantly honing our abilities to make the parts work better, fix those thumbs and bad backs and necks, anecdotally, and have them move better suited to themselves and to the whole of the person.
3. We are very interested in the complementary aspects of structural integration with medical practice, and always interested in working with doctors who can be supported by their patients receiving structural integration.
4. We want to spring folks loose from their ways which are not working for them, by providing a physical springboard that frees them in their world view (very anecdotal!).
We’d like to get more science in the area of structural and movement integration. There are some serious problems in measurements which are just not available at present time to work with us on the whole body integration that is our hallmark, but we are very interested in ideas about this.
In closing, a great present for Ida on her 117th birthday would be to give some money to the Foundation. http://www.rolfresearchfoundation.org/
And finally,here’s a talk Ida’s son Alan Demmerle gave about her a while back: http://www.somatics.de/DemmerleA.pdf