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The story of the Rolfing® logo

The trademarked “little boy logo” drawing (from is from the 1970’s, and was drawn from a Polaroid photograph.  The photo of the little boy was taken immediately before and after Ida Rolf worked with a 3 year old boy who was a “model” in one of her classes.

The little boy was the nephew of a practitioner in the class, Dorothy Nolte. The boy had only one session.  At the time it was known by a diagnosis from the boy’s doctor that the boy had a defective hip problem called “Legge-Perthes Syndrome” .

Ida Rolf had John Lodge make a quick sketch of the boy’s “before” structure, which had evolved during his defective hip compensations, and mark in the rotations and misplacements and then using the same drawing technique, the “after” picture.

While the work obviously is dramatic, —–and long-lasting according to the aunt who gave a report some 40 years later that the boy never had any further work and despite the ball-of-the-hip deformity, only had a slight limp as an adult——-in spite of that, the most amazing thing to me is that Ida Rolf could look past the obvious medical problem and envision a better structure overall, and how better overall structure could impact the “problem”. (Not that she didn’t work on the organization of the hip!)

It takes a lot sometimes to be able to see past the problem to the solution, and I’m saying that that was the originality of Ida Rolf’s genius. It’s not that she didn’t see and know the problems; she could envision a possibility of a better future in the way of organization and function of the human body.

Later, when I first trained at the Rolf Institute in 1983, I heard John Lodge say that he would like to have tidied up the drawing a bit, made the quickly sketched heads the same size and so forth, but the exigencies of time in establishing the trademarks didn’t allow it.

My first blog!  so fun to be able to tell this story.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I would like to clarify some points in this blog, because Tim is my brother-in-law I feel we need to set the record straight. Tim was not the nephew of Dorothy Nolte, he was 4 in 1959, and he and my husband were worked on by Dr. Rolf over a series of ten sessions. He grew up with only a limp, has always been extremely active and became a lifetime surfer and at 60 had a hip replacement.

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