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Structural Integration has been proven to be effective for people in all walks of life

Structural Integration has been proven to be effective for people in all walks of life

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A Crossing Point

Structural Integration ~ Bodywork

helping others create a body & life in alignment & balance

Carol K Walradt BS, LMP

Ida P Rolf, a native New Yorker, graduated from Barnard College in 1916.  In 1920 she earned a Ph.D. in biologica
l chemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.  For the next twelve years Ida Rolf worked at the Rockefeller Institute, first in the Department of Chemotherapy and later in the Department of Organic Chemistry.  Eventually she rose to the rank of Associate, no small achievement for a young woman in those days. 


In 1927, she took a leave of absence from her work to study mathematics and atomic physics at the Swiss Technical University in Zurich.  During this time, she also Studied homeopathic medicine in Geneva.


Returning from Europe, she spent the decade of the 1930’s seeking answers to personal and family health problems.  Medical treatment available at that time seemed inadequate to her; this led to her exploration of osteopathy, chiropractic medicine, yoga, the alexander technique and Korzybski’s work on states of consciousness.


By the 1940’s she was working in a Manhattan apartment where her schedule was filled with people seeking help.  She was committed to the scientific point of view, and yet many breakthroughs came intuitively through the work she did with chronically disabled persons unable to find help elsewhere. 


This was the work eventually to be known as Structural Integration.  For the next thirty years, Ida Rolf devoted herself to developing her technique and training programs.


During the 1950’s, her reputation spread to England where she spent summers as a guest of John Bennett, a prominent mystic and student of Gurdjieff.  Then, in the mid-60’s, Dr Rolf was invited to Esalen Institute in California at the suggestion of Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt therapy.  There she began training practitioners and instructors of Structural Integration.


The Rolf Institute® formed as the first organization in 1971 to train Rolf practitioners based on the ten session of Structural Integration.  


In 1977 SOMA Neuromuscular Integration® formally began as a modality.  Bill Williams Ph.D. and Ellen Gregory-Williams Ph.D. together developed SOMA as a distinct form of Structural Integration.  In the early development of structural bodywork, the focus was primarily on body structure and how that structure related to gravity.  Dr. Williams, a Psychologist , began to embrace the body, mind and spirit as a non-separate whole.  With the desire to move the work in this direction, Dr. Williams was the first Rolfer to leave the Rolf Institute to develop a structural school:  SOMA Institute of Neuromuscular Integration®.    The SOMA theory and teaching continues to reflect this basic foundation of wholeness of the body, mind and spirit.  Many structural schools now exist as heirs of Dr. Ida Rolf.

Karen L. Bolesky M.A., L.M.H.C., L.M.P. and Marcia W. Nolte C.L.M.A., L.M.P. began Co-Directing the SOMA Institute in 1986 and moved the school to Washington State. The SOMA work was expanded into a professional licensing program and was one of the first Structural Integration programs to be licensed in Washington.