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Dr. Ida Rolf Institute

Bulletin of Structural Integration Ida P. Rolf


The overall focus of this letter is inclusive rather than exclusive, expansive rather than contractive. We feel strongly that, as a community, we must focus on the primary issues expressed in Jan’s letter rather than the semantics. (i.e. “fix-its”)

An evolutionary process, such as Rolfing, includes functional reality (i.e.economy unemployment, inflation, the mere inability to function in pain.), it is not exclusive from it. It encompasses change and we must respond and adapt to these changes in order to grow.

As newer practitioners, we did not have the opportunity, nor possibly some of the inhibitory effects of studying under Dr. Rolf. Ida is for us a symbol of creative thinking, of someone with the courage to push through old limits and create new possibilities and visions. We cannot imagine a being of this character to want of us anything less that that we challenge all information, that we look for new and better processes to use, grow and evolve toward.

At times in our contact with the Institute, we have been greatly bewildered by the way in which some folks became seemingly disturbed and upset by others who would challenge or question Ida’s word or vision. We think this work called Rolfing was created by a mind and spirit who challenged, palpated and tested everything-and that was also her gift to us. How can we do less?

Existing on this planet in a physical body functional reality as an aspect of evolution, requires that we begin to examine, challenge, test and respond appropriately to our present conditions. Can we be so arrogant as to think we are an exclusive group that will not be affected by the human condition? Can we also allow our arrogance to limit our effectiveness as a profession and service group?

We need to selectively draw on every opportunity that will assure our stability as a respected profession. We must begin to speak to our fellow human beings clearly, addressing their needs as well as their aspirations. We must drop the Rolfing jargon, refine our communication skills and translate our work to farmers or engineers, athletes or doctors, children or insurance companies, and so on.

With regard to the “fix-it” issue, we feel it is absolutely appropriate to use our most effective tools to provide a needed service at the layer at which it can be accepted and integrated.

Beverly: “For example, in my clientele, I work with a fair amount of country folks. When they can’t get up on the tractor anymore they eventually end up at my door. Their concern is not personal growth or evolution. They are simply in an acute crisis situation and need help. With these people I use the skills learned within the Rolfing context to bring about relief and return function

These tools are not the ultimate essence of Rolfing and the tools work! This is a part of the service I feel a need to provide in my community. I feel great joy when my clients “get” what Rolfing can truly be. I honor their dignity, heightened awareness, and the grace of their awareness of space and balance. My choice would be for more people to pursue this growth and my observation is that many need enough comfort in their bodies to pursue their own goals and priorities. This may be simply being able to work and providing food for their family. I feel for them, this work on the level at which they can accept it is a great gift.”

The reality is, within the Rolfing process, people’s lives change, they evolve physically, spiritually, and hopefully they get “fixed”. What people care about, particularly in a time of survival, is getting relief, (whether physical or emotional) then they can begin to address their evolution and anyone who’s been in severe pain knows this.

Perhaps it is time for all of us to confront this aspect of our own practice. Be it the dancer, athlete, secretary or what have you, with pain and not enough money or insurance to cover the entire process.

This leads into the next issue. Angela: “In my eight years experience in dealing with insurance companies, they are only interested in saving money and paying for results. They do not pay for evolution or prevention, nor are they interested in it at this time. Simple as that.”

We support owning our own pre-training and expanding and upgrading our present training. At a minimum, we must expand our knowledge of the human being to include more detailed anatomy, physiology, pathology, psychology and a competent background in first-aid skills. How many of us could pass a college level anatomy exam? If pathology walks through your door, could you recognize the signs and respond or alter your approach to the situations? How long can we depend on the angel on our shoulder to protect us?

This is why it is of acute importance to upgrade and expand the pre-training and training. The purpose is multi-faceted. First of all we improve our available service to our clientele (and ourselves). We gain greater respect in the community far a higher standard and quality in our educational process. And we, as an Institute, can possibly become financially stable.

Ida Rolf shared a vision of humanity and an ever-evolving means to support its unfolding. This is the larger context of what we do where we play.

With much love and respect,

Beverly Astiz, Certified Rolfer / San Luis Obispo, CA.
Vivian Jaye, Certified Mov’t. Teacher /Santa Monica, CA.
Angela Marvin, Certified Rolfer / Bel Air, CA.A Larger Context

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