05.20.14Massage therapists and the public can contribute via the Ida P. Rolf Research Foundation to support a new clinical study’s continuation and publication. The foundation will match the first $10,000 in contributions.

Until now, the study by Harvard Medical School research scientist Eric Jacobson, Ph.D., “Structural Integration for Chronic Low Back Pain,” has been funded by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a branch of the National Institutes of Health. That funding has run out—with analysis of data on pain disability, balance, gait, blood biomarkers and psychology uncompleted.

Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D., held a doctorate in biological chemistry, according to biographical information published on the foundation’s website. From 1920 to 1932, she worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in the departments of chemotherapy and organic chemistry. She also studied homeopathy, atomic physics and mathematics, as well as chiropractic medicine, osteopathy, yoga, the Alexander Technique and psychology. She eventually named her work Structural Integration and traveled worldwide to teach and share her work.

In her book, Rolfing and Physical Reality, Rolf wrote, “Some individuals may perceive their losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in their back, others as the unflattering contour of their body, others as constant fatigue, yet others as an unrelentingly threatening environment. Those over 40 may call it old age. And yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structure, as well as others, that it has been ignored: they are off balance, they are at war with gravity. This is the gospel of Rolfing: When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself.”

The Ida P. Rolf Research Foundation was unveiled at the First International Fascia Research Congress in 2007. A year later, the foundation took over the management of the International Fascia Research Congresses. The foundation is a nonprofit organization intended to support evidence-based research into Structural Integration and its applications to health care. The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration, located in Boulder, Colorado, provided funding to launch the foundation.

The foundation has compiled information about research related to fascia that is being conducted around the world. Study topics include “Sensory Innervation of Fascia,” “Therapeutic manipulation of fascia,” and “Thoracolumbar Fascia.”