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Alan Richardson

Alan Richardson

Structural Integration Practitioner in London

Having qualified in 1998, I have been Rolfing for a significant amount of time and taken several hundred people through the Ten Series.

The quality of my work is quite different now from how it was in my first two years - this is evident not only from my own sense, but also from feedback from clients who have come back after several years. Now I am much more confident, more humble, my touch is more sensitive and more skilled, I see better. Experience is very important in this profession. Each client teaches me something new, adding an extra piece to a large jigsaw.

Another major step in my continuing development as a practitioner was doing the training to become a Certified Advanced Rolfer at the end of 2006 and the start of 2007. The teachers in the training are all excellent Rolfers, each with over twenty years experience. It was a privilege to learn from such dedicated and talented people as Jan Sultan, Tessy Brungardt and Harvey Burns and the step-up in my quality of touch and confidence was more than I had expected. It was also an excellent reciprocal learning experience with Walter De Mello, who was my model and practitioner in the series of seven sessions we gave each other over the six-week class.

As well as gaining experience just through doing the work, the workshops I have taken have added to my skill set, the biggest contribution being my Cranio-Sacral Therapy training, ranging over 2001 to 2003. Qualifying as a Cranio-Sacral Therapist dramatically improved my quality of touch. Cranio-Sacral is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Rolfing. It is gentle and energetic and one learns to be extremely patient ( to go deep, like the blue whale ). Although most of my work is in Rolfing, I believe that my Cranial-Sacral skills enhance my effectiveness as a Rolfer and I occasionally do pure Cranial-Sacral sessions. If someone is interested in both therapies I will usually recommend doing the Rolfing Ten Series first, because I believe structural integration should be fundamental before any other treatment. What is the point in fine-tuning the wiring of a building if it is falling down?

I have assisted several Rolfing modules, including a Phase 2 for 8 weeks in Munich in 2018.

After many years and clients I am still passionate about the work. Rolfing satisfies those who come to get fixed, as well as those who come for more. For all the talk about holism, Rolfing is remarkably effective at fixing physical problems. I have had clients who have developed healthy arches in their feet, scolioses dramatically improved, short legs getting longer, knee pain, neck pain and back pain disappearing, jaw-grinding stopping, migraines stopping, significant improvement in scolioses, RSI symptoms disappearing, plantar fasciitis clearing up and so on. Rolfing also achieves what we claim, namely it realigns the body and improves posture, something I think no other therapy really does.

But Rolfing doesn't just fix pain and improve posture. My clients often describe to me in many ways that they are clearer about themselves and their lives because of Rolfing. They have a sense of grounding, they stand up for themselves when previously they may have been pushed around, they deal with stress better. Some even describe the Rolfing experience as catalyzing a major life change or decision - changing jobs, improving a relationship, travelling, dedicating themselves to physical health by taking up Pilates or Yoga or improving nutrition. In the case of children who I have taken through the Series, parents have told me that their children developed stronger self esteem and confidence - one parent told me her 12 year-old son looked her in the eye properly after receiving the Rolfing.

One of the most rewarding aspects of this work for me is being able to meet so many interesting people. Each has their own story. Each has come a long way before even doing the first Rolfing session. Each teaches me something. Each changes throughout the Rolfing. To be witness to all this and to be able to add a significant element in a person's development means that Rolfing is always interesting, challenging and mysterious. I feel privileged to be in such a profession.

"Work with the hands
is the apprenticeship of honesty.
May the work of your hands
be a sign of gratitude
and reverence to the human condition."
(Mahatma Gandhi)

Background & Qualifications

Rolfing Qualification
1994: Foundation of Bodywork Diploma, Rolf Institute, Boulder , Colorado (Til Luchau, John Martine)
1996: Rolfing Phase 2 , Rolf Institute, Sao Paulo, Brazil (Lael Keen, Cornelia Rossi, Vivien Jaye)
1998: Rolfing Phase 3 and Rolfing Certification , Rolf Institute, Salvador , Brazil (Tessy Brungardt, Lael Keen, Cornelia Rossi) 1998: Rolfing Movement Certification , Rolf Institute (Vivien Jaye, Lael Keen)
Courses prior to Rolfing Qualification
1994: Reiki Levels 1 and 2 Certificates, Boulder , Colorado
1995: Thai massage Diploma, at Old Medical Hospital in Chiang Mai , Thailand

Subsequent Qualifications
2001 - 2003: Diploma in Cranio-Sacral Therapy , College of Cranio-Sacral Therapy, London.
(This is a comprehensive course comprising 36 full-time study days, plus thesis and clinic time, ranging over 20 months.)
2004: Upledger Cranio-Sacral Therapy certificate
2004: Upledger Visceral Manipulation , Level 1A

Subsequent Workshops
2000: Rolfing Movement Workshop, with Hubert Godard, 4 days
2000: Trauma Energetics, with Bill Redpath, 3 days
2001: Trauma Energetics, with Bill Redpath, 3 days
2001 - 2002: Pilates Teacher Training, Body Control Pilates
2005: Thorax Workshop, with Harvey Burns, 3 days
2006: Spinal Mechanics, with Jan Sultan, 6 days
2008: Spinal mechanics and strategies, with Jim Asher, 6 days
2009: Visceral Manipulation, with Liz Gaggini, 8 days
Advanced Training Certification (2 Parts)
2006: Soloturn, Switzerland, with Tessy Brungardt and Harvey Burns, 3 weeks
2007: Munich, Germany, with Jan Sultan and Harvey Burns, 2 weeks
Post Advanced Training:
2014: Bologna, Italy, with Peter Schwind and Christoph Sommer, 7 days
2015: London, "Uncoiling the Spirals" with Gael Rosewood, 3 days
2016: London, "Structural Ageing" with Valerie Berg, 3 days
2017: London, "From Planes to Shapes, Spheres and Spaces" with Harvey Burns, 3 days
2018: London, Ribs workshop with Tessy Brungardt, 3 days

My Specialisms

Rolfing
Structural Integration
Rolfing Movement
Rolfing is good for: Postural alignment, Chronic pain, Neck pain, Back pain, Scoliosis, RSI
Craniosacral Therapy

Approach to Therapy & How I Work

The basic Rolfing® structural integration series consists of ten one-hour sessions. It is advisable to try three sessions before deciding to take the whole series; after all how can you know Rolfing is for you, without experiencing it?

Each Rolfing session builds upon the results of the previous one so that the results are cumulative. The first seven sessions remove strain from specific areas such as the knees, lower back, shoulders, neck and arms.

The remaining sessions organize and align the body as a whole, resulting in better balance, freedom of movement and a higher energy level.

For an overview of the Rolfing Series and the goals of each session please see my blog entry on 27/2/2014 entitled Rolfing Series Introduction.

The difference between Rolfing and Myofascial Release is this cumulative process over ten sessions. Although Myofascial Release uses techniques derived from the work of Ida Rolf, it does not have the same strategic impact as rolfing.

The various parts of the human body relate synergistically to each other. Only in exceptional circumstances, such as first aid, will Rolfers touch a part of the body without paying importance to the body as a whole.The origin of a lower back pain, for example, may be from hitting the heels too hard on the ground in walking.

To touch the lower back without also addressing the feet may give only short-term relief. Rolfing systematically treats the body from the feet to the head over the ten sessions so that the body is taken to a higher level of integration. This increases the chance of changes being long term.
I also give clients an option to do an an eleven-session format, leaving a longer gap of at least four weeks between sessions ten and eleven. The reason for this is to incorporate deeper work on the thorax, especially the ribs and viscera and also to have the benefit of more time to track how the client's body is integrating the final sessions (the body continues to change for at least several months after the last session).

Many clients wish to have further Rolfing after the Series and choose to do a session every two months. This not only has the benefit of effectively managing tension and stress that naturally builds over the course of everyday life, but also of further integrating the various elements of the body. Once the whole Series has been done and the body has been well aligned and organised, the impact of a tune-up session can be extremely effective.

Therapies & Rates

Please note the rates detailed below are there to give you an idea of the therapists standard rates, we strongly advise you contact the therapist for more detailed rates and any offers they may have.

Therapy Appointment Type Rate
Craniosacral Therapy In Person Please Call
Structural Integration In Person Please Call
Myofascial Release In Person Please Call
Rolfing In Person Please Call

Additional Rate Information

LOCATION I work from two locations, Regents Park and East Finchley/Muswell Hill. 1. Alternate Thursdays and Saturdays: The Hale Clinic, 4, Harley Street, London W1G 9PB Fee: £95 2. Tuesday to Saturday, earliest 9am, latest 7pm: The Copse, Fortis Green, East Finchley/Muswell Hill, London N2 9HL Fee: £85 All sessions last one hour. Fee is payable each session by cash or cheque. CANCELLATION POLICY 24 hours notice is required, meaning that the full fee is chargeable if the cancellation is made within this period. I receive cancellation notice quickest by text to my mobile number: 07957 307 616. BOOKING A SESSION Call to book a session on 07957 307 616 or 020 8883 7655 or email info@rolfing-london.co.uk