I always have liked to use my hands to fix and improve things. As a boy my grandfathers and father taught me metalwork, auto mechanics, electronics and carpentry, and as a young man I parlayed these skills into a satisfying career in blue-collar trades.
However, by age 28 a series of brutal work accidents (a VW Beetle crushing my chest when the primary jack stands supporting it failed - luckily, the secondary jack stands held; a fall off the roof of a two-story building; and 1,200 pounds of rubber pinning me against a warehouse wall), compounded with injuries from years of competitive running, left me with a limping left leg an inch shorter than my right leg, near-legal blindness, and a spine as misshapen as a spine afflicted with scoliosis.
Conventional medicine failed me, so out of desperation I tried an odd-sounding therapy - Rolf Structural Integration. By the end of a 10 Series, 80 percent of my chronic pain was gone, my left leg was as long as his right, I now stood a straight 5-foot-9-inches tall rather than a crumpled 5 foot 7, and I no longer needed eyeglasses.
Over the next decade I continued with Rolf Structural Integration Tune-ups. My pain continued to dissipate, my overall health improved and my vision corrected to 20/40.
Over that decade I also realized that my calling was to become a Rolf Structural-Integration practitioner, so in 1997, after two years of study, I graduated from the Guild for Structural Integration in Boulder, Colorado, with a Certificate in Structural Integration.
I began treating clients part-time out of my home and continued my study of Rolf Structural Integration. By 2006, I had completed numerous advanced certificate programs offered by the Guild of Structural Integration, including becoming an Advanced Structural Integration Practitioner and a Board Certified Structural Integrator, of which there are fewer than 2,500 in the world.
As my knowledge and skill grew, so by word of mouth did my clientele, so much so that in 2006 I quit my full-time job and opened Structural Integration by Alan. I estimate that since I became a full-time practitioner I have helped 2,000 St. Louisans regain their health, not to mention the thousands I helped in the previous decade. My clients come from all walks of life and range in age from 5 months to 105 years (yes, 105!).
So now, rather than solely fixing and improving metalworks, automobiles, electronics and other objects, I also repair people.
However, I still dabble in the trades of my youth, not least of which is carpentry. In fact, I am one of the few woodworkers in the world who designs and builds handmade furniture that promotes the benefits of Rolf Structural Integration. My benches and tables are popular with Rolf Structural-Integration practitioners for use in their practices and for clients in their homes.
I craft my Rolf Star furniture in a 1,000-square-foot studio of my own design. The studio, located in St. Louis’ Tower Grove East neighborhood, sits beneath a loft-home that I renovated.
But at age 57, I am not all work. I grow fruit, vegetables and herbs in my backyard garden; practice T’ai Chi Ch’uan daily; routinely participate in 100- and 200-mile Ultracycling events (some as far away as Sweden); am an avid camper and outdoorsman; participate in ballroom dancing competitions; and am a Burning Man enthusiast. During summer 2013 a handful of buddies and I built an 18-foot-tall Gatewayzilla that breathed fire and was burnt down at a Burning Man event.
But if you would like to build up, rather than burn down, contact me about an appointment at Structural Integration by Alan.