Meet the presenters

For BFS 20 we have a range of excellent presenters from the world of fascia, between them bringing you both scientific knowledge and therapeutic insight.

Keynote Speakers:

Jaap van der Wal MD, PhD:
University of Maastricht, Holland

Dr. Jaap van der Wal worked until February 2012 as senior lecturer (associate professor) in Anatomy and Embryology at the University of Maastricht, Holland. He is now retired from university and dedicates himself completely to his project Embryo in Motion training in Phenomenological Embryology and Dynamic Morphology. Since his graduation as a medical doctor (1973) he has become an anatomist-embryologist and specialises in the functional anatomy of the locomotor system. In 1998 he graduated as MD in this field with a dissertation on a ‘trans-anatomical’ view on human propriocepsis (the sense of posture and locomotion). He worked as researcher and teacher at various university institutes for Anatomy and Embryology in Holland. His passion is Human Embryology: "The human body is a process, developing and functioning in time. The embryo moves, behaves in forms. The fields of study, Kinesiology and Embryology, meet in the domains of movement, motion and form.”

Dr Robert Schleip directs the Fascia Research Project at Ulm University, Germany, and is also Research Director of the European Rolfing Association. He has an MA in psychology and a PhD in human biology.  Robert has been a professional bodyworker since 1978 and is a certified Rolfing instructor as well as Feldenkrais teacher, plus author of several books and numerous other publications. His recent discovery of active contractile properties in fascial tissues was awarded the prestigious Vladimir Janda Award for Musculoskeletal Medicine. Robert’s enthusiasm for fascia related academic research served as driving factor behind the 1st Fascia Research Congress (Harvard Medical School, Boston, 2007) as well as the three subsequent international congresses. Besides his research activities he still maintains a private practice as a manual practitioner in Munich, Germany.

The Pain Panel:

Julian Baker

Member of the Pain Panel

has been a hands-on therapist for over 25 years.  The founder of the European College of Bowen Studies (ECBS), he has taught thousands of students over the years the skill of The Bowen Technique, a non-invasive system of fascial release.  He is the author of two books on Bowen and Fascia and has contributed hundreds of articles about bodywork, fascia, dissection and the human form.  Julian now runs Functional Fascia, leading fascia-focused dissection groups.  A popular and sought-after speaker, he has presented widely at conferences around the world.

Til Luchau

Member of the Pain Panel

is a lead instructor and the Director of With a diverse background that includes manual therapy, somatic psychology, transformative education, as well as organizational and leadership development, Til's ability is to connect interdisciplinary, big-picture ideas to practical, real-world applications.  As a Certified Advanced Rolfer™, for 20 years Til was on the faculty of the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute®, serving as Coordinator and Faculty Chair of the Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration program, where in the early 1990's he originated Skilful Touch Bodywork (the Rolf Institute's training and practice modality). The author of the Advanced Myofascial Techniques textbook series (translated into 5 languages),  his articles have been published in numerous magazines and peer-reviewed professional journals in Australia, Canada, Poland, the UK, and the USA. Formerly a resident practitioner at the Esalen Institute, Chair of the Dr Ida Rolf Institute's Teacher Training Committee, and Adjunct Faculty member of Naropa University's Somatic Psychology Department, he has trained thousands of practitioners in his popular courses at schools and centers in over twenty countries, on six continents.

Sue Hitzmann

Member of the Pain Panel

Sue Hitzmann, MS, CST, NMT, is the creator of the MELT Method®, a revolutionary self-care system designed to help you get out and stay out of chronic pain, improve performance, and live a resilient life. Sue is an internationally recognized educator, manual therapist, exercise physiologist, and founding member of the Fascia Research Society.
Sue is the author of MELT Performance: A Step-by-Step Program to Accelerate Your Fitness Goals, Improve Balance and Control, and Prevent Chronic Pain and Injuries for Life, which was released this spring, as well as the New York Times bestselling book The MELT Method®: A Breakthrough Self-Treatment System to Eliminate Chronic Pain, Erase the Signs of Aging, and Feel Fantastic in Just 10 Minutes a Day!
Sue has trained more than 1,800 professionals in more than 20 countries worldwide and is a leading presenter for organizations such as IDEA, ECA, and PMA, and a CEU provider for ACE, AFAA, NASM, PMA, and NCBTMB.

Further Main Stage Speakers:

Michelle Watson MSc CertEd MCSP

Qualified as a physiotherapist in 1995 and has been working in neurological rehabilitation since 1997. She works with adults and children who have brain and nervous system difficulties, often causing challenges with everyday movement and function, as well as long-term discomfort and pain.  With a Masters in physiotherapy, she taught the subject at Coventry University at undergraduate and Masters levels.  Michelle now runs independent training courses for Healthcare professionals, contributed a chapter to "Fascial Dysfunction - Manual Therapy Approaches" (2014) Ed. Leon Chaitow (Handspring) and was a main stage speaker at BFS 14. The emerging research into the world of fascia and the nervous system has been instrumental in changing the way patients are now treated at Michelle’s clinic in Stratford upon Avon, where the results have been both encouraging and surprising.

David Lesondak, BCSI, ATSI, FST, FFT, IAHE

is the author of the international bestseller, Fascia: What it is and Why it Matters (Handspring), now available in eight languages. He has contributed a chapter on fascia to the 2nd Edition of Metabolic Therapies in Orthopedics (CRC Press), and is helming, as editor-in-chief, Fascia, Function, and Medical Applications which will be published sometime in 2020.  David is an Allied Health Member in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), where he serves as a clinician and fascia specialist in UPMC’s Center for Integrative Medicine. He specializes in chronic pain, injuries, improving athletic performance, and post-surgical issues of all sorts. David produced “Anatomy Trains Revealed” taking Thomas Myers’ myofascial meridians concept from the page into the anatomy lab, followed by the University of Ulm’s Fascia Academy series, the Connect: Fascia and Sports Medicine series. David lectures and teaches workshops worldwide.

Jan Trewartha B.A. (Hons.)

has worked in healthcare since 1992.  A former nurse in the Armed Forces and then the NHS, she has had the privilege of working at grass roots level with patients on the wards and in the operating theatre.   This is what has directly influenced her choice of specialisation; physical trauma and scarring.   Through her business - Body in Harmony - Jan specialises in both treating clients directly and training other healthcare professionals in Fascial Unwinding, Body Realignment and Sharon Wheeler’s ScarWork.  Jan is co-editor and co-author of “Scars, Adhesions and the Biotensegral Body”, to be published by Handspring in 2020.

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