The Therapeutic Process
The therapeutic process begins with connection, when you feel heard, cared for, safe, and relaxed. You can sink in, let go of doing, thinking, thinking about doing... and just be. Then, with compassion and curiosity, we can learn about the tension in your body.
Massage is a conversation.
The most important element to any good conversation is listening.
It starts with the story you share and the intention that emerges from it which guides our curiosity as we explore what your body has to say.
Using observation and informed touch, we 'listen' to the way the body responds to the work. What you notice will not always be the same as what I notice, and both are important. Words may not always come easily as you try to describe the experiences you have, but they will come in due time. These observations have the potential to become landmarks bringing understanding and awareness, eventually creating a map that can help guide you back into relationship with your whole self.
Informed touch is attained when hands extend an invitation, engage with curiosity, listen deeply, and honor the body's response. As I continue to cultivate my own presence by offering these things to myself, I am able to offer them to others.
With bodywork, learning how to receive is . Receiving isn’t something that comes naturally to many. We spend so much time giving and doing that when we slow down and ask the body to just receive, we might be greeted with a range of feelings, some familiar and some unfamiliar. We might also encounter desensitization, when the body's sensory receptors have been dulled leaving you feeling like you need extreme pressure to feel anything at all. Hopefully, you will also slip into a state of bliss as you tune out the rest of the world and become fully present. That is our goal and the road there is different for each person. Whatever you might experience along the way, it is part of your story, and that unfolding story is what guides the therapeutic process. So remember to be gentle with yourself, your body has dutifully carried you through everything this life has thrown at you.
You are the most important part of the therapeutic process! How you choose to engage in it, or not. Contrary to how massage is often portrayed, therapeutic massage requires your involvement. It took time, often years, to build the neuromuscular pathways that enable your body to do as much as you ask it to in a day. It will also take time to let go of patterns that are no longer needed, or wanted, to heal wounds that have left deep scars, to be vulnerable enough to receive, to be brave enough to find a new way of being. Remember, when you commit to honoring your process, the work gets easier.
Every day the body sends messages with information to guide us in its care. All too often, we don’t hear these messages until they are screams of pain, discomfort, and disease.
Therapeutic massage has the potential to help you notice and better understand what your body is telling you. When the nervous system is invited and allowed to slow down, thoughts come and go, protective mechanisms soften, and we venture into our infinitely complex, intelligent, beautiful inner environment. Listening begins, and we 'hear' what the body has to say.
Your body is a living, breathing autobiography. Within it and the stories it carries, lies the potential to be introduced to yourself in a new way, bringing understanding, respect, connection, and compassion into your relationship with your whole self. Therapeutic massage helps to facilitate this introduction, holding space for exploration, discovery, acceptance, and release.
A sequence of essential oils are dispensed in little drops along the spine from a height of about six inches above the back, like rain. The oils are then massaged along the spine and back muscles using a specific series of light "feathery" strokes. Because the essential oils easily penetrate the skin and muscles, this technique works on deep levels of the body without requiring hard pressure or force. They are also applied to the feet using the Vita Flex technique, an ancient Tibetan form of reflexology that is designed to send an electrical pulse along the nerve pathways of the body. The oils are immune enhancing and support the body's circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, digestive, nervous, and other body systems. They are high in antioxidants, are mood elevating, and are also antiseptic, creating an unfavorable environment for harmful viruses and bacteria that can hibernate in the body. The Raindrop Technique was developed by Dr. Gary Young, essential oil researcher and naturopath, due to research showing that many forms of spinal misalignments are caused by muscle spasms and inflammation-producing bacteria and viruses that reside along the spine.
The 7 single oils used include:
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Oregano (Origanum compactum)
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
* The whole process takes about 90 minutes and may continue to work in the body for up to one week. Drinking extra water before and after will help mitigate any detox effects that might arise.
* Please let me know in advance if you would like to add this to your session.
* The cost is an additional $50 to the price of your session.
"CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. It was pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as professor of biomechanics.
Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams - about the weight of a nickel - practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it's effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction."
- Excerpt from upledger.com
I am currently trained at a CST II level.
This modality is often incorporated into my therapeutic sessions. Its subtlety creates the space for a deeply relaxing, and amazingly informative experience.
Therapeutic Prenatal Massage
Therapeutic massage during pregnancy can relieve many of the common aches and pains that arise during this time of growth. It can help regulate hormones, reduce anxiety and depression, reduce swelling, mitigate sciatic pain, improve circulation, sleep, and more. When incorporated on a regular basis it can also increase sensory integration and awareness, which can help you better connect with your inner environment, your baby, and can lead to a much more relaxed labor and birth.