The Therapeutic Process
The therapeutic process truly begins when a connection is established. When you feel heard, cared for, safe, relaxed. In this space, a therapeutic relationship can take root. You can sink in, let go, and together we can begin the process of unwinding layers of tension patterns that might seem to hold you captive. It is my goal to create an environment, and engage with you in such a way, that we can find a connection within our first visit. The reality is that many of us carry layers upon layers of guarding and it can take time to establish enough trust to dive into the “deeper” work. Not only trust in me, the therapist, but more importantly trust in yourself and your own process.
Massage is a conversation, both a silent and verbal exchange. Pressure, presence, intention, and body language are important elements of the non-verbal aspect, but articulating what you experience while receiving can take time to develop as well. Taking the time to develop this skill will enhance every massage you receive, illustrating the importance of a thorough intake, and post session check-in. When we connect words to our inner experiences we can begin to decipher the body's messages, which will enhance your ability to articulate what you need, which will help us set a realistic intention for our time together, which will set the stage for successful communication while you’re on the table.
Receiving isn’t something that comes naturally to most in our society. 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 unfamiliar, uncomfortable, or even scary feelings. We might also encounter desensitization, when the body's sensory receptors have been dulled from over stimulation and leave you feeling like you need extreme pressure to feel anything at all. Whatever the case, what you experience is part of your story and that unfolding story is what guides the therapeutic process.
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 full cooperation and commitment. 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. So be patient with yourself and remember, when you commit to honoring your process, the work gets easier.
Everyday our bodies send messages with information to guide us in its care, urging us to listen. Often we don’t hear those messages until they are screams of pain, discomfort, and disease.
What if we could learn how to hear, and understand, those messages when they’re just a whisper?
Therapeutic massage, through the therapeutic process, has the potential to help you do just that. When the nervous system is invited, and allowed, to slow down enough to let go of all the protective mechanisms put in place to survive in this overstimulating world, we embark on a journey inward. We venture into our infinitely complex, intelligent, and beautiful inner environment. Only then can we begin to learn the body’s language, and finally hear what it has been trying to share.
When incorporated into the therapeutic process, informed touch can literally introduce you to yourself in a whole new way setting the stage for a healthy relationship founded on respect, trust, understanding, and connection.
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.
"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, however a full cranial treatment can be transformational. 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 transition. It can help regulate hormones, reduce anxiety and depression, reduce swelling, mitigate sciatic pain, improve circulation, improve 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.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot stones integrate the innate healing energy of the earth into your massage, thereby deepening your state of relaxation. They are also used as a tool to loosen and work the muscles at a deeper level. Hot packs filled with bentonite clay and a table warmer are also used to enhance your experience, literally enveloping you in warmth.
*If you are a new client, I recommend receiving a full session without them first to give me a chance to "get to know" your tissue. Using stones as a tool decreases the sensitivity of my palpation.
Organic grapeseed oil infused with magnesium and arnica are used for my base oil.
It's important to drink lots of water before and after each session to help flush cellular waste out of the system. I offer alkaline water to mitigate soreness and decrease other potential detox effects from deep work.