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 your body dutifully carries for you. 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, but more importantly, trust in yourself and your own process. So remember to be patient, it took a long time for you to get to where you are right now in your relationship with your body, it will also take time to change.
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 experience we can begin to decipher the body's messages. This will enhance your ability to articulate what you need, it will help you hone in on the most helpful intention for our time together, and it will set the stage for successful communication while you’re on the table.
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 unfamiliar, uncomfortable, or even scary feelings. 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. You also might slip right into a state of bliss as you tune out the rest of the world and become fully present. Whatever you might experience, 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 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. 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. 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.