I have studied many different forms of massage and somatic therapies since I began in July of 2000. In that time I have accumulated well over 850 hours of applied classroom learning and teaching experience.
I offer many modalities including:
Zen Shiatsu (or Inter-personal meditation)*
Thai Yoga Massage (Nuad boran)*
Pregnancy Massage (pre and perinatal)*
Reiki and Polarity energy work.
* denotes specialized modalities
I am able to work with people of most any age, ability and identity, from birth to older age, and anyone in between. I have extensive training in the field of mental health, somatic therapy and wellness. I can work with many forms of mental, emotional and spiritual suffering including issues related to anxiety, depression, substance abuse, body image, self-harm, trauma, attention problems, spiritual crisis and more mundane issues related to living busy, stressful lives in our modern culture. Allow me to encourage, facilitate and bring forth the health, happiness, wellness and balance intrinsic to your Being!
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, noninvasive method of evaluating and enhancing the function of a physiological body arrangement called the craniosacral system. This manual therapy enhances the body’s natural healing processes and has proven effective in treating a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction including migraines and TMJ. The roots of this therapy are in cranial osteopathy, developed by Dr. William G. Sutherland. The craniosacral system consists of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the bones of the skull, face, and mouth--which make up the cranium--down to the sacrum or tailbone. Since this system influences the development and function of the brain and spinal cord, any imbalance or dysfunction in the craniosacral system could cause sensory, motor, or neurological disabilities. These problems may include migraines, chronic pain, TMJ, eye difficulties, scoliosis, motor-coordination impairments, learning disabilities and other dysfunctions of the central nervous system. Craniosacral therapy encourages the body’s natural healing mechanisms to improve the functioning of the central nervous system, dissipate the negative effects of stress, and enhance health and resistance to disease. The craniosacral therapy practitioner uses a light touch to assist the natural movement of fluid within the craniosacral system. Therapists generally use only five grams of pressure, roughly the weight of a nickel, to test for restrictions in various parts of the craniosacral system. It’s often possible for the evaluation alone to remove the restriction and allow the system to correct itself. The treatment is done fully clothed and involves the practitioner placing their hand and applying gentle pressure to encourage movement at various points on the skull, along the spine and on the sacrum.
This style was developed by Shizuto Masanuga, who proposed the treatment of meridian extensions beyond those recognized in the classical Chinese view. He also developed the widely-accepted two-hand style, where one hand moves, applying pressure, while the other provides stationary support. This style of work is done on a padded floor or mats with the client fully clothed. Focused and sustained pressure is applied with one or two hands along various meridian lines guided by palpation of the energetic state and tissue quality of the body.
Thai Yoga Massage (Nuad Boran)
Thai massage, Thai yoga massage, nuad boran, nuad paan boran, and nuad Thai, are all names for a traditional healing modality which has been practiced in Thailand for centuries. Based on Ayurvedic medicine and yoga from India, this art form has been handed down through an unbroken chain of masters since it's inception and is practiced today across Thailand and the world.
A complete Thai massage incorporates a traditional combination of acupressure, energy meridian work and yoga like stretching (myofascial release). Thai massage is different from many other forms of massage in that no oil is used and is traditionally performed on the floor with a mattress while fully clothed.
In traditional Thai massage there is a correspondence between specific points on the periphery of the body and the internal organs. Thus, when treating an injury or disease related to a particular part of the body a therapist will typically work on acupressure points throughout the body and not just locally. Linked through an intricate network of 72,000 energy meridians (sen lines), acupressure points stimulate and relax the patient's mind and body, promoting the natural healing process.
These sen are of critical importance to Thai massage theory. In fact, in Thailand Thai massage is considered to be energy work rather than body work. This is because the traditional therapist is guided not by anatomical structures or physiological principles, but by following the intricate network of energy meridians throughout the body. Even the yogis postures are considered primarily for their energetic effects and only secondarily for their ability to improve flexibility and strength.
Thai massage is directly related to Ayurvedic principles originating in India more than 3,000 years ago that arrived in Thailand over 900 years ago, along with Buddhism. Like other Asian massage techniques such as Japanese shiatsu (zen) and reflexology in China they take a holistic approach to healing. The most important function of nuad boran is to stimulate the mind and body's natural healing processes (balance) and as such can be an invaluable adjunct to any other form of treatment or the primary treatment in it's own right.
One of the most commonly taught and well-known massage techniques, Swedish massage is a vigorous system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. Five basic strokes, all flowing toward the heart, are used to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. The disrobed client is covered by a sheet, with only the area being worked on exposed. Therapists use a combination of kneading, rolling, vibrational, percussive, and tapping movements, with the application of oil, to reduce friction on the skin. The many benefits of Swedish massage may include generalized relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue adhesions, and improved circulation, which may speed healing and reduce swelling from injury. In this style of work the client is fully or partially undressed and remains covered under a sheet based on the client’s comfort. Only the part of the body being massaged is exposed and the genitals and breasts always remain covered.
Techniques that utilize deep-tissue/deep-muscle massage are administered to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia. These techniques require advanced training and a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology. The muscles must be relaxed in order to effectively perform deep-tissue massage, otherwise tight surface muscles prevent the practitioner from reaching deeper musculature. It helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendonitis. It is generally integrated with other massage techniques. In this style of work the client is fully or partially undressed and remains covered under a sheet based on the client’s comfort. Only the part of the body being massaged is exposed and the genitals and breasts always remain covered.
Pregnancy Massage (pre and postpartum certified)
Performed by a trained peri-natal specialist, many methods of massage and somatic therapies are both effective and safe prenatally and during labor and postpartum periods of women’s pregnancies. Prenatally, specific techniques can reduce pregnancy discomforts and concerns and enhance the physiological and emotional well-being of both mother and fetus. In the postpartum period, specialized techniques re-balance structure, physiology, and emotions of the new mother and may help her to bond with and care for her infant. I have obtained specialized, advanced training in the anatomy, physiology, complications, precautions, and contraindications of performing massage during pregnancy (36 hours). A Physician’s referral/clearance may be required prior to treatment. In this style of work the client is fully or partially undressed and remains covered under a sheet based on the client’s comfort. Only the part of the body being massaged is exposed and the genitals and breasts always remain covered.
Myofascial release is the three-dimensional application of sustained pressure and movement into the fascial system in order to eliminate fascial restrictions and facilitate the emergence of emotional patterns and belief systems that are no longer relevant or are impeding progress. First, an assessment is made by visually analyzing the human frame, followed by the palpation of the tissue texture of various fascial layers. Upon locating an area of fascial tension, gentle pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction. Myofascial release is an effective therapeutic approach in the relief of cervical pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, neurological dysfunction, restriction of motion, chronic pain, and headaches. In this style of work the client is fully or partially undressed and remains covered under a sheet based on the client’s comfort. Only the part of the body being massaged is exposed and the genitals and breasts always remain covered.
Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. There are three contexts in which sports massage can be useful to an athlete: pre-event, post-event, and injury treatment. Pre-event massage is delivered at the performance site, usually with the athlete fully clothed. Fast-paced and stimulating, it helps to establish blood flow and to warm up muscles. During the massage, the athlete generally focuses on visualizing the upcoming event. Post-event massage is also delivered on site, through the clothes. The intent here is to calm the nervous system and begin the process of flushing toxins and waste products out of the body. Post-event massage can reduce recovery time, enabling an athlete to resume training much sooner than rest alone would allow. When an athlete sustains an injury, skillful massage therapy can often speed and improve the quality of healing. In this style of work the client is fully or partially undressed and remains covered under a sheet based on the client’s comfort. Only the part of the body being massaged is exposed and the genitals and breasts always remain covered.
Manual Lymph Drainage (also referred to as simply MLD) is a very gentle type of massage therapy used to drain excess fluid from the body and improve the overall functioning of the lymphatic (immune) system. MLD is most commonly used to treat Lymphedema, which is characterized by the blockage of lymph nodes in the arms and legs. A Physician’s referral/clearance may be required prior to treatment. In this style of work the client is fully or partially undressed and remains covered under a sheet based on the client’s comfort. Only the part of the body being massaged is exposed and the genitals and breasts always remain covered.
Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body’s life force (sometimes known as qi or chi) to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses the gentle, but firm pressure of hands and feet. Acupressure, continues to be the most effective method for self-treatment of tension-related ailments by using the power and sensitivity of the human hand. Acupressure can be effective in helping relieve headaches, eye strain, sinus problems, neck pain, backaches, arthritis, muscle aches, tension due to stress, ulcer pain, menstrual cramps, lower backaches, constipation, and indigestion. Self-acupressure can also be used to relieve anxiety and improve sleep. There are also great advantages to using acupressure as a way to balance the body and maintain good health. The healing touch of acupressure reduces tension, increases circulation, and enables the body to relax deeply. By relieving stress, acupressure strengthens resistance to disease and promotes wellness. In acupressure, local symptoms are considered an expression of the condition of the body as a whole. A tension headache, for instance, may be rooted in the shoulder and neck area. Thus, acupressure focuses on relieving pain and discomfort, as well as responding to tension, before it develops into a disease—before the constrictions and imbalances can do further damage. The origins of acupressure are as ancient as the instinctive impulse to hold your forehead or temples when you have a headache. Everyone at one time or another has used their hands spontaneously to hold tense or painful places on the body. More than five thousand years ago, the Chinese discovered that pressing certain points on the body relieved pain where it occurred and also benefited other parts of the body more remote from the pain and the pressure point. Gradually, they found other locations that not only alleviated pain, but also influenced the functioning of certain internal organs. (Definition, in part, from the book Acupressure’s Potent Points, by Michael Reed Gach, director of the Acupressure Institute, Bantam, 1990.) In this style of work the client may be fully or partially clothed or unclothed based on their comfort.
Based on an ancient Chinese therapy, reflexology involves manipulation of specific reflex areas in the foot, hands, and ears that correspond to other parts of the body. Sometimes referred to as zone therapy, this bodywork involves application of pressure to these reflex zones to stimulate body organs and relieve areas of congestion. Similar to acupressure principles, reflexology works with the body’s energy flow to stimulate self-healing and maintain balance in physical function. This technique is used to reduce pain, increase relaxation, and stimulate circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids. It is especially useful in stress-related illness and emotional disorders. Reflexology is also convenient in cases where an area of the body is traumatized or diseased to the extent that direct manipulation is not appropriate. In this style of work the client may be fully or partially clothed based on their comfort.
Reiki healing is a hands-on energy healing art. It was originated in Japan in the early 20th century by Mikao Usui, who had a life-changing experience of light and energy that he recognized as reiki--sacred life force--and that awakened his innate healing abilities. He developed a system of practices that enabled others to become effective healers. In a reiki healing session, the practitioner, trained to access and serve as a channel for the life force (ki or chi), places her hands on or just above the client’s body in order to activate healing energy within receptive points on the body. The practitioner’s hands move progressively with a passive touch through twelve positions on the body, remaining in each position for three to five minutes. As a harmonic flow of energy is strengthened, within the client and practitioner, healing occurs through the return of physical, mental, and spiritual balance. In this style of work the client may be fully or partially clothed based on their comfort.
Polarity therapy is based on universal principles of energy--attraction, repulsion, and neutrality. The interrelation of these principles forms the basis for every aspect of life, including our experience of health, wellness, and disease. With this understanding, polarity therapy addresses the interdependence of body, mind, and spirit, the importance of relationships, and the value of creating a way of life in harmony with nature. Founded by Austrian-born naturopath Dr. Randolph Stone in the mid-1950s, polarity therapy is a clothes-on, noninvasive system complementing existing modalities with an integrated, holistic model. Polarity is based on the belief that positive and negative poles exist in every cell. The body is gently manipulated to balance the positive and negative energies. In addition to physical manipulation, blockages and toxins are eliminated through a cleansing diet and simple exercises. Treatments are suggested in a series of four. In this style of work the client may be fully or partially clothed based on their comfort.
The use of essential oils (extracted from herbs, flowers, resin, woods, and roots) in body and skin care treatments is known as aromatherapy. Used as a healing technique for thousands of years by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, essential oils aid in relaxation, improve circulation, and help the healing of wounds. Aromatherapy diffusers are utilized to fill the massage room with the scent of the oils. Specific essential oils are blended by the aromatherapist and added to a carrier oil, such as almond oil, to be used during the massage. Each oil has its own unique characteristics and benefits. Use of this technique declined as the modern pharmaceutical industry developed. However, the French chemist Gattefossé revived the art by coining the term aromatherapy and by publishing a book on the subject in 1928. This style of treatment my be easily incorporated with virtually any forms of massage and bodywork.
Ergonomic analysis involves the careful observation and analysis of how an individual (habitually and unconsciously) relates to their immediate physical environment both at rest and while moving during everyday tasks in order to correct maladaptive patterns, avoid injury and increase bodily comfort and well being. Observation may take place at the workplace or at home and may involve video recording.
After observation is made feedback and recommendations on more adaptive ways of relating to and moving through one’s environment is given either informally through verbal feedback or formally through a written report. Observation may take place over more than one session.