Archive for the ‘Bodywork’ Category

Who do you go to?

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

I get asked a lot who I get my healing and helping work from. I am lucky enough to have some great relationships going with a variety of folks who do different things, all of which are hugely beneficial to my health and well being. I have a quick-reference list here, but if you want more details about these practitioners, read on:

My most regular massage trades are with Christina Pappas, who works on Vashon Island and in Pioneer Square. She’s a craniosacral therapist and also does some lovely deep Swedish massage.

My friend Eve DeRooy is another excellent craniosacral therapist who also gives a lovely massage, and she has extensive training in trauma healing with Somatic Experiencing and the Organic Intelligence models.

Michael Hahn is someone I send people to when it seems likely that their finer structural relationships could use some attention. People who have had extensive gut issues or multiple accidents or surgeries… or sometimes folks whose problems just don’t respond to the work I do the way I would hope or expect- I send them to Michael.

For Structural Integration work I most often trade with Kate Bradfield. It is so lovely to get her eyes and hands on my situation and get some help!

My Rolfing mentor Ron McComb is still at it, practicing a few days a month in Seattle. Though I have not had a chance to connect with him for many years, he has been practicing for almost my entire life and has a ton of wisdom to share.

I’m currently seeing Jared Kohler for some unique chiropractic care- no popping and cracking, but tapping, vibrating, and stretching with precision adjustments of the atlas/axis of the spine, so gentle you hardly feel it happening.

I’ve also seen Mike Ross for the more traditional cracking business, though he does a lot more soft tissue work with Active Release Technique than cracking, and is very rehab-oriented. He is great for giving you exercises to do on your own.

For the past year and a half or so my body has been telling me that my diet could use some adjusting– not because of middle-aged spread, though that is certainly of concern- but because of discomfort and inflammation. I will be spending some time with Michelle Schwartz to help strategize myself into greater comfort again.

I had a great experience with Movement Systems Physical Therapy and Neal Goldberg helped me fine-tune my bike fit.

Gay at Kinesia Pilates did a series of private sessions with me that have been crucial in my current quest for strength and stability in my lower back.

Everybody needs help. I am so grateful to have these excellent practitioners to turn to, and always interested to hear who you go to when you need it!

Links for further Research and Information

Friday, December 15th, 2017

More information about the work I have studied, and where I studied it:

  • International Association of Structural Integrators
  • Guild for Structural Integration
  • Rolf Institute
  • Dr. Rolf herself!
  • Trauma Healing
  • Resources

    Friday, December 15th, 2017

    As a quick reference to the people and places I go to get myself taken care of, or have heard great things about from trusted sources, I offer you this list. I have gone into more detail about them here.

    Bodywork/Massage
    Christina Pappas– Craniosacral Therapy, deep tissue Swedish massage
    Eve DeRooy– Craniosacral Therapy, Swedish massage, Somatic Experiencing/Organic Intelligence
    The team at Banya 5– for sooner-rather-than-later needs

    Bodywork/Structural
    Kate Bradfield– Certified Advanced Rolfer
    Michael Hahn– Visceral Manipulation, Hellerwork
    Ron McComb– Certified Advanced Rolfer
    Lisa Torrison O’Neil– Structural Integration Practitioner

    Chiropractic Care
    Jared Kohler– super gentle, does very specific atlas/axis work as well
    Michael Ross– Active Release Technique and more traditional cracking

    Movement
    8 Limbs Yoga Centers
    Kinesia Pilates
    Vitality Pilates
    Heroics Personal Training
    Crossfit RE

    Physical Therapy
    Heidi Gans
    Footworks Physical Therapy
    Movement Systems Physical Therapy

    Nutrition
    Michelle Schwartz

    Primary Care
    Dean Chier, MD– Seattle Healing Arts Center has a great reputation.

    Stack Your Bones

    Thursday, March 30th, 2017

    I just found this little gem, an embodiment/movement practice in app and book form put together by fellow Guild graduate Ruthie Fraser. I have downloaded the app and am itching to explore!

    http://www.stackyourbones.com

    Help for the Rotator Cuff

    Sunday, August 21st, 2016

    Awhile back I had a whole rash of people coming in with the same kind of rotator cuff issues. It inspired me to look for something they could do themselves to help with what is clearly a common problem.

    These “most famous on the internet” physical therapists have some basic tests for you to see if you are dealing with an Impingement issue here. If you ARE, then you can do these exercises for making space around the impingement, and these for strengthening and stabilizing.

    It is my experience that doing nothing and hoping that a persistent rotator cuff issue will just go away on its own is not likely to work. Massage/bodywork can sometimes help get things back on track, but truly doing something about it on the regular– like, really really regular–has a tendency to help. I have a funky shoulder that pretty much needs me to do a set of simple exercises three times a week on an ongoing basis to be happy. It helps! Not doing them makes my shoulder hurt again after not too long.

    I recommend that people with sharp pains in their shoulder joints get themselves a good PT and then do what they are told!

    Help for the neck

    Monday, August 15th, 2016

    A client just asked me if there was something he could do to help his chronically stiff and achey neck on his own. Of course! I made a short playlist of YouTube videos to help this goal.

    First, my Somatic Experiencing training tells me that orienting is hugely important for the neck, as the desire to point our most-used information-gathering tools at objects and scenes of interest is crucial to our sense of safety, and that desire can help unlock movement potential.

    Next, from Mary Bond, a Rolfing Movement teacher, some physical cues to help ease the subtle movements at the top of the spine.

    Finally, if you are looking for a slightly longer exploration, a short neck-releasing Awareness Through Movement class by David Zemach-Bersin of the Feldenkrais Institute.

    Movement is life! When it comes to the neck, the more subtle the release, the more powerful– if you can get the strong muscular ribbons on all sides of your spine to let go, even just a little bit, the big movers will have more freedom to let go, too.

    What is fascia?

    Monday, October 5th, 2015

    One of the common questions I get about my work is “What is the difference between massage and Structural Integration?” The primary difference is intention and the systems we are working with: massage therapy is great for stress reduction and getting the blood and lymphatic systems moving, Structural Integration is aiming more for engaging long-term patterns in the connective tissue of the body. This connective tissue system is something we call fascia.

    For a long time fascia was just the stuff the anatomists cut through to get to what they were studying, but over the past decade or two there has been more interest in the material itself. Several years ago I attended the very first Fascia Research Congress at Harvard University, where researchers and clinicians gathered for the first time to share their findings with one another. The fourth Fascia Research Congress was held just last month. I’m not a research wonk, but I did find the scientific process fascinating– ask a question, create a test, isolate the variables, collect the data, present your conclusions.

    Last time I checked in with the wonks, there was no consensus on the exact mechanism of change for fascia– i.e., why does it respond to Structural Integration, what is the physiology, what is the best way to get a response? The answer I got was that they only knew it was not strictly applied pressure. To create connective tissue change with pressure you have to load one spot with a tremendous amount of it, a force so great even the most heavy-handed Rolfers are not capable of doing it.

    The search continues, of course, and my curiosity lies with what they might find out about the nerve fibers and contractile tissue in the fascial matrix. There seems to be a place in connective tissue where the person (or the nervous system) is engaged, sometimes over-engaged, and if they can be met there and convinced that the grasp on that tissue can be loosened without dire consequences… well, it’s probably another post entirely to go into that, but let’s just say I’m interested to hear what the researchers find out.

    Here is a lovely, graphically detailed and illustrated description of fascia with Robert Schleip, a Rolfer® and researcher in Germany (subtitled in English):

    The Allowing Will

    Friday, September 25th, 2015

    Some time ago the magazine of the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration® published an excerpt from Dr. Jeffrey Maitland’s book Spacious Body: Explorations in Somatic Ontology. It was a dense and chewy read by a philosopher and Rolfer, and though it took me a while to read the whole article, his ideas have resonated in the years since.

    Scanning through the article again, I feel like he needed a better editor, but the idea of finding within oneself an “Allowing Will” has been very juicy for me over the years. Can I choose, for instance, to allow support from another being, or allow something deep to happen in my body or experience without trying to control it? What if I just let gravity have that leg for a moment? Will all hell break loose? How about allowing myself to feel that tangle of emotions in the hip? Will the universe implode? Letting go of control can feel very dangerous to someone who has used it to navigate this crazy world. Not that I would know (ahem).

    “Fundamentally, allowing is a surrendering of the body-self and its conflicts into a spaciousness greater than itself from which empowered willing and action can manifest.”

    From this place the universe seems kinder and gentler and has a little more flow. Terrible things happen, but bracing against terrible things tends to make more terrible things happen, and allowing them to be something that instead once happened and then allowing the future to hold the possibility of quite different experiences… well, it works better for me.

    Click the quote above to access the book, the Allowing Will is chapter 4.

    Straighten Up and Fly Right!

    Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

    Vintage Stranger Ad, unfinished
    Vintage Stranger Ad, unfinished
    It’s Summer in Seattle! The best time of year, and you should be feeling your very best. To help keep you flying through these long and lovely days, I’m offering a mini-series of Structural Integration for a reduced rate: Three sessions for $300. (That’s a savings of $75 for the set!)

    If you have never received Dr. Rolf’s Structural Integration work, three sessions is a perfect intro, and should leave you feeling light on your feet, longer in your spine, and either completely satisfied or aware that you need more.
    If you have done a series in the past, three is a great tune-up set.

    To take advantage of this offer, book three appointments here and use promotion code SUMMER!. Offer ends August 31, 2016.

    Liberation is Possible!

    Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

    Twig Wheeler has done some lovely descriptive work with the ideas of Somatic Experiencing over the years. He did a one-man theater piece that demonstrates viscerally what many words of explanation would still struggle to convey. Here is an excerpt wherein slowing down and feeling/listening to his body yields a feeling of completion and illumination.

    There is something about a supported yielding to the programs and preferences of the subconscious mind (or autonomic nervous system) that potentiates deep reorganization for us in a way that striving for understanding through language does not.