Archive for the ‘Healing’ 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!


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.

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

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

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

Physical Therapy
Heidi Gans
Footworks Physical Therapy
Movement Systems Physical Therapy

Michelle Schwartz

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

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!

The Polyvagal Theory

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

I’m putting this here so that I know where to find it when I need a refresher!

The Polyvagal theory as described by Dr. Stephen Porges helps us to understand our physiological responses to stress. Knowing why our bodies do what they do can be SUCH A RELIEF for our minds, which love to find meaning for the states we find ourselves in, even when those states don’t match the current environment. This is particularly useful information for people with trauma histories, whose bodies might be telling stories from times past that make the present difficult to fully enjoy.

The science of Mind over Body

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Released Jan 26, 2016 Fresh Air with Terry Gross interviews Jo Marchant on topics that may be relevant to your interests. They certainly were to mine, pinging especially my trauma training and the physiology of PTSD.

The blurb:

“The mind has the ability to directly affect our health, from pain and depression to heart disease. Science writer Jo Marchant describes how things like mindfulness, virtual reality and the placebo effect are being harnessed in medical treatments.”

Self-massage for foot mobility

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

I just did this nice little self-care ritual of Mary Bond’s. I spend a lot of time in my bare or socked feet at work, but as she points out, that flat surface isn’t particularly interesting to my feet, and just threading my fingers through the toes as she suggests was a revelation.

This past weekend I was up by the Hamma Hamma river on the Olympic Peninsula and was walking barefoot on the sun-warmed river rocks, massaging my feet on the old logs, and allowing the forest floor to stimulate all of the receptors on the bottoms of my feet. So good! It makes me appreciate how my son Huck has toughened up his feet with a mostly barefoot summer and now his steps don’t have to be so tender and tentative when he walks the earth that way.

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.

I’m sensitive

Friday, September 11th, 2015

I am late to the game on this, but after talking with one of my clients recently about being extra-sensitive to the feelings of others, among other things, I finally did a little search online about it.

I have never identified as a “Highly Sensitive” person because (according to my therapist) I have excellent coping skills, and (it’s my feeling that) I’m not THAT sensitive. I’m lucky enough to be able to dial it in and dial it out most of the time, but there are times when I have to do a little self defense in the empathic realm, and my education about how to do that has been piecemeal.

There are a lot of us out there who get stronger signals from the world, which many of us read as ANXIETY, dreadful inexplicable anxiety. Somatic Experiencing has helped me tremendously with that, making it possible for me to experience anxiety as a felt-sense phenomenon that may or may not have a real issue it is trying to help me with. My discernment skills around that have gotten pretty good, and I may be able to teach you some of those skills if you like.

But–in big energy situations where my senses tend to get weirdly overwhelmed (a great example for me is festivals, where lots of crazy energy is running rampant) I have found it necessary to to a little self-care up front with little practices I’ve made up on my own. If the message about how to take care of oneself in this way has had a hard time reaching me, a person who has been surrounded by resources for over 20 years of working in the healing arts, then maybe it’s having a hard time reaching you, too.

Here’s a local class for you sensitive peeps out there that might prove helpful:

I’ve been clicking around on this website, too:
Something about the language of this site speaks to me less (I don’t identify with it), but I appreciate her focus on research, and have her book reserved at the library.

Here’s to continued learning!

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.

Improv/e Yourself!

Monday, September 16th, 2013
This is from a friend whose heart is good and ability to be silly is even better:
Have you ever wanted to take an improv class but have no desire to be a comedian? Come to this improv class for non-performers!

The class is designed to help you:

– connect fully to the immense creativity in your unconscious

– reduce negative internal self-talk
– get out of your head
– speak more confidently with other people
– tap into your intuition

The class will take place in a comfortable environment with up to 15 people help you let loose.

One time only reduced rate, just $15. Pay at the door.

7pm – 8:30pm Thursday 9/26/13
University Heights Center
Room #108

Confirm by emailing:

or call Ben Lidgus at:
206 462 0654

Please pass this email along to anyone you think might be interested.
Ben Lidgus has been performing improv since 1998 with many different groups.  He has been teaching improv since 2007.  He holds a Master’s degree in teaching and taught at Garfield High School for 2 years.