Whether felt or not, I believe we all carry pain within us. The expression in the bodywork field, "The issues are in the tissues" carries significant weight.
When people come to see me, there is conversation of pain and how they can rid themselves or find some relief. Sometimes, it is not that simple. The underlying issue resulting in such pain, is quite possibly many layers deep. If pain takes a substantial time to abate, this could be a sign of emotional trauma or something much deeper.
The way we carry ourselves always tells a story. The tissues never lie. Two people could have suffered the same injury and undergo similar treatment protocols; one of these individuals will heal while the other experiences prolonged pain and suffering. While there are physical variables that can account for the person's success in recovery there are also emotional variables in this equation that can be linked to the person's emotional state during the trauma, emotional state prior and their chronic mental/emotional state.
A person who walks with constant slumped shoulders tells a different story than the person who walks more upright and open. The body language of the person who walks slumped over may tell a story of early childhood trauma where the need to guard was constantly present for instance.
Our bodies are far more complex than just - "relax these muscles here and result will be x and you will feel better". Not addressing the underlying cause of will result in the return of the discomfort. Some individuals will even create a similar accident and re-injure themselves all over again.
We are not merely a sum of our experiences, but an organism of great intelligence. This intelligence only understands the concept of balance and what it must do to keep us upright and alive. It does not understand our ailments and the labels we give them.
The role of the bodywork professional is to aid this intelligence in releasing the inner pain via soft-tissue work. Thomas Myers, the author of Anatomy Trains speaks of external pain versus internal pain. External pain is an external force that is introduced into the body that causes pain, such as a stubbed toe. Internal pain is the pain that has been walled off and encapsulated by our tissues to prevent further damage. Our entire body becomes organized around this area of pain and to an extent our lives become organized around it. For instance, someone who is suffering a great deal of pain cannot work as much and is unable to make the required income to survive.
What if we looked deeper into our pain? Take for example, when a trigger point is released, it may be uncomfortable at first, but after the muscle is allowed to relax, movement and freedom appear in its wake. This is the same for emotional pain. We unknowingly carry so much of it, wouldn't it be worth it to finally rid ourselves of it?
Releasing internal pain not only carries freedom and movement but a sense of awakening. A little bit of
discomfort is worth the great deal of freedom that is gained.
I have shared the video below from Thomas Myers as he explains the differences between external and internal pain. Thomas Myers' work is very fascinating. He teaches workshops around the country and world and his held in the highest esteem among his peers.
If you have any questions regarding this information, feel free to reach out to me. You can email me or call me at 602-730-2508.
I look forward to seeing you in my cozy treatment room.
"I Am Psoas Hell!"Lately, I have been getting clients who report hip and low back pain. Some even feel the pain in the groin making life a little challenging to say the least.
Because many of us spend lots of hours sitting where the body is in a constant state of flexion, this can shorten major hip flexor muscles, the psoas or iliopsoas. (pronounced "so-as")
Because of the clinical implications these guys have, there are entire books dedicated just for them. Frankly, there isn't enough space for me to truly give them their due here. I will touch upon some of the major facts about them in this article.
The psoas muscles are long and flat. About 16 inches in length. They are also quite thick. In animals, it is referred to as the "tenderloin". My apologies to my vegatarian friends. Here is a link to an image of these muscles.
They connect the trunk of the body with the legs. They originate at the T12 vertebrae and insert into the inner thighs. They flex the hip and the spine. These muscles act as "guy wires" and lifts the upper leg towards the body (used for walking) and conversely, pulls the body towards the legs when the legs are in a fixed position. (Think of a forward fold in yoga)
When these muscles are shortened, they can cause the following symptoms:
The way we stand, sit or walk can distort these muscles. Prolonged sitting is a huge factor in shortening these muscles as they remain contracted to keep us in a sitting position.
If you suspect you are having any of the above symptoms, there are a couple of things you can do. Since these muscles are in a state of excitement, you can visit a licensed massage therapist (that's me :) ) and they can relax these muscles in a very gentle and effective manner. Another is to retrain them. They are dysfunctional and will need to "re-learn" how to function correctly again. Here is a wonderful link I found on how you can retrain your psoas muscles.
If you have any questions regarding this information, feel free to reach out to me. You can email me or call me at 602-730-2508.
I look forward to seeing you in my cozy treatment room.
Our quick-flip lifestyles can be rather hard on our bodies. We spend so much time worrying about our next task, we never take time out for ourselves, let alone give ourselves anytime for any self-care.
Oftentimes, I will have someone visit me who is in a crisis, meaning they are in so much pain, they need to see me right away. When they call in such distress, I can only imagine their body will have substantial knots or as we like to refer to them, "trigger points".
The typical phone call or office visit usually sounds something like, "I must have slept wrong", "My low back hurts really bad", "I woke up with a headache" or they may say something like "I am having pain between my shoulder blades".
I get asked by a lot of my clients where do these nasty knots come from? Why are they there? There are many factors that result in trigger points so this isn't an easy question to answer. Because I get asked often about them, I feel I've been presented with an opportunity to address trigger points.
The definition of a trigger point by authors and pioneers in the field of trigger point study, Travell and Simons is, "a highly irritable localized spot of exquisite tenderness in a nodule in a palpable taught band of muscle tissue". Really, what that means is trigger points hurt like heck when the massage therapist places her elbow in them.
Now that we have the definition of a trigger points, let's delve more into their physiology. First, we must start with the basic unit of a muscle, the contractile unit known as a sarcomere. Trigger points exists when when these contractile units are unable to release from their contracted state. When these sarcomeres are unable to relax, they are unable to circulate blood and fulfill any metabolic need. This results in oxygen deprivation and can result in accumulation of metabolic waste products which can cause further irritation.
Individuals with trigger points near the neck and shoulders may report a numbness and tingling in their fingers. This is due to the enlarging of the muscle and its ability to compress nerves that have to pass through it. Sometimes, it is labeled by physicians and peripheral neuropathy.
The effects of trigger points can be far-reaching. Most individuals who are experiencing active trigger points will have limited movement. This is because trigger points will keep the muscles short and stiff. Trigger points also have an interesting effect on the central nervous system. Authors Travell and Simons have also listed some of these effects to be quite unimaginable from, reddening of the eyes, excessive tearing, blurred vision, droopy eyelid, goosebumps to persistent nasal secretions.
What are some trigger point causes? There are some obvious causes such as accidents, falls, strains and overwork. Ever overdo it at the gym? The effects can last for days and sometimes weeks long after the event occurred. There are also avoidable and unavoidable muscle abuse that factor in as
Avoidable muscle abuse such as chronic overloading in work situations also known as "overuse syndrome," repetitive motions injury," and repetitive strain. Basically, this means you worked the heck out of these muscles beyond their endurance threshold and now they are angry at you! I remember many years ago my right shoulder and neck would always hurt. It wasn't until I saw a massage therapist that I realized I was spending many of my days shuffling through airports and I would always carry my heavy laptop bag over my right shoulder.
There is the unavoidable muscle abuse that results from falls, accidents and collisions. Other muscle abuse can occur from surgeries where the muscle is cut and stretched, prolonged immobility such as casts can provoke trigger points.
Why do trigger points seem to come back? This too is a very complex question to answer. There are many factors that result in persistence of trigger points.
Physical Factors such as bone structure, physical irregularities, postural stress, poor work habits, repetitive motion, lack of excercise are some physical factors. One of my teachers said it best. I don't remember word for word what he said but here's the gist, during our lifetimes, we are always fighting gravity. It's tough on our bodies and if our bodies aren't supported in this fight, they will either give up the fight or scream like hell.
Nutritional inadequacies. A lack in vital nutrients such as vitamins, B1, B6 and B12 and C and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium have been shown in patients with persistent trigger points. A balance of calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium are required for proper muscle function. Inadequate ingestion and absorption of nutrients due to excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco are factors as well.
There are also emotional and psychological factors as well. Chronic tensing or guarding that never give muscles a chance to relax are sure to persist trigger points. In a previous life, I used to be an outage coordinator, where I was responsible for coordination of resources when an outage occurred. These were very stressful situations, I would sit for hours on end on a conference call bridge with my shoulders tensed up. I would go home with the worst tension headaches.
One of the best ways to mitigate these trigger points is to have a licensed massage therapist work them out. They are specially trained and skilled to feel for them and help them dissolve away. Keep in mind the factors listed above.
Lifestyle changes and regular bodywork will help keep your muscles and body nice and healthy.
We offer affordable wellness plans that make it easy for anyone to fit regular bodywork in their budget. You can find out more about ithere.
This has been a very common question I've been getting in my practice. I've been asked this question so much, that I feel I need to address it here. This particular entry mainly answers the question regarding private insurance companies.
The short answer to this question is "no". The reason isn't because I don't want to. In my research, I discovered that if you practice massage therapy in the State of Arizona, private insurance companies won't credential you. Credentialing gives you the ability as a massage therapist to bill the insurance companies directly. Until the laws change, I currently am unable to do so.
There are other avenues to explore if you want your massage covered by your insurance company. Your Health Care Provider (HCP) can prescribe or refer you to me. In order for your HCP to refer or prescribe, it must be deemed medically necessary. There are specific diagnostic codes That insurance companies will look for to determine medical necessity. Some common ones are:
There are many, many other diagnostic codes.. If you are feeling particularly curious or having trouble falling asleep, you can find them here:
I currently do electronic charting and will work with any HCP to track progress and help improve your condition. Some doctors' offices may be able to bill the insurance companies on my behalf to minimize your out-of-pocket cost.
If your HCP is unable to bill the insurance companies for my services, (more than likely this will be the case) I can furnish what is known as a "super bill". This is a detailed receipt that you would submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. The super bill will contain the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and the ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases) diagnostic codes. Your physician will have to provide the ICD-9 codes in the prescription or referral. I have referral / prescription forms in my practice for your HCP to fill out.
Additionally, if you would like to have insurance cover your massage sessions, there is also a bit of leg work needed to see if you will be either reimbursed from your private insurance company or covered.
Here's an excerpt from a billing information form I located from my ABMP membership website that may help you determine whether or not you will be covered or reimbursed:
Private Health (Additional information is necessary if billing your health insurance) Does the insurance plan cover massage therapy? Yes ☐ No ☐ Does it cover massage therapy provided by a massage therapist (LMT, LMP, RMT, CMT, etc)? Yes ☐ No ☐
Does it cover massage therapy for this condition (____________________)? Yes ☐ No ☐
Does the treatment have to be referred? Yes ☐ No ☐
Prescribed? Yes ☐ No ☐
Does the treatment have to be pre-authorized? Yes ☐ No ☐
What is the annual massage therapy benefit (# of visits or $ amount)? ______________
How much is remaining for this year? _______________________
Do the benefit limits include PT, DC as well? Yes ☐ No ☐
How much is remaining for this year? ________________
What is the deductible? _____________
How much as been satisfied to date? _____________
Is there a co-pay? Yes ☐ No ☐ How much? _______________________ Does the massage/bodywork practitioner have to be a preferred/credentialed provider in the network? Yes ☐ No ☐
Is _________________________ a preferred/credentialed provider?
Yes ☐ No ☐
Are there out-of-network benefits available? Yes ☐ No ☐ If yes, what % is covered/what is the co-insurance payment? ______________
What is the deductible for out-of-network care? _______________________ How much has been satisfied to date? __________________
If you are receiving physical therapy or chiropractic care and you want to have your massage service covered as well, you cannot receive massage the same day as chiropractic or physical therapy. This is because it will look as though you are double-billing. The practitioner who submits the claim first usually will be the only one reimbursed.
I hope you find this somewhat helpful. If you are interested in having your massages covered by your insurance and have questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another affordable option for massage / bodywork services is our monthly wellness plan. It's easy to enroll (no contract only 30 days notice to cancel). You can find out more information regarding our wellness membership here.
Just imagine you are sitting in traffic while not so silently griping about the car in front of you that is sluggishly moving along in the passing lane.
Other than the irritation of not getting to work fast enough, your day is pretty mundane.
Between grocery shopping, dance lessons, karate, and soccer, you are exhausted but miraculously manage to get dinner on the table. You go to bed at night only to do it all over again the next day.
A typical day for us may seem a tad monotonous at times. These seemingly mundane tasks are amazing compared to what other families are going through.
I am talking about military families.
These are the unsung heroes that have to live and navigate many obstacles while their loved one is deployed.
When a serviceman or woman is deployed, their spouse has to keep things together. The insurmountable tasks of wiping noses, paying bills, vehicle maintenance, meal preparation, household repairs and projects... everything falls on their shoulders.
Even when a military member is not deployed, the family is at the mercy of a rather arduous schedule. Missions, countless hours of PT and other military work involved. Sometimes, the spouse is even forced to leave their job.
A child's first words and first steps can be bitter sweet. Military families often do not have the luxury of reveling in these sweet moments.
Military families are constantly adapting and adjusting their schedules to accommodate their loved one in service.They can pick up at a moment's notice, wipe every tear, hug until their arms hurt and do whatever it takes to support their loved one in service. Oftentimes, they will do it alone.
I am in awe of the resiliency, patience and exemplary support of these individuals. I imagine the heartache and sacrifices being made daily. I wonder who supports them.
How can you show your appreciation for military families? You can give the gift of time, cook or deliver a meal, fix a window, help with household chores, or offer to take their kids for a few hours.
Here's another link on how you can get involved and help support military families:
When you are supporting military families, you are supporting those who are protecting us.
In honor of Military Appreciation Month, I would like to say thank you to all the military families who are on the front lines of the men and women who serve us.
I will be honoring military families during my inaugural "We Give Back" program. If you have a military serviceman or woman in your family, learn how you can take advantage of this program by clicking here.
***Content of this article was inspired by fellow massage therapist author and teacher, Allissa Haines. You can visit her website at: http://writingabluestreak.com.
Just wanted to talk about one of my favorite-est
lower back muscles and source of a lot of pain for
many of my clients... Meet Quadratus Lumborum (QL).
The QL is comprised of three subsections that have distinct fiber directions:
In my practice, I do some assessments to see if the QL is involved in low back pain, most of the time, I can get a good idea of what's going on during the intake process.
One of the tests I do is to see if the QL is lengthening by having the client side bend. If the lumbar spine remains straight when side bending, it indicates the QL isn't lengthening. For example, when a client side bends to the left and the lumbar spine remains straight, we know the right QL is indicated in this instance.
So, how do we know when the QL is involved in low back pain? Some clients feel pain in low back at rest or in any position. Oftentimes, they feel worse in an upright posture. Other clients report pain after a violent sneeze or cough. The reason is these muscles have to contract to stabilize the rib cage. Some may feel pain in the buttocks, I often ask clients if forward and side bending hurts. This can also be an indicator of QL involvement in low back pain. Because of the attachment to 12th rib, some clients even state they have difficulty with respiration. This is because the QL is also a stabilizer for the diaphragm.
What causes issues with QL muscles?
Of course, the list above is not an exhaustive list by any means and there could be additional reason for low back pain symptoms which could mean other muscles may be involved.
To prevent and address QL-related back pain (or any back pain for that matter) would be to do any exercises that strengthen and stabilize the core. I feel this could be true of preventing any back pain. I see many clients who have weak and shortened abdominal muscles and they almost always tell me they have low back pain. I like hold planks (not situps) to stablize my core. Here's a video on how to correctly work the core. I like it because it explains why conventional situps are a bad thing for your back.
The Bikram Half-Moon pose in yoga is also fantastic for QL stretching. For those who don't know what half-moon pose is, here is a link. You should really be patient with yourself and don't worry if you cannot go that deep. If you don't do yoga or you don't feel safe doing this posture, please don't attempt. Here's another wonderful link for QL excercises. I've also found another informative video on QL testing and strengthening. You can find that video here.
If you are in the Phoenix area and would like to schedule a session with me, you can click here.
Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to seeing you in my cozy treatment room!
Deep Tissue Massages addresses the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. The basis for tissue change lies in part with muscle and the fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that is found everywhere in the body and connects everything to everything else and also gives muscle form.
Stressed and tensed muscles often are oxygen and nutrient deprived. Deep Tissue Massage works to restore the flow of nutrients and oxygen, break up scar tissue and will release metabolic waste stored in the tensed tissues. The releasing of metabolic waste is what usually results in the sore feeling a day or two after the session.
Unlike a Swedish massage, Deep Tissue massage does not use quick-flowing strokes. The deeper the stroke, the longer the duration. Because the therapist is going into deeper layers of the muscle and affecting connective tissue, the therapist has to wait for the tissue to "invite" them in. The reason is because when getting into these deeper layers, there may be some resistance or trigger points (knots) which may lead to a sympathetic (fight or flight) response. The goal is to minimize this response as much as possible. Tense tissue will not release and the struggle can make matters worse.
To give you a brief history regarding the interplay of function and form, Buckminister Fuller who was a visionary architect, writer and mid-20th century thinker coined the term, "tensegrity" to describe this interplay both in architecture and in nature. What he observed was that seemingly fixed members in a structural system are supported by its soft members. This analogy holds true when fixing a tent in the ground with poles and guy wires. So to say the positioning of the tent poles to support the tent is analogous to the tensing and lengthening of our muscles and fascia.
Overtime, we may experience injury, overuse, and lack of use. All of these are equally debilitating to overall health and well being. When tissue is stuck or adhesed, it never just impacts the area of the tissue. Because the effects of connective tissue is far reaching and systemic, other bodily systems can potentially be impacted.
With injury, the body attempts to repair the tissue by laying down scar tissue. This tissue isn't as tensile as regular tissue. Aside from repairing tissue, its job is to immobilize the affected area to allow for the body's natural healing process. Oftentimes, the immobility remains well after the body's repairing efforts with the individual due to fear of the area being re-injured. Not only does this reduce functionality of the impacted limb, but also affects surrounding tissues. Good physical therapy coupled with deep tissue massage can assist with breaking up the stuck tissue (adhesion) and improve mobility.
Overuse or repetitive stress injuries can also result in unhealthy muscle tissue. Just think of someone with tennis elbow or a golfer with chronic back pain. Just sitting at a desk typing on a computer now results in injury! The constant dysfunctional pulling will not only pull bones out of alignment but also impact functioning organs surrounding the area of overuse. The goal of the therapist in conjunction with the client is to retrain the tissue away from its dysfunction.
Lack of use results mostly from a sedentary lifestyle. More time will be spent on this topic as this is has become quite the modern-day epidemic because of constant sitting. Constant sitting results in shortening of the necessary hip flexor muscles. Spending too much time in a chair under stressful conditions is a recipe for tight hip flexor muscles which results in low back and hip pain. A trained massage therapist will be able to rehabilitate the hip flexors. Because of the location of the psoas muscles, (a major hip flexor underneath the visceral organs) working this area is often an unpleasant experience for the client. It will often require the client to participate by way of "homework" in the form of stretches and hip movement exercises. Here's a link to a very informative video on how to help retrain your hip flexors (psoas muscles) Overtime, the hip joint becomes dysfunctional due to the misalignment of the hip joint and cartilage grinding.
In closing Deep Tissue Massage can not only help individuals with serious conditions but can help restore overall balance by cleansing the body of toxins, releasing scar tissue and retraining dysfunctional tissue. The relaxation benefit of regular massages also helps to improve mood, reduction of stress hormones, lowered blood pressure and improved immunity to name a few.
David Lauterstein, "The Deep Massage Book, How to Combine Structure and Energy in Bodywork" pgs 4 - 5
One of the key diagnostic tools for a Craniosacral Therapy practitioner is the Craniosacral rhythm. The Craniosacral rhythm is one of many rhythms that are palpable within the human body but the most subtle. For instance, it is easy to detect one's own heartbeat, and breathing rhythms but to determine the rhythm of the Craniosacral system requires patience and practice.
What is the Craniosacral rhythm? Everyone has a Craniosacral rhythm. In fact, all vertebrae animals have one. The rhythm is a result of the ebb and flow of cerebrospinal fluid as it is being produced and reabsorbed in and around the central nervous system. This rhythm is typically between 6-12 cycles per minute and can be felt throughout the body.
The filling and emptying of cerebrospinal fluid follows "The Pressurestat Model". This term was coined by Dr. John Upledger as it mimics a semi-enclosed hydraulic system. This system is closed but still has an inflow and an outflow apparatus. When fluid is supplied into a container, it expands until it can no longer hold fluid and is expelled. In the case of the Craniosacral system, the fluid container is a very strong and flexible membrane known as the Dura Mater that surrounds the brain and spinal chord. (it is known as the Dural Tube when it is surrounding the spinal chord). The fluid in this pressurestat model is the cerebrospinal fluid. The structures that monitor inflow and outflow are neuromechanical receptors which detect stretch and compression forces and are located in the sagittal sutures in the skull. These intelligent detectors signal the emptying and filling of cerebrospinal fluid.
When the rate of inflow exceeds the rate of outflow, a signal is sent from the stretch receptors to temporarily halt the production of cerebrospinal fluid. Once the pressure receptors sense the bones in the sagittal suture (parietal) begin to join, a signal is sent to resume the production of cerebrospinal fluid.
The filling and emptying of cerbrospinal fluid is known as flexion (the widening or filling of the cranium) and extension (emptying or narrowing) . During the flexion phase, paired bones rotate externally and single bones move inferiorly (towards the feet). In extension, paired bones rotate internally and single bones move in a superior (towards the head) direction.
What is the cerebrospinal fluid made of? This fluid is the result of refined blood that is filtered out by specialized apparatus called Choroid Plexuses located in the brain's ventricular system. The importance of cerbrospinal fluid is to provide mechanical protection in the form of shock absorption, regulate the pH environment of the central nervous system, distribution of neuroendocrine factors, and prevent ischemia (narrowing) of the spinal chord. It is even thought cerebrospinal fluid contains chelating factors as well. Chelating factors help eliminate harmful heavy metals in the body.
When the Craniosacral System is functioning optimally, the rhythm is akin to that of a subtle tide. Irregularities and asymmetries in this rhythm are used as a detection tool to locate imbalances in the body. Craniosacral Therapy practitioners are trained to evaluate the Symmetry, Quality, Amplitude and Rate ( this is known as evaluating the SQAR) of the Craniosacral rhythm. They are evaluated as follows:
Where there are disturbances in the Craniosacral rhythm, symptoms can develop. For example, a left leg that doesn't rotate outward during the flexion phase, may indicate an imbalance or restriction in the fascia near the hip flexors and hip joint. A practitioner who is trained in Craniosacral therapy can help the body reestablish its optimal movement patterns as restrictions are released. Restrictions are released with minimal and non-evasive touch. This touch is typically 5 grams or less.
Despite it's name, Craniosacral therapy is not just relegated to treating the Cranium and Sacrum. It is a whole-body approach to well-being. Releasing restrictions throughout the body can encourage better output of cerebrospinal fluid and positively effect the function of the Central Nervous System. A balanced Central Nervous System can lead to an optimally functioning and balanced individual.
Allow me to invite you to expand your perspective on bodywork and massage. I know there are some of you that love your deep tissue massage and like the feeling of something "hurting so good".. But hear me out... Maybe even suspend some beliefs for the time being.. Let me explain why I really love Craniosacral Therapy. I would like to talk about why I chose it as my modality of choice and it's alignment with my bodywork practice.
The major paradigm of Craniosacral therapy is the body/mind/spirit is self-healing. Imagine there is an inner being that is already whole, perfect and healed residing within us all. This is the part of us that knows how to heal. Regardless of what we may consciously understand about what a healing should look like or how it should happen, if we ignore this major tenant of this inner wisdom, our efforts may work against our client's innate ability to be whole.
What does it mean to be whole? To me, it means to be fully present in your body while on this physical existence regardless of traumas and/or life experiences. It means to be the fullest version of yourself and being able to express that fullness in your physical existence. It's not so much about overcoming obstacles but working through them. Facing these obstacles takes a lot of courage and can be difficult. In our Craniosacral training, we learn that resistance is a therapist's friend. When a client shows signs of resistance and something comes up in the tissues, it means there is something quite significant. Working with this significance creates a tremendous healing opportunity.
Each Craniosacral session is client-driven. This means the client's tissues and inner wisdom guide the therapist through the session rather than techniques and/or protocols. I liken this work to a dance where the client leads and the therapist follows. While this seems like an effortless modality (and it is with the necessary training and background) , without the knowledge and training at a therapist's disposal, a session could be as limited as the therapist's comfort level and skill set. In other words, if a client's inner wisdom reveals a need to perform work intra-orally, the therapist's training and comfort level with performing these techniques determine if it occurs during the session. This is an example where training can either expand the possibilities for healing or diminish it. I personally have found intra-oral work to be vastly profound in my own healing journey.
According to Dr. Upledger's teachings, the overall goal of Craniosacral Therapy is self-realization. This is where unconscious information becomes available to the client's conscious awareness. Facilitating this awareness for the client is very powerful. This is what allows the inner wisdom to allow the session to unfold gracefully and in a manner that has the client's highest and best interest. I always tell a client that I never know what a healing will look like for them, it is up to their inner wisdom. I receive this work often for my own well-being. I am here to tell you, I am always amazed at what comes to light in my own sessions. It is never what I expected or necessarily wanted but always what I needed
What makes a Craniosacral session so powerful is tissue response. There is so much unexpressed information within our tissues, once it is revealed in a session, a profound shift will occur. Deeper information about traumas are realized and the client will be that much closer to self-realization. Once this unconscious information is reconciled with the conscious mind, the client is able to move forward in their healing process. This reconciliation process can be very palpable to the practitioner as tissue softening and or lengthening. The client may let out a deep sigh or move part of their body. The client may also report an alleviation of pain or direct the therapist to another area of significance.
I truly enjoy this work because I feel it really can help clients on so many levels. Even I enjoy a therapeutic deep tissue massage from time to time. For me, this gentle and very effective approach to bodywork has been life-changing. It has been a profound tool for me to help me move forward in my journey not just as a practitioner but as a human being.
I have the honor and pleasure of practicing Craniosacral Therapy at Lavendar Moon Store in Goodyear, AZ. I am very excited about this amazing prospect because the store is owned by my friend Tonya and is a beautiful oasis of all things holistic. Lots of amazing products and services. If you are in Arizona or planning on a visit to Arizona, I highly recommend stopping by. Her website is http://www.lavendarmoonstore.com. All the pertinent contact information is listed there.
Anyway, enough doting on my friend Tonya and her amazing store :)
I am often asked what is Craniosacral Therapy? Elevator speech.... Elevator speech.. . Here is mine:
Craniosacral Therapy is based on the foundation where the body knows how to heal itself and encourages the body to self-correct. With a gentle touch (five grams or less) the pracitioner listens to the body to determine where touch is needed to help release tension in the body. Once tension patterns are released in the body, the affected organ system(s) are able to resume it's original functionality.
In addition to my elevator speech, my lexicon often involves words such as, movement, flexibility, life, fluidity, nurturing, nourishment, openness, space, breath, flow, release, wellness, balance, energy, dynamic, etc... Just think about the energy of these words. How do these words make you feel right now as you are reading them? Think about them when you have a session with your client or when you are describing Craniosacral Therapy to a client.
The difference between Craniosacral Therapy and most manual therapies is the session is client-driven. In other words, the body's innate intelligence (Upledger refers to this as the "Inner Physician") directs the treatment plan. In order to "listen" to the client's body's queues, a therapist must be extremely grounded and present. Because the therapist is also receiving information from the client's energy field. If the therapist is ungrounded while in session, the therapist can not only take on the client's imbalance but can also adversely impact the client's well-being and make matters worse. This is also why it is important for practitioners to regularly receive work and have a regimen of self-care.
So what does Craniosacral Therapy mean to me? My experiences are that Craniosacral sessions as dances. The client leads and I follow. CST is borne from Osteopathy and has a strong scientific foundation, but it is very much an art. The potency of each session is in the unspoken dialog between client and practitioner. This dialog may be open-ended questions that create an opening of possibilities to wellness. There can be stillness and tranquility followed by a crescendo of physical and emotional responses. Whatever the experiences are during a session, it is always a beautiful journey.
Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to helping you on your wellness journey.
In health and love,