My therapeutic framework involves a variety of modalities that create openings on mental, emotional and physical layers.
I fluidly blend these modalities, as a way to meet the intentions of each client. My work can be very structural - informed by the Structural Integration work of Ida Rolf, it can be very subtle, informed by Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and Polarity Therapy, and it can be very psycho-emotional, using the Two Chair process from Polarity Therapy and Verbal Skills for Trauma Resolution.
Oftentimes, it is a combination of all of these things. I work with each client to develop a way of working that meets their needs and helps them with what is emerging for transformation.
biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) is a gentle, subtle touch therapy that works in tune with the natural resources of the body to resolve tension, accumulated trauma and physical injuries. Developed out of Osteopathy, Craniosacral Therapy began with the discovery that the bones of the skull are constantly being "breathed" by some unknown mechanism, rhythmically expanding and contracting over a miniscule distance. It was discovered that when this movement was present and flowing in a full range of motion, health was more accessible and people were able to recover from a range of conditions. BCST functions from the belief that the body is capable of tremendous healing, in and of itself.
In a biodynamic modality, the practitioner works with deep, somatic listening to reflect and support the body as it is, allowing that simple reflection to act as the impetus for healing. Through this process, the body is able to gently unwind injuries and find resilience and repair from anxiety, emotional strain and trauma.
BCST works with subtle precision, making it a potent tool for resolving shock and trauma, as well as targeting pain and complications from injuries, accidents and surgeries. BCST works successfully with headaches and migraines, digestion and sleep dysfunction, whiplash TMJ pain and concussions.
Developed by Ida P. Rolf, Structural Integration systematically reorganizes the fascial system to bring the whole body into greater alignment with gravity. Rather than addressing the body as a collection of individual muscles and bones, Structural Integration addresses the body as a seamless network of tissues that is in constant, instantaneous intercommunication. As a result, clients receive relief from chronic pain and injuries, find increased ease and vitality in their body, and effortlessly move with better body mechanics and less strain.
Structural Integration can improve balance, flexibility, athletic performance, and is a helpful tool for dealing with common body stresses including low back pain, headaches, neck and shoulder tension, poor posture, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ syndrome and much more. Additionally, I find that Structural Integration effectively addresses chronic stress and provides both nervous system integration and emotional release.
Traditionally, Structural Integration is performed in a series of 10 sessions, which provide a systematic protocol for complete transformation of the entire body. Each session targets a specific part of the body and integrates it into a more coherent alignment. This results into a holistic shifting to greater functionality over 10 sessions. This framework, developed by Ida Rolf, is powerful. I offer SI both in the traditional 10-series format, as well as in a more free form application, for clients who are unable to commit to a full 10-series.
Structural Integration has a reputation for being both deeply painful and incredibly profound. I like to think of my SI practice as being "Structural Integration for people who are afraid of Structural Integration." I find Structural Integration to be a profound method for opening and organizing the body, but I utilize my skills in subtle energy work to track the layer of availability in a client's system and am careful about to respect boundaries and not overwhelm the system. The work can be intense, but never overwhelming or unbearable.
Polarity Therapy is a holistic approach to wellness based on Dr. Randolph Stone’s lifelong study of the body’s electromagnetic energy system. With roots in Chiropractic, Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, Polarity Therapy seeks to understand the underlying causes of health and disease in order to restore vitality and wellness.
Polarity Therapy is based on the cosmology that dualistic, energetic patterns underlie all phenomena. These phenomena are palpable to the human touch, and can be observed in all fields of action, at all scales. These energetic patterns have three layers: the energetic "shushumna" of the core, the "Three Principles:" Yang, Yin and Neutral and the "Five Elements:" Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. When these energetic currents are in balance and energy moves freely between poles, there is wellness in the whole system. When the system is compromised by fixations and imbalances, we find patterns of tension, stress, and dis-ease.
Polarity Therapy provides a way for practitioners to assess and treat the natural energy equilibrium and movement on all three of these layers. A Polarity practitioner then uses gentle, rocking and firm touch on key points in the body’s energetic map to effect systemic change and settling. By systematically re-aligning and adjusting the energetic system where it has become fixated or stagnant over time, the body slowly re-organizes to a higher level of function and ease. Polarity Therapy treatments are relaxing, rejuvenating and effective in easing a host of conditions, including chronic stress, sleeplessness, digestive problems, anxiety, chronic pain, and more.
An important part of the process of Polarity Therapy is also offering support for self-care (including self-regulating exercises and diet consultations) as well as verbal counseling. These additional elements help to integrate continued transformation into the client’s life. All aspects of therapeutic approach are guided by the same principles: finding energetic balance and releasing fixation on physical, emotional and mental levels, and utilizing thorough energetic maps as a guide.
In my practice, I also utilize the "Two Chair Process," a blending of Gestalt Therapy with Polarity Therapy principles. This process helps to ease fixation of mental and emotional patterns, using pendulation of states between chairs. This process helps to understand the mental and emotional processes underlying physical conditions and begins to ease fixation and restore flow on the mental and emotional layers.
Nervous System Integration
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) coordinates all of our non-cognitive physiology. It organizes our sleeping, our digestion, our immune system functioning as well as manages our relationship to stress, shock, overwhelm, fear, anger and trauma. Our modern day lives depend on the capacity of our ANS to navigate complex situations, for which it wasn't built. Driving at high speeds, working stressful jobs, interfacing with complex technology, navigating complex family dynamics and staying up to date in a world that moves at increasing speed are just some of the stresses we all manage daily. These nervous system triggers are heightened by unresolved nervous system charge from any more overt traumas (abuse, car accidents, betrayal, threat, abandonment, etc) that we may have experienced.
As our nervous system becomes increasingly overloaded, it can also become increasingly compromised. We don't sleep or digest very well, our immune system becomes compromised, and we live with low to high levels of anxiety. Over time, this can worsen and manifest as complete collapse creating exhaustion, insomnia and depression. On any level of the spectrum, this overload in the ANS keeps us from accessing presence and ease in the present moment. It keeps us physiologically tied up in past events, unable to access our own innate vitality and capacity for deep connection.
I find that nervous system regulation, using a variety of approaches, is a central part of all the work I do because it is such a universal cause of stress and dis-ease in modern life. I utilize a body-centered approach to helping trauma and nervous system activation slowly find gentle avenues of release and integration. My approach uses the cultivation of present-tense awareness, coupled with support and safety to help the nervous system re-negotiate ease and balance. I embrace a full-spectrum approach to nervous system regulation that includes hands-on work and verbal interventions.