Here's why you might want to see me, and what I do...
Do you feel like your body is bound up, fragmented, or crooked? Do you have old injuries that haven't resolved? Do you notice that stress or emotional states affect your body tension? Do you practice meditation or yoga and have trouble being comfortable in your body during your practice? Are you curious about just what the body is and how it relates to consciousness? Are you interested in transformation, physical and otherwise?
For more than 30 years I have been deeply engaged in this realm of body and how it interfaces with mind and consciousness, first in my own body and then as a professional for some 22 years. I am an advanced practitioner of Rolfing® Structural Integration (SI), craniosacral work, visceral work, and other advanced bodywork modalities, and bring them together as needed to create optimal structural balance, so that the surface and core layers are in harmony. I call this “whole-body integration.”
Any “problem” will involve patterns through the body structure and systems as a whole, so it's good to work with a practitioner who can track through these layers. Many times clients are also interested in how the body interfaces with their mind, their emotions, and their consciousness, and that's also territory I love to play in. I got into Rolfing work myself because I was interested in being more embodied, feeling more present and alive in my body. It is this mind-body-spirit interface that has guided my own explorations and my professional work.
Below you'll find brief descriptions of the modalities I use. Any of these can be done separately, or the bodywork modalities can be combined. You can find more detailed information about many of these in my blog entries by category.
Rolfing® Structural Integration
Rolfing SI, developed by Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D., is a sophisticated bodywork system that aligns the body in gravity by balancing the fascia (connective tissue). Let's look at these two things, balance in gravity, and fascia, in more detail.
Dr. Rolf loved training engineers and architects because her system is structural. If a door doesn't hang right in your house, you can take it off its hinges and plane the part that scrapes the floor. However, that is just cosmetic. The real fix is to check the foundation of your house to see what is causing the doorjamb to be out of alignment. Similarly, Rolfing SI doesn't chase symptoms, but rather looks to balance the underlying alignment issues that are often behind pain and tension. She believed that when the body is aligned in gravity, most pain and tension issues that are musculoskeletal will be resolved, and clients often find this to be the case.
Moving on to fascia. Using a simple metaphor, in your body the bones are the scaffolding, the muscles are the movers, and the fascia is the “shrink wrap” that holds it all together in a particular shape. In Rolfing sessions we are "sculpting" or "tailoring" how the fascia drapes on/in your body to bring it to better balance and spatial relationships.
Rolfing SI is traditionally done as a 10-session series, where each session has a particular goal and territory to work. We eventually work through the whole body, taking apart old patterns and creating new integration. I like to think of this as the body’s 50,000 mile tune-up. Most clients report that the 10 sessions give them more energy and flexibility as well as taking away most of their musculoskeletal aches and pains.
If you have one particular physical problem, or a recent injury, I can also use a “fix-it” approach where our primary strategy is to get you quick relief. This may be the way to start if you have one main problem, or the time is not right for a series, but I still use the Rolfing approach of assessing the whole body and creating balance and alignment.
If you suffer from stress, headaches, TMJ pain, or a stiff neck, you may benefit greatly from craniosacral therapy, a form of gentle bodywork that balances the cranial bones, the sacrum, and the related membranes that house the brain, spinal cord, and cerebrospinal fluid. Imbalances in the cranial system often result from injuries - especially to your head, neck, and spine, but also hard falls that jolt your body as a whole. You can also have issues in these areas as a result of a difficult birth, poor posture, high stress levels, and trauma. Common problems of the craniosacral system include headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and dysfunction, ringing in the ears, teeth grinding, and the inability to deeply relax/sleep.
I am trained in both the “biomechanical” and “biodynamic” approaches to craniosacral therapy. The first approach is more directive, the second is more of a listening approach where I effectively say to your body’s intelligence, “you lead, I’ll follow”. Each has its time and place. Biodynamic work requires more training and subtlety of touch. I have trained extensively in both approaches over a dozen years, most recently a long biodynamic training over three years with teachers from Franklyn Sills’ organization.
If you search in the craniosacral category at the bottom of the page you will find blog posts on aspects of this work.
Have you tried many body therapies and not found relief to your postural or pain issues? Visceral work (also called visceral manipulation) may be the missing piece of the puzzle to help you. It addresses strains patterns of the internal organs and their attachments. As I practice it, it is a structural approach to the body to relieve core tensions. It is not meant to treat or cure any illness or physiological issue.
When there are visceral strains, your body must prioritize. As the functioning of the organs is more critical for life than, say, a comfortable neck or back, your outer body will shape itself to core patterns so that the organs function as well as is possible. Thus, an asthmatic will tend to have elevated shoulders if that protects the lungs, even if it causes neck pain.
I find that visceral strain patterns often come from impact injuries: auto accidents, snowboarding crashes, bad falls, etc. They can also relate to things like asthma or chronic constipation.
If you search in the visceral work category at the bottom of the page you will find blog posts on aspects of this work.
Many pain issues are caused by tethered nerves. Nerve sheaths have fascia in them, and just as fascial layers can become adhered to each other (especially through impacts or inflammation), so too can nerve sheaths become tethered to other fascial layers. Think of how your garden hose can become matted in the grass, and then can't move freely. A nerve that can't roll and glide is a nerve that is being yanked on. Nerve mobilization work is a particular advanced area of study that I have found to be very effective for pain issues when incorporated within Rolfing SI sessions.
Diamond Approach® Spiritual Insight Sessions
Besides doing bodywork, I'm also a teacher of the Diamond Approach®, which is a consciousness path with a strong somatic component. Diamond Approach private sessions are called "spiritual insight sessions" because they are a profound inquiry into who and what we are. Sessions are by application, and are done on an ongoing basis (generally 1-2x a month). They include exploration of your consciousness and issues in the moment, learning to free yourself from the inner critic, Ridhwan Diasomatics (a form of breath work done clothed on a mat), meditation training, and more. Through ongoing inquiry in the sessions, the work gradually reveals in oneself and in reality what is true nature and what is the veneer of our upbringing or distorted worldview. Please visit my Diamond Approach website for more information or view my Diamond Approach teaching Facebook page.
"Diamond Approach" and "Ridhwan" are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of The Ridhwan Foundation in the U.S, Europe, and various other countries throughout the world.