All of these forms of bodywork offer many benefits.
"The cell is a machine driven by energy. It can thus be approached by studying matter, or by studying energy. In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy." - Albert Szent-Györgyi (Nobel Laureate in Medicine)
When I use the word energy, I am referring to the life force within each and every living being. This force animates matter into living beings, propelling our blood, our breath, our digestion and allowing us to respond to the world through emotions and thought. When I use the term "energy-active bodywork," I mean that I am including in my awareness this aspect of the person with whom I am working. Matter and energy are interrelated, and I converse with both through my hands. By touching the structure of the body, energy is affected, and likewise, by touching into energy, the structure of the body is affected.
To integrate means to bring together, or make whole. Interestingly, the word "whole" comes from "hal" which is the same root as gives rise to the word "heal." I use a holistic approach with massage by allowing your body to relax, unwind and release restrictions in a non-forcing way, which in turn affects your sense of mental and emotional wellbeing.
An integrative massage also means that I blend various massage modalities and techniques together according to what I am feeling happening under my hands, what your body is responding to, and what is safe for you to receive, depending on any health concerns you may have. I typically use Swedish massage with long, flowing strokes, trigger point therapy and gentle forms of myofascial therapy, stretching, and energywork, as appropriate. I also frequently blend some craniosacral balancing into a massage session, if that feels appropriate, hence the term "blended session" on my online scheduler.
With massage I also aim to integrate the body together as a whole. This means that I use connecting strokes between one area of the body and another. It also means that I understand that pain in one area of the body can be caused or influenced by holding patterns and restrictions in another area, whether that's nearby or farther away, so I work any areas of the body that are needing attention.
I received training in prenatal massage at the Center for Massage and Natural Health in Asheville.
Please note: If you currently have a high risk of miscarriage, are experiencing preterm contractions/labor, or if you have any serious prenatal conditions such as preeclampsia or placental abruption, then it is safest for you to not receive massage at this time. If you are unsure, please check with your doctor or midwife before coming in.
Craniosacral balancing is a gentle, subtle and deeply relaxing form of bodywork that is relatively still in comparison to massage. It allows the body to unwind and reorganize itself according to its own natural healing process. In a session, I place my hands in various positions to listen for restricted movement in the body. I then facilitate your body to unwind or release the restrictions as it is ready in order to restore healthy movement and flow of energy and emotions.
This form of bodywork can provide focused attention to the "fascia" or connective tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord, some of the deepest layers of the body, which are often overlooked in other modalities. Like the name suggests, while much of this type of bodywork happens either at or between the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) and the cranium (the skull), restrictions of movement can be felt and released along the limbs as well. Due to working closely with the nervous system, craniosacral balancing can bring about changes in emotional or mental patterns as well as physical ones.
It is common to experience notable body sensation, changes in emotions, vivid dreams or resurfacing memories after a session, which are just signs that you are integrating the work you did during your session, and which typically subside one to two days later.
Craniosacral balancing is a holistic and process-oriented approach to allowing the whole person to heal. It may be especially helpful for recent or old injuries and traumas, headaches, neck and back pain, sciatica, TMJ, other persistent pain in the body, digestive problems, visual disturbances, ADHD, fatigue, tension, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
This is a clothes-on modality that is primarily performed with the client lying face-up. Soft clothing is best; no jeans.
Please note: If you currently have any conditions in which it would be harmful to change fluid pressures in the head, such as recent stroke, cerebral aneurism, meningitis, or herniation of the medulla, then it is safest to seek another kind of therapy.
I have received training in craniosacral balancing that allows me to work with adults only at this point. If you have a child whom may benefit from this type of work, please contact me and I will be happy to refer you to a qualified practitioner.
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:
- Decreased anxiety
- Enhanced sleep quality
- Greater energy
- Improved concentration
- Increased circulation
- Reduced fatigue
Massage can also help specifically address a number of health issues. Bodywork can:
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays, as well as provide relief for many aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
- Ease medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body's natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body's largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body's natural painkiller.
- Relieve headache or migraine pain.