I have worked with a wide range of clients, from athletes to people dealing with trauma and loss, to people people recovering from motor vehicle accidents, to people balancing everyday work and life.
I originally became a massage therapist to work with musicians and dancers who experienced pain due to injury or overuse. People are passionate about many things - gardening, golfing, hiking, sewing, hunting, running, taking our dog for a walk, playing with our grandchildren, and on and on. When we are passionate about something, it is demoralizing to have pain stop us from participating in what gives us joy. We begin to live a little smaller, and we can begin to believe that this is the new normal. It is a passion of mine to help people achieve the ease of movement that allows them to live their lives fully.
My massage therapy is rooted in Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), a precise and specific form of bodywork, powerful for pinpointing and treating areas of dysfunction. NMT can be very gentle, so can be used for a wide variety of people. Massage therapy works with the soft tissue of the body and also with the nervous system, which means it can be effective for working with stress, trauma, depression, chronic pain, and aiding the healing process.
I graduated from the Rocky Mountain Institute of Healing Arts in Durango CO and was licensed in 2007. It was a small school run by Rebecca Mauldin, an LMT who was passionate about the precise and informed bodywork of NMT but equally considered the mind and spirit in health and healing. Now when I study current pain science, I find those pieces again. Pain is now considered BioPsychoSocial. This means that pain is a combination of the nerve signals in our bodies, how our brain labels them based on perceived danger, and how our society and its influences color that. Complicated and personal. One person’s experience of pain is not the same as another. Yes – it IS all in your head, but in a very powerful way, because it means we can heal by many avenues.
One of my favorite things about massage therapy is how it works with the nervous system. It can bring relaxation of stress and tension from trauma, grief, and anxiety. Stress is incredibly hard on a body – it slows down normal functioning of systems and exacerbates any problems that were previously occurring. Having a moment to reset—to calm down the flood of signals running to and overwhelming the nervous system—is powerful medicine. Touch is a powerful thing. It creates a place for the brain to focus, to find and own that place. Touch can shift the nervous system from ‘fight or flight’ to ‘rest and digest’. Our breathing and heart rate slow down, and our body comes down from high gear in to a place of rest and healing. Trauma and loss can have us lose our ability to breathe fully. In a relaxed body, our breath should gently expand and contract our rib cage, and we should be able to feel it expand all around the lower ribs, front and back. In times of stress, our breath shifts to a faster, lighter breath which causes our shoulders to rise and fall, and our lower ribs and belly become very still. Perhaps you have noticed this in yourself if you have experienced loss, or find yourself in a very anxious place. In addition to not breathing deeply and fully using the diaphragm, the muscles of the neck (which are secondary breathing muscles) can become overworked and can develop some dysfunction, causing pain, headaches, and TMJ dysfunction. Massage can help us shift back to full breathing and release the tension of the neck muscles.
Come in for an integrated session which considers your body as a whole, and asks what care you need to allow you to do what you love to do.