How I work:
Let’s get something out of the way first: many massage therapists offer “deep tissue” as a way to show off their strength and skills. You hop on the table, and they dig right in with a fist or an elbow until you cringe, wince, or let out a cry of pain. According to that way of thinking: “If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not getting your money’s worth. It’s not effective unless you feel ‘beat up’ at the end of a session, right?”
Wrong. Massage shouldn’t hurt. Period.
Let me repeat that: massage… shouldn’t… hurt.
When your body is craving pain-reduction, it’s counter-productive to inflict pain in the name of health. (Unless it absolutely cannot be avoided, but that’s a story for the emergency room.) By forcing tissues to stretch or move before they’re ready to move, a therapist can actually create new injuries or invoke systemic or local traumatic stress response — the exact things I strive to help my clients heal.
Instead, I listen to my client’s body and allow it to direct my attention. This allows me to address a wide variety of physical issues and complaints; my treatment is gentle, powerful, responsive, and effective. If resolving an issue requires depth and pressure, your body will let me know, and I’ll respond accordingly.
This approach allows space for my clients to notice the physical sensations and referrals as their tissues respond. So you can step back and allow your body to tell its story: what’s working well, and how it can use more support.
I customize each session for what you need in the moment: injury treatment, pain relief and management, centering and grounding, stress reduction, unwinding, emotional clearing, support for a life transition, or simply a greater sense of ease with your everyday activities.
Before I go any further:
I’m sure you seen other massage therapist’s websites by now; this is the page where I describe how I work. If you’re someone who’s interested in the tools and techniques that I offer, please read on.
- >> Myofascial Listening
- >> Craniosacral Therapy
- >> Visceral and Abdominal massage
- >> Intra-oral & TMJ Treatment
- >> Stone Medicine
>> Myofascial Listening
If what you need is a good “relaxation massage,” I’m happy to provide a soothing experience to unwind your mind and muscles. But for the deeper work that so many of us crave, I specialize in what I call deep myofascial listening — responsive, gentle, and effective techniques to improve the mobility of muscles, nerves, and connective tissues. It’s a unique approach, and not many therapists have the training to do it.
I hook into specific structures and “listen” to the way the myofascia unwinds and moves. Occasionally I may direct the motion, but more often: my client’s body directs my focus and attention. By listening, I begin a “conversation” which engages the body’s internal wisdom for knowing what it needs to heal itself.
The work tends to be slow, quiet, responsive, and powerful. By allowing the body time to integrate and respond, I’m usually able to get better results (with a lot less pain and discomfort) than your typical “deep tissue” massage. If you’ve never experienced this type of work — and there aren’t many of us in the area doing it — you owe it to yourself to give it a try.
>> Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) works with the nervous system to support your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. By tapping in to the body’s nervous system and working with your awareness, we can affect all other structures and systems in the body. It’s a whole-body approach; incredibly gentle, remarkably subtle, and extremely powerful — especially over time.
There are many forms of treatment and medicine out there, and each one has its place. The ER doctor is great for setting a broken bone; a Chiropractor is good for structural realignment of vertebrae; a Psychiatrist or Mental Health Counselor can talk us through episodes of grief or periods of depression… but what about when that’s not enough? What if you’ve done all that, but “it” is still bugging you, still holding you back? What if you want to take that broken bone, that whiplash injury, or that lingering sadness one step further so you can feel grounded and whole again?
When you’re ready to take that final step — to the place of being fully healed from an injury or experience — that’s where Craniosacral therapy steps in. CST works with the “gray areas,” those subtleties of your body and your emotions that respond to nuance. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your entire being will respond to the reality of being supported, fully and deeply.
Many physical and emotional conditions can be treated with CST:
- Recurring headaches and migraines
- Sinus & ear drainage issues (including congestion that isn’t viral, bacterial, and/or doesn’t respond to other treatments)
- Feelings of stress and overwhelm
- Low-back and hip pain (especially when treatment doesn’t “hold” for long)
- History of physical traumas (ie. falls, impacts, whiplash)
- Emotional issues (grief/loss/sadness/fear/guilt/shame)
>> Visceral and Abdominal massage
With as much time as we spend sitting these days, our core abdominal muscles and organs (viscera) don’t move as much as they were designed to move. That loss of movement can quickly become a lack of mobility, which can then lead to constant low-grade muscle spasms, fascial adhesions, and blockages in the digestive tract.
While medical doctors are quick to prescribe medications that block pain and discomfort in your belly — or alter its chemical makeup — abdominal massage and Visceral Manipulation (gentle adjustment of internal organs) can often address and resolve the source of dysfunction — without surgery or side effects from prescription drugs.
The following conditions respond well to Visceral and abdominal massage:
- Heartburn, reflux, GERD
- General digestive complaints
- IBS, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia
- Low-back and/or hip pain that doesn’t improve with massage or other forms of treatment
- History of physical traumas to your chest, trunk, or hips (ie. falls, impacts, blows)
- Emotional issues (grief/loss/sadness/fear/guilt/shame)
“A subtle person does not attempt to use force to achieve their ends because it invites an equal and opposite reaction. Rather they work at the underlying cause and with comparatively little effort bring about the result they want.”
— Lao Tsu
>> Intra-oral and TMJ treatment
Have you ever caught yourself grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw? You’re not alone; most of us do, at one point or other in our lives. Jaw tension can affect everything we do, setting the tone for tension throughout our entire body.
By using a combination of Craniosacral, myofascial, and neuromuscular massage techniques, I can help relieve jaw pain and discomfort, reduce tension that leads to teeth grinding, unwind past dental traumas, and much more. Like most of the work I do, it is gentle, powerful, and effective.
Intra-oral work can be especially effective in treating:
- TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)
- Whiplash (and other neck, face, and head injuries)
- Recurring headaches and migraines
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Sinus & ear drainage issues
- Stress-related insomnia
>> Stone Medicine
If you’ve ever had a hot stone massage, you know that it can be a juicy, luscious, lovely treat — a great way to pamper yourself, or pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
But that’s not what I offer. I offer you something much deeper, something your body didn’t know it was missing: connection, integration, healing.
Stone medicine is great for digging deep, grounding, and accessing your core energy. Depending on what you need, Stone medicine can warm your tissues and improve the flow of blood & energy — or it can penetrate deep into your stored experiences and bring clarity for personal issues you’re working on. Using a combination of natural, traditional medicine tools — including but not limited to Stones — and auditory/visualization tools, I will help you explore what you need to explore, safely and with full support.
Contact me to learn more.
Additionally, I offer:
- lymphatic facilitation (reducing inflammation after an injury or surgery)
- active release and muscle-energy techniques (using movement to release tension)
- sports massage (because everyone who moves is an athlete on one level or another)
Sessions will be 60 or 90 minutes in length, which includes intake and hands-on time. Sessions will be tailored to the client’s needs that day. Per WA state law: clients will either be fully clothed or modestly draped at all times during the session.
Wait. After reading all of that, you still want to know more about me? Fair enough, here’s my story:
I worked in the graphic design world for nearly 2 decades; started out as a production specialist and later a project manager. True, that has little to do with massage credentials, but I say that to let you know “I’ve been there.” (Haven’t you?) I’ve slaved away in cubicle-land, churning away on the corporate gerbil-wheel, trying to get ahead. I’ve spent countless nights and weekends at a computer, chalking up hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime — and I was really good at it too. But there was something missing… Connection. Support. Humanity.
At one point, I crossed paths with a wise teacher named Robert Lester II, founder of the OnePeople Foundation, and studied under him for 2.5 years, learning traditional Native American medicine and Taoist healing methods. It was wonderful work, and it fed my soul; but there was a catch: since I had no formal training in massage or bodywork, I had no viable options for practicing on clients outside the program.
Fast-forward to 2012, when the [redacted] hit the fan for me. Let’s just say I had a series of major life transitions in rapid succession that year. I barely held it together, but among the better transitions that occurred: I enrolled at Discoverypoint School of Massage, and graduated in 2013. (A year later, they hired me on as a Teacher’s Assistant for their hands-on Therapeutic Massage class. Sweet!)
Immediately upon graduation: I started my private practice, I started working part-time at 12th Avenue Massage & Wellness, and enrolled in a number of continuing education courses:
- Visceral Manipulation with Greg Yadusa, ND
- Four Winds (6-month) mentorship program, Dawn Schmidt, LMP (myofascial specialist)
- Craniosacral (14-month) Certification Program, Ursula Popp, MAc, VCST
- Shift Finishing School (6 month) personal/business development, KathyJ, LMP, CCSP
And now, when I work with my clients, I integrate years of experience and years of training into each session. If you want to know more about me — or if you think I should know about you — just book a session and let’s get started. Thanks, and I’ll see you soon.