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How did I get here?

Ever since I was a child I've always been what could be described as "kinetic". As I look back at the road that culminated in me becoming a movement and manual therapist, I realize that joy through movement was always primary. I found the act of climbing trees a kind of puzzle that depended on precise and creative hand and leg placements. Perhaps to the bewilderment of my parents, I enjoyed flinging myself from the top stairs to land in a heap of pillows and blankets, somersaulting and climbing again to repeat the rush again and again. As I matured, I still moved just as much, but in more sophisticated ways - learning to ride a bike, bicycling, playing basketball, and playing music. Later, this developed into a love and fascination with tai chi, yoga, rock climbing, cycling, hiking, running, bouldering, and the mastery of musical instruments. And this is the story of all of us, I think. It's a progression from learning gross, crude movements as toddlers, and advancing to precise movements, like crocheting, playing scales on a piano, or pirouettes. I think it is the immediacy of movement which gives it its universal appeal. We can't help but become present in our bodies, dropping the stories, the anxieties, and the worries, when we engage in movement that is purposeful and fun. I consider myself very fortunate to have never lost the conviction that movement is a necessary and delightful part of being alive.

This sense about the vital importance of staying active and curious about the potential of the body made me realize what an incredible tool manual therapy and bodywork was when I first encountered it. Very few, if any, manage to avoid becoming stuck, restricted, and glued in our bodies as we age. What happens to that sense of being a child again? Where is that joy in unbounded and spontaneous movement? We become guarded, and held hostage by pain and immobility.

At one point in my mid 20s, I came across a book detailing the approach of Structural Integration. It was called "Spacious Body," by Jeffrey Maitland. I had been mildly interested in massage, but totally unaware of the incredible therapeutic potential of highly specialized therapists and the tools and knowledge they wield. I had maintained a daily yoga practice for years, but always felt inhibited and stuck in ways and felt frustrated that there seemed to be no way of changing that. I began to suspect that the many broken bones, injuries, and traumas had left me somewhat limited and guarded. After reading Maitland's book, I sought out a Structural Integrator and when I first experienced her touch I was struck by how intentional and specific it was. In her sessions, precise muscles, tendons, and ligaments were targeted and miraculously, one-by-one they were freed. One day, after working my right arm for twenty minutes or so my Structural Integrator asks me, "move your arm and tell me how it feels." I lifted it, rotated my hand, curled and uncurled my fingers, and noticed all the novel sensations. Compared to my left arm, my right felt alive, vital, sensitive, unbound. "Thank you! I feel like you've given me my arm back!" That feeling followed me throughout the coming weeks and months. I was hooked.

Being a lifelong musician, I've had plenty of opportunity to refine my kinesthetic sense through singing, piano, saxophone, guitar, accordion, and drumming. Again, it's that joy in mastering precise mechanical movements and the beauty that it spawns. Also, there is a profound change in consciousness when the body becomes melded with the activity. This is the meaning of "yoga" - to yoke, to glue the mind and the body in the immediacy of the present. These are the present movements, sensations, and sense of being alive that bridges matter and spirit, body and mind. Vitality, health, and happiness cannot help but arise from these states of mind. With mastery comes a sense of fulfillment, and inner richness. It is my intention to instill in others the incredible resources to be found in any practice that creates this link, and to free the body and mind to be able to do it more gracefully, joyfully, and without pain or restriction. This is where bodywork, massage therapy, and guided movements prove extremely useful.

I have been fortunate enough to have worked with many dancers, musicians, and athletes. I've found that people with highly refined propioception (the sense of the relative position of one's own parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement) find bodywork to be indispensable in working through the mechanical hang-ups which inevitably happen through overuse, injury, and restrictions.

My yoga and movement practice has deepened considerably ever since embarking on this journey. I am finding that there is no end to what you can learn about how the body works and operates in space, and no end to the approaches one can take in restoring functioning in others. This is immensely encouraging to myself and my clients, as I believe there is always a pathway back to one's own health, power, and happiness.

Nowadays I am interested in working in clinical settings, as well as seeing clients in my private studio. I love a good problem to solve, so when someone approaches me with an ache or pain, I'm all in! I've been down this road many times and know that no situation is without a solution. I hope that you will give me the opportunity to use my refined approach in helping you find freedom and ease in your tissues.

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