Your initial visit will start with a detailed intake. We will discuss your medical history, any accidents or injuries from your past, current symptoms, stress levels, daily movement patterns and your goals or intentions for the session(s). If you have complex orthopedic concerns or acute injury the intake process can take longer and include range of motion tests and posture and gait assessments.
If you are a returning client there is always a small check in. I want to know how you are doing, what you noticed from the last session and be clear what your goals are for the current session.
Most of the time I work with people on the massage table, unclothed but modestly draped. I use a small amount of organic coconut oil as needed. If we are doing a Visceral Manipulation or Cranio Sacral session you may lay on the table fully clothed.
There are times when your engagement during a session can make the work much more effective. I may ask for your engagement by directing your breath into an area of tension, moving a muscle group in a specific way, or bringing your awareness into an area. Other sessions may be spent in the liminal state, that place between being awake and asleep which is deeply nurturing to our nervous systems.
If anything is uncomfortable in any way during a session I want to know about it. Bodywork is at its heart a dialogue and I am constantly reading cues from your body about the appropriate pressure or speed to be using but I also trust that you, the client, will tell me if something does not feel right. I also welcome your curiosity. Ask questions!
Occasionally images, emotions or memories surface during a session. We are familiar with a strong smell evoking a poignant memory and bodywork can be similar. Tissues can be contacted that hold some piece of the past and as this rises to our awareness we experience the laughter, sadness, or images associated with it. I do not try and provoke “emotional release” in the work I do but have the experience and training to gently work with it as it arises naturally. Bodywork is a constant weaving of the detail of specific structures into their right relationship with the whole organism. Sometimes this brings us into the realm of emotion, meaning and belief.
One of my teachers always talked about the importance of taking time to “harvest our sensations”. One of the main ways that we can mark change in the body is by paying attention to our “felt sense”. What is the actual sensation of being more relaxed, more grounded, walking with more ease, being in less pain. Taking a moment to consciously mark the change is important.
I may offer suggestions of stretches, exercises, or things to pay attention to. These are usually simple and support, explore or reinforce the work that we did during the session.