How often should I get bodywork?
The short answer: It depends! Slightly longer answer: Somewhere between once a week and once a month is usually best, depending on your goals and issues. I wrote an entire issue of Gentle Nudges on this topic.
I’ve had this pain issue for a long time (e.g. months or years) and not much else I’ve tried has helped. How often should I see you?
My general answer is this: If after the first session you have a good feeling about me, and you experience noticeable improvement, plan to do at least five more sessions over the course of 6-8 weeks. This gives you ample time to experience my approach, assimilate changes, and notice how your body responds. It also gives us time to try different ways of working and to build a strong rapport, which is a KEY (and often undervalued) element of effective therapeutic work.
More frequent sessions in the beginning also helps build healing momentum. While monthly bodywork is awesome for promoting general well-being, there are roughly 720hrs in a month. Seeing you for just one of those hours usually isn’t enough to help you change the patterns that are keeping you in pain and feeling limited. And I want to help you feel more free and empowered!
For a total re-boot, I highly recommend contacting me about my 12-week Deep Dive Program. I crafted this program to help you gain a sustainable foothold on a sticky, persistent pain issue. I use a multi-pronged approach that includes massage and bodywork, customized resources, in-between session support, and more. As this is my highest level of support, I take on a very limited number of Deep Dive clients. Click here to fill out my contact form and request a free 20min phone consult to see if this would be a good fit for you!
What is Ortho-Bionomy®?
Developed by osteopath, Dr. Arthur Lincoln Pauls, Ortho-Bionomy® (OB) is a gentle and effective hands-on technique based on Osteopathic and martial arts principles. OB runs on the Golden Rule of “create no pain,” and I use my hands to accentuate the pathways of ease in your body, and work with you to create positions of comfort so your body feels safe enough to relax and release stress and discomfort. Comfort = safety = ability to relax = pain relief. From there, traction and/or compression is applied to activate your body’s natural self-correcting reflexes within the muscles and nerves. As one client described it, “It feels like something is being put back in place.”
Along the way, I may ask for your feedback as to what feels more comfortable, less restricted, or better so we can move things in that direction.
OB does not impose change. It does not rely on asserting change from the outside to “fix” you, but rather seeks to open up the pathways for internal change that best fit YOU.
You can learn more on the OB website at www.ortho-bionomy.org
Do you take insurance?
I do not. However, I am happy to create an itemized receipt for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Some clients have also had lucky paying for my services with their FSA debit cards.
How can I get the most out of my session?
- Plan to arrive a few minutes early so your session can start on-time.
- If it’s your first session, be sure to arrive early to fill out an intake form
- Limit food intake 1-2hrs prior so you don’t have to lie down with a full belly, but certainly don’t come to the session with low blood-sugar! That will only serve as a distraction.
- Limit copious water intake 30min prior so you don’t have to pee during the session
- Bring as few items to carry as possible so you don’t weigh your post-session body down.
- Simply notice how you feel. Ask yourself how you’d LIKE to feel after the session. Set an intention if you like doing that.
- Always feel free to let me know if you’re too hot or cold, or if something about the table isn’t comfortable. We can always make adjustments.
- Sometimes, having your head in the face cradle for a prolonged period can cause congestion. If it’s to the point that you can’t breathe easily, please let me know. There are a variety of ways to work and there’s no sense in feeling stuffy!
- I do my best to tune in to your body at all times to sense the right amount of pressure and timing, but ultimately, you’re the one in your body. If something hurts in a not-good way, or if you need more or less pressure, I encourage you to speak up. I won’t be offended : )
- Breathe! Especially during more intense parts, being sure to focus on the exhale.
- I welcome your questions and verbal feedback, but encourage you to keep conversation to a minimum, as it can distract from your ability to tune in to your body and relax.
- Notice how you feel! How is it different than before the session?
- Build in time to take a short stroll after your session to give your body time to integrate.
- Drink some water or tea and have a bite to eat, especially if you feel spacey. Feel your feet on the ground.
Why did you start a career doing massage and bodywork?
I’ve always been fascinated and inspired by the body, and I’ve always liked helping people feel better and more empowered when it comes to taking care of themselves. I could talk about the body forever! Massage and bodywork bring those passions together. Being a massage therapist and bodyworker felt like a very natural transition from being a professional modern/contemporary dancer. My dance experience and training imbue everything I do, including bodywork.
How long have you been doing massage and bodywork?
I’ve been in practice since March 2011, seeing private clients as well as working at some of the best wellness places in San Francisco, such as Integral Body, In-Symmetry Wellness Spa, and East-West Integrative Medicine. For several years prior, I had friends who served as my willing guinea pigs to let me experiment with Reiki and gentle, intuitive touch based on worked I’d received from other practitioners.
Where did you get your training?
I began my massage studies at the San Francisco School for Massage and Bodywork in January 2011, and am now a Certified Massage Practitioner in the State of California. I have studied Ortho-Bionomy® with Jim Berns and Sara Sunstein (two of Dr. Paul’s students) since 2011, and the Trager Approach with Gail Stewart (one of Milton Trager’s first students) since 2013. I began my study of NeuroKinetic Therapy® in 2014 with its creator, David Weinstock. I am developing my knowledge of how trauma (from car accidents and falls to surgery to developmental trauma) impacts the body and how to work intelligently with trauma/chronic stress physiology with Kathy Kain, SEP in her Touch Skills for Trauma training.
I owe a great debt to Susan Hefner, my Neuromuscular Trainer in New York City, for teaching me tons about anatomy and functional kinesiology, and helping me take ownership of my body.
Do you get tired doing bodywork?
Of course! Like any other physically active job, I do get fatigued. That’s why I limit the number of clients I see in a day to help ensure you get me at my best. I also try to eat an anti-inflammatory diet (low-sugar, low/no dairy, low/no gluten), cold/hot soak my hands and arms, take epsom salt baths, drink plenty of water and herbal tea, stretch regularly, do yoga and Pilates, receive regular bodywork (I aim for once a week!), get community acupuncture treatments, and take a magnesium/calcium supplement to help ease muscle aches and inflammation.
Where are you from?
The wilds of New York City. (Manhattan, to be precise.)