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Bodywork Beyond Massage

There are many different techniques/forms of Body and Energy Work available to the consumer. The practitioner's training and their own personal style greatly influence their work.

Massage is just one "tool" of many that I use to help clients experience release from pain; increased ease in movement; and deep rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation (see my blog posting, August 2015, at soaringspiritsgroundedbodies.wordpress.com).

Originally trained in Deep Tissue Work, I have always been drawn to Energy Work. I have studied numerous techniques, including Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Polarity Therapy, Tapas Allergy Technique, etc., and chose to become certified in Zero Balancing.

One of the many things I love about Zero Balancing is how it views/works with the body from both a structural/Western based and an energetic/Eastern based perspective. This means I am always consciously working with both energy and structure.

Over the past few years, I have been further exploring various Fascial Release techniques. These techniques fit very well with my Zero Balancing work, and I am very excited about the possibilities for treatment that they, in combination with Zero Balancing or alone, offer.

Zero Balancing and Fascial Release therapies bring us into deep contact with the body, which can soothe the nervous system and bring about change in movement patterning.

My training as a yoga teacher and my experience as a dancer and dance teacher influence my approach to bodywork.

Your first session with me is, in a way, a "getting to know you" session. I may not work as deeply in your first session as I may in later sessions. The effects of my work are often felt on a very deep level, and can increase over the next day or so after a session. I learned many years ago that feeling sore after a massage may mean just that: You feel sore. It does not necessarily mean that you have experienced any lasting or positive shifts.

Even if a client is coming to see me due to discomfort in a small area of their body, I will, generally, work with most/all areas of their body. This is because I view the body as one interconnected system - sort of like that idea of a butterfly flapping its wings, and the effect being felt around the globe.

When I first consult with a client, I make an initial plan of treatment. As I am working with a client, I may alter/add to that plan based upon what I am finding. It is sometimes advisable for someone beginning treatment to come frequently for the first six or so sessions, and then increase the time between sessions.

I often offer specials to help coming more frequently be more finanically feasible (see "Home" page).

For many people, a session of 60 minutes is a good choice. I do offer 30, 45, 75, and 90 minute sessions as well (see "Scheduling and Fees" page).

Keep in mind that one need not come every week for an hour to experience the benefits of therapeutic bodywork. Coming on a regular basis, even if it is a half an hour every 4-6 weeks, has a cumulative effect.

After I have worked with a client once or twice, I can make recommendations about the type/frequency of session/s that I feel would be most helpful.

My bodywork sessions can focus primarily on the client's physical structure (chronic pain issues, injury recovery, post-surgical healing, heavy physical training, etc.) or on the client's journey as a Being of Mind/Body/Spirit. Guided breath/imagery work and other verbal guidance can be woven into a session as a way of increasing the client's contact with their physical/spiritual self.

During your session, please let me know if there is anything I am doing that makes you uncomfortable/hurts/tickles. This will allow me the best opportunity to adjust pressure and the quality of my touch to best suit your needs.







Movement Classes offered in Ballet, Modern Dance, Yoga, and Dynamic Balanced Movement

Presentations and Workshops offered in Dynamic Wellness


For this session, the client will remain clothed and no oils/lotions will be used. This type of session is a synthesis of the techniques that I find to be most effective, and will be primarily Zero Balancing and Fascial Release Therapy, with some soft tissue manipulation. Work will be done with the client in a variety of positions - seated, standing, laying on their stomach, their back, and on their side. I may ask the client to stand up and walk during the session, in order to help integrate the work being done.


Zero Balancing works with key foundation and semi-foundation joints, assessing energy flow across the joints. The work we do at these joints quickly promotes release of restrictions, both at joints and in musculature. Release from pain, and increased freedom, ease in use, and range of motion, follow. Developed by an osteopath/acupuncturist, Zero Balancing works very gently yet very deeply. Because Zero Balancing contacts the body "at the level of bone", a gentle contact can have results similar to those of deep tissue work. Change that comes with Zero Balancing is often long-lasting and profound.

The client is clothed while receiving the session, and no oils/lotions are used.

The person receiving Zero Balancing from me will lay on their back for their session, and will experience gentle traction at arms, legs, and spine; gentle pressure as my hands reach upward from underneath their bodies; joint mobilization; and perhaps some soft tissue manipulation, passive stretching, guided breath/imagery work, etc., all culminating in a deeply felt sense of inner expansiveness and peacefulness.

People receiving Zero Balancing treatments often feel a truly deep sense of relaxation and release on all three levels of Body/Mind/Spirit.

Zero Balancing is wonderful for dancers and athletes, as well as for people who are recovering from surgery or injury, are beginning an exercise program, are in chronic pain, are sitting at a desk all day long, or are looking to increase a sense of ease and well-being in their lives.

Some commonly asked questions about Zero Balancing:

~ What sorts of things can Zero Balancing help with?

Chronic pain; physical injury recovery/restriction; pain upon use; anxiety or stress; increasing wellness; personal growth and transformation; insomnia; etc....

~ Who developed Zero Balancing and how come I haven't heard of it?

Zero Balancing was developed by an osteopath/M.D./acupuncturist, Dr. F.F. Smith. Dr. Smith took great care in refining his teachings before opening his trainings to other practitioners and marketing this technique. For more information, please contact the Zero Balancing Health Association at 410-381-8956, or go to www.zerobalancing.com.

~ Why would one chose Zero Balancing instead of Massage Therapy, acupuncture, or any other technique?

Different techniques offer different benefits. As a licensed Massage Therapist since 1985, I am continuously impressed with how easily Zero Balancing can release deeply held tissue. Because Zero Balancing focuses simultaneously on both energy and structure, Zero Balancing works within us at a very deep level, and I have seen positive changes occur quickly and readily with Zero Balancing.
Most people feel deeply peaceful after a session, and that feeling often lasts far longer than the sense of relaxation lasts after a massage.

For people who might not be comfortable taking their clothing off to receive body work, or who don't like the oil/lotions that are used during massage, Zero Balancing offers a wonderfully effective alternative.

Overall, it has been my experience that Zero Balancing sessions offer the opportunity for very deep, lasting, and profound change to occur. Plus.....a Zero Balancing session feels really good!!!

~ How long do sessions last, and how often should they be received?

Generally Zero Balancing sessions last 30-40 minutes, but sessions of 45 and 60 minutes are available. I offer a 15 minute session as well. This is a great session for a "tune-up", and can also be good before/after a chiropractic/physical therapy appointment.

How often you should have a session depends upon your needs. If one can find the time and the money, it is a good idea to receive a session two-four times a month for the first month or two. Some people come once or twice a month, some come once every two or three months.


Within our bodies, we have a network of fascia. This network can be compared to Saran wrap: when it gets "kinked' or twisted or torked, it releases more readily with a gentle encouraging touch rather than a vigorous bombardment.

Fascia is everywhere in our bodies - it surrounds/encases our organs, it weaves through our muscles, and it melds into our bones.

Due to trauma/postural use patterns, the fascia can become torked/shortened, etc., creating pulls on various parts of the body.

There are numerous techniques that help to release these fascial imbalances.

Ultimately, it is the practitioner's ability to see the whole picture, and to determine which of these, and any other, techniques to use, and how to combine techniques, that is important.

As with Zero Balancing treatments, the fascial release therapy work that I do is receieved with the client clothed, and no oils/lotions are used. I may ask you to sit, stand, lay in various positions, and walk during the session, in order to integrate the releases that are occuring.

A fascial release may occur within 5 seconds, or may take 5 minutes to occur. Some people do not notice anything, others may notice something that they may or may not have words for, including some of the following: a sense of internal shifting, a muscular release, a spreading of warmth or ease.

My hands will mostly contact the client's body with a fairly light,gentle touch, although occasionally my touch may be heavier. I will be following certain movements of the fascial system; the movement of my hands may/may not be noticeable. I will generally work on most/all parts of the body, even if the client's main complaint is limited to a small area.

When receiving a session, it can be hard to tell the difference between one fascial release technique and another - you don't have to concern yourself with those details! I will chose the techniques that I feel would be of most value to you.


My 35+ years of experience guide me to reach deep muscles in a gentle yet thorough way, relaxing deeply held tensions. Because what many people think of as "Deep Tissue Work" may not be the appropriate form of treatment for everyone, I will use various techniques to contact the areas desired by the client. A session will draw from many of the different types of techniques I have learned over the years.

If you have not had a massage before, here is what you can expect:
I will probably ask you some questions when we speak on the phone. You may fill out an intake form before you come for your appointment. When you arrive, I will ask you some more questions, and then I will leave the room while you undress (some people prefer to leave their underwear on, or to wear a bathing suit) and get under the sheets on the massage table.
I will return to the room, and begin your massage. I will keep areas that I am not working on covered, or "draped".
Using oil, I will massage the areas that you and I have determined will be worked on (many clients prefer to let me make that decision).
When I have finished your session, I will again leave the room, allowing you to get dressed in privacy.


When Zero Balancing/Fascial Release Therapy is given immediately prior to a massage, the rewards of all are amplified greatly. The benefits of each treatment in this unique combination are woven together in a way that is readily and deeply taken into the Body/Mind/Spirit, often creating a profound sense of peaceful expansiveness.

Zero Balancing, seeking to balance energy and structure, "warms up" the body. Deeply held areas of restriction are then more pliable, and readily accessible. Fascial Release Therapy partners with the Zero Balancing work to promote gentle, deep, and long lasting release in restricted areas.

The length of time for the Zero Balancing/Fascial Release portion and the Massage Therapy portion of this type of session can vary- sometimes the Zero Balancing/Fascial Release portion can be much longer, with the Massage Therapy portion being brief, and focusing on one area of the body; sometimes the Zero Balancing/Fascial Release portion can be brief, while the Massage Therapy portion is much longer; sometimes they can be fairly equal in duration. Many clients prefer to let me make that choice, based upon what I am finding as I work.


Dynamic Balanced Movement is a synthesis of techniques/perspectives/explorations I have experienced over the past 40 years, including the work of A.D. Hutchinson, Barbara Clark?Mabel Todd, Bartenieff, Laban Movement Analysis, Joanna Duncan (Dance Artists Classical Coaching Studios), Embodyoga (Patty Townsend, after Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen), Zero Balancing, and many, many, various dance techniques, dance teachers, and bodywork teachers/perspectives.

Dynamic Balanced Movement is a system of movement education, analysis, and recovery that assesses and explores our energy and weight transfer and use. It helps us increase our awareness of how we move and rest.

It is unique in that:

~ It takes into account how both our habitual postural patterns and our habitual thought patterns influence our bodies, in movement and in stillness.

~ It offers general exercises to address key areas of the body, and specific exercises tailored for the individual.

~ It can be experienced in different settings: individual bodywork sessions, individual conditioning/functional movement repatterning sessions, group classes - dance, yoga, or Dynamic Balanced Movement classes with a specific focus (i.e., (Dynamic Balanced Movement: Back Pain, or Dynamic Balanced Movement: Basic Yoga Asanas).

Dynamic Balanced Movement is an approach to movement and stillness that combines a practical understanding of how our bodies are designed to move with an understanding of how our habitual postural and thought patterns can interfere with optimum usage of that design. Focusing on proper biomechanical body use and quality of movement, Dynamic Balanced Movement explores how the patterns of energy and weight transfer and use dictate how we move/rest in stillness.

All movement classes are taught from this perspective, with attention to musicality, and incorporating imagery and practicality within the modality of the class.

Courses in Dynamic Balanced Movement (currently being taught are: Introduction, Part 1, Part 2) teach basic principles and specific exercises. Courses such as Dynamic Balanced Movement: Back Care, or Dynamic Balanced Movement: Basic Yoga Asanas, are taught periodically. Contact me if you are interested.

Dynamic Balanced Movement helps us to increase our awareness of how we move and rest. It also helps our bodies to unlearn patterns of movement that are no longer helpful, and to learn more biomechanically desirable ways to move/rest in stillness.

This means our bodies no longer need to direct energy towards struggling to maintain balance/equilibrium, and can instead use that energy to maintain the proper functioning of our systems.

Dynamic Balanced Movement guides my approach to bodywork, movement education, and movement classes.




Functional movement patterning is the basis of my work. Our daily lives are filled with functional movement- reaching, sitting and standing up, typing, walking from one room to another, etc.. Our functional movement patterns may become compromised/restricted. My sessions can help to repattern functional movement.

These sessions will help bring to the client a new awareness of how they are moving, and help their bodies to unlearn patterns of movement that are no longer helpful and to learn more biomechanically desirable ways to move/rest in stillness.
Understanding some of what happens in our bodies when we breath properly can allow us to create fuller breath patterns; understanding how our weight is designed to move through our joints can help us to come into a more balanced and at ease posture; understanding what we feel like when our muscles are tightly clenched and learning what we feel like when muscles are pliable and able to respond with ease to changes gives us options for being in movement and in stillness with ease.

For clients who have previously avoided exercise because of pain, these sessions can offer a way to begin an exercise program without increasing their level of pain.

All of these sessions will use Zero Balancing/Fascial Release therapy to warm the body, and as a base from which to assess any restrictions to the flow of energy through the body.

Using this information, I will guide the client through movements created from the worlds of dance, developmental movement, and yoga, rather than from the traditional fitness/strength building world. Exploring the relationship between key joints/areas of the body as they are moving, and guiding the client through slow repetitive motions, can help to change patterns of movement and bring us increased ease as we move/sit/use our bodies. Because our goals include learning how to move with ease, these movements may be done with gentle hands-on guidance, slow repetition, and the use of imagery, encouraging proper balance and use.


My approach to teaching movement focuses on our bodies as energetically enlivened physical instruments.
The exercises I use in my Movement Classes are developed from the worlds of dance, developmental movement, Dynamic Balanced Movement, yoga, and body work.

Group classes are offered in modern dance, ballet, yoga, and Dynamic Balanced Movement. Please contact me if you are interested.


I teach meditation and other Stress Reduction techniques, and Dynamic Wellness classes. Trained as a homeopath, I consult with clients about alternative health practices, including, among others, homeopathy, diet, lifestyle changes, acupuncture, etc.. I can help clients to find practitioners of other modalities.


Dynamic Wellness is an approach to health and well-being that brings us awareness of many facets of our health, and "connects all the dots": Dynamic Movement concepts, Stress Reduction techniques, diet, lifestyle choices, and more. Presentations and workshops are offered. Please contact me if you are interested.

» Deep Tissue Massage
» Myofascial Release
» Prenatal Massage
» Sports Massage
» Swedish Massage

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is also not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue Massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. Deep tissue work varies greatly. What one calls deep tissue another will call light. When receiving deep tissue work it is important to communicate what you are feeling.[2]

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction and accompanying pain and restriction of motion. This is accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation, increasing venous and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.[2]

Prenatal Massage

Prenatal massage is similar to massage during non-pregnancy in terms of the goals (relaxation, pain relief, increased circulation & mobility, etc.). However, due to the changes undergone during pregnancy, modification are made. To accommodate swollen tender breasts and a growing belly, special pillows, positioning and techniques are utilized to ensure comfort for both the expecting mother and baby. With increasing weight, a changing center of gravity and the many other changes associated with pregnancy, prenatal massage can help provide relief and a sense of well being that is much deserved.[1]

Sports Massage

Sports massage is actually a form of Swedish massage that is delivered to athletes. Most commonly, sports massage focuses on increasing blood and lymphatic fluid flow, reducing and eliminating pain as well as tender trigger points, and increasing range of motion of the affected area. Sports massages can be broken into 4 distinct types - the pre-event sports massage, the post-event sports massage, the restorative sports massage and the rehabilitative sports massage. As the names indicate, each type of sports massage has a different focus for the athlete as they are delivered at different times during their training and performance schedule.[1]

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks. It has also been shown to be helpful in individuals with poor circulation. The development of Swedish massage is credited to Per Henrik Ling, though the Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger adopted the French names to denote the basic strokes. The term "Swedish" massage is not really known in the country of Sweden, where it is called "classic massage".[2]

[1] Content Copyright ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC dba MassagePlanet.com
[2] Content Obtained from Wikipedia.com.