Q: When did you know you were meant to heal others through bodywork? What was the spark that led you here?
I have been enthralled with the human body for as long as I can recall. My favorite book as a child was a pop-up anatomy and physiology guide! This fascination bloomed and grew and changed courses many times from being a pre-med student in undergrad, to studying energy medicine and becoming a reiki master and licensed massage therapist soon after. Working with bodies in some way or another has seemingly been built into me. There was no "ah-ha" moment, more of a gentle and consistent knowing that I understood the body, and wanted to share that gift so that others may understand the profound healing wisdom each one of us carries within ourselves.
Q: As a healer, how do you maintain your own energetic equilibrium while holding sacred space for your clients?
First—Receive, receive, receive. I strive to receive either manual therapy, physical therapy, energy work, or acupuncture at least twice a month. I am so grateful for the group of women who support me in this way!
Secondly, honest and clearly communicated boundaries. Energetic boundaries come when we know ourselves very well. I spend time tuning in with myself each morning before starting sessions to be aware of what I am bringing into the room. When I am grounded in this way, it's easy to show up for clients authentically and with a clear understanding of what pain is theirs and what is mine.
And lastly—I move my body in ways that feel good. For me, sweating helps to clear away any residual energies that aren't mine or aren't serving me.
Q: You offer a variety of therapies and treatments. Is there one that you find particularly transformative or that your clients are consistently drawn to?
Communication and collaboration with the client is the short answer. We have a conversation about what they are experiencing in their physical, mental, and emotional bodies. We talk about expectations and goals. I listen and observe. Where is there an expression of contraction? Is there physical pain, and what characteristics does it have? What state is their nervous system in? What is their energy like? What resources does this body need in order to leave this room feeling better? And then we go from there. Every session is as unique as the person themselves, which is why I view this work as art. It's a nuanced and beautiful collaboration, and I am fortunate to have a wide breadth of knowledge and tools to choose from.
Q: How did you discover Somatics and what drew you towards this specific therapy?
It was a particular solo trip to the desert in the spring of 2017, reading The Body Keeps The Score, when I began to understand the connection between our experiences (traumas) and our physical tissue. It makes sense that experiencing physical trauma would need to be released in a physical way. The body has so much wisdom, and guiding others to tap into that has brought so much joy. I have also walked my own path of intense healing. It wasn't until I gave the microphone to my body and not just my mind, that I was able to integrate some of my biggest traumas. That in a nutshell is somatic therapy. Currently, I am immersed in training to become a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, where we use felt sensation, imagination, movement, bodywork, and emotions to process and integrate traumatic experiences. I have just begun my third and final year of training, and cannot wait to incorporate more of this work into my practice.
Q: Could you share some personal rituals or therapies that have enriched your own well-being, and that we can try?
My daily check-in with Self is the most profound practice I do. Some call it grounding, or meditating. I put my hand on my belly, or face, or legs and just listen. I try not to judge, just observe and be curious. Can you feel your breath? Where is there space in your body? Where is there pain or constriction? What does she need? Even if it's for only 10 seconds, you will begin to notice more, and know more about yourself. When we know ourselves, we make better decisions and live fuller, happier lives. Self-awareness is the most powerful tool we have.
Q: Are there any upcoming offerings or workshops that we should keep an eye out for?
Not right now. I have dabbled with teaching classes and ran one very lovely retreat a couple of years ago, but I find that holding space for multiple people is really tough for me! Who knows, perhaps in the future, I will do another retreat. Folks can check in on my website or socials to stay updated on these kinds of offerings. In the meantime, I'll be modifying my schedule to make time for more Somatic Experiencing sessions. I am looking forward to expanding my practice in this direction!
Q: If you could travel back to your younger self, what knowledge would you share with her as the person you are now?
First, I would hold her, and tell her she's ok. I would tell her the world is not as scary as it seems. The "rules" for what is "normal" are all made up and you can actually live your life however you want. We are all just doing the best we can. We are all exactly where we need to be.
Q: Where can we find more information about you and your offerings? Where do you “hang out”, virtually and IRL?
When I'm not in the hot yoga studio or working with clients, I like to be out in nature. This winter I hope to spend lots of time skiing big mountains, and soaking in hot springs. Folks can follow me on Instagram for updates, last-minute session availability, cute pictures of my dog, poetry, and tidbits of magic and neuroscience. My website also has more information about somatic therapy, manual therapy, and my general philosophy and approach to holistic bodywork. There is also a link to my online booking platform for those who may be interested in scheduling a session. I am always available for questions and communications as well at firstname.lastname@example.org.