I have offered CranioSacral Therapy to men and women over the last nineteen years – the most recent three years here in Visalia where I was raised. In spite of being light touch and over clothing, CranioSacral Therapy works deeply within the body, mind, psyche, and yes, even soul. I love helping people improve their sense of health and well being in meaningful and personal ways. Being human isn’t easy. No one goes through life unscathed. But, helping others to live more freely and comfortably in their bodies in spite of difficulties is what life is all about.
As a clinical nurse, I worked nights in the Emergency Department for three years, and Home Health and Hospice each for two years. In these settings, reaching out to touch people was an everyday practice. Caring touch bridges gaps. It offers human-to-human contact and communication in service of healing. In nursing, it is an essential practice.
CranioSacral Therapy let me take this natural inclination and deepen it by learning to use light touch to shift people’s health in gentle and powerful ways. Specifically, it facilitates change within the connective tissue layers within the body and the central nervous system. The results are less pain and tension, improved range of motion and greater sense of lightness and ease, as what gets trapped in between can find its way out.
My personal story includes the death my mother when I was 7 years old. It was an unexpected and traumatic event as she was nine months pregnant and both she and the baby died. My dad, with his strength of mind and determination under these conditions, was able to keep my 10 brothers and sisters and I all together, with much gratitude to my stepmom as well. This family circumstance provided the backdrop for the process of healing personal and family grief and related trauma. That we store life events in our bodies, keeping it around for many years after it happens, I can personally attest. This is what we commonly now term as PTSD. It wasn’t until I worked for Hospice that I even began to grieve and mourn my mother. I totally understood what my Hospice families were experiencing. It was CranioSacral that helped me navigate my way and begin to trust my body.
The science of trauma, the field of neuroscience and how the mind body functions when disrupted, offers a foundation for how and why that is so. Wonderful researchers, practitioners and scientists in the field of PTSD include Dr Bessel van der Kolk, neuroscientist and trauma specialist, with his book The Body Keeps The Score lays out how the brain is changed by trauma, and states that bodywork is a cornerstone of healing the places that talk therapy can’t reach. Dr Gabor Mate, MD from Canada who speaks openly and clearly on how Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) directly affect not only our mental health, but also impacts our physical health.
Dr Candace Pert, neuroscientist and pharmacologist – known as The Mother of Psychoneuroimmunology – and her book The Molecules of Emotion, “Since emotions run every system in the body, don’t underestimate their power to treat and heal,” And lastly Dr Mario Martinez, clinical neuropsychologist, and his book entitled The Mind Body Code, which encourages the cultivation of what he calls the healing fields of exalted emotions to balance and release experiences stored in the body. I highly recommend his experiential audio by the same title.
Pain, whether physical or emotional, asks us to look at difficult things. CranioSacral Therapy is an excellent tool to release what is stored in the body whether in terms of memory or active disruptive flashbacks. Touch is a grounding tool that keeps us in the present moment. The non-verbal and direct physical experience of touch reminds our body that we are safe and secure even as we seek to recover physical health and our peace of mind and heart. It allows us to stabilize and center with in ourself so we can begin to hear what our body has to share and respond with skill and compassion. To create the conditions of love for ourselves in the middle of complex situation. “Compassion is incomplete if it does not include ourselves.” (author unknown.) Because, it is only through the silence and love in our own heart and soul that we can hear and heed the call that is our Life.
The above may seem to be a lot. However, one of my first lessons that has stayed with me from nursing school, is that we as nurses care for the whole person. And in the western world of medicine, we define that as physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health – of which every nursing care plan needed to address. But, human to human caring is naturally whole and naturally recognized within the heart. Within the nursing field, Dr Jean Watson, PhD and professor of nursing, has authored and developed The Science and Theory of Human Caring for nurses that does an excellent job of defining the foundations of interconnectedness and how nursing care can support and facilitate humanistic care.
Healing does happen in the hospital, but continued healing has to happen outside of the hospital. We each must get close to our own lives and learn how to maintain and sustain our health throughout our lifespan. This is actually where the joy of life makes not only rational sense to the body, but to the heart and mind as well. It is the healing force. Joy is the strongest grounding force within our system that allows us to radiate our unique light for the benefit of others. We generally must learn to eliminate what gets in the way of that, and this is what returns me to CranioSacral Therapy everyday.
My work is also informed by Maya Abdominal Therapy, that acknowledges that the ‘belly’ is the body’s center of power, stability, and strength. During CranioSacral Therapy sessions I regularly strengthen that inner core gut connection. It is so important for our sense of grounding and access to the bodies’ wisdom and ‘digesting’ or metabolizing our experiences.
My approach to CranioSacral Therapy is also influenced by the eastern practice and healing art of Qigong. Increasing the flow of qi through body and eliminating stagnant or ‘stuck’ qi nourishes the energetic body. , It activates a sense of fluidity, lightness, and ease so that you feel more centered, grounded, and connected within yourself. It also helps bring together the strengths of eastern anatomy with its western counterpart. It was actually through the hands-on practice of CranioSacral Therapy and working on clients that my hands began to distinguish the energetic system of whether ‘qi’ was flowing or not. In the west we call it tension when it is stuck, whereas having full range of motion in the joints of our arms and legs when it is flowing well.
Most importantly, my mission is to help you heal in a way that speaks to you. Because it is only through and with your own body, mind, heart, and soul can you live with contentment and satisfaction everyday.
Or, call or text anytime (559) 786-3358 to schedule an appointment.
Licenses, Certifications and Trainings
RN Licensure: California State Board of Registered Nursing, Active since 1993
- A.D., Registered Nursing, College of Sequoias, Visalia CA
- B.A., Political Science, Cum Laude, California State University, Fresno CA
- A.A., Liberal Studies, College of Sequoias, Visalia CA
CEU Course Study:
- Vaginal Steam Facilitator Certification, Steamy Chick, Oct 2018
- Qigong for Self-Healing, Teacher Certification, Holden Qigong, 2014
- Medical Qigong, I and II, Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College, Berkeley, 2013
- Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy, Professional Course, 2013
- Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy, Self-Care, 2012
- Esalen Massage, 150-hour Certification, 2010
- Final Passages: A Conscious and Sacred Approach to Dying, 2005
- Visionary Cranial Sacral Therapy I & II, Milne Institute , 2002
- Upledger CranioSacral Therapy, 2000 0 2003
- Transformation Meditation, Teacher Training Certification, 1998
- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and Sexual Assault Response Team, 1995
Clinical Registered Nursing Experience:
- Home Health
- Emergency Department
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support
- Mobile Intensive Care Nurse
- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
- Sexual Assault Response Team
- Certified Nurse Aid, Surgical Floor
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