Wednesday, August 10, 2016

PRIVATELY V. PUBLICLY

Years ago I arrived at my therapist's office a bit early. It was cold outside so I waited in the hallway to her home, far away from the therapy room. After our session she informed me that from then on I was to please not come inside until my appointment time, not pull my car into the parking lot till the person before me had left. She wanted her patients to have their privacy. On one hand, I understood—no one wants to be “outed” for seeking help without their permission. On the other hand—was it bad to seek help working through our issues? Were we supposed to feel embarrassed and to skulk around? To not smile or at least nod if we happened to cross paths? This predicament, privacy v. publicly, was irrelevant for my old office. It had a secluded entrance and, since I scheduled time between sessions to write my chart notes, clients rarely crossed paths. Then my lease expired and I had to move. Suddenly, as I looked at possible offices, the privacy v. publicly issue wasn’t irrelevant anymore.

 As I was looking for a new space, coincidentally, so was my Pilates teacher. For years we had discussed how sharing a space would mutually support our complementary practices and our clients. This was the opportunity to find a space together. Now we’ve been in the new space for a year.

My office is in a private treatment room in a corner of her Pilates studio. While the craniosacral sessions remain private, my clients may walk past Pilates in progress, single and/or group sessions and may see and be seen by other people. I also practice Pilates at the studio. People may see me clumsy and struggling to follow the should-be-graceful movements of Pilates. I may even be in a Pilates class with a cranial client of mine. Part of me is embarrassed and wishes I could skulk away. But I strive to hold my head up proudly while practicing Pilates. It is only through practicing Pilates that I will improve. I believe being open and accepting our own flaws is an essential step to growing through them.

 Whether you believe we are all imperfect beings, or all perfect as we are—we’re all in the same boat (love those water analogies). We all have our strengths, failings, flashes of ugly and moments of beauty and compassion. Letting go of judgement frees up vast caches of energy. Accepting imperfections; our own and other people’s gives us the space and the grace to experiment and explore our own unique way forward. The irony! Exposing our imperfections opens the path to better mental, physical and spiritual health.

 Thank you

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

GRATITUDE: THE HOSPITAL STAY

I woke during the middle of the night a few weeks ago, listening to the beeps and swishes of the ICU machines, our second night in the hospital. I wanted to weep with gratitude for those machines that were taking care of my son. The day before started at dawn, with my wonderful, obnoxious son cracking jokes as he drove us to the health clinic for his tonsillectomy. By that evening he was drifting between incoherent and unconscious, an adverse reaction to the post-tonsillectomy prescription painkillers. 

The ICU machines were the latest of the rapidly growing list of things I was grateful for: prompt paramedics, a speedy ambulance, and medicine to calm his frantic, frenetic behavior. But without a doubt, the most amazing aspect were the emergency room nurses. 

In my cranial practice, when a new client comes in, we follow the basic rules of social etiquette. They arrive at my office and politely, sometimes even pleasantly, discuss their health problems and the concerns that lie within their hearts. As we review their health history, I strive to find some pathway to connect with them; such as books, dogs or kids. This connection helps them relax and me gain perspective on their issues. Since cranial sessions are collaborative between the practitioner and the client, this connection facilitates our teamwork. Having a good connection as we begin is like having a delicious slice of cake after a good meal—not essential, but a lovely bonus. 

That first night in the emergency room, the patient those nurses cared for, my son, was either unconscious, thrashing around, or needing the sheets changed, again and again. The nurses were gentle and reassuring, especially impressive considering they were racing from room to room to care for too many patients. They didn’t have the luxury of connection while they worked, as compassionate by the end of the night as they had been at the beginning. 

I am grateful for many things from that hospital stay: things returned and things anew. I am grateful for the return of my son back to his wonderful, obnoxious self. I hold a renewed reverence for my clients; their courage at confronting their issues. And I have gained a new appreciation of the work of a nurse; the compassion they show for someone under duress, unknowable but still demanding. I admire their stamina and their skill. I am grateful for their hearts. 

Thank you

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SOMETIMES

A few year back I made a New Year’s Resolution: 

“To bike to work unless I had a reason not to.”  Could there exist a more spineless resolution?

But it worked. I bike most days and have noticed, as I ride past the city’s speedometers, that my speed is a little faster than it used to be.

Sometimes the little things are enough.
Thank you

Thursday, May 19, 2016

SLACKTIDE




Few of us live our lives at the optimal pace for our minds and bodies, or take the time to replenish our reserves as we should. If we are going to keep pushing, I wonder what respite, how much downtime, is enough to be worthwhile.


Kit is the CEO of a mid-sized corporation. She is responsible for a large staff and budget. She comes into my office once a month on her way to work and for an hour she lets the world slip away. While she is relaxing her body is resourcing, recharging her batteries. Then she gets up off the table and returns to her life of fast-paced meetings and far-reaching decisions. Sometimes, as we are about to start the session I wonder if would she be better off without the pause. Since she continues to come in it must be worthwhile for her, yet I can't help but question -- Is that brief respite enough?

 After last session I had some insights…

Starting in the head and reverberating throughout the body, the cranial rhythm moves vertically through the body, 8-14 waves per minute. The downward phase is called inhalation and the upward phase is exhalation. Between them is a brief pause. This wave pattern is similar to the ocean tides. The back and forth motion of the tides also has a pause, its called slacktide.

 Slack water, which used to be known as 'the stand of the tide', is a short period in a body of tidal water when the water is completely unstressed, and therefore no movement either way in the tidal stream, and which occurs before the direction of the tidal stream reverses. Wikipedia

 The ocean takes a pause from the tides, and our bodies' internal cranial rhythm takes a pause. Deemed by our own bodies and by nature, I believe the answer is yes, even short breaks are worthwhile.
Thank you

Thursday, April 14, 2016

SUNSHINE CELEBRATING OCEANA BODYWORK'S NEW BIKE RACK!



Lucy, my bike, and I are excited to post a picture of  her new daytime corral.
Thank you.

THE POOL OF WOO- WOO

Since I am a Craniosacral Therapist you may make assumptions about how deep I swim in the pool of "woo-woo". I need to say that, while this isn't my first dive I am, generally, in other ways, a perfectly normal person. I did go to Evergreen and to naturopathic school but I also spent two years at a very conservative Quaker college in Indiana. I live in a regular house, am married to a technogeek and we have raised three children, now reasonably functioning adults. When my kids were kids I volunteered at school, drove to soccer and, occasionally to McDonald's for chicken mcnuggets. Now I work, garden, walk the dogs, and do normal stuff like watch TV. And I study and practice Craniosacral Therapy.


Admittedly, life would be easier if we could put everyone in simple boxes like ‘I agree with this person’ or ‘that person is a nut job’. And, of course, we can. But life has more depth if we don’t.

Thank you

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

THE BLESSING



A couple of years ago I took a class from Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. Suzanne developed Healing From The Core, a craniosacrally-based approach. I've gained much wisdom from her over the years. I chose the class because of Suzanne but it turns out you should also pay attention to the topic as well as the teacher. The class was focused on helping us practitioners as people, and not so much helping us as practitioners. In the class we had to design a “Blessing” which seems to me to be a lot like a mantra or a chant. Furthermore, my Blessing had to be short since I had to memorize it and I don’t have a very good memory.

The last day of class I had to read it out loud in front of my classmates, I was nervous and found myself repeating the Blessing each time I thought about sharing it. Was it reassuring me already? I wrote it in my phone calendar and now I repeat it throughout the day, most every day. I say it while swimming laps, preparing dinner or as I start cranial sessions. Sometimes I say it differently to keep it fresh. I sing it, say it in a funny voice, Pig Latin or  v e r y  s l o w l y.
 Lessons I have learned from reciting a Blessing every day:
·         I went through a phase where I found myself thinking about the Blessing when I was berating myself for something I did or didn’t do or say. It was a way to catch myself being down on myself. I found it happened more often than I would have thought.
·         Sometimes I change a word or two without even realizing it. That may last a few days then I notice it and change back to the original.
·         Repeating the Blessing is comforting to me. It gives me confidence and helps to keep me grounded. I recommend you write a Blessing for yourself.
·         I have mixed feelings about sharing my Blessing in writing. Anyone interested?
Thank you