Helping People Find More Healthful and Comfortable Ways To Move Through Their Daily Routines, with Ease, Alignment, and Balance
ABOUT BODYWORK BEYOND MASSAGE
Leave Pain Behind........Relax Deeply Into Your Soul
I have recently made a number of changes in my practice - some necessitated by COVID ( no hands on in-person sessions, shifting to distance/online sessions for both Therapeutic Bodywork and Movement Education), some inspired by the changes necessitated by our COVID experience (I can now see clients/students who live anywhere!), and some a natural progression of the growth of my practice in certain directions (more of a focus on the Movement Education and Stress Reduction work aspect as an integral part of my practice).
Most of these changes will be permanent – offering distance and online sessions; focusing more on Movement Education, Stress Reduction, and Dynamic Rebalancing – and some temporary – soon I will again begin offering hands-on, in-person sessions, starting with short, outdoor sessions, and at some point in the future, hands-on, in-person sessions in my treatment room.
"Contact-less therapeutic bodywork"?? "Online Movement Education/Dance Classes"?? A year ago these concepts would have seemed a joke, but no longer. Now you can have sessions/take classes without leaving your home. See "Distance/Online versus In-person: Experiences" page.
Since "COVID Closure", I have been studying Advanced Myofascial and Movement related techniques . I am excited about this work and how well it integrates with the work I have already been doing, and how well it adapts to a Distance/Online format.
I believe that we can all increase the ease and joy that we experience as we move in and inhabit our bodies. In many instances, our journey to physical healing may involve focusing on different things - therapeutic bodywork, movement, a connection to one's inner realm, habitual postural/thought patterns, diet, etc..
Would you like to relieve pain and restriction in your body?
Would you like to increase feelings of inner peace, equilibrium, and well-being?
Can you imagine the freedom, on so many levels, that no longer having high levels of chronic pain/anxiety can offer?
For years, I daily did exercises for strength and alignment, struggling- with little success- to bring my body out of mis-alignment and discomfort. I finally began to realize “It is not what you do, but how you do it”, and that the “how you do it” that worked for many other people was not working for me.
This led me to explore movement and the body in new ways, and I began to better understand what I needed to come into an easy, healthful, alignment - one that could remain balanced in both movement and stillness.
I began to incorporate these ideas/concepts into my teaching and sessions with clients.
Over the many years I have been in practice, I have come to believe that although I may be working with a body that is in stillness on my table, I need to view/perceive that body as a moving, dynamic, structure that is, at that moment, resting in stillness.
In addition, my personal experiences and what I have noted in my clients have led me to believe that Movement Education is often a key part of recovering from injury/surgery, reducing or eliminating pain, and building strength; of decreasing the tendency for injury; of changing our habitual postural and thought patterns – which can help us to decrease our rate of in jury, to bring more ease into our bodies as we move and rest in stillness, and to bring a sense of calm into our lives.
The longer I practiced massage therapy, the more convinced I became that therapeutic massage was not the main arena I wanted to be working within, but instead, I wanted it to be one of a number of “tools” I use.
Zero Balancing, fascial work, incorporating the full scope of Movement Education and Stress Reduction, and viewing the body as a moving, dynamic structure had become of greater import to me.
Because of my experiences and my understanding of how the body responds/ learns/creates new habits, I wanted to offer my clients more than therapeutic massage and some stretches and exercises. (And yes, if a client wants to come see me “only “ for therapeutic bodywork, I am happy to see them for that.)
I know that I recover better- more quickly and more fully- from an injury or strain when I become more aware of my Internal Landscape, and when I increase my consciousness of how I am using my body and what might be triggering my discomfort. This is true whether the injury was the result of a fall, overuse, or postural mis-use.
The positive changes I noted as I began to more consistently and fully bring these concepts into my work with clients/students have been profound.
A few years ago, I changed the name of my practice to Bodywork Beyond Massage. I did this because I was doing increasingly less therapeutic massage and increasingly more Zero Balancing and Dynamic Rebalancing, and bringing more Movement Education and Stress Reduction concepts into my practice.
In Zero Balancing, we often talk about "Creating the Opportunity for Change to Occur".
In my work, one of my goals is to help my client/student become aware of their body- aware of relationships and Internal Landscape: postural relationships, the balance of how muscles are used, habitual postural patterns, the quality of energy used in stillness and movement, etc..
This new awareness creates the opportunity for change to occur.
This new awareness also brings us into a relationship with our bodies that, for many of us, is new and different: more cooperative, filled with more ease and pliability, less strained and thus more relaxed and restful.
How energy flows - or not – in our bodies has always been a source of fascination and intrigue for me.
In all of the work that I do, I focus on how patterns of energy and weight transfer and use travel through our body structure, in motion and in rest. This means I look at patterns of energy transfer and energy use, and also patterns of weight transfer and weight use, and how these patterns have created pathways in the body. These pathways can help or hinder us as we seek to increase our well -being and find our inner balance. The work that I do strives to strengthen patterns that help us, and to release patterns that hinder us.
Even if you are coming to see me because of a problem with one area of your body, I will usually work/focus on your entire body, because where pain/restriction is felt may not be where it is originating, and because everything is connected.
Bodywork Beyond Massage's Therapeutic Bodywork, Movement Education, and Stress Reduction help to relieve pain, discomfort, and restrictions, headaches, etc.; to increase physical ease, range of motion, and strength, as well as feelings of equanimity, "inner strength", and calmness; and to develop new, more healthful and comfortable ways to move through daily routines, with ease, alignment, and balance.
Each session focuses on what would be most beneficial for that specific person on that specific day; and that day's treatment will fit in with the longer-range treatment plan for that individual.
Although sessions can focus primarily on either the physical or the "Inner Peace" aspect of treatment, each session, by the nature of the work, addresses our full Body/Mind/Spirit, and leaves clients feeling deeply rested and rejuvenated.
Sessions are based on a holistic and functional movement approach, and are designed to be integrated into the client's entire body.
Combining 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 use of that design, sessions have been described as "a synthesis of muscular, skeletal, fascial, and rehabilitative work."
Dynamic Balanced Movement, Dynamic Rebalancing, and my approach to Therapeutic Bodywork, Movement Education, and Stress Reduction are all influenced by my experiences and training as a dancer, musician, and homeopath.
You can find me on Facebook at both Bodywork Beyond Massage and Dynamic Balanced Movement; and you can access my blog by going to the home page on this website, clicking on "More', and then "Blog".
I have been a licensed massage therapist since 1985, and a certified Zero Balancer since 1998. I am a mentor for the Zero Balancing Health Association, and a certified yoga teacher (200 hour Embodyoga certification, Patty Townsend, 2007). I hold a BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory of Music.
Increase Your Well-Being......Find Your Inner Balance
Be Healthy. Be Kind. To Yourself, and to Others. Believe in our Resilience. Revel in Happiness.
- Karen Michaels,
LMT, CZB, CET