What is Bodywork?
Wikipedia actually nailed this one on the head – Bodywork is a term used in alternative medicine to describe any therapeutic or personal development technique that involves working with the human body in a form involving manipulative therapy, breath work, or energy medicine. In addition bodywork techniques aim to assess or improve posture, promote awareness of the “mind-body connection”, or to manipulate a putative “energy field” surrounding the human body and affecting health. It is sometimes used as a synonym for Massage Therapy, but generally it encompasses more than traditional “massage.”
What kind of massage do you do?
I offer a blend of Eastern and Western styles of massage, namely Tui Na (Chinese Medical Massage). The style is great for stress and pain relief and is easily adaptable for those who desire lighter pressure or deeper work. I also blend hot stones into my work as well as the use of traditional and homemade liniments and balms.
What is Tui Na?
Tui Na is a form of massage developed in China that addresses imbalance in the body as a whole. Through rhythmic and sometimes vigorous kneading, acupressure, and other hand techniques, the practitioner focuses on addressing the physical problems that are caused by stagnation of Qi. The style can be done on bare skin or over the clothing.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a safe, non-invasive form of healing and self-improvement, often put under the bracket of “energy work.” It seeks to increase the spark of light that exists within each of us to heal our own body, mind, and spirit. Reiki comes to us from Japan and the name is a combination of two words: Rei, which means “higher power” and Ki meaning “life force energy.” A Reiki session often results in a feeling of new found clarity regarding emotional or spiritual issues. Reiki can also help relieve stress, physical pain, and help promote mental focus. Many hospitals have entire teams of Reiki practitioners that help provide complementary alternative care for their patients. During a typical Reiki session, the clothed client relaxes on the massage table while the certified Reiki practitioner moves his or her hands over the client to help shift the client’s energy to a more balanced state. It is the interaction between the client’s energy and that of the universal energy around us that allows for the healing to take place. The Reiki practitioner is merely a conduit for the exchange of energy. As a Reiki Master, I often blend the art into my sessions and also offer additional training sessions (called Attunements) several times per year.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha (or coining) is a traditional East Asian treatment that allows stagnation (sha) to be removed from the body. By using a lubricant and a smooth, flat tool (sometimes a coin or jar lid) the practitioner rubs an area of the body vigorously to help relieve the stagnation. The result is dark, often reddish, blotches on the skin that are not bruises but often mistaken for them. This type of therapy is great for those who seem to “always have a sore back” or runners who are having problems with their legs. While the treatment is very intense, the results are often quite amazing. I use this regularly on my patients, and most repeat it seasonally with a combination of Tui Na to help flush out the stagnant blood and metabolic waste. There have been numerous studies as well as several western techniques developed that mimic the effects of gua sha. It is also used to help get rid of the beginning stages of a cold or flu with great efficacy.
What is Fire Cupping
Fire Cupping is the use of small glass jars or cups, to apply suction to specific points on the body to help improve circulation and break up stagnation in that area. The technique uses a small flame to rapidly heat the inside of the cup and create a vacuum. It is painless, relaxing, and incredibly restorative – especially to areas of chronic tension and pain.
What is Qi Gong / Tai Chi?
Qi Gong is a form of meditative breathing often incorporated with TCM treatment. Generally it is done while completing slow, focused movements with the arms and legs while standing; however, it can also be done while sitting or walking. It helps to promote the flow of qi in the body as well as helping to loosen up stiff joints and create a general feeling of relaxation. Tai Chi is a form of Qi Gong, with a more choreographed approach which focuses on shifting the weight of the body through specific moves while focusing on breathing. I often teach my clients some basic qi gong exercises to help increase range of motion and decrease chronic tension and pain.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an alternative (and sometimes complimentary) approach to health and wellness that follows over 2,000 years of traditional practices from various parts of China. Under its umbrella are Acupuncture, Tui Na, Qi Gong (and Tai Chi), Herbology, and Dietary Therapies. TCM focuses on a unique view of the body and its structures combined with beliefs of Yin and Yang, Five Element Theory, and other aspects. TCM and Western Medicine use various diagnostic tools in order to best design your treatment protocol. I use palpation, range of motion, a thorough intake, and TCM pulse and tongue reading in my studio; however, I am also trained to help review basic Western diagnostic tests (such as Blood work and Urinalysis) and may ask that you see your primary care physician to obtain these tests if indicated.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
The needles used in acupuncture are a fraction of the size that you have encountered in the doctor’s office and are relatively painless. Occasionally an acupuncture point may feel tender during or after a treatment, but it is a normal and rarely would it be considered “painful.”
What is your story/credentials?
I earned my Bachelors degree from the College of William and Mary in 2003 and worked for several years in the banking industry. After seeing so many stressed individuals (myself included), I decided to pursue a new direction with my life after my partner and I moved to San Diego.
After moving to San Diego, I attended IPSB and under the training of Skip Kanester specialized in Tui Na while learning various other forms of massage and obtaining my state massage certification. I then pursued and completed my Masters program (MSTOM) at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. During my time there, I studied abroad for a brief time, completing an advanced course at the China Beijing International Acupuncture Training Center as well as many additional training courses on various techniques. While studying at PCOM, I was introduced to Reiki through East Haradin Phillips who became my Reiki master. Ultimately she would attune me as a Master Teacher. I have received well over 4,000 hours of training in massage, Chinese Medicine, Reiki, etc since I began this journey in 2010.
Below are my license numbers in case your wish to verify them.
California State Certified Massage Therapist – #27240
California State Licensed Acupuncturist – #17575