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Archive for CranioSacral Therapy

How CranioSacral Therapy can help PTSD

How CranioSacral Therapy can help PTSD

CranioSacral PTSD Auburn

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex condition involving the body, mind and spirit. Though most often associated with our military veterans, PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can affect anyone with a history of trauma.  Trauma can be the result of childhood injury or abuse, an accident or a number of other life experiences that create a painful trigger that is repeatedly is activated throughout life.  When the body/mind has not yet recognized that the event is over, the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight) is activated and the body responds by continuously mobilizing muscles and other body systems in an attempt to numb the pain.CranioSacral PTSD Auburn

Individuals who suffer from chronic PTSD also have physical changes in their brain, most notably, a decrease in brain activity in the prefrontal cortex (higher level thinking and language) and increase in amygdala activity (emotional).  The physical brain changes are described further in this article in the NCBI database as a  “heightened activity only in the right hemisphere, specifically, in the areas that are most involved in emotional arousal – the amygdala, insula, and the medial temporal lobe. During exposure to their traumatic scripts there was a significant decrease in activation of the left inferior frontal area – Broca’s area – which is thought to be responsible for translating personal experiences into communicable language.” 

How can CranioSacral Therapy help?

The CranioSacral System is made up of membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the bones in the head to the tailbone area known as the sacrum. Since this unique system had a direct impact on the central nervous system, it is easy to see how an imbalance there could cause any number or sensory, motor or neurological problems.

The main goal of a CST session is to allow the central nervous system the opportunity to relax, rejuvenate and heal from the traumas of PTSD. This holistic bodywork approach can help release the tension patterns created by the traumatic physical or emotional experience.

CST is light touch, full clothed therapy which leaves clients in a deeply relaxed state.  Clients often experience decreased pain and a sense of overall well being that continues long after the session is over.

 

 

Awaken Integrative Bodywork offers a $10 discount to veterans.  Sessions can be booked online or by phone at 530-906-8668.

Spring Massage Specials

Spring Massage Specials

We are offering a $20 savings on a massages   $20 savings on CranioSacral Therapy , or $25 on a unique new service that blends both modalities when you book with Denise Obray, one of our new therapists.

Through April 2017, clients who have yet to meet Denise can take advantage of her special introductory offers.  Denise is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at our beautiful studio in downtown Auburn, CA.

Denise Obray CMT Auburn CADenise Obray, Certified Massage Therapist in Auburn California, has been working with a variety of communities, helping people for over 30 years.  She is a compassionate and dedicated therapist who holds space for healing with each of her clients. For over 18 years she was a business owner who provided sign language interpreting services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities throughout the nation. After becoming a Certified Massage Therapist, Denise was drawn to CranioSacral Therapy and helping people heal with the distinct light-touch techniques taught by The Upledger Institute and welcomes all clients, including those  experiencing trauma, anxiety, depression and PTSD.

CranioSacral Therapy for children and Youth

craniosacral therapy for children and youth

Supporting the whole Family

CranioSacral Therapy for Children and Youth

Some of the most touching and moving experiences I’ve had as a bodyworker have been practicing CranioSacral Therapy for children and youth in Auburn, CA. I will never forget seeing one young person who has autism reach up and gently touch my colleagues face in appreciation of of the work he was receiving.

Growing up isn’t easy for kids. Constant changes in their physical, mental & spiritual worlds can be disorienting and uncomfortable, leading to physical and behavioral difficulties. Bodywork can help kids adjust to the constant transitions of growth, as well as many common ailments including anxiety, growing pains, and even more serious conditions. We’ve treated youth with Autism, ADHD, anxiety and depression, growing pains and injuries. What is CranioSacral Therapy?

We are happy to schedule children over 9 years old at this time.  Call us for a free consultation and to schedule: 530-906-8668

 

Emotional Pain and Trauma: How does Bodywork Help?

bodywork for traumaTrauma and Emotional Pain: How does Massage and Bodywork help?

Most people don’t seek out massage and bodywork until they get sick or start hurting. What they may not realize is that it is usually emotional and mental challenges that underlie the onset of physical pain and illness. Body centered therapies such as therapeutic massage and CranioSacral Therapy activate the parasympathetic nervous system, quiet the fight-or-flight responses and reduce  pain, stress, emotional and mental health issues.  Studies have shown that bodywork decreases cortisol (a stress hormone) and increases serotonin and dopamine (feel-good hormones). Imbalances in these hormones can be caused by stress, trauma, grief, loss, illness and injury.

The Research

This article, published by the International Journal of Neuroscience, documents scientific research showing that massage decreased stress hormones & increased neurotransmitters. The studies Massage for Emotional Pain and traumafound a significant decrease in cortisol (average 31%) and significant increases in serotonin (average 28%).  In this fascinating study, researchers looked at depression (including sex abuse and eating disorder studies), pain syndrome studies, research on autoimmune conditions (including asthma and chronic fatigue), immune studies (including HIV and breast cancer), and stress on the job, the stress of aging, and pregnancy stress.

Integrative Bodywork

Integrative Bodywork recognizes that pain and trauma affect the whole person: body mind and spirit. Many traditional therapists, including MDs, mental health professionals, and even some massage therapists, treat body, mind and spirit with completely separate tools.  Integrative bodywork does not separate.

Bessell Van Der Kolk, one of the nations leading experts on PTSD and trauma recovery, recommends including massage, craniosacral therapy, yoga and other integrative body therapies in mental health treatment plans for PTSD. He writes, in his groundbreaking book “The Body Keeps the Score, “you can’t fully recover if you don’t feel safe in your skin”. In other words, as so many massage therapists know very well, touch heals.

In Practice

From my clinical experience I noticed that massage and bodywork is particularly helpful for increasing clients body awareness, which is essential for healing because trauma, anxiety and stress usually generates disconnection by effecting the prefrontal cortex; the center of mindfulness. Unlike other forms of therapy, clients are not coming to be “fixed”, but to have a qualified practitioner hold a healing space that allows their nervous systems to self correct.

How to find a practitioner

Above all else, find a practitioner you feel comfortable with. There are many therapists to choose from, so take your time and make sure you can trust them and the space they provide.  You might connect best with therapists who exhibit qualities of nurturing, empathy and intuition.

Looks for therapists who have all or most of the following qualifications.

  • Advanced training & experienceCranioSacral Therapy
  • Professional boundaries
  • Certifications & credentials
  • Adaptable: practice a variety of modalities
  • Know how to listen to clients
  • Experience with trauma or mental illness
  • Mindfulness training or spiritual practice
  • Knowledgeable about local resources
  • Willing and able to refer or work in partnership with other professionals

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take some time to talk with any massage therapists and body workers you are considering. Let them know any fears, concerns, hopes and goals you have, and if you are working with a therapist or health practitioner already. Don’t rush any part of the process. Deep and lasting healing from emotional pain will take patience, time and a commitment from both you and your practitioners, and it will be worth it.

About Us

Awaken Integrative Bodywork uses gentle touch, light to moderate pressure, deep listening and mindfulness practices to help the brain and body re-connect in a safe,  therapeutic environment. Some of our modalities are CranioSacral Therapy, Integrative Massage, Intuitive & Energy Work, Thai Massage and prenatal massage. We also offer a unique deep tissue and sports massage that is gentle as well as effective. For a free consultation with Awaken Integrative Bodywork, located in beautiful Auburn, CA  call Jessica Gutierrez at 530-906-8668.

Bodywork for Emotional Pain Auburn CA

“The Wound is Where the Light Enters You”- Rumi

TESTIMONIALS

“My experience with Jessica is one for the record books, and I will most definitely continue to seek her guidance in my healing journey. I am still glowing from the release and rejuvenation provided in her loving care. I am filled with gratitude.+” ~Jasmine, Auburn CA

“I received a Craniosacral body work session from Jessica yesterday.  My session was deeply transformative, restful, and rejuvenating. I literally felt tension dissolving out my body. I left feeling pain free, more grounded, and with an elevated sense of wellness and ease. Jessica was very attentive and professional in her intake process and throughout our entire session. If you are looking for an outstanding body worker, Jessica is ideal.  She is impassioned about her work, is constantly educating herself in the field, and has a caring and compassionate heart. I highly recommend her” ~ Karen W, Auburn CA

“Recently I had a session and I am new to the area, so it was my first time. AB SO LUTELY LOOOOOOVED IT!!! 🙂
Jessica is amazing and sweet and very empathetic and her work is amazing! Personally, I am going through A LOT and Jessica was able to calm me and center me, which I didn’t think would be possible due to my situation(s). Her therapeutic work is truly like no other!  Highly recommend!! :)”~Heather, Auburn CA

“My experience with Jessica is that she is a highly skilled intuitive healer. I recommend her for anyone looking for a relaxing rejuvenating healing experience for mind body and soul.” ~Nicky M, Grass Valley, CA

 

Intuitive Massage and Bodywork: The Winding Road to healing

Intuitive Massage and Bodywork: A Winding Road to Healing
Intuitive Massage and Bodywork: A Winding Road in Auburn CA

“Well, that was a hoot!” *Joan said as we wrapped up her first session with me.  She gave no other indication of how she felt about the work before she paid my fee and left. She did not reschedule and I did not know if she had gotten much out of the treatment.

Intuitive massage and bodywork sessions often take surprising twists and turns. My role is to help facilitate the client’s inner journey. My intention is to support their connection with their own inner wisdom, in whatever form that may take. I see this process as a winding road that I follow alongside my client, but neither of us can see around the next bend or knows what will happen next. I often don’t know the result of a session until much later;  sometimes never.

The practice is to be completely present with what is happening without attachment to the outcome. This isn’t always a comfortable situation for the mind, as we humans tend to think in linear terms of cause and effect. But the magic in healing usually comes, as it does in life, when we let go and surrender to the present moment.

Joan was referred to me for CranioSacral Therapy by one of my other clients.  She was suffering from anxiety, lack of energy, moodiness and an explosive temper. Seeking stability for her mood and reactivity, she suspected there may be a hormonal component. She also wanted to advance her small business but wasn’t feeling energetic enough to achieve her goals. CranioSacral Therapy is indicated for hormone balancing and relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression and I felt it could help Joan.

Intuitive Massage and Bodywork: A Winding Road in Auburn CAI began the session with gentle touch and deep listening. I let my hands find the places of tension and resistance in Joan’s body and enlisted her help to identify what might be holding her body in those tension patterns. I asked her to describe any sensations, images, thoughts and feelings that were arising as I employed gentle CranioSacral Therapy techniques beginning at her feet and traveling up her spinal column to her occiput and head. Although dialogue is not always part of each session, in Joan’s case it was clearly part of her healing process. In other cases the  body asks for and needs silence and stillness.

Joan described a rock wall which seemed to be holding back a great deal of water, although it was seeping through the cracks in many places. As the session progressed, the images she described became more vivid. She seemed to be uncovering many symbols and archetypes that to me suggested emotional patterns that may be limiting hIntuitive Massage and Bodywork: A Winding Road in Auburn CAer capacity to connect with other people. I kept my interpretations to myself out of respect for Joan’s inner wisdom and in recognition of scope of practice as a bodyworker and not a psychotherapist.

Although it seemed like Joan got a lot of information from her session,  I wasn’t sure how she felt about it. When I followed up with her a few days later she sounded busy and said she would  get back to me later. Finally, about a month after her visit  she texted to ask for another session and mentioned she wanted to fill me on some changes in her life. Upon hearing from Joan again I felt relieved, curious and intrigued and was eager to see her again and hear what had happened.

When Joan walked in the door I almost didn’t recognize her. Her eyes were sparkling and her energy was vibrant, playful and very alive. She excitedly shared about going to a work related conference and taking with her the rich imagery she had seen during her session.  She told me she did something different this time: she gave herself permission to take time alone in the midst of a busy socializing and networking schedule, and as a result had the energy reserves to form a new friendship which would turn out to be meaningful for her on many deep levels, including professional, spiritual and personal.  In fact, she told me she was leaving on a plane for a remote, exotic island the next day, where she would be meeting that very same friend and taking steps to advance her work in a new and exciting direction that she hadn’t considered up until that point.

Intuitive Massage and Bodywork: A Winding Road in Auburn CAJoan’s wall had been transformed from an isolating barrier to a beautiful, nourishing protective sanctuary where she could come and go as she wished. It was a deep honor to accompany her on that winding pathway to healing, and for me, a poignant reminder of the power of presence.

*The client’s name has been changed and the details of the session have been edited to protect “Joan’s” privacy.

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