I am a registered massage therapist and somatic educator, founder and owner of the Human Touch Inc. (1990) Center for Three Dimensional Massage Therapy and Somatic Education. My expertise encompasses multiple massage therapy modalities and I use these independently and in combination when delivering my hands on assessment and treatment in the rehabilitation and healing of the many conditions for which massage therapy treatment is so effective.
I am currently in my supervision year of advanced training in the Hakomi method of body oriented psychotherapy. Hakomi bodywork is Mindfulness Assisted Self Study in the Organization of Experience from a bodymind perspective. I have completed the Level 1(108 Hours) of sensorimotor body oriented trauma training from the Sensorimotor Institute in Boulder, Colorado and I have completed training in the Right Use of Power, Ethics for the helping professions.
Why I am a Massage Therapist and Somatic Educator:
In September of 1976 I was involved in a very serious motor vehicle accident. I was hit by a drunk driver travelling at a speed of 90mph. Impact occurred at the hinged portion of the driver’s door, the dashboard was split in half and the car’s steering wheel was snapped off. I was unconscious and was taken from the car by using the Jaws of Life. I have no memory of this crash even as I write this.
I suffered a severe low back injury involving a number of lumbar vertebrae and a severe concussion. For two years I suffered terrible headaches as my brain was healing from the trauma. For six years I was in and out of back braces, body casts and was on pain medications. I would walk down the street and after twenty minutes both my legs would give out from under me. No amount of physiotherapy, acupuncture or medication helped to improve my situation.
I eventually had to consent to orthopedic surgery and underwent a spinal fusion of my lumbar spine in 1982. I was off work for a full year as I learned to walk again and regain my strength post surgery. The surgery was not successful as my body reabsorbed the bone they used to fuse my vertebrae and I was again in braces and back on pain killers.
With my quality of life severely compromised , I decided to stop the pain medications, take off the back brace and try massage therapy to see if this treatment could change my trauma ridden severely contracted body. For three years I received two hours of massage therapy a week, slowly but surely my body started to release itself from years of painful contraction. My life was coming back to me one session at a time.
It was following this experience that I made the decision to change jobs and go to Toronto to study and train in this profession.
I made a promise to myself that I would devote the rest of my life to helping others in chronic pain. Especially those who are so often told to go home and live with the pain. Especially those who feel they have nowhere to turn in the treatment of severe soft tissue injury and trauma, or their current treatment is not giving the results they were hoping for.
Pain caused by physical trauma, overuse , postural imbalances all impact our mental, emotional and energetic position in present time.
Masssage Therapy on its own is very helpful however the depth of self knowledge obtained through mindfulness body awareness education fills in a missing piece that can provide more depth to your healing process.
My Deepening Journey in Understanding the True Meaning of Service :
As a result of my Hakomi training over the past 6 years; Compassionate awareness now informs the foundation of my personal evolution and my life's work as a Massage therapist , Somatic educator and Hakomi therapist. Compassionate Presence,Compassionate Listening and Compassionate action are the cornerstones of my day to day introspection and interaction.
In Buddhist teachings the meaning of compassion is to come toward with passion. To move toward all that is, for in doing so, we can be a witness to and study and the ways in which we approach all experience. Our joys, our sorrows, our fears become ground for exploration inside a wave of movement ,where all things arise and all things fall away. In this light we can witness and learn how we think, feel and respond in any experience on this healing and growing path of compassions way. The grace of the Christ energy inside me and the compassionate way of the Buddha help clarify the wisdom and essence of who I am and how I am in relation to all.
As a professional Massage therapist in service to my clients each and every day ; I know how Massage Therapy, Hakomi therapy , and Bioenergetics therapy are three primary body oriented healing processes that have impacted my personal healing of trauma and my personal and professional development over the past 20 years.
Add to this the dozens of my trainers, counselors, mentors, the hundreds of authors who have educated me, and of course my dear friends and family plus all past and present clients hold a special place in my heart . I do indeed feel a tremendous sense of gratefulness, that I never take for granted.
We heal and we grow in relationship, in connection with ourselves and with each other. My embodied belief in the healing power of touch and the importance of the body in the healing of trauma is finally being recognized in the newest areas of scientific study of trauma therapy.
As the body and mind are intimately connected, the different roles and relationships we take on in life are also connected. I have always felt no separation between how the personal informs the professional and the professional informs the personal. The more healing I did on the personal level definitely informed the way in which I was able to be present and relate with my clients on the professional level. As the body and mind are in deep connection with each other, so to are the different parts of the self and the relationships we form throughout the life cycle.