Touch is elemental. Touch is vital. Touch is soothing and energizing and bonding.
The Heartful Touch is well-intended, intending wellness, facilitating relaxation and healing in a warm and safe environment. I savored that touch, that environment when I began getting massage regularly in the early 1990s, and I savored providing the same to my clients when I graduated the Somerset School of Massage Therapy in January 1998 and founded The Heartful Touch. I became nationally certified that year, and in 2012 I became licensed in New Jersey, license number 18KT00333500.
A practice, like a massage, is ever-evolving, and so I have raised my level of professionalism and honed my skills since 1998. I joined the American Massage Therapy Association and became nationally certified. I also have taken the following workshops:
- Assisted Isolated Stretching with Aaron Mattes, 1998
- CranioSacral Therapy I, 2000
- CranioSacral Therapy II, 2000
- Somato Emotional Release I, 2000
- Somato Emotional Release II, 2001
- Advanced CranioSacral Therapy I, 2002
- CranioSacral Therapy Pediatrics 2002
This was an awesome experience learning how to facilitate healing in children while also doing hands-on therapy with an autistic boy, a high-energy little girl with headaches, and a colicky baby.
- Visceral Manipulation IA, 2003
This was a useful and instructive introduction to the work of helping to release adhesions and misalignments of such organs as the liver and colon. I plan on taking additional courses before I add this to my repertoire of techniques.
- Clinical Application of Advanced CranioSacral Therapy, 2003
During this five-day intensive at the Upledger Institute in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, three other students and I worked under the tutelage of chiropractor/CranioSacral therapist Lisa Upledger, wife of Upledger Institute founder and CranioSacral developer, John Upledger, D.O. In the morning, we assisted Lisa as she treated her clients; in the afternoon, we worked on one another. During these sessions I broadened my scope of practice to include issues of sexual abuse, and I sharpened my ability to dialogue with patients and help them obtain Somato-Emotional Release of pain in their bodies. All in all, a valuable learning and professional experience.
In 2003, I also served as a teaching assistant for CranioSacral Therapy I work-shops in Philadelphia in June and in Wall Township, N.J. in November. In 2004, I moved up the curriculum to be a teaching assistant in CranioSacral II in Philadelphia in June and CranioSacral Pediatrics in Boston in August. Hearing the lectures anew, instructing students in proper hand placement and sharing my experience with CST in the workaday world have sharpened my therapeutic skills and broadened my people skills.
Working with and advising students as they worked with a variety of children and conditions during CranioSacral Pediatrics heightened my desire to work with children. In March 2005 I served as one of four interns assisting lead therapist Rebecca Flowers Giles at the Upledger Institute in course titled Clinical Applications of CranioSacral Pediatrics.
During that five-day internship, we provided hands-on therapy to children with autism, Rett Syndrome and various types of cerebral palsy. During some of those sessions I also used my singing skills to engage the children’s attention and help facilitate further the healing process. By the end of the week, a 4-year-old autistic boy named Alex whom we saw for an hour each day had calmed down enough and trusted us enough that he took a nap during the session, allowing for deeper healing to occur. All in all, the internship was a personally and professionally enlightening, educational and exhilarating experience.
A month later, I returned to the Institute for the “Beyond the Dura” conference. Additionally, I have served as a CST mentor to a fellow massage therapist who has taken CST I. I invite others who practice the work or who want to learn the work to contact me about possible CST trading sessions or a massage session in trade for guidance in experiencing or learning CST.
In 2004, my massage practice was galvanized by two-part workshops in Orthomassage, the first in May, the second in October. Orthomassage founder James Waslaski proved to be a dynamic instructor as he guided students in pain relief with deep-heat Prossage oil and site-specific work on individual muscles, tendons and ligaments. In February 2006 I took Waslaski’s Five-Day Orthomassage Intensive, which provided additional techniques to my massage session.