About

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My conscious healing journey began with an ordinary childhood suddenly fractured by a tragic, traumatic loss, before PTSD had been named or understood.

Later, a car accident, compounded by stressors such as working full time and going to grad school while raising a child, set me off into an earnest search for help. Since then, I’ve explored various healing modalities and experienced some remarkable chapters in my healing journey.

Bodywork (along with being mindful about diet, meditation, movement, and community) has been key in healing my body, mind, heart, and spirit.

I sought and received craniosacral therapy monthly for several years from one of Austin’s most highly regarded practitioners because I believed it could help with my injuries from the car wreck. I didn’t know it could also help with trauma recovery. Unfamiliar with the subtle work, I noticed that I felt calmer, with a stronger sense of myself and more equanimity. Later sessions helped me relax more deeply than I knew was possible. I was amazed at my therapist’s palpation skills and her deep knowledge of anatomy. I felt stronger and more whole over time, with more confidence and clarity.

Recovering from trauma is a story unto itself. That part of my healing journey also included psychotherapy, journaling, dreamwork, reading, and a strong recognition that within me dwells an inner healer that wants us to get well. I believe we all have an inner healer working for us.

My experience with receiving bodywork led me to train in Reiki. A few weeks after my training ended, I used it on a gifted healer/friend who had injured his foot. He recovered more quickly than expected, and he told me, “You need to get a license to touch people.”

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David Lauterstein and me, April 2011

I then attended Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in Austin, graduating from the 500-hour program.

A few months after becoming licensed, I learned about craniosacral biodynamics and was asked, “Why aren’t you a craniosacral therapist?” Three days later, I was attending training. I’ve continued my training in biodynamics and have also trained in classical craniosacral therapy with the Upledger Institute.

My first craniosacral teacher taught me how to do intra-oral work including how to work on TMJ issues, beginning in 2013. After that first class, I brought my new skills back to my massage clients with TMJ problems. They experienced such a dramatic transformation — reduced tension and pain, more range of motion — that I was hooked on letting people with chronic jaw pain know that manual therapy can make a big difference and offering that therapy. Since then I’ve learned more from five other teachers, done hundreds of sessions, and developed my signature TMJ Relief Program.

While taking the advanced, 250-hour massage program at Lauterstein-Conway, after my first Zero Balancing session, I stood up and was amazed — I felt taller, more spacious, with more ease of movement and a nice energy buzz in my body. It was as if my habitual tension patterns had dissolved, gravity had released its constant pull, and my life force energy had been amplified. I wanted to give others that experience.

In the orthopedic massage part of the advanced program, I learned what it would take for my structure to fully recover from that old car accident, and I finally got my pelvic bones much better aligned.

Meanwhile, in trainings, in my private practice, on previous jobs at Massage Envy, Massage Harmony, Seton Cove, Serasana, Sana Vida, at retreats, offices, medical settings, and volunteering at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Austin Community Healing Circle, Hospice Austin, and the Healthcare Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), I’ve gained experience and expanded my abilities, learning to integrate my skills to apply to each person’s needs in the moment.

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I have a great network of health care providers for referrals. I’m a member of the Austin Wellness Entrepreneurs and the Austin Wellness Collaborative. I belong to the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), am a member of the International Association of Healthcare Professionals (IAHP), and am board certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

I blog about wellness and use my Facebook business page and my quarterly newsletter (subscribe) to share news you can use about wellness. I also have a Facebook group for people with TMJ issues.

How can we release the conditioning of the past, awaken to our essential selves, and stay awake?

I have an MS degree in Community & Regional Planning from UT/Austin and a BA in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. I’ve previously worked in publishing, government, and technology. I have a grown daughter, daughter-in-law, and a grand-daughter — so lots of life experience!

I’m a master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). I began practicing yoga in 1982, later undertook yoga teacher training and taught restorative classes (and am working on a yoga class for upper body pain, including the jaw), and I’ve enjoyed ecstatic dancing since 1995. I’ve done a couple of 10-day silent vipassana meditation courses and consider meditation a mainstay of my life.

Thank you for reading this far. I hope my story has lifted your spirit and expanded your beliefs about what is possible.

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The view out my office window.