Thank you for a good year, my friends. Here’s to 2019!

Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 8.05.54 AMI woke up this morning at year’s end, reflecting on my work in 2018. It’s been a very good year for me in so many ways, and I want to share that with you.

  • I’ve really come into my own doing the advanced integrative bodywork that I love, and of course there’s always more to learn with each person who comes in.
  • I’ve done more sessions with more people than in previous years.
  • I started working with a business coach this year, and I am very grateful for that. I’ve learned a lot.
  • I’ve continued training in craniosacral therapy, biodynamics, and Zero Balancing, deepening and integrating those skills.
  • Treating TMJ tension and pain has become a satisfying mainstay of my practice, ranging from the free 30-minute consultation to the 5-sessions-in-4-weeks program to my Facebook group Word of Mouth, as well as seeking and cultivating referral partners.
  • My new Heavenly Head Massage service is getting a lot of traction.
  • I feel very settled and at home in my office in West Lake Hills and happy to be working with the practitioners who share our suite.
  • I’ve enjoyed feeding the birds on the hillside outside my office as well as arranging rocks just so.

I don’t know what 2019 will deliver, of course, but I have some plans:

  • I’ll be taking a course in TMJ mastery from a teacher in Canada who’s been doing TMJ and vocal cord work for over 20 years. He hasn’t posted the dates and locations for his 2019 trainings yet, but trading some of Austin’s summer heat for some Canadian cool would be nice!
  • I’m taking another craniosacral therapy course from the Upledger Institute in May, SomatoEmotional Release 2 here in Austin, and I’m working on getting certified in craniosacral therapy techniques. I’ll continue to attend study groups and work with a mentor, and I will serve as a teaching assistant for CST1 in Austin next August. I feel other Upledger courses calling me — the brain, cranial nerves, pediatrics, the inner physician, and more.
  • I’m starting to work on certification in Zero Balancing. I plan to continue to attend study groups, advancing skills days, and taking classes, and I hope to attend founder Fritz Smith’s 90th birthday in May near Palm Springs, CA. If the class Freely Movable Joints is offered in Texas in 2019, I want to be in it.
  • I plan to learn how to make good videos for my website, Facebook page, and Facebook group.
  • I don’t have any classes in mind yet for biodynamics in 2019, but I plan to continue working on a modeling project with a mentor and trading with fellow practitioners.

May 2019 bring you more of what you want in life — health, happiness, abundance, love, opportunity, connection, peace of mind, and satisfaction. Thank you for your presence in my life!

Treating TMJ issues: the role of the sphenoid in structural health

The sphenoid bone is one of the most fascinating bones in the body! If you were looking at someone and could see their bones, the sphenoid would be behind their eyes and in front of their ears, with the outermost parts (the greater wings) accessible at the temples, and the lowermost parts (the pterygoid processes) being what your internal jaw muscles attach to.

By the way, the word sphenoid comes from the Greek for wedge-shaped. Its shape has been likened to a moth, a bat, a butterfly, and a wasp.

Here’s a picture of it, as viewed from the front.

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 8.53.53 AM
Credit: TeachMeAnatomy

It’s a central cranial bone that does many important things:

  • it connects to your internal jaw muscles
  • muscles involved in swallowing are attached to it
  • it helps form the orbits of your eyes
  • the optic nerves meet, cross, and pass through it
  • your pituitary (master gland) sit on top of it (in a saddle!)
  • it contains two air sinuses, the sphenoidal sinuses, which open into the nasal cavity through the ethmoid bone
  • it has openings for major blood vessels and nerves of the head and neck
  • the tentorium cerebelli, part of the membranous system surrounding the central nervous system down to the sacrum, attaches to the sphenoid

The sphenoid has been called the keystone bone. It touches 12 other cranial bones: two parietals, two temporals, two zygomas, two palatines, frontal, occipital, ethmoid, and vomer.

The place where the sphenoid and occiput meet is called the sphenobasilar joint (SBJ). (The occiput is considered the base of the cranium.) You can see the SBJ in the middle of the image below where the orange and yellow bones meet.

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 8.58.35 AM
Credit: TeachMeAnatomy

The alignment of this joint is important. William Sutherland, DO, father of cranial osteopathy, believed that the rest of the skeletal system moves to accommodate the SBJ. If the two bones are not aligned well, it can affect the endocrine, nervous, and cardiovascular systems as well.

Misalignment of the SBJ can obviously affect other cranial bones, which fit closely together. It can contribute to TMJ pain and dysfunction.

When the SBJ is misaligned, it affects the jaw. (Remember, your internal jaw muscles attach to it.) It is also a consideration in migraines, headaches, sinus problems and allergies, pain in the head, neck, and back, scoliosis, issues with eye movements, and problems with behavior, personality, learning, coordination, hormones, and emotions.

This is how the sphenoid bone can affect the structure of the body. Craniosacral therapists pay a lot of attention to the sphenoid and can gently move it into better alignment. I like to end TMJ Relief sessions with a gentle adjustment to the sphenoid and a stillpoint to let the body integrate the new alignment.

Public offerings, spring 2018

I have two public offerings to announce.

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.15.15 PM
Source: Revilo (Oliver Christianson).

I will be presenting at Austin’s annual Free Day of NLP on April 7 at St. Edward’s University. The event is 9 am-6 pm, and my presentation will be at 1 pm. The Austin Neuro-Linguistic Programming meetup has details.

Needless to say, it’s free!

My topic is Investigating the Power of Silence. It’s a deeper investigation into teaching stillness one minute at a time earlier this year and draws on discoveries during meditation. I anticipate this presentation allowing the audience and myself to experience silence multiple times and to share what we experience.  Continue reading “Public offerings, spring 2018”

Welcome, 2018!

Today I reopen for business after some time off for the holidays. I’m looking forward to deepening my skills and building my practice and business, even more, this year.

What’s up for you? Is there a way I can be of service to you? I invite you to get in touch (leave a voice mail, text, email, schedule online, or message me on Facebook).

I’ve rearranged my office, and I hope you will enjoy it more. After a year and a half, I figured out how to use the space better. There’s more space to sit and talk before our table time starts, and it feels more pleasing to be and work in. The mirror reflects the window now so I can visually connect with the nature outside no matter where I sit/stand/kneel while I am connecting with the nature in you. Continue reading “Welcome, 2018!”

Biodynamics: healing from the inside out

I started studying craniosacral biodynamics in early 2013, after a friend asked me why I wasn’t a craniosacral therapist, which was the right question to get me into a Biodynamics workshop three days later! I found some of it over my head (I’d only had my massage license for seven months then), and a lot of it very intriguing. I wanted to know more.

Since then, I’ve taken every Biodynamics class Ryan Hallford teaches, twice. My understanding deepens with repetition. Biodynamics is a huge paradigm shift from technique-oriented massage and bodywork. It’s difficult to gain mastery of Biodynamics, taking years for most people.

Why does learning Biodynamics and offering it to my clients matter? Well, if I told you that some seasoned cranial osteopaths had stumbled onto the secrets of hands-on healing, and that others can learn this most basic form of healing, wouldn’t you want to know more? Even though it may take years to be able to get good results, I am interested! learning it keeps my life interesting and expanding, and receiving it improves my health. As a recipient, it amplifies one’s ability to heal from issues that may not respond to conventional treatment.

I love this work. It’s about presence and discovery. I have the privilege of being a teaching assistant for Ryan and Christian Current, my office mate and an experienced biodynamic therapist who is now co-teaching with Ryan. Things happen in the trainings when six or more of us are trading practice sessions at the same time! Ryan guides us through these sessions verbally and energetically, and because of his guidance and the group energy, we have breakthroughs that otherwise would not happen.

I’ve had breakthroughs at the two most recent trainings I’ve assisted with, and those breakthroughs have set me on fire to advance my skills! I’ve been using most of my spare time to work with a mentor, practice on people, read textbooks, listen to audio files and podcasts, watch DVDs, and orient toward various aspects of these healing forces in hours of meditation.

You may be wondering, what is Biodynamics?

  • An offshoot of cranial osteopathy, Biodynamics is based on finding the health in your system. You have an inherent healing ability, and we work with your body’s wisdom to heal from the inside out.
  • When you experience shocks in your life (accidents, injuries, traumas), your field intelligently compensates to protect you, yet sometimes these compensations linger much longer than they need to, affecting the flow of health.
  • Working with your inherent healing process with a little support from me (or any therapist working biodynamically), your body can release these compensations and align with optimal health.

“Seek health in your patients. Any fool can find the disease.” — A.T. Still, founder of osteopathy

How does a Biodynamics session work?

  • You’ll be fully clothed, lying comfortably on your back on a massage table, and I connect with light touch. We’ll talk before and after, but much of our session will be in silence and stillness. If you need to communicate anything, please do.
  • Meanwhile, I’m getting myself centered and grounded, deepening the relational field between us, sensing into larger supportive fields around us, listening deeply to your system, recognizing what I’m listening to, and conversing with your innate healing process silently. My work is mostly perceptive.
  • During the session, depending on your level of awareness and sensitivity, you may sense things happening in your body. These shifts are your innate healing ability working intelligently to return you to health. You may feel very relaxed and even dip into sleep.
  • After a session, your system may feel more coherent, balanced, and organized, less plagued by old injuries and conditions and wounds, renewed.
  • Clients report benefitting from their first session, and three or more sessions allow our relational field to strengthen and our sessions together to deepen. After three sessions we can evaluate whether and how continuing to work together can be helpful for your specific conditions.

What does it make possible? The world is full of suffering, and it is also full of overcoming. Biodynamics helps with the overcoming. It improves the quality of life of recipients and through the ripple effect, their families and associates benefit. It helps to make individuals and the world a better place.