Any technique, or combination of techniques, is only a means to an end. The goal of any practice of healing or wellness is always to facilitate a greater sense of well-being. You want to feel better, lighter, more energized, pain-free, stronger, relaxed.
Though I have lots of techniques at my disposal, there are some guiding principles that I try my best to adhere to, in order that we can find the best outcome for you, in this moment.
The following are not techniques, but whole fields of research - or approaches - which have fundamentally influenced my work.
ANNA HALPRIN'S LIFE/ART PROCESS
Anna Halprin is one of my greatest mentors.
Between the years 2005 and 2013, I worked and collaborated consistently with her as a performer, an assistant, and a friend.
Anna's Life/Art Process is something that continues to inform my every waking moment.
NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION (NVC)
After having practiced and applied this method of communication, the quality of my life improved more than I could have imagined.
"NVC helps us connect with each other and ourselves in a way that allows our natural compassion to flourish. It guides us to reframe the way we express ourselves and listen to others by focusing our consciousness on four areas: what we are observing, feeling, and needing, and what we are requesting to enrich our lives. NVC fosters deep listening, respect, and empathy and engenders a mutual desire to give from the heart. Some people use NVC to respond compassionately to themselves, some to create greater depth in their personal relationships, and still others to build effective relationships at work or in the political arena. Worldwide, NVC is used to mediate disputes and conflicts at all levels."
- Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
THE BIO-PSYCHO-SOCIAL MODEL OF PAIN
My own experience with chronic pain, and how I've recovered, has taught me that most anyone can return to a full, pain-free, and rewarding life. The biopsychosocial model is one that takes into account one's whole life experience (not 'just' the physical body) in the feeling of danger or safety that contribute to what we feel as pain.
"All pain is real. And for many people it is a debilitating part of everyday life.
It is now known that understanding more about why things hurt can actually help people to overcome their pain. Recent advances in fields such as neurophysiology, brain imaging, immunology, psychology and cellular biology have provided an explanatory platform from which to explore pain. Explain Pain discusses how pain responses are produced by the brain: how responses to injury from the autonomic motor and immune systems in your body contribute to pain, and why pain can persist after tissues have had plenty of time to heal."
DERMO NEURO MODULATION (DNM)
More a set of principles than a specific 'technique,' I have adjusted my entire practice and methodology to adapt to this gentle and profoundly effective system developed by Diane Jacobs.
"DNM is a pain-free technique that places little physical demand on the client or the therapist. In practice, it may be blended into relaxation massages and therapeutic sessions, or combined with specific modalities such as Active Isolated Stretching, myofascial release, orthopedic massage, strain-counterstrain technique, and others. The basic hands-on skills of DNM are similar to many forms of massage, but the underlying concepts are rooted in modern neuroscience."
"Dermoneuromodulation (DNM) is a gentle method of interacting with clients to help them resolve pain, regain function, and feel better. It was developed by Diane Jacobs, a Canadian physiotherapist specializing in pain science and the treatment of painful conditions. During her 40 years of practice, Jacobs became interested in Ronald Melzack, who developed the original Gate Control theory of pain along with Patrick Wall, and who later developed the NeuroMatrix model of pain. In 2007, Jacobs conducted a cadaver study that demonstrated how peripheral cutaneous nerves divide into rami, which spread outward into the underside of skin. This inspired her to develop a new conceptual approach to manual therapy for clients in pain: dermo (skin); neuro (nervous system); modulation (change); which equals dermoneuromodulation, or touching the skin to interact with the nervous system and effect change."
(Extracted from Jason Erickson's article in Massage & Bodywork, may/june 2013:http://www.massageandbodyworkdigital.com/i/121374-may-june-2013/90?)
If you haven't heard of tensegrity, then let me be the first to invite you to have your mind blown! Read on...
"The concept of tensegrity as a new structural principle really started in the 1940’s with Kenneth Snelson,Snelson who explored and developed it through sculpture, and Buckminster Fuller who considered it as part of a wider system of geometry. The application to living organisms began in the 1970’s with Stephen Levin, an orthopaedic surgeon who considered it from a structural, energetic and evolutionary perspective, and Donald Ingber who was then investigating the role of the cellular cytoskeleton in angiogenesis.
Many definitions have been proposed for tensegrity but they all vary according to the sculptural, engineering or biological interests of their authors. Engineers have introduced new terminology and mathematics suited to their purpose of making robotics and deployable structures in space, while biologists have approached the subject through experiment, evolutionary and energetic considerations. Definitions provide a foundation for further inquiry and both Snelson and Fuller developed their own essentially similar versions.
SNELSON: “Tensegrity describes a closed structural system composed of a set of three or more elongate compression struts within a network of tension tendons, the combined parts mutually supportive in such a way that the struts do not touch one another, but press outwardly against nodal points in the tension network to form a firm, triangulated, pre-stressed, tension and compression unit.”
FULLER: “Tensegrity describes a structural-relationship principle in which structural shape is guaranteed by the finitely closed, comprehensively continuous, tensional behaviours of the system and not by the discontinuous and exclusively local compressional member behaviours.”
There is no standard method of naming tensegrity structures at the present time because artists, mathematicians and biologists take different approaches and use a variety of terminologies; and while it is assumed that developments in one field are directly transferable to another, examples in the literature show that this is not always the case. For example, engineers use a classification that is not directly applicable to living tissues, which prompted Levin to introduce the term ‘biotensegrity’ as a means of distinguishing biological tensegrity from its man-made engineering applications."