Hello and welcome! I’m a Registered Massage Therapist offering a gentle body-wise approach to working with trauma. I help clients connect with a greater sense of resilience, safety and freedom so they can do more of the things they want to do in their lives.
I arrived at this transformative approach to trauma through my own healing journey. Years ago, while caring for my newborn daughter, I began to understand how important human touch is to our healthy development and thriving. And not just as babies, but throughout our lives.
This awareness inspired me to study touch and human development. I began with rigorous training at the West Coast College of Massage Therapy.
In 1997, when I opened my RMT practice, I noticed something puzzling: some clients just didn’t get better. My treatment would give them temporary relief from their pain and tension, but they’d eventually return with the same problem.
I got curious. Why was this happening?
I noticed that most symptoms my clients came in with were tied to what pioneers in the study of trauma call a disregulated nervous system. The body often has a story to tell, and it’s a much bigger story than the symptoms of tension or pain.
I learned that when we are injured in any overwhelming experience (such as a car accident or a tumble down the stairs), powerful memories can be created and held in our bodies through the nervous system.
Our pain may persist until we become able to listen to our body and welcome our present-moment experience. As trauma expert Dr. Bessel van der Kolk says, “you can be fully in charge of your life only if you can acknowledge the reality of your body, in all its visceral dimensions.”
But how do we do this, I wondered.
I found answers in the groundbreaking somatic (body-based) approaches of Self-Regulation Therapy, Hanna Somatics, Moaiku (Relational Traumatherapy) and iRest. I continue to learn in ongoing trauma study groups. I’m on a lifelong adventure in the wisdom of the body!
Here’s what I have learned:
Tuning in to your body’s messages opens the door to deep healing.
When we feel distressed, we tend to go into our heads or dissociate, re-experiencing survival reactions such as fight, flight or freeze. But here and now, in our bodies, is the only place we can rebuild safety.
I share tools that help clients ground and centre themselves and strengthen their boundaries, so they can be in their bodies. The principles I use in my massage therapy work are the principles I live by: self-awareness in body and thoughts, presence, kindness toward ourselves, acceptance and curiosity.