My introduction to hands-on therapy was in Boulder, Colorado, where I took an introductory shiatsu class in the early ’80s. I recognized the potency of hands on work immediately and decided to get certified and work as an LMT.
Although life did not permit me to pursue certification at that time, I found my way to the Western Massachusetts School of Massage and Therapy in 1984. The inspired abilities of John R. St. Jacques, the founder and primary instructor, made this experience invaluable. His vision of massage as a strong, therapeutic force led him to develop this outstanding program. The school’s massage clinic drew clients from all over the state with its reputation for pain reduction and great massage. It was one of the first of its kind.
I practiced independently for a decade, continuing to study and remaining fascinated with the unsung potential of massage as a healing force. During this time I also became a birth assistant and honed my skills in pregnancy and infant massage. I also began working with hospice patients.
In 1994 my family and I moved to Vashon Island, outside of Seattle, WA. I needed 30 hours of tutorial to qualify for state licensure, so I researched all relevant Seattle-area programs. The Brian Utting School of Massage was clearly exceptional. Brian had put together what many considered to be the “best program in North America” at the time. I was inspired by his work and went back to massage school. Even with a decade of experience I was appropriately challenged. I am still grateful for that decision.
The years that followed my time at the Brian Utting School were a blur of practice, study and quiet obsession with anatomy and physiology. I worked at a naturopathic clinic, practiced sports therapy and maintained a private practice. The majority of my clientele came from regional MDs, PTs, DCs, acupuncturists and word-of-mouth. I deconstructed and refined the many methods and techniques that I had learned in past, while immersing myself in new techniques.
In 1996 Brian Utting hosted a French Osteopath named Bruno Ducoux as a teacher of Craniosacral therapy. My clients had been inquiring about this type of work so I joined the class. Bruno’s work opened a new world for me. Today, 19 years into the study of Craniosacral therapy, I am still humbled by how effective and profound it is—incorporating physical, emotional, psychological, energetic and neurological systems. My ongoing study with Bruno and other internationally known CSTs continue to inspire my practice. We gather annually to share our new discoveries with each other as colleagues, which is critical in the dynamic fields of CST and Osteopathy.
I am now based out of Whitefish, Montana. I practice and teach locally and nationally. As Vice President of the American Massage Therapy Association of Montana, I focused on education and excellence for our massage community. I draw huge inspiration from Big Nature and sharing the process of wellness with people on my table.