Author Archive for Chula Gemignani

Can I get a massage during these days of Covoid-19?

[…this article has been modified as we are now in a time of self quarantine.  Please stay home and only go out for the essentials. I look forward to having you join my Facebook live videos and they will be re-posted to this link so be sure the ‘like’ this page: Healing River Massage and Counseling]

You may wonder is it safe or responsible to get a massage right now? NO it isn’t.

It’s true that the virus takes up to 14 days to show its presence so yes, folks can actually have it and not know. We need to make the right choices for ourselves and each other in moving forward to help stop the spread of this virus by staying home.

Yes, social distancing is important but what happens if your back or neck goes out or you’re nervous system is needing to calm. What happens if you’re pregnant, needing an induction massage to help support a natural childbirth hopeful to avoid a cesarean? In these cases, you probably will want to see me. So here’s what I’m doing to stay available to support you (and myself), beyond manual therapy. I will be putting self-care videos online here.

In my massage practice, I have always been proactive in keeping my office clean and sanitized and now, with Covid-19, I’m taking extra precautions of course. It’s my responsibility to be available for my clients while preventing the spread of this specific virus (and all viruses). I also have a responsibility to myself to stay healthy. [and so will not be massaging until the quarantine is over but will be offering healing sessions online]

[Once back to work] I am implementing the following cleaning and sanitizing methods:

Sick clients are (always) asked to stay home.

Clients leave shoes at door upon entry.

Clients are asked to wash hands (for at least 20 seconds) upon arrival.
I am washing my hands constantly.

In addition to standard between-client cleaning tasks such as providing fresh linens and blankets, wiping my table and tools, I am also sanitizing the following between clients:

Air: Although the coronavirus is rarely airborne and does not stay so for long, I am still running my air filter 3 hours between clients as a precautionary measure and because it feel right to do so at this time.

Bedding:
 As always, I wash my bedding on the highest temperature setting, use enzyme rich soaps rinse twice and dry them completely and thoroughly.
Surfaces: 
I’m cleaning the following surfaces with a solution recommended by the CDC of four teaspoons of bleach to one quart of water.

• Door handles inside and out; toilet handle; faucet
• Hot towel cabinet door
• Product containers
• Massage stool
• Light switches
• Cell phone/iPad/computer/
• Pens
• Counters/desk
• Clipboards
• Floors

I hope knowing how I’m handling this supports your decision to stay home and join me online for self massage should you need one. If you have any questions or concerns I’m here and happy to talk openly about them via a call (530) 798-9998

For private somatic NLP healing via zoom you can book here:

BOOK your phone or zoom apppointment here or Somatic NLP

Peace and good health to all,

Chula

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Preventive Health

Spring is always a great time for new beginnings and it’s the season in which to take preventive health measures, especially with the viruses going around.

If you’d like to bolster your immune system or just renew your vow to your body, mind and spirit please accept this coupon for a discounted massage.

You can book on my website or private message me and I’ll send you the link to make it easy.

I am taking great care (as I always do) in keeping a germ-free environment and not accepting any sick people into my space. All clients are asked to wash hands upon entry and I’m running the air filter daily. I am bleaching surfaces that clients may come in contact with and, as always sheets are washed and clean for each client.

Let’s keep ourselves and our community healthy!

#springcleaning #massage #coronavirus #chula #dynamicfascialresponse

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Happy Holidays!

Massage is a healing gift to give and receive. Feel free to gift a loved one, yourself or both! Happy holidays and may your hearts and toes be warm this winter season.

You can purchase your discounted gift certificate on sale at https://dynamicfascialresponse.com/gift-certificates/

You can also email me chulagem@gmail.com to purchase.

Thank you!

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Massage Coupon – $20 OFF

The blossoms are opening up and so are we as we’re getting outside more, taking in the color and smells of spring! We’re working out the kinks as we get wake up and move our hibernating winter bodies. I invite you to take advantage of my spring coupon. No need to print it out. Just mention it to me upon payment. Happy Spring everyone!

Book Online

Peace, Chula

Coupon will expire April 30, 2019

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What a healing session is like for this healer

My home-sweet-home studio

After moving my studio up back up to my home, I’ve been diving deep into healing touch. In my home studio under the wise conifers I don’t have the noise distractions that I did in my downtown space and the quiet has been taking me deeper into my work.  I’ve been reflecting on how, in one session, I’m able to hold my attention in many different ways and sometimes it feels like I’m shape shifting. I felt inspired to write about it and I’m sure there are therapists out there that will relate to the expansive presence that healing touch can invoke.  If you are a practitioner, please feel welcome to share some of your own experiences.

In a single session, recipients of healing touch are slowly transitioned from a state of tension or overwhelm from all of the stimuli coming at them daily into a more relaxed and open state. Massage or healing touch helps integrate the external and internal realities and the physical and emotional body. Through this process, they may experience WOW moment(s). If you’re a recipient of healing touch please feel free to share stories of any Aha moments you’ve had in a session.

I’m honored to hold this space and I wanted to share a little about what the experience is like on my end. I’m honestly not sure that shape-shift is the right way to put it exactly but I’m using the word ‘Shape’ to describe the different facets of myself that can come through during a session.  I stay open in a way that invites each of these shapes to become and it’s in the becoming that I feel whole. I’ve somehow managed to put into words some of what makes up the whole of me as a practitioner. I hope you enjoy and I’m eager to hear your own experiences as a giver or receiver of healing touch.

Shape: The Bodyworker

There’s the obvious bodyworker part of me that’s been trained and that loves anatomy. I will step up a massage session, offering active pin and stretch methods, traction and compression, ventral and abdominal unwinding, acupressure, etc.  The practical tools that I’ve gathered over the years helps the recipient release postural restrictions that cause tension, open their range of motion and as a result the muscles that have been overworking get to take a break and often this relieves symptoms of pain or tension.

Shape: The Weaver

This is the part of me that opens to see the web of life in my client.  I open my perspective to see beyond the point(s) of pain to the web of life within which the pain is wrapped. This helps me navigate where and how to make more space for my client to move freely.

Shape: The Healer

There’s the healer who understands that human touch and nurturing can be a reminder (for those of us who spend most of our time in our heads) where exactly our toes are.  I incorporate long delicious effleurage strokes with a healing oil from the feet to the head and back down again.  This anointing reminds us that receiving touch is about coming home to ourselves from head to toe.

Shape: The One Who is Healing

There’s the healer who is also healing herself.  Healing her body, her heart, her mind. The one who knows what it’s like to live in a body that has it’s own challenges. Because I know physical pain, heartbreak and grief, I know how to listen and stay in rapport, not offer Pollyanna solutions but stay present. Before a session, I sit quietly and acknowledge the places in my body and spirit where my own healing is happening.  This brings me into a grounded, honest rapport with myself so I can be more present with my client and it builds an energetic foundation of trust.  Rapport and trust are the first steps to an effective healing session.

Shape: The Priestess, Shaman

When intuition guides me, I might conjure healing in unconventional ways. I might place the Tibetan bowls on my clients body and play them. I know what to do and trust my gut.  I respond when I’m guided to place a specific stone in a clients hand who needs it or when to bring out my fan to cleanse the body with sage and when to place a drop of ceremonial water on their forehead. Intuitive healing is a celebration of the present moment because it’s not planned.  Those spontaneous moments have a special life force to them. That aliveness shifts stagnant energy.

Shape: The Navigator

Sometimes my client has a lot they are working on and it isn’t just physical.  Because I was a student of NLP and have tools to draw on, I might help navigate an unwinding of emotions or behavioral patterns trapped in the body. We might find out who was the youngest version of themselves that felt the emotion. We might take the emotion out of the body and dialogue with it, see its shape, ask its name, find out what it wants.  This somatic healing process, coming from a non threatening presence allows the emotion to take on new resources and let go of ways that feel stuck or no longer serving.

Shape: The Spirit

There is the spiritual warrior that refuses to be limited by the human body.  The one that sees/feels that I’m part of an ALL that is immeasurable which makes me a spiritual being, walking the earth through life in a human body. I like quantum physics theories, even if its all just hearsay and ever changing.  I believe that for every finite form there is an infinite amount of spaciousness within. I might offer a guided meditation so my client can tap into this sensation of spaciousness within the body where the closed eyelids that normally shut the world out become windows gazing into the infinite spaciousness within. Moments like this can release the self imposed shackles that the mind constructs within what appears to be confines of the human body.  In a meditative state of mind where spaciousness and freedom become the reality, physical freedom follows.

Shape: The Invisible One

There is the part of me that knows that my client is ultimately their best healer and I am merely a conduit for the healing. This one gets invisible, steps aside, quiets down and allows.  Holding the cranium, I ‘suspend’ my client in the ‘field’ while emptying my mind and arriving to the oneness of ALL (some might name it God or Holy Spirit, Great Spirit, etc.) The field is pure spaciousness where there are no obstacles.  It’s where the deepest listening occurs and when I’m here in this field, I find it a most potent time to put out an invitation or prayer for healing.

A few shapes to the whole of me.


Peace,
Chula

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Postpartum Bodywork:
Advice for the Postpartum Massage Therapist
By Chula Gemignani
Instructor of Massage, Author, Bodyworker and Developer of
Dynamic Fascial Response™

In terms of bodywork and massage, what happens after the baby is born?

Every birth is so different but generally what I’ve experienced is that after birth there’s a time that my client will be retreating, adapting to their new life and bonding with their baby. If I wasn’t present at the birth then I make no assumption about what’s taken place. Rather than sending congratulations, I’ll send a message expressing curiosity in how my client is doing. This avoids any assumption that everything is well when there’s a possibility that there may have been complications. This way I’m sure to stay in rapport. I’ll let them know that I’m here for them when they need me for postpartum bodywork or a relaxing massage.

Once your client is ready to receive a massage they’ll invite you to a house call or will come into the office. If you don’t hear from them regarding postpartum massage, an email to them that educates on the benefits of postpartum massage with a coupon attached may be just what they need to ignite their attention towards self care once again.

How soon can I massage my client after birth?

As soon as your client is comfortable to receive it and there are no known complications.

Post Cesarean: Any abdominal massage or any core recruitment requires a wait until about 6-8 weeks when scar is healed and scar tissue is formed.

Why is postpartum bodywork necessary?

I can’t stress enough the importance of postpartum bodywork. Blending postural opening and balancing with relaxation massage is the key. The emotional load of new parenting, the lack of sleep, and the physical recovery as the body’s displaced muscles, organs and bones find their way back into place all will benefit from the integrating postpartum session.

How can I help my client’s improve their posture?

Anterior Unwinding of Repetitive Holding Patterns

The positions and activities of early parenting can be compromising to the body most of the day, every day creating repetitive holding patterns in the anterior (front) fascia. Looking down is one of the many gestures responsible for this. Forward head posture (FHP) is what causes neck and shoulder tension in new parents. Imagine the number of diaper changes, the amount of nursing hours, not to mention the hours gazing down in awe at this beautiful new arrival. And then there’s the weight of the breasts pulling the thoracic spine forward. The tension in the back of the neck and shoulders usually is coming from the constricted fascia in the front. According to Kapandji (Physiology of the Joints, Volume III), for every inch the head moves forwards, it gains 10 pounds in PSI weight. A normal 12 pound head can turn into a 32 pound head respectively. This gets translated to the muscles in the upper back and neck and they have to work much harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping onto the chest. FHP also forces the suboccipital muscles (they raise the chin) to remain in constant contraction, putting pressure on the 3 Suboccipital nerves.

This is why ventral and abdominal anterior unwinding is needed in massage for any new parent to help support good posture and to release neck and shoulder tension.

What should I expect during a postpartum session?
The client finally gets to lie on their belly and back or any position during their postpartum session. Their breasts may be sore and full of milk. A memory foam topper is helpful.

What do I do if my client leaks? MER Milk Ejection Reflex / Letdown (“Leaking”)
Breasts may leak breast milk during the session so provide a towel for your client to place under or over breasts whether lying prone or supine. The hormone oxytocin causes the milk ejection reflex (MER) or letdown.

If my client’s baby wants to nurse during the session, how do I accommodate a nursing baby? I always let them know that their baby is welcome to the session. Your client will appreciate this gesture of support. Ask them to bring someone to care for the baby if possible and inform them that if baby needs to nurse during the session it wont pose a problem because you can always switch to side-lying and still get a lot of bodywork done while their baby is nursing. Knowing this, you may want to save low back and hips for the last part of the massage just in case you find yourself working on a side-lying, nursing client. There is also the possibility that your client may not be ready to be separated from their baby at all and so you may have a fun and adventurous massage with a baby present. Think about adding a memory foam topper to your massage table for your clients comfort in side -lying positioning.

What positions are OK for postpartum massage? All positions are safe unless compromised circulation is present in which case you would use left side-lying.

Side-lying if breasts are sore (usually first few weeks) or if client needs to breast feed while in session.

Are there postpartum massage contraindications?
There are many warnings and contraindications and it’s important that you are certified in pregnancy massage or have learned those before proceeding with massage.

What if my client had a C-section? The importance of gentle and soft abdominal massage is crucial after a C section to help break up scar tissue. The surgeon’s cut may have been precise but scar tissue forms differently for everyone, sometimes irregularly and may even form adhesion over internal organs. Gentle massage will help break up those scar patterns so the client does not have unwanted back or pelvic pain. Adhesion can also prevent further pregnancies which is another reason to be sure to offer abdominal massage. There are time guidelines and contraindications for post C section massage that a massage therapist would learn in a certification course.

Is it OK to let my client talk during a session?

Emotional unwinding Your client has just gone through one of the biggest passages of their lives and will probably want to share with you their birth experience as you work. Allow for this unwinding with a listening ear. Eventually she will drop in to receiving and telling her story will help the process of letting go into the present moment. The more present they can be with themselves, the more present they can be for their baby.

What mechanical advice can I give my client?

Watch your posture, try not give yourself away.

When picking up child try not to bend over.  Instead, squat to pick up child, try a kegel and push feet into the floor to stand while engaging glutes.

Counter stretch whenever possible especially after long held positions like nursing.

Try not to favor one side.

Try slightly tucking chin to help improve suboccipital tension.

Take walks

Alternate sides when holding child.

Stay hydrated, set a timer on phone for water intake.

Sleep when baby sleeps.

Yoga, pilates, or joining a postpartum exercise class can help recruit the core when the client ready for that.
It’s good to encourage them but your client may not be ready, so be sensitive to their process and stay in rapport.

The next 5 Day Pregnancy Massage Certification in DFR Bodywork is
Feb. 15, 16, 17, 23, 24. Pre-registration discounts will expire after Jan 1, 2019. Class is limited in size and registration closes after 12 students are enrolled.
Visit DynamicFascialResponse.com to register
Email inquiries to: info@DynamicFascialResponse.com
Include Subject Header: “Winter Pregnancy Massage Certification ”

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DFR™ Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis

I have had several clients come to me with a sharp pain in the pad of their foot (or both feet) which  has been diagnosed as plantar fasciitis .  The pain is so bad that there are days when they can hardly walk or they have pain in bed which impacts their sleep.  Many doctors will prescribe cortisteroids and other injections as well as provide orthopedic inserts for shoes.  Why don’t we address the common structural problems that lead to plantar fasciitis, so we can avoid all of that?  The key to solving the plantar fasciitis dilemma is structural and Dynamic Fascial Response™ is an effective path to healing it.

Finding a therapist who has some form of fascial bodywork training or self study along with knowledge in postural alignment exercises is essential for quick recovery of plantar fasciitis. Fascia is an uninterrupted, three-dimensional web of tissue  that extends from head to toe, from front to back, from interior to exterior. It is responsible for maintaining structural integrity; for providing support and protection; and acts as a shock absorber. Therefore, when addressing this condition of plantar fasciitis, DFR™ doesn’t go straight to the pain spot and start working it. We assess the body and emotional body with a broad vision so as to approach plantar fasciitis with the integrity and ‘deep listening’ that it deserves. There are some key muscles that play a part and they are namely in the legs.  Addressing these lower posterior muscles and the posterior fascial chain that connects them to the calcaneous via achilles tendon, a therapist can relieve plantar fasciitis in a few one hour sessions.  Even one 90 min. session will cure the pain of plantar fasciitis but I would suggest two or three follow up sessions to continue to iron out any fascial restrictions whether or not posture, weight, lifestyle or compromised muscle recruitment presents the potential ‘bounce back’. 

Plantar fasciitis treatment can also be performed on prenatal clients in a side-lying position while taking great care to avoid contraindicated points and positions for special populations and conditions.

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Pregnancy Massage Certification Training in DFR™

Our next Pregnancy Massage Certification is coming up and here are what professional bodyworkers are saying about this dynamic, continued education training….

“Chula’s class gave me a well rounded understanding of prenatal massage and postnatal care. Her teaching style is organized, focused, and kind. She will wait until every last person is on the same page before moving on. I will continue to take every class she offers and encourage fellow body workers to do the same!”

“She was very patient and clear and very easy to pay attention to. Her enthusiasm for the subject was contagious”

“I really appreciate the book and all of the reference material that was provided”

“I loved all of the fascia techniques and Chula was very organized.”

“I have found this course invaluable, not just for being able to work with prenatal clients, but for returning to my bodywork roots and once more finding my voice with which to perform…”

“I feel much more confident and comfortable with the idea of working with prenatal clients”

“This course is amazing! It has made me more aware of my working posture and how to connect it”

“I feel confident and proud announcing that I do prenatal massage. The bonus is that a lot of what I learned can be used on my other clients”

“I like that Chula showed us the proper techniques and then allowed us to modify them to our specific style”


See dates and sign up for the next training by clicking this link. 
Class size is limited to 12.

Client Testimonials:
“Chula was such a helpful calming soothing presence during my pregnancy and at my birth! She worked with me prior to my birth multiple times, and her strong, skilled work helped my back stay out of pain, and my body adapt in a healthy way to the changes it was going through. At my birth, Chula’s talented touch and grounded nature helped me make it through the worst contractions and gave me rest and rejuvenation in between contractions. Her years of experience as a peri-natal therapist built trust, and her warmth and nurturing presence was a balm while I labored. She knew just where to apply pressure and how to work on my body to give the most support. Chula’s strength and stamina was amazing! In spite of a very long labor, Chula stayed by my side for several hours and continuously gave sustained deep work that made my experience easier. Chula’s presence provided more than massage therapy – she was counselor, unofficial doula, and even stayed after everyone else left to do the laundry and clean the house!
My husband also appreciated her calm, healing presence, and her respect of our space when we needed it. I highly recommend Chula as a perinatal and at birth therapist!”
“I was fortunate enough to find Chula as my prenatal massage therapist. I am also a bodyworker, and so appreciate a knowledgeable, effective bodyworker. Chula is not only both of those, but also very professional. Chula worked on me at the end of my first pregnancy, and so when i was pregnant again this last year, i couldn’t wait to call her again. I can’t begin to express the amount of gratitude I have for her! She helped me so much with extreme pains I experienced during my pregnancy. Her understanding of the body and her ability to apply that knowledge make her a wonderful therapist. Chula is also willing to unravel the layers that might be involved in the various discomforts of the physical body. She has listened to me share from my heart, and has offered empathetic and helpful reflections that enabled me to move through emotional blocks. Even now, after I’ve had my baby, I will use Chula to help me with an on-going hip injury. She provides thorough and effective bodywork, and is always willing to listen to my needs. She is an asset to our community!”

From an article published in the Nevada Union Newspaper 2017:
“I tried a few other massage therapists for prenatal massage, but Chula was above and beyond,” said Cameron McGowen of Nevada City, whose baby is due May 24. “Her table is set up in the most comfortable way and I always experience a lot of relief. It’s all in her training — a less experienced therapist would be a little nervous. She’s very adaptable. After all these years, she has so many tools on her belt.”

Please share event invite:

https://www.facebook.com/events/393451371109479/

See dates and sign up for the next training by clicking this link. 
Class size is limited to 12.

 

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