Archive for Wellness Products

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

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!

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

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

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

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.

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

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.

 

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Unfurling our posture into spring

As the days get longer and I find myself out and about more and more, I feel my body unwind and open from the inward wintertime activities of writing, reading books, crafting, and lot’s of movie watching.  Just as the blossoms and leaves of early spring begin to unfurl now, I am inspired to speak to the ways in which we are able to unfurl and open our posture through a method I call Dynamic Fascial Response™. I hope the self massage technique that I teach you here helps you to feel rejuvenated as you blossom open into spring.

How do our bodies get stuck in postural patterns?
To understand postural patterns we first need to look at one of the most important organs, the body’s fascia.

Fascinating Fascia (Pronounced Fa (A as in apple)-shah).

Fascia is completely amazing and here is a brief description for the purpose of a more leisurely read.

Your body’s fascia is one continuous structure that is web-like and although there is fascia found in between and around the cellular structures (e.g., muscles, organs, bones) it’s been discovered that it also interpenetrates the muscles, organs and bones spanning, without interruption, from head to toe.  So far so amazing right?

Even more fascinating is that the fascia has no fixed pattern or movement the way a web does.  When a spider web expands by the force of the wind, it’s geometry simply stretches wider then returns back to its’ original form. The most impressive thing about the fascia is it’s morphing ability. This magical web of fibrous material, is hollow and filled with hydration and is ever-changing in movement.  One fibrous web segment of your fascia can morph into two segments during movement!

Yes, the fascial fibers have the ability to morph, sliding in and out of themselves as our body moves (see photo on below by Dr. Jean Gimbertaeu of one fiber morphing into two).  

Fascia, one fiber morphing into two.
Photo clip from Jean Gimberteau’s impressive film ‘Strolling Under the Skin’.

Through its’ amazing tensegrity, fascia is able to bounce back to to it original structure after intricate orchestration of each of its complex movements.  This happens even in involuntary movements like gastric motility.

 

Fascia, has a fractal, icosahedronal architecture (see image to left) and it is the infrastructure of our standing posture and how we move throughout this world. Without it you would be merely a pile of muscle and bones. Did you know you are a fractal icosahedron? Wow!

 

A must see film of fascia can be found on youtube.  I highly recommend Jean Gimberteau’s impressive film ‘Strolling Under the Skin to all bodyworkers and anatomy enthusiasts!

You can click here to watch this film.

Movement Matters:  Fascial range of motion becomes most compromised when movements become limited.  A great read on movement is Katy Bowman’s, Movement Matters.

It is full of great essays discussing the many ways our natural movements have become so limited through technological advancements and cultural changes.  The book inspires the reader to move as much as possible in as many ways as possible. It’s so well written, with a sense of humor and also with a revolutionary tone of taking back our birthright to move.  

The key faub for instance limits the hand, wrist and arm movements formally used when turning a key.

Signs in parks warning us Dangerous – Do Not Climb Tree.  Teaches that it is dangerous to climb a tree.

 

Climbing trees is actually a great way to move our bodies and it explores a wide variety of range of motion movements from head to toe. So next time someone tells you to go climb a tree, you might want to take them up on it!

Click here to read segments of

Movement Matters by Katy Bowman.

Forward Head Posture

According to Kapandji (Physiology of the Joints, Volume III), for every inch your head moves forwards, it gains 10 pounds in PSI weight.  As it moves forward, the muscles in your upper back and neck have to work that much harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping onto your chest.  This results in neck and shoulder tension caused by restrictions in the anterior (front of body) fascia.

One of the most constant factors that I see in my clients with shoulder, neck, and other structural holding patterns that cause tension and pain, is forward head posture.

Generally speaking, forward head posture can be the result of several factors.  This pattern can be caused by excessive driving, anterior weight gain of pregnancy, nursing, tending over small children, doing craftwork, art, music making, writing, massaging over a table all day, etc.  One of the most common is a flexion lifestyle of sitting all day in front of a desk computer. Anyone who does anterior dominant activities on a daily basis is susceptible to this postural pattern if they don’t counter stretch and do some type of strength training (this might include yoga and pilates as well as weight or resistance training).  Strengthening the muscles of the traps and rhomboids can help counter balance the forward pull.

Pregnancy and new moms – All wrapped up.

Some lack of movement however is created by life itself.  A new mom for instance may nurse her baby, looking down at it, completely in love.  She will hold her baby everyday, pick up her baby, she may change baby’s diaper on a low bed rather than a high changing table.

So in the case of this new-mom example, the constant looking down, forward dominating movements and lack of full range of motion along with the physiological changes of increased breast size may cause the fascia to start to bind and wrap, in relation to the motion of the body’s muscle movements, or lack of. I call these areas wrapped points.  

The body pain and tension this postpartum mom is feeling may be felt in her occiput, neck and shoulders.  The holding pattern caused by the wrapped points most likely originates in the muscles of her chest and front of the neck. My approach as a bodyworker is not to go straight to the areas of discomfort but rather go to the wrapped points to begin the unwinding.

Anterior Unwinding

The method of my bodywork that I call Dynamic Fascial Response™ has changed how I work on bodies, how I assess them and also how I care for my own.  It begins with something that I call anterior unwinding. It has been my signature style for years because it creates lasting results. Now I am teaching it to other practitioners so they can offer this work to their clients.  It is advanced bodywork that has helped improve my clients’ posture as well as reduced if not eliminated pain completely, often in just one session. Anytime one does anterior unwinding on a client it is important to be trained it it first so you can take necessary precautions and understand the quality of touch needed for fascial work.  There is however a simple and safe self massage you can do on yourself.

Self Massage

Using Dynamic Fascial Response™ to treat neck and shoulder tension

Here is a self care practice that I give my clients to do between sessions:

Getting the fascia to unwind works best with no oil but if your skin is sensitive try placing a small amount of oil or lotion on your hands and rub into hands rather then on the chest before stretching. This way it is not too slippery.  If your body or hands are too slippery fascial unwinding is harder to achieve.

*The first time you perform this fascial unwinding it may feel intense but take it easy and always slow, never experiencing pain but rather meeting the limit of a comfortable range of motion just were you are at on each day and not stretching past it.  Be sure to move very slowly and inhale your chest up into your hands as you move pause to exhale and when you move again inhale up.  This chest breathing is quite different then the belly breathing many people are used to but it will activate the thoracic body and bring chi to that area as well as create a resistance stretch as you perform the various strokes shown below. 

Once you complete this unwinding of course feel free to apply oil. It will feel nourishing and delicious.  As you perform this fascial release daily you will feel a significant opening along with a release of the neck and shoulder tension you were feeling in the back of your neck.

  1) Begin chin to chest and start by placing your finger pads just under your collarbones and on either side of the sternum.  Drag finger pads down the chest while you counter stretch very slowly by tilting your chin upward. Open and close the jaw slowly.

                 

 

2) Continue in this pin and stretch fashion by placing finger pads of left hands to the right of the sternum and under right collar bone and chin down towards hands.  Explore range of motion slowly by tilting chin up and tilting your left ear towards your left shoulder while dragging finger pads slowly down towards right axilla (armpit). Repeat on left side.


3) Place finger pads of left hand to the right of sternum, under collarbone. Drag towards right shoulder while turning head to the left. Repeat on left side.

 

If you would like to experience this bodywork from me instead, please feel free to

Book Online By Clicking Here

“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.

 

If you are interested in taking one of my classes, you can view the 2018 schedule by clicking here and email me to register.

“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.”

A testimonial from a labor and delivery nurse and trained doula: “I’ve had several opportunities to utilize my training. At work I’ve been using the labor stimulation points to help with inductions, and have been doing a LOT of cross fiber work in the back area. I had a laboring patient walk in and grab my hand. She directed me to her lower back and demanded I push there. I started doing a hip squeeze and cross fiber massage, and she let out a moan and said “that feels SO good.” I’ve also used the forearm work with a patient who had carpal tunnel syndrome.”

Upcoming pregnancy massage training for interested
bodyworkers and doulas:

Prenatal, At-Birth and Postpartum Massage Training 2018

The contents of this article are not a replacement for medical care.

All rights reserved, March 2018  

Chula Gemignani               Bodyworker, Prenatal Massage Specialist, Instructor of Massage TherapyAuthor and Developer of Dynamic Fascial Response™

chulagem@gmail.com

Healing River Massage (530) 798-9998

www.healingrivermassage.com

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin