I Was Born. And the Rest is History!
I find daily joy providing therapeutic bodywork to a variety of clients in a variety of settings, mostly in my office in Tigard. My passion is to help relieve chronic, recalcitrant pain and eventually to specialize in pediatric clients. How did I get here?
I grew up in Portland, Oregon loving slugs, drizzle, clouds and compost piles from a tender age. Though both parents were teachers and valued refined educational opportunities, I was blessed with a natural inclination for peasanthood. After acquiring the most impractical and expensive BA I could find, Western Philosophy (aka “Dead White Men”) and mathematics at St. John’s College, at last I found true satisfaction working on a small vegetable farm in southern Maryland.
With every intention of becoming an internationally renowned naturopathic physician, I heard the dictum, “Physician: Heal Thyself!” So I goofed around for a while, teaching private piano lessons, answering a lot of phones and even playing some organ and directing a church choir here and there. In my spare time, I planted some gardens, took some pre-med classes, wrote activist letters to my representatives in Washington DC, and I kept reading…learning about the foundations of health rather than studying disease…fell in love got married and was blessed with a baby. Then I learned that there are no more effective lessons in humility or sacrifice than a dependent human. I also learned that I’m not one of those amazing women who can raise a family and simultaneously pursue her own professional career.
During the years I was primarily home with my young daughter I became enamored of the nutritional pioneers from the early 20th century. Their scientific work was mostly ignored after the processing of cheap food items took precedence over production of high quality, nutrient dense food that had been keeping native populations healthy the world over for generations. I abandoned my 15-year-long practice of vegetarianism in favor of a more natural, holistic dietary approach: local omnivorism, (with a few exceptions: I do buy avocados and bananas occasionally for example).
So, I contributed to the local Weston A. Price Foundation as a chapter leader in Portland, connecting farmers and consumers with mutual interests and hosting many a potluck with Real Nourishing Food. (The Weston A. Price Foundation may change your life, so do not follow this link unless you feel ready for a whole new lease on life and energy and your innate well-being).
As my twenties sprinted into my thirties, I found I had more energy, less need for sleep, and far greater sense of well being by judiciously including modest amounts of high quality, pasture-raised animal products, (immodest amounts of butter though!).
Meanwhile, I taught a few more piano lessons, some homeschool science classes, planted more gardens and walked the dog six miles every day in the woods to get fresh air.
Desiring to offer my own daughter the finest beginning musical education led me to discover the Music Together program. I took the training as an already competent musician and found myself transformed by the elegance of true music education: children are primed to learn music as a primary language with their primary caregivers. Nature is beautiful beyond comprehension. I became a teacher for Music Together of Portland for the next five years with a break while I attended East West College of the Healing Arts. (Please see www.musictogether.com for more information about this research based, national program providing exceptional, fun, relevant and effective learning communities for children and their adults to explore movement, music and life.) Teaching multi-generational group “immersion” classes of music/movement is a profound honor and pleasure. Witnessing the acquisition of language, (English, music, some Spanish), gross motor control, minute motor control, psycho-social attributes and self-esteem, humor, bonding, not to mention rhythm and melodic skills in all ages left me exhausted, but full of miracle watching at the end of each teaching day.
Though I maintain an intense interest in the role of nutrition in human health and development, I refocused my education to work directly with bodies on the macro level attending massage school. Indulging my passion for manual labor and my intense desire to help others live life fully, I completed the basic training to become a massage therapist in March of 2006.
I practice Aikido, Kundalini Yoga, Belly Dancing sporadically or religiously depending on the year and circumstances. And I do some Qigong nearly every day. Partly I’m disciplined about it because it makes me feel good, and partly because I honestly think it helps me to be a better body-worker for my clients. Becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist has been the perfect blending of manual labor, (honoring my peasantish leanings), fascinating critical thinking for problem solving, (that philosophy degree actually does come in useful most days), and a simple way to help get my desire for connection met on a regular basis.
To Infinity and Beyond
At this point I receive such deep satisfaction from my work, that I’m more excited about following the various styles of manual therapies I’ve already begun training in, (see tab above), and exploring new ones, (have you heard of Bowen Work?) than in starting medical school. We shall see where this path leads. I’ve definitely learned a few things about myself in the mean time, though can’t yet claim this “physician” has healed herself whole. I just keep pulling the parts apart and loving them and putting them back together, sort of like Massage as metaphor for life…so there you have it!