- Bachelor’s of Arts Degree 1999
- Certified in Massage Therapy 2000
- Currently State Licensed in Massage Therapy
Trainings in various massage modalities including:
- Maya abdominal massage through the teachings of Dr. Rosita Arvigo DN- Prenatal, labor, and postpartum massage (Carol Osborne-Sheets, Michelle Kolakowski, Shoshana Halpern)- Birth doula (D.O.N.A.)- CranioSacral Therapy (Upledger Institute)
- Visceral Manipulation (Barral Institute)- Women’s home herbalism (Living Awareness Institute, Kami McBride)
- Infant massage
- Zen Shiatsu- Energy therapy/traditional healing apprenticeships
- Intelligent deep tissue/neuromuscular therapies
- European cupping (Julia Graves, ND, herbalist)- Medicupping (ACE Cupping, Anita J. Shannon)
- Abdominal massage (Regeneration Springs, Donna Caire LMT)- The Spurgeon Method of Breast MassageTM (Sally Spurgeon, LMT)- Flower Essence Foundations (Mind Is Body, Loey Colebeck)
- Biodynamic Pelvic Hydrotherapy (Lisa Kelly)- Orthobionomy; Chapman’s Reflexes
My Story (as I currently see it!)
I came to this work as a survivor turned thrivor of a two decades adventure of living with chronic debilitating female pain.
My cycles started at age 11 and kicked off with a bang: severe cramps, nausea, and an overwhelming nervous system awareness that something was terribly wrong.
Every month it continued, worsening.
By my mid teens I had experienced hospitalization from ovarian cysts rupturing, and exploratory surgery that was inconclusive.
I had been told by my first gynecologist that my tissues felt ‘menopausal’.
By the end of my teen years I had tried a variety of medications to control my cycles, pain, and the emotional dysregulation/depression I felt from having trauma for a week every month.
I worked hard to maintain a ‘normal’ life, but my joy was gone.
I was young, scared, and warrioring hard to just get through and understand why me, why this, why now, and what did I do wrong to deserve this?
In my 20’s the female pain diversified into other organ systems.
I left western medical approaches and sought alternative options.
I worked with acupuncture, herbalism, and energy therapies. I began to look inward.
All I knew was that these alternative things helped, but I would regress or plateau short of the distance I needed to feel better.
I had not yet found my personal keystone… the piece that would make my puzzle come together and make sense.
At the end of my 20’s I reached a turning point: I was headed for an early hysterectomy if I couldn’t change course. I was exhausted.
One particularly difficult day on my cycle, I lay down in the orchard where I lived, and through exhaustion, obstinancy, and frustration, I changed the prayer I was saying.
I finally got angry enough to say ‘Ok, God, clearly you are not solving this for me.
So help me learn how to help myself!!’
Though I didn’t know it at the time, this was my first step into taking accountability for my own health.
That week, three people reached out from the blue to ask if I’d heard about maya abdominal massage.
My prayer had been heard. Spirit had sent an answer.
I launched body and soul into learning about my womb from the angle of sacredness, instead of symptomatology and dysfunction.
I worked hard at my self care activities… learning how to palpate my own belly and observing acutely what happened internally when I moved, during certain activities, and massaged my womb myself.
I acted as though my life depended on it… because, in a way, it did. I immersed into the teachings of Dr. Rosita Arvigo, DN with a passion to understand my painful experiences and how to heal forward.
When my womb finally came into a wellness alignment… out of the pretzel position it had been sitting in for ages (it was folded in half, upside down, retroverted to the back of my body, and twisted off to the left behind my descending colon – yes, they really can do this kind of yoga!)
I felt a fundamental shift immediately!
I felt joy again. I felt light again.
There was hope in the world, and my energy to my pelvis began flowing.
I noticed after that shift, that all the other modalities I had spent years working with (acupuncture, herbs, energetic healing) finally began to deliver their full impacts to my body, mind, and spirit.
Because they could finally reach the womb!!
I made swift progress in reversing out of the organ dysfunctions, and I began to actually build vitality.
Like a boat that weathers storms, I began to move through each menstrual cycle wave with more and more steadiness.
I had finally found my key!!
My work with myself led to working with women in a clinical setting through massage therapy.
My work with massage clients led to teaching students from beginners and mothers and to doctors, nurses, acupuncturists, and other professionals about womb self care and self massage.
On behalf of Dr. Rosita’s teachings, I travelled throughout the US, to Mexico, and to Australia to teach what I’d learned to help women.
… And then my life changed for personal reasons, and I began a new cycle.
Why I became a Gentling Way Practitioner:
My 40’s have been about slowing down and re envisioning the work I do to assist women in their wellbeing.
I found Heather during the pandemic, and recognized immediately that her integration of traditional healing ways was my next step.
I see that her work primarily does three things:
- changing our relationship to our body to be loving and kind
- teaching gentle self activities and self awareness for personal healing
- and through her practitioners, addresses the common underlying physical and energetic imbalances that generate female dysfunction.
I see my work with Heather as a wonderful next step into a more expansive understanding of how to help women help themselves
…. and in the process, reclaim their joy of being in a female body, and all that embodiment offers.
I am grateful to be on my way as a student once again.