In the mid-eighties I got a massage and it changed my life.
I knew ten minutes into it that I wanted to be able to give a massage. So, I changed careers. It wasn’t long before I realized that different types of massage and bodywork were very effective with all types of conditions. Having had back pain since I had fallen from a tree when I was about 13, I immediately began studying techniques and methods that might be helpful.
In 1992 I began working at the
Pain and Rehabilitation Institute
(Doleys Clinic) in Birmingham, AL. This is a multi-disciplinary clinic where patients come for a one-month residential program. The average patient has had multiple surgeries, is on a variety of potent medications, barely moves about and is seriously depressed. In other words, if you have to come to PRI it means you are in serious trouble.
Fortunately, PRI assists the patients holistically, that is, they consider and address how pain affects all aspects of a person’s life. There is medical care to help find the most affective medications and other interventions. There are physical assessments to tailor appropriate programs of exercise, pool therapy, massage and movement. There is emotional support including individual counseling, family therapy and support groups. There are also educational classes covering a range of topics that stimulate mental activity and engender self-care.
My years at PRI have been a constant learning field. I’ve been able to observe and learn the insights of the physicians and staff. But more importantly, I’ve been able to observe and learn from the patients themselves. Through close interaction with many patients I have seen what has worked and what hasn’t. And as it turns out, there is no one thing that works for every one, but there are many commonalities.
When I first started at PRI I was trained in Neuromuscular Therapy, a method of deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy that is affective in relieving pain. But, what I noticed (in my own body and that of the people I was seeing) was that it helped people feel better, but only temporarily. (I actually received the work for a year from a colleague, and though improved temporarily, never got any better.)
Then I was introduced to Somatic Education, or movement reeducation. This is an approach that addresses the neurological patterns that actually keep the pain cycle going. For the first time I began to see real improvement in my own body. And the relief wasn’t just temporary; it lasted. So, I began to study and teach more and more somatic education to those I worked with. Amazingly, they also so began to see more lasting improvements.
Since that time I have slowly developed a way to utilize many different types of bodywork and movement education. As I continue to grow and learn I am constantly updating what I know and how I use it. So, don’t be surprised if you notice changes in this website from time to time. As I learn more, I will share more.
Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner
Certified in Neuromuscular Therapy, Clinical Sports Massage, BioSomatics, Zen Therapy, Touch for Health
Licensed Massage Therapist: Alabama #8
Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
Member: Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals
Member: Alabama Board of Massage Therapy
Original Member: Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards
Owner Red Mountain Institute
Red Mountain Institute
for the Healing Arts (Massage School)