Category Archives: Welcome

Healing my Bulging Disc with Craniosacral

Craniosacral therapy has been a lifesaver for my back. Without it, I’d be locked up and in pain. I’d likely need invasive treatments. And I certainly couldn’t do my job. But it’s been my own experience with a bulging disc that has taught me the most.

My spine has a long and storied history of problems….

At 19, as a stressed out college student, my neck went into spasm. So I went to see a chiropractor who took full spinal X-rays. (Not recommended, by the way.) And what I saw stunned me.

Signs of arthritis in my midback. Scoliosis in my low back. A slipped vertebrae. Things that were too straight. Things that were too curved. In shock, I accused the doc of mixing up my X-ray. I was nineteen.

From that time on, I was in and out of chiropractor’s offices—and other practitioners—dealing with hip pain, back pain, an unstable pelvis, a neck in spasm…you name it.

And all of those treatments helped for many years. Until they didn’t.

Because my treatments were always “fixing” the same problems. And the more my back got adjusted, the more inflamed it became. Until it could no longer tolerate adjustment.

That’s when I went to massage school and discovered craniosacral therapy. Massage gave me lovely pain relief. But cranio brought real change.

Craniosacral therapy involves gentle touch that releases bone and tissue restrictions in the skull, spine, pelvis, and whole body. It calms and resets the nervous system. And it stimulates the body’s self-healing ability.

My cranio treatments have stopped my neck going out, mobilized my midback, stabilized my hips, and relieved pressure on the disc below my slipped vertebrae. But the true test came this year when a bulging disc began pressing on a bladder nerve.

This was serious. But I didn’t panic.

I trusted cranio and my body’s treatment plan. And over time, my body has:

  • Dumped heat to relieve inflammation
  • Pulsed fluid into the joint space to get pressure off the disc
  • Deactivated the overstimulated electrical charge along the nerve
  • Released fascial strains reaching higher up the spine
  • Released shock and terror held in the low back
  • Repositioned sheared vertebrae to improve alignment

None of this has been fast. And all of it has required a commitment to healthy movement and postural exercises. But the pressure is off my nerve. The disc is healing. And my spinal alignment is slowly improving.

Somatic Bodywork: Hearing the Whole Story

After many years of using my own name for my practice, I decided it’s time my business got a name of its own. So I’m proud to introduce Conscious Soma, a practice focused on Craniosacral Therapy and other Somatic Bodywork that supports whole-person healing.

Soma means body. So, somatic literally means “of the body.” But when we’re talking about bodywork, these two terms have come to mean much more.

Soma refers to your own felt-sense of yourself. It’s your experience of your body as sensed from the inside, rather than the “idea” of a body as viewed from the outside.

Somatic bodywork, then, focuses on your inner perceptions and experience. These can include physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts, as well as your awareness of your body in space and any “null zones,” areas where you lack sensation or awareness.

When we pay attention, without judgment, to all of your inner perceptions in the moment, the body can tell the full story of an injury, pain, or problem. Often, this story has some surprising roots. And by acknowledging them, much deeper healing or transformation becomes possible.

Somatic bodywork deals with issues like:

  • Trapped emotions: Suppressed emotions get stored in our tissues where they can cause physical problems. I’ve seen cases where tissue damage, such as arthritis, has had a trapped emotion at its core.
  • Core beliefs: If you have a deeply held belief, say that you have to struggle for everything in life, it can literally shape your body. In this case, the muscles may tense up and take on a fighting stance, always ready to defend against the world.
  • Guarding: Many clients I touch are muscle-guarded. No matter how long I work, their muscles stay tense. Why? Sometimes the tension is helping the client avoid feeling. Emotions aren’t just in our head. They are felt through the whole body. And muscle tension is a powerful way to suppress painful emotions.
  • Loss of body awareness: When asked to focus on a body part—like the pelvis—some people will not be able to feel it from the inside unless it’s hurting. They’ve removed their awareness. The result is a disconnection—from themselves, the ground, or their own sense of power and purpose.
  • Trauma: Like emotions, trauma is not just in the head. It’s held in the whole body and especially in the central nervous system. Trauma can cause chronic stress and anxiety, hypervigilance, muscle tension and a host of other bodily symptoms.

Somatic bodywork is a powerful way of bridging body and mind. Because ultimately, this thing we call “body” and this thing we call “mind” are a singular, exquisite intelligence, of which we can be more or less conscious. I vote for more.

Welcome!

In addition to doing bodywork, I have also been a professional health writer and editor for many years. Now I’m putting my writing to work for you. Here I’ll explore common issues I see in my practice and offer practical tools you can apply to your life. Enjoy!