Combining a wide breadth of knowledge in massage, physical fitness, meditations, and other felt-sense healing practices, I provide unique sessions which are goal oriented, versatile, affirming, educational, relaxing, replenishing, and fun.
My formal education includes graduating the Brian Utting School of Massage in 2008, and the Grief Recovery Institute in 2014.
My session rate is $80 per hour
“Insomuch as scientific medicine has built itself on the foundation of an objective, third person view of the human as a body, it is a deceptive and incomplete approach to human health” – Thomas Hanna
My core philosophy is to offer a supportive body-centric experience that places you in a position of power in your own care.
This often means that my work centers around holistically including multiple experiential elements into bodywork which engages and focuses your perception on what is physically happening, and assisting you in the exploration of how your physical patterns may relate to unexamined experiences in your life.
In general, I see passive bodywork (akin to sleepy spa work) as a very small element of my practice, preferring to take on clients who share my overall goal of intentional engagement and invigorating challenge.
A note on “deep tissue”: Many people who come to my work through the massage world come in search of deep tissue massage, and generally what a person means by that is a specific modality called deep tissue Swedish. Deep Tissue is an intention, not a modality in itself; Swedish massage is a very physical modality most commonly used for flushing fluids around and physically interacting with soft structures like muscles, and is the most common form of massage — the “deep” tissue part of the Swedish equation lies in the intention and depth of the tool your therapist is using, I. E., what layer we’re trying to work with physically.
Another example of a “deep tissue” modality is Craniosacral, which is a completely different experience from Swedish massage in which the client experience is your therapist essentially holding your head and/or sacrum for a super long time, making very small, slight adjustments while communicating with your bones and surrounding structures.
With this definition of “deep tissue” in mind, roughly 90% of the work I do could be considered deep tissue work.
I am skilled at supporting people through transition, and helping those who have become bodily disconnected through repetitive stress, emotional or physical trauma, or simply by participating in the intense demands of a disconnected imperialist society, back into relationship with their bodies.
I am well versed in acute injury treatment, diagnostic observation, and both very specifically focused short-term work as well as long term care. I have extensive experience treating thoracic outlet syndrome, postural dysfunction, burnout, and chronic pain.
I have worked with people who knew virtually nothing about how their bodies functioned, and I have also worked with doctors. Hippies, authors, activists, anarchists, rock stars, shamans, circus performers, therapists, truck drivers, physical therapists, VP’s of megacorporations — you name it; The skills I have to pass on to you are universal, and no matter where you’re from or what you’re doing, I know I can use them to help you.
My sessions, especially the first one, consist of an extensive intake process that can take anywhere from 10-25 minutes, occasionally even longer depending on the complexity and depth of your history. I want to have a thorough picture of your habits, your physical trauma history, significant emotional losses, what skills you already use to sustain and nurture yourself, and have a sense of what your overall experience of everyday life in your body is like, before touching or coaching you.
As a tool of discovery and reconnaissance, particularly for new clients who aren’t presenting with a specific injury or physical problem, I often move from intake to….
The human body is an incredibly adaptable, creative machine which will do everything it can to acclimate to the stresses placed upon it, including limiting itself. This wisdom deeply shapes the manner in which we experience our life: whether we are listening, or not.
The definition of soma is “to perceive from within”, meaning that you alone, as a soma, are capable of the perception of your sense of what it feels like to inhabit your body, and also meaning that it is you alone who are ultimately capable of unlocking its secrets.
Karen Clay‘s Somatic Unwinding® combines simple, often unfamiliar actions with a level of subtle awareness rarely if ever utilized in our everyday lives. These movements are easeful, comfortable, and are performed very, very slowly. Focus of your perception on the subtle senses of movement itself communicates effectively with your neurological system and often leaves one feeling as though they just received a full body massage when I’ve yet to even touch them.
This is an excellent modality for people who are touch anxious or very sensitive. I have found the Somatic Unwinding method to be particularly efficient in exploring nerve damage, including clients with congenital cerebral palsy and who were recovering from adult-onset brain aneurysm, as well. Participating in this neurological sensing movement acts as a re-education of your nerve functions, helps you rediscover lost range and ease of locomotion, and acts as a very effective method of helping me to investigate what elements of your body would do well receiving…
Once we’ve established relationship with your mind, history, emotional body, and unconscious nervous functions, I include techniques such as Swedish massage, Deep Tissue, Passive and Active ROM (Range of Motion), Neuromuscular techniques, Muscle Energy, Postural Observation, Myofascial Release, Sports Massage, elements of Trager and Thai Massage, as well as Passive Positional Release to address remaining physical symptoms.
I almost always suggest simple, small instances of client homework between appointments that ensure our work continues to affect your life long after the session. These instructions often include habit forming, strengthening exercises, somatics and stretches.
Adherence to these instructions is not required to see a benefit from our session(s). However, I do strongly believe that some of the most important work we will do to enable your quickest, most deeply rooted progression, happens with you, at home. Giving you a strong foundational experience to enable long term benefit is my ultimate session goal for each person I work with, whether one session or one hundred.
For much of my adolescence and occasionally thereafter, I was drug abusive and chronically suicidally depressed. I got my high school equivalency and dove head first into the workforce, working fast food, then managing a retail computer store at age 17, before moving to Seattle in 1998 to make software at Microsoft.
By my early 20′s I had become entrenched in a constant loop of incredible stress and self neglect, a spell that was ultimately broken in part by first receiving a skillful massage the reunited me with the vessel of my body that I had barely spoken a kind word to in years. In 2006, after turncoating on the technology field and working in medical administration (while going through a divorce!), I chose to pursue a career in bodywork.
I opened my private massage practice, Artful Touch, in the Medical Dental Building after graduating from the Brian Utting School of Massage in 2008, moving my practice to the Pioneer Building in 2010. My education was intense and transformative, including cadaver labs, and eclectic, impactful electives. At the time, Brian Utting, which was considered one of the best schools in the US, was in the process of being acquired by Cortiva Institute. I was in the last graduating class of the original, world-renowned school curriculum of Brian Utting.
In 2012, I became certified in Somatic Unwinding by the techniques founder, Karen Clay. I immediately added Somatic Unwinding to my cannon to help more effectively communicate with the nervous systems in my clients, which I had long suspected held many secrets to gentle, effective results, particularly for the traumatized and touch-averse.
I bring a first-hand perspective of the physical consequences of a sedentary desk job, 16 years experience as an aerial circus teacher and performer, the language and communication of an artist as well as an engineer, and a deep understanding of the interlinked and often halted nature of emotions, mentality, and physical ailments, into my work.
My bodywork education, personal health experiences, mental health knowledge, and physical performance experience have all encouraged me to see our bodies as interconnected, whole systems, weaving my eclectic skill set into effective and memorable experiences for my clients. Whatever you’ve got going on, if you want help along the way, I am certain I have something worthwhile to offer.