I love this work! Being in the water leaves the possibilities endless. It has tremendous benefits from the point work (points along the body that relate to trigger points and muscle release) and meridian stretching using Shiatsu to the attention to breath in all of the aquatic bodywork to the fun and playful openness and shapes and spaces of the Healing Dance work. The underwater work of Waterdance and the clinical adaptive approach found in Aquatic Integration. All of these put together leaves endless possibilities for healing and relaxation.
My first introduction to the healing arts came when I was 18 and totalled my first truck. Trager and Cranial Sacral massage helped me get back to health, along with physical therapy. I studied a bit about Eastern traditions and felt the wonders of acupuncture when I was working through some tendonitis issues in music college. I was so struck by it that I even wanted to go to Acupuncture school at one time, I decided to stay on my musical path and finished my Jazz Composition/Trumpet Performance Degree at Berklee College of Music. I also discovered Yoga at this time and started to develop my practice.
After moving back to MN in 1999, I started to sink my teeth into the local music scene. It was great great except for a couple of things. For one, I had to find bands and gigs and well, I’ve never missed my routine of cycling everywhere I lived in Boston more. I found myself in four more car totals over the next six years, three major rear endings that gave me discs that press up against my spinal column in my neck. And a big fat broadside to, well, the side. Knocked me unconscious, and all of this took it’s own toll on my body.
I ended up at Merz Physical Therapy at The Marsh and as I was doing my physical therapy in their pool, Suzanne Rubenbauer was floating someone giving a Watsu. I had to try one for myself and the first thing I said when my first Watsu was over was, “Where do I go to learn how to do this?” The answer was Harbin.
So I headed to Harbin Hot Springs in Middletown, CA in 2006 to take a Watsu I and II. I fell in love! Being in a 95° warm water pool for weeks at a time was just what my body needed. My body was able to reconnect with itself. Connecting with breath and movement in the water was heavenly! My neck had so many releases, there were a few times that my fingertips were tingling so much from reconnecting to my spinal chord, everything feels so good in the water. I was definitely hooked! I managed to get back to Harbin in November and December of 2006 for Shinzo’s Shiatsu I & II, plus a great Shiatsu-Back Care class. I became a Shiatsu Practitioner at this time. I then flew to Minakshi’s Florida Keys to take Watsu III and this was the end of 2006.
I continued to vigorously attack my aquatic bodywork trainings in 2007 and went back for Waterdance I & II with Shantam, Richard Bock, Rutherford Hayes and Davida Taurek I also attended all of the Healing Dance Trainings. Basic & Advanced Healing Dance for the above water work with Inika Spence and Rutherford Hayes. And more than anything I loved Shape and Space, and Above and Below Healing Dance for some great Underwater work learning, Watsu III (Adapted) which is clinical Watsu. Shiatsu-Stress Reduction, Hot Stone Massage, Pathology, Ethics, and Business Skills. I also had the opportunity to assist with Shinzo’s Shiatsu I & II twice this year and the icing on the cake was Shiatsu III at the end of the year. Words can not describe how unforgettable all of my teachers are. To be in their arms is amazing and a feeling I look forward to again and again.
Before 2007 was done I was long certified and finally done playing and it was time to find a place to offer the work to everyone. I found a home at The Courage Center in Golden Valley, MN. I was elated to be a part of this team of Aquatic specialists and able to give Aquatic Bodywork there until April of 2010. I loved every minute of it and was able to allow people with such ailments as Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Pain, Spinal Chord Injury, Cancer, Traumatic Brain Injury, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Post-Surgery, Historectomy, Sleep Deprived, Breast Cancer/Removal, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Fibromyalgia to be completely free in the water using Healing Dance principals and Aquatic Integration for any ailment you can possibly think up. I sure did learn a lot working with the great people that are a part of the community at Courage Center, Golden Valley, MN. There are few greater feelings than taking someone from a wheelchair and allowing them to be completely free in the water as they play and whoop it up with the freedom of being able to play in the water. Many would explore the underwater work and would come out completely blissed out. The warm water definitely brings another level of relaxation. Go ahead and try it for yourself!
As I spent more time at Courage Center the more I wanted to study more of the Clinical Aquatic Bodywork that Cameron West Developed, Aquatic Integration she calls it. Talk about a framework. This class gave me an unlimited potential for being able to read the body better and access the whole situation, and communicate that better to you. Letting you know what has to happen and helping you achieve that by guidance. I will support you.