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jess pregnantPregnancy Bodywork

What is Bodywork?

Bodywork is a generic term for therapeutic hands-on healing. In general, that means using your hands to treat someone and make them feel better. I use it as a generic term because I want it to be inclusive of all the different schools and styles available today. From Wikipedia:

Bodywork is a term used in alternative medicine or complementary medicine to describe any therapeutic, healing or personal development work which involves some form of touching, energetic work or the physical manipulation of a practically oriented physical and somatic understanding of the body.


The broadest use of the term is inclusive of many forms including:

  • Western Medical Styles of Bodywork (e.g. Ostepathic Manipulative Therapy,
  • Chiropractic Medicine, physical therapy);

  • Ethnic forms of Bodywork (e.g. Traditional Chinese Medicine Tui Na, Thai
  • massage);

  • Holistic Approaches to Bodywork (Structural Integration, Feldenkrais Method,
  • Trager Approach, Polarity Therapy);

  • Alternative Approaches (reflexology)
  • Spiritual Approaches (Yoga, Holotrophic Breathwork);
  • Movement Styles (Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Gabrielle Roth) and
  • Many More not mentioned here.

I will use the term to imply the use of my hands in healing my patients. For me, this work is intimately interwoven with aspects psychology, spirituality, love, compassion and energy medicine.

Why use the term Bodywork?

While rooted in a the firm foundation of OSTEOPTHIC MEDICINE my bodywork has changed so much in 27 years, and has been informed by so many different things, that it no longer fits neatly into the category of Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy. I now use the more generic term BODYWORK to describe what I do. My current sessions look nothing like the OMT I was taught in medical school. While the form has changed considerably, much of what I do in a session is still firmly rooted in Osteopathic Philosophy and Principles.

What type of bodywork does Aumdoc do?

While rooted in Osteopathic Medicine, many other things inform my healing work.

I feel my bodywork healing is most connected to...



( Here is what a generic bodywork session with me might be like. Session styles vary quite a bit depending on the patient and our intent together.)

First we sit and talk about the issues and our work together, clarifying intent. We may smudge to initiate the session. I have you change into a gown and lie on your back, on my table. The patients safe space and security is paramount, so remaining clothed is also acceptable.

I evaluate your physical and energetic structure as webegin to flow into the session, usually I play music.

Intially I pay attention to the physical body and we steadily move toward the more subtle energetic aspects. Soft tissue (massage type) techniques usually introduces my touch gently and prepares the body for deeper work. I then use a wide variety of physical techniques and energetic methods to unwind tensions on every level. Sometimes I adjust the spine, sometimes not. You will roll over several times so I can work on your sides and back. I commonly do deep pelvic and visceral work as well. All this work is done in cooperation with the breath. I am not very chatty during the work.

Some types of bodywork can uncomfortable integral to their therapeutic action (like structural integration or deep tissue massage). My bodywork is rarely physically painful, though there can be some uncomfortable moments. If what I am doing becomes painful, or too uncomfortable in ANY other way, I ask patients to SPEAK UP so that I can re-approach the issue somewhat differently. Discomfort is fine if fleeting, but no one needs to be a martyr on my table.

The work progressively unwinds tensions on every level.... physical release, mental & emotional release and spiritual release. Modern life tends to make us wound up and tense on many levels. As these tensions are gently unwound the body, mind and spirit move into a space of profound and deep relaxation. This is a nuturing and healing state of re-membering.

Part of the work is helping patients connect to this healing space on a day to day basis, usually through the breath. If unfamiliar with simple diaphragmatic breathing and breath meditation, this instruction is included in our work together. A daily sitting practice, quieting the mind & connecting to the breath, is encouraged.

The session continues with energetic techniques including Craniosacral Therapy, Energy Medicine and Shamanic Healing. All flow intuitively utilizing my past experience in the present moment. I often use progressive relaxation, creative visualization and positive affirmations during sessions. With receptive patients I may use sound (singing, chanting, toning, rattle or play my flute over a patient), stones, plants or other specific shamanic techniques in healing.

In general patients recieve this on a regular basis. After working together more frequently for a period of time (every other week is common) patients usually see me regularly but less frequently, often monthly. If the waters of life are calm they may see me less frequently, if things get choppy they will see me more frequently. While quite variable, initial visits are commonly 60-90 minutes and follow-up visits are usually 30 minutes.

Obligation of the Healer

In this Healing work it is important to get out of the way. My role is to hold deep safe and sacred space to allow healing to occur. Each individual has everything they need within them to heal, to become more whole. The healer needs to become a hollow tube, a bone, a whistle or flute that allows the healing vibrations, rhythms and songs to flow through them freely, to allow the individual to unwind and release.

As the hollow tube a healer need not make the determination of what to do where, of whether to add or release energy. When the tube is clear and life-force energy flows freely through, it will move in the direction needed... feeding the starved tissues and releasing those overburdened as indicated by the state of the individual (not the decision of the therapist).

In my medical training in surgery, obstetrics AND manipulation the above concept was NEVER present or even considered. Quite to the contrar, it was all about finding out what was wrong, fixing it and then leaving it alone. It was a totally reductionist approach that focused on the part and not how the part was part of the whole.

When I first climbed behind the wheel of a car to learn how to drive, it was overwhelmin. Too many pedals, things to consider and the mirror was very confusing. I remember this clearly. After a while we do not even think about driving, we surrender it to our bodies inherent knowledge of doing without thinking. In athletics this is often called being in the flow. This is also how it was when I first started to do surgery, deliver babies and treat people with hands-on healing work. It was all a little overwhelming with too much to consider. After a lot of experience things changed. I performed the Cesarean Section without having to think about the details of each step.

In the same way, my bodywork healing sessions are about a conscious shift in my state of being, moving into a non-ordinary ("shamanic") state of being that I recognize clearly as being hollow. When in this healing space, sessions flow very freely and I am often amazed at what happens.


Om Lotus



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