Massage and Total Wellness- Cathy Speaks Lewis

I have a “frozen shoulder”, and it’s not just because I’m in the middle of a Colorado winter. Unfortunately, for whatever reason I wound up with pain and limited motion. Of course, with my job, limited motion isn’t really an option. So, off to physical therapy I go, and I’ve also been visiting my friend, Cathy, at BodySpeaks Massage. She’s no run-of-the-mill massage therapist. This gal has some serious skills and training in various areas– and with my condition I wouldn’t dare let anyone else touch me!

Talking to Cathy, I’ve realized that our professions are quite intertwined. People often come to me because something has happened that’s derailed their lives: emotionally or physically. They are looking for permission to let go. Looking for relief. Looking to set things right again. People see Cathy for the same things. She’s able to work with the body and mind to help repair them and sometimes put them back in sync. At BodySpeaks, she even does “Trauma Touch Therapy”. Although the concept is difficult to understand with words, I’d argue that everything she does includes trauma touch therapy– last time I received a massage, I was surprised as I stood up to get dressed and tears came to my eyes and one small, quick sobb to my chest. Although I hadn’t fully realized it, this ailment has been wearing away at me along with some other stresses and it felt good to let it go. I’m not usually emotional, so massage is a good way to release some things. I asked her to explain, which I will include below, but before I turn it over to her, I want to include the link to her site in case you’d like to experience this instead of just reading about it.

https://bodyspeaks.massagetherapy.com/

And now, Cathy!

So what is it that you do?

So often when I try to explain that I do so much more than massage, this is the question with which I am presented.
Well, here goes a try. You can book a 30, 60, 90, or 120 minute session, with each session I include a 15 minute grace period. I do this because our work can vary for what your body needs that particular day. I discourage tips as I consider myself a health care professional. Your gratitude is the best gratuity!

I use a variety of bodywork modalities to assist you along your healing journey. Swedish massage is my favorite modality for relaxing and rejuvenating the whole body. Deep tissue or neuromuscular therapy can be used to assist with releasing tight muscles and fascia. I use manual lymphatic drainage to gently move buildup of excess lymph and edema. Cranial Sacral Therapy is used to calm and realign the central nervous system and address restrictions in the body. We can choose reflexology to support and balance all of the structures and organs in the body through a relaxing massage of the feet and hands. Trauma Touch TherapyTM is a wonderful modality that addresses trauma in the body in a safe and comfortable way. I also have specialized training to work with medically frail clients and clients in all stages of cancer and most chronic health disorders. You can even add aromatherapy, energy work, hot/cold stone therapy, or Bach Flower EssencesTM to your session upon request. I use these techniques alone and in combination to personalize your session every time.
It’s so much more than massage. You get all of my advanced training along with my nurturing and caring touch. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

What is Truma Touch therapy?

Trauma Touch is an innate, simple, organic therapy that allows a client to fully experience sensation, and the accompanying emotions and thoughts, while being completely present. Although the therapy is simple and innate, it is something that has been lost to many people due to the traumas we endure. When a trauma is endured the mind and body will tend to separate, split, or fragment in order to protect the individual from feeling the full impact of the trauma. This is by design a safety mechanism however it can become the default rather than only happening when needed. Having clients practice sensing into their bodies while remaining present gives them access to putting the mind and body back together, to fully feeling and sensing. This in turn has the client take ownership of their bodies and minds, and give access to a richer human experience.

How do we actually do that? That one is harder to explain in my opinion. First we establish boundaries, a sense of safety, and a sense of connection. The work can’t progress without at least a semblance of these things. Next we begin to explore sensation while keeping the client present, in the here and now. We practice this in many ways, those are the tools we use such as breath, movement, touch, art, etc. Through practice the client becomes more comfortable with being in their bodies, truly listening to their bodies. Although this sounds incredibly simple, it is not. It is a leap of faith that the pain experienced before will not happen again, that inevitably they will survive allowing themselves to feel/sense. Once this begins to happen then we can explore areas of the body that need attention and see what they need. We can also then rely on the body as a deep source of wisdom and a connection to know what “feels” right for our lives. Clients begin to inquire on their own, where is that in the body, where do I feel that? Then they can move to, does this feel right in my body? Or what does my body need? The answers usually become quite clear. Often insights about why or how these struggles have impacted us also show up. This can help us with having a voice to communicate those feelings and sensations and what we need and want from others.

The most difficult, and yet one of the best, parts of the work is it’s organic nature. There is no ABC or 123 to this work. There are things we must do such as establishing relationship, and tracking clients and ourselves to maintain presence, but beyond those things we are listening to the body. We are watching for the clues it gives us to where it wants to go. We are seeing what tools fit this particular client best, always remaining open to their ideas. We are continuously getting out of our own way, letting go of agenda and ego. It is humbling beyond belief. It is also the most rewarding work I have ever done.

If by now you’re convinced, get in contact with Cathy today! She’s conveniently located in the heart of Denver. Thanks for sharing, Cathy 🙂

Senior Downsizing Guide

Senior downsizing has been a buzzword around me lately. The 55+ population is growing but they need to shrink their lifestyles to accommodate their new way of living. Whether they just want a more carefree way of living and plan to travel, want less to take care of, or are moving into a different space that won’t hold everything– decisions have to be made. While we’re often sentimental about our belonging, this process requires some serious thought and it may be worth automating a bit.

I’ve always found guides helpful and so I’ve included one below. A caveat: this has more to do with “stuff” than clothing, so if you’re needing a wardrobe editing guide, you may want to see this list from Dr. Oz. https://s.doctoroz.com/Clean-Out-One-Sheet.jpg
For everything else, see below!

A few other tips:
1. Don’t wait until this has to be done in a crunch. It takes time to go through and let go of things. Trying to get this done over a couple of days may cause relocation stress.
2. If there are a few things you know will be meaningless to anyone else, but they are dear to you and you’d like to keep them, author Margareta Magnusson suggests putting them in a box marked in a way that loved ones know they can feel comfortable disposing of it later. Examples would be letters from a dear friend or past love.
3. Hire an organizer or have a friend help! It’s nice to have company and friendship with this process, and it helps to have an unbiased third party.

If you’d like to have a full downloadable word document, click here:

One Thing Organizers Find in Every House

You’d be surprised…

Long passed away pets, old love letters, and unmentionables, which is why I won’t mention them. Organizers get up close and personal, and we see a lot of things. Pretty much nothing phases us. Unlike a magazine page or Pinterest pin, you actually live in your home and there is evidence of that. We’re all mostly the same and you are totally not being judged in any way.

However, there is something that I come across repeatedly and I want to address it: organizing and/or cleaning supplies. Storage bins and baskets of all sizes, printed out materials about organizing, cleaning liquids of all kinds– often unused or still in packages. One realistic client joked to me as we kept finding these items, “Don’t you love seeing our pitiful attempts at organization?” Again, I don’t judge.

I see these items as a realization that something needed to be done about the mess. However, it also reveals a bigger issue. The thinking that an organizational system or program alone will fix the problem.

For organizational systems to work, there are two other parts that need to be in place.

  1. A reasonable amount of items. You must first edit your clutter. Just buying containers to corral it in new and fancy ways won’t cut it.
  2. Implementation. Let’s face it, these products don’t use themselves. Sometimes you need an organizer to motivate you to tidy up and keep you on track. (Click this to see Why You Need an Organizer!)

My client last night had a binder full with an organizing program she had purchased…we found it underneath the mountain of stuff on her desk. But good for her! She realized she needed help to get the ball rolling and contacted me, and together we had tackled that mess in no time. We recruit professionals of all kinds for their various specialties– maybe an organizer should be your next call!

(PS BONUS! One other thing we always find is a serious overage of pens and pencils. We accept this as a fact of life. I don’t know where they come from exactly but they multiply like bunnies! Don’t worry, everyone has this problem.)