SHC Celebrates Everybody Deserves a Massage Week.

This year, we at SHC are excited to bring the experience of therapeutic massage to those who may not have thought about massage as part of their self-care routine. That is why we will be participating in Everybody Deserves a Massage Week! 

Anyone who schedules a Deep Tissue or Swedish massage session during the week of July 11-16th will be able  to receive 50% off all massage gift certificates! 

To schedule an appointment at our Highlands office, please book online here 

To schedule an appointment at The Rainbow Wellness Center, please book online here

Any tips received will go toward the development of accessible mobile massage clinics through our Tip it Forward program. Our current mobile massage clinic will give massage to refugee gardeners at the Louisville Grows Hope Garden during Everybody Deserves a Massage Week. Your generosity helps to make massage accessible to those in need. To find out more about our Tip it Forward program, click here.

At SHC, we believe that your health has a greater purpose. We stand by pro-active choices to healthcare that help you expand your open-heartedness, improve your ability to think more clearly and help you move with greater ease. One way that we can help you accomplish this is through therapeutic massage. We can help you engage with your body and listen to what it is trying to tell you. Regular therapeutic massage helps lessen anxiety and stress hormones in the body, and increases joint flexibility , as well as giving an overall improved sense of well-being. When we can live comfortably in our bodies, our happiness increases and we feel more harmony within our world. It is time to take care of yourself, because your world needs you.

To schedule an appointment, please book online here 

 

 

Integrating and moving forward: Geri's experiences with sessions 9 and 10

All of the anatomy trains lines have been used as a map in the exploration and organization of Geri's structure and movement patterns. A lot of the myofascia has been opened, reawakened, and differentiated to best organize the body under the force of gravity. 

Sessions 9-12 aims to bring the superficial sleeve and deep core structures into a coordinated whole, and spend time reinforcing manual and movement awareness work. There is a lot more emphasis on gait assessment, and receiving work while standing and sitting. 

The goals of session 9 is to work with the movement along the lines of the leg, and examine the pelvic position in relation to the femurs and spine. The goals of session 10 is to create space for a big "3-d" breath, review all of the anatomy trains lines in the middle body, open the torso from the sides and balance the scapula and clavicles with breathing. 

Below Geri writes about her experience with Session 9 and 10. 

Integration is my next step in the SI series. For sessions nine and ten, Kammaleathahh looked at connecting all the work that we have done over the eight sessions by managing the areas that haven’t fully opened up. She accomplishes this by linking the deeper work done from sessions five through eight, which provided movement, stability, and balance. Having moved past the deeper work on my body, these next two sessions looked at the how my body has come together with the adjustments and alignment through the lower body to torso and then through the torso to the upper portions of my body.  Session nine looked at the integration of movement through the lower body. My tenth session addressed movement: feet, knees, pelvis, hips and lower spine, and the frontal line of my upper body, which involves the lower back, ribcage, chest, shoulders, and neck.

Over the course of the previous sessions we have moved from superficial to deep tissue manipulation. Each session, with the exception of session eight, has required activeness of body and mind. Like so many of my KMI sessions, the ninth session started with a whole body assessment. This particular assessment was a bit different in that Kammaleathahh assessed which portions of my lower body had not integrated with the previous work. Kammaleathahh took me to an open space where I walked the length of the room. While walking, she evaluated the movement in my feet, knees, pelvis, hips, and lower back. The assessment revealed some restriction in the pelvis and hips, which meant I had a shortness in my stride and a limited rotation, or fluidity, of my pelvis.

Once back in her room, she focused on adjusting those areas which were still limited in length and motion. She started by working the top and inner arch of my feet. She then moved to my knees, outer thigh, and outer hips. During this portion, I found that I experience less tension and soreness than in previous sessions. In the latter portion of the session, I had to focus on my breath, as the work targeted the deep tissue under the pelvis, accessed from the inner area of thigh and groin. While it was by no means painful, I still had residual tightness, which breathing and clearing my mind helped get me through.

When I stood up, I could feel my knees were more at ease and I was aware that my weight felt more evenly distributed between my feet, knees, and hips. Once I settled, Kammaleathahh took me back to the open space and had me walk the room. My stride was more extended and I felt relief in my hips. I was definitely more loose in the rotation of my hips and pelvis as I walked the room, it really was quite interesting. She gave me exercises to help promote the continue openness of my hips and pelvis. A week later, I still felt an ease of movement in my hips and down to my feet. Since this session, my physical fatigue has remained at a minimum while my personal activities have become more demanding.

For my tenth session, we continued to link the integration of the work from my lower body to the upper torso. This session explored connecting my lower and upper torso to help align my lower and upper body through increasing the depth of breath within my ribcage. Kammaleathahh worked to make sure that from my pelvis to my ribs were aligning from head to toe. She worked to make sure that my upper back and pelvis were continuing to hold the work we had done over the last few sessions, and thus far I have not fallen back into the multiple rotations found in my hips, back, and chest.

This tenth session began with me lying on my back with my knees bent and feet shoulder width apart. Kammaleathahh, then accessed the tightness found in the rotation of pelvis by working my abdomen. She worked through the space between my abdominal wall and pelvis, pressing the fascial tissue that connects the spine to the pelvis. While she held her position in the place, she slowly worked deeper and deeper toward the back of my pelvis. She then asked me to slowly raise my foot, on the side she was working from a few inches of the table, slowly up and down several times. While doing this, I could feel a tightness in the muscles in this area and in the tissues she had accessed. After working both sides, I could definitely feel that one side was tighter than the other, almost sore in comparison to the other. I was really surprised once again about the sensation. Kammaleathahh had me stand up after completing both sides, and once on my feet I could feel my hips more settled. Since beginning the sessions, I have seen more and more how the small and subtle exchange in pressure and movement have reflected repressed stress and discomfort.

In the last half of the session we worked on the upper chest, neck, and shoulders. I started on the bench, where I rotated at various degrees to allow a proper distribution of pressure and Kammaleathahh access to the small spaces in my upper shoulders and spine. She pressed through my lower ribcage and lower back to help expand my ability to breath into the full length of my torso. Once the bench work was completed, I lay back down on the table to have my upper chest and the top of my shoulders worked on. I had had a more stressful week and, as usual, I found myself carrying that stress in my neck and upper shoulders, so I was a bit sensitive to the pressure of the massage across the upper shoulders. However, during the last few weeks, I have not reverted to continually clinched or turned in shoulder positions. When the session was complete, my shoulders felt released and broad. For me, there is nothing better than to notice that forced tension gone.

I have continued the momentum, sensing my natural tendencies with turning in and holding on to the physical manifestations of my feelings. I make sure to release my shoulders when I’m stressed and feel when my hips are rotating out instead of rolled under, which can cause my knees and shins to be fatigued. These sessions have helped me to not manifest physically the stresses of the everyday. I now have the awareness to take a deep breath, relax my body, and release.

Integration and Moving Forward: Christian's Experience of Session 10 and 11

All of the anatomy trains lines have been used as a map in the exploration and organization of Christian's structure and movement patterns. A lot of the myofascia has been opened, reawakened, and differentiated to best organize the body under the force of gravity. 

Sessions 9-12 aims to bring the superficial sleeve and deep core structures into a coordinated whole, and spend time reinforcing manual and movement awareness work. There is a lot more emphasis on gait assessment, and receiving work while standing and sitting. Session 10 balances the lower body around its open core and examine three dimensional movements in the pelvis. The goals of session 11 is to balance the shoulders over the ribcage, and ease and integrate the shoulders and arms. 

Below Christian writes about his experience with Session 10 and 11. 

Session 10

I finally got my leg pointed straight, they are no longer all twisted.  My leg used to be pointed out and my feet were not in line with the rest of my leg. I would roll my feet out when I walked. After this session and work in the previous session that is no longer the case.  Thanks to the treatment, my legs no longer hurt and my feet do not ache. I know my movements are more fluid now and I and quick now, my jiu jutsu has also improve that to this treatment.

Week 11

This session is the one I notice the results almost immediately, I notice the other results too. She got my shoulders level and they do not feel tight and I woke up and my neck was not stiff. My arms and shoulder have never felt so relaxed before. I knew my shoulders were tight and my neck was stiff. I thought that just the way it was. I never that it was possible to have my shoulder as relaxed and open.

The Deep Front Line Continued: Geri's Experience of Sessions 7 and 8

Sessions 7 and 8 of the SI series continues to balance the deep front line which comprises the body's myofascial core. 

The deep front line begins in the deep underside of the foot, traveling up behind the bones of the lower leg and knee and up the inner thigh, and then through the front of the hip joint, the pelvis, and lumbar spine, while a second track passes up the back of the thigh to the pelvic floor and rejoins the first track at the lumbar spine. The deep front line continues up through the ribcage, through the thoracic viscera, and up through the deeper structures of the neck and jaw. 

The goals of session 7 is to align the bony support in the back of the body, free the intrinsic motion of the sacrum (which is the bone in between your two hip bones), and ease spinal bends and rotations. 

The goals of session 8 is to align  and balance the head, neck, and jaw atop the bod by gently bringing you back ‘home’  to find that easy lift of the entire structure with your ‘head on your shoulders’.

Below Geri highlights her experience of the jaw and nose work in session 8. 

For session seven and eight, Kammaleathahh continued to build on the work we started not so long ago. For session seven, Kammaleathahh finished the final part of working on my pelvis.

My eighth session took a bit of a different focus. Focusing on the upper portion of my body in this session, Kammaleathahh worked on my jaw, nose, and neck to create balance through the deep front line of my body. This was the last part of the series focusing on the deeper tissue. The purpose of releasing the tension of the inner areas of both the mouth and jaw allows for balance in the jaw and facial bones.

For the first part of the session, we worked on the jaw by massaging through the inner part of my mouth. This included slow and consistent pressure that ran along the lower and upper spaces of my mouth between the gums and the inner part of my lip. Kammaleathahh wore gloves throughout the process, starting at the front, and moving all the way to the back of the cheek. This session really required me to focus on my breathing. It could have been a bit unnerving if I had not focused on breathing through my nose and not my mouth. Once both sides of the inner cheek and gums had been released she then worked under the tongue, applying pressure on both sides all the way to the back of the teeth and gums. I made sure to breathe slowly through my nose because I realized the treatment could make one feel like gagging. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for me.

The second portion of this session focused on my nose or the inner nasal cavities.  The nose is the opening to your inner sanctuary. It is the path to bring calm and serenity to yourself and is necessary to bring balance in life. While still wearing gloves, Kammaleathahh inserted her pinky finger into my nostrils one at a time and slowly followed the path of my nostril until she could go no further. Kammaleathahh held this position on each side for several minutes, checking with me to make sure I wasn’t too uncomfortable. I have to say it was a very different experience, but an experience that wasn’t painful or really uncomfortable, just different.

The purpose of the intra-oral and intra-nasal work is to balance the mandible via the temporomandibular joint; open and balance the viscero-cranium (facial bones) and the nuero-cranium (cranial vault); open and release the facial muscles; and bring balance and length to the tissues around the cervical vertebrae. All of these benefits together provides a lightening for the body's systems, especially the myofascial structures that hold the head up. 

After Kammaleathahh worked on relaxing and neutralizing my jaw and nose, she worked on my upper and lower neck, along with my upper shoulders and chest. I found the work on the upper shoulders more intense than I expected. While I have learned to recognize when I wrench my shoulders during stressful times and have learned to make adjusts to myself, apparently I still carry a lot of tension. For this last part of the session, there was a lot of deeper breathing to help me get through. In the end, when she had me stand up, my rib cage was no longer just expanding up and out, but deeper into the middle and lower portion of my back. I can say that, if nothing else, since this session I am more cognitive of my breath and how everything is so connected to helping me feel better. From the adjustment in my feet and hips to my upper shoulders and jaw, I am truly reaping the rewards of this therapy.

Halfway through the journey: Christian's Experience of the Low Deep Front Line

Sessions 5-8 of the SI series is focused on releasing and balancing the deep front line which comprises the body's myofascial core. 

The deep front line begins in the deep underside of the foot, traveling up behind the bones of the lower leg and knee and up the inner thigh, and then through the front of the hip joint, the pelvis, and lumbar spine, while a second track passes up the back of the thigh to the pelvic floor and rejoins the first track at the lumbar spine. The deep front line continues up through the ribcage, through the thoracic viscera, and up through the deeper structures of the neck and jaw. 

The main goals of session 5 is to build support and lift through the inner leg; balance the foot arches; contact the pelvic floor; and open the deep hip flexors. 

Below Christian describes his experience:

The first part of my sessions is over and I am now into the second part of the series. Kammaleathahh opened up the core line in my lower body and my legs felt great as a result. The following day, my legs were sore but that only lasted one day, it felt like you ran a few miles or worked out your legs. Now, my legs feel fine and I have more energy.

I no longer feel like I am trapped in my own body.

Before I started this treatment, I did not realize how little a range of motion I had. I still have a way to go before I am finished and I get more excited at the results of each session.

Christian's Journal: Breathing easier with sessions 7 and 8

Sessions 7 and 8 of the SI series continues to balance the deep front line which comprises the body's myofascial core. 

The deep front line begins in the deep underside of the foot, traveling up behind the bones of the lower leg and knee and up the inner thigh, and then through the front of the hip joint, the pelvis, and lumbar spine, while a second track passes up the back of the thigh to the pelvic floor and rejoins the first track at the lumbar spine. The deep front line continues up through the ribcage, through the thoracic viscera, and up through the deeper structures of the neck and jaw. 

The goals of session 7 is to align the bony support in the back of the body, free the intrinsic motion of the sacrum (which is the bone in between your two hip bones), and ease spinal bends and rotations. 

The goals of session 8 is to align  and balance the head, neck, and jaw atop the bod by gently bringing you back ‘home’  to find that easy lift of the entire structure with your ‘head on your shoulders’.

Below is Christian's experience:

In session 7, we mainly worked on getting my right leg pointed straight. After 38 years of walking a particular way, trying to get the leg straightened out has proven to be tough. Kammaleathahh has worked the muscle and has made great improvements. 

Session 8 was the most interesting of all my sessions so far. I have never had someone massage the outside AND the inside of my jaw before. It was an odd sensation, but strangely satisfying. I feel as if after this session that I can breathe easier. During the session Kammaleathahh opened up pockets inside my mouth and massaged my gums. She was very careful. My mouth felt amazing afterwards.  She also massaged the inside of each nostril. I would recommend this treatment for everyone. You have no idea how your outlook on your day can change after you have a great head massage.

 

The Deep Front Line: Geri's Experience of Session 5 and 6

Sessions 5-8 of the SI series is focused on releasing and balancing the deep front line which comprises the body's myofascial core.

The deep front line begins in the deep underside of the foot, traveling up behind the bones of the lower leg and knee and up the inner thigh, and then through the front of the hip joint, the pelvis, and lumbar spine, while a second track passes up the back of the thigh to the pelvic floor and rejoins the first track at the lumbar spine. The deep front line continues up through the ribcage, through the thoracic viscera, and up through the deeper structures of the neck and jaw.

The main goals of session 5 is to build support and lift through the inner leg; balance the foot arches; contact the pelvic floor; and open the deep hip flexors.

The main goals of session 6 is to free the movement of the diaphragm from above and below; balance the myofascia around the lumbar spine; and balance the shoulders over the ribcage.

Below Geri reflects on her experience of sessions 5 and 6:

I am now over half way through my KMI SI sessions. We have made progressive action toward aligning my posture and giving my body a sound and grounded base, which was accomplished by building on each session and continually working my lower leg, knees, hips and pelvis into the proper positions. My experience has connected me to areas of myself I had no idea existed, releasing my body from the physical and emotional fatigue of my life. That may sound dramatic, but this process that I began three months ago has provided me clarity about how I perceive my body and its comfort.

Alignment and stability are the primary goals for the overall KMI series. The core of my body is the ultimate focus of each of the sessions. We have focused from the beginning on understanding where patterns of strain have been formed in my body. By looking closely at these patterns both Kammaleathahh and I can develop a clearer understanding of how they have manifested into fatigue and tension, allowing for subsequent sessions to expand into deeper methods of structural stability.

Sessions five and six are the starting point of helping my deeper connective tissues release these tensions. Both sessions focus on the lower extremities of my body and my pelvis. Session five focused on my feet, knees, and legs to the base on my pelvis. In session six, we continued the work on my pelvis from the front of my torso through my lower back and spine. By focusing on the foundation of my body, such as the feet through the pelvis, my body has responded by feeling more open and lengthened.

Kammaleathahh explained that from session five onward the sessions would purposefully delve into areas that are smaller and deeper than the areas we had so far explored in sessions one through four.

She began session five at my feet, working through the arches of my foot, lengthening the outside and tops of my ankles, along with the shin. While I have experienced positive results from the work done on my lower legs through the first four sessions, my fifth session made it evident why there are twelve total sessions for KMI. Though a great deal of the fluidity had been reestablished in my feet, lower leg and knees, I definitely felt tension being released from those parts of my body as she worked on my arches and upper ankles.

Kammaleathahh related this session as the stage of expressing the roots of my body, which need to be spread and grounded so that the body’s structure can have a stronger foundation. Like a tree, my body needs a strong foundation to counter the progressive weakening that comes from a misaligned core and extremities. Setting a solid foundation through the balance of my feet up to my lower pelvis helps create an even plain for my lower spine, making the corrections more permanent.

Once the work on my feet was completed, she moved into working the supportive tissues of my pelvis by manipulating the tissue underneath my pelvis and inner thigh. It was quite surprising to find that this area, located between my hip and groin, actually exists and that her pressing into accessible spaces could almost immediately release  a tightness in my hips. There was some significant pressure while trying to accomplish this task, due to the fact that the intended area is past the main artery in my groin. Once the point was located and worked, my hips made me feel like I was more settled, turned under, and the degree of turn in my feet and knees was alleviated.

By session six, I could feel that my posture had improved. I felt more elongated through my back and my neck, and in my body reading Kammaleathahh noticed too. She could see from my hip to my knees, through the extension of my feet, that I was more inline. Though my right side continues to turn through the coarse of my scoliosis, I have been maintaining the progression of the physical changes resulting from the sessions from week to week. She noted more work needed to be done along the arch of my feet to help continue with the alignment of my knees and core.

One of the goals in session 6 is to balance and seek appropriate span in the lumbars so there is a reciprocal balance between the respiratory diaphragm and pelvic diaphragm, the pelvic floor. This frees breathing holding patterns to highlight where it is stuck, unused, or forgotten.

Session six started with me on my stomach and work was done to my calves to help release residual tension. From there, we started on my pelvis. The work started from the front of my abdomen, releasing the bands that interlock from the front of my lower abdomen and pelvis to my spine. I then lay on my side so that Kammaleathahh could work through the tissues of my abdominal wall and underneath the diaphragm and ribs. This was a slow process that required me to take deep and expansive breaths so that she could slowly stretch the bands that connected from the front of my core to my spine.

Freeing the bands that connect from the front of my body to my spine allowed for my chest to open up. It helped me take deeper and expanding breath. Connecting session five and sixs sets the foundation for my next session, which will work on my pelvis from the rear of my body.

To help me continue to open up, I was given an exercise of mentally expanding from my shoulders. This action was subtle, not an overly exaggerated opening of my chest and shoulders. However, it helped me practice mentally extending from my shoulders and giving the sensation of more open breath throughout my chest and rib cage.

My physical and emotional balance continues to improve as the work on my body progresses further into parts of my body that I had no idea existed. My energy levels do not fluctuate like they did in the past. Because of the consistency of energy, I am feeling more accomplished in my daily life, which helps me maintain a mindset of confidence and overall accomplishment. To see this part of KMI continuing to manifest for me daily has made this process and experience very worthwhile.

 

The Spiral Line: Christian's Experience of Session 4

The fourth session of the SI series is focused on the superficial tissues that contribute to rotations in the body. In this session, the main goals are to begin easing rotations, set the balance in the shoulder blades, set the balance in the foot arches, and prepare the body for deeper work.

The Spiral line loops around the body in two helices, joining each side of the head, across the upper back to the opposite shoulder, and then around the ribs to the front along the oblique muscles to the hip. From the pelvis, the line creates a sling, running down the front of the thigh, across the shin to the inner arch of the foot, passing under the foot, and up along the back/lateral side of the leg, to the bottom of the pelvis, and up along the erector spinae muscles of the spine.  

Christian makes a good point: the SI series is literally aiming to integrate pieces of the body that have been ‘kinesthetically’ disconnected into the whole. This integration can be reported as a feeling of fluid movement. It is very helpful to have some sort of movement practice during the series as it helps people be more aware of the changes taking place than if we just received the work and went right back to sitting all day in a chair.

This session was really good. Since I started working with Kammaleathahh I have felt good. I study jiu jitsu and the movements have been easier for me since beginning these sessions. I have noticed that the joint locks we practice have become easy to do. My movements have become more fluid and I am able to use my newly aligned skeletal structure to greater effect.

The fourth session weaves in and out of tissue addressed in the first three sessions and is therefore a summary for the superficial myofascia before delving into the deeper myofascial structures of the body. Christian is already feeling greater range of motion in the hips and we still have 8 more sessions to go!

In most martial arts,  you use your core and hips, I have noticed that I have greater range of motion in my hips so I have been able to perform certain moves.

Christian makes another important point: he is noticing and catching himself when he collapses, giving him deeper awareness to make subtle changes in how he holds himself. This has the effect of diminished pain and tension.

I have noticed that I stand up straighter and sit with better posture.  I have also noticed that I do not slouch when I sit down and if I start to I feel the need to sit up straight. I work in a restaurant and am on my feet all day, but my feet no longer hurt like used to when finished my shift. I am so grateful and lucky that I was chosen for the SI pilot program.

And we are lucky to be working with Christian!


The Spiral Line: Geri's Experience with Session 4 of the SI Series

The fourth session of the SI series is focused on the superficial tissues that contribute to rotations in the body. In this session, the main goals are to begin easing rotations, set the balance in the shoulder blades, set the balance in the foot arches, and prepare the body for deeper work.

Over the these last four sessions, I am beginning to see a link between how my body processes and manifests the work being done in the SI sessions and how that, in turn, affects me emotionally. By starting to diminish and release the tension and resistance stored in certain areas of my body, I have felt much more aware these last few weeks.

In imbalance the Spiral line participates in creating and maintaining rotations, twists, and lateral shifts in the body. The Spiral line loops around the body in two helices, joining each side of the head, across the upper back to the opposite shoulder, and then around the ribs to the front along the oblique muscles to the hip. From the pelvis, the line creates a sling, running down the front of the thigh, across the shin to the inner arch of the foot, passing under the foot, and up along the back/lateral side of the leg, to the bottom of the pelvis, and up along the erector spinae muscles of the spine. 

In my fourth session, Kammaleathahh, explored the spiral lines, or bands, that run across my core. We are working toward connecting my core. The spiral lines that run across my core are bands of tissue that transverse my abdomen and back. These have, over time, become tight due to the years of my body countering my scoliosis.

I was diagnosed at 13 and wore a back brace for three years to help decrease the curvature of my spine and prevent the continued rotation of my rib cage. There was some success in preventing a further curving of my spine, but I have dealt with noticeable fatigue and pain as a result of my condition, which also affected the rotation of my hips, compounding the pressure in my knees, shins, ankles, and feet.  The work done to correct the bands that run across my core will relieve the tension held in my legs, shoulders, and neck and continue to unblock me so I can be more emotive in my daily life.

The fourth session weaves in and out of tissue addressed in the first three sessions and is therefore a summary for the superficial myofascia before delving into the deeper myofascial structures of the body.

In this fourth session, Kammaleathahh linked the work done in the first several sessions and began to help my core and spine rotate into proper alignment. The prior sessions with Kammaleathahh have done an amazing job at releasing a significant portion of the tension in my lower extremities, which had become exacerbated through a combination of my scoliosis and my job, which requires me to stand for eight hours a day.

Geri points out a significant mind-body connection, and it is through her awareness that she noticed that as physical stressors on her body have changed, she has become happier and mentally clearer. This is very significant! This openness and clarity even allowed her to take in the anniversary of her father’s passing in a new way.

As I have gone through the sessions and become more familiar with the expectations during and after each session, I decided to work on being more aware of the emotional side of this SI process. With physical stressors falling way, I have noticed an increased sensitivity to my daily emotional presence. Lately, I have just felt clearer. Not exponentially happier, just more emotionally unguarded and able to process my day, which has helped me be more intuitive and productive.

The subtleness of my emotional awareness can be connected to my body releasing such seemingly small pressures. For example, for the first time in a very long time, I consciously felt the emotional weight of the anniversary of my father’s death. I am not one to sentimentalize dates, but this time I was very aware of the day, which hasn’t happened to me in nearly ten years. I consider his presence to be with me every day. I felt a heightened awareness during the session with Kammaleathahh, and that sensation persisted after the session in quite a wonderful way.

Again, she points out another important insight: the SI series in its deepest intention is to help people reclaim and deepen awareness.

As the sessions of KMI continue to help me balance and align my core, I hope future sessions will continue to expand, build, and deepen. I am trying to make sure that, while I might not immediately grasp what is happening, I stay as present as possible daily. I am really seeing the benefit of reclaiming my awareness.

 

 

Christian's Experiences with Sessions 2 & 3: The Superficial Back Line and Lateral Line

The second session of the SI 12 series is focused on addressing superficial tissues along the back of the body from the bottom of the foot to the top of the head. The Superficial Back Line (SBL) supports the body to stand upright, and prevents the tendency to curl into a fetal position. 

The SBL has to do with front to back movements, and is partnered with the superficial front line. Since we are born in a flexed position, the balance of the SBL is linked to the development of the curves of our spine.  As Tom Myers’ writes in Anatomy Trains, the muscles of the SBL “provides a functional link across the waves that constitute the primary and secondary curves of the spine and legs.” Thus, in this session the practitioner begins to see where the primary curves (cranial, thoracic, sacral, and heel) need to be balanced with the secondary curves (cervical, lumbar, knees, and arches), and where the myofascia has become out of balance.

Session 2

One of the goals of Session 2 is to bring the tissue and energy down through the bones of the legs, allowing the feet to ground the nervous system.

This was so far the best session. We worked on the lower part of my body. She really got my leg muscles loose and my legs feel great and no longer feel heavy. My legs have never felt so good!

The lateral line (LL) mediates forces across front to back and left to right. It stabilizes the trunk and legs like a brake for sidebending and rotational movements of the trunk.  Issues such as lumbar compression, ankle pronation and supination and shoulder restrictions due to head forward posture are some examples that can addressed through this line.  The practitioner considers how strain, trauma, and movement tend be passed through the whole body along the Anatomy Trains - these fascial lines of transmission.

Session 3

It is very important to balance the arches in the feet as there is a reciprocal relationship between the feet, the legs, and the pelvis. Changes from below can have large implications for changes that can happen above. 

This session Kammaleathahh worked on the outer portions of my body. I lay on my side and she really got my muscles loose. She got the bones in my feet aligned and when I stood up I felt like I was learning to walk again. I am on my feet a lot at work and now my feet do not hurt after work.

Geri's Experience of Sessions 2 & 3: The Superficial Front Line and Lateral Line

The second session of the SI 12 series is focused on addressing superficial tissues along the back of the body from the bottom of the foot to the top of the head. The Superficial Back Line (SBL) supports the body to stand upright, and prevents the tendency to curl into a fetal position. 

The SBL has to do with front to back movements, and is partnered with the superficial front line. Since we are born in a flexed position, the balance of the SBL is linked to the development of the curves of our spine.  As Tom Myers’ writes in Anatomy Trains, the muscles of the SBL “provides a functional link across the waves that constitute the primary and secondary curves of the spine and legs.” Thus, in this session the practitioner begins to see where the primary curves (cranial, thoracic, sacral, and heel) need to be balanced with the secondary curves (cervical, lumbar, knees, and arches), and where the myofascia has become out of balance.

 Session 3, the Lateral Line (LL) addresses the sides of the body from the from the inner and outside mid-point of the foot, up the outside of the thigh, along the trunk in a crisscrossed pattern under the shoulder, and ending at the skull around the ear. 

The lateral line (LL) mediates forces across front to back and left to right. It stabilizes the trunk and legs like a brake for sidebending and rotational movements of the trunk.  Issues such as lumbar compression, ankle pronation and supination and shoulder restrictions due to head forward posture are some examples that can addressed through this line.  

Passivity is something I am finding I will have to moderate as I continue to work through my KMI sessions. As I found in my first session, this form of therapy is very interactive and requires my attention throughout the session to be open to all my senses whether these sensations are positive, negative, or absent to me. In my second and third sessions I found, through the continued work done on my lower extremities, back and shoulders, that my passivity not only hinders my mind but also my body.

Kammaleathahh stretched and massaged muscles and tendons within my calves, shins, and knees that I not had sensed in many years. As she worked on the more tenuous and tight sections of my body, Kammaleathahh offered to decrease the pressure, but I found that counting through my breathing helped me move past pain and pressure.

The practitioner considers how strain, trauma, and movement tend be passed through the whole body along the Anatomy Trains - these fascial lines of transmission.

At the start of each session, Kammaleathahh assesses me and we go through each section of my body that we will work on during the session, discussing how each area affects the structural continuity and stability of my alignment and balance. Each session is designed to build upon the previous session and manipulates those areas where strain has set in.

As part of the KMI series, connecting with benefits derived from bodywork done outside of the sessions with Kammaleathahh can help continue my structural integration and help my body stay motivated.

After sessions, the practitioner will often give awareness homework to help support the changes that have taken place throughout the person’s structure.

For sessions two and three I was given awareness exercises to help me strengthen and lengthen my lower back and lower abdominal area to support my back, which I have issues with due to scoliosis and the turning of my pelvis. These small exercises only required me to have a chair or to stand with enough space to gently maneuver my upper torso. I have found these tasks simple enough to do throughout my week, whether at work or home.  I have also made an active effort to walk each morning to help clear my mind.

Walking is encouraged before and after sessions. This gives someone a chance to feel the ‘before’ and ‘after’ in their body, which can help someone integrate the changes from the session, and give the head an opportunity to clear before returning to the absorption of everyday life.

Taking walks helps me to better connect with the work I am doing in the KMI sessions. I look for the stresses or the lack of pronounced sensations that I noticed before my first, second, and now third session. The strain of passive muscles is less pronounced as I move away from each session. For instance, my shins felt much better between sessions two and three, but now that time has passed and my next session is due a twinge has returned just slightly.

My expectation for the coming session is to find that the tension in my lower legs, knees, and hips has lessened. I am truly surprised at much less fatigued my legs are at the end of the day. As Kammaleathahh moves forward with the coming sessions, I hope to be able to engage with the emotive aspects of the sessions.

 

 

 

Structural Integration Journal - Session 1 The Superficial Front Line

It is August and I have started the KMI Structural Integration Series with Sustainable Health Choices. I made a pledge to myself to get in shape and live a healthier lifestyle. I have stumbled along the way and have had some setbacks. I have been seeing Kammaleathahh for massage for about three months and it seems to have helped.

Christian, one of SHC's Structural Integration candidates.

Christian, one of SHC's Structural Integration candidates.

The first session of the SI 12 series is focused on addressing superficial tissues along the front of the body from the top of the foot to the head. 

 

At the beginning of a 12 series, we do a bodyreading that paints the overall picture of how areas in the body have tilted, shifted, bent, or rotated.  We go through one’s health history and the specific goals a client has. 

Let me start from the beginning and explain why I am writing about the 12 Step Series. I had Reye’s Syndrome when I was three years old and, though I was blessed with a full recovery, I was left with a great many scars, particularly on the back of my head. These scars were caused by the bedsores that developed when I could not be moved. I didn’t give them a second thought until Kammaleathahh told me that the scar tissue in my neck might be restricting my movement. 

I was somewhat nervous the first day. I know that this is not a quick fix and at the end of the process I will feel better and be in better health. It started with a body reading. Kammaleathahh checked me over to see my range of motion.  First, I lay on my back, staring at my feet. I flex my toes and my ankles. All the while, Kammaleathahh is massaging and manipulating the tissues in my body. We continue like this. I move certain parts of my body and she works the different muscle areas. I am amazed at how different I feel after just one session.

Geri’s Experience of Session 1 The SuperficialFront Line:

The first session of the SI 12 series is focused on addressing superficial tissues along the front of the body from the top of the foot to the head. 

SFL

At the beginning of a 12 series, we do a bodyreading that paints the overall picture of how areas in the body have tilted, shifted, bent, or rotated.  We go through one’s health history and the specific goals a client has. Here Geri speaks to hers:

During my first session, Kammaleathahh had me go over my symptoms of discomfort that I take notice of on a regular basis. We discussed what Kinesthetic Structural Integration series would offer me as a whole, what I should look for, during and after each session. I stood in front of her and we spoke about my current alignment. Having worked with Kammaleathahh before, we discussed this as an opportunity to be engaged during the session.

I have scoliosis, which affects my lower back and, in turn, my hips and knees. I was introduced to chronic migraines as I crossed the threshold of my thirties, which contribute to not only unbelievable persistent fatigue in my upper back, but tightened muscles throughout my scalp, neck, and shoulders. Some mornings, I have tightness in my jaw with residual clicking from clinching during the night. Also, I suffer from pain and pinching in my right shoulder when I move it to certain angles due to a work injury. I also recently suffered a miscarriage.

The KMI series will help me become more aware of my body’s needs and to be present in what I can provide through simple adjustments to my daily routines.This series offers me the opportunity to listen to the messages that my body has been sending me and the messages I hope to interpret throughout the KMI 12 Part Series.

Geri, one of SHC's two Structural Integration candidates.

Geri, one of SHC's two Structural Integration candidates.

This line has to do with front to back movements.  When it malfunctions it acts to create forward movement or to restrict backward movement. Issues such as knee hyperextension, forward head posture, and breathing restrictions are addressed specifically through this line.

After the initial overview, the session started with a focus on my feet, ankles, shins, and knees. I was asked to be active throughout her treatment. Whether it was moving my ankles, knees, or shoulders, participation is required that needs an open mind and focus on Kammaleathahh’s work. Breathing is also a part of the process. The points of my knees, shins, and ankles were so tight that I had to breath through the stretches.

SI work seeks to address the body holistically.  Practitioners will evaluate how work in one area affects the entire system.  The client is often stood up to evaluate the local and global shifts throughout the body.

In between each area she worked on, she had me stand up and walk around the room. This allowed me to comprehend how my body was reacting. For instance, after breathing through the work Kammaleathahh did on my shins and knees, there was an obvious looseness in my lower extremities. She worked on my abdominal area, shoulders, and neck, continuing to have me do small, active movements.

Many clients experience immediate changes in specific areas of their body as well as throughout their whole system.   Also just as often, the person will perceive changes days after. Some people wonder if these changes last. For Geri, she has noted that some of theses changes have continued whereas others have not lasted.

In this moment, I am aware of the looseness of my knees and ankles. The tension in my shins has diminished significantly. This is a tension I hadn’t realized had been plaguing me for some time, made considerably more noticeable after a good walk or going up several flights of stairs. Over the two weeks, the sensation that resulted from the stretches and message done to my legs has not diminished.

The work done on my abdomen made me feel like I carried more length when I stood within the first week. That has not lasted as long over the two weeks since my first session due to my having to lift and move heavy items at work. This is also true of the work that was carried out on my shoulders.

For now, I do not have any expectations that my upper back or shoulders will be changed immediately. I can only expect that time, further exploration with the therapy I am receiving from Kammaleathahh, and exercise can assist with remedying the issues in those areas.

Having now experienced my first KMI session, I am excited about how my experience will go.

A journey to wellness begins with a single step

Hello, SHC community!

We have finally selected our two candidates to participate in SHC’s 12 Series Structural Integration Program. You may have seen our announcements about this promotion on our social media outlets earlier this year.

Our two candidates, Geri and Christian, will help tell the story of 12 Series Structural Integration as they move through their sessions. SHC is excited and proud to offer this form of bodywork and we are eager to hear the stories of our candidates’ progress.

Geri has already concluded two sessions with Kammaleathahh and begun to write about her early experiences and the outcomes she hopes for:

"I would like to see a change in my posture and physical capabilities. I want to see my body reclaim itself so its potential can be expanded as I move through my life structures and daily paths. I want to be more aware of my weaknesses in how I hold myself and how the stresses impede and wear on my life and body. This series offers me the opportunity to listen to the messages that my body has been sending me." - Geri

Structural Integration (SI) work focuses on balancing the entire system, rather than simply treating symptoms. Geri has multiple physical issues that she experiences daily.

"I have scoliosis, which affects my lower back and, in turn, my hips and knees. I began experiencing chronic migraines when I turned 30, which contribute to not only unbelievable persistent fatigue in my upper back and tightened muscles throughout my scalp, neck, and shoulders. Some mornings, I have tightness in my jaw with residual clicking from clenching my jaw during the night. Also, due to a work injury, I suffer pinching and pain in my right shoulder when I move it at certain angles. I also recently suffered a miscarriage."

Geri is a great fit for Kinesthetic Structural Integration because she is receptive to the changes that can be made to better support her body’s alignment and motivated to engage with the process.

"For me, there is a strong desire to not condemn myself through this assessment but to look past the negative and find a positive position, a place where I can slow down and take in the sensations as a productive balance of progression physically and emotionally." 

 Finally, we wanted to share a few concrete physical observations from Geri about her first two sessions with Kammaleathahh.

"In this moment, I am aware of the looseness of my knees and ankles. The tension in my shins has diminished significantly. It was a tension I hadn’t realized was plaguing me for some time. The pain became considerably more noticeable after a good walk or going up several flights of stairs. Over the two weeks, the sensation that was a result of the stretches and the bodywork done to my legs has not diminished.
The stretches and fascial work done on my abdomen made me feel like I carried more length when I stood during the first week. That feeling has not lasted as long over the two weeks since my first session due my being required to lift and move heavy objects for work. This is also true of the work that was carried out on my shoulders. For now, I do not have any expectations that my upper back or shoulders will be changed immediately. I can only expect more time and further exploration with the therapy I am receiving from Kammaleathahh and exercise may further assist with remedying the issues in those areas."

Look for future posts with reflections from Geri and Christian. If you are interested in exploring Kinesthetic Structural Integration at SHC, please visit our  webpage for more information.

SHC seeks qualified Health & Wellness Coach

Sustainable Health Choices (SHC) is seeking a vegan or vegetarian health and wellness coach to teach wellness workshops and cooking classes through our corporate wellness initiative.

SHC is a growing holistic medicine and massage therapy business in Louisville, Kentucky, offering structural bodywork and wellness information to individuals and families.  Applicant would be joining a practice with a 8 year veteran in massage therapy with a background in therapeutic massage, cultural anthropology, and peace and conflict studies.

Location: Office located inside Rainbow Blossom Natural Foods Market, 3046 Bardstown Rd. Workshops and classes will be held throughout the community.  

Contact Person: Kammaleathahh Livingstone                                            

Email: Kammaleathahh@sustainablehealthchoices.com

Telephone: 502-265-5849

Best Time to Call: Leave a message at anytime

Financial Arrangement: To be discussed at interview

Experience Required: 1-3 years

Please send a resume and 2 professional references to: Kammaleathahh@sustainablehealthchoices.com

Qualifications:

  • Commitment to one’s own health and wellbeing

  • Self-Directed

  • Responsible

  • Certificate in Holistic Health Coaching or comparable certificate         

Familiarity, knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • Whole foods, plant based diets

  • Exercise

  • Meditation

  • Culinary arts and nutritional counseling

  • Firm working knowledge of medical terminology pertaining to the digestion and endocrine system

  • Ability to demonstrate business communication skills (verbal, written, interpersonal, listening)

  • Ability to teach wellness information in a dynamic way

  • Ability to demonstrate compassionate and professional customer service skills

Desperately Looking for a Back Pain Solution?

Lower back pain usually doesn’t start in the lower back.  In fact, there are many situations that the cause of pain isn’t happening where you’re experiencing the symptoms, unless of course you have a site-specific injury to one of the joints.

Anatomically, the front of the spine is a poor candidate as a supporting pillar. The posterior spine bristled with bony bits could be seen as a better candidate as a weight bearing model. The posterior spine is a bit off center, and thus would mean it must have strong guy wires balancing around the spine like the spokes of a wheel. However  this idea can be very counter to the image people have of their spines as a center supporting tent pole.

From an engineering stand point, the spine needs a foundation. The spine is a system with a network of support coming around it and coming from down below. If it doesn’t have good support, its not going to hold up real well. So, looking at the spine and spinal pain in isolation is like pouring water in a bucket filled with holes. You are not going to get very far.

Back pain does not always happen because there is dysfunction in the spine but because there is misalignment and/or weakness in one of the support systems for the spine, particularly the ankles, knees and hips.

You have to create a solid foundation for your back if you want to maintain (or begin) flexibility, strength, and energy. How you do this is to have
1. Flexible Hips, Knees, and Ankles
2. Strong  Hips, Knees, and Ankles
3. Aligned Hips, Knees and Ankles.

What?! My feet and ankles are important?! Yes. Bring them into your awareness. So many of us are so in our heads we forget how important our feet are! Its not enough to have strong joints, tendons, and muscles. You also need flexibility. In any exercise you do, you need to bring the joint in its full range of motion, and build strength around the full range of motion.

An example for ankle strengthening: Try standing on one foot and balancing on level ground. If that becomes easy, try something unstable like standing on a pile of dirty laundry, a rolled up towel, or a pile of small stones.

An example of hip strengthening: Anything low to the ground. Try backward lunges or squats. Sitting is one of the hallmarks of our culture and so we have weak hips. We sit in chairs, couches, cars, theaters, restaurants, but how many of us are getting low to the ground? If we get more down to the ground, we would have strong ans flexible knees and hips.

So, to recap, lasting lower back pain relief comes from looking beyond your back. Create a solid foundation for your spine and your lower back pain will disappear. To do this, focus on ankle, knee and hip strengthening exercises that also build flexibility and work the full range of motion of the joint. Do bodyweight exercises, yoga, tai chi, or pilates to strengthen your joints and get lower back pain relief that really lasts.