As a child I recall creating dances for my family and taking great pride in my performances, which were carefully planned down to the smallest detail, in my head and eventually on paper. This led to many years of studying ballet, modern dance and eventually a regular practice of yoga and therapeutic movement.
Throughout my early adulthood I continued to dance for both pleasure and well-being, adding activities like mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing to my movement repertoire. I also became interested in personal growth and group dynamics. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management from George Fox University in 1997. For many years I worked in Human Resources and Professional Development, in the fields of education and then social services. I worked with groups and individuals, assisting them to identify desires, set goals and take steps to achieve success in their careers. As I spent more time with employees and job-seekers I began to see patterns of stress and physical discomfort emerge, both in myself and in others. I began to question not only how and why stress arises, but my own career path and dis-stress level, I started exploring what creates wellness and how illness and dis-ease arise, both on and off the job. I noticed that the people I worked with were happier, more relaxed and more focused when I incorporated movement, music and guided interactions into training activities. I participated in teacher training and learned how to present information in accordance with learning styles. It was very rewarding work and I noticed when I was doing this work I also felt happier, more relaxed and energized by my activities, both physically and mentally.
In 2004 I completed 12 months of therapeutic yoga teacher training and became nationally certified. I immediately created a yoga class for a new community health club started by my school district and taught there for several years, while still working in Professional Development. After I left school work, I taught yoga classes at movement and health studios in several states, and managed a studio where I became the lead teacher.
As I developed my teaching style I continued to study and learn, incorporating therapeutic practices like Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, Yoga Therapy, and Somatic Movement Therapy into the work I was doing with my students and clients. The more I learned and practiced, the more I began to understand that approaching health and wellness through movement made many other types of healing more effective and in some cases possible. Individuals I worked with who had frozen shoulders, fused vertebrae, pelvic disorders, joint pain, and anxiety and depression experienced increased physical benefits from the work we did together, but beyond that they often felt increased energy, smiled more often and had more hope for their future. The benefits of hope, joy and increased energy made even more movement possible and, with continued effort, the rewards only increased. Healing was taking place not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
Inspired by what I was experiencing as a teacher and therapist, and ready to take the next steps in my career, I returned to graduate school to study Chiropractic in 2015. I have come to believe the body is a powerful healer, and continue to learn and put what I learn into practice.
The human body is designed to move, and movement is often what creates or destroys health. Incorrect movement can constrict and deplete our energy and well-being, while healthy movement can increase energy for activities and for healing. I have experienced this personally for most of my life, through illness, injury and my own dis-ease, and seen it over and over again in my students and clients. We move to live, and live to move.
I am still a full-time student in a Chiropractic Doctoral program, with a few years of ahead of me continuing to study Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Neurology and the most current Chiropractic techniques. I continue to teach therapeutic yoga classes to groups and private clients. I also work as a movement educator in a Chiropractic clinic, using the knowledge I have gained over the years to help clients move with greater awareness and ease for improved overall health.
As a movement educator, I offer a practice that I call Healthy Movement©. I work with small groups and individuals, guiding them through movements that provide physical benefits such as improved breathing, coordination, muscle action, joint function, and range of motion. The benefits of Healthy Movement© are not just physical; they also include reduced pain, improved posture, increased energy for activities and improved response to stress. In our modern world, everyone can benefit from what Healthy Movement© has to offer.
Not only the thirsty seeks the water, but the water seeks the thirsty as well. -Rumi