How did I get here? That’s a question I get asked fairly often so I wanted to give you all a little background on my own healing journey and what has brought me here, to this moment.
In 1999, while walking down a flight of stairs, my kneecap spontaneously broke in half. Ya. Super fun. To this day I don’t think I’ve ever felt physical pain quite like that. Two knee surgeries later (after the previous 2 – LONG story) and it was time to recover.
The only problem was that everything I tried to recover didn’t really work.
At this point in my life, I had already done an entire bachelor’s degrees in exercise science and fitness and was trained at one of the highest levels possible and working as an exercise rehabilitation specialist, so I had the best physical therapists working with me.
But I was still stiff, out of balance and in pain. Something just wasn’t right. It felt like I had exhausted all methods for healing. But oh man, was I wrong. This was the early part of 2000….
While living with physical ‘uncertainty’ I was set to head down under to the University town of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia to pursue a Master’s degree in biomedical science (this was a really fun & intense time and these are the only two pictures that I have from then…I was running an intervention study with older adults, teaching them how to strength train! It was a blast and one of the most memorable moments of my life.)
During this time, a physical therapist suggested I try something out called The Feldenkrais Method ®. I’ll never forget how within a matter of 4 weeks, my insanely stiff, tense and old feeling 25 year-old body completely transformed to feeling supple, strong, and pain-free. This occurred by stopping all flexibility work, strength training, physical and massage therapy and ONLY focusing on what I now call Feldenkraisian Learning. The work of Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais (1904-1984), the founder of this work, completely rocked my world and understanding of healing the human system at the physical and functional level. It humbled me beyond measure and made me see that I still had a heck of a lot to learn.
When I returned home from Australia I knew I’d be a hypocrite if I did not train in this body of work that helped me so much.
I began my Feldenkrais Practitioner Teacher Training under the mentorship of Jeff Haller who studied under Dr. Feldenkrais in the early 80s. By the time I finished my Feldenkrais training it was 2007 and I went straight into private practice with ease and enthusiasm.
But in 2008, when I started to realize, via trial and error in my private practice, that while many clients were having benefits similar to mine, roughly 50% of them were not.
It was clear that the Feldenkraisian principles didn’t provide ALL the pieces needed to help folks heal at the deepest level possible and this is when I (thankfully!) came across Peter Levine and his body of work, Somatic Experiencing (SE).
And similar to my ‘seize the day’ ways of going into my Feldenkrais studies by gut feel, I did the same with SE and before I knew it I had enrolled in a 3-year Somatic Experiencing program.
The years between 2008 and 2010 humbled me even further and rocked my world once more. I still remember to this day learning from my main SE mentor, Steven Hoskinson, that pretty much ALL chronic and mental illness can be connected to dysregulation of the nervous system and unresolved traumatic stress. To this day, that moment is still seared in my memory – I remember where I was, who was there, and thinking to myself, “why the f*ck is this not mainstream!?!” I guess you could say that single moment was the spark that has put me here.
And now, nearly 10 years later, I still have that fire in my belly to ensure as many people as possible get to understand what I did that day.
But much more happened after that moment…
I went to the next level and began my studies with Kathy Kain and Stephen Terrell, learning what is best described as touch therapy for healing deep developmental and early traumatic wounds.
It was during these trainings that I discovered that I was living with something called Fluid Trauma (also called, chemical trauma), which (we think) was due to extreme exposure to chemicals throughout my childhood, adolescents, in utero, and intergenerationally.
As an aside, how this had been showing up for me was in very rare and almost 3rd degree-like burns that covered my body and there wasn’t anything definitive as to the cause until this moment…
I will never forget the moment my teacher Kathy started lecturing on this topic, warning us that if we have fluid trauma, that the moment she starts to talk about it, those in the room who have unresolved fluid trauma will feel like running out of the room, throwing up, passing out, or all of the above.
I thought she was joking thinking, “nah – that would never happen to me!!” But it wasn’t until, not even a split second later, that I looked at my husband with eyes of “what the heck is happening to me, I’m about to puke, and I need to lie down!” My entire system was ready to shutdown, it was shutting down, by mere suggestion of fluid/chemical trauma!
While this level of cellular trauma was a tough thing to uncover, I am forever grateful for following my gut instinct and moving towards this level of education that offered me, when I least expected it, a solution for something that no one has been able to figure out (I had suffered from extreme and non-treatable ‘rashes’ for a large chunk of my life).
Health wise, most of this fluid/chemical trauma is resolved. I am sensitive in ways that most aren’t as my radar for toxins and chemicals is refined to the nth degree, but I consider it a superpower.
My knee that I mentioned when I started this tale of ‘how I got started’ is osteoarthritic like crazy and according to the x-rays (and the doctors) I should not be able to walk on it, let alone put weight on it, and, yet, I can do this and a heck of a lot more! (Occupational benefit I guess, and a testament to doing the work and believing in the capacity for the body to heal and regenerate no matter what the circumstance or prognosis.)
What you see here on this site via my free resources, paid online trainings, and live workshops, is what I’ve created for you and the world so I sure hope you stick around, learn with me and my team, and discover the healing capacities your body and mind have to release and realize your potential.
Much love and regulation to you.
Click on the credentials below to read more about my experience.
I started my SE studies in 2008 and went as far as one can go in this domain (without becoming a trainer of the method). I've assisted at the basic SE trainings as well as numerous Master Classes that were exclusively taught by the founder of SE, Dr. Peter Levine. Master Class topics I'm well versed in include: working with near-death and anesthesia states; working with anger, depression, healthy aggression and life force energy; working with syndromal representations (such as autoimmune disorders) in conjunction with the polyvagal theory. I regularly mentor and offer consultation to my colleagues within the Somatic Experiencing practices.
I've completed the Touch Skills Training (TST) and Somatic Resilience and Regulation Training (SRR) and have attended speciality workshops throughout the years. I maintain active communication with these stellar teachers to help further my learning and the learning of my mentees and clients.
I'm a certified Feldenkrais ® Practitioner, and have completed a 4-year intensive Professional Feldenkrais Teacher Training Program under the supervision of Jeffrey Haller. I've taught public classes, built a private practice in Whistler, British Columbia, and even started a video documentation project dedicated to educating more people about the wonders of this work and how it is needed in the world. Dr. Feldenkrais' principles around neuroplastic healing and awareness through movement play a massive part in my online teachings, in-person workshops, and my own personal movement practices.
Between 1993 and 1999, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Health Science from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. In 2000, I also obtained certificates in fitness and nutrition from Simon Fraser University. Between 2000-2002, I did a small stint in academia at the University of Wollongong (New South Wales, Australia) pursuing my Masters in Research within the biomedical and health sciences. I was awarded my Masters in 2008. If you're ambitious, you can download my entire dissertation here.
* As a SBSM alumni, you have lifetime and unlimited access, for as long as the program runs.
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