Friday, January 24, 2020

new year, new moon, new offerings

It's not hard to come back to work after time away when the rewards of this work are experiencing the progress that it allows for my clients, and me. At the end of a very full week I treated myself to a workshop this past weekend called "Integrated Embodiment". This workshop allowed me to begin to integrate more fully my own somatic work through my Contemporary Alexander practice, and my deep myofascial massage.

I will start to offer one-hour sessions of somatic alignment. This work is done clothed on the table, and includes body awareness, breath and movement cues, repetitive passive range-of-motion and intrinsic muscle engagement (small structural muscles, ligaments and tendons) to help reset joint/bone alignment, proprioception (how we orient ourselves in space) and our nervous systems -which are very busy in our current world. This work is subtle, small, yet profound. It is patient work, requiring a lot of listening to your own body, and may not be for everyone.

One Hour Somatic Alignment with Stephanie Lavon Trotter, LMT $70

I additionally am planning to offer a handful of Structured Rest + Vocal Sound Bath workshops throughout 2020. This so perfectly brings together my two passions and practices:  self-care through deep listening to our bodies, and the voice. These workshops will be 75-minutes, limited to 3-6 people and offered in SE Portland. I will facilitate body awareness through a walking and resting meditation, hands-on work to help support each body to find structured rest (through an abundance of props), and a 20-minutes acoustic vocal sound bath. More details forthcoming.

I am excited to offer more 'integrated embodiment' into my massage work. I believe somatic work helps us to heal our patterns that inhibit us from more fully living in our bodies. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

stillness and reframing productivity

learning how to hammock in Colombia

I am learning how to relax. I've not very good at sitting still. I can keep myself busy, and master a check-list and perfectly arrange my time to fit as much as I can into my days. There are very few moments I have allowed myself to truly rest, not through the action of meditation, or Constructive rest, or the container of a nap, but just having stillness in my body and setting aside the rambling list of things-to-do. This is my radical act.

We live in a society, and I was raised within a household, where productivity and how much I do are significantly valued. It is hard to stop when you feel like your self-worth is intrinsically tied to continuing to do. As I struggle between my value and my time, time to wander in thought, to ignore the forever-long list of doing, I find more freedom in relaxing. Unwinding the impulse to continue doing allows me to slow into the taskless oblivion of living. Life doesn't have to be all of the things we do, it can also be all of the things we sense and perceive, the things we feel and find.

Monday, July 1, 2019

insurance questions

At Deep Ground Massage + Bodywork, we call your insurance provider to verify benefits. As so much of this practice focuses on education, we want to share with you the questions we ask when we call to verify benefits and illuminate what these components of your insurance benefit mean (find a glossary after the break).

Before billing can take place client eligibility must clarified. It is your responsibility to be informed of your coverage, copay/coinsurance, and deductible.

Date Benefits Verified:

Name of Representative with whom you spoke:

Is Massage Therapy covered with this plan?

Is Physical Therapy covered with this plan?

Is the Provider (Stephanie Lavon Trotter) 

Are there 
Out-of-Network benefits?

Does this benefit required first meeting the 

Deductible Amount for the Year:

      Remaining Amount of Deductible:

Is a 
referral required?

        If so, by what type of practitioner?

Is a 
preauthorization required?

        If so, by what company? Please provide their contact information.

What is the 

Is there a 
yearly maximum for this benefit?

How many 
visits are authorized per year?

How many visits are records as of today?

97140 covered?

Is 97140 applied to the deductible?

97124 covered?

Is 97124 applied to the deductible?

Saturday, February 2, 2019

a somatic practice

I have been practicing massage since 2010. In this time I have learned that the more awareness we have of/in our bodies, the deeper impact the work can have. Sometimes change can't happen through force, but the gentle reminder that transformation occurs in ways we often don't see. I have been practicing Contemporary Alexander since 2017 and have begun to take more courses that integrate this somatic awareness into my massage work. Many of my clients have experience this integration in real time, as I share my own practice of finding my bones, my alignment, explain self-care practices (like Constructive Rest) and commiserate on the struggle of deep movement and stillness patterning and how to remind our bodies that there are more choices for us to make in movement, that we can find less restriction and stiffness through very subtle and gentle practices of listening. I am grateful for the openness and acceptance of this subtly profound practice as it weaves it way onto my table. I look forward to sharing more of this work as it integrates into my shared bodywork.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Laziness and our ability to be curious

We live in a complex world that asks a lot of us. We have many ways of showing up to our living. What if we strive to be curious about comfort and discomfort? What if we investigate the ways our bodies respond in situations that are comforting or discomforting? Can we give our minds and hearts a break as they are struggling to find comfort in the chaos of living? Some people suggest 'focusing on the joy', but I want to expand that to focusing on all of the feelings and sensations beyond our pain, discomfort, hopelessness, doubt, ambivalence. Be open to feeling it all, but know that you get to determine what of those sensations to focus on, to feed.

"Traditionally, laziness is taught as one of the obstacles to awakening. There are different kinds of laziness. First, there’s the laziness of comfort orientation, we just try to stay comfortable and cozy. Then there’s the laziness of loss of heart, a kind of deep discouragement, a feeling of giving up on ourselves, of hopelessness. There’s also the laziness of couldn’t care less. That’s when we harden into resignation and bitterness and just close down." -Pema Chöndrön

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

fatigue relief!

Friends, family, clients, and even I myself feel too tired most days. It is annoying to be told to try some stretch or pose or activity to alleviate this exhaustion because, I'm just too tired! However, this is a constant lesson for me: when we create time for ourselves, we find more time.

A colleague of mine, incredible visual artist and yoga teacher, Jen Van de Pol, the person who began my evening ritual of tulsi-rose tea, offered this collection of restorative poses to help combat this constant, ever-growing exhaustion.

I hope you can, as I have, rest into it to find relief.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

soak it up

A selection of Woman in a Bath Sponging Her Leg (1883) by Edgar Degas

I am a big believer in the power of a soak. 

We've come a long way in the history of bathing in America. The tradition of soaking is much longer, especially in the places with thermal pools, naturally occurring hot springs. It wasn't until mid-19th century that bath tubs were common in the States, and only in for the wealthy. At the time they were mostly used for cold plunges, to 'balance the humors'. In the mansions of Newport, RI the homes along the Atlantic had tubs with salt water AND fresh water. With the ease if modern indoor plumbing, the baths we enjoy today are much warmer and an act of relaxation.

As many of my clients know, I don't have a shower only a tub. So, most nights I find myself soaking, usually in Epsom salts. A soak is part of my evening ritual, more than just the act of bathing it is my time to slow down, reflect, and be with myself.

The benefits of soaking are innumerable. I often suggest a soak to clients after sessions, to bring heat to the muscles, to help circulation. A soak in a tub is a radical act toward your own self care. To be solitary, to be submerged, to be still, to be wrapped in the comfort of warm water.

You can get more bath inspiration from my friends at Mountain Rose Herbs: