Thursday, May 21, 2020

what to consider before opening

I hope this finds you all well, and staying safe. Thank you for reaching out and checking on me over the past months as we all are doing our best to keep each other healthy (and sane), it has been wonderful to hear from you.

The governor is asking we continue to:
  • limit visits to higher risk populations, 
  • limit gatherings,
  • limit travel, 
  • increase hygiene, cleaning and sanitation, 
  • telework when possible, 
  • stay home when sick, and 
  • wear face coverings when in public.

As our governor and counties begins to lead us through "opening" the state, I wanted to share with you what that is projected to look like, following guidelines put forth by the governors office for personal service providers (like me). Personal service providers will not be able to resume work until their county is in Phase 1. As I am sure you already know, Multnomah Country has not yet open to Phase 1. I don't know when we might achieve that. And, it is important to note that the governor might reinstate closures to non-essential business if COVID-19 cases begin to increase.

This uncertainty as a business owner is very difficult. And I am asking myself the question, is going back to work worth the risk for you and your families or for me and mine? Some of you might be saying, Yes! I am in desperate need of a massage. And I hear you -I haven't seen my genius massage therapist since March and am feeling deeply the importance of regular bodywork for my physical, mental and emotional health. Though I am having a hard time negotiating the risks to do this work.

When the timing is right, and I secure a new studio location, adequate PPE and cleaning and sanitation supplies our sessions might feel very different to properly implement safety and sanitation protocol set forth by the state, and recommended by ABMP. A draft version of what you might expect is after the jump.

In addition, I want to let you know that I am feeling pretty cautious. I am in deep acknowledgement that this virus will be with us for some time, and that we will as a community and society be greatly impacted by it -but we can help to shape what that impact is by really sitting with our own expectations and our own desires.

I will continue to stay in touch periodically as we learn more, as the situation becomes more clear. Please feel free to reach out. I am here.

Take care.

Monday, March 23, 2020

closed, for now

As you may know, this morning in Oregon Governor Brown issued an executive "stay at home, stay safe" order which requires me to close my business "until further notice". 

All future appointments are cancelled. 

I am deeply sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you. It is a difficult decision to make but I believe it is the safest right now to prevent the rapid and exponential spread of COVID-19.

If you have a moment today, or this week, here are some ways to advocate for our healthcare workers and all workers who are continuing to keep us safe, healthy and with our essential goods:

  • Write our congress people and governor asking for the safety and well-being for those working non-stop in healthcare and service industries to be considered, that they are provided the supplies and funding they need to continue their vital work:
Senator Merkley
Senator Wyden
Representative Blumenauer
Governor Brown

  • Make your own face mask for you and your household, to allow masks and other PPE supplies to go to those who really need it.

In other difficult news, I have decided to let go of my lease at my Hawthorne location. Karuna Contemplative Living has been home to my practice for nearly 5 years. It is sad to say goodbye to Hawthorne, however when it is safe to practice with you again I will be back in a new location.

Please take care and don't hesitate to reach out. I'm always here to offer self-care suggestions, and self-massage techniques. I hope you all are staying healthy, and finding little joys in your days.

In solidarity.

Monday, March 16, 2020

precautions and updates

For your health, and mine, and the health of our loved ones and those in our community who need us to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 I have decided to close my practice until April 1st, at which time I will reassess and determine if I should re-open my practice, or postpone opening depending on recommendations from the CDC and OHA. If you have an appointment before April 1st it will be cancelled.

This is a difficult decision, and I am grateful to all of you for your support of me and my practice throughout the years. If you have the ability, the recommendation is to stay home as much as possible. However with this lovely weather, it is easy enough to keep distance from others in the garden or yard, get out for a walk, or bike ride. Please take care of yourselves, and have compassion for all beings as we move through uncertainty.

If you find yourself with some free time, you might consider writing our local congresspeople to encourage paid time off for self-employed and independent contractor workers and workers without PTO, and hazard pay to health care workers, and frontline employees and businesses like our grocery stores, pharmacies, and other amenities that are continuing to stay open and serve us all.

Senator Merkley

Senator Wyden

Representative Blumenauer

Governor Brown

Wishing you all well.

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.