Wednesday, December 14, 2016

adventures in the chair

Hours ago, when the snow was still cute as I was leaving the Pigeon Toe Ceramics holiday party where I was providing chair massage. Hope everyone made it home safe! #decembrr

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Due to the increasing snow and forecast of ice, we will be closing for the rest of the day. Stay safe and cozy! #decembrr

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

take a walk

On a Fall walk between clients today. This transition from the constant-go of Summer has made me slow down, mind the shift of light and earth, and reset intentions.

Monday, October 10, 2016

peace, peace

Deep breath, ground in. This is the beauty to witness on my self-care morning. I am counting the good things.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

urban hikes

view from the Eastbank Esplanade

Portland has so many great places to hike! It's easy to walk around town, in Waterfront Park or the Eastbank Esplanade. What great way to spend the day on an urban hike. And it doesn't take too much to become complete immersed in Nature, like inForest Park, the Marquam Trail, Oaks Bottom, Mt. Tabor, Powell Butte, or Kelly Butte. Check your city out.

Spring splendor in Forest Park

Tilikum Crossing

taking a breath at the top of Council Crest

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

year one

 It has been an incredible year at my studio, practicing on SE Hawthorne Blvd inside Karuna Contemplative Living. Thank you all for your support!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Breathing Into It

You might have heard your practitioner say -just breathe into it- as a hand painfully digs into your pectoralis minor, or a needle is pressed into a particularly tender point. You might believe the patronizing and cruel suggestion to breathe couldn't possibly help. Breathing is an involuntary action, but when we bring awareness and intention to this action we can alter our pain perception, and remind those muscles (that we never told to fire) to let go.

Breath is the foundation of living. Respiration provides energy required for growth, repair and movement. It brings nutrients in and aids in the removal of toxins. Awareness of the breath allows us to activate deeper, diaphragmatic breathing. This is respiration using the diaphragm, the deepest abdominal muscle.

Lately, I have been working on breathing exercises with clients who are experiencing chronic back pain. More often than not, when we think breathe, the lungs and rib cage move, and only in the front-side of your body. Because the diaphragm is such a unique muscle, it attaches to the entire circumference of the inside of your ribs, and to your spine. When properly activated the diaphragm moves all of those structures, on all sides of the body.

Try it! It is easiest laying down on your back, with your knees up, feet flat on the floor. Inhale low into your stomach. Exhale bringing your stomach back in. Use the floor to expand your back into as you inhale. Exhale. Find a slow, rhythmic pattern to your breathing, using a count of 2 or 4 to inhale, then exhale for 2 or 4 counts.

An important part of diaphragmatic breathing is that the belly is loose, and can move freely. It really contradicts the notion that you have to "suck it in". Your lungs are also not moving your shoulders up as much either. The lungs move as the diaphragm contracts (inhale) and relaxes (exhale).

Friday, April 1, 2016

beautiful weather beckons

It's time to take a hike, or go for a stroll. Walk to work, walk on your lunch break. Take time in nature, even our urban-nature here in Portland. Slowing down and moving with the earth helps us feel more grounded, and more connected to our surroundings. Leave your phone at home, and say hello to the passers-by. It is too beautiful outside to stay indoors!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Now Taking Insurance


Stephanie Lavon Trotter, LMT is an In-Network provider with ASH Network (a CAM clearinghouse for plans that may include Aetna, Cigna, First Choice, and Healthnet) , Providence Preferred PPO, and Regence BCBS

Plans vary with massage coverage, so please be in touch for a complimentary insurance verification.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Self-Care Habits with Hydrotherapy

 Traditionally hydrotherapy refers to the application of water to the body. Water, one of the oldest cures, has a long history of therapeutic uses; such as drinking and soaking in mineral water; healing baths and hot springs, to increase the flexibility of the fascia and warm the tissue up to reduce tension. Cold applications can be traced back to Hippocrates in the treatment of acute or overuse injuries, used to reduce the body's natural inflammatory response.
Hydrotherapy is an easy (and free, as a client recently told me) way to help your aches and pains between treatments. I'm often asked, heat or cold? It is always dependent on your comfort and preference, but here are some things to consider with hydrotherapy self-care:

Heat increases the tissue temperature, and blood flow to the skin and muscle, which causes an increase in the body's metabolic response: more oxygen and nutrients to the tissue and more sweating (one way our body removes toxins). Heat also makes joints and muscles more flexible as it warms the collagen tissues which control our muscle and skin elasticity. Spasm is decreased with heat as it slows the rate of firing within the cells that tell our muscles to move, and pain perception is also decreased with heat due to a slower response within the nerves. Heat creates a general sense of sedation and relaxation, everyone loves to use heat!
When to use it: with chronic muscle tightness or tension, spasm, and joint pain. Not recommended for swelling, acute injury, or inflamed joints.
How long: about 10 minutes for heat packs, 15-30 minutes for hot baths.
Cold reduces the temperature of the skin, decreasing blood flow. Within injured tissue this decreases inflammation, swelling, edema, and bleeding. Pain transmission is blocked with cold application.
When to use it with inflammation, acute injury, or shooting and sharp nerve pain.
How long: 15 to 30 minutes, and never applied directly to the skin.

This is when we use heat with cold. Starting with heat, apply it for 3-10 minutes, then cold, applying it for 1-5 minutes. Repeat (heat-cold-heat-cold-heat-cold) as long as needed, and always end with cold. This is a great therapy to increase blood flow and promote healing to those lingering injuries.