Find the Support You Need

Hi, I'm Suzanne! My Integrative Bodywork practice is here to support you.

With over 25 years experience, I'm helping clients move from overwhelm toward health.

Building on what's already working well in your own physiology, I use manual therapy and Somatic Experiencing to nudge your system back into balance.  I'm licensed in massage therapy since 1991, and now describe my work as "integrative" -- bringing all these tools together to help you heal.

My work can help relieve pain, as well as symptoms of anxiety/depression patterns, so you feel more comfortable. You'll learn how to sense inside safely, to get in touch with what's most important to you. You'll get to practice playing more!

Yes! Less work for the body, more fun. More pleasure even, what about that?

 When your body feels better, your mind benefits too.

So you can begin feeling more like yourself again, connecting with people, and enjoying more of what you love!

You'll find the encouragement you need right here.  

We're in the Claremont Village, by appointment Monday through Friday.

Schedule right here online or by phone.  

Learn about my practice (see at right).

Or if you'd like, set up a free 25-min phone consult: 909.239.8313.  

I look forward to hearing from you!


Save the Date: Nov 5

Getting Unstuck: A Whole-Person Way Forward 

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Sunday morning, November 5, 2017

9:45 am - 1:00 pm

Registration $60 available soon! 

Location TBA

Learn ways of moving from feelings of stuckness into flow. Perspectives from Chinese medicine, somatic practice, and integral coaching.

We invite all of you here. 

Registration available soon!

Warm regards,

Cynthia Luna, integral coaching

Rachel Mefferd, L.Ac

Suzanne Snijder van Wissenkerke, SEP

 

 

 


Healing Developmental Trauma

You are not broken.

This feeling many of us share --  I'm broken, unloved and unloveable -- boy, is it miserable.  This is not just, "I broke something," (I'm guilty) or, "A part of me has broken," (I'm injured). It's at the core of who we are -- unchangeable, or so we believe. In fact, there are probably no words that can convince you or me otherwise.  Here instead is a story from long ago, a story we all have in common. It's from the time around your birth. 

When you were just born, you were incredibly vulnerable and totally dependent on care from other humans to survive. Like all of us, your brain was not developed fully yet, so imagine trying to make sense of what you were experiencing in those early weeks and months. Sensing and feeling is all that’s available. No reasoning, no language. Any disruption that comes along threatens your well-being, your very survival, as far as you know. Your systems respond with urgency, asking for help. If your needs are not met, you adapt. One part of adapting is creating stories about why your needs were not met.  At this point you still don’t have language, so those stories are held in sensing and feeling.  Just a few years later, when you can talk and reason, those underlying sensing-and-feeling stories are still there. You don’t realize it because they are not there in words. It feels like “truth” or just what IS.

But it is an adaptation.

Many of us have gotten stuck in these sensing-and-feeling stories. They shape our adult lives. They limit us. And we can’t talk about it, because, well —- there’s no actual story in words.  Sometimes we make up stories that might explain our confusing sensations. More often, a story comes to us that seems to make sense so we accept and defend that story. A baby whose caregivers left her alone comes to believe she is incapable of intimate relationships.   A young child undergoing surgery later comes to believe that what they experienced was sexual assault when that did not actually happen.  

We use the language of the body.

What does this have to do with me?  This is where the type of touchwork that I practice is invaluable.  When your needs were not met in infancy, or later in childhood, your “story” was held in sensing and feeling.  By using the language of the body (sensation and movement), we can contact deeper layers of being, beyond words.  This is not massage, but static touch, of witness, of being with. Wounds of disconnect, trauma in our early developmental years, can be healed through compassionate contact with other humans, with animals, with nature.

The kind of trauma I'm talking about is not just big-earthquake variety. It can be as simple as mis-attunement.  Unmet needs for care, for connection.  Now, this isn't meant to place blame on caregivers, but to acknowledge this is how we learn.  We require intensive care in our early years, and it can't all be exactly perfect every moment.

Through my years of studying somatic therapy and bodywork, I've learned to respect the sneaky-powerful value of exploring trauma.  To learn more, I recently attended Kathy Kain and Steve Terrell's class, "Somatic Regulation and Resilience." Leaders in our field, you'll hear more soon about IMG_2823these brilliant teachers. 

In my practice, I’ve had the pleasure to work with many people who have begun to own their sense of feeling broken, to explore a range of embodied experience, enjoy more creativity, more connection.  As many of my clients concurrently receive psychotherapy, I enjoy working as part of a health care team.

I have the same message for anybody I work with:  You are not broken.  You may be hurting, you may be sad, angry, horrified, a mix — and I’ll support you to feel what you feel. You may be in pain, and I’ll use all my tools to help manage patterns that foment pain.  But I am never going to try to fix you. 

Because you’re not broken.

If this message speaks to how you're feeling right now, I’d love to hear from you. And if you're interested in my integrative approach, contact me to schedule a free consult, or sign up for a session online right here.


"Think of something racy and funny!" -- that's why we were laughing.
Kathy Kain and Steve Terrell bring their Somatic Regulation and Resilience class to Los Angeles

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Health and Being Real

Here is Gabor Mate, MD, author of When the Body Says No, speaking on "The Need for Authenticity" and its connection to health/ disease.

He lists these risk factors for disease: 

1) automatic concern for the emotional needs of others, ignoring your own

2) compulsive identification with duty and responsibility, rather authentic self

3) suppressing, repressing "negative" emotions

4) belief that you are responsible for how others feel, and fear of disappointing them

We don't do this on purpose! No! He says this results from our adapting unconsciously, to protect ourselves.  

From youtube channel science and nonduality.  Listen in.

 


Toward and Away

"I don't want to lose you.  But I need my space!" IMG_1362
 
Setting limits in relationships, valuing our own feelings while staying in connection with others, wow, to me it sometimes feels rocky and uphill all the way.  Are you also getting stuck on that step?
 
As part of my somatic training, I've learned that to get close, we first need to be able to say "no."
 
Let's approach the need for healthy aggression from the bottom up: 
 
 Step down first.  
 Stand on your two feet, your two legs.
 You can't step up
     till you step down.
 
Getting grounded connects you to your lower body as a foundation for everything above it. Your feet, legs, pelvis are right there under you, so when you're feeling, then expressing, there's a there there.
 
For me, and for many of my clients, it's not enough to just understand in my head. My bodywork and somatic practice supports people struggling with relationships, find agency, strength, and resilience. Finding the there in their bodies that stabilizes the response to stress. Giving voice to the "no" that hasn't always been heard.  
 
In a typical session, we'll explore movement toward -- and away from -- whatever is coming up in the moment.  Yes, we'll do that by actually moving in space in whichever direction the body leads.  We'll use what's already happening rather than making it up. Memories, thoughts, images that emerge, we'll use what gets us from motion into e-motion -- or the other way around.  So you can imagine that a client might be standing or seated, as well as having a chance to be horizontal on the table.  
 
This month, I'm taking the third module of "Somatic Regulation and Resilience" with Kathy Kain and Steve Terrell, to deepen my touchwork with early developmental trauma.
 
Please keep your questions coming.  I'm glad to be here for you -- and for me too!
 
I Love You -- Go Away artist Jeanne-Marie Lovell
https://www.facebook.com/FeraL-Clothing-162395904652/