ACEs and the Connection to Trauma

The NYT published two articles this week on adverse childhood events (ACEs) and the effect on health. In summary, the more ACEs, the more risk of poor health. From the research and writing of Dr Nadine Burke-Harris, "Recognizing childhood adversity as a risk factor for how we’re going to deal with stress in the present is really important."  Her new book, The Deepest Well, Healing the Effects of Childhood Adversity, raises awareness about this public health crisis.

This article is an interview with Burke-Harris.


Nervous System Reboot

It's time to ReFresh!  And maybe Reboot...

Today I'm sharing contact info for my professional colleague, Irene Lyon, who lives in Canada, and -- like me -- has trained in Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing model.

She's developing ways for more people to learn the importance of our nervous systems in healing trauma, online.  From her website, you can access a bunch of educational resources, some free and some requiring payment.

A few months ago, I included links here to a few of her videos because a) they educate about a topic I feel is important and b) they were free.  

But soon after, I removed the link!  (And a few of you noticed -- sorry if you missed it!)

Irene was going to soon remove the free videos from her site, anyway!  When she announced that, I saw her "free video" offer as another example of being into yet another marketing scheme. I apologize if that's how you feel, too!  Remember, if you're concerned about receiving too many emails, you may always unsubscribe.

Bottom line, though, the educational resources she provides are proving worthwhile.  Already, a handful of my clients have reported that it's helped them understand more about their own somatic experience. 

All this is to say, if you're interested in online learning programs, I recommend checking out  


Self Care: Getting Ready for the Holidays

We’re getting ready.


Over the river and through the woods

is our holiday landscape of self care:

Soon we'll be sharing music, food, drink with those dear

while those we deem safe enough 

we'll greet with arms outstretched,

our palms flexed;

we'll listen to their stories and tell our own next.

Before all this, though, an imperative: 

Rest! -- bathe, find comfort in touch, in breath, in sleep.

Honoring spirit, dance, meditate, sing, or sit still.

Spend time out of doors, alone or together

reflecting on what is most precious in darkest winter

moving gently toward the warmth of fellow humans

the light in our eyes

the fire in our hearts,

the us that we are.


Some are resistant to this, they say

we should keep working harder jump higher now now now

and I say



what is so pressing?

to feed a revolution we must be fueled, fortified, refreshed

and with care, we can indeed thrive

as thousand-fold ourselves


So to those

who question

what you will get

and how does this "self-care" benefit everybody

just turn to them and ask

How do you plan on celebrating?




So many ways of getting ready for the holidays!

Here's one: hiking up high with family, where we discovered this snow-cocooned cone, a few hours shy of melting away.  This was on the trail last Tuesday after that first snow, Timber Mountain.   

Warmest wishes to you this holiday season!

On Purpose

All the healing communities that I’m involved with*, each in their own way, acknowledged this week the pain of the most recent national tragedy and how its impact feels, even at a distance.

For each, the message was not primarily of outrage or disgust, though that was expressed first. Through each ran the deeper current of shared awareness of our human need for connection and spiritual meaning. Clear in each too is their resolution.  

We have a job to do.  

It is healing our world. 

Let’s pause.  

We honor those who died, and those most affected.  


We then turn to taking care of ourselves so we can care for others. 

The world needs what we have to offer.  People feel broken, stuck, like there’s no way out.

We’re not THE answer, but we can provide hope.  Hope for moving, perhaps slowly and sideways at first, then gradually, resolutely onward.

So let’s get back to work. 

*Somatic Experiencing groups, Visceral Manipulation study group, Claremont yoga community, my church, my coach,  my professional association, and Feldenkrais in Houston

Photo credit: Ian Cook, SE Australia training, Melbourne. 

See You, In Person!

Yes, it's First Friday again, April 5th ----- time to celebrate art and local artists with Claremont's monthly Artwalk evening.   I'll be co-hosting at our studio reception with artist Gina Nelson, and we'll be serving wine and goodies while you browse. Be sure to ask Gina about her new painting classes, and check out her portfolio of murals and other work!

IMG_1571With studio fun, a kicked-back evening in the Claremont Village -- and of course, refreshments! --   First Fridays are a great chance to get together in person, share stories and ask questions.   

Let's talk, in Real Life.

See you soon!


Beyond Sandy Hook, How SE Can Help

Many of us feel helpless in the face of tragedy.  But there's hope for healing, as described in this blog post from the Somatic Experiencing (R) Trauma Institute.  Especially for parents and child educators, I'll also recommend the book written by Peter Levine and Maggie Kline.

Somatic Experiencing is the approach Iuse in my private practice with people seeking greater ease in moving and connecting.  SE has helped many of my clients in completing unresolved defensive responses, which no longer hold them in a freeze pattern.

Although we can't all physically travel to be with people who have suffered great loss, we can educate our communities, ourselves.   Powerful stories about human resiliency build hope.


Accessible Space!

So happy to welcome my wheelchair-mobile client yesterday.  She had booked online & figured out without us chatting that the building's east entrance works for wheels.   You have to travel through the middle hallway to reach us, but yeah, the space where I work now is accessible!  Yay, I really like being inclusive.

Savor the Season


IMG_1331 - Copy
Delighting in seasonal color! Photo taken while hiking last month in Yosemite National Park!


Join us at a gathering to  

Savor the Season

Friday 23 November

4:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Visit my new space, and meet artist Gina Nelson,

whose work is displayed this month in our "ArtWithin" reception area.

Enjoy art, wine, and friendship!

114 North Indian Hill Blvd. is in the Claremont Village, between 1st & 2nd.

Body Sense magazine

Here is a link to the latest issue of Body Sense magazine, compliments of ABMP.  (I've been a member of this national professional organization since 1991).

Body Sense provides valuable information about how to make massage and bodywork a part of your healthy lifestyle. Inside you'll find helpful articles on the value of downtime, the body's intricate fascia network, and diet recommendations for low-back health.

I am excited to discuss any of the information you find inside, and happy to schedule your next appointment.

Best in Health,


Walking the Walk

Yesterday afternoon at the temple, we gathered in seats.  The rabbi spoke, the cantor led us in a few songs --- (my favorite, their ningun, is without words) --- punctuated by clapping "to get us revved up for the walk."  Then, we were on our way --- all 500 of us!  A mile north, we stopped in at the  Lutheran church, refreshed with a drink of water and a brief talk from the pastor.  From energetic gray-haired Pilgrims to rambunctious teens, the group spread out as we walked west to the Islamic  school. There, we were welcomed by students, by administrators, and an inspiring speech by a leading academic.  Then, just up the road at the mosque, a delicious meal was served!   

We walked.

We walked together.

We shared a meal.

We met each other in peace and friendship.

Thanks to all who committed to making this happen, right here in Claremont/ Pomona.  Despite the simplicity of the event, much planning is required. (Especially if you are cooking amazing food for 500 plus!)

I am grateful for being able to participate, as just one in many.  I got to see friends, and meet new people.  It wasn't difficult, as we were all doing the same thing. 

And yes, that's really what it's all about.

Hammocks and Cathedrals

How Do You Experience Support?

The ground supports us.  Other people support us.  And very literally, our bodies support us in ways we're not even aware.  Learn firsthand how awareness of our internal structural support can give wing to our spirits.  We'll provide materials for you to express what you discover in your own creative way.

Suzanne Snijder van Wissenkerke, a seasoned bodyworker, and Cynthia Luna, an executive coach, lead this introductory workshop, sharing with the community our joy as we collaborate. 

Come to Explore, Connect, and Create with us!  Wear comfortable clothing, and bring your body along for fun!  We'll provide a nourishing snack mid-morning. 

Saturday, March 13th             

8:45 am – 12:30 pm

$50 per person --- advance registration required --- fee is 100% donation to CCF


Payment by mail, phone, or online to Claremont Community Foundation

205 Yale Avenue, Claremont 91711      909.398.1060


Questions for Suzanne & Cynthia?  909.239.8313

Hammocks and Cathedrals: How Do You Experience Support?

It's a new workshop! 

I want to share the fun of my practice in a group setting.  Co-leading is my friend Cynthia, an executive coach and mentor! 

We'll be exploring together through our senses :  the physical support available in your body, how it feels when you're supported. Throw in some creative art-making, playful movement, and you have the picture.

On a Saturday morning in March, at a lovely home in Claremont......... 

        ..........I'd love to tell you more, but Cynthia and I are still working out the details. 

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