Always be curious

Never stop learning and growing

Down the Rabbit Hole

Learning about the myoskeletal system is like fearlessly leaping into a rabbit hole—the answer to one question leads you to three more.

As an innately curious person, I will always be obsessed with finding as many answers as I can, testing that knowledge and sharing the wisdom of my training and experience with the members of our community. To start, how about the answers to the simple and frequently asked questions:

  • Quite a few places.

    I wanted to learn about the body from as many angles as possible. My style is probably best described as a custom fusion of tactful, gradual, and deep strokes, just this side of clinical.  I am definitely more on the myofascial side of clinical bodywork, and these treatments tend to be slower and more relaxing than their vigorous and aggressive counterparts.

    I have been known to give a Swedish massage or ten, but there are other therapists out there with more skill in that style. Alternatively, I do not believe in using techniques so aggressively invasive that they cause avoidable kick-back pain after the treatment.

    I once worked with a therapist who was nicknamed “the pretzel maker” because of how intense his techniques were. If that is the style of session you are looking for, it is definitely available elsewhere. I don’t know that anyone has ever given me a massage nickname, but “the mindful therapist would probably do.

  • Cupping and manual massage have many of the same benefits and goals, they just use the opposite force to achieve them.

    Massage uses a compressive (i.e., downward) pressure, while cupping uses suction (i.e., upward pressure). Most cupping treatments are very relaxing and can reset the nervous system. There are a few places and techniques that can feel like a burn or a pinch, but I’ll always warn you if they are coming!

    Cupping is very effective at breaking up adhesions in fascia and bringing up all the gunk (crepitus/cellular debris) that stagnates around them. It also draws fresh blood and interstitial fluid to the area; this fresh fluid contains the essential nutrients and cells that nourish the tissue. 

    Have you thought about it that way before? Before becoming one, I hadn’t. Massage therapists don’t actually heal you. We facilitate the body in healing itself! That is one of the most wonderful things I have learned. And one of the most powerful components of therapeutic partnership.

  • I have been providing cupping treatments since 2014…I have been receiving cupping treatments since 2008! My acupuncturist used to put them on my back and shoulders at the end of our sessions. They always gave me a ton of relief. I just never understood how or why they worked until I got my certification. Since introducing them into my practice, I have noticed that in many ways they are superior to what can be accomplished with manual massage alone.

    Trigger points are a great example. 

    Sometimes chronic trigger points can take a while to release. You would be hard-pressed to find a therapist who would be able to hold a trigger point for longer than a few minutes at a consistent pressure. This poses no problems whatsoever for the cups. Aim, fire, release!

  • There is a ton of curiosity and misconception around the circular marks that sometimes appear after a cupping session. 

    They do not hurt and are not bruises.

    Often people even forget they are there until someone asks them what they are. The technical Western term for these marks is Petichia. The vacuum formed by the cups draws the the old non-circulating stagnant blood and sticky fluids from the area up to the surface under the skin, where the pores of the skin, the lymphatic system, and the cardio vascular system can flush the toxins out. Healthy circulation can be restored to the area bringing in oxygen, living cells, and nutrients. The marks fade anywhere from a day to two weeks. Most of my first-time cupping clients fall somewhere in the 7–10 day range and many of my long-term clients don’t actually mark at all. It all depends on the severity of the toxins present as well as what activities follow the session. After the session it is important to stay hydrated and nourished on clean foods. It is also recommended to refrain from exposing the treated areas to extreme temperatures or from strenuous exercise for at least 3 hours to give the body a chance to process all the toxins and fluid we just moved through your system.

  • The clinic is located at Chicago Spine + Sports: 922 W. Diversey Parkway.  There is street parking for those who drive and it is only a few doors down from the Diversey purple and brown line CTA station.

    When you use the ONLINE SCHEDULER you can see the current rates for sessions. There are also five and eight session packages available.

  • This varies from person to person and case to case. Not everyone responds to the same modalities in quite the same way.

    With consistently frequent visits at first (what we call the acute stage), and appropriate self-care, most people feel an improvement after their first session, and have made such significant progress within five sessions, that they are able to schedule less frequently (what we call the maintenance stage). 

    For particularly stubborn or chronic issues, or for people who struggle to consistently practice the additional self-care, it may take up to eight sessions to reach the maintenance phase.

    Ultimately, it comes down to a willingness to do the work, and the ability to devote the time and energy that healing and change require. I get, maybe, an hour with the client as often as their budget and schedule allow, while detrimental postural habits, work stress, and training demands get to touch them for much, much longer! 

    If we are not seeing progress, I will let you know whether I recommend changing our treatment plan, or whether you might benefit from being evaluated by another practitioner. Even the most well planned and executed foot massage (aka: the plantar fascia) is not going to make any difference to a stress or hairline fracture!

    When you use the ONLINE SCHEDULER you can see the current rates for sessions. There are also five and eight session packages available.

  • Self-care is the really important practice of including activities that help keep you optimally healthy. Every person’s situation is slightly different in terms of what those activities are; they include but are not limited to: therapeutic stretching, corrective/rehabilitative exercises/bodywork, meditation, developing beneficial eating, sleeping and hydration habits, and of course, the use of ice or heat (aka: Cryotherapy).

  • Have you ever eaten an orange? Well you know the gummy white stuff that is just under the rind? And also flows between the wedges? That is basically the orange’s fascia.

    Fascia is the tensile connective tissue that helps dictate our shape.

    Many people think that the skeleton is this solid thing that our flesh is just kind of hanging on, like the skeleton model in your 5th grade science class. The truth is, our bones are suspended by the matrix of connective tissue that makes up the muscular system. Your elbow doesn’t really “bend” when you do a hammer curl. Your bicep contracts and the bones of the lower arm are pulled closer to the shoulder; the bones can’t move, they are just along for the ride. It’s a lever-pulley system, and the fasia are the ropes that guide it. You live your life and create patterns in that fascia through your posture, movement, nutrition and stress level, and then I come in and try to see which points would be the most beneficial to target pushing and pulling it back to a neutral position. Pretty cool right?

  • Let’s say you hire a plumber because your toilet is overflowing, and when he gets there he mops the water on the floor.  He mops for an entire hour and when he is done he says, “well, looks like you got more water here, I better come back tomorrow and get more of it.” Maybe he mops beautifully and you like him, but he is just mopping up spilled water. You do want the toilet to stop overflowing at some point, right?

    I will absolutely work on the areas you feel pain and give relief to your tired, aching back. But I will also work to balance the other parts of the body that are causing the pain in the first place.

  • I’ve got just the post for you. [ENJOY]

  • Relieving Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is one of the top most-requested treatment goals. No matter what is causing the DOMS—CrossFit, dead-lifting, plyometrics, training for marathons, triathlons or even your very first Hot Chocolate 5K—we can absolutely help speed up your recovery time and get some relief.

  • I, like many of my colleagues, prefer to be referred to by my professional title. I am a massage and cupping therapist (LMT, CCT). I am also a bodyworker, and you can use that term if “therapist” feels too formal for you.

    “Masseuse” has connotations that we’d really rather not have to suffer. We studied long hours to earn our certifications, and want nothing to do with brothels or happy endings.

    If you’d like to read how the beautiful French word got hijacked from its original meaning, there is a wonderful article on it from Massage Magazine [HERE].

  • I love Harry Potter, too. 

    Sometimes on the path to wellness it is necessary to give up a few familiar-yet-unhealthy habits. We don’t like doing that. It’s uncomfortable.

    If you aren’t quite yet oriented to the idea of the unbridled joy of living and moving pain-free, this does seem like a sacrifice. The truth is, you are only sacrificing your unhappiness when you make the mental and emotional shift to wellness.

     When you are stuck and pushing, things seem really hard. Once you are happy and being pulled by joy and relief, things get much easier and they will flow like never before. You will always be you. Just the happiest, healthiest version of you.

    That’s my promise.