How to work through patient bracing

Uncategorized Jan 03, 2018

Trauma can leave patients with minimal tolerance for therapeutic input. How can we as movement + manual therapists achieve clinical goals without further traumatizing the patient?

All change is challenging, even in the right direction. Right down to the cellular level, we can be in either bracing + defense mode or healing + growth mode...not both at once.


The solution to working through patient bracing is to create a space that feels safe, and work with them to unwind, rather than trying to forcibly do something to them (even if it seems like the right thing).

This may seem like common sense, but it really is that simple!


Creating safe space

Because all change is challenging (even in the right direction), it's imperative that we create an environment that is conducive to shifting into "healing" mode.

Individuals with a history of trauma may be in a state of chronic fight-or-flight mode, which means that all sensory sensitivity is heightened. This means...

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The art of unf*ckwithability: getting a grasp on resilience

Uncategorized Dec 27, 2017

What does it really mean to be "resilient" and how can we achieve it? 


When you stop to think about it, it's pretty amazing that palm trees survive storms. The trunks are narrow, and top-heavy fronds catch wind easily. But we all know that the trees most likely to break in a storm are the dead ones - the rigid ones. 

Resilience comes from adaptability: the capacity for fluid motion.

Interpersonal and situational resilience means being able to go with the flow, regardless of what life throws your way.

Structural resilience means taking a hit or a fall without sustained injury. 

Neurological resilience means managing life's unavoidable stressors without springing into fight-or-flight mode at every little thing. Aka you don't lose your cool aka unf*ckwithability

Life is defined by motion. When you stop moving, you die. The aging process is a stiffening, but we can slow that process by restoring + maintaining fluid motion.

Our bodies are...

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5 simple steps to unwind tension

Uncategorized Dec 26, 2017

Whether you're trying to soften your own trouble-spots or facilitate therapeutic change for your patients, these simple steps can help. 


All change is challenging, even in the right direction.

Right down to the cellular level, our systems can be in either healing + growth mode OR protective + bracing mode, but not both simultaneously. When you consciously facilitate that shift into healing mode, the system can soften and unwind, with a more profound ability to release stored tension.

Follow these simple steps next time you're trying to facilitate change - whether in your own system or for a patient - and notice how everything becomes a bit easier.


1. Establish Safety: Since the body can be in either bracing/defense mode OR growth/healing mode and not both simultaneously, the first step must be to help your system identify the environment as a safe environment in which to unwind. This is most often accomplished simply by turning attention to your...

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The missing key to boost energy, mood, and focus...naturally + sustainably

Uncategorized Dec 25, 2017

Calling all go-getters, influencers, visionaries, leaders, movers + shakers of the world: 

Most of us know that in order to be healthy, we’re supposed to drink plenty of water, get enough rest, make good food choices, exercise, and do something for our mental health...maybe meditate regularly, journal, or work with a therapist.

There is an absolutely overwhelming amount of information out there about what’s healthy and what’s not, and those recommendations seem to change frequently! So we mostly just try to do a decent job, and just go about our lives...tolerating the increasing allergies, frequent colds + flu (what even is flu season??), headaches, fatigue, grouchy mood swings, indigestion, mental fog...the list goes on.

Meanwhile, I’ve got things to do, family to attend to, work to accomplish, and I don’t have time to slow down and figure out how to fit a 2 hour gym sesh, hours cooking all my meals from scratch, daily yoga and...

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Why chiropractic for pain management is the wrong thing

Uncategorized Dec 22, 2017

Most people think of chiropractors as "neck + back pain specialists"... 

What do you actually want to be doing as a chiropractor? Why did you join this profession in the first place?

You think that treating neck and back pain is the path to success as a chiropractor? It’s how most people already think about us, so at least people are already looking for our help with those problems… 

Except that treating pain is HARD.

 Pain is an emotion. It's an interpretation of nociception (and sometimes exists even in the absence of these alarm signals).

Now I’m not saying to ignore people’s pain…but if we stop to think about what chiropractic can really do, it’s really not about treating pain at all. It’s about FEELING (which sometimes means actually feeling the pain that is there). It’s about CONNECTION (between the brain + body, and even our ability to connect socially + spiritually). And it’s about OPTIMIZING...

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On Connection

Uncategorized Dec 22, 2017

Musings on the universal cause of suffering and an empowered approach to creating health + happiness from the inside out.

As a chiropractor, I often find myself reflecting on healing for individuals and for the world. I have come to recognize that all difficulties arise out of a sense of disconnection in one form or another. In fact, our very ability to express life seems directly related to our ability to experience connection: socially, ecologically, spiritually, and particularly in our physical bodies as it relates to nerve communication.

In my upbringing, my parents drew deeply from Native American and also Buddhist and yoga traditions and ways of thinking about spirit. Through this, and my own resulting path of spirit, I have come to believe that we are all deeply connected to one another and to what one might call Great Spirit or Great Mystery or God. There is a Lakota phrase Mitakuye oyasin – "all my relations" – that...

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