Signature Session Expectations

"Insomuch as scientific medicine has built itself on the foundation of an objective, third person view of the human as a body, it is a deceptive and incomplete approach to human health" - Thomas Hanna

Though my sessions are custom-tailored on a case-by-case basis, I gravitate toward a pattern in the format of first-session introductions, which I sometimes refer to as my "Signature Session". It goes a little something like this:


One factor that sets me apart from much of the massage industry is my philosophy that a thorough intake is essential to effective, efficient bodywork. I want to get a sense of you, your goals, and what your overall experience of everyday life in your body is like before touching or coaching you. My sessions (especially the first one) begin with an extensive intake process that can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes (occasionally longer depending on the complexity and depth of your presentation).

Intake is important regardless of whether you're interested in a sampler of modalities or just want to nap and go floaty for a bit; if my goal is to communicate with your nervous system, I wish to have at least a vague picture of what it has been through. It's actually more important, in my opinion, to have that information if you want to check out while on the table.

As a tool of discovery and reconnaissance, I often move from intake to....

Somatic Unwinding®

The definition of soma is "to perceive from within", meaning that you alone, as a soma, are capable of the perception of your sense of what it feels like to inhabit your body. And also meaning that it is you alone who are ultimately capable of unlocking its secrets.

Karen Clay's Somatic Unwinding® combines simple, often unfamiliar actions with a level of subtle awareness rarely utilized in our everyday lives. These movements, done while laying on the floor, are meant to be easeful, comfortable, and performed very, very slowly. 

Vocally, I guide you through repetitive motion, with focus of your perception on the subtle senses of the movement itself. With reiteration and ease, this directed awareness communicates effectively with your neurological systems; the sensing movement acts as a re-education of your unconscious nerve functions, and often leaves one feeling as though they just received a full body massage when I've yet to make physical contact.

Somatic Unwinding® is an gentle, empowering option for people who are touch anxious or otherwise very sensitive, and acts as an effective method of helping us investigate what would do well receiving…


Once grounded, focused, and reconnected, I'll incorporate elements of Swedish massage, passive and/or active range of motion, neuromuscular techniques, and Muscle Energy Technique (MET),

I also integrate fundamentals of techniques like Thai massage (getting on the table, standing on you, stretching using my feet to leverage), Trager (which is a rocking flopping relaxy sort of shakey thing), Sports Massage (vigorous picky-uppy thumpy stuff, really good after a marathon!), and Lomi Lomi (long, smooth, relaxing strokes along extended planes of the body).

Many of these modalities can actually be done clothed, and may be applied on a table or in my massage chair. In general, I only use the amount of lubricant I actually need, and try not to leave you feeling greased for a deep fry after seeing me. I'd hate for you to be unable to keep a grip on your pencil, since I am quite likely to gift you...


I am a big fan of simple, small instances of client homework between appointments that ensure our work continues to effect your life long after our time has come to a close. In an introduction series, that work will be rooted in what we've already done, with the intent to prepare for where I anticipate our next session may head. These suggestions often include habit forming, strengthening exercises, intentionally adjusting your posture, somatics, and stretching.


Giving you a strong foundational experience to enable long term benefit is my ultimate session goal for each person I work with, whether one time or one hundred. 

The structure mentioned above allows you to get acquainted with the types of bodywork I offer, as well as allowing for me to understand what care techniques you are likely to respond to best. I think savvy self care is so awesome I even offer a $30 discount on a 3-session intro series to help get you jump started. So if you're picking up what I'm putting down here, and want to talk about it in a nice looong intake, hit me up and let's get to work!


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