A friend and professional colleague whom I respect incredibly told me I should start blogging to reach more people. It’s very intimidating to put oneself “out there” But I realized if 2021 should be about anything, after digesting the twilight zone episode that was 2020, it should be about stepping into places that intimidate. Exploring areas we have been avoiding. Confronting our fears. And that is the crux of the work I do with my clients. Now I must practice what I preach. So. Here I am.
Before I say another word I will introduce myself. My name is Heather Koubek and I am a bodyworker- that is, I have a NYS License in massage therapy (LMT.) Been practicing under my biz Yemaya Massage & Wellness Center since 2003. I also spent nearly 10 years prior to that as a social worker in medical setting (LMSW.) I began this journey with a BA in psychology, many moons ago.
I left the sometimes grueling world of SW because I was torched. Burnt to a crisp. I have so much admiration for lifetime SW’s! They are true heroes. I went to school at night to get my LMT, and as soon as I did in 2002, I changed my full time career to bodywork. About 8 years in, I began to see the intricate connection between the mind and body. Often they operate autonomously. They should not. One cannot function at optimal levels without the other, with open lines of communication between them. So off I went to the Upledger Institute’s courses to learn and start practicing CranioSacral Therapy (CST.) I began to see a CranioSacral practitioner to experience what it is like on the table as a recipient. I began to circle back around to my LMSW & psych background. It all started coming together!
CST is a gentle for of bodywork that addresses your craniosacral system, which encompasses the soft tissues and fluid that surround, nourish and protect your entire brain and spinal cord (your Central Nervous System.) The fluid, called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) , has its own distinct rhythm or pulse that can be palpated by the CST practitioner. We endure stress and strain on a daily basis- our body, and the protective tissues (facsia) that make up the cranio sacral system, absorb these traumas both large and small, emotional and physical, in order to protect the rest of the body in the process. But our bodies and minds can only handle so much tension before the tissues begin to tighten and eventually affect & compromise the functioning of the brain and spinal cord. Dysfunction in the central nervous system then affects the performance of nearly every other system in our body.
As a wonderful supplement to this, I have been taking courses in Neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to adapt to changes in an individual’s environment by forming new neural connections over time) Mindfulness (a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique) and the physical changes trauma can make on our nervous systems. All of these concepts work together to help get to the foundational issues causing present dysfunction, and to re-balance the nervous system. To help find and release old traumas both physical and emotional.
I know this post is dry. They will not all be, I promise! I just felt compelled to lay the groundwork for what I do, so you can decide if following me on this journey fits with what you are seeking within yourself. Because the journey is never about the practitioner, or even the work we do. It is about you. No one can do this for you, even if there are claims made to the contrary. These modalities were created to gently relieve restrictions in your soft tissue and re-set your nervous system, all of which have served as obstacles to your road to physical and emotional health. But make no mistake, the direction and pace of this journey is solely yours. No one else’s journey can compare. Your journey is beautiful, and complicated and brave. One of my favorite quotes is “The only way out is through.” It will not be easy, but it is always worth it.