What are my bodywork sessions like?
Perhaps you've heard or read a little about my work and you're curious to learn more.
To understand my approach it might help to know a little about me. The way I see it there are 3 major influences which shape the way I practice. I'll share those with you now.
My pathway to getting to this point of working with people was driven by pain. In my early 20's I woke up one morning with a painful and swollen knee and ankle. Over the next few days it progressively got worse until I could no longer walk. It stayed this way for a whole year before I was able to learn my way out of it.
Back then, my conception of pain was that it only happened to people who were sedentary. People who worked at computers all day. But I was an active person. I always had been. I trained a lot (martial arts and yoga at the time) and was very fit. I also took good care of my health. I slept well and ate good food. But somehow I was still in this terrible situation.
The thing that made the biggest difference for my pain was when I signed up for a professional training program in the Feldenkrais Method. This completely changed my way of looking at myself and the way I "train".
It helped me learn the value of exploration and curiosity.
During my quest to get out of pain I also discovered a practice known as shuichuan qigong. This beautiful movement meditation brings a deep sense of calm and peace. It is about following the lead of the body and allowing it to guide.
This practice has shown me the value of surrender and listening to an intelligence which is beyond that of my logical mind.
The third influence I will tell you about now is that of mens work. I am involved in a volunteer organisation which supports men. This work has changed my life. It is inspiring and gives me hope. The biggest thing I have learned from this work is that relationship underlies everything. If I'm not in good relationship with someone, nothing is going to work well between us.
So those 3 factors are what I would consider the big cornerstones of my approach.
- Exploration and curiosity - You cannot fill a cup that is overflowing. If you already think you know the answers, there's nothing to be learned.
- Your body knows exactly what it wants and needs. It's up to us to listen.
- Building deeper relationships - when you work with me it is a collaboration. We're in it together. Trust and integrity are of utmost importance!
So what does that actually look like in more concrete terms?
Well, a session with me involves coming to my clinic space in Oratia.
When you arrive we'll have a discussion about what is going on in your world.
People who come to see me tend to have these types of things going on.
- They have some kind of chronic pain. Back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, hip pain etc.
- They might want to improve the way they move. Maybe they want to run better or lift weights better.
- They feel uncomfortable or fatigued. Perhaps they have some kind of tension that feels like it needs to be clicked, relieved or "rubbed out" somehow.
This discussion might involve testing out some movements to see what we can both observe or sense together. Looking for differences between the left and right side of the body is a common place to discover interesting things.
From I'll likely invite you to lie down on the table and we'll begin a process of exploration together. With my hands I will ask your body questions. Things like...
- How does your shoulder blade move today?
- What is the relationship of your pelvis to your head?
- Does your lower leg remember how to twist?
This approach of asking, rather than telling is important. It has a totally different quality than you might find at a chiropractor or osteopath. It's the difference between honouring you as you are right in this moment vs seeing something in you as a problem to be fixed. It feels different and it lands very differently in your nervous system. It opens a space for change to happen, rather than forcing you into some fixed idea of "how things should be".
During this process of exploration and "asking questions" you begin to sense yourself in a different way. The new information coming in starts to open up new possibilities for movement.
People usually say things like...
- I feel more connected.
- I feel whole again.
- Everything feels lighter.
- I can breathe deeply again.
- I feel softer.
Every session that we do together is different. They will all be tailored to what you need at the point in time. Your body is the guide and it needs different things on different days.
When we've finished the work on the table, I'll invite you to stand up and sense for yourself what is different. We might also take another look at some of those test movements we explored at the beginning. They might feel different to you now. Perhaps easier, more fluid or more coordinated.
Here is something a recent client said about the session we did together.
Working with Tom was one of the most calming experiences I’ve had whilst working with my body. I have struggled in the past with many body aches and pains that have stopped me living the life I wanted. As we worked together I discovered more and more about my body, moving me from blaming it, to loving it. The process of working together was simple, I just had to be me, whilst Tom assessed and supported my body to move. This was unlike any other bodywork I have done, as we worked I was learning on a conscious and unconscious level how to be with my body. Truly liberating. Tom’s deep appreciation for connection, the body and its abilities allowed me to feel in safe hands.
I have also made a video of a session I did with someone. It can give you some indication of what to expect.
So that is the basic idea of what happens during our sessions. If you have something you'd like some help with and that approach I've just shared resonates with you, then read on. I'll share some of the details of what to expect and how to make it happen.
What does it cost?
My sessions are $110 for the first session which runs about 75 mins long. Follow up sessions are $90
How many sessions will I need?
There are a few different frequencies of sessions you might need for your situation.
If you're suffering from chronic pain and you have been for a long time, then it might also take some time to undo some of those habits. If this is you, then it can be helpful to come weekly for a period of time until we get on top of the pain. At this point, it's possible to scale back to something less frequent.
Or if you have something you're working on and you're keen to make some serious progress with it, weekly may also be right for you.
If you're interested in maintaining a lower and slower level of inquiry, we could scale back to fortnightly or monthly sessions to keep gradual improvements happening over time.
How can I book a session?
Either send me a message on my contact page.
Or send me a text/give me a call on +64223710657