Thursday, February 13, 2020

Gut-Brain -Connection

Did you know, that our gut is the largest immunological organ of the human body (320-430 square feet) which means that 80% of the immune system cells are located in the gut. The information between gut and brain is a 24 hour dialogue through gut-brain axis, that is, vagus nerve (with a help of the blood circulation). This connection is a big part of the autonomic nervous system and functions as a security alarm to inform us when something is wrong in our body. (If you eat something inappropriate or dangerous, your gut makes you throw up.)

Our gut is full of bacteria, viruses and other microbiota which produce neurotransmitters and metabolites. Those are the important substances that do the actual communication between gut and brain IF there isn't too many barriers to overcome: stress, harmful bacteria, inflammation or restrictions in blood flow. Can you see now why I am so interested in this? As a trained bodyworker I can definitely help you with the circulation AND reducing stress level, if I keep the bodywork  and pressure of my touch in the right level. What I am mostly interested at the moment is HOW ORTHO-BIONOMY CAN REORGANIZE AND EMPOWER THIS SYSTEM AND THE GUT-BRAIN AXIS.

This huge communication system has now a name: Enteric (nervous) system and a bunch of scientist are looking for the cure to ADHD, autism, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's with the new information about gut flora and our individual bacterial fingerprint. There is still so much unknown about the subject, but we do know that stress reduces the information flow by reducing the amount of  serotonin and dopamine. If our body in stressful situations (injury, cancer, depression etc.) does not secrete enough of these transmitters and the gut-brain axis is blocked, the situation gets even worse and our body's healing powers can't really kick in. The latter I can help you with Ortho-Bionomy!

Ortho-Bionomy is very light form of treatment, but it really helps in various conditions. For me it means tuning in deeper to really listen your body and it's messages, and if you already are my client, you have experienced some bits and pieces of it. It is a HUGE advantage in my tool box and next year I will hopefully have a certificate to show that. The best news here are, that with Ortho-Bionomy I can treat you in some situations that for safety reasons so far I have refused to touch you (acute or severe pain, right after surgery or osteoporosis to mention a few).

Contact me about your unique situation and we can plan accordingly! If, and this is a big if, we decide that your treatment plan is to have plain Ortho-Bionomy Sessions, I will give my special student pricing for 2020 (25% off of packages 5 or more).

I love learning and helping you in your individual path of healing! I'm so proud to tell you that this is Kata's Way and it means that Balanced is Painless, but also because Balanced Gut means Better Functioning Brain, and Empowering your Immune System makes all the difference.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Next step

2019 has been a great year after all! I'm back on working 4 days a week, because I just need to. First of all, I have plenty of clients who I love, and there seems to be more waiting to get in. How great is that. Secondly, I am so exited about learning new stuff that I want to practice every day!

As I have mentioned earlier, I'm in a learning process of a new style called Ortho-Bionomy. It has deepened my understanding of human body; it's structure, function and how all different systems intervene and connect to each others. I kind of already knew most of the stuff from my school in Finland, and because I have been working as a massage therapist over 10 year now, but Ortho-Bionomy has opened my eyes to feel and understand the connections in a new level. There is so much to learn!

Human body is not just muscles and bones, as we know, so we can't treat just those layers. We have plenty of knowledge about lymphatic drainage and myofascial release techniques as well as how cellular tissue or nervous impulses operate, and my training has always tried to get deeper into all this information. Now I feel like Ortho-Bionomy is truly giving me practical tools to do this! All I need to do, is learn to listen.

At the moment I feel like everything is about how to meet my clients' body, and then decide what level of that body to work with. It feels like I have finally grown not only eyes, but also ears on my fingertips, so that I can detect what is needed. And as you know, it's not always what your brain want, sometimes we need to work in a completely different level to release the tension on an effected area. I can always keep pushing the tissue and force the trigger point to open, but in that case we have simply over-ruled the nervous system and compromised the healing process. Healing happens in certain order that is individual, and who am I to decide how your body heals?

I am swimming in the deep waters of learning how Enteric nervous system functions and more importantly: how we can help it! Of course I knew the importance of Vagus Nerve, but only in past couple of months I have UNDERSTOOD the significance. Think that we can support our nerves by creating order in digestive system or that opening brain-gut-axis can affect how we feel and support the hormonal balance. For me this is truly amazing and eye-opening!

I am sure you will be hearing me explain these new discoveries and also my frustration with so much new stuff to learn to! I am so happy to keep learning and being inspired by this. My professional framework stays the same, but my understanding of this line of work has already deepened my skills a lot and shift is happening: I won't have any idea about what's going to happen in each and every session, but this works in so many ways. My goal is to be worth it and be the best supporter to Your health in your current situation!

That is, has been, and will be Kata's Way, and that my friends, is Balanced and Painless, but only if I can stay Balanced and Painless. There will be more time off 2020, but also so much deeper understanding of the world we live in. There are so many possibilities, alleys and paths to dig into. For me, this is the only way and I am honored to share it with you!

Check my pricing for 2020 on upper right corner.

I want to wish you Merry Christmas and a Very Special Year 2020. The new decade.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

What if?

Mitä jos
Juuresi tunkeutuisivat niin kiinteästi maahan
että voisit:
kuulla auringonpaisteen,
nähdä meren kohinan ja
haistaa lapsuutesi.
Kun suussasi kaikuu menestyksen väistämättömyys
kurota taivaaseen ja vajoa mereen,
josta kasvaa sielusi veljeys.

What if
Your roots were grounded
so deep that you could:
Hear the shining Sun,
See the Sound of an Ocean,
Smell your Childhood Dream.
The Echoing Taste of Inevitability.
To Reach to the Sky is
to Sink into the Sea of Kinship.
To Be.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

New Pricing 2020!

Hi you all! Today I'm here to tell you about my big decisions for 2020. Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere nor will I reduce my working hours. I will still be available for my clients for 30 hours every week Monday through Thursday. Check my hours on the right column of this page!

As many of you already know, this year I have been studying a new treatment style called Ortho-Bionomy. These studies have not really changed the way I work, but the way I think! And it has been mind blowing. At the end of this year I can proudly say that I have already been studying this style over 70 hours. That's two full weeks of training, a couple of lectures, but especially hands-on practicing under the eyes of my wonderful teacher Jessica Marks from Happy Body in Asheville. That's a lot! But even that is only the beginning. Stay tuned!

I call my own style Kata's Way, and my motto is Balanced is Painless. I stand by this 100 percent. I have had my massage license in North Carolina for 5.5 years and during that time I have helped hundreds of clients! I have been able to bring back the mobility to the ankles, helped my clients rehabilitate several painful shoulder issues, kept my loyal clients running their marathons, opened up rib cages and diaphragms to serve better with voice production and got rid of several golf and tennis elbows among other issues. I have several weekly appointment slots for Neuropathy clients to vote for my treatment as the best way of keeping the neuropathy related pain away. I don't even know how many spines have been balancing themselves after my special seated vertebrae treatment sessions. Even scoliosis can be helped with this treatment! And the list goes on.

I am constantly keeping my eye on the therapeutic massage field in Charlotte. I follow (even try out occasionally) several Massage LLC:s and Inc:s and their pricing. I know that in the Spas you need to pay somewhere between $130-160 per hour, and that is not at all who I compete with. My competitors (including terms like therapeutic, advanced therapeutic, integrative etc.) charge anything between $70 (for membership) to $100 per hour massage. Advanced therapies (like Rolfing) are $130-160  per session.

So here is goes: my new rate for one hour treatment is $95 with cash/check/Zelle and $100 with credit. For my most popular appointment for 75 minutes is will be $115 cash/check/Zelle.

I did it!

I STILL offer 5-10% discount for series of 3 or 5. My treatment is still FULL  ONE-ON-ONE time with you. My treatment includes: massage, range of motion exercising, stretching, stretching guidance, essential oils, infrared heat, whole body analysis, balancing the nervous system, neural opening, lymphatic massage, myofascial release, deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, whole body integration, structural and functional analysis to mention a few. All these and some more in each and every session! Without an extra charge.

I am so grateful to be doing this. And this is Kata's Way. It is Balanced, it is fun, it is evolving and extremely good for you. Welcome to the best possible treatment. Balanced is Painless. 

Here's link to full pricing list.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Let's treat your wrists - but ankles first!

So many of us have some numbness, tingling or even pain in our wrists. The more you need to use your computer, especially the mouse, more prone you are to any trouble in your wrists or in your thumbs. If these symptoms are left unattended for a long time, you could have ended up to a diagnosis called the carpal tunnel syndrome. While I certainly hope that you are seeking my help a long before you have that diagnosis, there is something worth trying before scheduling that surgery. The surgery should be ultimately the last choice and there won't be any harm done, if we try to resolve your 'tight' wrist in Kata's Way.

You know that wrist is connected to forearm. Hah, that's what I learned at the massage school. In my work that simply means that the first step to take care of wrists, is to treat the forearms, and the second step would be making sure that also the metatarsals (the bones on hands) and fingers are working the way they should. When we have proceeded to this point at the my treatment, it means that I have already opened the lymph on the forearms, discovered what is going on in your flexors, extensors and rotatores of wrist and most probably we have also done some movement therapy for your elbow to make sure that this hinging joint is functioning without any restrictions.

But wait a minute, before we can truly open up the lymph channels on forearms, they need to be opened on an armpit and chest. While I do that, I also check the tightness of your pecs (chest muscles) and their opposite forces which would be upper back muscles and shoulder rotatores. That actually means that I need to treat your upper back and spine, before we can concentrate to the forearms and wrists.  If you, like all the rest of us, have a slightly forward leaning posture, we should work on that before we proceed to the arms.

At this point I'll ask you again (it's on the questionnaire) or you just got reminded that you have actually have some discomfort in your low back. So, we'll take a quick look to that and find out that left and right side of hip muscles are kinda imbalanced and left (or right) hamstrings are awfully tight. While I work those hamstrings, I also notice same side lateral tightness in calf and we end up talking about how you broke or sprained your ankle several years ago and since that the one ankle has been looser or tighter or in the wrong position or shins has been aching or something else.

So, we make the treatment plan and start from that imbalance in the ankle and treat the shins, quads and hamstrings the next time. The third session is all about hips and some work on legs to be sure. On the forth session we concentrate to the spine and keep working on the posture in sessions five and six. Then, when you come back for the seventh time, we finally get into that forearm, which actually has already been so much better and numbness has already been dissipating significantly. I will still work with your arms, forearms and wrist for a couple of sessions, since we truly want to get rid of that pain and discomfort for good.

Basically this is my work with you: we'll start from somewhere, but eventually we need to touch every part of your body to make sure that different parts function in sync. Sometimes everything goes this smoothly, but many times I have told my client after the third session that we have reach the point where I'm not sure I can help you. And then I will do that again after the seventh session, if I still feel that I'm not delivering what you expect. This simply means, that treatment is a negotiation where I do my share and you do yours. I will give you my honest opinion and explain what I've accomplished and what leaves me questioning my abilities to help you in your current situation.

There is no guarantee in the bodywork, but as a therapist I will always try to find the underlying cause and you may discontinue the treatment plan whenever you feel like it. That is the way I work! My way in Painless, effective, different and time consuming, but it works. I don't deliver the schemed sessions since I never know what will happen ahead of time. So many times I have told a client that today we will focus your shoulders and then I have spent 60 minutes in the hips. This may seem that I don't know what I'm doing (half of the time I don't actually), but it also means that I have the skills to listen to your body and its needs. That's how we get results.

Welcome to Kata's Way! It's Balanced (whenever I am Balanced) and it's Painless.

That's the simple goal.

Monday, August 5, 2019

How did I get here?

The schools are getting ready to start a new semester, which means that it's time for the new cycle, the beginning of the (school) year. This is the time when I want to buy a new calendar even though my current one is valid until the end of this year. The beginnings have always been important and powerful times for me; I love fresh starts and  creating something new gives me such a joy and feeling of being in a center of things.

This past July has very much felt like a new beginning in my professional career. Here are couple of the reasons for these feelings: first of all, I have got a several new clients in July and that always refreshes my way of thinking. I love the challenge, and resolving some physical issues together with a client just feels extra good! The second thing that comes to my mind, is the fact that I (finally) got over the hump of turning fifty. I know it's just a number, but for some (hormonal) reasons, the past year has been pretty harsh for me. I have been struggling with some imbalances and it took me too long to figure out that not everything can be solved in the physical level. I have been taking care of me, I have been exercising, I have had a somewhat healthy diet and my family is here with me and everybody is ok. Still, I was exhausted, grumpy and in the surviving mode. Finally I decided to do something about it, and accepting hormonal (organic and natural) supplement has helped me to feel like me again!

The third thing that affects my life in every day, is the fact that I am Finnish! That might sound like a no-brainer, but the roots of the identity are pretty deep in me. You know, I am a Finnish teacher and my training for a massage therapist was not just that, it was the Traditional Finnish Way of holistic, therapeutic bodywork and multi-dimensional treatment. Being a Finn is my brand, my identity and my way of living. Back home I didn't ever think about it, but I had my colleagues and my professional networks to think things over. I was a part of the community in which everybody supported each others, and gave feedback or boost whenever you needed. I lost all that when I moved to the States. I re-created myself and my work (which wasn't easy) and I still take a huge proud of everything I have accomplished (like being able to write this post, which yet isn't without mistakes, but I get my message out there pretty easily) in the past 7 years.

That just brought me to the fourth circumstance: I have lived here for SEVEN years. I have already lived one big cycle in this second home of mine. That became very clear this summer when I spent four weeks in Finland being a tourist. Me -  a tourist -  in my own country! Every earlier visit that has felt awful and heartbreaking, like something gnawing slices out of your soul. But all of the sudden in summer 2019, for the first time, that was okay. I was able to give up an outer layer of my identity to make space for something new to emerge. I can be Finnish living in the US and I don't have to give up what I have learned even when I am starting to learn something new. I let go my pretty obnoxious adolescence and dug deeper into my soul. I found myself eager to return back home, to my current life, in the US.

So here I am. I am creating a new community, learning new style and having my life in order. We don't know what future holds, but at the moment I am full of positive energy, ready to conquer my career to the next level. Everything is changing while everything in my core self stays the same. I will be working next 20 years and future will bring us stronger and deeper Kata's Way. Still, that is the best and the most effective treatment that I have (or will) ever learned, because it's all about the Balance. I might have found a momentary balance in my personal life, in my physical body, in my work and all these other circumstances we call Life.

I am going to enjoy this Balance as long as I can. In my work I do sometimes know what I'm doing, but what's more important: when I have no idea what I am doing, my client's own ability to heal takes over! My job is to keep balancing. And taking care of myself. Balanced is Painless and sometimes life is too. Let's enjoy these moments!

Monday, July 1, 2019

Happy Summer!

I am back to Charlotte and back to work. My vacation in Finland was amazing! The weather was perfect, lower 70's with sunshine and I needed my (friend's) umbrella only once. The first week I was wearing my (sister's) wollen socks, but after that: pure joy. Well, and a zillion mosquitos in some places..

I have eaten all the Finnish food I have been craving, most of all fresh strawberries, Karjalanpiirakka (Carelian pastries) and Finnish hot dogs with Finnish mustard. The mustard is important, I don't really like hot dogs, but I do love the smell of burning them on fire. Did I mention mustard? And Beet Salad! Homemade goat cheese! Freshly harvested 'new' potatoes with pickled herring! Fresh pike perch from the lake!

I met so many friends from the different phases of my life and sat in the Saunas. All different kind of Saunas: smoke saunas, wood heated saunas and electrical saunas. Once on a floating sauna with hot tub where jumping to the lake was refreshing! Sometimes alone on my own pace, but most of the time with a bunch of friends, giggles, wine or cider and laughter.

I picked flowers from the ditches and meadows. I enjoyed sunsets and a full moon with a sun. Midsummer up North is always spectacular! The northern nature in June is something to look forward to: green, greener and greenest. I will be posting pictures in my facebook page and Instagram, so make sure you follow me!

I am just happy:

On summer time I usually work 3-4 days a week but will take a couple long weekends to spend some time with my family. I am happy be back home in North Carolina and especially happy to sleep in my own bed.

Text or call to get to my books and remember that this is Kata's Own Way and it's Balanced as well as Painless.