Monday, January 11, 2021

Welcome 2021!

 What a year it has been! 

If I am thinking back I feel like nothing fun or interesting happened 2020, but when I scroll down my Instagram feed, I remember so many good things! Please, do the same.

In January and February I still went to theatres for great shows and concerts. In the beginning of February the trees were in full bloom anticipating a great spring and I was volunteering with immigrants. I miss that! I also got flocked with these hilarious flamingos on my front yard by Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and got to trouble with our HOA... not the first time. 

My sister was visiting us and we made trips to museums and even Atlanta right before the covid19 stay at home hit. Luckily she was able to get home without trouble and I got bored with stay at home order in March and April. But, I did a lot of studying and even a couple of videos about how to move yourself. Check my Instagram!

I also hope that you have made your acquaintance to my dear owl Harry. His wife,  by the way, is called Meagan, and they both live in the area between my house and Blakeney Shopping Center. I was able to catch a great pics of them this summer. 

In summer I was allowed to get back to work, so I still haven't finished all the great, and thick, books that are waiting to be studied... but I did study a lot of Ortho-Bionomy and hopefully will finish my first step - associate degree - this year. Changing your way of living, eating (duh!) or working seems to be pretty tricky: I tend to slip back to my old habits all the time.

I obviously haven't been traveling this year a lot, but I have truly enjoyed taking a few trips to Asheville, Wilmington, Kure Beach and even to Savannah. Mainly to have some alone time; the ways of Finnish introverts are peculiar. I seem to need to spend time in isolation with my computer to do some writing. And computer it has been: in August I got a second job as a Finnish teacher which has been wonderful! That's where I come from and my soul is happy to be teaching - and using - my mother tongue. And I will keep teaching as much in the beginning of 2021. 

One big step was also the ability to donate blood: the restriction around mad cow disease was lifted and I am officially a Red Cross Donor! That makes me feel like I can do something to help in this many ways helpless state of pandemic. 

We all struggle a bit at the moment, right. My way of keeping myself sane and running is the Nature. I am so happy to have been able to enjoy the miracles of trees, roots, ocean, mountains, deer, owl, waves, flowers, changing colors and sparkling blooms here in North-Carolina. We have a beautiful Mother Earth to comfort us and give us strength. Go out and enjoy! Hopefully with a cup of coffee. 

2021 has had a good start and for me it will a bit more teaching and somewhat less working with bodies. Make sure to make your appointment ahead, my working hours are Mondays 10-4, Wednesdays 9-6 and Thursdays 10-4. Pricing will remain the same as 2020. 

My motto for 2021 is Don't Push, Let It Flow!

Welcome to Kata's Way, where Balanced is Painless. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

I am still here!

 We are getting to the end of this pretty interesting year. I feel incredibly lucky and blessed because I, and my family, am well and in good spirits. I won't take it for granted. 

I have been able to work pretty much through the whole year and so has my husband; again this is not granted in these circumstances. I have enhanced strict cleaning and disinfecting routines and so far I think it has helped me to stay free of the covid19. But there is never a certainty! I have been tested only once during the year, in the beginning of November, and got a negative test result. I am doing everything I can to keep the things the way they are. Here're my current protocols:

- I have at least 30 mins between clients so I have time to disinfect the surfaces, face rest and the bathroom between client

-I wash the sheets, towels, face rests and blankets after each and every use

-I disinfect doorknobs between clients

-I only see clients that I know; NOT TAKING NEW CLIENTS at the moment

-I allow even 1 hour cancellation policy if my clients get any symptoms

-I wear a mask all the time

-I check my temperature daily and isolate myself if I have any doubt or have met more that 10 people at the same time

-I do NOT normally visit anywhere else than grocery store, postal office or drive through coffee houses. 

If you know me, you also know that avoiding coffee houses is definitely the hardest thing for me. But I have been strong!

All the above means that I am seeing less clients than normal, but don't worry, I am also teaching more Finnish. That means that I have made commitments to keep teaching on 2021. Which means that most weeks I am available for massaging only 3 days a week.  And that means restricted hours for you. Please look ahead and make your appointments early if possible. 

My goals for 2021 are to stay healthy, keep working and reach the first step of credentials in Ortho-Bionomy. I appreciate each and everyone of you, especially at these times of unknown.

Let's stay focused and balanced: balanced in painless and that is Kata's Way.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Covid-diary: July

Oh my, what a summer this has been! I have been trying to gather my thoughts and allow some guidance about the future to come up. This summer with covid-19 hanging above our heads has been exhausting, so that a couple times I have been thinking about taking a real break and finding another job. Really, I am also a teacher, so in the beginning of  'this era of uncertainty' I took and passed an exam to teach English as a Second Language. 

But here I am, still seeing clients, and that is only because I love my clients, and YOU ALL bring me so much strength and lighten up my workdays! Thank you for that. Still, I have been struggling with my inner momentum and I feel like I have lost the inner knowing of when to push and when to let be. Those of you who know me, also know that I strongly tend to push forward whenever I feel even a little bit uncertain. 

And there is no adamantly pushing  forward when we have a worldwide health crisis on our hands! Every time I open my door to a client, I also crack open my (and my family's) safety and chance to get the virus to sneak in. I am very aware that this virus will not kill us all, and in some ways we should be more worried about the coming flu-season, which might be fierce since we all have been isolating ourselves for such a long time; but in the business of touching people, the spreading is the biggest enemy. I don't know how I would handle the situation, if it came to the reality that I have been spreading this virus among my clients. I am grateful to have stayed pretty much untouchable by it so far, but that could change any time. Literally: any time.

In the past few weeks I needed to cancel a bunch of my commitments because of my health issues. At some point I developed almost all the covid symptoms in my head (I kept smelling my coffee about 70 times a day to make sure that I can still smell, and I think that was the only thing that kept me sane), but 'fortunately' the reason of my feeling so ill, ended up being  my front tooth. Yes, you read it right, one probably infected tooth made me crazy, so that I frenzied around my house thinking my last will and testament. 

The anxiety was what made me jump over my head, and I accumulated a symptom after another. When I finally managed to make an appointment with my dentist (I really did not want to bother her in this time), I spent a sleepless night making up scenarios about the first woman that has been killed by the version of covid that ate up her brain (you see, straight root canal to the amygdala). After the (first) dental appointment I felt 2 things: 1. that I just survived from a near death experience, and 2. all my covid-related symptoms had disappeared. Just like that. 

This tooth has been bothering me quite some time, and we still don't really know if there is anything wrong with it. (It has had a root canal, it has a crown, it has been bite-adjusted like 10.000 time and I do have a night guard to keep it safe.) So why all of the sudden the things evolved out of my reach? I simply got too anxious, my mind was not able to understand and make peace with the current situation and because I am too stubborn to read between the lines, the pain attacked to my weakest spot. I have been giving, caring and releasing my clients anxieties all the while forgetting the amount of self-care this situation needs. And I have never been taking more care of me than this summer; it just wasn't enough. 

To emphasize the importance of my teeth's wisdom, I will also tell you that the worst time with my teeth I had right before we moved to the States, like a week before the flight I urgently needed a new bridge (to replace one we had built like 6 months ago)... or the fact that when I am scheduled to have a 2 hour crown procedure, it normally takes 4,5 hours. The assistants in my dental office have learned to ask to schedule me as the first client in the morning, because they don't like staying after hours. So, I am pretty humble in front of my teeth and deeply grateful to my awesome dental crew!

At the moment I don't know what to think about the fall that's coming pretty soon. Should I pre-screen my clients, have everybody sign an extra waiver, make my clients wear a masks at all times in my house? I don't know. I personally don't feel threatened, but I can now see and feel how the big picture affects us all. I am not immune to the big scare (of uncertainty, financial threat, political atmosphere) and I am willing to serve my clients, but not in cost of my own health! I simply don't understand how the front line workers are managing, AND I also want to be there to support them with my skills when the time to unravel all this comes. 

I am taking some time off next week, and will schedule at least one week off each month until the end of the year. Make sure to schedule ahead of time, since I can not guarantee all of your regular spots. I am also planning something new for 2021 even if my studies probably won't be in the phase I wanted them to be by that time. My work is evolving, my practice is changing and I am my first priority. I love my work, but that can not be the reason to neglect my own health. I give up now: I can't do it all, I don't need to do it all and I refuse to do it all. Please remember that this is Kata's Way and in my way Balanced is Good, because Balanced in Painless. 

P.S. If you are interested in what happened to my tooth, I can tell you that it needed an acupuncture session to calm down the nerve and the channel. I have no idea how it worked, but 2 hours after my session I felt the huge weight lifting from my shoulders and the pain in the tooth shifted. It is still a bit painful, but this pain is reconstructive, not threatening and invasive any more. It will be fine. 

Here; ask them more if you need an excellent care: Art of Acupuncture 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Post Covid-19 Diary

We are definitely not over covid-19 yet, but I wanted to tell you where I am at the moment, since I am allowed to go back to work with clients who have medical massage referral from their medical or naturopathic provider.

What is changing? 

I have always disinfected my room, all the door handles and guest bathroom several times a week, but now I will be doing it after each and every client. I will be spacing out my clients, so that nobody will ever meet anybody else in my house. I will also greet you at the door so, that any guest will touch as few surfaces as possible during their visit. I will also have disinfection wipes and clean towel for you in the bathroom and hand sanitizer for everybody to use.

I do not require using gloves or facemask, but feel free to use them if you wish. I will put my mask on when I will be touching your upper body or head, but I won't be covered all the time. I will NOT be using gloves when I touch you, but will wash and disinfect my hands several times an hour.

I will cancel, and I require you to do the same, if I get any flu or cold symptoms, and that might happen even in the same day. So same day cancellations will be okay until the end of the year.

With all that I am certain that we will be safe and comfortable to start working with your pains and aches again.

I also want to emphasize that the time off have had a deep impact in me and my work! I have deepend my listening skills, learned new relaxation techniques and changed my understanding about psoas major (and other hip flexors) muscle quite a bit. This will also change my work, which is an evolving learning process. The more I learn, the more I believe that it is not what I can do for my clients, but what and how the client can help themselves in guiding the body towards more ease and comfort! My body is changing, your body is changing, so what worked last year, maybe won't help anymore.

I am deepening my listening skills and learning to be quiet. I will demand you to do so too, since my goal is Balance, because Balanced is Painless. Balance of the mind, body, myself and my willingness to help you depends on how much you are willing to help yourself. I am in the right path and that is Kata's Way. I welcome You back whenever you are ready, but don't expect things to be the same.

P.S. I had such a good results with Zoom-sessions that I will be continuing those! 60 mins and $30 one-on-one Zoom-treament is a valid option if you wish to meet me between the real treatments, or if you are hesitant to leave your house.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Covid-19 Diary / How can I grow into this?

We are all overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted in April 2020. We have this new non-normal called corona-virus surrounding our lives from every perspective, and we are forced to isolate ourselves from many things. Most of all, we need to isolate ourselves from our friends, daily routines and activities that require any kind of contact with other people. Touching won't be allowed for, at least, few more weeks.

And touching is my work.

I have been trying to give myself a lot of space to be able to feel where I am. How can I live my life in this limbo which doesn't have an ending date. What am I doing with my life? I certainly haven't been able to do what I love the most, and surprisingly, I have not been able to do what I love the second best: writing. 4 weeks ago (I saw my last clients May 14th) I had very clear picture in my mind, that included a lods of blogging, self-journaling and completed exercises for my creative writing class. Now that I'd have the time! None of those has happened. None!

Instead I have immersed myself in a lot of studying, starting from Spanish and US Governmental system (yeah, I might consider that naturalization process after all), relearning gastro-intestinal system and ending up to deepening my psychological understanding. I have also been immersing myself into Ortho-Bionomy through several web gatherings that includes self-reflection, support and deepening the various ways of treating my clients. So where all that takes me?

I have decided that I will come out from this crisis with more resilience and positivity towards myself. I want to keep helping my clients the best I can, and as my top 3 character strengths are love of learning, curiosity and creativity, I will use those strengths to evolve and overcome some of the less strong characteristics I tend to describe myself. I struggle with gratitude and appreciation of what I have, and most of all: self-regulation. The lack of self-regulation in my life does not look like too little training or unhealthy eating, it shows like doing too much, pushing too far and making excuses about self-healing.

This definitely is not a new revelation, but something I have been struggling all my life, but I feel like I have found a refreshing way of working with it. Being compassionate toward yourself is not something you either have or don't have. Compassion is something you can learn as a process, as a constant reminder throughout your days, like a muscle I have been ignoring, but am now reviving and strengthening. This definitely sounds like my language: I can strengthen my compassion muscle!

How do I do this? I simply use 3 times 3 exercising every day. I will think 3 positive thoughts about myself every day. Some days I do this more often than the others, but my goal is to catch whenever my thinking starts leaning towards 'oh well, I just have this neck ache, what I can do', and start finding out what I CAN DO about it. That actually is the second step: do 3 good things to yourself every day! (And of course my first good deed will always be that empht cup pf coffee.)

That sounds simple, right? But it isn't. I need to do 3 good things that nurture my body, my mind and also my emotions every day. Yes, I am damn good about treating my body with the ways I enjoy, but as I keep nagging to my clients, we need to re-educate our body (and the mind and the spirit) to do things that don't feel so natural at that moment. My weaknesses from this perspective are lack of aerobic exercising, mindfulness and something that I call STILLNESS.

I need to talk about stillness a bit more. It is a very strong principle in Ortho-Bionomy, maybe even the most important, and definitely the one that I have strong feelings about. I have used so many years of my life to learn how to do, how to stretch, how to push or pull and how to be a tool to a change in the body. If you think it, that is the whole western culture's point of view and that is definitely how we have achieved almost everything we actually have achieved. That is amazing. I am so thankful.

But. If we look at this from a perspective of HEALING, the picture becomes somewhat different. Healing the body is not something I (or anybody else for that matter) can do. Healing is a process of your body, mind and spirit. We don't know what is the whole complexity of the process of healing, but we do know that each individual body (with mind and spirit) has a huge capability of doing so. Ortho-Bionomy teaches me how to be a facilitator of that healing. Which brings me back to stillness.

When I touch you, I need to listen what your body is telling me, and let some kind of reaction to happen. For that (and for everything to grow) I need stillness, because that pause is actually a beginning of a conversation. If I can't pause myself, how can I help you to do so?

I have given some thought to the lack of stillness in my life. Yes, I tend to be pretty active person and that is definitely okay, I am not going to try and change that. But when I have a moment, I need to stop and be still. I need to feel what I feel. I need to let myself recognize my emotions, name them and let them go (there is a tool to do that too). If I do that three times a day to STRENGTHEN my 'emotional muscles', I will learn to do so with ease and compassion toward myself.  That will tremendously help me to be in stillness with my clients with  ease, and save my precious vitality. To keep working, to keep learning.

The growth is a mindset! The strength lies in a balance of our life's components: working, learning, making a living, seeing friends, spending time with a family and being alone. Laughing. Positivity is a tool I have chosen to help me with my life, and I am appreciating this long pause in my work, because it has forced me to dig in deeper to what makes my life more balanced. And as you know, that's what Kata's Way is all about: Balanced is Painless, and so is Kata's Way.

I acknowledge this discomfort in my life, because life is a journey. I am growing. I keep nurturing my spirit with some exercising, some stretching, some unhealthy eating, some stillness, some dancing, some shaking, some studying, some boredness, some excitement, lods of coffee and stillness. To be able to be.

In hopes of seeing you soon!

P.S. Zoom-classes/treatments are still available, text to set your time.

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.