Kristen Stephen working on a client

Benefits of Integrative Manual Therapy:

Integrative manual therapy has many associated benefits - physical, mental and emotional. 

Physical Benefits:

In terms of physical, integrative manual therapy is very effective for reducing or eliminating situational discomfort. The way I approach the work is in terms of listening to my client and their nervous system, to create a sense of safety, where the body feels comfortable relaxing and releasing holding patterns. 

I've seen great success working with prenatal and postpartum clients; runners with hip and knee pain; clients with stress-related tension and work-related discomfort; and clients experiencing numbness from impacted nerves.

Chronic or persistent pain is a bit more challenging, however. Pain does not always have a physical root, and I've found through my practice, that a lot of (though not all) chronic pain runs deeper than the physical. See my article on the science behind pain, here.

Mental Benefits:

My goal in each session is to convey a sense of safety, both to you and your nervous system. Sessions are held in my office, at the Alpine Botanicals Apothecary in Nederland, where I've created a comforting and relaxing environment. The way I approach manual therapy is with the goal of relaxing your nervous system, which has a definite effect on your mind.

Emotional Benefits:

Unprocessed traumatic experiences can become stored in our body. And by trauma, I mean any experience we go through that overwhelms us - this can be as seemingly insignificant as a small car accident (I've written an article on a new way to define trauma here). I myself (as the client) have experienced some pretty powerful emotional releases during bodywork sessions and I've had several clients of mine experience the same. Often times, these releases are not attached to any specific memories, so it's not as if my clients are reliving their traumas, it's more that they're releasing the past stress that was stored in their body, without the attached story.

This doesn't happen with every client, however, and I believe from experience, that the only clients who have emotional releases, are those who are open to and prepared for that release.