As a registered nurse, I come from a traditional medicine background. After suffering fibromyalgia and a workmen’s comp injury, I was unable to work for three years. My physician referred me to a physical therapist who practiced Craniosacral work. As she worked on me, I realized I could do craniosacral work. At this point, I was declared sixty percent disabled which prevented me from working as an RN. My orthopedist cleared me to enroll in massage therapy classes.
After graduating as a massage therapist, Craniosacral classes commenced. On a plane returning from a Craniosacral class, I realized to become a well-rounded therapist, I needed classes in structural bodywork, movement and Craniosacral work. I noticed an ad in a massage magazine for Aston-Patterning® (this was the only time Judith advertised in the magazine). After the first Aston-Patterning class, I was convinced the work was invaluable. Aston-Patterning offered gentler ways to approach the body, a movement component and self-help strategies. The teaching component resonated with the nurse in me. I completed my Aston-Patterning and Craniosacral certifications in 1996.
In my practice, there are two patients that stand out as examples of how Aston-Patterning changes lives. One is a gentleman who was hospitalized for a year due to an eviscerated bowel. He had mesh for an abdominal wall. Traditional deep tissue was not appropriate. Through Aston-Patterning principles, I was able to affect deeper organs and make him more comfortable. At the end of the session, he was very depressed and had a lot of difficulty standing. I provided him with poles and proceeded with a lesson using GRF to stand. As he stood up effortlessly, his whole demeanor changed, he smiled and his face lit up. He was so excited. Life for him changed in that moment. He was able to participate in life.
My second client was a woman who had neck surgery and suffered nerve damage as a complication. She could barely lift her left arm. We began working on how to support her arm and worked on simple movement lessons (the work was in addition to her physical therapy). Each time I saw her, she was so grateful for the progress she had made. Treatment progressed to Craniosacral work and finally to myofascial work. After five months, she was able to perform activities of daily living with her arm. Without this work, her recovery would have taken much longer.
Aston-Patterning myofascial work and movement concepts allowed me to return to nursing, teaching LVNs, while maintaining my private bodywork practice. Aston-Patterning has become a way of life. I am extremely grateful to Judith for accepting me as a student. The work has changed my life as well as my clients. There is nothing more gratifying than to witness a client getting off the table and experiencing freedom in movement, pain relief and tools to make their life fuller.