Life is an everflowing mystery of constant change and adaptation. My family welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our lives just over two months ago and I have been finding the new balance ever since. Sometimes it's in a nap, sometimes in a snuggle on the couch with the kids or just the cat or my lovely wife. These calm, quiet moments help me to settle into - what is - and feel a litle clearer - what can be?
Massage is like this for many of my clients. Their time spent on the table is a reconnection to themselves, a moment to breathe deeper and focus on the places that truly need the focus. As my practice starts to get busy again after the post-holiday slump, I like to remind folks coming into the clinic to focus on their breath, it is all too easy to forget this life-giving, mind-centering, and heart-calming tool we have.
These days there seems to be a lot of dialogue about negativity, I ask you, urge you, to focus on the beauty, the positive, the love in your life at least twice as much as you allow yourself to focus on the negative. Let us together cultivate beautiful gardens in our hearts and in our yards. Let's cultivate love in our lives. Let's build awareness of the love in our lives!
The Sphenoid Bone
Towards the middle of the skull/cranium there's a sphenoid bone. Go ahead, say it out loud, spheeen-noid. Formed during the fusion of two embryonic vertebrae. A beautiful rendition of form following function. The sphenoid can be touched through the mouth and at the temples. With a subtle touch it may be perceived through the atlanto-occipital joint at the base of the cranium.
Some know it as the dreaming bone. The optic nerve passes through it into the brain as well as numerous others through multiple foramen (holes). The pterygoid muscles in the back of the mouth attach directly to the pterygoid processes of the sphenoid. The sphenoid's base articulates with the occiput, while the temporals, parietals and frontal bone dance with its greater wing at our temples. It also joins the vomer, the maxilla, the palatine, and the zygomatic. It is truly central and connected to nearly every bone in the cranium.
When working with the sphenoid during a cranio sacral session, the main goal is to help achieve balance among its many relations. The health of these relations affects so much activity in the brain. It could be the key to the flying dreams I have when life is flowing like a dream.
Wicket the cat is asleep in front of me. He is twitching, maybe reenacting his epic mouse battle from the night before. I saw that mouse fly.
I suppose history is in order to make the present a bit more contextual. I hail from the middle west of these United States of America. I graduated high school and university in Indiana, although the university route was a bit circular. Studies in fine arts, Earth sciences, policy, humanities. The Herron Schol of Art, then the University of Oregon for Environmental Studies, then back to art school, then on to Indiana University where I got the ticket in arts and humanities, minor in geography. I felt indecisive for awhile.
Fast forward a few years and jobs, and on to Kaua'i, Hawai'i. At the Pacific Center for Awareness and Bodywork I studied Awareness-Oriented Structural Integration, Connective Tissue Bodywork, all the other standard modalities like Swedish and Trigger-Point, Pregnancy, and Polarity therapy. I also began my CranioSacral studies on Kaua'i.
After Kaua'i I moved back to the mainland, to Oregon, and got licensed, began the private practice and flowing oily at Chikara Salon and Spa.
A major thought these days is graduate school, what and where. I love what I do so I don't feel a rush, just a strong compulsion to keep going. The fetus might have something to do with that too. Not the cat though, I doubt he cares at all, he just loves to purr.
May your road be clear and full of rainbows
Justin is a licensed massage therapist who lives in Oregon with his wife, a boy, a little girl, a cat and some chickens.