Somatic Educational Leadership

September 8th, 2015

Developing Mastery for the Classroom and Beyond


Designed and led by Carey Smith, Somatic Educational Leadership is a six-day course for graduates of The Spirit of Learning® or those at a similar level of professional development. Here is a description from Carey of the three primary components of the course:

carey-teaching-triptychSomatics is the study of the fundamental wholeness and unity of being human; a three-dimensional body with thoughts, feelings, sensations, impulses, intuitions, inspirations, ethics, values, ancestral lineages, longings, imagination, future vision – all held within the context of a dynamic, mysterious and evolutionary process called living. It is present-centered felt experience.

Somatic practice is the act of bringing attention, awareness, and dedication to repeatable actions designed to reveal and generate: 1) meaning; 2) a commitment to what matters; and 3) the capacity to bring what matters into form. Somatic practices build the capacity to make clear decisions, create community, open to divine inspiration, change habits, set a new course, and take meaningful action in the world.

Education, from the Latin educare, means to “lead out from within”. In its origin, education is the expression of an immense inner wisdom that can take in, sort, refine and direct information in order to use it for the enrichment and advancement of the self and others. As educators, therapists, healthcare providers, leaders… what kind of learning opportunities do we want to create so that our students and clients develop the capacity to be self-educating, self-healing and self-generating? In other words, what happens if our students and clients begin to trust themselves, begin to know their value, and live from a place of dignity in community with others on this beautiful planet?

Leadership is how we partner with ourselves and others to produce a particular outcome, fulfill commitments, translate ideas into actions, and manifest mission as an expression of identity and integrity. It is the path of guiding and directing attention, awareness and action toward an agreed upon goal or destination. This sincere pursuit serves as a catalyst to motivate and mobilize both internal and external resources and other people. In order to be an effective somatic educational leader, we must first and foremost learn how to educate ourselves to lead a congruent inner and outer life.

Click here for the course description page  |  Click here to register

Kinessage® – Bring More Movement to your Massage Practice

September 2nd, 2015

Movement and Massage – What’s Your Movement Quotient?
by Kathleen Gramzay, LMT and founder of Kinessage®

gramzay_kathleenDo you serve clients with sedentary jobs or lifestyles? If so, you are probably familiar with the toll inactivity or long hours of repetitive tasks takes on their bodies. Or, maybe you work with athletes contending with chronic injury from repetitive use. After you have cleared their pain and restrictions, perhaps you recommend they add movement or stretching into their day to help mitigate the side effects of their daily patterns.

Movement is inherent in massage and a fundamental aspect of how it effects change in the body. For example, rocking sedates the nervous system and eases a nervous first-time client, effleurage increases venous and lymphatic circulation, percussion stimulates or sedates muscle tone or the nervous system.

In focusing upon what is most beneficial for a client’s body, it can be easy to forget about the other body in the room. Like your client’s sedentary postures or repetitive use, static massage postures can lead not only to congestion and pain in your own tissue, but to a weary mental perspective at the end of a long day or week. It is not news that stationary standing or sitting, or working in odd positions is as detrimental to you as your client’s habitual patterns are to them.

Test your own “movement quotient” by answering the following:

  • When standing during a session, what percentage do you estimate you are standing still, neither moving from your feet or hips?
  • When sitting, what percentage do you estimate you are sitting still, only moving from your arms or hands?

Are you surprised by your answers? Could you use less idleness and more movement?

Try these tips to create more energy, improve your circulation, and make your work easier and more fun:

  • Re-ignite your massage “dance” groove. When standing, consciously move more from your feet allowing the fluidity to translate through your body and through your client.
  • Do seated work on an exercise ball. This will add a whole new dimension of movement to your work. Rolling on a height-appropriate and correctly inflated ball, and translating that energy from your feet, through you and your client, creates greater ease for you and a soothing, effective treatment for them. (Stretching out your low back on it is an added bonus.)


If it is time to shake up your massage, learning how to use movement effectively can add fun, energy and a whole new skill level to your practice. That’s why I developed Kinessage®.

It’s a kind and effective method designed to be easier on you while being more kind and effective for your clients. I invite you to register today for the upcoming Kinessage® workshop at BTI on October 22-23. You’ll learn essential self-care techniques using movement, and you’ll get an introduction to the use of physics, the kinetic chain and myofascial release to save your body and energy while becoming a more successful therapist.

Kathleen Gramzay, LMT is the founder of Kinessage® Massage Through Movement and Kinessage® Self Care for Therapists. She’s based in Scottsdale, Arizona and teaches throughout the country.