After being severely injured as a landscape laborer in 1979 and spending several years relying on pain medication, I sought out alternative medicine.
My primary doctor referred me to a doctor specializing in alternative modality referrals instead of pills.
Within two weeks of treatment in Cathy Amber’s physical therapy program, I walked away without pain.
This treatment planted the seeds within me that there is hope for a person who suffers with pain.
Those seeds germinated in 1985 when I was asked to be an on-going patient model for Rolfing classes at Meadowood Resort Hotel and Conference Center, St. Helena, CA.
Mark Begins His Studies in the Healing Arts
I experienced firsthand the powerful healing relationship between emotional release and physical bodywork, inspiring me to take a 100-hour deep tissue class at Meadowood, while establishing my own landscape business by 1989.
My next formal venture into the healing arts was 2003 to 2005, when I attended the Acupressure Institute’s program in Berkeley, CA. Opening my eyes to other possibilities, I did volunteer acupressure sessions for pain management clients, through Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. I also volunteered for seven months at Misha Cohen’s Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine Acupuncture Clinic in San Francisco, removing 17 needles every 15 minutes!
Next stop on my quest to unravel the mysteries of pain was my pursuit of certification at the National Holistic Institute’s Professional Massage and Health Education Program, from which I graduated in 2007.
For almost three years, I had been working at Massage Envy to hone my skills, and won regional Northern California Massage Therapist of the Year in 2007.
My skills continued to improve through ongoing study: Deep Tissue materials by Art Riggs, Certified Rolfer, and classes taught by James Waslaski, Orthopedic Massage Therapist specializing in chronic pain.
I soon found Dr.Erik Dalton, Myoskeletal Alignment originator, fell in love with his work, and started to see vast improvements in my clients.
Seeing clients improve sparked my interest in completing Dalton’s 210-hour program on Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques (a form of massage derived from Rolfing and Osteopathy).
These tools have all been valuable in the assessment and treatment of chronic pain patterns. Being inspired by clients’ progress has motivated me to accumulate over 1500 hours of educational training, and in 2017, I earned board certification from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Seeing my clients’ improvements continues to be my inspiration!