WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM MY FIRST SESSION?
We will review your paperwork (health history, lifestyle/habits, and goals), and talk about what brings you to Soma. Since we work both on and off the table, I ask clients to wear comfortable underwear (or shorts/swimsuit).
Before and after each session I do a visual body reading to assess structural shifts, twists, or imbalances, along with a brief guided exercise to help you feel what is happening in your body (we call this "interoception", or somatic awareness). At your first session (and at the end of the series if you continue), we also take before and after photos (not required), so we can observe shifts in your body over time. Then we do a hands-on bodywork session, and end with a short guided movement exercise or awareness practice relating to the session work or your areas of concern.
DOES SOMA HURT?
The short answer is yes and no. Pain is never my intention and with most clients, I end up guiding them to the realization that harder is not always better, as many of us have been trained to believe, especially about "deep tissue" massage. In fact, the longer I practice, the more power I find in the subtle work. The body is actually quite a sensitive and finely tuned machine, if you know how to listen. If you want someone to dig their entire bodyweight into your muscles through their elbow while you zone out and hold your breath from the intensity, I am not the practitioner for you!
That said, of course sometimes the pressure can be uncomfortable in places where there is pain, inflammation, fascial adhesions, or nerve sensitivity. But my goal is to meet your body at the edge of what is comfortable and go from there. If you can't breathe through the sensation normally, without clenching your fingers or toes or eyes, then it's too deep to be productive. As you slow down and listen to your body, you will begin to learn the difference between intensity, pressure, unproductive pain (that causes stress), and productive pain (that provides release).
WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE, ISSUES, OR CONDITIONS CAN SOMA HELP WITH?
I truly believe all people can benefit from bodywork like Soma. I help athletes, performers, and first responders reduce physical tension, increase mobility and range of motion, and improve performance. I help moms destress, reconnect to themselves, and release scar tissue and pelvic pain. I help teenagers resolve tension headaches and neck pain, and begin to cultivate confidence in their bodies. I help weekend warriors with desk jobs combat their forward shoulders, head posture, and hip tension so they can enjoy the activities they love.
I also endeavor to make this work and my practice accessible to as many people as possible. This includes considerations around supporting clients of all shapes and sizes, those with mobility devices or challenges, those with vision or hearing limitations, those who identify as neurodiverse or nonbinary, and those who need sliding scale pricing. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions about this or if there's anything else I can do to make Soma comfortable and available to you.
I have worked with clients with sciatica, neck tension, Lyme disease, TBI, cancer, scar tissue from injury/surgery/C-section, migraines, arthritis, TMJ, asthma, plantar fasciitis, autoimmune disorders, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, trauma and nervous system dysregulation (digestive issues, anxiety/depression, food sensitivities, skin issues, chronic pain, fatigue, frequent illness), and more.
WHAT IS FASCIA AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Fascia is a web of fibrous connective tissue that weaves under, over, through, between, and around everything else in your body, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, organs, bones, and cells. It is made up of collagen and elastin, providing structure and support, offering protection and stability, allowing for friction-free movement, and transmitting information.
Imagine the pith of an orange, coating the inside of the peel with a thick protective layer, then spreading between and each segment. Or an unraveling sweater: pull one thread and the whole structure changes. Our fascia is constantly layering to support what we do with our bodies. If we spend a lot of time running and jumping, it will make us better at that. If we spend a lot of time sitting, it makes us really good sitters. After periods of inactivity, injury, or due to daily movement patterns, we develop "adhesions", where the fascia gets stuck to itself, or to bones, organs, or muscles. Much of Soma's intention is to clear out these cobwebs and allow everything to move freely again.
For a long time, fascia was scraped out and discarded during medical procedures and dissections, as it was thought to be unimportant and useless. Now we are just beginning to scratch the surface of all it does to support our bodies.
WHAT ARE YOUR COVID POLICIES AND PRECAUTIONS?
I worked throughout the pandemic and am have kept my policies up to date following state and federal guidelines.
Outside of COVID, Soma already employs thorough sanitizing procedures and all shared surfaces are cleaned between clients
I use an air purifier with HEPA filter before, during, and after every session
Anyone exhibiting COVID, cold, or flu symptoms will be asked to reschedule - this is for everyone's safety as it is usually counterproductive to receive bodywork even if you just have a cold
Masking is optional but I am happy to wear one upon request based on your comfort level
CAN I USE INSURANCE? WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
Unfortunately, I do not take insurance. I can, however, provide you with a superbill (receipt) which you can submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement. Many policies will cover all or part of each session. Check with your provider to determine your massage therapy coverage, and you are welcome to request a superbill at any time.
I currently accept payment in advance or at the time of service via cash, check, Zelle, or Venmo (@katiewoodsoma).