On August 27, 2012 I was out mountain biking on a beautiful evening in Lyons, Colorado. I hit something I did not see and crashed on my head onto solid rock. I fractured five vertebrae in my neck, C3 through C7, and almost completely severed my spinal cord at the level of C5. This injury has left me as a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down, with limited arm function, and confined to a power wheelchair.
With great persistence and the amazing support of family and friends, and many others who have shown up in many ways, I have survived this crazy path of life that has unfolded for me. The saying, "it takes a village" has certainly found a wholnew level of meaning to me.
This injury combined with some pretty significant health issues previous to this injury have certainly made life nearly unbearable at times. Yet there are still times when I feel blessed and I am able to see the beauty.
Although on a very limited basis, I am still practising the manual therapy--hands-on bodywork--that I have been sharing with others for over 20 years. I am having to find some new ways of doing some things, but amazingly, I am often getting very good results with clients. Most of the work I do is from the osteopathic tradition: craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation, nerve and vascular manipulation and more.
I am also at the beginning of a very comprehensive program for healing, especially my digestive system. At the moment I think I am really getting to the root of many of my health issues. Since I have been working with some of these health issues for so long, I think there is great potential for me to be a resource to heal chronic health issues of many types.
There are so many times I feel like just giving up, yet that doesn't seem to be an option for me. I am stubborn as hell and I am a survivor. I have had too many chances to die and I haven't. I am taking that as a sign that there is a reason I am still here. I am on a journey, like all of us on this planet. My journey has certainly taken a big turn, and it is unfolding and revealing itself. If you would like to be a part of my journey, in a big way or a small way, I am happy to have you along for the ride!
I continue to search for meaning and purpose and healing.
I continue to search for ways to be of service to others.
I was born in 1964 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. I lived in Fords, New Jersey until I was eight years old, when we moved to Maine. I grew up in a small town called Oakland, and I went to Messalonskee high school and graduated in 1982. I went to the University of Maine in Orono, where I studied electrical engineering and received my BS EE in 1987. After my sophomore year in college I was selected for an internship position with Eastman Kodak. I worked four semesters for Kodak as a co-op student, and hired on full-time in 1987. I spent five years working as a research engineer for Kodak in Rochester, New York.
During my time in Rochester, I started having low back problems and health issues, especially with my digestive system, which drew me into exploring complementary healing modalities. A chiropractor helped me get out of my first low back strain, while my current medical doctor was willing to throw pain meds and muscle relaxers at me, but would not give me a referral to see a chiropractor because he thought they were all quacks. That experience got me really angry and propelled me into exploring other options. Along the way I found out about Rolfing structural integration. It is a type of hands-on soft tissue structural bodywork. After two sessions of that work I knew I found the work I wanted to pursue. A couple of years later I was in Boulder starting my training in that work.
In 1992 I moved from Rochester to Boulder to complete my training in Rolfing. I definitely found love with the beautiful mountains and land and the availability of alternative medicine and spirituality practice. Since the Rolfing school is in Boulder, and Boulder is a pretty awesome place to live, there were a lot of Rolfers practising here. So, in the summer of 1994, I decided to set up shop in Fort Collins, an hour north of Boulder. There were only two Rolfers there, so a lot less competition; one of my best buds, Mark Johnson, was going to be moving there shortly; and another Rochester friend was already living there.
Initially I really struggled getting my practice started. I'm not the greatest business planner. But I totally believed in my work, so I just kept putting myself out there and slowly started building my practice. In 1997 I hooked up with a chiropractor in Fort Collins and my practice quickly blossomed.
In 2002 I took a visceral manipulation class with a French osteopath named Didier Prat. That work opened up a huge door into a whole new avenue of bodywork for me: organs and their support tissues. It turns out there is an amazing intelligence in the body that will protect organs over the musculoskeletal system. For example, if you are right side of your liver is under strain because of a car accident, the body may go into a right side bending to take strain out of the liver… Better to have mid back pain than a liver that can’t fully do his job. The wonderful thing about this kind of work is that you must work gently on the organs, which is both easier on my client and easier on me and the results are more profound and lasting!
Within a very short period of time The quality of my work had improved immensely! And I soon developed a reputation for being able to help clients that other practitioners were not able to help with. In time, the work expanded to working with the blood vessels and nerves and the bones and the head and it’s contents and The interconnections of all of those aspects. It is truly beautiful work! And I feel so grateful to Dr. Jean-Pierre Barral, the major creator of most of this work, for having such powerful healing tools to share with others.
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