A Holistic Approach to Pain Recovery Coaching Combining Some or All of the Following:

  • Individual Somatic Therapy
  • Mindfulness Instruction
  • Private Therapeutic Yoga Instruction
  • Group Therapeutic Yoga Classes
  • Groups to Support Desired Life Changes
  • Groups for Managing Stress and Anxiety

Cassandra specializes in helping others, through the application of yoga, somatic psychotherapy, and mindfulness instruction, to create, stimulate, and maintain an optimum state of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. She empowers her clients and students to progress toward greater health and freedom from dis-ease and/or imbalance through a holistic approach to various dysfunctions ranging from back problems to emotionally-based distress and tension. Cassandra’s therapeutic approach is based on an understanding of the human being as an integrated body-mind system, which can function optimally only when there is a state of dynamic balance.

For more information about pain recovery coaching, or to arrange a free consultation, contact Cassandra Field at 303-818-5061 or at cassandra@sanitaswellness.com.

Somatic Psychotherapy

Somatic Psychotherapy is also referred to as Body Psychotherapy. It is an interdisciplinary field of therapeutic approaches to the body, experience and the embodied self. The word somatic comes from the Greek somat meaning body. The word psychology comes from the Ancient Greek psyche meaning breath, soul, mind. The psyche lives in the whole body, not just our heads.

Somatic Psychotherapy is very different from conventional forms of “body-work” or “talk-therapy” in that it involves the potential for working not only verbally but also bodily. It is three-dimensional, multi-faceted and organic in the truest sense of the term. In addition to tracking and trying to understand clients’ verbally related stories, histories and difficulties, Somatic psychotherapists are attuned to their bodily enactments of feeling and meaning.

Somatic psychotherapy may significantly contribute to the pain recovery process for the following reasons:

  • Pain inevitably impacts the psyche. It is often a traumatic and stressful experience, and may trigger frustration, anger, and nervous system activation. The support of somatic psychotherapy helps to alleviate this stress, to increase awareness of the mind/body connection, and to use it as advantageously as possible.
  • Pain is very often aggravated by stress, and sometimes even caused by stress. Somatic psychotherapy helps to address stress from a body-based perspective.
  • If the pain is related to an injury, there may be unresolved trauma from the event and physical patterns of defense that are still engaging and feeding into the ongoing pain. Somatic psychotherapy can address and help to transform these patterns.
  • Sometimes pain can be related to other traumatic events or life circumstances that sensitize the nervous system in a reactive loop of tension and muscular constriction patterns that cause pain. Addressing this through somatic psychotherapy can help to break the cycle.
  • With chronic pain, issues of dependency to pain medication may arise. Somatic psychotherapy helps to address these issues.
  • With chronic pain, sleep issues often arise. Somatic psychotherapy can offer strategies for improving the quantity and quality of sleep;

The Somatic Psychotherapeutic approach looks at the role of the body in the development and expression of psyche. In addition to tracking and trying to understand clients’ verbally related stories, histories and difficulties, Somatic psychotherapists are attuned to their bodily enactments of feeling and meaning.

Thinking is not an abstract function. It includes physical expression and action. The brain is continually receiving information throughout all the senses of the body. Emotion, behavior, sensation, impulse, energy, action, gesture, meaning and language all originate in body experience. Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate the body within the psychotherapeutic process. Somatic Psychotherapy pays attention to all of these different levels of human experience as they emerge within the therapeutic relationship. Understanding “why” we have certain issues or problems is important but that alone is not what creates change. Somatic Psychotherapy focuses on how these issues or problems are occurring within our embodied experience so we can learn “how” to replace the unwanted patterns with empowering embodied experiences that lead to new and more desired actions and behavior.

At any point in time, the mind/body interconnection can create joy through muscle expansion or fear through muscle contraction. If we don’t like the feelings and sensations arising, such as stress, then we may tend to distract ourselves or protect ourselves from them. This may manifest in the form of tightening our chest, shoulders or holding our breath. It can also lead to negative behaviors like alcohol/substance abuse, anger outbursts, depression, and anxiety.

“Over time, working inside the mind/body interconnection can lead to sustainable increases in wellbeing and aliveness. The reason it’s sustainable is because we are actually learning what we are doing in a situation, not just what we are thinking, feeling or experiencing. With that learning we have the opportunity to practice new actions which lead to new and exciting experiences in life.”   -by Donna Molettiere

For more information about somatic psychotherapy, or to arrange a free consultation, contact Cassandra Field at 303-818-5061 or at cassandra@sanitaswellness.com.

Therapeutic Yoga

“Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the philosophy and practice of Yoga.”

“Yoga therapy is a self-empowering process, where the care-seeker, with the help of the Yoga therapist, implements a personalized and evolving Yoga practice, that not only addresses the illness in a multi-dimensional manner, but also aims to alleviate his/her suffering in a progressive, non-invasive and complementary manner.  Depending upon the nature of the illness, Yoga therapy can not only be preventative or curative, but also serve a means to manage the illness, or facilitate healing in the person at all levels.”

TKV Desikachar & Kausthub Desikachar

“Yoga therapy is the adaptation of yoga practices for people with health challenges. Yoga therapists prescribe specific regimens of postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to suit individual needs. Medical research shows that Yoga therapy is among the most effective complementary therapies for several common aliments. The challenges may be an illness, a temporary condition like pregnancy or childbirth, or a chronic condition associated with old age or infirmity.”

Robin Monro, Ph.D. Yoga Biomedical Trust (England)

Cassandra has been teaching yoga since 1997. She received her teacher certification in Seattle WA where she studied many different styles of yoga and developed her unique approach to teaching therapeutic yoga. Teaching yoga is her labor of love! She brings her passion, knowledge, experience, creativity and sense of humor to her individual clients and to her classes. Her approach is gentle, powerful, fun and impactful.

In addition to interweaving therapeutic yoga as an element of pain recovery coaching, Cassandra also offers private therapeutic yoga instruction for people who are recovering from injury or desiring to cultivate a home practice. She also teaches group therapeutic yoga classes through the North Boulder Recreation Center. For more information about the classes go to BoulderParks-Rec.org.

For more information about therapeutic yoga, or to arrange a free consultation, contact Cassandra Field at 303-818-5061 or at cassandra@sanitaswellness.com.

Mindfulness

mind・ful・ness

ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/

noun: mindfulness

  1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
  2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Mindfulness may significantly contribute to the pain recovery process for the following reasons:

  • It develops the capacity to pay attention to other aspects of experience than the pain. Uninterrupted attention to pain tends to increase the quantity of pain-receptor neurons, aggravating the experience of pain. Paying attention as well to positive sensation alleviates this phenomenon, and enables the person to be more available for enjoying positive aspects of experience during the recovery process.
  • It develops the capacity to remain in a calm, and even somewhat detached, state while experiencing pain. This in turn helps the person to be both more patient and more thoughtful in developing short and long-term strategies for recovery.

“Mindfulness

One of the best definitions of mindfulness comes from Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Kabat-Zinn said that mindfulness is “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.

Trying to understand mindfulness by its definition is like trying to understand what it is like to fall in love by reading a textbook. You might get a general idea, but you’d be missing out on the best part: what it actually feels like. Mindfulness is all about experience, about the actual aliveness, of each moment. You learn to pay attention on purpose, in the present moment, not because someone said that it would be a good thing to do, but because that is where you find your life.

Practicing Aliveness

Mindfulness, and the meditation-based practices that are used to cultivate it, are a way to reconnect with what is most vital and alive in our experience. It is a way to fully experience ourselves and our world. When we do this we find that there is a lot to appreciate in this life. Stress seems like less of a big deal compared to what we already have.”

By Michael Baime, MD-Dr. Baime creates and teaches innovative mindfulness-based programs at the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information about mindfulness, or to arrange a free consultation, contact Cassandra Field at 303-818-5061 or at cassandra@sanitaswellness.com.