Joan Bender, MA, LMHC, HC, BCST
I utilize health coaching, Reiki, biodynamic craniosacral therapy and guided imagery to help people manage physical and emotional pain, so they can feel their best. There was a time when I experienced chronic pain myself. Pain and fatigue had become such a part of my daily life that it was hard to imagine anything different. Making small lifestyle changes, as well as incorporating self care techniques and alternative health care practices created a significant impact on how I was feeling. Today, I can say I am a pain survivor. Pain comes to visit from time to time, but I have tools to manage it, and it no longer rules my life.
I started out my career as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and have expanded into the wellness field as a Certified Health Coach, Certified Reiki and Certified Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist. As a health coach, I believe that healthy is different for everyone. My first job as a health coach is to listen to and hear your story and struggles. Then I work with you to find the foods that nourish and energize you. I also provide information regarding inflammatory foods and anit-inflammatory foods so that you can make good, healthy choices for yourself.
The energy work that I do incorporates Reiki and biodynamic craniosacral therapy. These modalities use light, gentle touch to relax muscles, and allow energy to flow more freely. Reiki means “universal life energy” and comes from the Japanese rei which means universal and ki which means life force or energy. The practice is based on the teachings of Mikao Usui who studied healing in Tibet, and practiced healing methods in Japan in the early twentieth century. My study of Reiki began in 2006 and I am a Certified Level II Practitioner. When one’s ki or energy is disrupted, the body becomes out of balance and sickness can develop. As a Reiki Practitioner I work with one’s energy to correct this imbalance by placing my hands over or lightly on the body of the person receiving the treatment. I follow a sequence of hand positions along the head, torso, knees and feet, and may scan the body to feel for energy blockages. The receiver usually experiences a deep sense of calm and relaxation. People say that my hands feel like a heating pad, and that their pain eases, and energy seems to flow better through the area of concern. Many also report a decreased sense of anxiety.
I am a graduate of Turtleback Craniosacral Education and have been practicing Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) since 2013. BCST taps into the body’s subtle rhythms including a motion called the cranial wave. This wave comes from the movement of cerebral spinal fluid through the space around the brain and the spinal cord. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapists are trained to feel this wave as it moves through the body’s tissues. Like Reiki, BCST can be subtle yet powerful in it’s effects. BCST can promote healing on many levels and results are different for everyone. When we have pain, we hold stress and tension in our muscles, and they pull on our spine and cranial bones. This can inhibit the flow of energy and cerebral spinal fluid. When muscles and the nervous system relax, energy can flow more easily. This can lead to a host of positive effects including a decrease in pain, clarity of thinking, and increased energy to name a few. Following a session, many people report a sense of deep relaxation, a reduction in pain and anxiety, improved sleep and digestion, and a greater sense of overall wellbeing. BCST is not massage and no muscles, bones or joints are manipulated. This can be comforting for people who are sensitive to touch and pain.
I’ve worked with people who have arthritis, migraines, tempero mandibular joint disorder, sinus pain, sports injuries, irritable bowel syndrome, food sensitivities, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, chronic neck and back pain and other painful disorders.
Here Are Some Comments From People Who Have Received Reiki & Craniosacral Therapy Sessions From Me.
“Following my Reiki session with Joan, I felt a deep sense of gratitude, relaxation and peace.”
“I feel so relaxed.”
“I feel a greater inner connection.”
“I slept better than ever.”
“I slept great for days.”
“I feel so happy!”
“I feel greater mobility in my shoulders.”
“I feel like I can relax again.”
“That was soothing, relaxing and releasing.”
“It felt like my nasal passages were draining and clearing.”
“My tooth sensitivity has greatly improved.”
“Each session is new and different.”
“My neuropathy has improved greatly.”
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