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Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

Holistic Alternatives to Pain—Local Voices: LAURIE VAN VALKENBURGH, Massage and Bodywork

How do massage and bodywork work to address pain?

Pain starts in the brain, and clinicians have had to get creative with how to reframe pain in the body.

I work on the acupuncture meridians that calm the nervous system and the organs in the body that deal with detoxification: kidney, liver and lung. Helping these organs do their job, whether they are underactive, overactive or stagnant, can take a lot of pressure off how we process our environment and our pain.

Cranial sacral work helps with the many symptoms that linger in chronic pain: muscle tension, spasms, stiffness, inability to relax, not to mention emotional pain.

I am relieved when I can open a client’s central channel, or spine, to allow the spine to release, which promotes deep breathing that adds to their relaxation. Myofascial release is a way to help patients release old stress patterns that often come up when new stress is added to old trauma.

More than anything, the power of touch is something that is missing in society today. The comfort of touch is why I do what I do; nothing can center and bring someone back to the present quite like it.

Laurie Van Valkenburgh is a licensed massage therapist, certified bodywork therapist and founder of Shiatsu Shin Tai Bodywork Therapies at 6064 Upper Mountain Rd., New Hope. For more information, call 267-566-6056 or visit

June 2017