Archives for posts with tag: emmett technique

Gee, those aren’t exactly the words you want to hear when you ask a client how they felt after their last treatment.  “It felt really weird”.  Hmm.  Let’s backtrack a bit.

“A” came in for her first treatment in May.  She’d had a lumpectomy in 2012 and eight weeks of radiation.  She’d had some nodes taken but they were all clear.  She’d noticed swelling in her breast right after surgery but had enough on her plate and didn’t give it much thought.  It hadn’t gone down and had got a little worse.  She goes to the same cancer support group I go to and I had given her my business card a while back and she decided to give me a go.

When she came in, she had some pain and stiffness in the shoulder on the side of the surgery that was impacting on her exercise routine so I did some Emmett Technique quickly to release that then went on to the lymphatic work, clearing pathways away from the affected side and showing her how to clear her own nodes and tissue as well.  At the end of the session her shoulder felt better but she seemed a little skeptical about any difference in the fluid in her breast.  We booked her in for two weeks later.

Two weeks later she came and said that her shoulder still felt better but that the breast didn’t feel any different.  We did some more Emmett, but to both shoulders this time so that she would feel more balanced, then went on to the lymphatic drainage.  This time, while I was working, I felt like we had achieved good clearance and she said it felt pretty good.


She came for her next appointment and that’s when she greeted me with “it felt really weird”.  Luckily she followed that up with … “I woke the morning following the treatment and felt my breast and it felt really weird … there was no fluid … it was just breast!  And it felt like just breast for a full week and when it started to get fluidy again I got my husband to clear it away from the breast like you showed me.”  I had to smile, I think her husband clearing her breast is good on so many different levels, not just to move the fluid along but also to empower him to be part of her recovery, not to mention a bit of intimacy.  I think she’s a convert!

A few weeks ago I spoke about a lovely man, P, who comes to me to work with his eczema.   He’s pretty extraordinary in himself.  His partner, V, is a whole other ball game.  I’m struggling for words to describe what our sessions are like as no two are even remotely the same.  P and V always come together, P gets on the table first followed by V.  They kiss before they go in and it’s as if they will not see each other for days, rather than an hour and most times they wait for each other in the reception area.  They are absolutely the most perfectly paired couple I have ever met.

When V first came her main hope was to get some relief from the pain she suffered monthly during her period – she was taking anti-inflammatories via suppositories for the pain and if she didn’t get them in time she ended up in hospital, sometimes on morphine.  Now that’s real pain.   She had surgery for endoometriosis but still the pain continued.  Her lifestyle was very clean – she ate fish but no other animals, didn’t drink alcohol or take recreational drugs, meditated daily for an hour – she had as much natural in her life as she possibly could.   Like P, she took homeopathic medicine and natural remedies so taking anti-inflammatories and morphine really wasn’t what she wanted in her life.

The first couple sessions we used craniosacral therapy to work on calming her system down and releasing restrictions gently and some Emmett Technique for some knee issues she was having looked at by the physio. After the first treatment she had relief from pain in her knee and generally felt happier and more positve.  Next session we continued with similar treatment and she had a big nasal release.    She said the nasal work had a big result – in the shower the following morning she had a gush of blood from her nose, which stopped quickly and then there was massive relief.

Occipital HR workphoto courtesy Google Images –

She continued having both physical and emotional releases.  She got her period about three weeks after we started and didn’t even need to take a Panadene – for the first time in 15 years!  I have to say that the period pain did fluctuate a bit at the start but it is not an issue any more, can’t remember the last time we’ve even spoken about it.  And her physical aches and pains have kind of taken a back seat.  My patient notes are usually very detailed but for V they’re minimal, just because it’s difficult to put in words what we cover and I’m not sure it would make sense to anyone reading them anyway.

A typical session may start like this … “oh my goodness, I’ve been so looking forward to this.  I feel like today I need grounding so if we start with a massage to my legs and back then we can do some energetic work at the end, they say we need to look at such and such”.  It’s really useful having such specific instructions.  It’s never quiet for long, there’s usually some sort of update on what she’s feeling, what kind of release she’s having in a physical sense as well as on an energetic/spiritual level.  Interestingly, I sometimes get some very strong impressions or feelings when I’m working with V, seeing very vivid pictures in my head which I think are way out there and part of my imagination, only to have her pipe up something like “wow, I just had this feeling of being stabbed in the left shoulder by a lance while I was charging on a horse” or some similar event which TOTALLY matches what I saw.  Sometimes I feel compelled to say a word or phrase to her and that thought is often going through her mind right at that exact moment.  I don’t get that with anyone else I work with … this is not a normal occurence in my room.  But it makes for very interesting sessions.  It has been a steep learning curve for me, I’m learning to let go and trust what I’m feeling, particularly when working with someone who lives totally intuitively.  The shifts happen when you can work together to let go of stress on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level and that is what V does.  I learn something about myself every time we work together and I look forward to every visit – it is certainly never, ever, ever dull.

If you’d like to find out a little more about craniosacral therapy, have a look at


P has struggled with eczema all his life.  After 20 years of applying topical steroids prescribed by his doctors he decided he’d had enough and stopped them cold turkey.  Bad idea.

That little stunt put him in hospital, fighting for his life and the first thing they had to do was put him back on the steroids.  Coming off them after all that time is not something you can do without medical supervision – weaning off them slowly and building up the immune system at the same time is the safest way to go, UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION.

When P came in to see me initially we had a very long discussion about what had happened when he tried to come off the steroids before and what he was doing to manage it this time.  He was referred to me by his homeopath Debbie Rayfield (  I have a good working relationship with Debbie, her clinic is downstairs from mine and I am registered to practice there as she’s on the ground floor and some of my clients just can’t make it up the stairs to my clinic.  So we were able to have a good chat about P’s case afterwards.

P had started his supervised withdrawal six weeks prior and was seeing Debbie as well as an integrative doctor at Your Health ( in Manly.  He was taking numerous supplements and using natural creams on his skin, ate no meat (though still had some fish in his diet) and did not drink alcohol.

When I first saw him he was purple.  And he looked sore.  And a bit scary.  His skin was peeling off and was very dry, particularly on his stomach.  He hadn’t been able to work during that phase as he is a musician and as he looked and felt so awful he went into a depression and didn’t leave the house for some time.


photo courtesy of, copied from google images

It was actually a month before I worked with him.  In the first treatment I mainly did some craniosacral work to help with his stress levels.  At the end of the session I spent ten minutes clearing his main collections of nodes and his stomach (he was able to tolerate both deep and superficial work) using manual lymphatic drainage.

P is a very spiritual person and is able to tune into what is going on in his body on an energetic level which always makes it interesting working with him.  I could be working on something physical and he’d say something like “yes, that’s an old hurt from childhood that I’ve been holding on to”.  Great!  If you can consciously release things on an energetic level while having your physical body worked on then the whole treatment is more effective.  Each time he came we’d use a different combination of therapies, depending on what he presented with.  If he had some aches and pains, we’d throw in some Emmett Technique releases.  If he was feeling run down, more lymphatic drainage.  While doing craniosacral work he’d have all sorts of releases – there’d be smiling or laughing, burping, coughing and overwhelming thoughts of what affirmations he needed to say or things he needed to bring into his life (to name a few).

I’ve been seeing P for nearly eighteen months now, off and on.  Our last three sessions have all been remedial massage!  I use coconut oil as I know his body can tolerate it without a flare up.  Remedial massage is the thing he’s missed the most during his recovery and he’s thrilled he can now have some. 

Because he is compliant (that is, he takes his vitamins/herbs/creams regularly) he is well on his way to a full recovery.  He’s been told it could take two to three years for his skin to become normal again and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get himself there.  What a long way he’s come already.

Goodness, have I just written the words “bladder weakness” on a public forum?  Surely that’s a topic that is not open to discussion in public – it’s just something that a whole lot of women (and sometimes men) put up with quietly.  According to the Tena website (and I only mention them because I’ve seen their ads on TV, see, advertising does work!) “1 out of 3 women experience the Unexpected Leak”.  One in three!  That’s a huge number. 

From what I’ve seen in my clinic the most common cause is pregnancy and childbirth.  Tena says “pregnancy, physical activity, medical conditions, being overweight or simply getting older”.  What a depressing thought – getting older is enough to cause bladder leakage?  OK ladies, better get started with those pelvic floor exercises – I’m doing mine now, can you tell?  How hard is it to concentrate on doing them properly?  I always start with good intentions and it’s as if I can be distracted by the slightest thing … oh, there goes a butterfly!  There is no doubt that those exercises are very beneficial at strengthening our pelvic floor muscles and we should definitely be doing them regularly.

I had someone come in to see me on Saturday who had been to an introductory course in the Emmett Technique and the instructor had mentioned that there is a bladder move and my client said her ears pricked up.  She’s 60 and has started noticing some light bladder leakage and has looked at the treatments for more severe cases and just doesn’t want to go there.  And who can blame her?  The thought of going to see a bladder physiotherapist scares the bejeebers out of me and bladder suspension surgery sounds even more horrendous.  Saying that, if I had to, I would because they can help you get your life back.  Imagine being able to sneeze, laugh or jog without having to think about whether or not you will have an embarrassing leakage.


But I digress.  My client wanted to try the Emmett move to see if it made a difference for her.  After discussing her medical history we decided to do a full Emmett lymphatic treatment, followed by the bladder release and some general lymphatic drainage to help her eliminate toxins.  The bladder release is quite powerful and often you only need one treatment, but of course I can’t guarantee that result, so we usually suggest a wait and see approach – if you see an improvement but it’s still not right, then come back for another session.  If there’s a remarkable change, come back when you feel the need.  She asked whether to continue her pelvic floor exercises – definitely!  As she left she said she felt different and promised to let me know how she went.

Well, I had a text on Sunday morning at 8.30 am … “thanks, it’s a great improvement.  Will see if another visit is needed as days go on.  Very happy!”

Another success for the Emmett Technique.