I was lucky enough to experience a treatment with Silvie at Healthy Oxford last week. I didn’t have anything specific I wanted to work with, but after a particularly stressful and busy time I knew that I was in need of something to restore balance and regenerate. She held the space with such kindness and confidence that I trusted her intuition completely and having felt the profound impact of her healing skills, I was really excited to learn more about her journey and how she came to be the practitioner she is today.
You offer a number of treatments- cranio-sacral therapy, reiki, shiatsu and intuitive healing. How did you discover these therapies and how do they support each other?
I discovered Shiatsu in my mid twenties whilst recovering from a bout of severe, stress-related digestive problems. Whilst in hospital, I made myself a promise never to return to office work, to which I wasn’t suited at all! I began looking for something interesting to do whilst I recovered and, from a whole brochure of possibilities, an evening class in Zen Shiatsu caught my eye. It only took a few classes before I became hooked! I found something deeply therapeutic and fascinating about the combination of nurturing body and energy work. I decided to continue with the three year practitioner training so that I could use this incredible therapy to help both myself and others to heal physically, mentally and emotionally. (I was also suffering from chronic fatigue and depression at the time.)
Working part-time at two complementary health clinics to support my studies, I was lucky enough to receive a variety of treatments from other therapists to help me with my own healing. The treatments that had the most profound impact on me were cranio-sacral therapy and energy work. In 2004, I began further training in cranio-sacral therapy – the start of a life-long love affair! This is truly one of the most gentle yet healing and powerful therapies I have ever encountered, having the ability to tune into many different layers of a person’s experience and support healing on whichever level/s it is needed.
In 2005, a travelling adventure around Asia and accident involving an elephant and a tree (!) pushed me onto a new course. Discovering a wonderful yoga centre in North East Thailand, I spent several months learning and practising yoga intensively in order to heal my injured leg and to delve deeper into my own physical/mental/emotional healing. I ended up staying for three more years studying and working alongside my teachers, and still visit there regularly (see http://www.pantrix.net and http://www.mutmee.com). I also began to study Reiki, and gradually developed my own intuitive and healing abilities. In 2011, ‘intuitive healing’ came into existence, in which I utilise my ability to ‘see’ and sense inside the client’s body and energy field in order to gain information about any imbalances, to clear release tension, ‘holding patterns’, blocked energy or stuck emotions, and help create the conditions for healing and balance.
Whilst my main modalities are now cranio-sacral therapy and intuitive healing, I am happy to have all four therapies at my fingertips so I can give each person the treatment that is most suited to their needs at a given time.
Can you talk us through a session to explain what a client experience would be?
The first session starts with a brief discussion to find out more about why the person is coming for treatment and to clarify any health or personal goals. Then together we will decide on the best treatment/s for the clients’ needs. All treatments usually involve the client lying down, fully clothed, on a treatment couch, although it is also possible to sit in a chair if needed. Generally all the client needs to do is to relax and be open to the healing process. Sometimes I may suggest some more active participation such as breathing into certain parts of the body to help these to release or using mindfulness to gain more self-awareness and understanding of particular patterns. I may also sometimes suggest ‘homework’ to help with the healing process, such as addressing diet, exercise or sleep patterns, using writing or art to help aid emotional release (emotions can literally become ‘stuck’ in the body and constantly replayed) or starting a daily meditation/yoga/tai chi practise. Whatever I feel would be most appropriate and helpful for the person.
After a treatment, it’s recommended to take some time to rest and relax, and to drink plenty of water, to support the healing process.
In your experience, what conditions or symptoms have your clients found your treatments can support?
I have worked with hundreds of clients with back / neck / shoulder pain; headaches and migraines; digestive and menstrual problems; and issues affecting the head (such as ear / nose / throat symptoms, TMJ / jaw issues and facial pain). Cranio-Sacral Therapy is also fantastic at helping to resolve the symptoms of chronic stress, trauma or whiplash injury. I’ve seen a lot of people with chronic fatigue respond very well to treatments, although the length of time for recovery varies.
I also work a lot supporting people who are in the process of making big personal / life changes, who want to understand themselves and their patterns better, relax more deeply, improve their ability to deal with stress, and to clarify and realise their full potential in life.
What do you love about a holistic therapist?
Their ‘whole person’ approach, which helps get to the root cause/s of symptoms, and aims to establish better health and balance on all levels of a person’s being (rather than just treating symptoms in isolation, which, if the underlying cause isn’t dealt with, can often return).
Do you have any areas of specific interest and where do you see your practice developing?
My main areas of interest are cranio-sacral therapy, energy healing and using my intuition to understand the person and how they tick, where healing is needed and where their strength / potential is. I love supporting people to become healthier and happier on all levels (rather than just treating symptoms); and, where necessary, to develop increased self awareness and understanding so that they can take more control of their own wellbeing.
As well as actively working on developing my intuition and healing skills, I am also currently training to become an NLP and life coach, and plan to offer ‘intuitive coaching’ sessions in the future too, so that I can also support people with any healing that they need on a mental level (eg identifying and changing limiting beliefs), as well as physically, emotionally and energetically.
Can you share your experience of a particular influence- teacher or lineage – that has inspired you?
I love all things cranio-sacral! My yoga teachers in Thailand, Pancho and Beatrix, (www.pantrix.net) have also had a huge influence on me over the last nine years of studying and working with them. The most important thing they taught me is that love is the number one healer for almost everything!
Silvie will be available for treatments in Oxford until the end of June, when she will be returning to Thailand for another six month stint. She will spend time at both the yoga centre in Nong Khai (www.pantrix.net / www.mutmee.com) and New Life Foundation (www.newlifethaifoundation.com), a therapeutic community in Northern Thailand, where she will be offering both treatments and therapeutic dance / art workshops. If you are interested in working with her in Thailand, please get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07584 621 085