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 Bodywork & Somatic Therapies: Choosing a Practitioner of Massage and Bodywork 

Following are the professional associations for the most common forms of bodywork and energy work.

Rolf Institute of Structural Integration. The training is typically twelve months long for basic certification. A Certified Advanced Rolfer is one who has practiced at least five years and has taken an additional six weeks training. A list of certified practitioners is available. Address: 205 Canyon Blvd., Boulder, CO 80302, phone (800) 530-8875.

Hellerwork, Inc. Training is a 1,250-hour program leading to certification as a Hellerwork practitioner. Trainings are offered internationally. Address: 406 Berry St., Mt. Shasta, CA 96067, phone (800) 392-3900 or (916) 926-2500.

Rosen Method Professional Association. Certification training is two years plus an eighteen-month internship. Certified practitioners must also hold a state-approved massage certificate. A directory of practitioners is available from the association. Address: 2550 Shattuck Ave., Box 49, Berkeley, CA 94704, phone (510) 644-4166.

The Trager Institute. Training for Trager practitioners takes a minimum of 269 hours usually over at least six months. A list of certified practitioners is available. Address: 33 Millwood St., Mill Valley, CA 94941, phone (415) 388-2688, FAX (415) 388-2710.

The Feldenkrais Guild. Only people trained by Moshe Feldenkrais or graduates of guild accredited training programs are eligible to be members of the guild. Practitioner members are qualified teachers of Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration. Associate members are qualified teachers of Awareness Through Movement. The professional training program spans 160 days over three and a half years. The guild publishes a directory of certified practitioners. Address: 3611 SW Hood Avenue Suite 100, Portland, OR 97201, phone (800) 775-2118 or (503) 221-6612, FAX (503) 221-6616.

North American Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (NASTAT) formed in 1987 to educate the public about the Alexander Technique, to establish and maintain standards for certification of teachers and teacher training courses in the United States, and to ensure that the educational principles of the Alexander Technique are upheld. It publishes a directory of certified teachers. Training to become a teacher takes three years (sixteen hundred hours). Address: P.O. Box 112484, Tacoma, WA 98411-2484, phone (800) 473-0620 or (206) 627-3766.


Marianne had injured her neck several months ago but still had so much pain that she could not tolerate having it touched or moved. She was seeing a physical therapist but her sensitivity to pain prevented her from receiving much of the routine physical therapy care that was indicated for her injury.

She received a Jin Shin Jyutsu session that lasted one hour with extremely light contact on her neck. After the session her pain increased slightly, but the next morning it was less than half of what it had been and she could begin to move her neck.

According to Joanna Chieppa, a practitioner in Sonoma County, CA, with this type of work often there is an immediate decrease in pain. Occasionally, however, the client may experience a temporary increase in pain as more energy moves through an area that is inflamed or blocked. Once the blockage is cleared this brief discomfort is typically followed by a significant improvement in symptoms.

(Excerpted from The American Holistic Health Associations Complete Guide to Alternative Medicine ISBN: 0446672580)
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 About The Author
William Collinge MPH, PhDWilliam Collinge, PhD, MPH is a consultant, author, speaker and researcher in the field of integrative health care. He has served as a scientific review panelist for the National Institutes of Health in mind/body......more
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