WT 014: Chris Girdis on Reconnecting with Breath and Body

chris-girdisChris Girdis and Krishana Clark run The Lifestyle Center in Raleigh, a very non-traditional chiropractic practice.

Using Network Spinal Analysis and Somatic Respiratory Integration (both terms are explained during the interview), they help their clients reconnect with their bodies to lessen or even get rid of physical and emotional pain.

Turns out when we become more aware of our bodily sensations and learn how to deal with them through appropriate breathwork, lots of other things start falling into place, including better eating, more exercise, and general lifestyle improvements.

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Chris and Krishana dropped by my office to talk about their work. Krishana turns out to be the silent type, at least in front of a microphone, but her energy and spirit are definitely part of the the conversation.



The Lifestyle Center

WT 006: Bonnie Cashwell on Restoring Health Through Acupuncture

bonnie-cashwellAcupuncture is one of the first “non-Western” modalities that really rocked the medical literature. After decades of pooh-poohing the notion that little needles could treat disease or reduce pain, Western medicine had to admit that acupuncture could do a lot of things much better than traditional medical care.

It's my pleasure to share with you a conversation I had with Bonnie Cashwell, an acupuncture practitioner here in the Triangle.

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Here's some info on Bonnie, lifted and adapted from Bonnie's website, BalancingAcupuncture.com.

For over a decade prior to becoming a student of Oriental Medicine, Bonnie received acupuncture treatments regularly. She knows firsthand what the medicine can do. Her personal approach to health care has been holistic for many years. It was with this depth of understanding about the body and healing process that she began the transformation of becoming an acupuncturist.

Before returning home to North Carolina she practiced in Denver, CO, where she volunteered with Acupuncture Without Borders after the Aurora theatre shootings. In her practice she incorporates supplements, Chinese herbs, moxibustion, dietary education/coaching and lifestyle changes.

She earned her Master of Science and Oriental Medicine degree from Southwest Acupuncture College in Santa Fe, NM. She is certified as a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine which includes Foundations in Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture with Point Location, Herbology and Biomedicine. This degree allows her to practice qi gong, auricular acupuncture, tui na, acupressure, moxibustion, dietary and lifestyle recommendations.

Since 1996 Bonnie has been a holistic practitioner with focus in the areas of polarity therapy and deep tissue massage.

WT 004: Leigh Johnson on Befriending Our Connective Tissue


Leigh Johnson is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist as well as a certified Pilates, RedCord Active®, GYROTONIC®, GYROKINESIS® and MELT Method® instructor.

Leigh excels at describing movement in an entertaining and effective manner and has worked with dancers, athletes, expectant mothers, brides to be, and individuals recovering from injury and surgery.

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Leigh’s study of massage therapy has expanded her understanding of the human body and inspired her movement instruction in new ways. Combining movement and massage, she continues to help individuals achieve their goals of fitness, whole body integration and pain-free, active living.

Leigh has been teaching in the triangle area since 2000, and a licensed Massage Therapist since 2012.

I've experienced Leigh's expert teaching in a MELT class. She knows her stuff really well, and can explain it in easy to grasp language. She pays attention to each student in the class, making adjustments and optimizing their practice.

Plus, she's fun, with a wicked sense of humor.

But more important for our purposes here, the MELT Method is one of the most efficiacious modalities for dealing with pain, restriction, and overall “crankiness” that medicine has discovered or studied.

So before you go down an orthopedic rabbit hole to escape from your pain, give a listen to this Well Talk episode with Leigh Johnson. And then, if you're curious, check out her schedule of local classes and try one for yourself.

Leigh's website: MetaFormMovement.com

More on the MELT Method: MeltMethod.com

WT 002: Stewart Walker: Therapeutic Bodywork for Pain Reduction

wt-stewart-walkerStewart Walker first got into massage as a UNC student in the 1970s.

With 40 years of experience under his belt, he's studied and practiced a lot of hands-on bodywork over the years.

His specialty is Taut Band Therapy, which he developed to relieve and release many muscular pains, including trigger points, tendon attachment sites, and taut bands.

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Taut Band Therapy is based on the Trigger Point work of Janet Travell. Stewart's own methodology is distinguished by thorough assessments and treatment utilizing slow, deliberate pressure and movement.

The goals of this therapy include pain reduction, increased range of motion, and restoration of the muscle's full functional strength.

In our interview, we discuss the theory and practice of Taut Band Therapy, when treating muscles can and can't resolve pain, and how people can prevent pain from developing through simple yet powerful movement and lifestyle strategies.

You can find Stewart online at Wholistic Health Studio NC and Taut Band Therapy, and can reach him telephonically at 919.489.5355.