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Visceral Manipulation/ Organ Mobilization

Visceral Manipulation/ Organ Mobilization

What is Visceral Manipulation?

Contact Joanna

Visceral Manipulation / Organ Mobilization

Hi guys! I’m excited to share with you a therapy that I am now offering called Visceral Manipulation. It is a gentle and specific manual therapy encouraging normal mobility of the organs and their connective tissue. Yes, I’m saying that I am trained to move and release restrictions (using my hands on your abdomen) on specific organs  in a gentle and painless way.

All of our organs should be able to move freely. When they can slip and slide on each other, they are able to function at their best. Any time we get inflammation in any organ, as it’s going through the healing phase it will adhere to tissues around it and put the organ in a rigid state, which affects how the organ functions. It will also affect blood flow, lymphatic drainage, and nerve conduction of that organ,  as well as the spine, rib cage, neck and shoulders, and low back. For example, frozen shoulder can relate to a nerve irritation stemming from the lungs, chronically cold feet can be related to your small intestine, left sciatica or SI pain can be your sigmoid colon, right medial knee pain  and instability can be related to your large intestine, right shoulder pain can be a restriction in your liver, heart burn and reflux can mean your stomach is sitting too high, and left-sided neck pain could be related to the gallbladder due to the phrenic nerve that runs through it. Visceral manipulation of the inflamed organ can reduce and even eliminate the seemingly unrelated pain and/or digestive issues listed above as well as bring the organ back to fully functional.  This really shows how everything in our body is truly connected.

How do our organs get inflamed?

Our organs can become inflamed from surgery, injuries, whip lash, chronic infections, direct trauma, environmental toxins, heavy metals, emotional stress, diet, and repetitive movement. The interesting thing is that we do not have pain receptors in our actual organs. We feel pain in other areas where nerves and connective tissues relate directly or indirectly to that organ.

Throughout my 17 years as a licensed massage therapist, I have become frustrated seeing chronic pain areas that appear and feel like they should be able to be healed through massage, chiropractic and stretching exercises, only to be discouraged that the problem keeps reappearing.  Visceral Manipulation is the missing link that I have been searching for! I look forward to checking your organs for restrictions and finding out if we can help some of your chronic pain go away for good, as well as bring your organs into balance so you can enjoy more vitality in your everyday life.

You can book a 30 minute Visceral Manipulation session, or add it on to your regular massage session. If you still aren’t sure about it, when you come in for your regular massage, we can discuss VM in your intake and see if it’s something you would like me to spend some of your session time on. Feel free to call me with any questions about Visceral Manipulation. Check this out to learn more about Visceral Manipulation and how it works:

If you do plan for me to check your organs for restrictions, do your best to NOT EAT for 2 hours before your session. This therapy is done best on an empty stomach!

Present Moment Massage Referral Program

Referrals are the highest compliment you can give me. Refer 1 new client and receive $15 off of your next massage! You can do this over and over again and continue to get your one hour massage for only $55! Please sign up to for the e-mail newsletter for updates on the site, and massage specials. Have fun exploring the site!

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By | 2018-11-16T14:30:48-06:00 November 16th, 2018|Fort Collins Massage Service, Health, Visceral Manipulation|Comments Off on Visceral Manipulation/ Organ Mobilization

Perfect Pesto

Perfect Pesto


food processor, cheese grater


2 cups basil, packed
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste


Blend basil and nuts in food processor
Add garlic
Slowly add olive oil while blending
Add cheese and pulse again until blended
Add salt and pepper to taste

My Thoughts

I have searched and searched for the Perfect Pesto and have finally found my true love! My good friend Rachel and I were planning to make Pesto Pasta dinner and she is the one who somehow found this perfect combination. I think it is not only the amount of ingredients, but the order and process they are prepared in, such as slowly adding the olive oil, and adding the cheese at the end and just pulsing.

Try this on pasta, chicken or fish (antibiotic and hormone free) if you are a meat eater, or just eat it with a spoon! Yes, it’s that good, especially if you are a garlic and basil lover!

For those that want to eat as RAW as possible, another option is to spiralize zucchini with a spirilizer to make raw pasta! Then the only non raw ingredient is the cheese, and if you really want to you can leave the cheese out, though I don’t recommend it because it sure makes it tasty!

I usually double the recipe and eat it over a couple of days. You can never have too much pesto in the refrigerator!

By | 2018-07-06T17:05:44-06:00 October 1st, 2012|Food|0 Comments

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Quesadilla

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Quesadilla

Ingredients (serves 2, usually with leftovers)

One can of organic black beans

1 medium sweet potato

Seriously sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

Olive oil

2 quesadillas (the big ones)

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Any other spices you like!


First, cut sweet potato into small chunks (if organic leave the skin on, if not, peel first). Boil potatoes in water for about 10 minutes, or till you can easily stick a fork through them.) While potatoes are boiling, drain and rinse beans well. Chop onions,sauté in pan with olive oil and spices, then add beans. They just need a few minutes on medium heat. Slice your cheese and get the quesadillas out and ready. Drain sweet potatoes and mash. Spread a nice layer of sweet potatoes on half of each quesadilla, then the beans, then place sliced cheese on top. Close the quesadilla with a little bit of pressure. If you have a big sauté pan you can fit both quesadillas on at once. Burner at medium heat. Occasionally press down on the quesadillas, and continue to check bottom to flip. Wait till it is nice and crispy on bottom. Flip and in minutes you will have an out of this world quesadilla!

My Thoughts

This is one of my (and Derrek’s) favorite meals. It is quite satisfying and filling. I use Publix greenwise black beans, organic sweet potatoes from Jeff at the Saturday Farmer’s Market, and Cabot seriously sharp cheddar cheese from Publix. You can boil and mash extra potatoes so that you can have the same dish the next day with a little less effort. If you are vegan, this would be great without the cheese, with the smooth delicious taste and texture of the sweet potatoes. I haven’t made it without cheese yet, but one of these days I will when I am feeling a little too cheesy!!! Ha ha! Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “she’s already too cheesy”, but I enjoy my cheesiness, and you must too, or else you probably wouldn’t be reading this. Have fun with this delicious dish. Email me any thoughts or experiences you’ve had with making this to:

By | 2018-07-06T17:08:08-06:00 October 1st, 2012|Food|0 Comments

Peppermint Dark Chocolate covered Pretzels (gluten and dairy free)

Peppermint Dark Chocolate covered Pretzels (gluten and dairy free)

Gluten free pretzels (I use Glutinos brand)
5 TBS 100% pure cocoa powder (I use raw cacao powder)
2 TBS extra virgin coconut oil
honey (to taste)
2 drops of doterra Peppermint essential oil

Heat coconut oil in saute pan until melted
Combine coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey in a glass bowl
Place bowl in refrigerator for 10 minutes to cool slightly
Add 2 drops of doterra Peppermint essential oil and stir
Dip pretzels into chocolate
Keep choc. covered pretzels in freezer for best crunch and to avoid melting!

My Thoughts

If you want to keep it simple and fast and don’t have any allergies to sugar and dairy, you can substitute the cocoa powder, coconut oil, and honey with:  ghirardelli baking chips (60% cacao) or your favorite chocolate chips. If you choose this method, heat about 1 cup of chocolate chips in a double boiler. I use a glass measuring cup, and place it in a pan with water. Heat and stir until melted. Then add 2 drops of essential oils. Dip pretzels into chocolate. Since this version of the recipe doesn’t call for coconut oil, they are more stable at room temp. I still prefer to keep them in the freezer until eating time though! doTerra Wild Orange essential oil is really yummy in place of the peppermint oil. You can get crazy with it! Try all different flavors. Cinnamon would be delicious too, though I haven’t tried that one yet. You can’t go wrong with peppermint or wild orange. Enjoy! Try some other flavors of oils and let me know about your experiments!

Most doTerra essential oils are safe for consumption, but many other brands of essential oils out there ARE NOT FOR INTERNAL USE. Make sure you read the label to find out if the oils are safe to eat. To learn where to buy doTerra essential oils, visit my essential oils page.

By | 2018-07-06T16:58:43-06:00 November 8th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Kale Wrap

Kale Wrap


2 Kale leaves
1/2 avocado
chopped red pepper
chopped onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
sprinkle Celtic Sea salt or Pink Himalayan salt


Clean and dry kale leaves. Cut stem out. Mash avocado, then stir in chopped red peppers, chopped onions, minced garlic, and salt. Place a big scoop of guacamole onto center of each kale leave, and drizzle tahini over it. Then wrap kale leave around it.

My Thoughts

Derrek and I had just come home from a long bike ride, both of us starving. Too hungry to wait for dinner to be cooked. Derrek headed for the refrigerator and grabbed one of the many sweets in the house from the holidays. I stopped him when the bourbon chocolate muffin was just inches from his mouth. I asked him to give me 5 minutes to whip up a healthy snack, and he actually agreed! I had a rough idea of what I was going to make. I told him to leave the kitchen and that it would be a surprise. Secretly I thought that if he watched me prepare the food, or if I told him what I was making, he would automatically decide he wasn’t going to like it. I was probably on point.

I knew we had some guacamole left over from yesterday, and I had a ton of kale that I needed to do something with. I have had kale avocado salads before and knew how great they tasted together. I wanted to put them together in a simple, and non-salad way. Derrek usually turns his nose up at kale, but he loves wraps. Usually ones made from flour, but he’s an adventurous guy, he’ll try just about anything if he is in an open sort of mood. That is the key. I knew I had this small window of opportunity to get him to try something new, without him giving me a hard time. (I also felt it was really important for us to get in some nutritious food on an empty stomach just after exercising.) The other important aspect to getting someone to try something new is to give it some familiarity. He loves guacamole and tahini. I made sure that he would definitely like the inside of the wrap.

The results?
He said it was delicious, and asked for another! A success.
This is great as a quick snack, to bring to a pot luck, or to enjoy as lunch!

By | 2018-07-06T17:07:28-06:00 October 1st, 2012|Food|0 Comments



Have you heard the word mindfulness? What does it mean to you? Mindfulness means “paying attention” or being in the present moment with what is. Not thinking about the past or the future, not being lost in thought. Simply being present with what is occurring in this NOW moment. Wouldn’t that be nice? To not be constantly whirling in stressful thoughts? I have been practicing mindfulness meditation for about 5 years. This practice has influenced my life in such a great way. I now have more focus, more awareness, the ability to communicate more consciously, and much more. Mindfulness creates clarity and an open space for more creativity to flow.

Mindfulness will help one grow in all areas of life. From being aware of brushing my teeth to washing the dishes, cultivating mindfulness makes these seemingly boring activities actually interesting! Pick one activity that you do every day and try being mindful during the process. It could be something such as taking a shower, walking the dog, or petting your cat. When you start this activity, bring awareness to the sensations you feel in the body. Notice thoughts that occur, without judging them, just simply noting that you are having certain types of thoughts, then bringing your attention back to the sensations in the body. Noticing your breathing. Are you breathing? Begin to observe. If you are brushing your teeth, feel the sensation of the brush on your gums. Does it feel soft, tingly, warm? If you are eating, smell and taste every savory flavor in your mouth, and enjoy it!

If you want to reduce stress, achieve greater focus, attention, and be morepresent in your life without drugs, than mindfulness practice is for you. If you are very drawn to this concept of living mindfully, you may be interested in receiving aMINDFUL MASSAGE from me. This is a way to get you more present in your body.

Click here to find out more about MINDFUL MASSAGE.

By | 2018-07-06T17:04:34-06:00 October 1st, 2012|Health|1 Comment

Mindful Approach to Living

Mindful Approach to Living


Take 7 minutes out of your busy life to sit and watch this beautiful clip.
Trust me, it’s worth it!

You may learn some valuable wisdom on what it truly means to be mindful in your life, and how wonderful an experience it can be. As you are watching, notice what sort of emotions and thoughts come up. Also, notice the urge to multi-task and try to resist that urge, and just be present with the video.

I’d love to hear your response to the video.

After watching it, if you feel so inclined to share with me what came up for you as your were watching, send me an email to:

I am grateful to be able to share this experience with you.
I hope you get as much from this as I do.

By | 2018-07-06T17:06:34-06:00 October 1st, 2012|Health|0 Comments

To Serve…

To Serve…

“The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of the world is not ‘to have and to hold’ but ‘to give and to serve’. There can be no other meaning.”

~ Wilfred Grenfell

By | 2018-07-06T17:09:49-06:00 October 1st, 2012|Fort Collins Massage Service|0 Comments

Flashlight as a weapon???

Flashlight as a weapon???

flashlight-blog-imageThe other night I bundled up for a 20 degree walk with my dog. I had on my snow pants, boots, ski mask, gloves, and headlamp. Poop bags in pocket, of course.  It was around 7:30 at night. Pitch black out there this time of year. I love walking Ringo on dark freezing cold nights. The Spring Creek Trail is completely deserted. I put him on his retractable leash when I know that there won’t be much traffic on the trail. He knows its his time to run around and be a little bit crazy. I find the cool air and clear sky so refreshing, especially if I’m dressed warmly and have a good flashlight to avoid stepping on dog poop, as well as to SEE Ringo’s poop well enough to pick it up.

I’m a pretty trusting person. Never assuming someone is going to capture and hurt me out there. I’m not the type to carry gun, though it would be nice to know how to use one if for some reason I needed to… but the point is, I don’t own one, or plan to carry one. The most I carry with me is pepper spray, but I worry I might accidentally shoot it at my self or my dog. What good would that do if I was blinded while in a bind with a bad person?

I was feeling rather secure with my headlamp on. I don’t have great night vision, and like to be visible to night cyclists. While on my walk that night, my mind on the benefits of my flashlight, I went a step further in my thinking… I thought, for someone like me, a flashlight is a mighty good weapon to carry out there on the lonely trail. I’m pretty quick on my feet, but in the dark, someone could snatch and/or trick me so easily! If someone came upon me, out of no where, with intention to hurt, if I could just blind them with my light for a moment, that would give me enough time to think of a way out. I could size the person up, see where his strengths and weaknesses are, and at the very least, kick him hard while his eyes move away from my light as he gathers himself for his next move. He’s not expected to be blinded by me! Then, I thought, I should have a headlamp as well as a real flashlight. Extra brightness, with something to hit him with if needed!

Like I said, I’m pretty trusting, but I’m not naive enough to think someone would never try to hurt me. I know that there are messed up people out there.  One should always be prepared for danger. On the other hand, I do believe that someone who looks weak, slumped over etc, is more likely to be a victim of a crime. When walking at night alone, don’t! Make sure you have #1: a dog that likes to bark viciously at strangers, #2: at least one flashlight, maybe two, #3: Confidence. Walk tall and proud. Be ready for anything, but try to relax and enjoy your walk.

Hope this was helpful to any fellow weaponless, night walkers! Thanks for listening.

By | 2018-07-06T16:57:31-06:00 December 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Real Food in Schools

Real Food in Schools

(I am sorry if you are receiving this twice. The first one was published by mistake. If you read the first one you would have seen that it was unfinished. This post is the one I meant to send out. Please read on! Thanks!)

Slow Food First Coast is hosting a Time For Lunch POTLUCK to send a message to congress that real food for school lunches is a necessity to make our children healthy.

Slow Food First Coast, the local chapter of Slow Food USA.

Slow Food First Coast is planning an Eat-In, or a public potluck, to draw attention to the need for Congress to pass a better Child Nutrition Act that brings real food to  schools.  Our Eat-In is part of a National Day of Action when thousands of people across the country will share a meal to demonstrate our commitment to getting real food in school lunches.

Florida Agricultural Museum
7900 Old Kings Road
Palm Coast, Florida

Labor Day, September 7, 2009    12-2pm

In a time of escalatiing obesity and diabetes epidemics, our schools are serving children precisely the fast food and junk food that endangers their health.  This year, Congress can give schools the resources to serve REAL FOOD by:

Increasing school lunch reimbursements by $1/child/day in this year’s Child Nutrition Act. Providing real food at school is a down payment on health care reform.

Protect against food that threatens children’s health.

Teach children healthy habits that will last through life.

Join parents, teachers, farmers, and legislators in sending a message to Congress that getting real food in schools is a national priority and it needs to happen NOW!

Visit for more information.

I hope to see you at the Pot Luck! If you can’t make it, the least you can do is go on to the slow food website and sign the petition. If you’d like to go a step farther, write your congressman and tell him you want better food in schools for the health and education of our children.

If you have any questions regarding what to write in the letter or if you just want more information, you can contact me at:

Thanks for your support!

By | 2018-07-06T17:08:50-06:00 October 1st, 2012|Health|0 Comments