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Nicolas Wagner

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Nick’s bodywork is based in the practice of Responsive Body and integrates a blend of deep tissue massage, vibrational massage therapy, craniosacral therapy techniques, and myofascial release techniques with additional inspiration from Thai massage and dance contact improvisation.

Responsive Body is a holistic and adaptive manual therapy that aims to promote health through improved biomechanics, skeletal alignment, fibrous alignment, movement (re)education, and somatic integration. By working simultaneously with the musculoskeletal, fascial, and neurological systems, we can work regionally and holistically to connect the neural and mechanical pathways between related body parts, opening up a multitude of options for effectively addressing complex and layered issues.

Using my background as a dancer, I am constantly reading bodies at a detailed level to evaluate kinematic chain efficiency, reflex response timing and quality, and to identify structural weak points. Neurologically, I repattern muscular firing sequences and dissolve unnecessary guarding induced by pain patterns, trauma, and acute and chronic injuries. Manually, I open myofascial restrictions to allow for proper nutrient flow, elimination of waste, and fibrous alignment (which has been described as a feeling of muscle combing) for more efficient lines of pull during active movement. Then, I integrate the changes through movement to help contextualize them in relation to gravity. When working with joints, my ultimate goal is to achieve a sense of frictionless glide within the joint capsule in both passive and active ranges of motion.

The effect I’ve observed over time is an increase in adaptability and responsiveness to changing conditions in my clients’ bodies. As a result, the autonomic and motor nervous systems have more options to work around or through restrictions to their resolution. When this process is well myelinated, the body has a chance to resolve issues on its own with fewer medical and therapeutic interventions. The body is better equipped to self-regulate and find homeostasis even through challenging conditions.

Responsive Body bodywork sessions are done on a massage table, with clothing on for more session flexibility while maintaining modesty. Sessions typically start with a brief intake, then table work, and finish with a brief movement integration (most typically with mindful standing and walking). Clients are encouraged to maintain an open and flowing channel of communication, especially pertaining to their internal sensations so the manual work can be immediately adaptive to a shifting internal landscape.

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