Teaching Team

We are blessed to have a wonderful circle of colleagues who are interested in sharing their skills with students. All come to our classes with extensive classroom experience and a passion for creating a safe and dynamic learning environment:

Lauren leads the classes within the Craniosacral Certification program, and co-teaches MFB from time to time. Richard is the lead teacher for the Myofascial Balancing classes, and assists with Visceral and Neural Mobilization classes. Together, they teach the Intraoral classes. Loretta, Christina and Ariel can be found in the Craniosacral Program classes, and Ken assists with both the Intraoral and Myofascial Balancing classes. Audrey is the newest member to join our circle, assisting within the Craniosacral Program and the Myofascial Balancing classes. Collin supports the program administratively behind the scenes as well as training toward assisting in the classroom.

As a team, we are dedicated to helping students gain clarity, knowledge and confidence in their workwhile enjoying ourselves as much as possible.

About Lauren M. Christman, LMP, CBSI/KMI, CCST

What we appreciate about you: your thoughtfulness, your tenderness, your warmth, enthusiasm for knowledge, your quirky/geekiness, your willingness to be vulnerable, not know everything about yourself, and willingness to say ‘I don’t know’. This created trust for us. We also love your sense of humor and that you don’t necessarily make things ‘precious.’ We loved the poetry, the time spent in circle and the boundaries around it. — Carol, Susanne, Nancy

She is clear on the knowledge that she has and is eager to share it. Her passion for her students is palpable. She is inclusive of very different kinds of students and their backgrounds, often responding with “Yes, and…”. Her professional style exudes curiosity without fault-finding. It makes learning fun when the teacher is joyful and expansive. It makes not-knowing somehow okay for me and encourages me to keep looking for the answers I seek. — James J

Lauren Christman

About Lauren

Lauren’s love of teaching was sparked first as a faculty member at the Brian Utting School of Massage (1995-2003). Team teaching across all topics was the foundation of this unique licensing program. This style became a guiding principle of her approach to presenting information. During this time, Lauren also taught continuing education by assisting her mentors in craniosacral therapy, structural bodywork and professional ethics. In 2005, she completed a teacher training with Tom Myers and began teaching Anatomy Trains classes regionally and nationally. She then became a Senior Faculty member in Myers' Structural Integration training (ATSI), teaching nationally and abroad, from 2007-2013. Alongside these programs, Lauren began developing short courses with her husband, Richard Polishuk. They offered courses in Intraoral Work, Pediatric Fascial Balancing and Myofascial Balancing.

In 2017, she took over the Craniosacral—A Healing Art certification program, based in Seattle. This program offers an expansive umbrella under which Lauren can share her love of anatomy, osteopathic principles and treatments as well as a rich exploration of the healing process.

Teaching philosophy

Learning about the body has been one of the biggest joys in my life—there is a richness in understanding this vessel we have and in understanding how to support health and vitality, in ourselves and in our clients. For me, the learning process has many parallels with the healing process. Both require a safe environment, clarity of purpose as well as willingness to stay engaged in areas of vulnerability—whether that’s letting someone touch us in novel ways as a client or bringing our questions forward as we learn new methods as students.

A variety of skills are required to become adept at a manual healing art: presence, clarity of intention and attention, engaging our mind and heart, while using our own bodies with ease and coordination. Bodywork is a wonderfully rich ground for exploration…and a ‘job’ that asks us to bring our full self to the table. Successful bodywork allows—in fact, demands—that we engage our mind, our heart, our technical shrewdness as well as our heart and humanity.

Given that, learning bodywork highlights our own ability to be present with ourselves, in our curiosity and our confusion. I love helping each student find the ways to make the material their own: How do they learn? What is of most importance to them? How can I help them make connections that will last? When we learn, we move from the known (where we feel safe) to the unknown (which might feel uncomfortable). As a teacher, my role is to guide people to that edge and then to stand with them while they make discoveries about the body, the techniques, themselves or others.

I love teaching anatomy and physiology—bringing clarity to the architecture of the body and emphasizing the practical implications of this knowledge for bodyworkers. I’m fascinated by the structure and function of the human animal, as well as the richness of our psyche or soul that strives to make meaning of our experience.

Teaching bodywork is a wonderful mixture of presenting anatomy or techniques (where I provide information), leading group discussion (where I mediate open-ended dialogue), and participating in one-on-one work with students (where I counsel or simply listen). Holding the learning process with generosity, curiosity and humor can help us sustain a safe environment and enjoy ourselves at the same time.

For a longer description of Lauren's background, click here.

Lauren is a gifted teacher. She simply and clearly explains and integrates mechanical, biodynamic and energetic cranial concepts and techniques with a wide depth of knowledge, skill and wisdom. I am grateful for her gentle, guiding patience and insights into the heart of our individual questions and processes. — Julie B

Richard Polishuk, LMT, Aston Patterning

Richard’s skills are amazing in his work, simplicity in execution! — Judy K

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciated your kindness and guidance at the workshop. I’ve already integrated many of those techniques into my treatments. — Vikki P

Richard Polishuk

About Richard

I began teaching at the Brian Utting School of Massage, and in Ben Benjamin's CE courses, soon after becoming a massage therapist. I spent the first 12 years of my practice deeply involved in both studying and teaching. In retrospect, it's clear that I was searching for clarity in assessing and problem-solving. Luckily, I found it! As of about 1999, I began to feel that I had something of my own to say about the field—what we now call Myofascial Balancing—and my work has evolved quite naturally since then.

Teaching philosophy

In both my practice and teaching, I have always focused on assessment-driven work. In other words, I want to always know exactly why I'm doing what I'm doing. For me, this is the best point of departure for teaching. Although I don't think that working with people (clients or students) is simple, I do think that the fundamentals of the work can and should be simple.

Hey Richard, Last weekend’s class was amazing! The doors opened and the light bulb in my head went off!! All these years of experience—the things I was not aware of or how to treat the tissues! Thank you so much!! — Don B

Richard can throw the confusing stuff out and make you realize it’s okay not to have an answer for everything. He may be the brightest person I’ve ever met! He has a fantastic and unique approach to teaching. Adore him! — Amber H

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Loretta Arvizu

About Loretta

Loretta is such a gift! Lauren first met Loretta in the late 90's, when our common interests in craniosacral therapy and working with infants brought us together. After years of working as a nurse, she received her initial craniosacral therapy training through the Upledger Institute as a step toward a more holistic approach to healing. Along with classes for Crafted Touch, she has assisted classes with the Upledger Institute, Milne Institute and Ursula Popp, LAc. She maintained a private practice for over 20 years, providing care for individuals of all ages and families.

Loretta brings a deep connection with healing, nature and her Native traditions to the classroom. She has particular talents of listening, trusting in process and holding a clear and deep container for change. We are so grateful to have her in our circle.

 

 

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Christina Greené

About Christina

Christina Greené began studying and practicing craniosacral work in 2005 during massage school. It has been the basis of her massage practice for more than sixteen years, and from her beginnings, she has embraced both the mechanical and biodynamic approaches. She has been assisting Lauren Christman for four-plus years, and as an assistant, she enjoys the repetition of hearing Lauren's lessons over again, adding new knowledge, and simply being in the craniosacral field as the whole class works together in community.

"We are all in treatment rooms alone for most of the year, so to be in a room with colleagues and like-minded folks is exciting. People come into the classroom with all kinds of experience and knowledge, because they have been practicing, they have been observing, and they see what works and what doesn’t. It is fun to work with students individually as they are learning to feel flexion and extension for the first time, and I appreciate the simplicity of those moments when students step out of their own way and are really able to drop into the layers--breath, depth, nervous system—and it all comes together. Listening and presence are really beautiful, and then the person gets off the table and says, 'Wow, what was that? I feel so good!’" Christina

 

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Audrey Smith

About Audrey

Audrey has been a long-time student of Richard and Laurentaking all the Myofascial Balancing courses, learning Anatomy Trains Structural Integration with Lauren, as well as being certified in Craniosacral Therapy. She's passionate, bright, and highly skilled. We're pleased to welcome her on the team. (a new picture to come!)

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Ariel Lewis

About Ariel

Ariel brings experience as a bodyworker, teacher of entry level students and human resources/educational administration. With an abiding interest in trauma-informed care and systems organization, Ariel assists in our Tending the Therapeutic Relationship class. Her ability to adapt principles of relationship, communication and health allow us to take that material beyond the immediate application of our practices, and to continue to deepen our self-understanding. When not at work, she loves to garden, take long (fast) walks, do puzzles and enjoy the animals that cross her path.

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Ken Berger

About Ken

Ken graduated from the Brian Utting School of Massage in 1994 and has run his own practice since then. His main focus has been with injury/treatment; in 2011 he became board certified as a Structural Integrator. In 2008 he received his endorsement for Intraoral massage. He has also studied Craniosacral, visceral manipulation, nerve and vascular mobilization, scar work and Lomilomi.

 

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Collin Sedlacek

About Collin

Collin comes from a background in science and has always been utterly fascinated with the incredible human body.  Finding sustained benefits from bodywork in his own life, his work is driven by an unwavering confidence in the intrinsic healing capacity within every person.

He balances his private practice with teaching at the Discovery Point School of Massage, as well as pursuing involvement in the field as a whole (podcasts, educational and creative writing, presenting at special events, and more). We are so pleased to have Collin's skills and creative imagination within our umbrella!