All that sitting turns into tight hips and thighs.
All that sitting: let's undo it.
 

Decompressing the neck and releasing cranial tension.
Decompressing the neck and releasing cranial tension.
 

This helps with headaches, jaw tension, and tinnitus.
This helps with headaches, jaw tension, and tinnitus.
 

Sidelying work: easy on the sinuses and the low back.
Sidelying work: easy on the sinuses and the low back.
 

Freeing the ankle gives you a nimble, adaptive foot.
Freeing the ankle gives you a nimble, adaptive foot.
 

Releasing neck tension with the head in gentle rotation.
Releasing neck tension with the head in gentle rotation.
 

What I do

I help people. Mainly in three ways:

I loosen the body, settle the nervous system, and teach self-care.

This gives you more comfort and less pain in your everyday life.

It optimizes you for performance in your sport or art.

It's a concentrated dose of restorative downtime that boosts many healing processes in your body. Brain function, immune response, tissue repair, and growth hormones increase. Inflammation and stress hormones decrease.

You learn how to address some aches and pains on your own.

Two-thirds of my practice are regulars who have a monthly appointment with me as a kind of ongoing healthcare. These are busy, active, healthy people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s who want exceptional body care because it makes everything more enjoyable: work, play, activity, and rest.

I do some work with elite athletes and performing artists.

I have a special interest in helping people with exhaustion, anxiety, shame, or fear to discover the ally they have in their imperfect body.

Every body is welcome.

— Mike Papciak
 


Appointments

Appointments are two hours. Cost is $350, no gratuity.

A first appointment, or an only appointment, is usually thirty minutes intake and consultation, ten minutes self-care coaching, and an hour-fifteen on the table.

Subsequent appointments are usually ten minutes checking in and an hour-fifty on the table.

Contact me to schedule.
 


Your pre-intake

Here are some of my ideas. If they seem like truth and common sense — or at least worth investigating — I can help you.

You can feel better. If you care for your body, it'll improve. No matter where you're starting from. This takes time, effort, and money. Not included: miracles, permanence.

You affect your outcome. The usual perpetuating factors — age, weight, sleep, stress, fitness, nutrition, and attitude — affect your result. That's reality. I make no requirements. You don't have to be perfect, go vegan, or start meditating. But your choices and habits matter.

It's never perfect. At least not for long. Your body is a living system that is constantly changing. Instead of always falling short of perfection, we aim for significant and sustainable improvement. If your pain, or your performance, improved by 50% to 90%, how does that sound to you?

It's never just one thing. It's nice to think that your problem is confined to one spot or one muscle — but this is never true. Your musculature is crowded and cooperative. All problems are distributed problems. With any dysfunction or pain, what I call a neighborhood of tissue is involved. So we treat broadly.

It really is all connected. Your shoulders are connected to your waist. Your heels are connected to your skull. These are actual, structural, physical, mechanical connections. In your body, everything affects everything.

Your hips and thighs run the show. I call them the sitting muscles. They're big, they're centrally located, and they're always tight from sitting. Hips and thighs control your posture and influence all of your aches and pains — even those that seem far away. Without some suppleness in your hips and thighs, you won't find lasting relief for your neck, shoulders, back, or knees. Hips and thighs are where the suffering starts.

Did I mention we're going to treat broadly? Your problem spot is the tip of an iceberg. Your whole situation contributes to your symptoms. So our work is distributed. We address specific complaints like headaches or knee pain by working with the entirety of your musculature and your nervous system.

It's not dainty and it's not brutal. It's just right. Some folks think that intense, crushing pressure is what sets serious bodywork apart from wimpy spa massage, or that it does more good, or that the results last longer. Understandable — but wrong. Bombarding your system will damage tissue, slow your recovery, and actually tighten your muscles more. I am an expert at using the right amount of pressure and precision to mobilize your tissue. It feels good.

More rest will help your body and your brain. Good news: your resting doesn't have to be perfect. Anything helps. During our appointment, your nervous system gets a brief but concentrated dose of rest — I call it Vitamin R.

Find a way to move that you enjoy, and do it often. Doing it imperfectly is fine. Complex and varied movement is best: yoga, Pilates, proper weightlifting, martial arts (including the gentle forms, like tai chi and qi gong), climbing, and dance are fine examples because they are so three-dimensional. Repetitive motion sports like cycling, running, and swimming are also popular. For optimal health, you need loosening — that's my work — and strengthening. I can advise.

There is no quick fix. Your body won't feel comfortable or perform optimally without ongoing maintenance. Ideally both you and a practitioner provide this maintenance: one appointment with me is one dose of maintenance, and I'll teach you the stuff you can do on your own. It's like dental hygiene — we've learned that lesson. We know the consequences. This is muscle hygiene.

What kind of bodywork is it? It's my own style. I've combined deep-tissue massage, myofascial unwinding, trigger point therapy, craniosacral therapy, structural integration, Chinese tui na, and what I call assisted resting. It'll be different than any other massage therapy or bodywork that you've had.

Some context for the cost: It's midrange for professional therapies in the area.
 


What happens in a session?

First, consultation. You tell me what you need help with, or what your goals are, and I'll tell you how I can help. My perspective is usually optimistic, thanks to the forgiving, repairable nature of the body's soft tissue, and it's always realistic: based on anatomy, common sense, and the demands of modern life.

On the treatment table, we do a couple things:

We loosen and unwind tight bodies. Our musculature gets short and stiff from sitting, stressing, smartphoning, the computer, driving, parenting, squeezing workouts into busy schedules, then switching quickly from the gym or the yoga studio back to the car and the computer. So we reintroduce mobility to your muscles. We reorganize confused, adhered tissue. We get the layers gliding again. Adhesions are cobwebby collagen fibers that grow daily — yes, daily — between the layers of our bodies, and harden with inactivity, stress, age, dehydration, poor diet, and other perpetuating factors. This sticky, clenched, uncoordinated tissue restricts natural movement, causes pain, and sets off a pattern of compensation elsewhere in the body. Some classic examples: Tight hamstrings pull the naturally springy curve out of the lower back and choke the sciatic nerve. Facial and cranial muscles harden from stress or anxiety and disrupt the normal functioning of the jaw or cause headaches. The neck cranes forward and the chest contracts from sitting and working at the computer, which exhausts the upper back. The effects of an imbalance or injury can cascade through the body — sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically.

We also settle the nervous system. We do this by giving you a concentrated dose of deep rest. This boosts your healing and recovery processes and refreshes your mind. Pain or dysfunction in the body is like background noise. This noise fatigues the nervous system and in turn, everything else: immune response, reflexes, strength, mood. When we turn down or turn off the noise, the whole organism — that's you — benefits.

Finally, self-care: I teach you how to brush and floss your own muscles using simple, portable methods and tools. With a rubber lacrosse ball or a foam roller, you can be your own massage therapist.
 


Thanks for reading.

I welcome questions and I enjoy discussing whether my work will help you. Keeping your musculature happy and healthy will help almost any malady, from specific sports injuries or biomechanical issues to boosting the immune system and improving sleep.

Like and Follow my Facebook page and Instagram for more ideas like those above.

Contact me with your questions, and to book a session.