All that sitting: let's undo it. Releasing tension in the upper leg, at Mike Papciak Bodywork.

What I do

I provide highest-quality body maintenance for all kinds of people. 

This means 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, including brain function, immune response, and tissue repair.

Two-thirds of my practice are regulars who have a monthly appointment with me as a kind of ongoing healthcare. This is powerful medicine: when you get good bodywork regularly, you feel better than you did a couple years ago... even though you're older than you were a couple years ago! You have fewer aches and pains. You don't get hurt as easily as you used to, and when you do get hurt, it's not as bad and it doesn't last as long. You're happier, because your body feels good and works better.

Regular appointments aren’t required — they're just popular. You can also come see me occasionally, or just once. 

My message to you: helping your body helps everything.

— Mike Papciak


Appointments are two hours. Cost is $280, no gratuity.

A first appointment, or an only appointment, is usually thirty to sixty minutes intake and consultation, and sixty to ninety minutes on the table.

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

Your pre-intake

Here are some of my ideas. If they make sense and seem reasonable to you, I can help.

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.

It's maintenance. Not urgent care.

Healthcare is changing. Long waits, short talks, old ideas. To stay out of that system, stay healthy. To stay healthy, take care of yourself. That word again: maintenance.

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. Even if we know it would help.

Even the good stuff makes us tight. So it's not about never doing the bad stuff. You can work at a computer, use your smartphone, be way too busy, train a little too hard for your sport, and still feel good in your body — if you support it with expert care and do some work on your own. Instead of taking away things that you enjoy, or stopping things that you must do to earn a living or to take care of others, we're going to add something: care.

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. In your body, everything affects everything. So we treat broadly.

It really is all connected. Your shoulders are connected to your hips. Therefore your hips affect your shoulders. Your heels are connected to your skull. So your feet affect your jaw. These  are actual, structural connections — not mystical stories. You are not a bunch of separate little parts. Well, you are a bunch of separate little parts, but they don't work separately — they work together — and they can't be fixed separately. You're one whole interconnected structure. (It's called fascia.) That's why we address specific complaints like headaches or knee pain by working with the entirety of your musculature and your nervous system. Those words again: we treat broadly.

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

Resting helps your body and your brain. How? Chemistry. All the body's healthy processes kick into gear when we relax deeply. During our appointment, your nervous system gets a brief but superconcentrated dose of rest, producing a cascade of hormonal and neurochemical benefits.

Find a way to move that you enjoy, and do it often. Doing it imperfectly is fine. Complex and varied movement is healthiest. 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.

What kind of bodywork is it? It's my own style — a combination of things you've heard of including deep-tissue massage, myofascial unwinding, structural integration, trigger point therapy, craniosacral therapy, relational therapy, Chinese tui na, and Zen meditation. Basically, I untangle you.

What happens in a session?

First, consultation. You tell me what you need help with, or what your goals are. I'll bust some myths that might hold you down, give you the latest science on your situation, and 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 tight 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. We reintroduce mobility to your muscles. We reorganize confused, adhered tissue. We get the layers gliding again. Cobwebby collagen fibers grow daily — yes, daily — between the layers of our bodies, and harden with inactivity, stress, age, dehydration, poor diet, and other factors. This sticky, clenched, uncoordinated tissue restricts natural movement, causes pain, and sets off patterns 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. A problem can affect the whole body — sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically.

We also settle the nervous system. This boosts your healing and recovery processes and refreshes the connection between your brain and your body. Pain or dysfunction 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 and supplement the work you receive from practitioners.

Thank you.