Hi, I'm Paul Cramer
Some things that would be good
to know about me
Moving to be Healthy
We are often told to find what we do well and are passionate about -if we can follow that to make a career and life out of, we will be successful and happy. As much as I'm able -this is what I have done all my life.
I was that kid, yes that kid who couldn't ever sit still. Back when I was in school, it was still common to ask overly active students to go stand in the hall. I think it was supposed to be some kind of punitive measure but as I recall when I was asked to go stand in the hall, my answer was "gladly" at least I can move a little bit. I was always in motion or at least thinking about it. I can still remember my mother pleading with me to walk up the stairs instead of bounding up them and would I please slow down....and this was when I was in my 30's. More than 2 decades later it is still the same. I spend a lot of my time exploring movement in our body both practically and through study. How do we inhabit this body of ours and how does movement or lack of movement affect our body, mind, emotions as well as our relationships? Good questions to ponder.
Next to movement or I guess truth be told right up there with it is my love of learning -I have an insatiable curiosity. Reading, asking questions, trying things out for myself and rarely doubting that I couldn't learn whatever I set my mind to has afforded me many opportunities in my life. I have worked as a carpenter and cabinet maker's apprentice, an English as a Second Language teacher and curriculum developer. I pursued the study of Linguistics and obtained a BA (Spec. Honours) degree. I have worked in IT and its implementation in schools throughout the Northwest Territories. I had the opportunity to live in Yellowknife, Inuvik as well as Whitehorse in Canada's far north.
From here I finally met my match. It's amazing to me how one event can change a person's life. While visiting my parents in Ontario, I went for a massage and was given a Thai massage. Well, I was hooked and next thing I knew (think movement and curiosity) I was off to Thailand to study Thai massage. These initial 2 months set me on a new path of learning that continues to occupy me to this day. Along with studying massage, I was introduced to meditation and yoga and a completely different perspective on health and wellness. And this is where we are getting to the good stuff -the intersection of how our brain, mind, and emotions all inhabit this physical body of ours. So much to explore and learn. I have been so invested in this, I also went to India to study yoga and the practice of teaching yoga. It was here that I met my wife Elise. We live in Edmonton, Alberta and have 2 children -Kailash and Bodhi.
Now finally we get to sharing and teaching. No matter what I've done in my life I've always ended up teaching it. I have taught skiing, sailing, running, English, courses in computers, Thai massage, yoga as well as movement and meditation classes. For me this is where I'm truly at my best. When I learn something I want to be able to share what I've learned and the heart of teaching is finding ways of conveying the subject that makes sense to the learner. How to help a learner experience and grow in their ability from their own centre is at the core of my love of teaching.
Putting it all together, my affinity and interest in movement and wellness, my enthusiasm for learning as well as my passion for teaching have all integrated together. I am now pursuing developing courses and programs to share what I've been studying and learning. My goals for these are to provide resources for therapists, practitioners and those in the wellness environment as well as individuals who just want to learn more. Ultimately I'd like to see these resources shared as widely and as far as possible so that we all benefit.
One of the best ways of integrating something that we're learning and practicing is through sharing it. Somehow when we teach others it activates all our learning capacity. At the core of the programs will be sharing this with others.
Learn ~ Practice ~ Integrate ~ Share
Manual and Movement Therapy with Paul:
The work I do has evolved over the nearly 20 years I have been in practice and integrates a blend of bodywork, body and movement awareness, and education as well as a profound curiosity for how sensing and movement work together. As a Registered Massage Therapist who began my training in Thai massage and yoga therapy my approach is very much “East meets West and is centred in “embodied living”. This is based on the understanding that our body, mind and how we connect outside of ourselves all work together and define who we are. Movement is a conversation with our environment -with any conversation there is speaking and listening. When we improve our ability to listen, we grow in our capacity for conversation.
Movement, knowledge, and the ability to grow– When we have a better understanding of how our body works, how it moves and the influences that affect this, we are immediately empowered to make positive changes. One of the goals of each session is that my clients leave knowing more about the causes of their condition and how it can be improved. My favorite saying is: Everything is improvable. I am often told by my clients that one of the reasons they like to come and see me is that they always learn something about themselves.
Body Awareness improves capacity:
We can’t change what we can’t feel and the importance of our sensory nervous system.Most of our everyday movement and activity happens automatically and without having to pay much attention to how we do it. When we have an injury or limited function, our body first begins compensating for it and then slowly integrates this into our “auto pilot” system.
We are usually completely unaware of this process and accept it as our new “normal”. Even when the injury heals, we are unable to go back to how we used to do things.
The techniques I use in a treatment address this issue specifically. By working on injuries and old habits with the goal of developing new awareness, the client is able to progress into healthier movement patterns.
The same methods apply when a client wants to change postural issues. Change follows the order of awareness, introducing new movement possibilities and then integration. A common response to the treatment is clients feeling that they are “back in their bodies” and have improved their capacity to move more easily.
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