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Embodied Rituals for Skin + Soul

Filtering by Category: Bodywork

Wild Grace

Katie Gordon

Hello friends! Exciting news!  If you skipped ahead to the end, you may have noticed there’s a new web address at the bottom of this post.  This is my new project where I've finally brought all of my work together under one (figurative) roof.  Even though it's still a work in progress, I was too excited to wait to tell you all!  As most of you know, I’ve been training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach.  I went into this saying to myself, “I couldn’t actually BE a health coach, I just want the nutrition info to pass along to my yoga and bodywork clients.”  Gradually, though, I began to see how I could integrate health coaching into the bodywork, infusing conversations about food with deep healing work to address issues such as disordered eating, distorted body image, and negative patterns associated with nourishing ourselves.

About now you may be asking, “What exactly IS a health coach, and why might I need one?”

To illustrate, a story: I have a dear friend who has been my biggest support through this program.  When I was in the deepest mud and muck, questioning my worth, abilities, and place in the world (you know the little things), she laced up her boots and trudged in after me, grabbed my hand, and helped me find a way out.  In other words, she’s there telling me how much I rock. That’s a health coach.  Not someone who will give you a list of foods to eat and send you on your way, but someone who’s in the trenches with you every step of the way.

So what are you telling yourself you could “never” do?  What’s holding you back from reaching your goals, living your dream life, and fulfilling your deepest desires for yourself?  What do you not dare to say out loud for fear of being unable to accomplish it?

Maybe you’re caught in a cycle of addiction.  Maybe every meal is a battle with yourself because your body is telling you one thing, but your head keeps getting in the way, telling you that you don’t deserve to eat because you haven’t worked out today.  Maybe you’re feeling stuck in a job or a relationship that’s not feeding your soul.  Maybe you want to start your own business but are afraid of taking those first steps.  As a health coach, just like my friend did for me, I’ll be there to pull on my boots (I have some really cute Doc Martens), traipse through the mud, take you by the hand, and find a way out together, all along telling you how much you rock!  Sound good?

If so, let’s set up a free initial consultation to give you the opportunity to talk about your dreams, your goals, and how we can work together to help you heal, grow, and get free.  The best part is that we can work together in person, on the phone,or via Skype, so this is open to EVERYONE!  Email me to set up your free session at and let’s get started.  I've you've been following this blog, make your way over to my NEW website/blog and be sure to bookmark it.  This one will eventually link to the new soon as I figure out how to do that.

Much love,


Health Coach + Bodyworker + Soul Rebel

Founder of Wild Grace

Goin' Back to Cali

Katie Gordon

Hello sweet friends!

As some of you may know, I'm moving back to Orange County at the end of the month (two weeks to be exact)!  I'm so excited about this next phase of my life and to be able to share it with you all.  I'll be doing bodywork, nutrition, and teaching yoga classes at Natural Mystic in Costa Mesa, which, if you haven't checked out already, you definitely should.  They carry bulk herbs, natural body care, and spiritual gifts, and it's all run by my good friends Ginny and Edward.  You can check out the shop on Facebook or their blog.

 natural mystic friends

I'll also be helping them formulate some new tea blends, herbal syrups, and body care items, about which you'll be getting more info and updates SOON, so be on the look out for upcoming emails regarding new product lines and services.  I'm so looking forward to seeing you all and hearing about what you've been up to the last few months!

West Coast Bodywork

Katie Gordon

Hey y'all!  If you haven't already heard the good word, I'll be back in So Cal for a couple weeks over the holidays.  While I'm there, I'll be offering a limited number of bodywork sessions at Natural Mystic in Costa Mesa.  If you'd like to schedule some time with me, send me an email (in my About section).  And while you're at it, check out the's a beautiful spot with good vibes and wonderful people! Looking forward to seeing you and catching up!


natural mystic

NEW at Katie Gordon Bodywork + Yoga

Katie Gordon

Hey All! I have some exciting news:  I am expanding my bodywork practice to begin offering health coaching!  I will be working with people on how to reach their health goals, including stress reduction, increasing energy, reaching their optimal weight, creating balance in their lives, and improving their confidence.  I’ll accomplish this by supporting them with their food and lifestyle choices.

As you know, I have always had an interest in health, healing, and nutrition and have enjoyed sharing this knowledge with my friends, colleagues, and family.  I have decided to increase this knowledge and learn, in a formal training program, how to live a better life through eating well and taking care of myself.  I am currently enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Through this program I am learning to improve my life, and am receiving very detailed and careful instruction on how to coach others around food and lifestyle choices.

I look forward to sharing more with you about this new addition to my bodywork practice, and all of the benefits of this work.  I’ll be inviting people to health consultations in the near future, to have the opportunity to support them to create a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.  I’ll be in touch periodically to let you know how my training is progressing.  For those of you who are not local, I plan on offering health coaching sessions via Skype.

I appreciate being able to share this with you.  I'll be keeping you updated here at Saffron Zen, or feel free to shoot me an email with any questions you may have at!

I hope you are well, and I wish you a great day!  I look forward to talking with you soon.

Best wishes and much love to you all!

TMJ...we all have it

Katie Gordon

Let's talk about I mean jaw tension.  Recently, clients and students have been coming to me with one main issue...jaw tension and all the resulting symptoms that come along with it: headache, migraine, neck pain, herniated discs, even tight hips can be a result of a tight jaw.  Pelvic tension?  Not so fun.  When so many come to me with a specific complaint, I have to wonder what's up.  What is the Universe trying to tell me?  And then I remember.  I have jaw tension too.  As does most of the population. Let's go over some basics.  TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint.  We all have one (two, actually).  When all is going well, the many muscles and tendons of the jaw work harmoniously allowing us to eat, talk, bite, yell, kiss, and otherwise express ourselves.  When all is NOT going well, we end up TMJD (TMJ dysfunction) and we clench or grind our teeth, get gnarly headaches, achy necks, and other unpleasant symptoms.  So what can we do?

In some instances, jaw tension stems from energetic blockages, possibly resulting from unexpressed emotions, past trauma that's been wound up and stored in the body, or not speaking our truth.  In this case, it might be helpful to ask yourself, "What is it that I'm not saying?  What needs to be said?"

TMJD could also be caused by general stress that we experience in everyday, modern life.  In terms of our evolutionary response to stress, our fight-or-flight response is meant to kick in when we're being chased by a lion, not when we're stuck in traffic and late to work.  That constant-on wreaks havoc on our TMJ, neck, shoulders, cranial bones, etc.  When this happens it may be time to see a bodyworker (psst...that's me) to help unwind that tension.

A good bodyworker is highly trained in sensitive touch and the ability to read and listen to the client's body.  They'll know how to assess a client's body and symptoms, what kind of pressure and how much to use, and what may be contraindicated in certain situations.

Through skilled and sensitive touch, a bodyworker can figure out which specific muscles and attachments are tight and work to release them.  They will also know what may need to be released before the "problem area" can be directly addressed.  For example, sometimes the pterygoids (tiny, vicious muscles deep in the TMJ) are tight because the piriformis (a large, vicious muscle deep in the hip) is tight.  In order to release the jaw, you may need to release the hips.

So if you're experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, or are just curious about bodywork and what it can do for you, I'm here to help!