“Gina Saka is a Licensed Massage Therapist who has been in practice for over 22 years and is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She is a trauma-informed practitioner with a practice serving female clientele. Gina offers Biodynamic CranioSacral Therapy, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, OhashiShiatsu, and energy healing. In addition, she is a certified yoga instructor and has been teaching yoga for 15 years.”
About Gina Saka
Gina Saka offers an integrative approach to bodywork and wellness where she combines a variety of modalities tailored to her client’s needs. Integrative bodywork helps release muscle tension that has been held or embedded in muscles, fascia, and the nervous system caused by emotional pain, trauma, post-traumatic stress, stress related to major and minor illnesses, surgeries, and sexual assault. Her primary modality, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, offers a beautiful and gentle way to help survivors reconnect with their bodies because as the practitioner, she simply holds space for the client’s body to heal itself. This modality provides a deep sense of calm and safety with minimal touch and or no touch at all. It can support the regulation of a survivor’s nervous system in the way and at the pace the client’s body desires it. As a practitioner, Gina listens to where the client’s body tells her to go. This gives her clients a sense of autonomy and it creates a nonhierarchical healing relationship in which the client leads.
My Experience Working with Survivors of Sexual Violence
I have completed The Breathe Network’s 20-hour online course, Healing Sexual Trauma: A Professional Training in Trauma-Informed Care and I have trained to provide Shamanic Journey Healings. I am Ohashi Shiatsu certified and have completed: Beginning Shiatsu Level 1, Beginning Shiatsu Level 2, Intermediate Shiatsu Level 1, Intermediate Shiatsu Level 2, Advanced Shiatsu Level 1, Advanced Shiatsu Level 2, TCM-Chinese Medicine, Moxabustion, Hara and face diagnosis with Ohasi, Flying Shiatsu, Finding Classical Channels and Masunaga Extensions, Cupping Therapy 1, Cupping Therapy 2 which includes fire cupping, glass suction cupping, and silicone sliding cupping and several other shiatsu workshops. I completed the Temple of Kriya Yoga’s 200-hour Teacher Training in 2007 and yogaview’s 200-hour Teacher Training in 2008. I have completed both classes and training Meditation, Energy Healing, Kundalini Energy, Female Intuition, Female Energy, Women’s Healing, and earned the following certifications: Clairvoyant Level 1, Clairvoyant Level 2, Women’s Clairvoyant Level 1 and Women’s Clairvoyant Level 2 and Astral Training.
My Interest in Working with Survivors
Deep in my heart I know that this work is my calling. Like many, I am also a survivor and I have survived early childhood trauma. I couldn’t be more honored than to be able to provide healing for survivors.
My Understanding of Trauma-Informed Care
Trauma-informed bodywork utilizes thoughtful touch, or sometimes no touch, to gently release deeply held patterns of physical, mental, and energetic tension that unprocessed trauma can create in the body. The way that I practice trauma-informed care begins with me ensuring that I am also doing my own healing work to maintain my own health and wellbeing with integrity. Trauma-informed care involves holding the client’s interests at heart and being able to provide a safe space for healing and validation which can include anything from how the room is set up or previewing the space prior to treatment, to adjusting tactile things like lighting, sound, and scents. I am tracking my clients’ breathing and other responses to where on their body I am working and where I am going to go next, along with also tracking myself.
A simple way to describe how I practice trauma-informed care is through my commitment to integrity, trust, and communication. I offer a free consultation where a survivor can ask me anything about my practice or about me. A huge component of healing is the trust one has with their practitioner. I invite feedback, communication, and I check in with my clients about their experience. I let the client know they are in the driver’s seat while I am holding space for their healing. I hold empathy, compassion, and respect for survivors and for what they are able to handle on any given day. It’s important for clients to know that I understand that there is no timeline for when or how someone heals. In our work together, there is no goal or rush to get anywhere.
Massage therapy can greatly calm the central nervous system and decrease stress hormones, provide comfort, boost mood, increase circulation, relieve pain, and release tension held in muscles. Massage therapy can help trauma survivors to feel more present within their bodies, to build a new relationship with their bodies, and to experience receiving human touch in an environment of compassion, safety, and respect.
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is on the cutting edge of energy medicine. The study of this particular kind of Craniosacral Therapy, as taught and directed by Franklyn Sills, focuses on forming a relationship between the inherent ordering principle: the Breath of Life of both the client and of the practitioner. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, whole body approach to the human experience that actually works with the core of our being. It allows the client’s body to heal itself.
On a physical level, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy influences the spinal column, brain, and central nervous system, along with the cerebral spinal fluid that bathes it. From the bones of our skeletal system to the bones of the cranium and throughout the ebbing and flowing of our endocrine system – this cranial modality is a gentle, yet effective way to treat traumatic stress, regulate the nervous system, address insomnia, and support people navigating chronic illness.
On an emotional level, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy affects primary and deep patterns while enabling the space and resources for the client to explore their emotional landscape with a sense of inner resourcing. This resourcing provides a safe place for emotional issues to resolve and healing to unfold.
On a spiritual level, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy can profoundly change individual’s lives by opening doors to both their heart and soul.
Women’s Spirit Healing is a mystical healing designed to help a woman access the true essence and spirit of herself. It’s a profound healing which can make space for a woman to reconnect to her unique female spirit. This intimate healing can help a woman reclaim and unite with parts of themselves that may have been lost, hijacked or forgotten about. It is an empowering, intimate, and profound form of healing. It is also a wonderfully tender way to approach trauma, illness, post-traumatic stress, sleep disturbances, stress, and to feel energetically complete.
Shamanic Journey Healing is a gateway with infinite possibilities for healing, empowerment, and information based on ancient techniques. It’s about connecting to and receiving information, healing, and power from spiritual allies. Shamanic Journey work can provide a vehicle for continued self-healing and spiritual growth. This type of healing can be very profound and is a non-invasive way to heal trauma and can truly help a person reclaim parts of themselves that may have been lost, forgotten, or left behind.
Modifications for Survivors
Prior to the session the client is told what to expect and I invite their questions. I can modify tangible things including the room temperature, sound, scents, and my touch. I also make assessments around modifications by observing a client in several subtle and non-invasive ways which is one of the skills I learned in training with Ohashi. If a client wants to come to see the space prior to their session that is an option. I will walk them through the entire space so they know where every exit is, every door is, and know what is in the rooms around them. Often, other sessions are taking place simultaneously with other therapists which can create a sense of comfort and safety knowing others are present receiving care. Additionally, when it comes to my work with survivors, I do not have a cancellation policy. I do ask that a client could give me as much notice as possible, however, there isn’t a fee for cancelling. Sometimes a client will schedule a session in advance, yet the day of their session arrives and they may not feel up to it. Knowing they have to pay a cancellation fee may prompt someone to come to the session even thought they don’t feel ready and that in itself can be triggering.
I offer a sliding-scale. This is an honor system that I treat with the highest integrity.