A Letter from Jess: Creating the Gap

My monthly newsletter is meant to inspire you to reflect, act, and develop a greater sense of body intelligence.

Hello again! 

Ahh September! My favorite time of year! Cool nights, crisp mornings, summery afternoons.  

This time of year, is particularly nostalgic for me! Most of you may not know this about me, but I was in a car accident 22 years ago to this day (September 10th) that should have taken my life. Yup, I lived through a near death experience.  Something like that can change a person, and I am no different.  I can look back at that point and say there was a before and after.  

I was 21 years old and I was invincible.  I had just finished an amazing summer job where I was travelling all over BC. I saved up enough money to buy my first car and was headed to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort to work as a Ski patroller.  I hit to road early to make the drive to Golden. It was a perfect day for the drive.  Just after the summit of Rogers Pass, my eyes became heavy, my tires wandered and found the soft shoulder. The car fish tailed, crossed the center line, and went up over the guard rail. Dropping down a cliff, I continued to roll to the bottom of the valley.  

I still remember every bit of it.  The way the churned-up earth smelled, the taste of dirt in my mouth. I was extremely lucky that a trucker had witnessed my tail lights go up and over the edge…. he called for help.  Search and Rescue had to navigate down a mountain side to find me.  They placed me in a basket stretcher connected to the bottom of a helicopter long line.  The helicopter flew up the mountain side to the ambulance waiting on the road above.  I was then taken to Golden hospital where I was checked for injuries.  I had my bumps and bruises, and some minor reparative surgeries but basically, I walked away.  Even now, it is incredible for me to reflect on this event, I literally walked away from something that should have taken my life.  I guess one could say, it wasn’t my time.  

Having this experience has shifted my perspective. It made me start asking some of those deeper questions. Why did this happen? What is my purpose here? If given another chance at life, what do I do with it? It is my belief that we all go through similar life experiences to varying degrees, something that stops us in our tracks and asks more of us, asks us to dig a little deeper.  This was my moment.  I wouldn’t be doing what I do today without having had this experience.  

We have all had our before and after moments.  We can all look back and see where our lives have taken a pivot on its trajectory.  For some it may be a health crisis, or relationship beginnings or endings.  Births and deaths.  For better or worse, these big events shape us. 

I like to think about trajectory.  We operate on autopilot most of our day. Many of our choices are more like habits carried out on a subconscious level.  However, there are moments when we are shaken out of our slumber and something beyond our understanding, call it fate or destiny, grabs hold of our attention, enough to create a pause, a gap, an awakening.   If we can stay open, and find enough resources to process the experience, if we can stay in the space that our awareness is abruptly brought into,  this is where the magic happens. This is where we grow and create a new outcome from the path we were on. We can shift our trajectory.  

Your turn 

  • Can you recall some of your before and after moments throughout your life?
  • What was your response? Did you let the instance shape you in a way that helped you grow into the person you are today?
  • What is your current trajectory? 
  • Where do you want to end up? 
  • What could be one thing that you could do to shift your trajectory to where you want to end up down the road?
  • How could you create more gaps in your day to allow more shifts to happen?

Conversation starters 

I’m Reading:

  • I recommend this book to everyone I know.  So, if I haven’t recommended this book to you yet, I am now.  When the Body Says No by Dr Gabor Mate, is one of my before and after moments in book format.  Reading this book made me take a closer look at the stresses I have normalized and how it may be affecting my health.  I love being tough, handling the pressure, I have a can-do attitude.  These characteristics are great; however, some awareness on allowing my body to recharge, knowing when to say No, setting healthy boundaries was something I decided was a lot more important after reading this book.  My long term health depends on it.

I’m Watching/Listening to:

How I can help

The gap we were talking about earlier, the space where the magic happens, where we can choose new outcomes on our trajectory of life, that is Craniosacral Therapy in a nutshell. 

Craniosacral Therapy, slows our nervous system down to find stillness. It is like pressing pause. In this deep space of rest, our nervous system has a chance to reboot and rewire. It can release and unwind long held patterns in the body.  The gap or space that your body is allowed to drop into, brings the possibility of a new outcome.  It is a beautiful process that is subtle, yet profound. 

Sometimes, these big life events I mentioned earlier, can be startling or even traumatizing.  Our body may respond in a way that can shut us down, not allowing us to live optimally. If you are feeling overwhelmed by such an event, unable to process what is going on in your body, having the space held for you may be really beneficial in moving your life forward.

If you haven’t experienced Craniosacral Therapy, then I invite you to book with me now! I am offering you a FREE 30-minute Craniosacral Therapy session.   If you have had a session and loved your experience, please do me the honor and pass this offer on to your friends and family.  

Looking forward to connecting with you again soon!

Much love,

Jess Spohr

A Letter from Jess: Why is it so hard to relax?

My monthly newsletter is meant to inspire you to reflect, act, and develop a greater sense of body intelligence.

Happy Summer to you all!  

To be honest, I am feeling the push-pull of summer.  Hurry up and take a break! I found this to be especially true when I set out on my valuable vacation time.  I packed the clothes, prepared the food, and planned the activities I thought would keep the kids busy enough that I could find a little RnR.  And yet, when we did arrive at our desired destination, it still took a few days before my nervous system found that slower pace. 

I can laugh about it now, but for me that first day of camping makes me question “why do I camp at all?”. I found myself completely deregulated. I came to relax and I was met with stress: in the days leading up to camping trip, our car broke down on the side of the road and we were desperately waiting to get it back from the mechanics in time before our trip.  When we did arrive at the campground, we ended up having a different campsite then what we expected (and it wasn’t an upgrade). It was also extremely hot. By the time I was setting up camp, I felt agitated and irritable, especially with the kids.  My breath felt short, my energy chaotic, and my problem-solving abilities seemed to have disappeared.What was happening?! 

My nervous system had all the symptoms of a classic “fight or flight” response.  In my case it was a fight response, meaning my nervous system went into high gear, blood was pumped from my organs into my muscles to tackle the situation at hand.  The situation did sort itself out in the end, and it was time to reset, after all, it was what I had set out to do in the first place: spend time in nature, to step out of the patterns of our daily life, unwind, take a breath.  

These were my steps in finding balance:

  • Acknowledge the stress I was feeling
  • Give myself permission to prioritize my own health and emotional needs
  • Find a friend to talk to, and yes, this included an emotional release (a good cry always feels amazing afterwards)
  • Burn off extra steam through exercise, which also filled my body full of those feel-good endorphins (my “go to’s” are either Pilates, yoga, swimming or running)
  • Reset my Vagus nerve by a simple stretching/hand-body technique (see below) 
  • Lastly, find the quiet stillness (this last week for me was filled with soaking up sun on the beach, and having my feet resting in a cold creek)

And yes, we did have an amazing trip! Smiles all around:) 

It is so hard to relax because our nervous system, especially in this day and age, is normally running in overdrive. If we think of a healthy nervous system as a teeter totter, it can easily move through a day with ups and downs and then return to an equilibrium, a balance. Unfortunately, for most of us, the demands of life are more than our bodies were meant to bare, which I certainly experienced in “day one” of camping.  However, thankfully, our bodies are also extremely resilient.  With subtle adjustments, tools and resources, I was able to shift gears into that slower pace, and find that balance point on the teeter totter.    

Your turn  

  • How do you unwind?  
  • How do you reset yourself when your day has gone haywire?
  • What are your resources? Meaning, what do you do to feel good again in your body?
  • When you do carve out that precious time for yourself, are you able to sit still enough to be present in those quiet moments? Do you create distractions from being with yourself?

Conversation starters 

I’m Reading:

  • This is my second time reading this book, it’s that good: “Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve” by Stanley Rosenberg. Written by a Craniosacral Therapist, this book provides an excellent understanding of our Nervous system and more specifically the importance of the Vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve (vagus in Latin means wanderer) is the 10th cranial nerve out of 12.  It is a long wandering nerve supplying innervation to the heart, lungs, upper digestive tract, and other organs of the chest and abdomen.  The reason this nerve is so significant is that it is a key component in helping us regulate, to be in a state of social engagement. If the Vagus nerve is not activated properly, we can end up with symptoms on either end of the teeter totter; feeling low, disconnected, withdrawn. When we feel safe and connected to those close to us, we likely have a well-functioning Vagus nerve.  In his book, Rosenberg also provides many simple self-help techniques that stimulate the Vagus nerve to help bring about that desired balance. I use many of these techniques on myself, my kids and my clients. I am happy to share these techniques with you next time you are in the clinic, or you can access them online here. The reason this book has been so powerful for me is that it has given me a deeper sense of clients’ Vagal tone.  With gentle touch through craniosacral therapy, I am better able to stimulate this significant nerve and help clients reconnect with their own balance. 

I’m Watching/Listening to:

How I can help

If you would like to have a reset in your own system I invite you to try Reflexology.  Find out more about reflexology here

Stay tuned, next month I will be giving away some really great offerings!  Looking forward to connecting with you again soon!

Much love,


Craniosacral Therapy: Unwind long held patterns in the body

I love coming across great podcasts that highlight Craniosacral Therapy and how it can be so profound for people. Tension patterns can stay in the body a very long time, even as far back as when we were in utero or coming through the birth canal. Be sure to checkout this podcast if you have had, or experienced, a difficult pregnancy: Let’s Talk About Torsion and Myofascial Unwinding with Dr. Carol Phillips.

They discuss:

  • Injuries sustained during pregnancy
  • Bigger injuries like car accidents (24 mins in)
  • How even smaller day to day injuries can grow to larger problems down the road
Craniosacral sessions are beneficial pre-and post partum for both baby and momma!

We offer shorter sessions (30 mins) for children (16 and under). The amazing thing about children and babies is they respond very well to this type of treatment. They usually require less sessions, and a shorter treatment times. Children naturally let go and return to their original patterns of health, as their patterns are not as deeply ingrained as adults.

Give us a call and ask for Jess if you have questions about a Craniosacral Treatment for yourself or your child. 250 550-4934.