photo credit: Shaina Cantino, Miami Beach, FL

Ceremony asks for intention. I have been moving through what could be a ceremony but the intention is missing. In this case, I am moving into my first solo home in 3 years. I have been all movement, busy encouraging piles to move through the space until they eventually de-accumulate. Corners and walls have begun to emerge orderly and arranged. Productivity energy fuels me towards a moment in the future when my apartment is ‘ready for living in.’ I am not paying attention to sensations in my body. I am ignoring them, in fact. In a sense I have been…

Being in a beautiful place does not mean I feel beautiful. Sometimes the saturated world seems to stop at my flat edges.

I was depressed in Baxter State Park last summer. Depression, I have learned, usually implies I am blocking up an experience rather than letting it flow. Usually this experience is sadness, which I reflexively try to hold back. I block the river and then I suffer in the drought.

On the 13 mile hike I was okay. The required exertion to get over all the peaks and back to our site before nightfall pumped enough vitality through me…

Written by Shaina Cantino, edited by Adam Brady

As a bodywork practitioner, I enter as an advocate for any parts holding uncomfortable experiences that need to surface in order to get folded back into a present-time alignment. Part of my work is to tune into a pattern that doesn’t know how to ‘find its way back’ to integration.

This can also be seen from the perspective of the nervous system. Through bodywork, we aim for a position of greatest ease (expanded soon in a coming blog). Old habits, no longer relevant to present-time needs, can interfere with ideal musculoskeletal…

Written by Shaina Cantino, edited by Adam Brady.

For many of us, our first impulse when feeling a tension in our bodies is to try to push it away. Rejectionary messaging — ‘You need to go away’ — may be motivating our efforts to stretch or relax. Tension is bad, right? Or is it? Could you dare to believe that allowing tension to exist might actually be the most effective route towards comfort?

What does it mean to say ‘yes’ to tension?

I relate to tension as a sign of our somatic system embracing a vulnerable part, attempting to…

No one in the house heard the crash, but the tree certainly fell. My car caught it.

When everything started shutting down for Covid-19, I hastily bought a one way-ticket to be with my partner and I left my loyal Honda Civic parked at a friend’s house. Last week, when my partner suggested I save money and pause the car insurance, I said, “But a tree might fall on it.” Whaat?! This is how, so quickly in the after-shock of loss, meaning wriggles in. My brain hastened to retrospectively illuminate all the cues that led up to this moment. I…

I was forced to take a long break from everything normal last spring. Before the two concussions that knocked me out for five months, I had never truly felt my brain as a muscle. As a bodyworker and dancer, I have studied the nervous system. I learned about it on a conceptual level and was beginning to understand the experience of nervous system regulation — what it feels like to be safe, what it feels like to be frozen or wanting to flee. Healing from a brain injury taught me so much more about what it means to respond to…

Shaina Cantino, MFA/LMT

Craniosacral & visceral manual therapist on stolen Nipmuc & Pocumtuc land. Her performance & teaching explore interconnection, imagination & perception.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store