Karin Kiteley describes the magic and mastery of her work in the presence and connection she brings to each session. For the past 12 years, licensed massage therapist Karin Kiteley has worked with hundreds of local clients, helping them to achieve a deep state of healing and relaxation. Her career as a hands-on healer began 20 years ago. The experience relayed by many often resembles the feeling of dropping into infinity, the name Karin so appropriately has chosen for her business. I spent the morning speaking with Karin about her work and conducted the following interview for you to enjoy.
Karin, thanks so much for speaking with us today. To begin, let’s explore the fact that for the past 20 years you have had a very steady practice, with 12 of those years here in Ashland. Most of your clients are long-term clients and somehow you still keep things fresh. How do you do this?
Every moment is a new moment. I practice Breema®, both as a modality offered and as a self-understanding (consciousness-raising) practice, which offers the tools of coming to the awareness of the breath as it comes in and goes out, and bringing the mind to also register the weight of the body on the ground. This allows me the great benefit of being present with as many moments as possible, offering the recipient the benefit of that same level of true presence.
Tell us more about what you mean by presence. How do you see this demonstrated for yourself? How do you demonstrate it for others?
There is a place where being truly in the moment gives us the ability to imbibe in the TASTE of existence, and I believe this comes through for my clients as an unspoken opportunity to simply BE and let go. There is a sense of safety in this – a sense that the client is really being held and recognized in their vitality, and that I am not simply on autopilot or drifting off in thoughts of the past or the future, but really connecting with them individually and uniquely in the present. How this translates from Breema® bodywork, done over clothing on a floormat, to the table work, which has elements of Swedish, Shiatsu and general meridian therapy, is that as I practice with the 9 Principles of Harmony that make up the Breema® teachings, a principle such as ‘Single Moment, Single Activity’ helps make every move the ONLY thing I am doing. The essence is permeating and penetrating with each part of the body I am on moment after moment.
You have named your business around a feeling that often comes up for your clients when working with you. Please tell us more.
Since the beginning of my trainings with Shiatsu many years ago, I have had responses from people saying that they ‘don’t usually fall asleep, drift or at least enter dreamy states of consciousness (that infinite place where there are no borders, only union) during massages,’ but with my work it seems to happen nearly every time. This is not an aim of mine as a practitioner, it just happens.
Karin, as you are working with your clients, what are some of the unspoken messages you are intending and thus sending?
I address clients’ specific issues, of course, and I also receive each one as a whole, vibrant and vital being, as existence existing. The bottom line, I feel, is that each individual wishes to be loved, and many of the responses that the body manifests as pain or discomfort, or stress, are produced when a person is subconsciously feeling a need to be recognized or held… to be love.
I would love for you to share some recent transformations you have witnessed in your practice.
I have recently become an instructor of Breema®, a form of bodywork/self-understanding that is the underlying current of all of the modalities I practice. Through keeping vigilance with this meditative and pragmatic practice on a daily basis, I am seeing how it benefits my work as a therapist. Truly being in the moment with the three centers– mind, body and feelings– there is a level of clarity that brings forth an intuitive state that is really beyond me, myself (some label as the ‘ego’), and may bring in whatever healing that needs to unfold for the person on the table naturally, effortlessly in many ways. It isn’t really that I am ‘doing’ something to ‘fix’ the other person, as my work is generally non-diagnostic in nature, but that in being present, a circuit may be created of witnessing what is realizable. It is not as esoteric as it may at first glance sound, and from the reports from clients, it is continuing to be effective in very deep ways.
What is some of the feedback you receive from your clients?
I recently had a reflection from a new client that she felt I was truly present with her through the whole session, and not simply working to be done and on to the next. This was a rewarding observation that I’m grateful to know is coming through my work. My other underlying current of technique that I work with is meridian therapy, based in the Shiatsu/Japanese view of health, and between that and the non-judgmental practices of Breema®, I see great outcomes for my clients. They report a sense of more flow in the overall system, a sense of ease of being. A rewiring of whole body, holistic wellness.
Your practice is very pragmatic in a way that you are very focused on working on right here right now. Please talk more about what this means to you.
The focus of my work is about embracing what is real, what is realizable, right in front of me. This allows the mind to come to the body– knowing that the body is breathing and that it has weight– sensing the present moment and letting thoughts of past and future be what they are, just ‘thoughts’ that have nothing to do with the current CURRENT that is the IS-ness of true existence. What this means for me is that there is no conjecture of ‘what could be’ or ‘what was’ but simply ‘what is’ and that fills up the space to recognize the life that is most vital. As my teacher says, “real health is harmony with existence.” When we can be with what is, there will not be a sense of disharmony with our body’s manifestations.
Please talk about the sanctuary feeling that your healing space has to offer.
I create a space of sanctuary for my clients that gives their nervous systems every opportunity to let down, let go and breathe, thus opening to whatever healing their physical form is moving through. The atmosphere is alive with exploration of the truth of each moment, so enhancing the actual surroundings and the conversation or body therapy that may take place is a sense of grounding and ease. This is also embellished by the use of a Biomat on my table, a mat made of crushed amethyst crystals that is warming and provides penetrating relief for the whole body system.
I sense you have such a deep appreciation for the work you have to offer.
It is reverent and holy, yes. And it is not about ‘me’ as the practitioner, but about the unified field that is all that IS. I, as Karin, am simply a ‘conduit’ for the Real… and even that is saying more than needs to be defined with words.
How has your craft evolved as you have gone deeper and deeper into your practice?
Where there is stagnation there is discomfort, where there is flow there is ease. With the mind-based knowledge of Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine meridian therapy as a foundation for my studies, and then Breema® as a body-based practice, I have learned to work in an awareness of assisting flow in the framework of the body. One of the principles of Breema® is ‘no hurry, no pause,’ and this one principle brings to my work a dancing quality that truly does invite the recipient’s form and structure to experience ‘flow’ and therefore ease, more readily.
Karin, you appear to have real curiosity for life. What were you like as a child? How does this thread of curiosity continue to be expressed today?
I have always been inclined to spend a lot of time outdoors… that is my church. So observing nature brings me to wish to observe the nature of existence, without judgment or wanting to change anything. This manifests now both at the internal and external perspective and my interactions with life in general. For example, standing in line at the grocery store, I take the opportunity to witness my body standing and the breath as it enters and exits my form. Something else that has delighted me is when I’m working with a client, I’ll all of a sudden feel very tall, as if I’m seeing everything from a ‘higher self.’ It’s playful and joyful, and adds, at least for myself, to the nature of the atmosphere in the room and the session that is taking place.
Infinity Healing Arts
Check out her website here