Meet the amazing Nicole Mazurkiewicz. She is dedicated to sharing her anatomy / health / fitness / craniosacral and wellbeing knowledge to peeps around Melbourne.
I asked her a few questions about her awesome career change, craniosacral therapy and Yoga.
From flight attendant to Pilates instructor, Anatomy Guru and Craniosacral therapist - What happened? What a great question. I often ask myself the same thing. But what appears to be a seemingly unrelated career progression is starting to feel like the most appropriate.
After finishing High School I was disappointed I didn’t get into Physiotherapy but my Grandpa was encouraging me to travel – he couldn’t fathom someone settling into a career without first having seen the world. Having been a job gypsy for a few years after school, I decided I wanted to travel, but could never imagine myself back packing, affording the luxuries of travel or ever leaving Adelaide – I was 19 at the time.
Three years later I was living on the Gold Coast with my first job as Flight Attendant onboard QantasLink, and then I made the big move to Dubai to work for Emirates. It was in Dubai that I found my love of Pilates and Language, and further deepened my love of Arabic Arts – music, dance, and calligraphy.
After a suggestion to become a Pilates Instructor by my Pilates Teacher at the time, I got the chance to investigate where I wanted to do my training, and being a Flight Attendant gave me the luxury to travel to different countries to look at the education facilities. And then I found Breathe. What a glorious breath of fresh air. Within 6 months I had moved back to Australia to Melbourne; a city I’ve never lived in before. I had no job and nowhere to live, but I had my next career.
Pilates was a perfect fit. Within a few months I was hired to teach Pilates at Breathe and have been there ever since. The desire to become a Physiotherapist resurfaced and I applied for University as a mature age student. Fate, however, had other plans and I got into Podiatry: a fabulous profession, but not for me. I transferred after the first year into a degree that was solely focused on my current interest: Human Anatomy and Physiology.
During this time I was seeing an Osteopath. I recall one session with her that was especially profound. She was holding my feet and I started to become aware of parts of my body I had never ‘felt’ before – my stomach felt like it was adjusting – not my abdominal region, the actual organ! Then my shoulders started to release, dropping down to the table, I hadn’t been aware I was holding tension in them…. What the hell? She was holding my feet? What was this? Magic? After that session, things started to change. I started to change. An unraveling had started to take place. My osteopath told me I could learn to do the same treatments: it was called Craniosacral Therapy. I did my research and within a month, was signed up for my first course.
Craniosacral therapy feels like a way to integrate all facets of my personality with the accumulated skills from my varied careers. Something that I have only just noticed by writing this, is that my life to date reminds me of several ‘choose your own adventure’ books occurring simultaneously and along the way there were people at every stop suggesting something that might be beneficial to me… Argh the serendipity of human connection!
We all know the benefits of Yoga, but what affects do you feel most when you practice Yoga? For me, yoga practice, my belly dance practice and craniosacral therapy feel very complementary: they mobilize my energy and leave me feeling expansive and connected. What Yogis refer to as Prana, Craniosacral Therapists refer to as Potency. Yoga helps me become aware of this prana/potency in movement – where it is present &/or absent and is also a fabulous warm up/cool down for dancing :)
What is Craniosacral therapy? Craniosacral therapy is a light touch bodywork therapy that tracks the flow of prana (or as we call it ‘potency’) through the body. Our nervous system and skin are embryologically connected – they developed from the same layer so when a practitioner is making contact they are initiating a ‘neural conversation’ with that person. This stimulates a healing which is sort of like an energetic recharge of the cells, tissues and organs, where the body can see where it is healthy (prana/potency flows), and where it needs to ‘reboot’ health (prana/potency is stagnant or absent). The tracking of the health in the body is related to the whole body, including the Craniosacral System – the Cranium (skull), the sacrum (lower part of your spine) and the membranes that connect the two.
CST is so unique because it works with bodies’ innate healing mechanisms that facilitates the right changes at the right times based on what the body knows it needs to do. The therapist facilitates The Space – hence the name of my practice J - the body heals itself! As the saying goes: There are many ways to skin the cat… There are also many paths to health and our body knows the right one.
Although this may sound esoteric, CST was originally theorised to by Andrew T Stills the founder of Osteopathy, was initially researched into by Dr William Sutherland (one of Dr Stills first students, and Osteopath himself), and further developed into a stand alone practice by John E Upledger (an osteopathic physician, surgeon and clinical researcher) and thus is heavily rooted in a scientific background. A scientific background that recognizes the majestic beauty and intelligence of life. Due to the belief that, and growing research into, emotions being stored in the body, CST is often referred to as psychotherapy for the body.
Totally unrelated random question: What's your favourite breakfast food? Oh I love random questions!! I’m currently loving a European Breakfast at the moment:
Croissants and Coffee ;)
You can check out Nicole's facebook page here:
See below for her bullet-pointed journey: