Courtney Sloan, RN, BSN
Frank Butler, Owner CEO
Kelly Lewis, Leadership Coach
Infants to seniors benefit from sessions which can provide ease and efficiency of movement, increased energy, relaxation, comfort, balance and enhanced self-awareness and expression.
Stress, aches & pains, injury prevention, posture, balance, breathing co-ordination, headaches, repetitive strain injury, post-concussion symptoms, scoliosis, well-being and more.....
The Alexander Technique is a way to transform tension & stress into ease, confidence & poise. It helps people of all ages & walks of life with back pain, posture & enhanced self-awareness. Alexander Technique is taught as a hands on modality using touch & verbal guidance to gain understanding of old ways of responding and moving. Through awareness & intentional thinking you learn to make new choices in how you move and respond to daily stimuli . The Alexander Technique is often referred to as a method of psycho-physical integration because you are learning to use your "whole self" rather than your body & mind as separate parts. AmSAT website
CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle form of compassionate touch that addresses restrictions in your craniosacral system, the membranes and fluid that surround and protect your brain & spinal cord. The craniosacral system directly impacts your central nervous system so releasing restrictions can enhance general health, improve resistance to disease, improve brain & spinal chord function, reduce accumulated stress & work with your body’s natural healing mechanisms.
The Trager Approach is a hands-on bodywork & movement therapy developed by Dr. Milton Trager, MD over 60 years ago. Trager has helped people with neuro-muscular disorders, stiffness, pain and is a great antidote to stress. In a session you can relax fully clothed on a massage table while receiving gentle, non-invasive, nurturing, rhythmic movements & gentle compressions. These pleasurable repetitive movements send soft waves & subtle vibrations into your core. The movement sets up a communication loop between your mind & muscles communicating feelings of safety and comfort. Unneccessary tension can release leaving your body feeling light & buoyant. Trager sesisons along with a daily practice of Mentastics (playful, dance like movements) help you integrate feeling states of ease & optimism into your daily life. The Trager Approach is often referred to as "Movement As A Way to Agelessness".
My office is located near Carytown at 105 Berrington Court in Richmond, Va near the corner of Thompson Street and Grove Ave. Plenty of parking is available.
I am a Registered Movement Therapist® & skilled bodywork practitioner. I have 33 years of experience working with clients in my private practice.
I have danced professionally, taught dance & movement to children and adults. I continue to dance for my health, joy and self expression. In my early career, I served as a psychiatric assistant to the Creative Arts Therapist at Emory University Hospital. I taught movement & offered bodywork in senior centers, sports training centers & chronic pain clinics. I served as adjunct faculty in The Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Dance & Choreography where I taught a coursed entitled "Body Imagery"; embodied anatomy & developmental movement to dance & art majors.
My passion for movement, touch & body-mind integration is why I do this work.
“ You bring life into my body.”
" I feel more alive after each session. "
" With your help my posture has improved over the years. After years of being outside myself, I now feel more integrated, more me, more like I did when I was a child....
Owner & CEO of Midsize Business
France is a joy to work with. I have really appreciated her gentle presence, playful curiosity and deep mastery. She has been a cherished teacher and welcome companion on my journey to understanding wisdom that isn’t available in words.
Frances has enabled me to utterly transform how I move and live in my body. By understanding the natural use for which my bones, muscles and joints were intended, I am able to stand more comfortably, move more gracefully and access more energy. In the process of learning to inhibit less helpful habits of posture and movement while allowing the free flow of energy, I have been able to show up more master fully as a public speaker.
I was also able to incorporate the learning into efforts in the gym to increase my strength and flexibility.
You are loving us back to wholeness one person at a time just like your teacher Milton Trager taught you. I like it that you have a lot of different approaches. Problems are multifaceted so the more information you have the more options you have for finding solutions.
Evelyn Helwig 87 years old
"I began work with Frances in my late 40s after having painful herniated disk problems in my neck.
I had been an avid runner, and medical advice was to stop running. Thankfully, her work with me using The Trager® Approach and The Alexander Technique helped me return quickly to active running.
Over a dozen years since, sessions with Frances have allowed me to continue to be an active long distance runner, even as I age, with a better sense and connection with my body and abilities.”
Daniel M. Siegel
Sands Anderson PC
I first went to Frances for sciatic pain which she banished completely and have continued to see her once a week to keep reminding my body to continue what she teaches it. She also
repairs the damage I do periodically from all of my activities such as maintaining my farm, barns chores for three horses, keeping them fit, and fox-hunting three days a week. She has kept me balanced so that I can stand and teach for three hours straight. (All of this at 76)
Angie Pell Jernegan
Frances is a skillful, understanding and caring therapist that I’d highly recommend. I have found her to be helpful in reaching my long term goals around health and wellness. After years of massage and especially deep massage, I find that The Trager® Approach and Craniosacral Therapy offer a much deeper relaxation. I have also discovered that weekly lessons in the Alexander Technique have helped me develop a more disciplined practice that has helped my lower back problems avoid surgery.
Owner & Founder
Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market, & Dawson’s Market
Celebrating Community & Food
With Frances I am able to learn how to feel better in my body and use my body more effectively. The best part is that I am able to take what I learn and use it in my life. It does not go away when I leave her office. If you want to improve your life go to Frances !!!
“Frances is a brilliant, loving, talented practitioner, skilled in multiple modalities. She has supported my spiritual growth and personal development by helping me heal energetic and physical patterns that are no longer in service to me.”
Kelly Lewis Leadership Coach
“ After two breast cancers and an extensive leg break I had been bent over for years with neck, shoulder and leg pain. I landed in Frances’ office because I was having severe headaches. She quickly addressed my problems and began Alexander lessons with me and Trager Movement sessions. A true miracle occurred! Headaches have gone. My neck, shoulder and arms are freer. I am standing taller, straighter and with more confidence. After so many years of bad habits, I have a ways to go but what a joyful adventure! Thank you Frances. “
C. Hayden, Designer
“ For years I have suffered from the pain of fibromyalgia. Taking drugs to make me sleep and relieve pain left me more exhausted and in a fog. What is working for me is the Alexander Technique that I have received from Frances Kimmel. Frances has gently helped me train my body to move in a new way that has released muscle tension and returned my body to a functioning level. Her observations have given me great insight into how subtle body movements impact my general well-being. An hour spent with Frances shows me a new way to exist in my body. I can get relief and life can be lived.
Working with Frances has changed my life. I can go to work now and am in an exercise program. I highly recommend Frances to anyone who would like to learn to improve their life through body awareness. Thank you, Frances. What you do is amazing!”
J. Roskowski, Financial Officer
“The Trager® Approach reconnects my body to my mind and spirit. My bones and muscles speak to each other and I leave a session feeling taller, fresher and clearer.”
Judy Richardson PhD/Professor Emerita at VCU
“I have been working with Frances for five years now and she and the Alexander Technique have changed my life. I started to work with Frances after trying chiropractic and physical therapy due to chronic shoulder pain. The Alexander Technique and Frances have helped me become more aware of my body and how I move through my everyday life. Frances gives me tools that I can take home, practice, and incorporate into my life. Frances has helped me reeducate my
mind and body so that I am able to move through life more freely. “
Emily Bentzen, Teacher.
Frances Kimmel and her variety of therapies have helped me more than I thought possible. I suffer from chronic muscle soreness, which sometimes explodes into debilitating muscle spasms, mostly in my upper back and neck. To try to stop the pain, I saw a dozen doctors and was prescribed just about every painkiller and muscle relaxer on the market. I also tried nerve ablations, lidocaine injections, chiropractic adjustments, massage, biofeedback therapy, yoga, physical therapy, swimming, acupuncture; as well as a range of medications like gabapentin and duloxetine, over a period of about ten years. Nothing helped—the medications either didn’t work at all or, in the case of the opioids, made me too groggy to function (and still didn’t stop the muscle spasms or dull the pain much). My mother heard about craniosacral therapy and suggested I try it, so I looked for a practitioner in my area and landed on Frances Kimmel. I picked her because she is qualified in several different types of therapy besides craniosacral, such as Alexander technique.
At first the sessions didn’t seem to be doing much. I think this was partly because a large part of what Frances did was to teach me to overcome my damaging or destructive habits, which took time. She advised me to give up the chiropractic adjustments because she thought they were irritating my already strained muscle fibers. She also did body mechanics work, improving my posture and helping me get some of the natural curve of my spine back. After a few months I started to feel better and noticed that I had less pain overall while doing everyday tasks. In essence, what her therapies have done is to make me listen to my body and learn to relax. It’s a type of meditation, and it addresses the root of the problem, which is that my muscle fibers don’t relax and expand as they should. All those doctors I saw in the past only tried to address the painful symptoms, where Frances has helped to reduce the spasms by treating their cause.
There is no quick fix, there is no catch-all technique. This therapy is about unlearning bad habits and letting the body heal itself.
While I occasionally still get spasms, they are much less frequent and usually less severe than they were before I started going to see her. Frances has helped my body regain much of its elasticity and resiliency; now I work as a floor nurse in a hospital, a physically demanding job that I could never have tolerated in the days before I started with Frances.
In short, craniosacral therapy and Frances’s other alternative therapies are painless (she has never hurt me, something I can’t say about massage or chiropractic work), drug-free, and have worked better for me than anything else I have tried. She has significantly improved the quality of my life.
Courtney Sloan, RN, BSN
An approach to embodied movement & consciousness. BMC includes touch, cognitive & experiential learning of the body systems & developmental movement from both human infant development & the evolutionary progression through the animal kingdom.
A program for stimulating bone strength through natural movement & weight bearing posture.
Developmentally based movement sequences designed to restore & maintain health by balancing tensions.