In the Beginning
I was halfway through the second grade when I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was going to be a scientist and a writer! This desire apparently came from my fascination with nature and love of good books. My favorite books usually had animals as the main characters.
After high school, I did a four-year tour in the US Navy, then returned to California for college. At Sonoma State University, I studied biology, expressive arts and psychology. Drawn to working with people, I then completed a training in massage therapy and started a small practice in bodywork.
The Clouds Parted
I had forgotten about the scientist and writer, and was back to wondering what I was going to be when I grew up. I felt there was something more yet to come. Then one day a very intuitive friend said, “I keep getting this image of your hands – have you ever thought of being a chiropractor?” To make a long story short: the clouds parted, trumpets sounded, and I knew I was going to chiropractic college.
Six months later, I was a student at Logan College of Chiropractic near St. Louis. There, I learned about stress from first-hand experience as I went through the non-stop 4,000+ hour program. I graduated in 1982, having paid for my Magna Cum Laude with a stress-related case of food allergies!
Expanding My Viewpoint
I moved to Minnesota, and passed their state board exams for my chiropractic license. Shortly thereafter, I opened my own chiropractic office in a suburb near Minneapolis. As a new practitioner, I soon received an education about taxes and overhead, while I continued my study of “stress.”
Because of my personal experience, I began to see my patients through new eyes. I noticed how the stress in their lives seemed to be causing much of their spinal, muscular and other problems. It became obvious that the basics I learned in school were not enough to help some of my patients acheive all of their health goals. A deeper, more thorough approach would be required.
Curious about the mental-emotional aspects of healing, I explored NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and the deeply relaxing CranioSacral Therapy – even a bit of hypnosis. I sought out healing approaches which incorporated the Body-Mind-Spirit model. I talked with my patients about what was going on in their lives. They liked it, and so did I.
Eventually, I sold my practice and accepted a teaching position at Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Minneapolis. I loved working with the students, and sharing what I’d learned. During my ten years at Northwestern, I was certified in Acupuncture and earned an advanced certification in Diagnosis and Internal Disorders.
New Therapies Prove Successful
Over the years, I studied other disciplines offered by the Upledger Institute in addition to CranioSacral Therapy. They included Lymph Drainage Therapy, Visceral Manipulation (gentle work with the organs and other soft tissues), Interactive Guided Imagery, Psych-K to help with limiting subconscious beliefs, and Easy Release to clear old emotions stuck in the body. These modalities emphasize a sensitive touch and hold the client’s process in deep respect. Each approach opens a new window through which to view the body-mind, and reveals another important factor in the healing process. Best of all, they work extremely well when combined.
Personal and Spiritual Growth
I’ve been a long-time student of personal and spiritual growth. I’ve had a natural and growing interest in empowering myself and others in health and well-being for over 38 years.
My wife, Ariel, and I left Minnesota in 2003 to travel, and landed in Ashland, OR in 2005. Since 2003 I’ve been passionately into digital nature photography. You can view the results in my online gallery, www.drdane.smugmug.com
Back in Practice
After this long vacation, I began to feel the call back to active practice again. I dug out my books and sat for the Oregon chiropractic board exam. I received my Oregon chiropractic license in Dec, 2008.
A Deeper Understanding of Stress
Learning from my own experience and that of my clients has led me to a deeper understanding of stress and stress-related health problems. I learned about its causes & effects, and how it can be eased with natural therapies. It can even used as a catalyst for personal and spiritual growth. Stress plays a huge role in causing and perpetuating an estimated 90% of the health problems we face today.
I’ve taught advanced myofascial classes for massage & physical therapists. I authored a personal & spiritual growth course with a focus on reducing stress. It’s called Four Steps to Transformation, and includes a CD called Transformational Meditations. I also led a six-session workshop in its practical application.
I created a DVD entitled Enduring Peace (full of beautiful nature images), to facilitate heart-centered awareness, relaxation, stress-reduction and personal/spiritual growth. I've also developed a simple process that allows you to partner with Spirit (whatever is sacred to you) to help release old baggage and help you heal your body, mind and spirit.
So, as the wheel of life has turned, that second grader may have known something his twenty-something self did not. Here I am, being a scientist of sorts, studying healing and the human body, and writing to help people live happier, healthier lives. That’s what Graceful Way Healing Arts is all about.
To make an appointment with Dr. Dane, please call (541) 821-3263.