Wellness Collective member Kate Block is a therapeutic bodywork practitioner and registered yoga teacher whose passion for helping people find their true voice permeates every aspect of her work. Kate’s desire to explore what’s real and true offers the gift of authenticity to both clients and students – allowing people to show up as they are and find acceptance.
In this interview, learn more about Kate including what ignited her holistic flame and the courage she found to make a major career shift…
Probably because it was the avenue for so much of my own healing back when I was a client on my naturopath’s table. It helped me realize how conventional western medicine might not always be able to “fix” everything for me and also helped me to be more grounded and connected to my deepest, truest self.
Was there a specific event that ignited your holistic flame?
I’ve had a chronic case of post-traumatic arthritis in my left ankle and I’ve tried everything from prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, surgical procedures, cortisone injections, and pretty much everything western medicine had to offer short of getting an ankle replacement. One day, my friend recommended I see a naturopath. I was pretty skeptical but figured I’d give it a shot. He started to do some acupressure and energy work with me, which ultimately triggered a huge energetic release and my whole left leg shaking uncontrollably. At the time, it felt a little weird, but I felt safe and able to just let it happen. When I walked out of his office, I went from having pretty unbearable pain on an almost constant basis to having no pain at all for three whole days. After a few more sessions together, we started to work through some deep emotional blockages I was experiencing and, ultimately, that work led to a ton of personal growth and a complete transformation in my life.
I knew I wanted to share that kind of work and help facilitate that kind of growth and healing with others, so I started my therapeutic bodywork and yoga practice so that — through breath, mindfulness, and embodiment — I could help people work with and through their physical, emotional, and spiritual experiences instead of resisting or suppressing them. So many of us go through life without any real awareness of what’s going on from the neck down or what we’re really feeling, physically or emotionally. I love teaching people how to tap into their deepest, truest selves and how to learn to recognize and listen to that voice even when life gets a little loud.
How does your work differ from other bodywork therapies?
Some bodywork practitioners really only work on the physical level while I also work on the emotional and energetic levels. I focus on helping my clients connect with their bodies so that they can witness and experience any physical, emotional, or energetic sensations that might be coming up — even when that can be uncomfortable or a little scary — in order to really get to the root of whatever issues we’re working with.
What type of people/symptoms do you generally work with?
I work with a wide variety of people but lately, it’s mostly been women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. I often find myself working with clients who are struggling with low back issues, but more and more, I’m seeing people who simply want to work with both physical AND emotional sensations or issues so that they can feel their best and live in ways that feel more aligned with their own truth.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Strangely enough, I think I’d say leaving the PhD program I was enrolled in so that I could start pursuing my therapeutic bodywork credential. The longer I was in my grad program, the more I realized that it wasn’t where I needed to be. I didn’t want to let anyone down or feel like a “failure,” but eventually I was able to ignore what others thought and follow my own heart — choosing to follow the path I felt was right for me. Being brave enough to listen to that little voice inside so that I could just do whatever I knew was “the next right thing” ultimately resulted in everything coming together in this really surprising and beautiful way.
Where did you grow up? What things were you drawn to or curious about? What are you drawn to now?
I grew up in Grand Rapids and it’s been so cool to watch the city grow and change. As a kid, I spent a lot time at my family’s cabin in the woods with my dad who showed us different types of mushrooms, flowers, and berries. I loved catching frogs and snakes. I was so drawn to the outdoors and had this deep connection to the natural world. Growing up, I also really enjoyed the world of books because I was a dreamer and had a pretty wild imagination. Even now, I’m still drawn to the same things — nature, books, and the places my imagination takes me. But I’d say yoga has also become a big part of what “fills me up” now. Breath, movement, flow, and play — those aspects of my practice help me remember to stay in the present moment, with what’s happening right here and right now, and to be able to consistently listen for and tune in to the voice of my truest, deepest self.
“Let the beauty you love be what you do in the world. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” – Rumi
This is how I’ve started to view vocation. Several years ago, I realized that it wasn’t so important to me to do something of really grand, global significance. I just wanted to live my life “doing the beauty that I love,” which I believe is much more vital than striving to do something really big or prestigious or high impact. Aligning with your own truth, passion, and sense of purpose is enough.
Do you have a positive affirmation?
You are enough. Your heart is beautiful and good. Your value doesn’t depend on what you do or achieve or if you’re meeting the expectations of others. You are worthy of love and connection, always.
About: Kate Block is a therapeutic bodywork practitioner and registered yoga teacher with Little Dipper Holistic Therapies. Kate’s integrative approach addresses physical, mental, and emotional pain, tension, and dysfunction as she helps clients and students to recognize, connect to, and more deeply trust the voice of their truest, deepest self.