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Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Teachers You Find

Fantastic teachers abound at Prescott College, so many wonderfully intelligent and creative people who are at the tops of their fields. What’s more, though, is the potential for real friendship with the teachers at this school. The open minded and supportive guidance of these teachers constantly extends outside of the classroom, and is one of the reasons my life has improved in an exponential way.

One of my best friends and the most amazing mentor who has ever come into my life is a teacher who I met through Prescott College, Neil Pinholster. I met Neil during the massage therapy program I did with the Arizona School of Integrative Studies, at that time partnered with the college. He teaches Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, an innovative type of bodywork that treats a person holistically, treating someone within the principles of somatic psychology. Somatic psychology acknowledges and works with the importance of the mind-body relationship, and works to release trauma stored in both the body and the mind. I was soon to find that he wasn’t just an amazing teacher, but an all around awesome man who has been an internationally known stone carver, well versed musician(friends with the Grateful Dead and many others), and world explorer who has studied with medicine men and women all over the world. That’s just the beginning, too, of the awesome amount of wonderful things Neil has been involved in.

When Neil asked me to go on a hike with him for the first time, I was excited but also had certain expectations, what with him being 73 years old. Let me tell you, he hiked me into the ground. Neil is a bear of a man who is in better shape than most 30 year olds I know, and he hiked with the same gusto I did. His vitality and passion for life was beyond inspiring and has continued to keep me in awe. From the beginning his kind wisdom and clever jokes have constantly kept me laughing in one moment and in stunned silence the next. I became his apprentice soon after I met him, and have been for the past three years. 

His wonderful wife, Alexa, and he have become like family to me. They have opened me up to a world of elders who are incredibly cool, all very accomplished artisans and/or leaders in the community. This year, I was honored to take over Neil’s practice at the Prescott Center for the Healing Arts, where I own my own business practicing Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. It has changed my life in ways I can’t even describe to be a part of people’s healing processes. The inspiration never ends, and I would not be where I am now without Neil, one of the most amazing friends and teachers I have ever known. - Brittany Davis

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