More about Optimal Self & CFR


Optimal Self is a synthesis of Susan and her background (see Bio) combined with Harriet Goslins’ brilliant blend of work (and teachers) known as Cortical Field Re-Education.

Optimal Self utilizes the fact that -

     a)  Brains and bodies want to heal.  (We do not make ourselves get well from a cold or heal

          from a sprain).

     b)  Brains, our bodies and behavior all have a huge amount of plasticity (are malleable)

          and are available for change, given the right (safe) environment, provided it makes sense to

          to the brain, (not necessarily to mental thought.)

Cortical Field Re-Education and Optimal Self work through the motor-sensory cortex and other parts of the brain to eliminate physical dysfunction and the related emotional issues, thereby freeing the habitual, self-limiting and protective behavior patterns associated with trauma.  By releasing deep, long-standing muscular contraction - NOT LOCALLY - BUT AT A PLACE IN THE BRAIN WHERE IT IS ENCODED, we dramatically increase our ability to sense, feel and move.  This work is about upgrading the clarity of the information fed into our organic computer, which is the agent of change. 

C.F.R. is a twofold motor-sensory learning system.  One part (motor) uses slow, gentle, fun and non-habitual movements that are self-activated through instruction (floor work).  The corresponding part (sensory) is passive movement given with the student lying on a table (table work).  This completes the motor-sensory loop to and from the cortex (brain) via the nervous system.  The effects of this work endure because there is a change in the habitual “hard wiring” which redistributes the work load, not because something has to be strengthened or stretched.

By changing muscular holding patterns, the protective postures are altered, deeply affecting the body’s habitual defense system, releasing chronic pain or stiffness and allowing freedom of movement and expression.

The result is the relearning of the ease, fluidity and openness taken for granted as a child and lost somewhere along the way.  Physical injury, emotional trauma, or ongoing stress all evoke a protective response from the body.  These patterns remain when no longer needed, outside of awareness, and continue to cause discomfort and limitation.

Your physical body is the composite of all other levels of CONSCIOUSNESS.  This is not true of any other level of consciousness.

We are learning organisms - we have the ability to register information from an initial experience

and remember it.  If there is a pain associated with a certain movement, stretching and/or strengthening requires compensation.  Susan finds and works with a new neural pathway of movement elsewhere that does not have a personal history (physical or emotional pain).

This opens possibilities in movement and in life for congruency between your structure and your life’s purpose (energy).  The amount of difficulty and frustration in life is directly proportional to

the amount of (effort) work expended on avoiding awareness.

When Susan works with a student, she is not concerned with improved range of motion.  She is working with increasing the precision and quality going to and from your brain and decreasing

the conflicted intentions around that.  What every body part is doing, some part of you told it to

do that - even though at the time that directive went in, it was a brilliant idea.

By re-educating the brain-muscle-emotion connection, restrictions in movement can be released,,, freeing lifelong behaviors that have organized around that movement, restoring freedom of


  The work is for:

  1.    Those who want to improve their posture, flexibility, and breathing and deepen their sense of

      connection and belonging.

  1.    Those dealing with aftereffects of injury or emotional trauma, and the professionals who work

     with them.

  1.    Those who want to optimize their athletic and sports performance and reduce risk of further


  1.    Those who have focused on the spiritual without realizing that a healthy body, comfortable

      with itself, is a clearer channel for meditation and intuition.

  1.    Those who are chronically tired and stressed and want to take better care of their neck, 

      shoulders and back.

  1.    Those who want to regain the ease and joy of learning and moving as they ad as a child.

  2.    Those who have looked to the intellect as the answer, gradually relegating the body to the

      status of a vehicle to house the mind.

                    For more information click on