Welcome and thank you for visiting Optimal Self!
Hi, I'm Susan Jouett and I assist my patients to be free from pain and limitation using gentle, effective techniques that retrain the brain and body so they feel great and move with ease and efficiency.
My work is for people suffering from:
Chronic and Acute pain
Injuries, including back, neck, shoulder, hip & knee
Complications due to surgery
Contact me today to set up an appointment and start feeling better now!
Optimal Self is an approach and environment for people to learn how to move and feel better. People usually move and feel better than they did before their injuries, surgery or trauma.
This is not pain management, strengthening, stretching or exercise. It is a synthesis of methods that utilize your brilliant nervous system to re-wire movement that you once had and re-trains your brain using neuroplasticity. The result is more fluidity, ease of movement and less pain at any age.
I am passionate about educating people and upgrading their nervous system and brain in a respectful manner.
It continues to be fun for me to witness students learning to trust their bodies and themselves as a way of empowerment and true healing with ongoing results.
I have not yet met a body and brain that is too injured to learn and heal. My job is to find the right pathways and to communicate to my student and their system.
Susan Jouett, L.M.T., C.F.R.
Susan's background since 1987 includes studying at the Institute of “Psycho-Structural Balancing” in California, Cortical Field Re-Education (1988-89), and numerous deep tissue modalities, as well as chakra and energy balancing techniques.
In Washington State she studied at Spectrum Center, designed and taught state approved massage curriculums, taught the art and assessment of medical massage, postural effectiveness, ergonomics, sports injury prevention, and collaborated clinically and successfully with a broad variety of health care providers (M.D., N.D., D.C., L.Ac., P.T., C.F.P, N.P.).
She specialized in deep tissue modalities, Myofascial Release, kinesiology, physiology, CranioSacral, and subtle energy techniques.
She worked with complaints connected with illness, pre- and post-surgery, repetitive stress, professional dancers and athletes, sports injury, and motor vehicle injuries.
She then completed the intensive Cortical Field Re-Education training, and continues attending post graduate and continuing education trainings regularly.
Susan currently maintains a private practice primarily in Laguna Niguel, CA, and taught at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. She enjoys working with people who are interested in making their life easier and facilitating a healing deeper than just symptom elimination. She is available for individual sessions as well as workshops. She co-leads at CFR workshops and professional trainings.
With her experience, background, and extensive training in the field, combined with your desire, Susan can help you achieve your optimal self!
Cortical Field Re-Education
Cortical Field Re-Education is about learning to change the habitual movement patterns which are preventing chronic problems from healing, those problems that are imposing a more limited way of life than you would wish for yourself.
C.F.R. uses a gentle form of movement exploration that communicates directly with your brain - not locally but at a place in your brain where it is encoded. It is a re-learning of the kind of function you had before your injuries, accidents, trauma or chronic problems occurred.
Physical trauma, physical and emotional pain and limitation in movement always involves other levels of consciousness. True healing addresses the emotional, mental, energetic and often includes spiritual components as well.
If you simply suppress the symptoms, through drugs, repetitive manipulation, etc., the same problems may later reoccur with stronger symptoms. Or they may reappear in another area as a result of compensation - another place in your body has had to work extra hard to make up for whatever part is not moving functionally, and now that new part may start to have symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does CFR differ from traditional massage, physical therapy or yoga?
Massage, physical therapy and yoga all address problems at a local level of where the issue is. These modalities may feel good, and they work on the injured tissue, but they do not address the place in the brain where the signals originate which are causing the problem. CFR facilitates re-education of the brain. It is not exercise, stretching or strengthening. CFR will actually enhance exercise, yoga, walking and daily life.
What do I wear for a session?
For both table work and floor work, wear comfortable loose clothing allowing you to move easily. Women, if it’s comfortable, remove bras during sessions.
How many sessions will it take?
The number of sessions will vary depending on the severity of the individual’s condition, what their goals are, and one’s willingness and ability to actively participate in their re-education.
How long does a table session or a floor lesson last?
Each lasts approximately 90 minutes.
Can I work out or stretch afterwards?
No. If you work out and/or stretch after a session, you will use muscles and connective tissue in the old habitual way. You will be given new movements to do to lay down the new neural information. Walking is a great integration as well. Eventually you will go back to your favorite routine but in a much more integrated efficient manner.
What is the main benefit of working with Susan?
Susan’s varied background and education makes her work unique. She customizes individualized sessions. When chronic problem areas are released, your body is a more comfortable home. You will experience more balance, self trust, self esteem, confidence, much more restful sleep at night, a much higher level of energy during the day and a dramatic improvement in the power and coordination of your every day movements.
What To Expect
Table & Floor Work
Changing Patterns of Movement in the
Sensory Motor Cortex
When lying on a Table receiving a table lesson, you are passive with your eyes closed. Your arm, for example is lifted by Susan. You did not expect to lift it. You did not fire intent to lift it. It's a surprise. Your first experience is sensory. You experience the kinesthetic sensations of having your arm lifted. For most of the table lesson, you do not move your own parts. And you don't know what is going to move next. You do not fire any motor commands to move. You experience incoming sensations from Susan moving you. The learning comes from first firing your sensory cortex.
When lying on the floor listening to verbal instructions during a floor lesson, the opposite occurs. Your own intention moves you. Your first experience is a firing of motor neurons to move a part of you that you have commanded to move. Only then do you experience the sensory input that comes from the movement you just made. You may lift your own arm in exactly the same way Susan did on the table, but it is a completely different experience for your nervous system. The learning comes from the first firing your motor cortex.
In order to improve functional patterns of movement in the most effective and lasting way, both the sensory and motor cortex need to be recruited into healing and increased awareness.
Complimentary Phone Consultation
Monthly Memberships Available
Dave Davis, M.D.
I thought my golf and tennis days were over. My right elbow was swollen and sore, and my lower back hurt so much that I had all but given up these activities that I love. I had not improved much with chiropractic care, physical therapy or acupuncture. After a few months with Susan my right elbow completely healed and my back improved so significantly that I”m back on the court and playing 18 holes regularly again. I whole-heartedly recommend Susan if you’re experiencing musculoskeletal problems, acute or chronic pain issues.
Cheryl, Tembrock, R.N., C.N.O.R, R.N.F.A.
San Clemente, CA
One of the most difficult challenges in medicine is dealing with musculosklosketal injuries and pain. This method of learning effectively addressed these issues. I now move more freely during and after work, with less effort and more available energy.
Tracy Blum, Physical Therapist
Laguna Hills, CA
Susan’s CFR work has made my life and movements easier - both personally and professionally. She also teaches my patients to enjoy symptom relief and regain a positive outlook for their future without fear and pain.