Marla Hanken is a practitioner of Thai Structural Bodywork and KMI Structural Integration, specializing in joint, nerve, and myofascial issues of the upper/lower extremities and their relationship to the spine.
Marla began her studies of Thai Bodywork in 2007 with Nephyr Jacobsen at The Naga Center School of Traditional Thai Medicine in Portland, Oregon. From 2008-2009, Marla apprenticed under Ajarn Itthidet Manarat (Master Poo Ong Dam) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She also studied bodywork and Buddhist Medicine with a Reusi (Thai forest hermit/ascetic), Tevijjo Yogi, over a period of several years, both in the US and abroad. Upon completing her initial apprenticeship in Thailand, Marla was tasked with returning home to the US to study related Western modalities and teach her master’s methods on a one-on-one basis, as she learned them, to bring Thai Structural Bodywork to a wider audience in the Western world. In 2012, she was given her master’s blessing to teach larger, group-based bodywork classes.
As a result of many years of working with her own joint instability/ligament laxity/hypermobility issues and related injuries, Marla has developed a keen eye for joint alignment and a particular interest in work with issues of the upper/lower extremities and their relationship to the spine. Marla works with a wide variety of clients, ranging from movement professionals (Martial Artists, Yogis, Pilates Instructors, Dancers, etc.) to clients with joint replacements, spinal fusions, and other orthopedic implants, including pre-surgery fascia/nerve work to aid in the recovery process.
In addition to her background with Thai Structural Bodywork, Marla is also a Board Certified Structural Integrator and ATSI/KMI practitioner (Anatomy Trains Structural Integration / Kinesis Myofascial Integration, Tom Myers’ system of Structural Integration based on his conceptual framework of Anatomy Trains myofascial meridians and the original work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf). Marla is also trained in Neuromuscular Therapy, Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga, Stott Pilates, and Reusi Dat Ton (Thai Hermit Yoga).
Marla places a high value on lifelong learning, ever-focused on refining and optimizing her work and its efficiency in dealing effectively with a broad spectrum of neuromyofascial pain and alignment issues. She continues her study of advanced Structural Integration topics annually with Tom Myers in Maine, and explores the intricate interrelationships between structure and function with other experts in related disciplines. In 2017-2018, Marla is deepening her knowledge of Pilates via a rigorous traditional apprenticeship under Martt Lawrence (San Francisco) and Dorothee VandeWalle (Seattle), with an emphasis on movement-based methods for re-aligning fascia and freeing deep neurovascular, ligamentous, and viscero-fascial restrictions generally inaccessible via bodywork alone.
Many thanks to other teachers who have influenced and inspired me greatly over the years who were not mentioned in the above bio, including Kelly Chadwick, Kirstin Schumaker, Michele Wren, Soken Graf, Michelle Wallace, Holly Furgason, Cathy Deics, Tenaya Virgin, Valeda Turner, Dana Damara, Andrew Rivin, Sianna Sherman, Beth Shaw, Cynthia Ribeiro, Allyn Hall, Malia Okin, Fr. Kevin Connell S.J., and so many others, including each and every one of my clients and students.