April 20, 2003 - Personal Web Site: n 1988, in the midst of successful careers, Zia Landiss Hoover and her former husband put their American lives into storage, and became Peace Corps volunteers in Equatorial Guinea

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Equatorial Guinea : The Peace Corps in Equatorial Guinea: April 20, 2003 - Personal Web Site: n 1988, in the midst of successful careers, Zia Landiss Hoover and her former husband put their American lives into storage, and became Peace Corps volunteers in Equatorial Guinea

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In 1988, in the midst of successful careers, Zia Landiss Hoover and her former husband put their American lives into storage, and became Peace Corps volunteers in Equatorial Guinea

In 1988, in the midst of successful careers, Zia Landiss Hoover and her former husband put their American lives into storage, and became Peace Corps volunteers in Equatorial Guinea

Zia Landiss Hoover, MA, CAP, CMT

Earthy Beginnings: Zia grew up in Boulder, 40 miles "as the crow flies" from where her great-grandparents homesteaded near Grand Lake, Colorado. The 70's drew her also into the homesteading lifestyle, but in rural British Columbia. For several years, while her annual income was around $300., she enjoyed the luxury of attuning her body to the rhythms of nature, and home-made music.She ran tiny Clearwater Health Food Store, covering the bases from wildcrafting herbs to baking bread; and began her studies in nutrition and herbology.

Body wisdom: She enrolled in nursing school in southeastern B.C. in an attempt to gain credentials in health care, a detour which yielded some good science background, and important discoveries. Near her graduation, a potent experience in bodywisdom redirected her path: "I was instructed to give a pre-surgery medication to an infant who was slated for a surgery I'd undergone as a young child for the effects of polio. In my rational mind, I intended to go forward with the medication order, but I found myself incapable of the simple math, and even with great effort, I truly could not get the keys to open the medication cabinet. This was one of my most potent experiences in body wisdom. Within weeks, I found myself enrolled in massage school back in my home town in Boulder, a swift and elegant re-routing to my soul's path --disengaged from a career path that would have been a source of ongoing inner conflict."

Formal education: "The Boulder School of Massage Therapy, an M.A. in Movement Therapy and Wellness Design (double major) from Beacon College, and Certification in Aston-Patterning rounded out her formal education.

Aston-Patterning: Aston-Patterning is a comprehensive body therapy method based on understanding functional movement patterns and their influence on human structure, symptoms, and psyche. Also see the Aston website: www.aston-patterning.com

More on body wisdom: Zia's childhood years were profoundly influenced by polio. At age 15 months, she and her father both contracted polio. Her father died and she survived with full body paralysis during the acute stage. With 70% paralysis of her lower right leg and foot remaining, she was successful with physical endeavors, such as placing 2nd in Colorado state highschool gymnastics floor exercise competition. It was not until decades later, however, with the brilliant coaching of Judith Aston's (AP) method, that she learned not only how to "get around" the limitations with inefficient compensations, but to go directly into the center of the limitations and negotiate engagement of her full physical potential.

Aston-Patterning has been the mainstay of her career thus far, which she has been practicing since 1982, and on the faculty since 1998. It has been referred to as an immensely client-empowering "owner's manual" for the body.

Clinical Experience: She gained excellent clinical experience while on staff at the Colorado Back School('79-83), a full-time month-long intensive for conservative treatment of extreme back pathology; at the Center for Biobehavioral Health('83-87) which specialized in chronic pain; and at Wellspring Clinic('86-88), a wholistic family practice. Since, her private practice ranges from addressing complex structural problems to performance improvement for elite athletes.

Other primary influences in movement studies include: contact improvisation, Gabrielle Roth's Five Rhythm work, Emilie Conrad's Continuum, and improvisational dance.

Primary influences in psychotherapeutic approaches include: Hakomi work, A. & A. Mindell's Process-oriented Therapy, and Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing.

Soul Work: David LaChapelle's work on soul and essence inspired the soul-focus of Agua Alma, see www.tidesofchange.org for info on David LaChapelle.

Environment/Permaculture: In 1988, in the midst of successful careers, Zia and her former husband put their American lives into storage, and became Peace Corps volunteers in West Africa. Zia developed the Finca Permanente Project in Evinayong, Equatorial Guinea, which was used as a model for a $2.5 million European Community agroforestry project and refered to by Norman Meyers, Phd global ecologist and author of the popular Global Atlas of Planetary Management as "what needs to be replicated across Africa". Upon her return from her two years in Equatorial Guinea, Zia consulted for an agroforestry project in Borneo, and was invited to join teaching teams at the Colorado Permaculture Institute, and on the Navaho and Arapaho reservations.

Dance/Theater/Music: Multimedia, theater, dance and music have interwoven Zia's life, from the Mechica Moon Dance at the Teotehuacan Pyramids in Mexico to the "Teatro de Vescinas" (Women's Neighborhood Theater she initiated) in Equatorial Guinea, W. Africa. Whether in a bamboo hut in Fiji, or open-air pavillion surrounded by gleaming green rice paddies in Bali, teaching how to enlist gravity and body weight to apply a movement massage to ease aches and pains--or ecstatic expression barefoot in the mid-summer aspen groves in Colorado--dance, movement and music have been a bridge across many realities, many cultures.

Service Work: From 1998-2003, Zia's primary service project has involved initiating and helping Stan Addison develop the "Heyteyneytah Project", which will be featured in a 2003 spring issue of the Smithsonian Magazine. Stan is an Arapaho Indian, quadriplegic man who provides tireless spiritual support to his community on the Wind River Reservation in central Wyoming. The Heyteyneytah Project offers the opportunity to train a horse with the non-forceful horse-training method Stan has developed. Many consider Stan Addison to be a powerful shaman and healer. Stan says he just a man who cares about people.

Developer of Agua Alma, waterwork and Beyond: All these experiences have paved the pathway for development of "Agua Alma, water work and Beyond". Since 1998, Zia has joined the stream taking body therapy into the warm-water environment. Many have heard her say, "I got three Watsu sessions and started digging a big hole in my backyard." Zia trained in Ann Ohlmacher's aquatic bodywork course, "Aqua Viv" because of of Ann's depth of background as a Rolfer, Rolf Movement Teacher and Somatic Psychologist. This was the diving board into her own ample background of influences, from which she has developed the current form of "Agua Alma".

Agua Alma Guatemala: For the coming years, 2003-2006, a wonderful new service project, Agua Alma Guatemala, involving training Guatemalan physical therapists, occupational therapists, and traditional Mayan medicine practitioners to teach Agua Alma work in Guatemala is taking shape. The first training, which will be to train Agua Alma teachers, will be in November 2003, and January 2004.

Solid education and clinical experience, as well the good fortune to develop a deep relationship with nature, and contact with many cultures has provided opportunity for a rich exploration of the fascinating interconnection of body, mind, and spirit. This synergy, Zia brings to all aspects of her work.

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Equatorial Guinea; Nursing; Massage Therapy



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