Here it is – my first blog post. This is where I am supposed to share my story explaining why I’m opening my office in Alexandria with Natalie Goodwin (Massage by Natalie) and how excited I am to do it.
It’s true. I am excited. I’m also nervous (dare I say scared) as I fumble my way through the process of moving my practice out of my home into a professional setting! I’ve been working part time in the wellness field since 2001 and yet I feel as if I’m starting from scratch.
My story is not an extraordinary one. I graduated from massage school in 2001 after having been through a couple of years of college – I left after realizing music education just wasn’t for me. (Shout out to all teachers – you are amazing!) I needed a skill while I pondered my options and there it was – a billboard just outside of Green Bay advertising a massage school in Grafton, Wisconsin. Massage – what an intriguing idea. I had never had a massage myself but had always been interested in a natural approach to health and wellness. I inquired about the program but decided the drive between Green Bay and Grafton was too far with two young children at home. I told myself if a program of the same caliber came to Green Bay I would sign up. Two months later I received a postcard in the mail inviting me to an open house at the new Green Bay campus of Blue Sky School of Professional Massage and Bodywork out of Grafton! Boom. Done.
Massage school was incredible! I learned so much more than I expected – how the body responds to stress, how it stores memories and emotions, not to mention the physiology, body mechanics and the subtle, but very real, energies that create this incredible machine we live in every day. Massage school was the springboard that set my curiosity on fire. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the mind-body connection.
Fast forward to 2008. I had been divorced, relocated, remarried, received my BA in Communications from Concordia (a promise to my father) and was raising four daughters while practicing massage therapy part time out of my home. My oldest daughter was 13 at the time and started exhibiting signs of extreme anxiety. I tried every trick I knew: massage, breathing practices, diet changes, guided visualization, but to no avail. My daughter was missing lots of school and was eating very little due to a fear of getting sick. We tried medication but it just wasn’t a good fit for us because it made her too nauseous. I had run out of ideas. Then I went to a presentation on biofeedback. The presenter discussed how the biofeedback system she used retrained the body’s subconscious reaction to stress. What did we have to lose?
After just a few sessions, my daughter started feeling better! She was able to eat again, she wasn’t missing as much school and her ability to concentrate improved. That was enough proof for me. I was so impressed with the results that I invested in my own biofeedback system, went through all the training and became a certified biofeedback specialist. My daughter is now 23 and still receives regular biofeedback sessions to keep her balanced.
Throughout my years in this field, I have studied and experienced first-hand the intimate connection between our bodies and our emotions. I am fascinated by the discoveries being made in the fields of medicine and quantum physics regarding the mind-body connection. We are living in an exciting time. As science advances we are learning about the neuro-plasticity of the brain and how we are capable of improving our emotional and physical health and well-being by harnessing the capabilities of our conscious and subconscious mind. All this new research prompted me to explore the field of hypnosis and I am now a Certified Consulting Hypnotist through the National Guild of Hypnotists. Studies have shown hypnosis to be an effective tool to assist people in replacing unwanted beliefs or patterns of behavior with more positive beliefs and behavior. I find that the fields of bodywork, biofeedback and hypnosis complement each other well in achieving an improved state of wellness and balance.
I am excited to move forward with my practice at this beautiful new office in Alexandria. Natalie and I hope that our new space feels as warm and inviting to you as it does to us. We look forward to working with you!