Heartwood Community Night

Heartwood Center’s next Community Night is on Oct. 7th. These nights feature different Heartwood practitioners and teachers donating their services to the community. From 5:30-7:30 pm I will be giving 20-Minute clothed bodywork sessions designed to leave the body feeling relaxed and grounded. There are five other practitioners participating that night, with offerings including: auricular acupuncture, group mindfulness practice, Thai bodywork, group stress busters, and mini health assessments. If you haven’t checked out Heartwood Center yet, this is a great time to come see it!

The suggested donations $10-$30. See Heartwood’s website for a link to RSVP.

Guest Blogging

I’m working on some new posts for this blog, I promise! In the meantime a post I wrote for the Heartwood Center blog went up yesterday- check it out here. It’s about how professional collaboration can improve clients outcomes, and encourages people to take advantage of the opportunities that Heartwood creates for us to work together.

New Blog Title

After my last post* I realized that it was time to change the direction of this blog somewhat. I started it originally on the advice of my business mentor with two goals in mind: to improve my written communication skills, and to establish my authority and credentials in the massage profession. Both are worthy goals to be sure, but lately my heart hasn’t been in them and the blog has reflected that.

Instead of trying to present my book- and class-gained knowledge to friends, colleagues, and clients; I’d like to write more about my life credentials. Specifically my life credentials around pain. Because I have a lot of life experience with pain- I’ve been in pain of some sort for as long as I can remember. The wrist is really just the tip of the iceberg (though it is a sharp, pointy tip when it flares up). Rather than trying to mask this challenge from the world, I’d like to be open about it. Pain, especially chronic pain, is disempowering; I’m hoping to take some of that power back by writing honestly about my experiences trying to heal from chronic pain.

“Adventuring Toward Wellness” is the spirit I want to bring to my life, massage practice, and readers. I’m attempting to change own life on a fundamental level, and I’m doing that with as much joie de vivre as I can muster. That’s something that I’d like to share with clients and readers as well.

My compassion and empathy toward pain are well developed, because my strongest knowledge comes from living with it. Why hide that fact from all but a select number of people? I’ll embrace it instead and see where this adventure takes me.

*Yesterday’s practice in radical self-care: instead of going to the store to buy a few things I wanted for my business (note I did not say needed) I chose to go outside with a cup of chamomile & peppermint tea and a book. I spent that hour reading in the shade of a tree on the little grass strip behind my apartment building. I was so refreshed after that, I think I inspired one of my neighbors to do that same.


Oncology Massage Training Dates

We’ve had to revise the schedule a little bit, but I am thrilled to share here that the wonderful Jacki Sellers of Greet the Day is returning to Chicago in September. We will be teaching the first level Oncology Massage class September 11-13 at Cortiva. We’re also still looking for volunteers to receive a FREE oncology massage on 9/13 at 10am or noon. This free massage is available to anyone in the Chicago area who is currently in treatment for cancer, or has a history of cancer treatment. Please contact me for more information.

Fun at Custer Fair

For those of you in the Evanston area, I’ll be at the Custer Fair on June 21st and 22nd from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm to help promote the new business collaboration I’m part of: Sphere Holistic Sports Medicine. Sphere is a professional collaboration between an M.D., an exercise specialist, an acupuncturist, and massage therapist and MLD therapist (hey, that last one is me!). It’s such an exciting thing to be a part of!

You can find us on Main St, next to the Wine Goddess tent. We’ll have cool tote bags to give out, and we’ll be doing wellness screenings, postural assessment, and mini massages. Please come out and say hi if you can!


A Couple of Announcements

First- as part of my continuing effort to bring my practice into the 21st century, I’m finally on Yelp. Feel free to check it out if you want.

My second announcement is about this blog. It’s been harder and harder lately to stick with my regular schedule.  For the past few weeks or so, it’s felt more important that something gets posted on Monday, quantity over quality if you will. So, for the next two or three months I’m going to relax my posting schedule. I’m only going to post when I feel really inspired to. It might even lead to more frequent posting, I really don’t know. Let the grand experiment begin!

The final thing I want to mention is an exciting upcoming class at Heartwood. Marsha Smith, LCSW is starting a new Mindfulness group. In my first week at Heartwood, Marsha very kindly gave me a 30-minute mindfulness demonstration. I had no idea what to expect. Honestly, I remember thinking it must be some kind of postural awareness type of thing. I should tell Marsha that sometime, I bet she’d get a kick out of it! Needless to say (although sitting in a comfortable position was part of it) the session was about so much more than just observing my own posture. It was about listening to the messages my body had for me, and learning to react consciously. If I had Saturdays off, this is absolutely where I’d be in June.

It’s been too long since I’ve said this: Thank you for reading my thoughts, and sharing my journey. I think that the best is yet to come!

Friday Bonus Post!

Just a quick reminder that there are still tickets available to the Heartwood Foundation Benefit tomorrow night. I’m giving a $10.00 discount on massage or MLD to anyone who goes. Plus, I made some dessert!

Raw mango tart with fresh organic strawberries


When this post goes live- barring some kind of flight cancellation- I’ll be in Santa Fe, NM. I’m gearing up to make some exciting changes to my practice, so I decided to take a quick getaway to relax and restore.

It means that the blog will be unmoderated for almost a week, so any new commenters won’t be approved until I get back.

I hope that all of you will find ways to relax and recharge yourselves while I’m gone. Let’s all be ready to hit the ground running in May!

Updated Comments Policy

Hi Everyone,

I’d love it if you could all take a moment to review my comments policy. The new update actually makes it a little less strict (and how often does that happen?).

Recently, I’ve been thinking about my friends and loved ones with cancer. Their triumphs and challenges; their stories, basically. It made me realize that under the old policy of, “no questioning current treatments”, I was potentially silencing people who could really contribute to this space.

The reason for the older, stricter policy was that I started getting a lot of comments attacking the accepted medical treatment model for cancer in the U.S. If this were strictly a personal blog, I would probably have let them through. However, this blog is mostly professional, and a massage therapist is not entitled to a professional opinion on the treatment of disease. So, those comments got the old heave-ho.

I see a pretty big difference between comments like that, and people wanting to discuss their actual experience with treatment. Those perspectives are very valuable to me. I won’t be able to respond in much depth to them, just a sentence or two to express compassion and gratitude. For locals I can offer private recommendations of other professionals (counselors, psychologists, etc) when asked for.

Let’s see where this takes my little nook of the ‘Net. Thank you, as always, for taking the time to drop by.

Party for a Cause!

As some of you already know, the Heartwood Foundation’s Women & Cancer Program is a cause very dear to my heart. It’s the program that made me first consider joining Heartwood Center in the first place (best decision ever, FYI). Heartwood Foundation provides free services and classes to low-income women all over the Chicago-land area.

Funding for programs like this is getting harder and harder to come by. And they are so important, because everyone deserves to have access to complementary medical care during cancer treatment.

The good news is: you can help support Heartwood Foundation and have a great time doing it! On May 3rd, 2014 Heartwood Foundation is having their annual benefit at the Heartwood Center. Tickets are $50.00 and you can buy them here, at the door, from the Heartwood Center office, or even from me. As an added bonus, I’m planning to make my (in)famous raw fruit tartlets to serve.

And if that isn’t bonus enough: I am giving anyone who buys a ticket $10.00 off any massage or MLD session with me. Just take a picture of your ticket and/or come say hi to me at the benefit. I’ll be the one having lots of fun while dancing very poorly.

I hope to see some of you there!