massage with ann marie
Feel like you really need a two week holiday
to reset your mind and body,
but know you aren't getting that any time soon?
Do you need an oasis of quiet and nurturing calm,
while you receive a massage that works out the
physical aches and pains,
and gets your chi flowing again?
Is your nervous system stuck in fight or flight,
with a mind that just won't settle,
and you want to regulate it back to calm?
I can help you with that.
The moment I decided to become a massage practitioner was during a mindfulness workshop 11 years ago.
The instructor had us touch our partner's spine, so they could feel the length of it. After the exercise, my partner (an older woman) turned to me and said, "That's the first time I've been touched in a long time."
It pierced my heart like an arrow.
Everything in me rang out - that shouldn't be so!
I bought a massage table off Craigslist the next week,
and started offering free massages to this woman, and to any of my friends who lived alone, or who lived in partnerships/marriages where their need for loving and nurturing touch wasn't being met.
At that time, I thought I was just doing this for my friends, following a deep desire to try to heal one of the holes left in the world as our culture moves farther away from our roots of living in community.
What ended up happening at the same time was that I found my way more deeply back into my own body, and learned to align my energy systems, as I learned to align my friends. I had freedom to follow where the energy wanted to move in the body, and this allowed learning from the inside out. I had freedom to create my own style, combining the most effective elements of the embodiment practices, physical therapies, and healing modalities I was using to help heal myself.
My personal history is peppered with trauma, abuse, and mental illness.
There was lots of good stuff, too, but the conditions for growing up as a fully intact and functioning adult weren't quite met.
The way my system kept me as intact as possible was through dissociation - disconnecting from the body so that the mind and soul could wait for the time when it was safe to come forward again.
I know what it feels like to be so disconnected from the body that you don't even realize how tight and knotted up it is.
"Isn't that the way everyone feels? Isn't that normal?"
I know what it feels like to need to find a way to slow the nervous system down enough to begin to learn new ways of existing that aren't in fight, flight, or freeze.
I know what it's like to have lived in a relationship where you aren't touched enough, or not touched in a way which feels deeply nurturing to you. The phrase "skin hunger" was created for a reason.
I've done my work.
I've healed my way back from a whole bunch of crapola,
into a person who is (mostly) well-regulated, empathetic and compassionate, and deeply nurturing.
And that's what I'm bringing to my sessions as a massage practitioner.
This deep listening from a place of cultivated stillness.
I know how to listen to your body, even if your body is confused, upset, or in pain. We can find the way that your body needs help to relax and regulate, and feel nurtured and held in safety.
Because I believe this is really the way we heal.
We need to be deeply listened to, on a bones and muscles and blood level. Our body knows when it's in the presence of someone who is deeply listening and focused on it. It knows when there's someone there who is keeping vigil, and then it can truly let go and relax.
It's like a herd of horses.
While some of the horses sleep, there are others who stand watch.
The ones who are sleeping know they can lay down and rest - a position of great vulnerability for an animal that has an awkward time going from lying down to standing.
There is someone keeping watch for predators who will alert them if they need to run.
So they don't need to keep alert themselves.
Our bodies are like that, too.
Humans are tribal - we aren't meant to live alone.
Like horses, we can reach a deeper state of vulnerability and full body relaxation when there is someone else present who is looking out for us, who is taking care of us.
You aren't meant to heal alone.
You can more deeply relax and regulate your nervous system when you've got someone holding space for you.
That's me. I'm looking out for you.
While listening to what your body needs,
and how your energy wants to move.
And you get a great massage!
My sessions are 90 minutes, for $100.
(Here's a link to why I choose this price.)
You can talk about what's going on for you,
speaking what needs witnessed into the space,
or you can come in and lay down and just be quiet.
I will be, too.
You can ask me to share what I notice about your energy, or what messages I might hear from your body.
I'll be happy to share those.
And you may not want to hear any of that.
I respect that.
Some people come in and sleep through the whole thing.
I say that's like a bonus sleep for them. Gold star!
Some people need to speak what's coming up for them, or make sounds, or cry.
I hold space for that, and just go with your flow and follow your lead on what's needed in that moment.
How people have spoken about my massage experience:
"I felt the intentionality and purpose behind every touch. Each movement had an intention, rather than just a pattern of massage technique. I feel so much lighter. And so relaxed."
"I live alone and haven't been touched with such tenderness and care since my husband died. Thank you."
"Not only is it an amazing and relaxing massage, but Ann Marie is an incredibly compassionate, kind, and lovely person."
My massage style might be a good fit for you if:
you are someone who nurtures others,
but your cup doesn't quite get filled in return
you're open to the idea that your physical symptoms may have energetic or emotional roots
you get it that your body may need a variety of pressures or qualities of touch - sometimes determined pressure, but also sometimes rocking the bones, or tapping the muscles, or holding still while the energy shifts itself
your bookshelf might hold a mix of books about spirituality, neuroscience, mindfulness, play, empathy
you're into Non-Violent Communication, Brene Brown, Byron Katie, Adyashanti, 5Rhythms, yoga, embodiment, trauma research
your Love Language is Physical Touch, and you are living with someone whose gift doesn't match up
My massage style won't be a good fit for you if:
you are looking for deep tissue massage
you want someone who will focus only on an area of injury, like an RMT
you want someone who has the medical model approach to massage
you are looking for a spa-like massage with a luxury setting like the Kingfisher Resort
you want to chat through your massage and have a visit