Herbal medicine + massage therapy
A “botanical therapeutic massage” incorporates:
- Orthopedic massage therapy – massage techniques used specifically to help chronic pain and specific injuries. Pressure can range from light to deeper – your preference!
- Various safe and effective plant (botanical) extracts used topically during the massage. This includes compresses, essential oils, infused oils, liniments, and more!
- A holistic experience that acknowledges the mind-body connection and the links between emotional, mental, and physical health. There is a physical component to healing non-physical pain, and there is a non-physical component to healing physical pain. You will not be judged or blamed for your pain.
How is this different from aromatherapy massage?
Many spas offer aromatherapy massage. As a massage therapist I have worked in spas where many people had no training to work with essential oils. Here are some differences between a standard aromatherapy massage and the botanical therapeutic massage I offer:
Botanical Therapeutic Massage
- Massage therapists with no professional training in herbal medicine or aromatherapy can cause harm to your skin and general health
- Most places that offer aromatherapy massage use only essential oils
- Cheap and synthetic products are often used to cut costs
- I have years of training in herbal medicine and aromatherapy and I not only know what works, but what is safe
- Plants are complex and all of the healing properties are never present in only essential oils. I use a variety of plant extracts – liniments, essential oils, infused oils, fomentations, and more to ensure you get the full spectrum of benefits.
- I use high-quality ingredients in all of my massages
What is it like to receive a botanical therapeutic massage?
A botanical therapeutic massage will feel like an extra soothing and effective Swedish or Deep Tissue massage (your preference). Gliding and kneading massage strokes will be used on your muscles in addition to the use of specially-blended oils and herbal compresses. We will thoroughly discuss all of your needs beforehand and we will come up with a plan together.
During the session a variety of topical plant medicines will be used. Each session is customized and different for each person, so each person’s massage experience varies depending on what they need. During a session poultices (ground herbs directly on top of the skin) may be used, infused oils, essential oils, liniments (herbal extracts) and warm towels. You essentially will experience a variety of oils, herbs, and warm towels on your skin.
What herbs are used in a botanical therapeutic massage?
Many different herbs have healing properties for the muscles and physical body in general. A few of the herbs I use in my sessions include:
- Chamomile – incredibly relaxing for muscles
- Mu Gua – wonderful for cases when there is tendon or ligament damage
- Rosemary – helps with muscular aches and pains
- St Johns Wort – useful when there is nerve pain or swellings/cysts
- Ashwagandha– an adaptogen that can help the body form a healthier response to stress over time
- Lavender – wonderful for neck and head tension
- Polygala – perfect for people who carry the weight of the world on their shoulders
- Cyperus – can help relieve stagnant tension and energy that can lead to stress
- Clary Sage – can help in cases of hormonal-based stress and anxiety
- Many more!
What is this type of massage good for?
- Stress relief
- Relief from feelings of anxiety or depression
- Chronic pain relief
- Old injuries that are slow to heal
- Back pain
- Nerve pain
- Foot pain and problems
- Insomnia related to stress
- Muscle tension and tightness
- Chronic or acute neck pain
- Knee pain and problems
- Plantar fasciitis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Hip pain
- Shoulder pain and problems
- Feeling disconnected and out of touch with your body, not being able to show it love
- Overuse injuries
- Promoting circulation
Common questions about massage
What do I wear?
You should wear comfortable athletic clothes and leave your jewelry at home or in your car if possible. I will be using a lot of different herbs that have a possibility of staining clothing. I do not recommend wearing a fancy pink dress or expensive white skirt. Dark athletic clothes are best. You can wear whatever you would like as long as you understand there is a possibility of staining. I will provide you with towels to wipe off with after the session. During the session, it is requested that you remove all clothing so that there are no obstructions during the massage. You will be comfortably covered under linens during the massage.
What if I don’t like my body?
Intuitive Harmony Medicine is a safe place for all kinds of bodies. I have massaged hundreds of people and I see each person as unique and have never seen a bad body. You will be respected and cared for during your visit. Massage is a form of positive human touch and it is incredibly important in helping to heal body image issues.
Will it hurt?
We will communicate a lot during the session to make sure that you are not in pain. It is my intention that you enjoy your experience and I want you to be comfortable communicating with me about the massage – especially if you don’t like it! I give massages to so many different people, I truly do not know if you like the massage until you tell me. During your visit we will develop a system of communication so that you can easily let me know if I am using too much or too little pressure. It is a myth that techniques that cause extreme pain are more effective.
Will I get oil in my hair?
You will most likely get some oil in the back of your hair. There are extremely important muscles on the back of your neck that lead up your head. It is unwise to neglect working on these muscles, but if you absolutely do not want me to touch your hair then I can avoid it for you.
What if I don’t want my face massaged? Or my feet?
Your massage session is all about your wants and needs. I will completely avoid any areas that you do not want massaged. We will discuss your preferences before your session and I will make sure to make the massage room a safe space for you and avoid any areas that feel uncomfortable. If you do not want your face massaged because you are wearing makeup, just let me know and I can avoid it. However, I do recommend scheduling your massage on days when you feel comfortable not wearing makeup, especially if you have neck pain or TMJ.
Should I leave a tip?
It is a common practice to tip a massage therapist (just as you would tip a server at a restaurant) unless they have a strict no-tipping policy. The average tip percentage is 15% – 20% and tips are accepted in cash, card, and Paypal. Tips are unnecessary but are gratefully appreciated when given. The biggest “tip” is to share how much you enjoyed your experience with your friends and family!
I am not sure if I should get a massage or a crystal healing session. Which should I choose?
Both my massages and crystal healing sessions are incredibly relaxing! If you are unsure, you can contact me at any time via email, phone, or Facebook (Intuitive Harmony Medicine) and we can talk about what is best for you. After each session I recommend which type of appointment will be best for you on your next visit. I generally recommend a mix of massages and crystal healing sessions to individuals experiencing chronic issues. Read more about my crystal healing sessions here.
What kind of training do you have in herbal medicine?
I am a trained herbalist who specializes in helping women with stress, hormonal imbalances, chronic pain, and feelings of anxiety or depression. I am mainly trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and some Ayurvedic medicine. These systems view the body in a holistic way and acknowledge the mind-body connection. A good herbalist knows that the foundation of helping someone is getting to know their experience. All of your symptoms paint a picture of what may be going wrong. There are many different types of pain and many reasons they might manifest. For this reason there is no “herb good for pain” or “herb good for headaches”. If I saw 10 clients with headaches in one day, they would all get different herbs because they are vastly different!