Functional Wellness

My Approach

Disease (Dis-ease) is that which produces pain or discomfort. Treatment is a plan to correct the damage. The abuse we serve ourselves needs to be corrected. Getting monthly massage, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Ayurvedic Spa Therapies, Functional Yoga Classes, Workshops for Self-Improvement, or a Total Health Consultation are options for being proactive in your health. In the long run, getting a massage a month is cheaper than surgery or physical therapy and preventing disease is priceless. Read on and learn more about my approach for giving you timeless tools that will help you take charge of your health with the wisdom of Ayurveda.

Safety is my pleasure and priority

I am a solo practitioner; it’s only you and me in my office. Managing sanitation and keeping you safe from viral contagion are easily accomplished in a low traffic establishment with one practitioner. I’ve been in practice here for 10 years; my long time client relationships are based in honesty and trust. Located on the ground floor, my office is equipped with electric massage table for accessibility and customized adjustments for head and feet. I use contour-supporting body cushions to support postural positioning. Positions on the table include prone, supine and side/fetal postures. Positional props like cushions or wedges help to fill in the space where the body holds tension from injury, chronic postural distortion or chronic neuromuscular conditions. The “Four-Directions” massage room is quiet and private, a refuge for soul and the senses.

My Relationship with YOU

Clear and open communication is essential in intimate healing relationships between Rogi (read on) and practitioner. Language is sound and intention vibrating with meaning. In most practitioner relationships, we use the word “client”. A client in its simplest terms is a transaction. Your relationship means more to me than a transaction, I come into the most intimate moments of your life and loss. I get to know whole Families in my practice. I am ethically bound to hold your private information with the most respect and tenderness. I learned through my teacher, Dr. Jay, director of Kerala Ayurveda Academy, of the Sanskrit word, Rogam, meaning dis-ease. He explained and inspired his students to use the word Rogi to describe the practitioner relationship. Rogi is someone suffering from dis-ease. We use the word Rogi in place of client as a way to honor and hold all your sacred and intimate information with dignity and respect.

Technology I use

My office is equipped with innovative technology to aid in your healing experience. Every table session is received on a Bio-Mat. Most places charge extra for this amazing technology. I offer it complimentary. The Bio-Mat is a warming mat that transfers far-infrared heat through layers of Amethyst and Tourmaline crystals. The bed of crystals recharges your energetic system, ridding your system of toxins through supporting gentle detoxification. It may help relieve symptoms, prevent further illness, and increase overall health and vitality.

Postural stress patterns

I apply passive postural support on the massage table and the yoga classroom. When the body experiences mutual support, the nervous system feels safe and you relax easily, activating parasympathetic or restorative reflexes. These reflexes unlock the part of your nervous system that heals and regenerates. The parasympathetic state relaxes the repetitive loops of the mind overflowing with “should’ves”,“could’ves” and “would’ves”. Dr. Lad tells us that kind of self-talk keeps us trapped in the past and is a cue that we’re not in the present moment.

Silence is golden

Talking is tempting during a massage.  I encourage you to use the time to tune in to yourself internally.  Listen to the sensations in your body.  Breathe. I don’t mind when talking happens, but I prefer for us both to have a meditative experience.  I say a silent invocation every time I start the session.  During the massage, I’m repeating silent mantra to support my mental focus and deep listening.  Time warps in my massage room. We’re always noticing how it feels like we started 10mins ago when a 75min session is finished. In my massage sessions, people relax so well that I witness the Alpha and Beta states of mind. Meaning the mind/body achieves complete rest and meditative brain rhythms cleanse the psyche. That kind of clarity expands and refreshes our perspectives. It releases the repetitive cycle of stress we’re stuck in. A clear mind is part of a healthy body.

Chronic Stress and Digestion

Chronic stress keeps us in a sympathetic state of alertness that causes damage over the long term. Even though most of us aren’t in immediate danger, we remain imprinted with the danger our ancestors experienced when they literally were being hunted by tigers. I say we’re the ones hunting ourselves now. We know (cognitively) we’re not in immediate danger, but the sympathetic system (FEAR) does not. In Jin Shin, we use an acronym for fear: False Evidences Appearing Real. The mind has imprinted this danger on you so well, that a present moment of safety can be miss-read because you assume danger. Triggering this reinforced reflex will continue to move blood to your extremities, away from your center, so you can run.

The dispersal of blood away from the center causes digestive disharmony because the center is missing vital energy. Most of the precursors to disease start in the digestive system, but since we are highly adaptable creatures, we easily ignore this number 1 warning of disease. The science and study of the Nature within us (Ayurveda), emphasizes, “you are what you digest”, rather than the food pyramid philosophy “you are what you eat.”

Breath Coaching

Resting in our center brings vital circulation to the respiratory system, digestive system and vital organs. In a parasympathetic state, the breath expands and deepens. The thorax (rib cage and abdomen) is a place that needs attention in most stressed out bodies. Most muscle tension is a result of weakness. The rib cage is no exception. The chest muscles, flank muscles and abdominals all get bound from shallow breathing. Shallow breathing is a chronic stress response creating tension in the chest, neck, upper shoulders and throat. During your massage you will receive breath coaching and learn how to calm your nervous system so the changes on the table transfer to helping you counter-balance every day stresses. You will learn how to identify your triggers and breathe through them rather than perpetuate reactive cycles of stress.

The significance of senses in healing

Ayurveda is an ancient science applied to modern living. Sharp senses become a portal for healing. WE take in food, air, water, and impressions. Impressions can be misdirected through dull senses. The senses are related to all 5 elements in Nature: Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Clear and vibrant senses echo a clear and vibrant mind and a clear and vibrant body. I want your senses to be part of your experience. My office is a Boutique Wellness Retreat. Arriving in a clean, artfully decorated, and comfortable space gives you a sense of being well cared for. The gentle fragrance of ethically sourced essential oils helps with stress relief and will counter-balance the effects of the season: clearing sinuses in the spring, warming in the Winter, cooling in the Summer, grounding in the Fall. My high-quality sheets are clean and cool for the skin. I heat my herbal-infused massage oils in a warm water bath, in glass bottles, charged with the crystal energy of selenite and fluorite. The Ayurvedic oils and facial skin-care masks are a delight for the senses and aid in deep healing at the level of the cellular membrane. Products in my office are not fake or synthetic; they are safe enough to eat! Whatever you put on your skin should be made of ingredients that are pure and natural.

Clear channels = brilliant health

In Vedic anatomy, the energy system is just as important as the skeletal or muscular system. Our bodies have networks of invisible circuitry that inform total health. These channels all pass through one main circuit of energy: The Main Central channel or Sushumna in Sanskrit. Then there are two side channels: The right side channel (Pingala) and the left side (Ida) channel. Moving from side to side is the mediator, which moves information across from left to right sides. We see this pattern emerge in our physical bodies. Someone comes in with the complaint that all her pain is on the Left side. Or someone comes in with right ankle, left knee and right hip, left shoulder pain. This pattern cues me into where the energy is stuck along these primary pathways. The energetic informs the physical. As Bruce Lipton says, “Energy is invisible moving forces that control physical matter.” We go beyond identifying physical patterns of disharmony when we get a Total Health Consultation through practices for sinus and digestive health, self-massage and clearing the mind with guided visualization. All examples of home practices for keeping your channels clear.

Mental Health and Massage

Our mind is the site of our happiness. My teacher, Lama Marut, emphasized how important clear channels are for mental health, saying that when the energy is moving through the central channel, we feel happy and smart. I like to clarify that we are resting in our inner intelligence and contentment, a perfect combination for making healthy choices. Inflicted, dull or agitated states of mind create disease. Toxic thoughts can become so pervasive that we don’t realize they’re making us sick. I started noticing these influences in the outcomes for how effective the massage was in my Rogi’s. I observed how the mental aspect of chronic patterns would resolve if we paid more attention to the Mind in massage. I am not a psychologist. I am approaching the mind through the body and clearing channels that accumulate with the feelings of Fear, Worry, Sadness, Anger, and Pretense.

Ayurvedic Spa Therapies and Jin Shin Jyutsu are ways that I work with supporting mental wellness.

I’m a full time practitioner

This is not my hobby. I’ve logged thousands of hours working with a spectrum of injury treatment to chronic illness to well-maintenance massage. My skills have evolved through constant study and practice. My focus is on providing wellness services based in self-help. I want you to learn how to help yourself in the long run and keep seeing me for maintaining your wellness once you’ve achieved a balanced state. I don’t use a template for massage. Every time you come in I listen to what you need now. Through passive joint mobility and observation, I apply techniques that liberate movement and identify what muscles are over-used or unresponsive. My massages are so unique that we often laugh about how sensitive I am that I have eyeballs in my fingers. I call this kinesthetic-empathy. My hands feel where the pain is stuck in your tissues. You will leave feeling more connected to yourself and ready to resume your responsibilities with ease and support.

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Discover Your Dosha

What causes Dis-ease?

The root cause is precisely what we are seeking when we apply Ayurveda to learning more about ourselves and why we are imbalanced. Among the 8 factors causing disease are Seasonal imbalance, Irregular diet, improper treatment and past actions, and Vata, Pitta, Kapha.

Panchamahabhutas

The five Elements: Space (Ether), Air, Fire, Water, Earth

Tridosha, the three Ayurvedic humors

The trinity of Ayurveda sees that the 5 elements combine to form three Ayurvedic humors.

Air and Space combine to form Vata *action, transportation, movement

Fire and Water combine to form Pitta *transformation, coversion, metabolism

Water and Earth combine to form Kapha *construction, lubrication, nourishment

We are born with the perfect combination of the three humors. “Work like a Pitta, sleep like a Kapha and embrace change like a Vata.”

Ways to identify excess
Vata Dosha

• joint mobility/movement problems
• premature aging
• dizziness
• delirium
• headache
• insomnia
• anxiety
• depression
• stiffness
• memory loss

Ways to identify excess
Pitta Dosha

• acne/rosacea
• acidity
• inflammation
• gastritis
• hepatitis
• hair loss
• baldness
• gall bladder
• kidney stones
• excessive sweating
• pungent odor
• excessive thirst
• fevers

Ways to idendify excess
Kapha Dosha

• congestion
• chronic respiratory projects
• lethargy
• asthma
• frequent colds
• mucus
• sinus projects
• obesity, anorexia, bulimia
• laziness
• slow digestion

“The mind exists to bring experience and liberation to the soul” – Dr. David Frawley

Our mental wellness is directly related to our physical wellness. A clear mind contributes to vital health and longevity.  Most of us walk around with a mind full of swirling thoughts.  It’s natural.  And it’s changeable.  Attitudes, thoughts, and feelings become habits.  For better or worse. Mental health is the focus of Ayurveda.  There are 3 basic attributes that influence our psychological and moral states.  These attributes are the basis for human behavior.  What’s amazing is that these forces are moveable.  We may feel stuck in our depression or anxiety, but Ayurveda empowers us to identify the stuck place and change it through our daily routines.

Satva

Satva is radiant, peaceful, contemplative, insightful, wise, still, and dispassionate. A mind with light and bright senses moving energy in both directions. The qualities of satva help overcome compassion fatigue. Giving us a broader sense of our place in relation with the World around us. Satvic foods are highly nutritious, easily digestable and fresh. Time in Nature nourishes these qualities along with prayer and meditation. Tuning in instead of out.

Rajas

The forces of a rajasic mind are constantly moving and can't hold focus. The mind is weak, moving, spinning, aggressive, and extroverted - directed outwardly through selfish desires. Nervousness, anxiousness, controlling, judgmental, or possessiveness can be some ways to identify the rajasic mind. Cravings that perpetuate rajas can be foods with low quality like crackers, unseasonal cold salads, too much coffee or stimulants. Over stimulation from too much screen time or overwork can be identified as rajasic tendencies.

Tamas

We can identify a tamasic mind when we find ourselves attracted to violence or numbed out from too much suffering. The Tamasic mind is a prisoner of illusion, stuck in the lower chakras that, when imbalanced, perpetuate fear and ignorance. The tamasic mind unchecked will be eating foods with low nutritional value or chemicals that create toxicity. An addiction to excessive sleeping or checking out can be signs that tamas has hold.

FAQ

Is it necessary to undress for a massage?

Supporting your comfort level is important, that’s why I have options that don’t require undressing.  If you do undress, the precise draping helps maintain modesty and privacy.  Body awareness and self-love are encouraged so you develop a better relationship with your body. 

How do I know which service will help my situation?

Talk to Hillery and describe what you’re going through to sort out which massage will help you specifically.  Most of my rogis do that with each session.  We find the best treatment together.

Is massage OK for injury?

Supporting recovery from injury with massage is super helpful and important to regain structural balance.  Integrating massage with physical therapy addresses more than the site of injury.  Massage addresses the whole body, mind and breath.  Releasing muscular tension from postural compensation keeps that body in balance.  Addressing the emotions of being injured and residual trauma helps to promote the complete healing process.  Hillery is specially trained in therapeutic massage for injury treatment and recovery. 

Can massage help me with surgery prep or recovery?

Surgery is a big decision.  Once you’ve decided to go down that road, making a complete plan with massage will support a complete recovery.  Hillery is experienced in applying massage to joint-related surgeries including shoulders, knees, and hips.  She is also proficient in working with cervical fusions.  Using Jin Shin Jyutsu before and after surgery helps the body prepare and process the chemicals from anesthesia. 

How do I know my information is private?

Hillery is above and beyond dedicated to ethical practices.  As such, your privacy is held in confidence according to HIPAA laws and standards.  

I had a bad experience once, why are you any different?

Every person has the right practitioner/rogi match.  WE need to keep looking for harmonious and professional therapeutic relationships.  Don’t let that bad experience keep you from seeking massage to  help you feel better.  Hillery’s presence naturally puts you at ease with her non-judgmental sensibilities. She makes you feel comfortable and encourages the experience to be in full communication to address any questions or concerns.  If you’re the right fit, we’ll both know and grow together.