You've been a part of our team at Therapeutic Bodywork for over 5 years now (WOW!) and have a thriving clientele who loves you and your massage style. Can you tell us a little bit about how you approach your work?
It is hard to believe it has been that long already! They do say 'time flies when you are having fun' and I have definitely loved my time at TB.
Through the years, I have gathered a lot of tools, both literal and figurative, into my massage therapy 'tool box'. However, all of the techniques, strokes, stretches and gadgets, treatments, potions and lotions have become secondary features as I have grown and refined my craft since entering the world of massage and bodywork as a shiny new graduate.
I now understand that the most important tool or skill I possess for being an effective massage therapist is the ability to actively listen. I feel a really successful session is one that is able to best meet the needs of the client on that particular day. How an individual feels physically in their body, how they are feeling emotionally, and the level of 'mental gymnastics' they may be doing, or stress they may be experiencing; these things are constantly shifting. All of those elements, revealed in conversation with my clients, combine to paint me a picture of how to best approach their session and which tools should come out of the box that day. Those few minutes, (or sometimes not so few - ha, ha) of chatting before the work begins are absolutely essential. They are what transform a massage into 'working with' a person instead of 'working on' them - and that is a big difference!
What do you love most about what you do?
I am honestly terrible at picking favorites. I guess that makes it no surprise when I say that I love the endless variety in the work that I do. I see a diverse mix of clients with very different treatment needs, preferences and personalities. This is precisely why it doesn't feel like five years have come and gone around the massage table at Therapeutic Bodywork - no two days have ever been exactly alike! In this field that keeps growing and expanding, there is always more to learn and I love that too. I learn from my clients and co-workers each and every day. I feel that my life is enriched by the work that I do, and the people that I see each day, and I am incredibly grateful for that.
You've been having a lot of fun experimenting with the Lotus Wei Flower Essences and offer a session that bring Flower Essences into the massage. Can you tell us a little about them?
Flower essences are infusions of flowers stabilized in a mix of water and alcohol that are used primarily to promote balance in the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of being. They are subtle, gentle and supportive, lifting your spirits - like the gift of a beautiful and unexpected bouquet of flowers might do. Katie Hess, founder of Lotus Wei, describes them as 'liquid energy that transforms your mood and your mind through your acupuncture meridians'. She likens flower essences to tuning forks that bring your body back in tune with a subtle electrical vibration through sympathetic resonance.
The elixirs that they have created are taken internally, like other flower essences, throughout the day, under the tongue or in your water or tea. What is so different and exciting to me about Lotus Wei is that they have also combined their flower essence compounds with synergistic essential oils to create a line of deliciously juicy flower essence serums.
These luscious, organic, regenerative serums are intended for use all over the face and body which makes them an almost effortless way to shift your state of mind and a perfect addition to a nourishing massage when you feel you need an extra 'boost'. Whether you are seeking more Joy, Peace, Love, Calm, Inspiration, or Energy, there is a blend for every mood. (Discover more in our Wellness Shop)
You also do a lot of work with Oncology clients. Can you tell us a little about this specialized area of work?
A person's journey after a cancer diagnosis can often be a physically, mentally, emotionally and financially challenging and exhausting one. Those offering Oncology Massage seek to be a small respite from it all, offering supportive, nurturing touch and encouraging relaxation. Unfortunately, massage and other complementary therapies can be cost prohibitive to incorporate while undergoing treatment. That is why we are so fortunate to have the Cape Wellness Collaborative as a resource in our region.
The CWC is a non-profit organization that provides Integrative Wellness Therapies to people facing cancer on Cape Cod + the Islands. Through their various fund raising events each year, they are able to do this at NO COST to the individual. It is a truly amazing thing, and I am proud to be a provider of massage for our community through the CWC.
It is important to determine the types of modifications in positioning, contact and pressure that may need to be made to keep the session comfortable, effective and safe for the client. With training, you learn what to be aware of both during and after active treatment, as chemotherapy and radiation can have long-lasting effects on the tissues and systems. As they say in Oncology Massage - 'Strong Medicine = Gentle Work'.
How do your nourish yourself outside of the office, so that you can continuously give to your clients so generously?
With TACOS! (Just kidding!) Silliness and laughter loom large in my self-care, you see. I feed my creative spirit by finding ways to feel childlike and free - in awe of the natural world. As a multi-passionate being I have lots of options for filling up the tank: gardening, reading, cooking, sewing, painting, drawing, singing, hiking, tinkering, splashing, drumming, exploring new places with my husband, and most of all - traveling to Maine to spend time with my sisters and play all sorts of imaginative games with my four-year-old niece.
*For the entire month of June, enjoy a Complimentary upgrade to a Flower Essence Enhanced session with every 75 or 90 minute session with Elizabeth*
Elizabeth is available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays + every other Saturday