It’s nice to meet you.

Hi! 👋🏽 I’m Stephanie. Pronouns She/He/They. Your neighborhood gender fluid Licensed Massage Therapist. I believe all bodies, fat bodies, queer bodies, black bodies, bodies of color, other-abled bodies etc. have the ability and capability to heal, and receive therapeutic touch in an inclusive, supported environment. I believe that things we experience inside our bodies that generally aren’t socially acceptable to talk about, can be talked about. And quite frankly must be talked about in order for us to fully heal.  I believe however you show up on a given day is worthy of love and belonging (yes, Brené). That being said, I understand some challenges that might get in the way of receiving this care. 

Firstly, Massage Therapy is still pretty well known as something of a luxury; a simplistic, superficial way to treat yourself. Which isn’t fully the case. Yes, massage is a great way to treat yourself and it can definitely feel luxurious sometimes. And I know every time you let someone touch your body, it’s an incredibly vulnerable place to be in, so it’s far from simplistic and superficial. 

Another challenge may be the financial aspect of it. It might be hard to justify spending $80-$110 biweekly or monthly to get regular massage. What’s the point? It’s just a massage right? The thing with massage and bodywork, touch, is that it’s the first form and truest form of healing and relaxation. And it’s considered Preventative Healthcare. (Hello buzzword!) Similar to humankind not wanting to get on board with darwinism and now with quantum physics, researchers and scientists haven’t felt the need to study the expansive affects and effects of what happens within the body during and after receiving trained touch. There is just now beginning to be more and more research to back what we as practitioners already know: applying touch, skin on skin contact quite literally saves lives (1), and relaxes the body so it can heal itself. Connection literally improves the immune system (2). Massage Therapy supports the release of dopamine and serotonin in the body. (3)  It helps to turn on the self-awareness center of your brain which has to be turned on in order to fully integrate the fragmented pieces of you. (4) Massage is a building block to keeping you healthy long-term. Just like we change the oil in our car, or else it’ll blow up, we get to give ourselves maintenance too. So I ask, how can you afford not to? You’ll likely ‘end up paying for it’ one way or another. And you’re worth having agency with how you show up for yourself.

Lastly, this challenge is why you’ve come to the right place. You might not want to access your body. To be a fully embodied person in a minority niche in the world right now is a challenge in itself. Because that means you’ll feel your whole self and you’ll be your whole self. And not everybody likes that. And I’m here to tell you, we need you. We need you as you are, expressing your being, your consciousness through your body, however that shows up. It ain’t no gimme, it’s risky. And the bigger risk is staying numb. The world needs you embodied. Being embodied means the world is shifting into expanded consciousness. And in order to do this, I get, there needs to be safety, support, community, and space for you and your process. Space for your courageous self who showed up here at this time on the planet to be who the fuck you are. And I’m here for that. I’m here to support you. To be with you. To resonate with you because I get it. And when I say I get it, I mean I’ve experienced pushback in my own way. So you’re not alone in how that shows up for you. Through various research experiments, massage has proved to be most effective in supporting people in establishing presence in their body, healing from trauma, and being able to enjoy quality of life. (5) And deep work like this requires a practitioner who’s doing their own deep work too. (oh hey, it’s me 👋🏽)

As you can see, a lot happens internally during your bodywork sessions, even if you don’t feel it. Typically established and consistent change occurs over long periods of time. We aren’t one and done people, and massage isn’t either. There’s patience here, there’s space here, and there’s.. water! (oh and humor, because that’s what we’re ultimately getting to right?) 😄 You can expect a clean, disinfected treatment room, 10 minutes each session dedicated to discussing what’s present for you and what you’d like to work on bodywork wise that day, and me, Stephanie 🙋🏽 doing my best to hold space for what shows up. 

Thanks for being here. I look forward to working with you and continuing to work with you. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like to book a session. I’m currently booking new and return clients on Mondays | Wednesdays | Saturdays.

(1) Touch by Tiffany Fields
(2) (3) (4) (5) The Body Keep the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk

How my mixed feelings on self care shaped how I feel about it today.

Self Care: Stephanie’s *current* Take

I’ve gone through tremendously wild pendulum swings of self care.  What it looks like to me, how I implement it in my life, dissecting what it actually means and feels like to practice it.  How it feels inside of me.

Back story, if you don’t know already, I used to be a hairstylist.  Hairstylist with the fancy salon job and the leave in deep conditioner and the pH balancing spray and the brazlian sugaring(ouch)  and the makeup, platform wedges, push up bras, shellac nails, and body scrubs.  Some of what I was doing was self care.  Some of it (most) was detrimental to my self.  

Then I went to massage school, quit the “beauty” industry and unleashed my inner “hippie”.  I didn’t wash my hair for months at a time, no bra, no socks, no makeup, no deodorant (I know), barefoot, music festivals, just like be Love man, everything happens for a reason.  I didn’t shave anything for years.  I didn’t wear anything name brand, I went vegetarian, cut off all my hair and swore off “beauty” products.    Some of what I was doing was self care.  Some of it was just plain unhygienic. 

So you can see my wild tendencies to swing the complete opposite way right?  So flash forward in my timeline, my boss reminded me that bras are a part of dress code (I now own 3(they’re comfy)),  I found a natural deodorant that works, wear makeup occasionally, still wash my hair once a month (it’s short, I can get away with it) and eat what I like (including meat).

Because some of what I was doing was because I wanted to, most of what I was doing at each level was because initially I wanted to.  And then some of it became a feeling of I had to do it this way because “Will I still be respected if I don’t rock 6 inch platform wedges for the full 12 hour shift?”  (news flash they didn’t respect me either way)  or “What will the vegans think if I buy a name brand shirt and eat a burger?”

And so as I’ve been honing in the pendulum on self care I’ve come to some very potent realizations that are worth sharing to you.  Self care changes as you change.  So let it.  The first time I ate meat after being a vegetarian for 2 years is still one of my favorite memories.  I had been trying for so long to force my body into eating vegan for many reasons.  And it simply wasn’t working anymore for my body or my current lifestyle (alot can change it 2 years).  So I listened to what it needed, and it needed a motherfuckin’ burger.  I went to a local restaurant where they serve meat from a local butcher, ordered a burger, ate that thing with a glass of wine and parmesan fries while watching a soccer game, and let me tell you, it was absolutely fabulous.  I felt so much relief and it reminded me that I’m the creator of my life.  So healing.

Another realization is:  If you want to heal the planet, you must take care of your self in the best way you can so that you heal yourself.  Because, you in fact, are a part of the planet.  I never wanted to buy new clothes because: sweat shops! Reuse! What a waste! Corporations feeding on idealized beauty standards so let’s rebel against them!  You get the point.  And I also knew that in my profession (instructor) one of the number one feedback pieces from students I’d get on what needs to be improved is how I dress.  They weren’t taking me seriously in my linen pants and colorful flowy shirts.  So I went to Kohl’s and bought full priced black and white clothes for the first time (ever).  Every time I put them on, knowing no body else lived in them, empowers me as the professional woman I am.  And how I’m worth looking like I know what I’m doing (because I do ).  It changed how I walk out into the world.  It changed my affect on people in a positive way, therefore the planet.  Another feeling of relief.  So healing.

I don’t eat meat with every meal, and am waste conscious.  I still honor my body by eating what it likes.  I still shop at consignment stores when I want.  I no longer feel guilty about buying something brand new at full price.  Both. And.

And now I’m leaning into another layer of self care.  

We all know alot of self-help agenda people (including me (Holla))  like to remind you of the rudimentary-ness of self care like boundaries, saying no, taking things out of your life that no longer serve you, saying FUCK YES when you get that full body yes.  And I’m also here to remind you of the lightness of self care.  The celebration of you.  (Really all of it is celebration of you…and then there’s like fluffy celebration)

After drowning in beauty products, then miles away, I’m leaning into the beauty isles at target once more.  Because I define my own standard of beauty.  And hey, so do you.  Beauty is defined from within, without outside influence.  Fancy right?  I created that affirmation 6 months into massage school.  I’m leaning into self care as pleasure, like buying myself a cute ass face mask (like cleansing mask not covid required mask) (a mask without sulfates ‘cause even though I’m no longer a hairstylist, ya girl still knows what’s good and what’s not), home making a hair scrub, laying down with my feet propped up the wall, listening to music and just.. Relishing in the fact that I’m a fuckin’ Queen.

So what I want to get at here is that as you go through your life, your needs and wants are gonna change. And it’s up to you to not get caught up within a certain identity and to instead change with your current reality. To keep an eye on being a rebel as an identity because being a rebel can be its own cage. And to C E L E B R A T E you first, because you’re the main event. You know you’ll always be Earth conscious and people conscious and white supremacy conscious and we must dismantle the current government system conscious. So take a break from it all once and a while and put some avocado on your face and lay down.

Do what brings you JOY even if at one time in your life it brought you disdain. You’re allowed to change. Throw away that piece of plastic instead of recycling it if it’s easier right now. That ease will lift the vibrational field around you raising the collective to a higher state of being, thus reducing our footprint. Do what lights you up because that’s what’s gonna heal the planet. More LIGHT. Don’t let yourself get caught up in whatever cause you’re invested in letting it be another thing you feel guilty about. Have fun. Have A LOT of it. Do what works for you until it doesn’t work. Check-in frequently, really listen. Show up as your whole self. It’ll all balance out as you go, I promise. Your must is to do what really truly feels good (even if it’s hard) (especially if it goes against a current belief), do what lights you up, and brings you joy. Honoring you and your shifts honors the planet and her shifts. Healing you, heals every one, heals our Mother. You don’t have to be the change that you wish to see in the world all the time.. Be you as you are in each moment. You’re always Loved and that’s always enough.

Connect to Love.

The mind is the gateway from spirit to body. Source comes from above, Earth from below, beings, being in between. How one thinks and responds, especially to self, creates the pathway from source to earth. Clear the pathway. Okay, very vague… what does that even mean? It means releasing the heaviness around your heart and in your mind to become a lighter, soulful, trusting Human living a life that lets you feel ALIVE and full of Love.. A grounded human connected to the Divine Light Source from above living heart centered. What are some good ways to clear the path? Drink water for starts and remember, singing, singing, singing supports retention. Structure creates freedom. Healthy behaviors support healthy thinking & visa versa. Remembering courage and forgiveness is essential for this process of divine creation. A moment with self to give yourself grace and a good look at some trees. It’s already in you, it’s a matter of believing it with your own thought patterns. Have a laugh, don’t take it so seriously, life, that is. Go to the beach, breathe in the sunshine for a moment. Breathe in the sunshine for a moment before you enter work, let it carry in with you. Treat your inner child, hold their hand. Start believing you’re worth it, one gracious moment at a time. You are worthy.

What the hell is even happening in your body?

Recently I was in conversation with someone expressing their healing process from poison ivy. They mentioned that the lesions were large and deep in their skin and the doctors were prescribing steroids to helps counteract the rash. “I got the ivy in October and wasn’t up to feeling better until April.” She was going on about how once she got on the steroids her stomach started to become upset for no apparent reason. She started feeling bloated, was having trouble sleeping and couldn’t find the cause of these symptoms. “Steroids are shots of cortisol that shut down your adrenals which disrupts your digestive system and doesn’t help in relaxation when wanting to sleep.” I say. “Wow that’s exactly what was happening, I didn’t know any of that.” She replies. So yes reason being of this topic is it is ultimately your joyous responsibility to figure out what the hell is happening in your body. It’s worth it to seek education correlating with the functions of your body, and proper information on what you may be ingesting to hopefully support your systems. There is a ton of information out there for you! You can Empower yourself by educating yourself on yourself. Sounding interesting? It sure is. Whether it be checking into certain body symbology, discovering ingredients in medications, or seeking fun youtube videos on how your body supports you, the opportunities are endless. And you will be amazed at how incredible you truly are! This is intriguing me to search for hopefully helpful research articles to provide more information on what the hell is even happening in your body from formidable sources. Happy Discovering!