Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Business Spotlight: Brandy LaRae offers Massage and Wellness services for Body, Mind and Spirit

I recently spent a relaxing Sunday afternoon receiving a massage from Brandy LaRae, Certified Massage Therapist and Hypnotherapist at the Body, Mind & Spirit Center in Jackson.
   I know myself better than anyone...that is, I like to think I do. But as Brandy worked on me, I became aware of a few things that I had either overlooked or dismissed in my (ridiculous) daily grind: Clenching my jaw. Unaware of (and compensating for) pain in my hip. Range of motion in my left shoulder...and who knows what else Brandy found out about me with simple movement and a gentle touch.
   I didn't have to say a word, because experiencing a massage from Brandy is almost like emerging from a confessional with a sigh of relief...because if I were really honest, I'd have to say that I haven't been very good to myself.
   So here is Brandy, helping me fill my senses with aromatherapy and soft music, helping me achieve a level of awareness with some focused, relaxed breathing, helping me think, learn and get back in tune with my own body, mind and spirit.
   What did it require? It required time. Just a little over an hour out of a day to just stop the busyness, the chaos and drama of every day life - to relax, regroup, refocus, renew, and rejoice..because that's what I did and that's what I learned after leaving Brandy's massage table.
  I try to carry those five "R's" with me every day, until I hear myself telling me it's time for another reality check. There's a difference between simply scheduling a massage...and experiencing a path to wellness.
   Enjoy reading this brief interview with Brandy, and schedule your appointment soon for her services and classes, because she gets booked fast!

Carol Harper, Editor
Amador Community News

During (and after) the massage, I noticed that you've pinpointed many of the "trouble spots" with me, and one of the first things I noticed was what felt like a "massage within a massage". Tell me a little bit more about what you do on that initial "touch" with your clients.

In the first ten minutes of a session, I like to do some gentle, passive stretching with clients to get feedback on where their body is tight and restricted. I often get more information from this time of movement, than in the verbal interview before a session. My goal is to help clients relax and support the body in its natural healing ability.

You've had many, many years of experience and expertise in the field of holistic health and wellness. What elements do you think/feel have culminated for you in the services you provide today?

With 20 years in the holistic health field, I have had the opportunity to learn many healing modalities and the importance of self care. My work in hypnotherapy highlighted how emotions are stored in the body, and a key part to releasing past traumas is by bringing the body into alignment. My work as a childbirth educator and doula has given me a deep respect for the power of our bodies. My study of essential oils and herbs has opened the door to natural medicine that I am excited to share with others.

I know many folks who would benefit from a massage, but are wary about any number of things that might make them uncomfortable or embarrassed. What would you say to those who might have "trust issues"...and what are the benefits of massage therapy?

People are often ashamed of their body, apologizing for being too fat or not shaving. I do not notice these things. I notice where your body is tight and restricted; I notice the change in your energy when I work on a painful area. Each body is beautiful its diversity. I find great honor in helping people heal and feel comfortable in their body. In the case of people with trust issues due to abuse, I encourage massage as a way to learn how compassionate touch feels. To learn what feels nurturing and peaceful. The profession of massage has firm boundaries that protect clients.

Do you provide any in-home/private treatments or consultations? What are your hours/schedule?

My in-home sessions are reserved for clients dealing with critical illness. I am available for massage and hypnotherapy at Body, Mind, Spirit Center of Amador, located in Jackson on  Wednesdays and Sundays. In 2016, I will be re-opening The Wellness Cottage in Plymouth and availability will expand.

I saw a picture on your wall, depicting many hand prints, and a caption underneath: "Ancient Medicine" (or something like that): It really made me stop to think about how "out of touch" we are with each other as a community, given social networking, texting, info technology, etc. What are your thoughts, advice, wisdom to our readers about what the term "wellness" means...or should mean?

Wellness, to me, is an ongoing journey and learning experience, unique to each person, focused on positive growth. There are no "shoulds". I know for me wellness is a daily practice of self care that includes nourishment of my body with healthy food and intention movement, nourishment of my spirit with meditation , journaling and community involvement, and expansion of my mind with reading and positive media.

For a consultation with Brandy and for more information,

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