A nurturing touch for survivors of sexual and physical abuse

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Why Desert Mountain Massage?

Most people recognize that massage therapy helps reduce pain, releases tight muscles and increases range of motion. In addition, it benefits you on an emotional level. My goal is to connect your emotions with what you are manifesting physically. It is my belief, that by doing so, I can help you feel a greater calm.

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“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
Brene Brown

The Desert Mountain Massage Experience in a Nutshell

I look forward to my sessions with Martina not only to feel the relief of body work, but also to learn about biomechanics, and tools I can take into my every day, to compliment the work we do. I leave my sessions with new knowledge and confidence to help heal myself, with her guidance. Martina is incredibly intuitive. Her hands go directly to the place of tightness, pain, or injury, before I even tell her what I’m dealing with. Sometimes I don’t even know I have the tightness until she palpates an area and says “what is going on here?” I laugh because I’m about to find out. I feel so cared for, and seen, both in our sessions and when she checks in on me, after. Our sessions are not just passive massage work, (although sometimes I do enjoy that departure from life); Martina works with me on release via resistance exercises, she evaluates my gate and alignment, and we make a plan to address what is going on with my body that day. Her ability to fuse her education as a body worker with her inherent connection to me, is why I love my sessions with her. It is so cool to work with a practitioner with God-given ability, who is also a learner and seeker.

Martina has really perfected her massage therapy. I have had overwhelming anxiety for a little over a year and seeing her was the first time I felt relaxed since. She worked on some techniques that I could take home and use as well. I would recommend her to anyone but especially anyone with anxiety.

Martina asked me to write about my experience with the massage she gave me, so here it goes! When I arrived, I was a ball of anxiety, feeling really down mentally, and just not great all around. I was nervous about dumping all of my stuff on her, so in trying to hide it and keep it in, I think I accidentally ended up making it worse. I appreciated the atmosphere she created, as well as the trust she formed by letting me know that it’d be up to me to share as little or as much as I wanted to throughout the session, and that she would not be taking it from me, so I was ok to let it out. I didn’t know what to expect from the session, but by the end I felt much more calm, at ease, and hopeful than when I first arrived. She started by lightly placing her hands on my feet, then slowly moved up the body- shins, thighs, hips, back, arms, shoulders, chest, and head. Initially, I felt anxious and tried to keep holding my feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and panic in. When she started, I kept visualizing drops of rain creating ripples in a pond. It was a rapid rainfall, and the ripples kept getting bigger and bigger- my mind was racing, but the visualization of the ripples helped me focus on that rather than what was on my mind coming into the session.  As she went from my feet to my legs, Martina asked if there was anything specific troubling me. In an instant my mind went into a tailspin about the things that had been weighing on my mind- the state of the world, feeling powerless against all that is wrong with the world, wanting to change it but feeling too weak and inadequate to do so, worries about my family, not wanting to bring kids into this insane and painful world, not being able to keep up with school because of my mental health, feeling like a failure because of my mental health and how it negatively impacts others, and wanting so badly to just be done with school so I can start changing the world already!  If you have anxiety, then you know that all of those thoughts piled on top of each other, until they crashed together in the blink of an eye, faster than I could vocalize them in the moment. I paused, thought about what I wanted to focus on, and shared the piece I was most comfortable with sharing- that I’m worried about keeping up with school, what I’m studying in school, and how to actually make change happen, and accepting that change will be slow. Once she heard my answer, Martina then told me to imagine a box- any kind of box I wanted, any size shape, color, material, etc.- and imagine putting the things I was worrying about in that box. I visualized a tall, tanklike box with metal siding, like in the movie The Prestige. She instructed me to fill the box with whatever was worrying me and encouraged me to put it in place where I didn’t have to think about it. I packed away the stuff regarding my depression, everything with school, and world disasters (natural and man made) I have no control over, then imagined dropping the box into water. I’m not sure if it was a lake or an ocean, but it was dark and deep enough that I couldn’t see the bottom. I visualized watching it slowly fade from view, sink out of sight, out of mind, and out of my control. I felt calmer and lighter immediately after this exercise, which was probably only a couple of minutes.  When Martina moved her hands up to my hips, I thought of doing the same exercise for my thoughts about people I’m worried about in my life. When I tried to put my thoughts about them into the box and imagined it sinking, I panicked! I started crying at the thought of feeling like I was abandoning them and letting them sink. After letting myself feel it for a little bit, I felt that it might be more effective to try a different approach. This time, I imagined giving them to the universe and letting light absorb them and my worries about them. I imagined submitting to the unknown and visualized reaching upward and outward, allowing my worries to float away into the light. I imagined seeing a statue of a buddha holding a water lily and the light traveling towards the lily, up and away from my hands. I felt an amazing sense of release and relief, and focused on my breathing as I let myself cry it out. As Martina continued to place her hands further up to my shoulders, chest, neck, and head, I noticed I started feeling much calmer. Like I said before, when she started, I imagined seeing frequent, rapid, ripples in the water, but as she moved up, the water became more still and calm. When she reached my head, I imagined what looked like a pool of water slowly swirling in opposite directions- clockwise on the outside, while swirling counterclockwise on the inside. It looked like the reflection of a galaxy with stars and lights. Eventually, I pictured the northern lights gently dancing across my closed eyes. At that point I felt calm and at peace, even though I didn’t know all of the answers to my anxieties. I knew it would all work out somehow. I don’t remember much after that point about the massage itself, other than it continued to help me feel relaxed, especially for my neck and shoulders. My mind was on the northern lights for the remainder of the session.  I was surprised how fast it felt like it went by when Martina said our time was up. Just sitting up from the table, I already felt so much lighter and more hopeful than when first I walked in. Upon further reflection, I realized this massage was like a guided meditation- it helped me focus on specific parts of my body that I often forget, it helped me focus on my breathing, which is a really helpful way to manage anxiety, and the exercises Martina walked me through helped me calm down and focus on the moment instead of letting my mind take over. I really enjoyed this experience and felt that it was a really powerful means of helping me realize the power I have in my own life to tap into healing and combatting anxiety. I hope in sharing my experience, I am able to guide someone to this amazing means of healing for themselves. Thank you Martina, for the incredible work you are doing and for the tools you are providing people to live their best quality of life!

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