We are thrilled to introduce you to the newest member of our Chakra Center community: Kierstie Leavitt is an intuitive massage therapist, writer, poet, and energy healer. She is heading-up our newest bi-monthly column, EmBody Bliss, focusing on aspects of massage, body alignment, and healing.
I asked Kierstie to share a little bit about her journey into massage therapy and her beautiful story of Awakening.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What got you interested in massage therapy?
I’m a sweet and sassy Indigo from Saint George, Utah. I love the outdoors, animals, art, writing, laughter, food, dance, the sun, rain, hugs, kisses, and love. For the most part, I grew up with a feeling of not belonging (in my family or this Universe). As you can imagine the type of childhood that belief may yield, I spent many years in resistance and depression towards my nature and life in general.
I had always gravitated towards the idea of all things possible and the potential of living in a magical world. I was constantly looking for the deeper essence, the higher truth, the hidden message, and the things they didn’t want me to know because deep down, I knew. However, the early life I chose into taught me a lot about illusions and a false surface (which I’m thankful for now). At that point, I slowly started to believe in a reality that one must own up to, a world that was not on my side.
While searching for truth in areas that were “so-not-me,” I attended Dixie State College for the sake of going to college. After a couple of years, I could no longer find my heart in it. I had felt that a trade school was in my future before (even as a young teen I considered massage therapy), but it wasn’t until I had an epiphany one night in bed that I responded to the call. Although I was fearful, the calling was a curious doorway into something unknown yet natural to me. I had always had a touch that was deeply felt by others and I decided to stop denying it.
At that point I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah and attended massage therapy school. I found that my hands have a mind of their own and communicate silently with the body promoting gentle, accepting love and release. My passion for energy work was also born from there. Nearly midway through my education, I really committed to the path of spirituality that had been calling me for so long. The Universe responded quickly and the rest is history! This journey has unfolded so naturally and beautifully. I’ve never felt so close to myself and anyone else. I feel open. I feel my bliss creeping in daily. And yes… I am witnessing the magical-fairytale world that I dreamed of as a young girl.
What role has massage played in your health and overall awakening?
Massage therapy has been more of a doorway to Source than a modality to me (as it is a part of my purpose). In a Universe of Oneness, we cannot heal another without experiencing a point of healing in ourselves. We also cannot harm another without harming ourselves. Working with clients in a space of such vulnerability and intimacy really helps me see different aspects of myself, and the Universe at large. In every different auric field, in every different body, there is a presence of myself and All That Is. That knowledge (the knowledge of Oneness), has played a huge part in setting me free. As far as health goes, freedom is health for me.
What are some of the benefits of massage?
Oh boy! There are many different types of massage that help with different things (different strokes for different folks), but in general, the benefits of massage are:
- Relief of muscular tension/stiffness
- Decrease of pain
- Provides relaxation by sedating the nervous system
- Improves posture by lengthening muscles
- Increases flexibility and range of motion
- Improves circulation by moving fluids such as blood or lymph
- Assists in venous blood return to the heart
- Strengthens the immune system by increasing the production of lymphocytes and leukocytes that fight off disease
- Stimulates endorphins
- Stimulates skin receptors
- Provides quicker recovery to injury
- Enhances the elimination of metabolic waste
- Improves muscle tone in underuse or atrophy
- Reduces mental tension (improving stress, anxiety, and depression)
- Increases body awareness
How long has humanity been using massage as a form of physical therapy?
I feel that the magic of massage really lies in the quality of touch, not just the strokes. This is paramount. In that sense, it’s safe to say that humans and non-humans have been touching and healing each other since the beginning of time.
Historically, massage therapy or alternative healing modalities date back thousands of years. The Chinese were using herbal remedies, acupuncture, and massage as early as 2,500 BC. The Greeks and Romans also incorporated massage and hydrotherapies in their healing practices. And as many of us know, the Ayurveda (India) has been practicing alternative healing modalities for a very long time, as early as 1500-1800 BC.
In the middle ages, massage therapy was deemed inappropriate because of all the religious doctrine swirling about, causing massage therapy and bathhouses to die for a time. The human form was brought into light and appreciated once again by the Renaissance movement. By the 19th century, Dr. Henrik Ling of China brought a form of massage therapy to Swedish gymnasts and this is when the most popular form of massage came about: Swedish massage.
Who can most benefit from massage?
Everyone can benefit from massage! However, the people who benefit the most are the people who believe in their bodies. They believe them to be powerful, self-healing vessels that know well-being as their nature. They listen, breathe, and trust in their own healing.
Is massage for everyone?
There are some contraindications for massage. I’ll present the most common:
- You should not get a massage if you have a fever or are feeling ill that day. Although massage can serve as preventive medicine, you should not interrupt a cycle of illness with massage. A fever is your body’s way of fighting off infection and you could run the risk of making it worse.
- You should not receive a massage under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It can speed up the effects and overload the system with toxins making one sick.
- A person with an open wound should also not be massaged (depending on the size and condition you can proceed with caution).
- If either the client or therapist has a skin infection
- People with severe heart problems or a blood clotting condition
- Clients should wait 6 to 8 weeks after undergoing anesthesia (major surgery) to receive massage work
- Acute inflammation present (pitting edema)
There are more lengthy lists of diseases that are contraindicated for massage, but it’s smart to consult your doctor about any condition you have before receiving bodywork.
What are your greatest passions and intentions for this lifetime?
Through many forms of violence or misuse, physical touch has become a lost art. As we store memories in the body, most people in this society have built up huge impenetrable walls and bubbles of insecurity or awkwardness around the experience of being touched with pure sincerity. Our bodies are Godly and full of life force. Because they are so smart, powerful, sensitive, and perceptive, it is easy to see why we have built up walls from negative experience. But the experience of positive touch is just as powerful as the negative, and can soften the foundation of our walls as they come crumbling down.
It is my dream to see sincere touch emerge as the world shifts. It is my passion to see humanity intimate with each other again. It is my hope that we all realize that we are all scared of the same thing – to not be loved and accepted exactly as we are. So if we’re all scared of the same thing, then it’s time to put down our weapons and walls and let each other feel deeply secure in exposure. It is my passion to watch us all (even strangers) look at each other in the eye, exchange sincere hugs and friendly kisses, all in the name of intimacy – not just sexuality. It is my passion to see us all exposing our deepest selves, that which is love.
It is my passion for us to really see into each other. Intimacy = Into me see
I thought I’d attach a poem that I wrote about the experience of seeing deeply into another.
– I SEE YOU –
I see you
But not through my eyes
I see you
No facade could disguise
The beauty I see
I see you
An essence of art
I see you
Only with my heart
For no eyes could behold
The beauty I see
I see you
As ceaseless as the sun
I see you
And fathom the whole world has won
The moment they see
An experience of purity
As it lies itself down on me
Teaches so softly
Awakening unknown spaces in my body
Radiating everything I see as Godly
By this, I am changed
Opening up all possibility
Leaving room for infinity
What more is there
After this beauty?
The heart looks no further
When it finally knows its story
My eyes surrender saying;
‘I have lived my glory’
When I see you
I really see you