For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a huge heart for people. I am passionate about making a difference in the world and in others’ lives and have spent my whole life in this pursuit. I lost my brother and mother before the age of 12, because of this I planned to become a counselor to assist others to heal from loss. With this in mind, I created peer counseling and survivor programs in my middle and high schools. During high school and college years, I began fundraising for Greenpeace, Muscular Dystrophy, and Universal Health reform.
I moved to Chicago to model while continuing college and found that I enjoyed promoting the struggling fashion designers and photographers rather than modeling myself. Later, I was offered the opportunity to scout and place models with agencies around the world. I hoped to help make their dreams a reality. There came a turning point when I felt led to pursue other avenues other than the modeling industry. I tried Corporate America, and assisted in building a start-up business into a billion dollar company. We established internal communications while developing guiding principles and overall vision during their expansion.
What I didn’t know at the time was that one of my greatest opportunities in fulfilling my purpose was just an early birth away. Everything changed when I went into labor at six months (25 weeks,resulting in a “c” section) and gave birth to twins weighing 1 lb. 10 oz. and 1 lb. 11 oz. That event truly changed the course of my life! I spent 6 months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) holding my babies’ skin to my skin. I learned the profound healing difference touch provides! As I watched my boys flourish, and grow stronger daily. I was in the presence of the miraculous. I knew that this ability was a gift and an honor. Shortly after the boys came home from the NICU, I was inspired by an infant massage therapist to massage my boys.
I moved my family back to Madison, Wisconsin, to learn massage therapy, another lifelong passion. I studied under a renowned Chinese doctor and acupuncturist. I became certified in Chinese and Western massage. I learned even more about the miraculous power of touch and the healing available through Chinese medicine and acupressure. I knew that I wanted to work with pregnant women, so I studied under an amazing RN, midwife and therapist. I became certified in prenatal and postpartum massage.
After my training, I went on to work in an acupuncture fertility center for several years providing fertility, pregnancy and postpartum massage. During that time, I also worked in a chronic pain center improving the lives of those struggling with pain. In addition, I worked in a spa as a therapist to introduce many to their first massage. While working for the spa, I held a public relations and marketing position, and created an employee wellness program for Corporate America. Many companies learned they could increase retention and productivity, by utilizing holistic and preventive care therapies, such as chair massage, acupuncture, nutrition, yoga, and Chinese Medicine.
Most recently, I became a certified Reiki master practitioner. This extraordinary training has deepened my ability to be present and compassionate with everyone I am able to touch. I now feel empowered to provide a safe, loving and healing experience through my intuition, words and hands.
One of my greatest joys (outside of my twin boys) has been teaching others about the value of creating connection, intimacy and healing through massage. I taught prenatal massage to massage students for many years and now teach prenatal and labor support massage to pregnant couples. Currently, I take advantage of every opportunity to provide seminars, educating others on the benefits of massage, as well as pre-term labor symptoms, and “pain-free” pregnancy. I am working to expand my teaching and get my Continuing Education Certification so I offer additional training to other massage therapists.
I have had the great privilege of living out my dream and have owned my own massage therapy business, A Healer’s Hand since 2007. The motto I live my life by is “touch others with compassion, for compassion can touch the world”. I am grateful that I am able to fulfill my life’s pursuit, I am honored to share what I’ve learned and I know this is just the beginning.