Julieta Benavides, LMT, CMLDT
As your massage therapist, I invest in your well-being by providing a nurturing and knowledgeable foundation for your best self. Therapeutic massage has the power to calm the nervous system as a pathway to deeper healing. My massage elicits a deep relaxation response, cueing the body into healing mode. The body then invites my hands to address its biomechanical tension patterns. I work with the body – not against it – since the healing must come from within in order to last. All details are considered to ensure that my client is comfortable while in my care, including propping of any unsupported body part to ensure the best alignment to facilitate release. I understand the vulnerability involved in presenting oneself for massage and the importance of imparting healing with full presence and attention. I combine warmth and intuition with technical skill in order to build trust as the massage unfolds. Once this is established, areas of tension can be more quickly and easily relieved!
My practice involves a good mix of orthopedic work, MLD and perinatal massage (which encompasses prenatal, labor and postpartum). My work surrounding the childbearing year has a special place in my heart, because it is the time during a woman’s life in which she requires the most support (both informative and nurturing) and so often does not get it. This work allows me to be a part of her “village”! In addition to the massage piece, I am also a doula and can support regular clients during labor upon request (or offer referrals, as I know many great doulas who do this wonderful work full time).
I draw from a variety of modalities (Swedish, myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy, pin & stretch, passive stretching, manual lymphatic drainage, positional release, cupping, hot stone therapy, aromatherapy) in order to curate the most therapeutic session for each client. Often clients find they like a combination of all of the above.
WHAT TO EXPECT OUT OF A SESSION:
A typical orthopedic or relaxation session will last 15-20 minutes longer than the scheduled massage time. First, we will partner together to get a sense of your biomechanical patterns and stressors in daily living. We can then start to better understand your areas of tension and the reasons for them. During the session, you will have an opportunity to connect more deeply with your own inner wisdom, cultivating body awareness as I assist your muscles in letting go of chronic tension. Although you will feel relief after the first session, it often takes a couple of sessions to access the deeper healing – after all, it took a lifetime to get this way!
For prenatal and postpartum sessions, I can offer myself as part of your pregnancy support team (although if you just want a single relaxation session, I can do that too). Throughout the course of your pregnancy, we can work together to identify the structural changes happening in your body and ways we can relieve them. I offer postural education, so you can learn how to carry your body differently to accommodate for the baby weight up front with less strain. During your session, I will position you and baby safely and comfortably so that we can ease all of your new pains. Common areas we can address include low back pain, hip and gluteal tightness, rib discomfort and swollen legs and feet. I use my doula knowledge to offer releases and stretches for you to do at home to better prepare you for labor. Postpartum we can ease “new mother’s neck”, tension in the upper chest muscles due to breastfeeding, hip and pelvic pain, any residual swelling from labor medications, and provide a much-needed few minutes for mom to focus on her own self-care.
For manual lymphatic drainage, the course of treatment will depend on your condition. Acute injuries such as a sprained ankle normally only require one or sometimes two 60-minute sessions to relieve the edema. MLD for surgery-support normally consists of one full-body session prior to surgery and then one or two targeted sessions around the area during the immediate recovery period. More chronic swelling might require a full-body treatment and maintenance sessions.
Prior to graduating from A New Beginning School of Massage, I managed restaurants for twenty years. After having been in the hospitality industry for much of my life, I have a deep understanding of the importance of compassionately listening to a client, making her feel safe and comfortable and anticipating her needs. Taking care of others is something I have always done naturally and I genuinely love doing it. Prior to receiving schooling for massage therapy, I taught myself basic techniques using DVDs and would practice on others just for fun and to relax myself. After doing this for ten years, I loved it so much that I had to do it full time. I have also been a bootcamp instructor and a running coach. My background in athletics and running gives me an understanding of the basics of human movement and how pathologies can develop, but also the empathy to understand being injured and unable to find solace in the exercise one loves.
I believe that regular massage should be a part of every woman’s maintenance regimen. Our current medical system often addresses illness when it is already a problem in the body and daily life is affected. However, massage can be a powerful preventive tool, especially given that stress is a precursor to and a causative factor in many chronic illnesses. Regular massage calms the nervous system, promotes body awareness, lowers blood pressure and decreases anxiety, allowing the integrated body systems to better function as a whole. Massage is also beneficial for calming autoimmune disorders, addressing repetitive use injuries and postural distortions as well as alleviating pain due to soft tissue injury.
A New Beginning School of Massage – Massage Therapy, 500 hours
Relieving Chronic Head and Postural Distortion, 6 hours
Releasing the Rotator Cuff: A Massage Perspective, 6 hours
Introduction to Manual Lymphatic Drainage, 6 hours
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Certification Course (Klose Training, Vodder Method), 45 hours
Introduction to Cupping as a Lymphatic Drainage and Deep Tissue Tool, 6 hours
Pre- and Peri-Natal Massage Therapy, Carole Osborne, 32 hours
Intelligent Deep-Tissue Massage, 3 hours
Childbirth Education and Doula Training Workshop (DONA), 23 hours
PRODUCTS I USE:
These may vary depending on the goal of the session, but clients’ personal preference is always the top priority. The following are available:
Sacred Earth Botanicals Organic Massage Gel: nut free, fragrance free, preservative free
Barring allergies, clients normally like incorporating one or two essential oils into the session. Topically, I use only the highest quality oils from Aromatics International, as they are responsibly sourced, third-party tested and each one comes with a GC/MS document detailing the chemical make-up of the batch. (You will see a couple of other brands on my shelf, which I use for the diffuser blends only.) Essential oils are a wonderful way to support the goals of the massage: I have oils that help lymphatic drainage, oils that combat colds and flu, some that calm muscle spasms, relieve sinus congestion, relieve anxiety and promote better sleep. Oils can be uplifting, promote mental clarity, balance female hormones and even calm obsessive thinking or foster a stronger sense of self. Using the oils in small dilutions on the feet and back can promote calming of the mental state as well as soothing the physical body.