“I WAS PROBABLY ABOUT EIGHT YEARS OLD WHEN I GAVE MY FIRST MASSAGE…”
My uncle used to ask me to walk on his back, and my aunt used to love it when I would work on her shoulders while she was having coffee with my parents.
I used to watch TV with my mom and we would brush each other’s hair and massage each other’s scalps, shoulders and feet.
I never thought I would be doing it professionally as an adult, but even back then, my family said I had a knack for it.
In high school I became interested in alternative medicine and healing (referred to as “CAM” or “Complimentary Alternative Medicine” by “mainstream” medical professionals).
During that time, I noticed that drinking valerian tea would relax me when I was stressed during finals.
And that rubbing clary sage essential oil (diluted) on my belly for cramps helped my body feel better than when I took a Tylenol for the same symptoms.
And that licorice tea would help my throat feel better when it was soar.
And many more positive results…
I just kept noticing how positively my body reacted to very simple methods of dealing with things that would come up in my health.
An “Incurable” Infection
At the same time, I was having really bad sinus infections on a regular basis. I was on antibotics every few months. The pain was incredible. I had constant headaches and my eyes would water from the pressure.
The infection would go away while I was on the antibiotics and then return once I was off them. When the infection returned in a few weeks, they would give me more antibiotics.
The sinus infections started in my teen years and continued until my early 20’s. One day, during a particularly uncomfortable bout, one of my friends recommended I flush my nasal passages with salt water and eat copious amount of garlic bread, and to cook the garlic minimally so that it was as strong as I could stomach it.
That recommendation cleared up a 4 month sinus infection (the longest I had ever had) in one week! Four different types of antibiotics couldn’t do it, but garlic could! I was amazed!
The “Tea Lady”
In college, my dorm was on the opposite end of campus from the health clinique, and in the freezing cold of winter in New Hampshire, no one wants to go trudging through the snow when they have a cold or soar throat.
So people came to me. I was the “tea lady” in my dorm. I would give people the tea or the aromatherapy oil I thought would help them most, and a few days later they usually came back to me healthy and full of gratitude.
To be clear… I was not a medically trained and I had no formal training with essential oils or herbs when was in college. I just educated myself so much on my own, and had the instinct and the wisdom to only give my friends herbs and oils I knew had minimal or no contraindications. I knew either they would have a positive experience with what I gave them, or that it would have no impact at all. Never a negative impact, as safety was my first priority.
After college I continued to focus on my lifelong passion, which is alternative healing.
Massage school was great for me because it reaffirmed everything I had already taught myself, it expanded my knowledge and filled in any blanks that I had missed in my learning. It also gave me a community that related to life in an energetic way and I was surrounded by people who were as sensitive to energetic shifts as I was.
For example, before massage school, if I made mention of anything like energy or chakras or anything too “out-there”, I would just get strange looks or derisive comments.
It was so nice to be in an environment where I could say, “Man, my first and second chakra have been out of whack since my trip to the East Coast,” and having everyone around me know exactly what I was talking about.
Also, I am a total Star Wars fan, and massage school was an environment where we were constantly learning about energy (The Force). We were taught to do Tai Chi to build energy (The Force) in our bodies so we could use this energy (The Force) to make our intentions more powerful, and to create a space for our clients to heal themselves more effectively.
And so, here I am now, passing on some of my knowledge that I think would be useful to you.
1. To educate
I feel that by educating readers with excellent information that might or might not work for them, it is empowering either way. Especially when they have to make a decision about their health.
While this website was originally inspired by my clients’ thirst for knowledge, I have come to realize that the scope of the Internet is much more far reaching than my own backyard. I recently received an email from a woman in Trinidad thanking me for the information I posted. I was so touched by her email, and amazed that I had readers so far away from Los Angeles! WOW!
And quite frankly, if my life experience (I am not allowed to call it “advice” or “medical advice”, and it is NOT medical advice and I am NOT a doctor) can help someone get rid of a sinus infection in one week, as opposed to four months, I am happy and grateful to serve in that capacity.
I use “sinus infection” as an example, but the truth is that I have witnessed much needless suffering based on the “common knowledge” or “expert” wisdom of mainstream thinking.
I declare that I am not “right”. I simply have a body of experience and have learned what works for me and am presenting it to you. I am not saying that mainstream medicine is “wrong”, but I will say that I encourage you to be your own expert, and to seek council with a good medical professional (doctor) that is compatible with your well-being.
As you read my words, check them against the the wisdom of 20+ additional sources from a variety of sources, until you feel fully educated and then test what works best to you. Be sure to get the full range of information and options – not just alternative medicine but also western/mainstream, and see if and how you feel comfortable blending them.
As you test, start conservatively at first, unless the situation is truly life or death.
Base your health choices on hope, not fear, and be clear on your intentions for excellent health while you make those choices.
2. To be in contact with people who are also focused their long-term health through alternative or “complimentary” therapies.
My prevailing motivation is altruism, but I am going to be honest with you, I would really love to work with people who have taken the time to educate themselves by going through my website and other websites and read about massage and other health issues.
It is fun for me to work with clients who thirst for this knowledge, and I have noticed that this knowledge hastens and increases the impact of the massage sessions when the client is knowledgeable about his/her body, and willing to take the time to do homework (as in self-massage, stretches, etc).
It is also my preference to work with clients interested in achieving long term health goals, and using massage therapy as a tool to attain those goals.
If that sounds like you, and the material on this website resonates with you, I think we would work together well.
If you’re in the Vermont area, I encourage you to try out my services.
And if you’re not in my area, I encourage you to find a therapist that is truly invested in your health and well-being.
Indigo Leslie was trained at I.P.S.B (The Institute for Psycho-Structural Balancing) which is considered one of the best massage schools in the United States because it fuses Western science with Eastern Medicine, and blends the physical act of giving a massage with the awareness that massage is also inherently an energetic healing as well, and therefore teaches how to become a master at both massage (Swedish, Deep Tissue, etc) and energy work, even within a ‘typical’ massage technique (such as Circulatory Massage).
In addition to being a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), Indigo Leslie is also a Certified Yoga Teacher and a Certified Permaculture Designer.
She believes that healing of people and healing of planet go hand in hand.
She has also volunteered her massage services with The Heart Touch Project which is a non-profit that brings compassionate touch to terminally ill patients.
When she is not massaging people, she is massaging her dog, Buddha. ? ? ?
Massage Scholarship Questions page will give more insight into her massage philosophy.