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How Massage Improves Circulation

By: Kim M. Filkins, L.Ac.

There are many different types of massage. And each type has a specific purpose and benefits that are unique. While every massage can be relaxing and relieve pain and tension in the body, some of the forms of massage go even deeper than that. Lymphatic drainage massage is one example of a specialized massage technique that can benefit almost everybody. continue reading »


Leah Cotler-Grossman began her formal education in the healing arts in 1989, at The Evergreen State College studying Reiki, shamanic medicine, and bodywork.  In 1992, she graduated from the Brian Utting School of Massage in Seattle, and in 1996, studied  Body-Mind Shiatsu at the Bellevue School of Massage.  Seeking long lasting holistic structural balance, she sought out Soma Neuromuscular Integration, graduating in 2003 from the Soma Institute. Feeling the desire to deepen the Soma work further, she became a certified Aromatherapist, and created a line of essential oils especially blended for Soma Neuromuscular Integration.  Leah has also taught at the Soma Institute. Most recently, Leah has finished a one year Energy Medicine mentorship program with Marie Manuchehri, medical intuitive.  Leah’s  curiosity and her love of the power of transformation have propelled her through the world of bodywork, movement education, and energy medicine.   Currently, Leah is continuing to develop a blend of energy work and structural medicine individually designed for each client’s optimal health.  She has just set up a new private practice in Bellingham, after working on Mercer Island for the past 20 years.

“I love bodywork  because it is a work of the heart— of compassion, listening, and understanding through touch. Everyone deserves the gift of living in the present with joy, without physical and mental pain or restriction. One way to access that center of balance is through the body, which is inseparable from the mind and spirit. It is my goal to help others come home to themselves and live without pain, with self-love, compassion, and flexibility.”

“Soma is a work of genius. It is the most effective physical work I’ve come across to support, balance, and provide relief from pain and injury. It is a gift of opportunity because it re-educates the body, mind, and psyche on numerous levels so that life can be lived with more ease, less effort, and greater fluidity. Through this experience of care and self-discovery you are given the chance to tap into renewed energy and clear response to life. The Soma takes you to the core of your being.

I use a number of techniques including bodywork, Energy medicine, essential oils, sound, and other modalities that are designed to cultivate an imaginative, powerful and effective play-ground for healing.  The world of possibility emerge with deep listening, and authentic response, allowing each person’s health wisdom to shine through.”

Bodywork as a Contemplative Practice

Bodywork can be a contemplative space in which we can literally bring a thought, issue, question, or quiet mind to the table and use the session as a vehicle for healing of body/mind/spirit. It is not necessary to verbalize what you are focusing on in order for it to be processed.


Bodywork brings one home to their core, or deepest self.  Perhaps it is the quiet space in conjunction with touch, allowing one to be in a space of simply receiving rather than giving, it could be the nervous system unwinding through the assistance of someone else’s help (a message reminiscent of the unconditional loving care we may have received from a parent holding us when we were infants), or the act of being still and listening to self in a manner that we often don’t give to ourselves in a world filled with excess stimulation.


Using bodywork as a contemplative space can come in many forms.  You can have something in mind that you want to work with and keep the intention to work with it during your session.  This does not mean you have to keep your mind active and think about this issue.  Quite the opposite.  What can be done is to set the session around the issue with intention, take in the bodywork, and on an unconscious and conscious level, the issue is being examined, cooked, felt, observed, and honored simply by the act of awareness.  When truth is met, there is no thinking about it.  It simply is what is, and this conclusion is reached based on being present.


If you would like to do something concrete, you can voice what you are working with, share it aloud, or simply write it down and put it on the table with you where you are lying. Many of our answers are right in front of us, but we do not slow down to quiet the mind to get the chance to hear them.  One can also enter the session with the mindset of “empty space.”  There doesn’t have to be anything to focus on but what is being presented:  the touch and what it evokes.  That alone is a rich practice, one that can make you feel as if you are doing a round the world travel in the lush and multi-faceted landscape of your being.


I invite you to come to the table to explore.  I am honored to be there with you in this act of listening and witnessing what is living inside.