Massage Therapist Spotlight: Hilary Bartlett
Since the beginning, we here at Embody Wellness have prided ourselves on the quality of our massage therapists. We choose our therapists specifically for the effectiveness of their bodywork as well as for their professionalism and ethics as a therapist; it doesn’t hurt that they’re all amazing people, too!
So, please allow us to introduce Hilary Bartlett!
EW: How long have you been a Massage Therapist?
HB: have been a Massage Therapist in the state of California since November of 2017.
EW: How long have you worked for Embody Wellness and what drew you or keeps you at EW?
HB: I began working at Embody Wellness as soon as I received my license in November of 2017 and I absolutely love it. The environment is comforting and welcoming, the way every massage studio should be. I love how well everyone works together, and independently when needed, to bring the clients the best service possible.
EW: Where did you go to school, how many hours have you completed?
HB: I attended the Kali Institute for Massage & Somatic Therapies, graduating in 2017 with 505 hours completed.
EW: How do you continue your education now that you’re out of school?
HB: Since graduating I have continued my education by taking courses in Lomi Lomi, Crystal Healing, and Reiki Level 1 thus far. I’m also in the process of creating a basic/introductory stretching class that I will be teaching once a month at a local Ventura yoga studio called The Space.
EW: How and/or when did you decide to become a Massage Therapist?
HB: For years I went back and forth about becoming a Massage Therapist until I finally had enough working jobs that didn’t feed my soul and took the leap of faith. It is one of the best and most important decisions I’ve ever made for myself and I’m so grateful that I did.
EW: Is there a story behind your chosen career path you’d like to share?
HB: I was diagnosed at age 6 with severe scoliosis and as a result I’ve always been very interested in massage and the medical professions. I’ve also wanted to help people ever since I can remember and Massage Therapy feels like my way to create joy and happiness in this world, for myself as well as my clients.
EW: Do you have any other certifications?
HB: I have completed a 2 part course as a Crystal Healing Practitioner and I’m in the process of completing the required courses to be a Reiki Master.
EW: What style is your favorite type of massage/ bodywork to receive?
HB: I typically prefer Neuro-Structural Bodywork and Thai Massage modalities but I also really love and benefit from cupping treatments and Lomi Lomi massage.
EW: Do you receive massage/ bodywork regularly and why?
HB: I try to get at least two massages a month to keep my mind and body in optimal homeostasis and for pain management of my own stress tension and scoliosis.
EW: How would you describe your massage style, what can clients expect to receive during your session?
HB: I do my best to cater each session to the clients individual needs at the time of their appointment. I choose from a blend of Lomi Lomi, NSB(Neuro-Structural Bodywork), and Thai Massage moves when I can. Lomi Lomi is a Hawaiian Massage Modality that uses a lot of elbows and forearm moves to deliver deeper pressure but in a very soothing and flowing manner. NSB is also a deeper tissue modality but in a very gentle and comforting manner. I always include some easy passive stretching moves from Thai Massage into my sessions if the client can handle it. However, I would not describe myself as a typical deep tissue therapist. I attract a lot of clients that have had major surgeries and/or traumatic events happen to their bodies, like myself. And, like myself, they really need and can handle deep tissue, but if the therapist moves too quickly or too deeply over some areas it isn’t relaxing and can put the bodies defenses up, causing the muscles to become more stiff and painful. The exact opposite of what you’re looking for in a massage session. I feel I have a specific insight on how the body can lock or stiffen up after an intense experience, surgery, or trauma. And so I focus my sessions on being as relaxing and comforting as possible in order to create a safe space for people to let go and find release in places they didn’t think they could anymore. For this reason I also really enjoy working on pregnant women and the elderly.
EW: What is your favorite style of massage/ bodywork to give?
HB: My favorite styles of massage are Lomi Lomi, the Hawaiian massage style, and Thai Stretching massage. I love Lomi Lomi for its uniquely comforting flowy feel while still delivering deep pressure. And I’ve always loved stretching so of course Thai Stretching became one of my favorite modalities, to give and receive. I recommend Thai massage to any client experiencing low back, hip, or knee pain/tension. I have found that to be the only massage style capable of targeting all of the muscles surrounding these areas and getting them to adequately relax and release together in order to relieve pain in these hard working joints.
EW: What new styles/techniques are you interested in studying or plan to offer to your clients in the future?
HB: I plan to take more courses and become more proficient in Lomi Lomi in the near future as well as Reiki mastery. Reiki/energy work has become a big part of my work since taking the Level 1 course and I want to expand my confidence with these skills and offer them to every client. I’m also very passionate about anatomy and physiology and will continue taking classes to increase my knowledge and understanding of the bodies inner workings.
EW: What are the three top things you’d like to teach clients about what massage/bodywork can do?
HB: If I could offer every client the same piece of advice it would be this: Your body is capable of healing itself if you give it what it needs. Regular stretching, movement, and massage/bodywork are the best way to achieve and maintain the health of your muscles, joints, and internal organs. Lastly, more clients have come to me for stress management than I could have ever guessed would happen when I started this work. Massage can be life changing for the overworked, over stressed, and over stimulated people of this modern day world.
EW: What are some hobbies you are passionate about?
HB: My favorite pastimes are any full body sport that gets you out into nature like pop up yoga, rock climbing, hiking, camping, and backpacking. Digital detoxes have become a part of my Stress-Less routine and being in nature regularly is the most important way I can show myself love and appreciation for my life and this planet I call home.
EW: Would you like to share some details about your family/home life?
HB: My desire to fix/heal my family has driven me to be the person I am today. I’ve always wanted to help people achieve happiness and joy in their lives. Which is much easier said than done. People have to be willing and open to healing before they can achieve it. Performing massage is my way of showing comfort, support, and caring for others in a way that can assist them in the process of opening their minds and hearts to the healing nature of the natural world all around them.
EW: Have you travelled to any exciting places recently/ at some point in your life?
HB: I grew up in Nebraska, so I kind of feel like anywhere I go from there is exciting and new! I moved to California when I had just turned 22 and I’ve traveled all over the state going on camping and rock climbing trips since then. When I was 17 I was fortunate to go on a school trip to England and France, which was absolutely amazing. But I feel that the most important places I’ve gone have been transformative festivals and my journeys into nature, experiencing the healing expanses of the Earth and the human spirit in its full and untamed glory. I have greatly enjoyed finding ways to incorporate the Earth's natural healing tools into my sessions. From finding basalt rocks out in nature to use in my hot stone sessions to learning more about essential oils, crystals, and sound healing tools. We have all the things we need to heal ourselves. We’ve just forgotten where to find them or how to use them. To be of service by helping facilitate the healing of others is one of the main reasons I’m alive on this planet at this time.
Read Hilary's bio here, and request him the next time you call for an appointment!
Embody Wellness | 805-217-3307 | 3897 Market St. Ventura, CA 93003