What is Chloe’s Healing Arts for Women?
It’s my business for women that I’ve evolved to over time to incorporate more modalities. I started out with massage, then incorporated reflexology, Maya Abdominal Therapy, holistic pelvic care, cranio-sacral therapy. I like that it gives me the freedom to address what’s needed at the time for each person.
What prompted you to go into this field?
When I was little, my dad used to have me rub his feet after work every day. I also sang in my high school choir, and during our warm-up, we’d turn to the person next to us and give a back rub. I was shy about singing that close to someone’s ear, so I worked on giving really good massages. I began to have people who’d try to stand by me so I could work on them.
Later, I earned a Bachelor’s in sociology with a minor in anthropology. I was interested in becoming a naturopath with an emphasis in midwifery. I wanted to gain perspectives from all around the world and integrate different methods. I knew that I wanted to help people.
Even though people warned me against becoming a massage therapist, I began training while I was a college freshman. I found I was more comfortable doing something physically than communicating verbally, and it felt more satisfying.
My focus on women mostly began from dealing personally with menstrual issues. With Maya Abdominal Therapy, I felt more comfortable connecting with women. I also noticed my women clients were less likely to complain or tell me how they were feeling, that they seemed to figure their discomforts were just the way things worked, whereas my male clients were more straightforward about exactly what was going on in their lives. I wanted to serve women in a way that made them feel more comfortable, like they could really let things go, instead of carrying the weight of the whole world on their shoulders, or trying to be the glue that holds everyone together.
Because I often work with women in very specific windows of time, such as during pregnancy and post-partum, and with their infants, I found I wasn’t always able to get them in when they really needed the work, so I decided to shift my focus.
What is your background and training for this?
I’ve been a certified massage therapist for ten years. I find the body fascinating, which has led me to search for new ways to communicate with it through different forms of bodywork. I started with reflexology, learning in a clinical setting in a downstate hospital 7 years ago.
My first Maya Abdominal Therapy training in 2013 was the real game changer for me. I’m now a certified Maya Abdominal practitioner, with additional training in advanced prenatal and postpartum Maya Massage. I’ve studied under doctors, physical therapists, and midwives all over the country who are revolutionary in their fields. Through my studies with them, I’ve learned Holistic Pelvic Care to provide internal work to balance the pelvic floor, Innate Postpartum Care to understand the physiologic needs of postpartum women, cranio-sacral therapy for everyone and in particular for pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and infant issues, Birth Healing for Pregancy, health coaching, holistic reproductive education and fertility awareness, and most recently Spinning Babies Aware, which allows me to help babies get in the easiest position for birth.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I really love that people come in because they want to make a difference in their lives. The skills I have allow me to go deeper – to listen and respond to the body, to what it’s really asking for, as opposed to what my clients think they need or what I think they need. I definitely listen more with my hands than with my brain. I also really love that I’m able to spend time with people and really listen to what they have to say.
I really love working along the womb continuum, whether the person coming in ever chooses to have a child or not. I love that I can help people with menstrual issues, fertility, pregnancy, post-partum, and with their babies, and that it’s all related.
Everyone is here because someone was pregnant and gave birth. It’s a normal physiological process that much of the population goes through, but I knew very little about anything surrounding it when I became pregnant at nineteen. I didn’t know your body might be sore after birth, or that breastfeeding might be hard, or that being pregnant might take a lot out of you, or that postpartum women are really tired. I was also painfully shy then and had to get used to sticking up for myself and to listening to my own body’s wants and needs as opposed to what was being presented at the time. I want to be a sounding board for other women who also may have known little about pregnancy and postpartum conditions before. I think because I listen, I’m able to hear what they want versus what they think they need to do, so they feel heard.
What are your biggest challenges with your work?
I wish I had more connection with the medical community so more people would know that what I offer is an option. And as far as being an entrepreneur, even though I love it, I have to have more than one personality to get everything done. Even though I think communicating and marketing and accounting and stuff like that is fun, it’s also time-consuming.
Any new developments in your practice?
I’m very happy with my new location on Third Street, across from the Marquette post office. Parking is so easy and there are no stairs, so moms who have had c-sections and are coming in for help with breastfeeding don’t have to go up and down stairs carrying their babies in 30-pound car seats, or fit into a small elevator. It’s private, so you won’t hear other people’s voices. And the bathroom is handicapped-accessible, which is good if you’ve just given birth and are not feeling really strong.
What are your hopes and plans for the future?
I plan to do this for the next fifty years. I’d love to figure out a way that would work financially and time-wise to do home visits for new moms and babies. And I plan to always keep on learning.
Excerpted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Fall 2018 Issue, copyright 2018. All rights reserved.