Our very own Theresa Atchley, LAc is going to Nepal and we want to share her adventure with you!
If you don’t know it already we are here to tell you that we have an amazing team of people working at Written on the Body. Our staff is full of talent, creativity, love and are just hands down incredible and compassionate people. A great example of this is our Acupuncturist Theresa Atchley, she is a gifted practitioner with a lovely smile and a huge heart. Terry is heading out in just a few days to lead a volunteer group of acupuncturists to remote areas of Nepal through the Acupuncture Relief Project. She has volunteered with the Acupuncture Relief Project in the past and has found her own life to be greatly impacted by her experiences treating the people of Nepal. Terry will be continuing to update her blog with stories of her upcoming trip and we wanted to invite you to follow her journey as well as read about her previous adventures. What I have read from the blog so far has been beautiful and soul touching and I am really looking forward to reading more myself:)
Here is Terry’s most recent post, as I said she leaves in a few days for Nepal and will return at the beginning of February, she will be accepting appointments at Written on the Body again at this time until then we hope you enjoy reading about her journey in Nepa (Richard will still be available to offer acupuncture at Written on the Body during Terry’s absence):
“Travel is the discovery of truth; an affirmation of the promise that human kind is far more beautiful than it is flawed. With each trip comes a new optimism that where there is despair and hardship, there are ideas and people just waiting to be energized, to be empowered, to make a difference for good.”
I haven’t written in quite some time. My last blog post was about the final night in Kogate. That was a tumultuous night and the end of a very transformative experience. After leaving Nepal I traveled around SE Asia with my boyfriend (now fiancée). I’ve often wondered why I didn’t keep writing blog posts, it wasn’t for a lack of tales to share.
I’ve come to several conclusions. First, I experienced writers block. The minute I landed in Bangkok everything shifted. I still smelled like Nepal, but no longer felt connected to myself as I had there. Secondly, I wanted to keep several memories sacred, safely bundled away. This didn’t happen at first. When Nathan and I reconnected, most of the time I compared how Thailand was vastly different than Nepal and would share silly stories. By no fault of Nathan, I could see the glossed over look and the lack of understanding, like sharing a private joke with someone who wasn’t privy to the initial hilarity. He didn’t get it. I knew this would happen and was almost prepared. I created a wall around the memories. I smile to myself when reminiscing, but start sentences with “In Nepal” much less often. Why didn’t I share my adventures in SE Asia? Well, partial writers block, laziness and an unsubstantiated feeling that no one would read my writing anymore (don’t know why I thought this, but I did).
Here I am one year later. I’m working as an acupuncturist, betrothed and returning to Nepal. For those curious, I work at two clinics in Portland. One is a community clinic, similar to the set up of the clinic in Nepal. I’m happy to provide low cost care to those in my community unable to afford private treatments. On the flip side, I also provide private treatments at a clinic on MLK Jr BLVD. Business is slow in the private sector, but I’m hoping to learn tricks on client recruitment and marketing.
The proposal: Nathan carried around a beautiful ring for two months of travel before finally asking. I found the ring in his bag within the first week we reunited, but he did not know this (I secretly looked for the box in his pocket at every romantic sunset, there were LOTS of romantic sunsets). When he asked we were watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat, Cambodia. I’d talked about my excitement over seeing the temples for months prior to leaving and, unknown to me, Nathan planned to ask at this moment for months. Which explains why my mom asked on a daily basis if I had any news to share upon our arrival to Cambodia. It was a very private proposal and I look forward to eventually having a party to celebrate with friends.
I’m returning to Nepal!! I’ve been asked to lead Camp C of the Acupuncture Relief Project this year. I am honored to participate again and will be taking a much different role. I will lead/guide/teach/befriend 6 volunteers from various areas in the US and Australia. Only one volunteer visited Nepal 20 years ago, the rest have never been. I do not know what to anticipate, but if I learned anything from my previous visits it will have something to do with releasing attachments, maintaining malleability, remembering anything can and will happen, but it will be ok. My current mantra is “I can do this” because, let’s face it, this is an incredibly intimidating task. That is to say, I am more than excited to return. I think of Nepal on a daily basis. From the prayer flags hanging in my treatment room to my current patients to the chickens I see roaming around someones yard, Nepal surrounds me regularly. I am still wearing the glass bracelets we purchased at the end of the Langtang trek. Some have broken off, but they were squeezed onto my wrist and I cannot take them off without the glass cracking. Honestly, I thought they would have broken off by now. I also still wear a necklace given to me by a monk at Boudhanath Temple with a written prayer of protection intricately folded and wrapped with string. I cannot take this off either, it is tied in a knot too tight to fit over my head. I guess I still need some protection. Some might think I have a hard time moving on, but I prefer the idea that these talisman serve a purpose (guiding me back perhaps?). I don’t have to know what it is, but as I said, the bracelets are glass and the necklace is a tiny string. Both will eventually break, but until then I like having ’em around.
“No one tells you how hard it is to come back.” These words were spoken to me by a fellow traveler as we lamented the end of our travels. Granted, this was several weeks ago and our travels ended many months prior. Travel books just stick with the adventure part, who writes about the return? I understand why. Poetic prose aside, returning home sucks. Really sucks. I know I slipped into a depression like none other I’d had before. I am slowly on an upward swing, but my soul is still unsettled. A deep sadness creeped in, paid the landlord and loitered within me creating a yearning I cannot quench. Why sadness? You had a great adventure, you have a partner, things seems to be falling into place, what are you sad for?? My self judgement took over and I am my harshest critic. Do I know where the sadness came from? Not entirely, but I suspect I was grieving the loss of a life I thought I would have. The life of someone who embraced freedom wholeheartedly, up and moved to an unknown land, a person free of the banality of life. Not so. Perhaps some view this as naive and out right dumb of me to think, but I did. I drank the kool-aid all travelers share. The tasty and addictive beverage part adventure, part freedom. The urge to leave again resides within me, it is not as loud, but the whispers keep me awake at night. I know I am not finished exploring. I know I can always drop everything and go, but there is a strong force that says, eh, not really. Who knows what life can throw at me, what if that was the last time I could leave the country for so long? Ah, good ol’ what-ifs. Funny, but this was something I remember struggling with last year about this time. Seems the lessons from Nepal are always present. I also realize the “first world problems” described. But I am a product of my environment and I live in a developed country. I’d just like to acknowledge that things aren’t as bad as they could be and if feeling a desire to explore the world is the worst of my problems, then life ain’t terrible. I know, doesn’t stop the feeling, but I know. Also, going to Nepal IS travel, but it is also work, very hard work that I adore, but not the footloose and fancy free exploration following a whim of fancy. Nepal feels like a second home.To those who read my blog while I was away: Thank you so much for your support, attention and interest. It’s not easy to share with the infinite abyss of the internet and in a time of short attention spans, I was happy to know you cared what I said.
I must raise the money to return to Nepal, luckily not as much this time (thank the universe!!). I have to raise $1320. I deeply fear that everyone will incredulously gawk at my request for more donations, but I am hoping that those of you who know me and have read my entries will understand the necessity and altruistic nature behind my return and offer support.
DONATE HERE!!!! -Theresa Atchley
Thanks for reading everyone and we hope you have the best holidays ever!
Infrared Sauna Portland, OR
Written on the Body is now offering 30 or 60 minute Infrared Sauna sessions! Here are the in’s and outs of using our infrared sauna:
What is an infrared sauna?
Far Infrared sauna: An infrared sauna uses infrared heaters to emit infrared light experienced as radiant heat which is absorbed by the surface of the skin. Traditional saunas heat the body primary by conduction and convection from the heated air and by radiation of the heated surfaces in the sauna room (Wikipedia). An infrared sauna detoxifies, improves circulation, promotes healing and so much more!
Here is a great article on infrared sauna benefits from the wellness hour: click here to read
learn what the Mayo clinic has to about infrared sauna sessions here
Appointments in the infrared sauna at Written on the Body:
Our 1-2 person infrared sauna has been relocated to our larger treatment room which means you can book a sauna appointment along with a massage or acupuncture session and it can all take place in one treatment room!
What is included-
It is optional to bring a swim suit , slippers or flip flops and your favorite tunes or reading material. We provide a cool cloth to towel off with after the sauna session, handmade natural body products, towels to sit on, sweat towels and a speaker with an auxiliary plug. You may bring someone to sauna with you for an extra $5. Please make a note when booking the appointment that you are bringing a guest. 2 people max. *We do not offer a shower at this time
Session pricing-We offer 10 minutes free which can be added to any treatment but it must be booked in advance via email or phone. Please contact us if you want to take advantage of this offer (availability is limited)
A 60 minute sauna session for one person is $25
Add a 30 minute sauna session to any massage or acupuncture appointment for only $20
Buy a 5 pack of sauna sessions for only $90 or a 10 pack for $150!
Sauna Schedule-other times may be available by appointment please call 503.473.8515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with specific inquiries
Mondays: 10:30-2:30pm for all appointment types (stand alone 30/60 minute sessions and add-on 30 minute sessions) 2:30-9pm for add-on sessions with Julie
Tuesdays: 10:30-2:30pm for all appointment types including add-on sessions with Lise
Wednesdays: 10:30-2:30 for all appointment types
Thursday: 11-5 for all appointment types and 8:30am-3pm add-on sessions with Julie
Friday: 11am-2pm add-on sessions with Lise
Sunday: 1-3 for all appointment types and 3-9 for add-on sessions with Julie
Have you ever wondered about massage for kids?
If you have kids in your life you are already in tune with how much more magic they bring to your days. Spending time with kids has always been something I love and let me tell y0u, most kids are ecstatic about massage! My niece and nephews are always asking me when it will be a good time for their next massage, it calms them and makes them feel good about their bodies. It gives them quiet time to explore sensations and ask questions about this amazing vehicle each of us are traveling in. Believe it or not kids get tight muscles and pain too and though they aren’t yet locked into unhealthy movement patterns, they are learning certain behaviors that they will carry with them throughout their lives. This is a great reason to begin addressing issues of tension in both mind and body beginning at a very young age.
Recently I have had many clients mention bringing their kids in for a massage and so I thought it would be a good time to share some ways that massage can benefit kids and what types of treatments it is appropriate to book them for.
The Benefits of massage for kids:
*there are so many that it would take forever to cover them here-I encourage you to research the benefits of massage for your child’s specific needs or ask us the next time you visit
“Massage reduces stress hormone levels and blood glucose levels. According to Maria Hernandez-Reif, a researcher at the Touch Research Institute, lower stress hormones not only reduce feelings of anxiety but contribute to a healthier immune system.” –Livestrong.com Obviously this is a benefit to all people who get massage!, Read more at
Massage reinforces positive feelings about self-worth and body image in kids (we might say adults as well). Touch is essential to a healthy life and we all thrive when our lives include regular positive touch-especially from those we care about. You might even enjoy giving your child a massage every day before bedtime to help them relax and create a time for positive reinforcement and bonding. Not sure how? You can always book a session and stay to observe, we are happy to give you some tips on the best ways to offer massage to your child.
“Preschoolers have shown better performance on tests of their intellectual and manual skills after a 15-minute massage. They also slept better during naps, were less likely to be overactive and had better behavior ratings. For teens struggling with the growing pains of adolescence, massage helps to balance unstable hormones and can relieve anxiety by producing a state of relaxation. A supportive relationship with a massage therapist who gives them safe, unconditional touch can also increase their feelings of self-acceptance and self-confidence during those trying years.”-Shirley Vanderbilt, Read more at massagetherapy.com
Massage can greatly benefit children with special needs including everything from weight gain for pre-term infants to hyperactivity to various sensory issues. Each of these requires and in depth review but a great place to start is with this article from ABMP titled Children and Massage.
What types and lengths of treatment are right for your child:
Infants-3 years old: We are not currently trained in infant to toddler massage here at Written on the Body but there are many places around Portland that offer infant massage, or classes on how to massage your baby at home: OHSU or Lopez Infant Massage are great examples
4 years old to 12 years old: We recommend starting with a 30 minute Focus! treatment here at Written on the Body and you are welcome to stay for any part or all of the treatments with your kids. You can also book your own treatment at the same time and make it a parent/child date! During this 30 minute focus massage your child could remain clothed and we would employ gentle massage techniques on the table such as rocking, compression and other aspects of Swedish massage. If appropriate we may use warm compresses or essential oils to enhance relaxation and keep your child’s attention. We always leave room for your child’s needs and will allow them to direct the session including the right for either of you to end it at any time.
13-17: At this age many kids are able to handle longer sessions and you might consider gradually increasing the length of their treatments until they are eventually able to handle a full hour. They may also be ready for other types of massage such as hot stone, deep tissue or sports massage and you can discuss these options with our team as you and your child feel it is appropriate.
Thai Massage: Thai massage is clothed and performed on a mat on the floor. During Thai massage your therapist will compress, rock and stretch your body in various ways with the goal of deep relaxation, improving movement patterns and lengthening muscles. Thai massage is an excellent option for ages 4 to adults (and sometimes even younger)! If you are interested in finding out more about booking a Thai massage for you or your child email us at email@example.com and we will happily help you book an appointment.