Massage for kids!

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.” –Maggie Lynn, Read more at  Obviously this is a benefit to all people who get massage!

  • 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

  • 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.

massage for kids

Thai Massage

  • 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 and we will happily help you book an appointment.

Whether you decide to start a home massage routine with your child or book an appointment with your favorite therapist we are excited for you to start this journey!  Ready to book?  Click here to view our schedule online (when booking for your child please make a note for your therapist of your child’s age so that we can be prepared for the visit).  Have more questions?  Leave them in the comments or email us at

Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful day!

3 ways to live a healthier and happier life in 2014

3 ways to live a healthier and happier life in 2014

I always slack a little on most of my routines (outside of hammock laying and beach going) through the Summer, we get such a short visit from the sun here in Portland that I feel justified in my laziness.  But It’s back to school time here in Oregon and I know that, like myself, many of you parents out there are ready to get back to the grind.  When the kids go back to school it becomes easier for us to get back on top of work, exercise, healthy eating habits and in general taking care of ourselves.  If you want to make a huge positive impact on your health and happiness you should try adding regular massage into your self care routine, you won’t believe what a difference it will make!  Still not sure?  Check out these great facts about the many ways regular massage can improve your overall well-being:

Find Relief from pain:

Millions of Americans suffer from pain and back pain seems to be the leader of the pack, in fact, low back pain is one of the most common reasons for missing work.   In fact, back pain is one of the most listed reasons for visits to the doctor’s office.  Treat low back pain with a combination of stretching, exercises and getting regular massage, acupuncture and/or chiropractic care.  It is important to remember that surgery or pharmaceuticals are not the only option for finding freedom from pain.  Many times with a little energy and regular self care you can live a happier and healthier life without the extra side effects that come with invasive surgery or drugs.healthier and happier life

Free yourself from Stress and Anxiety:

The world is always changing, moving more quickly, raising it’s expectations-heaping more and more onto our plates.  It is no wonder that many Americans are frequently suffering from bouts of depression, anxiety and insomnia.  Stress is a killer and if left unregulated it can cause all sorts of issues in the body.  Dr. Sheldon Cohen discovered in a 2012 study that “When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well.”  Help yourself regulate stress hormones with massage.  Regular massage reduces the hormone cortisol in your body, and give the happiness inducing neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine a boost.  Check out our buy 3 get 1 free massage packages and $55 monthly membership to get yourself on the path to freedom from stress today!

Look better, feel better and have more energy:

Speaking of stress, we all know it takes a toll on our energy levels as well as our appearance.  Weight gain or loss, dark bags under our eyes, dull skin and exhaustion are all common side effects of stress.  Massage can help these too by reducing stress levels and helping to boost your bodies natural healing abilities.  Massage also improves circulation and skin tone to promote that beautiful healthy glow we are all striving to achieve.    Learn more about the ways massage can help you feel and look better in this great article:  The amazing ways massage can help you look prettier

Living a healthier and happier life is contingent on a healthy routine including exercise, diet and self care.  Dedicate yourself to this cause-you are worth it!

Take a Staycation with Rooftop Massage and Acupuncture!

Summer won’t last forever

it’s time to make help yourself live a happier and more relaxed life by taking advantage of Written on the Body’s Rooftop Massage and Acupuncture treatments!

rooftop massage and acupuncture

Rooftop relaxation featuring:


Click here to Book online by August 31st and take $20 off of your visit.

*make a note in your appointment that you are using the summer rooftop offer or first timer special for indoor appointments.   You are also welcome to call 503.473.8515 or email to book if you prefer

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have”-Eckhart Tolle

I normally steer clear of sharing too much of my personal life online but today I feel compelled and perhaps it is just the only thing one can do when they are facing the grief of losing a loved one.  This post is to honor my ancestors who have passed and to remind us all that this life is short and is meant to be lived in love and gratitude.  The catalyst for this post is the passing of a wonderful woman, my aunt, Rest In Peace Aunt Kathy-thank you for your love, even from afar.

We all know that death is a part of this life and at some point we will each most likely experience the devastation that comes with the loss of a loved one no matter how unexpected, expected or planned for.  Today my family grieves the loss of yet another of our matriarchs, another rock that holds our walls in place.  It is so strange and amazing what times like this do to our lives: we begin to remember that this life is not forever, how important our friends and family really are, the things we have and have not said, the places that we have given forgiveness and the others that we have not, our priorities shift suddenly and every moment seems more drawn out.

I remember the first time I experienced this phenomenon, though I had known death long before this incident, it was in high school that I first understood it’s impact.  An acquaintance of mine, but close friend of my close friends committed suicide and although I did not know her well I was impacted by the way the world felt different with her absence.  I recall thinking to myself how the grass, air, sun, morning dew and just everything seemed different somehow.  The revelation that the world keeps moving despite this great loss was almost too much for my young brain to comprehend.  I have since lost many incredible people in my life and every time I am in awe of learning the same lessons again.  Each time I do my best to remind myself  to continue to give each moment that same weight but somehow that knowing slowly fades.   I see now that this is one of life’s big challenges:  to learn how to be truly present in each moment.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have”-Eckhart Tolle

I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank my ancestors that have passed, in particular my Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather, Uncle and Aunt for giving me so much:  My eyes, my smile, my laugh, my ability to recognize the importance of family, the great joy of being silly and taking things in stride, my ability to adapt, my sincerity, my generosity, my love of the outdoors, my strength, my vulnerability, my spirit, my love of life, my adventurousness and so much more.  I absolutely would not be who I am today without each of your contributions to my life.  Thank you also for your influence on all those that are still enjoying this lifetime-my family, cousins, mom, siblings, niece and nephews.  To all of you: no matter how often we see each other your presence on this planet makes my universe more rich.  I hold a sacred space for you right now as we see this lovely lady off to join the ranks of greatness that await her.

I share this because I know many of you can relate, in my personal list of clients alone there are many whom have shared with me their sadness of loss whether it be recent or long ago.  This type of weary grief sticks to you, often finding a place in your body, mind and spirit to lay it’s heavy head.  By loving ourselves and sharing our experiences we make space for healing and though we may always carry some of the pain of missing our loved ones we must do what we know would make them happiest-Live without limits and celebrate the goodness of their lives.

massage for grief

Here are some tips and resources for you if you are experiencing the massive grief of losing someone you love:

  • Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams-A book that I have read many times and never fails to make me laugh and cry, it deals with the issues of death and dying entwined with a beautiful story of the author’s life.

  • Hospice on bereavement-My dad was in hospice before he passed and I found their literature to be very comforting. It helped me to recognize the stages of my own grief as well as my families.

  • Some of my personal takes on the bereavement experience:  remember that you probably won’t be yourself for a while and that there are many stages of grief that can last for quite some time.  Cut yourself some slack, rest, remember to eat,  spend time alone but don’t isolate yourself from your support network.  Don’t sabotage yourself-ask for/allow for help when you need it.  Don’t make decisions too hastily, rely on someone that you trust who is less affected by the death to help you with important matters.

  • Take care of yourself in whatever ways work for you.  Stress and grief are hard on your mind and body which means you need to take extra good care of yourself during this time.  Eating healthy, drinking water, exercising and doing your best to get enough sleep are the first steps in keeping your energy up for what lies ahead.  Body work such as massage, acupuncture, energy work etc… can be very healing during times of loss because they allow you a safe space to be quiet but not alone.  Body work also helps with releasing endorphin’s, reducing the stress hormone cortisol, improving circulation and promoting restorative sleep.

People deal with death in many different ways and you have to find what works for you to make it through the process without self destructing, most importantly remember that it does get easier and you will find happiness again.  Above all love up the people close to you and live a full and joyful life!  Thank you for taking the time to read this post and feel free to share your tips for surviving the grief process as well as the stories of your loved ones who have passed with us.  I send each of you my sincere love and gratitude and hope you know that whatever role you play at WOTB is significant and wonderful. Have a beautiful sunny day!


Acupuncture for pain and stress

Acupuncture can benefit many types of ailments especially pain and stress!


acupuncture for pain

Acupuncture stimulates the body’s built-in healing mechanisms

Acupuncture “focuses body’s attention” to the injured area and in turn it stimulates the body’s ability to spontaneously heal injuries. As the body focuses on the the micro traumas induced by acupuncture, it also heals any surrounding tissue damage left over from old injuries.

 Acupuncture releases natural painkillers

Inserting a needle sends a signal through the nervous system to the brain, where chemicals such as endorphins, norepinephrine and enkephalin are released. Some of these substances are 10-200 times more potent than morphine!

Acupuncture reduces both the intensity and perception of chronic pain

It does this through a process called “descending control normalization”, which involves the serotonergic nervous system.

 Acupuncture relaxes shortened muscles

This in turn releases pressure on joint structures and nerves, and promotes blood flow.

Acupuncture reduces stress

This is perhaps the most important systemic effect of acupuncture.
Recent research suggests that acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone and signaling substance that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. You’ve probably heard of the “fight-or-flight” response that is governed by the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system has been called the “rest-and-digest” or “calm-and-connect” system, and in many ways is the opposite of the sympathetic system. Recent research has implicated impaired parasympathetic function in a wide range of autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

by Joy Earl, LAc


Joy Earl, LAc

Choose acupuncture for pain and stress and book your appointment with Joy today and learn about the benefits of acupuncture first hand!

Monthly Community Wellness classes begin this Thursday

We are now offering monthly wellness classes on the rooftop deck!

This months class is all about learning how acupuncture can ease your pain and it includes a free cupping demonstration


Why Acupuncture is so great for pain: The rivers of your body

Acupuncture is all over the news lately, everyone is talking about how great it is for pain. Shoulder, knee, back, hip…so long as you have pain, acupuncture is the natural alternative to harsh medications. But why? Have you ever wondered why acupuncture works? How the parasympathetic nervous system is your best friend and your body can, with a little help from acupuncture release the best pain killers around. This is your opportunity to learn how Chinese medicine and your health are mirrored in nature. When you see how the flow of energy or Qi in your body is just like a river, you will soon understand why acupuncture has so much to offer on your path to getting pain free!
Why not join us Thurs June 5th for a fun and interactive talk on Acupuncture and pain free living!!

Join us on Written on the Body’s rooftop deck on  Thursday June 5th from 6:30-7:30pm

Cost: Free!

Please Register HERE now-space is limited

Rooftop Massage

Rooftop Massage: we challenge you to Find Peace

…If only for an hour

rooftop massage


Close your eyes and imagine yourself under a clear blue sky, the wind is lightly blowing, rustling the leaves of a nearby bamboo tree.  You are completely relaxed, your mind is a bird floating through the sky, the tension you have been holding in your muscles melts away.

You are finding freedom in your body and mind in the comfort of a massage table. You are on a rooftop deck under the canopy of a wooden pergola with flowing white curtains.  You have been warmed by an infrared sauna and your mind slowly drifts to the hammock you will enjoy at the end of your treatment.

There is nothing that can shake you, you are in a world of your own choosing.

We challenge you to enjoy peace through massage in Written on the Body’s Rooftop Relaxation area.

Book online today

Rooftop Infrared Sauna

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


rooftop infrared sauna

Infrared sauna: located on our beautiful rooftop deck!

infrared sauna

refresh after your sauna session with a cool shower on our rooftop deck.

Appointments available beginning Mother’s day (Sunday May 11th)!

  • $25 per half hour for 1-2 people- $20 when added to a massage or acupuncture appointment

  • 5 pack for $100 and 10 pack for $200

Mom’s-take 50% during the month of May *promo code “mom”!

Mom admirer’s take 20% off during the month of May *promo code !

Click here to book
*times are limited but we can accommodate some requests, please email or call if you would like to book a sauna session outside of the online hours or in conjunction with a massage or acupuncture appointment.


Pablo Neruda on Spring

How does spring make you feel?

Are you worn down from the long winter or excited by the new life bursting out all around you?

If you are like me you are a mixture of  both, Summer is hands down my favorite time of year but spring is a runner up.  Number one my birthday is in a few days and being a true Aries it is obviously one of my favorite holidays:)  I also love the freshness of spring and it may be the only time of year that I welcome the rain (as long as it goes away when summer comes!).  I enjoy watching the landscape change and grow and the feeling of everything waking up from a long sleepy darkness.  Whichever way you roll there is no denying that Spring is here and it’s time to celebrate the return of color and energy to our great city!  In honor of this lovely season I thought it would be a great time to share some of my favorite quotes and pictures on Spring, renewal and living life to the fullest:

Pablo Neruda on SpringIf you haven’t noticed I love Pablo Neruda:)

Cherry blossom's in Spring

     “To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”

– William Blake (extract from Auguries of Innocence)

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life-to be happy-it’s all that matters.” -Audrey Hepburn

Portland in the

Portland’s waterfront in the Spring-so pretty!

I would love to hear from you! What are your favorite things about the season?

Written on the Body is turning 4 years old!

It’s spring and you know what that means:  We just turned 4 years old and we are as happy as pigs in a peach orchard!  It has been a wild and beautiful ride full of community building, fun having, dream making, abundance and all sorts of sometimes difficult and always incredible changes.

Thinking about the last four years I can only smile and be amazed at the fact that this passion of mine has become something beyond my imaginings, something so great that it has morphed into a living entity.

A true community of the crem de la crem, people who know that they are the kings and queens of their own making, deciding exactly what life and health look like for them.  I am always inspired, always feeling loved and renewed by my part in this wonderful place of healing and creativity.  Forever learning from the clients, co-workers and neighbors of  Written on the Body that fill my days.  My wish is that we offer you these same opportunities when you enter the doors of Written on the Body through our honest love for our trades:  massage, acupuncture, Feldenkrais, art, plant life, products and so many other creative adventures.  My goal has always been and will always be to create a space in this crazy busy life that is just for you: for you to get exactly what you need for peace, wholeness and optimal health in any given moment.  Thank you for allowing all of us at Written on the Body to be part of your world and for making us so much better along the way:)  Speaking of:  Why not take our short 3 question survey and help shape our future!

Join us for our 4 year birthday celebration on April 24th at 6pm!  Get the deets by joining our Facebook event or just keep an eye on your email.  Hope to see you there:)

Now for the fun part-A little stroll down memory lane:

We opened in March of 2010 at a smaller location on 29th and Alberta
29th and Alberta Space

You may remember our first location if you have been with us for a while!

We even had outdoor massage on our patio at our old location-obviously we love massage out doors:)

Outdoor massage

We also love Last Thursday (2011) and Katie’s plants of course

Last Thursday

In May of 2012 we moved to our new location on NE 13th and Alberta Streets!

NEw space

We had an incredible time at the Alberta Street Fair offering free massage to our community in these last two years at our new location:)
Alberta Street Fair
we made a lot of fun changes over the past two years including updating our interior, rooftop beautification and we even tried on a SAD Light Therapy Bar!:

Written on the Body

And a new logo and website!
Written on the BodyAll said and done, life has been great to us and every person who has walked through our doors therapist and client alike, have contributed to the growth and loveliness of Written on the Body! Cheers to many more years to come:)

Happy Birthday Team

Thank you for your support and have a wonderful day!  P.S. if you have any great pics, stories or anecdotes about your visits with us we would be so happy to hear from you!  Share in the comments below:)