bad posture, breathing and digestion

Bad posture, breathing and digestion

I was in a yoga class recently where the teacher spoke in depth about the effects of slouching and bad posture on digestion.  It is a concept I had heard about before but I had forgotten how serious of an issue it can be for some people.  After the class was over the wheels in my brain were running at full speed thinking of all of the times I have witnessed this issue with my clients.  Massage can do funny things to people sometimes including moving things around in the tummy causing gas at inopportune moments.  But there is no reason to be embarrassed!  As your therapist, I understand what is happening and feel good about the fact that I am helping your body find space to function as it needs to.  You may be thinking to yourself  “how the heck can my posture effect my internal organs?!”  Let me walk you through it.

What I mean by bad posture 

  • Slouching

  • Wearing “shoulder earrings” or hunching your shoulders up to your ears

  • Cocking your neck to one side or looking down too much (pulled forward neck)

  • Standing with all of your weight to one side or the other or sitting in an unbalanced way such as crossing your legs

How bad posture can negatively effect your health

  • Jaw pain-Many of us clench our jaw when we are  stressed but it isn’t the only time that jaw tension is created.  Having your head and neck pulled forward, looking down too often or having your head tilted to one side or the other can have major effects on the level of relaxation in your jaw.  Jaw tension can cause headaches, neck and shoulder pain.

  • Digestion and breathing issues-As I mentioned above, digestion can be greatly effected by bad posture.  When you are in a slumped forward position it shortens the muscles in the front of your body, including those in your rib cage and abdomen.  When your rib cage gets out of wack it can restrict the spaces where your heart and lungs live which means your body cannot function efficiently and you may even begin to feel pain with taking in full breaths.  When your abdomen is restricted it places pressure on your gastrointestinal tract and can cause feelings of discomfort and bloating effects.

  • Limited range of motion-Shortened tight muscles can lead to all sorts of issues, including an inability or lack of ability to move in ways you would like to.  This becomes more and more true as we age which is why it is so very important to address the issues early, but it is never too late!  A limited range of motion or restricted movement is frustrating and scary, it can cause us to be injured more frequently and easier and it can limit our activities and even lead to surgery.

A few ideas for correcting bad posture

  • Pick one issue and focus on it

    for instance, if you have a slouching problem you most likely have a pulled forward head and shoulders, an improper alignment of your spine as well as many other issues.  For the next month choose one of those things to focus on.  Start by pulling your shoulders back and down or “taking off the shoulder earrings”.  Make a concerted effort every time you remember to fix this one thing in your posture.  If you work out, add one exercise to help correct these issues in your posture.  Once you feel you have mastered this move on to the next issue.

  • Think of your body in terms of becoming stacked, when your body is aligned it actually takes less energy to function and you are stronger.  Practice stacking your body one time per day by starting with your feet planted on the ground, knees over the ankles, hips over the knees and pelvis in a neutral position (not tucked and not stuck out), ribs and tummy pulled in but relaxed, shoulders over hips and head directly between the shoulders with a long straight neck.  Look at yourself in the mirror from all angles and make adjustments where necessary.  Hold this position for a few minutes to get your body used to the feeling.  Doing the same thing with sitting can go a long way as well!

bad posture, breathing and digestion

  • Stretch and exercise-I know, it is definitely not our favorite thing to hear but seriously, it is so necessary.  You don’t have to become a world famous athlete in order to be healthy.  A little goes a very long way, so why not just start somewhere, even if that means 5-15 minutes a day?  If you slouch or sit a lot the front of your body’s muscles are shortened and tight while the back of your body’s muscles are over stretched and weak.  Begin by stretching the tightest or most shortened muscles and working to strengthen the muscles that have been overstretched.  A good massage therapist, acupuncturist, physical therapist or other expert in this area can help you find the regimen that is best for you.

  • Get body work!  massage, acupuncture and most other forms of body work are focused on helping you find balance and peace in your body as well as your mind.  Getting regular treatments can make a huge difference in finding a place of health and efficiency in your daily movement patterns.  Need help finding what is right for you?  Send us an email to or schedule and appointment online today at!

Have questions?  Feel free to leave them in the comments.  Like what you see?  Share with your friends.

Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful week!

Massage for Back Pain

Back pain is one of the leading reasons that people miss work and go to the doctor in our country, in fact 8 out of 10 people experience back pain that interferes with their daily tasks.  More an more people are seeking massage for back pain relief and there is good reason for this, it really works!

massage for back pain

I once had a client come in who could not stand up straight and could barely handle any pressure at all during his massage.  Even starting with the lightest touch combined with focused work I was able to help him find relief.  This particular client needed very regular treatment, two 60 minute sessions per week for one month, in order experience a full recovery.  It is important to remember that every situation is different and it may take you more or less time to become pain free, you may also need to combine therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic or physical therapy in order to become completely rehabilitated.  For extreme cases or if you are unsure about the cause of your pain we do recommend getting a check up at your doctor’s office just to make sure there are no other and more serious underlying causes for your back pain.  I have seen massage postpone and prevent surgeries and relieve countless other issues surrounding pain and anxiety.  No matter what, you can count on the fact that massage is a low-risk therapy that almost always gives you some benefit, therefore I ask:  what do you have to lose?

How does massage for back pain work?



Curious about what type of massage is right for you or how often you should receive massage for back pain?  Click HERE to learn more about our recommendations.

Have questions or concerns about getting massage for your particular issue?  Hit us up, this is our specialty and we are more than happy to help you find the path to freedom from pain!  Email us at or give us a call at 503-473-8515.  Ready to book: Check out our online scheduler

Tips for staying healthy, strong and flexible as you age

Tips for staying healthy, strong and flexible as you age

Recently I have had quite a few clients presenting concerns about how to keep their bodies healthy, strong and flexible as they age.  And after a recent conversation with a client on this very topic I thought to myself: “who doesn’t want a fit body to carry them through the many adventures we all hope to embark upon in life?” It seems that we are expected to accept that a bucket of ailments, pain and failing systems are just a normal part of getting older.  I beg to differ, while wrinkles and grey hair might be something most of us will eventually experience, inflexibility and muscle pain can be helped!  As we age our bones begin to lose density and our muscles become weak and more stiff but there are a few things you can start doing right now to prevent these issues and keep your youthful self glowing.  Already there?  Don’t worry we can help you reverse the aging effects too!

First things first, it’s time to self assess and I mean be real with yourself and don’t make excuses, for the purposes of this article we will just address the muscles.  Ask yourself these questions:  What areas of your body have been most abused by sports, injuries, stress patterns, repetitive strain, etc…?  What is most likely to, or has already begun to, wear down and stop working properly causing inefficient movement patterns and pain?  Look in the mirror, is one shoulder higher, is your neck cocked slightly to one side?  These are all things that are good indicators in deciding where to begin this important self-care work.

After you have created a short list of things you would like to improve here are a few steps to help you find the right path:

  • Take the next step in self assessment by looking at your lifestyle:  what small changes can you make everyday to help yourself stay or become strong and flexible through the years?  It might be as small as changing the bag you carry everyday, adding in a morning stretching routine or getting a new chair at the office.  Don’t underestimate the details!  The tiniest things can often make a huge difference!

  • Get help from a professional.  A personal trainer, physical therapist, chiropractor or a massage therapist can help you further identify areas of imbalance and use their specific area of expertise to help you find an exercise or treatment plan to obtain the results you desire.  You may need a team of people in the beginning to find what works best for your particular situation.  This can feel like a big commitment, but remember:  Without a healthy body it will be difficult to enjoy life and I am certain that this is each of our goals, YOU ARE WORTH IT!

  • Commit to your own well-being by making your body a place where dis-ease cannot thrive.  Drink plenty of water, Sleep 8 hours a night, Move!, Eat delicious and healthy food, Find peace by doing things that make you feel good,  de-stress your life by getting rid of things that are not serving you and your goals.  Always have fun, learn and grow.

It can be difficult in our culture and busy lives to feel comfortable giving to ourselves and finding the time to build in a self-care routine.  My advice is to take one day at a time, make small changes as you go and celebrate the victories as they come no matter how small they may be.  I believe that if you use these tips as a guide along with your own intuition gathered by listening to your body that you will find the years beginning to melt away.


Happy New Year!

happy new yearThey say the first day of the new year is a blank page in a 365 page book and we all know it isn’t quite blank but mentally it is a good place to reset and re-evaluate what you truly want from your days and yourself.  May this new year be better than years before, more in line with you want to be and where you want to go.  May everyday have moments that help you remember how beautiful life can be and may you continue to learn and grow.  We are wishing you a very happy 2015!

Our acupuncturist goes to Nepal!

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):

Thursday, September 25, 2014

“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

Infrared Sauna Portland, OR

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 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

Book your Infrared Sauna Session with us today!



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!

Try our new Facial Rejuvenation Massage!

We have a brand spankin new service for you to enjoy so get ready to try our new Facial Rejuvenation Massage which was specially designed for you by our very own Bethany Carder!

facial rejuvenation massage

Bethany Carder, LMT OR#20159

Bethany Carder is a musician, massage therapist, and a botanist in the works. She truly enjoys having her hands in all aspects of her life. Bethany’s Unkept Secrets skin care line began in 2011 as a way for Bethany to save money on high end skin care products. She strives to use ingredients that are sustainable, yet affordable, so she can lead a healthy life with a clear conscience and so can you.   All the products can be used together to aid in the health of all skin types from oily to dry, young and mature. The products are made in small batches to ensure the highest quality.

The line includes a gentle cleanser, nourishing scrub, deep cleansing mask, refreshing toner, and deeply hydrating facial oil. The gentle cleanser is great for all skin types. The anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, properties of grape seed oil, rosewater, and vitamin E oil soothe the skin, while toning, and tightening the pores. Castile soap, lavender, and tea tree essential oil aid in regulating sebum and decreasing signs of scarring by removing excess oil and increasing the rate of new tissue and cellular growth. No need for roughness when sloughing off your old skin. This scrubs intense cleansing properties leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed without rubbing you the wrong way. Oregon oats, bentonite clay, calendula, and comfrey give your skin healing antioxidants, while removing impurities and increasing circulation. Leaving you with bright, beautifully nourished skin. A blend of bentonite clay, calendula petals, and sage leaves make this mask great for all skin types. Antibacterial, anti-oxidant properties help minimize scarring and protect skin from blemishes, while removing toxins and leaving your skin feeling deeply cleansed.This balance of rosewater and witch hazel soothes irritated skin while removing dirt, excess oil, and tightening pores. The addition of frankincense, lavender, marjoram, and rosemary essential oil increase circulation in the skin while promoting the regeneration of healthy skin cells giving your skin a refreshing glow. Jojoba oil has nearly all of the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy skin, while being mild enough for even the most sensitive skin types. Powerful antioxidants smooth out wrinkles, while improving skins texture, and overall health. The anti-inflammatory, emollient, moisture balancing properties of neroli, ylang-ylang, lavender and rose blended with jojoba oil give your skin all the tender loving care it deserves.

Receiving our rejuvenating facial massage monthly can increase the healthy glow of your skin and keep your face feeling nourished and hydrated throughout the seasons.  Book your appointment online or check out our package of four facial rejuvenation massage treatments today:

facial rejuvenation massage

Facial Rejuvenation Massage-

30 minutes added to your favorite treatment:  $40

45 minutes as a stand alone treatment:  $60

Our facial rejuvenation massage treatment begins with a soothing warm towel treatment opening up your pores. Then we use a gentle cleanser that tones and tightens the pores removing excess oil and increasing the rate of new tissue and cellular growth. Then a soft oat scrub is gently applied to your skin helping remove impurities and increases circulation. The cleansing clay mask helps minimize scarring and protect skin from blemishes, while removing toxins and leaving your skin feeling deeply cleansed. While the mask works its magic you will receive a soothing neck, shoulder, head and arm massage to further increase your relaxation. Once the mask is removed we will mist your face and neck with a refreshing toner that soothes irritated skin while removing dirt, excess oil, and tightening pores. For the final touch we apply a facial oil full of powerful antioxidants that smooth out wrinkles, while improving skins texture, and overall health.

You can also add our Of The Earth foot soak, Immune Enhancing foot treatment or Revitalizing hand therapy for an additional charge.  Ask us about your favorite combination idea and we will help you make it happen!

*Can be added to memberships just ask us how:)

We are looking forward to helping you feel your best! Until then have an awesome day!

Holiday gift ideas

Holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list!  We know how stressful running around from store to store trying to find just the right combination of gifts for your loved ones can be.  This year we wanted to make it easy on you so we decided to help you out by compiling a short list of holiday gift ideas from yours truly.   We promise that even the most difficult to please people on your list will find something they can enjoy at Written on the Body!

Gift Certificates:

When you give someone a massage, sauna or acupuncture gift certificate you are giving the gift of peace, health and happiness.  Almost anyone on your list will appreciate an hour long vacation to look forward to during these dark and rainy months!  The holiday season means it’s time for our annual Buy One Get One Half Off gift certificate sale!  Go to our online store and use the promo code “holiday” to claim your discount.  Prefer to buy in person or over the phone?  No problem, give us a call at 503-473-8515 and we will be happy to assist you. price range:  varies


holiday gift ideas

If you have ever met us in person you will know that we are in love with our plants and we have A LOT of them:)  Were you aware that almost all the plants around the studio are for sale and they are each a steal!  Stop by and check out our selection at your next appointment or by visiting us at our Small Works Art Show on 12/14 from 5:30pm-7pm!  price range:  $8-$20

Wellness Products:

Spend some time perusing our product lines at your next visit or come hang out with us at our small works show on 12/14 and find what you love for those on your list!

holiday gift idea's

  •  Umay “confections for your body, mind and spirit” are a locally made line of absolutely divine body products (made by   our very own Lise Pacioretty!).  At Written on the Body we carry Umay’s body butter, which I personally guarantee will make your skin feel like winter never existed, aromatic spray’s, I get compliments every time I leave the house, and the decadent sugar scrubs, imagine magic every time you bathe!  If you have a bath and body product lover on your list, Umay products are sure to please! price range:  $18-$25

  • Unkept Secrets is a facial care line designed and created by one of our very own massage therapist’s, Bethany Carder.  She combines her expertise across various fields to offer you the most gentle and lovely smelling products to care for your delicate facial skin.  At Written on the Body you will find Unkept Secret’s entire facial line:  exfoliator, mask, oil, toner, cleanser and meditation oils!  The scent of these products alone will bring serenity to your giftee’s not to mention the beautiful afterglow of using them!  price range:  $1-$20

Handmade items:

We pride ourselves on combining local art and wellness, what can we say-we love Portland and especially the Alberta Arts District!

  • Munio Candela:   Candles, herb filled bath scrubbies and aroma sachets all lovingly made right here in Portland.  Everything about Munio Candela products is beautiful and sustainable, even the packaging!  Another great choice for nearly anyone on your list this holiday season!  price range:   $10-$30

  • Crochet Wears:  Hand crafted crochet hats, sleeves, cowls and scarves  by our very own Carly Rice.  These items are each so unique and skillfully made.  You really have to see them for yourself!  price range:  $20-$25

  • Jewelry: We have unique necklaces adorned with natures best shells and stones, these are truly lovely and are perfect for anyone who appreciates art and creativity!  price range:  $20-$35  *made by our very own Katie Jayne Selin!  We do have a talented team:)

  • Art:  Every year we are honored to host a variety of Portland’s most talented artists.  You don’t want to miss this show filled with beautiful creations all priced at $100 or less!

holiday gift ideas

Whatever you do this holiday season please remember to help create a vibrant economy in Portland by shopping local!  Every dollar counts for small businesses and lucky for all of us you have so much to choose from right here at home:)  Please check out Alberta Main Street’s calendar for local shopping events and other great info anytime of the year!  Now head on over to our website to get your gift certificate’s and don’t forget to use promo code “holiday” to get your deal.  Also let us know you will be stopping by the Small Works Art Show on 12/14 5:30-8 by joining the event on Facebook.  We can’t wait to see your lovely faces this holiday season!

What is cupping?

Cupping seems to be all the rage with athletes right now and for good reason, it works!  I have heard a lot of varying opinions since I first tried out cupping myself, some folks believe it’s a hoax and the benefit is just a placebo effect, others seem confused about it all together, some think it will be painful and others agree that it is absolutely fabulous.  In this post I hope to give you a clear and simple explanation of cupping so that you can go boldly forward to try it out for yourself!

Here we go….


The definition of cup·ping


noun: cupping

(in Chinese medicine) a therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy.

To add on to the dictionary definition cupping is used to stimulate blood flow, bring fresh blood to the area and increase healing. This means it is good for physical issues including injuries, muscle tension, pain, restricted movement and so much more!

Who can provide cupping treatments?

If you have a complimentary health care provider that you currently see my advice would be to check with them first for a recommendation.  If not you can visit us at Written on the Body!  Both Theresa and Richard offer cupping treatments in addition to Acupuncture to our clients.  Or you can seek out an acupuncturist, massage therapist or naturopathic physician who is trained in cupping.

What happens during a cupping treatment?

After a thorough intake with your practitioner they will have you disrobe the affected area.  Some practitioners might use a tiny amount of oil to prepare your skin for the cupping procedure.  There are different types of cupping, some use glass cups and fire to create suction and others use plastic cups that have tiny built in pumps to draw the air out.  Whichever type of cups used you will feel the flesh being sucked up into the cups, typically this is not painful but depending on your specific issue it can become a little more intense.  If it is too uncomfortable you can always let your practitioner know so that they can release some of the suction.  Some therapists will let the cups sit for a time (seconds to a few minutes) and others will move the cups around similar to a massaging motion.

What happens after a cupping treatment?

After your practitioner removes the cups you may feel some tenderness in the area but it typically fades within 24 hours, you may also feel more tired than usual as your body works hard to heal itself.  You will most likely have deep red or purple marks where the cups have been placed but they do not feel painful.  These marks are caused by stagnant blood and toxins coming to the surface and will fade within a week or so.  You will probably feel better!  You might notice more freedom and less pain in the areas that have been cupped.  If you get regular treatments and have a good self care routine you may even make a full recovery from injuries or other chronic issues.

Cupping in the news:

The Portland Trail Blazers added cupping into their injury prevention and recovery routines:

Floyd Mayweather recently got cupping:


Cupping is an ancient healing practice and this blog post is just a short adventure into what it is all about.  To really understand it you will need to experience it and learn about the philosophies surrounding traditional Chinese medicine.

Have more questions?  Leave them in the comments or email us at  Thanks for reading and we look forward to working with you soon!  Book online today.