Monthly Archives: June 2014

Self Care Tips

Breath ImageAs your massage therapist I will suggest things you can do between appointments to assist in your well-being. Here are some favorites I like to share with my folks.

One I like to suggest to folks who are feeling achy, have tight or sore muscles, or are avid athletes is to take Epsom Salt baths. Take a couple of handfuls of salt and put it in a very warm bath. Sit and relax until the bath cools down. I do this often because it draws out any tension or stress in my muscles. Grandma was right about Epsom Salt baths!

I like to tell my folks this little trick using tennis balls to help work out chronic knots or areas of discomfort. You can make a handy little massage tool with two tennis balls and a knee high sock. Simply place one ball in the toe of the sock and knot then add the second ball and knot. Lean up against the wall or lie on the floor and place the balls over any tight or uncomfortable areas and work them out. The beauty of this is that you control the pressure and the placement of the balls. Remember; never roll directly over your spine!

Another favorite is to remind folks that our breath will always bring us back to the present. It’s something that is always with us. When you feel stressed or tense pay attention to your breath. Are you breathing fast and shallow? Stop and mindfully bring your breath all the way down to your belly, even stick out your belly as you fill it with healing “air” energy. Then slowly exhale, from the bottom of the belly to the top of you lungs and let go of anything that is not serving you in this moment. Do this a few times and you’ll soon notice you are feeling more focused and calm. The oxygen you are sending to your muscles is helping them relax and let go too!

Stay tuned for more suggestions and remember to breath, breath, breath!

Barb Brender, LMT, Massage Therapy in Iowa City: Planting my Roots in a New Studio!

Root Chakra Art

Root Chakra Art by Candida Maurer

Elephants are among the most grounded of animals with their huge bodies and great weight and they express earthiness to me. Since the color of the root chakra is red, I included the reddish trees and their roots in the drawing in order to symbolize the necessity of connecting deeply into the earth to find our ground. There are four petals on the lotus of the root chakra to again symbolize the steadiness of the earth energy.




This is an exciting time for me. I am plantng new roots in another location for my practice. I am sharing the space with one other extraordinary practitioner, Jenny Wolffe, LMT. Jenny and I have opened a beautiful studio on the east side of Iowa City. We call ourselves Integrative Practice: Bodywork & Massage Therapy. Our studio is at: Eastdale Plaza, Ste. 27, 1700 S. 1st Ave. Iowa City, IA 52240.

Here are the styles of bodywork and massage therapy we offer.

  • Swedish
  • Shiatsu
  • Integrative
  • Heated Sone
  • Seitai Shiatsu (Say-Tie)
  • Thai Yoga
  • Structural Integration (Rolf Method)
  • Chi Nei Tsang
  • Cranial Sacral
  • Reiki

Both Jenny and I have created a peaceful and healing space for our clients. The atmosphere is bathed in beautiful earth tones that remind us of our root and the benefits of being rooted to Mother Earth.

If you ever feel you are too much in your head, just take off your shoes and stand in your yard. Feel the support of Mother Earth and the soft coating of grass under your feet. Imagine growing roots from your feet through the earth. Become the tree, strong, rooted and connected both to earth and air. Reach up and let the air enter through your crown and down through your central channel, ending up at your feet, rooted to earth.

Our intention for our new studio is to mindfully and respectfully offer exceptional bodywork and massage therapy to our current clients and welcome new folks to come and see what it is we do.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, we will help guide you to the care most appropriate for you.

Happy new beginnings in your life too, however they may be manifesting. And remember, our root chakra is our anchor to the earth and will support us through this incredible, ever shifting journey we are on.

Stay tuned for the announcement of our opening gathering in the month of July!