Here at The Self Care Suite, our goal is to build a community of #WellNourishedWomen. So we’ll be taking a moment to feature women who we think embody the hashtag to the fullest. Follow us here and the hashtag across social to join the celebration.
I’ve known Ursula Foster online for years now. I can’t remember exactly how we met or when but I’ve always been drawn to her soulful, insightful personality.
Today, Ursula gets the spotlight in our #WellNourishedWoman series because I’ve never met a massage therapist who speaks of the practice as she does. As a licensed massage therapist, I’ve seen her work her magic on clients of all ages. It’s a massage, but it’s also touch therapy.
Name + age: My name is Ursula Foster and I am a proud 51-year-old.
Occupation/company: I am a massage therapist and self-care advocate. Specializing in women in trauma, burnout and the ‘push through at all costs’ mentality
How do you know if your massage therapist is a good fit/practitioner?
I say this to those new to massage mostly but it certainly applies to all of us. Trust your gut anytime you don’t feel safe or comfortable take action. When looking for a good therapist decide what you like as far as location, pressure, the overall personality of the therapist…if you two just ‘click’ then its good. Your heart and gut will tell you. Remember that it is your session and you are in control.
Let’s talk about the physicality of massage, especially for women who are not in tune with their bodies. What can a good massage unlock, perhaps emotionally or mentally?
My massage sessions are not typical of any ‘spa location’ experience, especially in my scheduling. I give plenty of time to allow the client to first talk about how they feel and what they expect from our time together then we start the session and then afterward there is time to soak everything in.
Many folks are just used to jumping up and leaving to make room for the next client. Lying still for an hour or more allows clients to tune in to all kinds of emotions and sensations in their bodies. Our bodies speak to us all the time telling us what it needs — we just have to listen. A good massage unlocks the parasympathetic portion of the nervous system (rest and digest), which helps you to relax, think creatively and release.
Does everyone need massages?
Every massage school on the planet will say YES! But the truth is massage is good for everyone. There are literally 100’s of different ways to massage clients. I learned so much working in hospice and nursing homes. Even a 10-minute neck and shoulder massage does wonders for your health…so yes, everyone needs the incredible healing power of touch therapy for overall health and wellbeing.
What’s your favorite part of working with your clients?
My favorite part is when a client comes in so stressed out and after a session leaves feeling like a new person. I feel like I have done my job. I am walking in my purpose when I help my clients feel better.
What sets your massages apart from most?
My sessions are truly customized…I may use a particular essential oil or a singing bowl or go into a visualization with my clients. Sessions are truly spirit led. I had a client come to me with no physical discomfort; he came for emotional stress not many people would think to go to a massage therapist for something like that. I don’t take my work lightly. I am always grateful for the trust of my clients.
What does it mean to be a #WellNourishedWoman?
To me a well-nourished woman is a well-rounded woman. She doesn’t strive for perfection but she does her best everyday but in doing so she doesn’t give so much of herself away that she constantly runs on empty. A well-nourished woman understands that part of moving in her purpose is being still in her present. The stillness is where the creativity, nourishment and motivation lives.