we’re not your guru.

Owner’s note: I wrote this back in 2011, the year WSW began. I think it’s still relevant today!

I’ve been thinking lately about the difference between what we’re doing at WSW and the usual way massage is practiced. We’re not doing anything original – other therapists offer shorter sessions; other practices have various ways to help clients with tight budgets; other businesses focus on the therapeutic, healing side of massage.

But our overall philosophy is different. I can sum it up in one statement: we’re not your guru. We are all skilled, sensitive therapists. But it’s not about us, or our personalities. It’s about you, and what you bring to the table.

Let me put it this way: it’s not about trudging through the jungle, climbing a mountain, and spending hours drinking tea with an all-knowing hermit in a cave who gives you the secrets of the universe and heals you with a single touch. I mean, that’s a once in a lifetime experience, and most of us never have the chance to go on a journey like that. What I want to create is an everyday place of healing. It’s more of an urban idea because it’s community-based. I see WSW making a whole lot of people feel a little bit better, a little bit at a time; eventually, the whole community is happier and healthier. Many of you know that I go to Providence Community Acupuncture… they’ve definitely inspired what I’m trying to do: make folks see well-being as a valuable, but not unreachable, goal.

So there you go. We’re urban and country, practical and magical. We’ve got stellar therapists and we’re ready to go, so help spread the word by forwarding this to friends!

on Zero Balancing.

by guest blogger J. L., WSW client since 2015

Before working with Jennie Finn, I had never heard of Zero Balancing. I had experienced other forms of bodywork, particularly massage and reiki, but did not feel that those other forms gave me the benefit I was looking for, beyond a session here and there.

I typically come to my sessions with Jennie feeling disorganized as a result of life stresses. It is sometimes hard even to articulate an intention for the session when she asks. But I always feel a shift while the work is being done. While Jennie seems to hardly be doing anything but pressing a particular point on my hip or rib or shoulder, I suddenly feel that I can take a deep breath where I couldn’t before. I feel a stubborn worry release almost magically. An insight comes to me about a situation in my life, and it’s like my deep inner wisdom gets a chance to speak, whereas before the session it was getting drowned out by all the “static” in my being.

Zero Balancing brings me back to a place where I feel clear and in line with myself, not scattered or tangled. My body feels complete and at peace—like I have received a full body massage—though Jennie’s touch is always gentle and specific and never becomes too intense (as other types of bodywork sometimes are for me).

Owner’s note: our client J. L. offered us these musings on Zero Balancing, with generous permission to share. We thank her for it! She received a total of eleven Zero Balancing treatments from Jennie Finn, LMT at West Side Wellness.

our writing contest winner.

by guest blogger, WSW client since 2015

Over a month ago I moved away from Providence. After an unlimited massage subscription for ten months at West Side Wellness, I was very worried of what my body would feel like right now. Sometimes when I remember my fear of the impact of massages wearing off, I turn my head from shoulder all the way to the other shoulder. My head almost feels like it is turning around like an owl, with so much more opening up in my vision. My focus is on what I see and not the sensations in my neck and back, now painless.

All that I have learned about my body, all that I have worked with massage therapists on releasing and healing, it hasn’t gone away. The awareness of my body, stepping out of denial, and the somatic connection between my emotional and physical states no longer overwhelms me. Before my time at WSW, any awareness I had of my limited mobility was minimized and ignored, expecting the pains to always lessen after walking it out a while. I’m able to hold more joy and pleasure in my body now, and more importantly I see the value of that joy and pleasure.

Hard work is worthwhile, and sometimes the hardest work is to be light and soft. Letting things be easy is hard! I am deeply grateful for all the healers at West Side Wellness. You’ve seen my transformation firsthand in ways I didn’t understand what I was missing.

Owner’s note: we held a writing contest for our regular clients, encouraging them to write about how they’ve experienced transformation since they began receiving massage regularly with us. Prior to writing this entry, the author had received a total of 98 short sessions (15–20 minutes) with us!