On the heels of last month’s introduction to Cristina Maria, we are thrilled to further expand our Hudson Healing Arts family. We extend the warmest of welcomes to our new massage therapist, Ellen H. Gomez.
It is a joy to introduce Ellen, who brings a calm, gentle energy and unique desire to help caregivers and those in their golden years, to our sacred space.
The Importance of Nurturing Touch
Growing up in upstate New York near Poughkeepsie, Ellen feels fortunate to have lived next door to a skilled MT who exposed her to massage as a legitimate, scientifically-backed healing modality. Captivated early on by the power of compassionate human touch infused with professional expertise, she describes herself as a lifelong lover of massage.
It wasn’t until pursuing her dream in massage school, however, that Ellen felt a pull toward the “touch-starved” older population. Statistics show that older individuals are far less likely to access massage services. She also recognized the enormous need for stress relief among their caregivers. This realization culminated in her decision to participate in hospice training and focus on palliative care therapy/geriatric massage to reduce pain and medication needs.
She’s learned that caregivers often feel much better about receiving a massage when it’s a “package deal,” which is why 1+1 packages are something she offers. For both parties, knowing the other is also getting treated makes it a joyful give and take.
Touch-based modalities are crucial as complementary care for those in older age, especially in Alzheimer’s patients. Because talking can stir up frustration and memory difficulties, those who are suffering truly benefit from comfort beyond words.
On a personal note, Ellen’s experience staying with her grandfather during her college years showed her how the combination of a lack of trust in the medical establishment, and a constant seeking of alternate ways to heal the body and address pain, can result in an older population being more open to complementary medicine. At the time, her grandfather was exploring vitamin therapy. While she's not sure how her grandfather would respond to attempts to massage him, she knows that even holding his hand seemed to have a positive effect. She feels massage is one way of sharing a gift that she knows will make someone who needs a little extra care feel better.
What Does Ellen Offer?
Ellen’s goal to maximize health and wellness for her clients is achieved through Swedish, Geriatric, Myofascial, Deep tissue, Trigger Point, Chair and Sports massage.
Ellen believes massage should be an essential ingredient in everyone’s self-care routine, not just those who are suffering from pain. For one, it’s necessary for easing the effects of constant hunching and sitting, which takes a painful physical toll in the long run. Massage also works on systems of your body that aren’t always accessed in other ways to deepen your overall health. If you’re neglecting these systems, it means you miss the part of your body that involves tissue manipulation and the movement of fluids. This is what causes “hiccups” in your body to become more pronounced over time (more like a “scream,” she says).
Massage is often underestimated for its remarkable power to fix these hiccups. The therapeutic effects extend far beyond being a “luxury”: it’s only when we take care of ourselves that we’re able to take care of others fully. The boost of feel-good endorphins and release of tension in both mind and body drastically improves our ability to interact with others from a calm, loving space.
For older folks, Ellen is licensed to handle special considerations like swelling and delicate skin with expertise, providing a gentle experience in a shorter time frame. For caregivers, she typically finds traditional Swedish, full-body massage usually for stress relief to be a popular choice.
The Woman Behind the Massage
Ellen also works in higher education supporting experiential learning, and is a lifelong learner--one reason she so enjoys delving into the study of anatomy and healing. She especially appreciates the immediate comfort and peace that massage therapy brings.
In her free time, she adores any kind of dancing; especially couples dance with her husband, who happens to also be a MT. She has lived in all five boroughs and recently settled in Staten Island. The two just welcomed a baby boy, Henry, to their family in October, and she also has an 18-year-old son. We are so happy to be included in this time of new beginnings for Ellen!
To get in touch, feel free to give Ellen a ring at (201) 653-7700 ext. 6.
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.