The use of integrative approaches to wellness has grown in the U.S. in recent years. It emphasizes a holistic method that includes mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of an individual, treating the whole person rather than one specific area of concern. Many people turn to alternative therapies for pain relief when traditional treatments fail or as a complement to conventional medicine. Offering alternative and integrative healthcare as a way toward a complete healthy lifestyle is one of the main purposes’ local holistic practitioners, Lisa DeFosse of Lisa DeFosse Massage Therapy and Karen Tibbetts of Foot Path Reflexology, work together.
Besides massage, DeFosse is a Reiki Master who is in the process of becoming a Bowenwork Practitioner and Tibbetts is a Reflexologist as well as a Health Coach. They both discovered their line of work by first experiencing the positive effects their particular modalities had on their own lives. They share their stories as well as the reasons they offer their services to the greater Lakes Region community at their office, 57 Tandberg Trail in Windham.
“I was receiving a massage one day and thought to myself, ‘Wow this would be a really relaxing job and I could probably do this’.” DeFosse said. “Little did I realize how much I would love helping people in this way and how rewarding it would be for me.”
DeFosse graduated from Spa Tech Institute in 2005 and gained her Reiki Master Certification in 2007. She is currently studying Bowenwork in Arundel through Ainslee Farrington, an instructor for the American Bowen Academy and plans to be certified by spring 2019.
Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues and Reiki is a Japanese technique where the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch. Bowenwork is also a system of touch.
DeFosse explained that Bowenwork is comprised of gentle moves applied to specific points on the body with significant pauses or rests between the moves. The work takes the body out of fight/flight mode and puts it into rest/repair/relax mode. “It's like rebooting your computer but instead, you are rebooting your connections in your body,” DeFosse said.
|Karen Tibbetts and Lisa DeFosse|
Reflexology is a specific touch technique that applies pressure to the reflex points of the feet, hand and ears which all correspond to the gland organ systems of the body. “The physical act of applying pressure with thumb and fingers to these reflex areas results in improving circulation and body stress,” explained Tibbetts. “It also promotes physiological changes, improves circulation and reduces body stress.”
Tibbetts is also a health coach. “I offer a health program that is much more than a diet,” she stated. “This nutrition-based program is easy to follow with very little food preparation involved. Clients have my support as well as that of an online community. Utilizing all components of the program will lead to lifelong transformation one healthy habit at a time.”
While DeFosse and Tibbetts offer different methods to holistic healing, the separate practices act in harmony with one another and increase an individual’s overall wellbeing. “Reflexology and Bowenwork both work with the nervous system and complement each other well,” stated DeFosse. “We have clients who alternate each week - Bowen one week and Reflexology the next and they like the way they work together. Massage and Reflexology also complement each other. Massage helps you relax every muscle in your body and reflexology can go even deeper to points in your organs and systems. Karen and I can work together to schedule someone if they want to receive reflexology and massage on the same day back to back.”
DeFosse and Tibbetts agree that caring for oneself is the greatest preventative measure and contributes to long lasting health. “Self-care is so important,” DeFosse said. “Just like a lantern needs fuel to provide light, so does your body need self-care so that you can shine your light more brightly. Women especially tend to put themselves last and not take time for self-care and we want to stress that it's not a luxury but a necessity. Once we learn to love ourselves and care for ourselves, then we are better able to care for others.”
To learn more about the above services or to make an appointment, contact DeFosse at 207-329-8826 or on her webpage at and contact Tibbetts at 207-890-1633 or on her Facebook page, Foot Path Reflexology. Tibbetts also offers her services in Oxford.