Meredith Reilly, LMT
March is the month of the fish, the Sap Moon, and the first days of Spring. At Rasa Spa, March is an opportunity to celebrate Meredith, whose positivity and intellect is always blooming. Meredith has encouraged staff growth and fostered whole health by creating the nurturing Immunity Boost Session - a therapy connecting the mind, body, and spirit to optimal health by gently stimulating lymph nodes with a whole body massage and a combination of essential oils known for their immune-enhancing properties. Meredith's enthusiasm to know more and to keep learning radiates to all staff and guests, helping Rasa Spa move towards its dedication to stay abreast about wellness and whole health knowledge.
Meredith, where are you from and how did you end up at Rasa Spa?
I came to Rasa from Hyampom, a beautiful little town in the pristine mountains of Northern California. I worked at an essential oil company there, but I've had roots in Ithaca since I came to Cornell for my undergraduate degree. This year, when I decided to return to the Ithaca area, I was lucky enough to join the team at Rasa. I love working in community with other therapists, sharing ideas and supporting each other, and Rasa is such a great environment for that.
How were you shaped by bodywork education and how did you begin practicing bodywork?
I attended the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2005, and it was a life-changing experience. It was the first time in my life I truly inhabited my body and really learned how to breathe and to let go and trust. I came to bodywork from a background in anatomy and biology, and my love for the human body and passion for education led me to the healing profession.
What kind of experience do you try to cultivate during a treatment?
I aim to find a balance between relaxation and focused therapeutic touch. I want to support my client both in changing patterns of tension and initiating their relaxation response. So I balance more engaging work - trigger point therapy and deep tissue - with softer energetic work. If a client can feel that even one area of their body is truly different and more open after a session, and they feel they've been able to let go of some of the tension from their day, then I feel the session is a success.
How does your background in essential oils influence your work? What other modalities or influences have affected your practice?
Working with essential oils gives me such a euphoric and blissful feeling, and I love incorporating them into my massage. One of my aromatherapy teachers talks about how essential oils are the spirit of the plant that's been distilled and concentrated, and I feel that's true - they are so alive. I also love cranial sacral therapy, which is a receptive modality that works with the central nervous system. My science background has helped me distill information from my clients and create comprehensive treatment plans, and I've very grateful for that part of my education as well.
What does it mean, to you, to practice whole health care?
I think whole health care really means finding a synergistic combination of the care and energy you receive from outside, and the attention and love you give to yourself. True health isn't really possible without both of these active and in balance. It's so important to me to work with clients to develop an individualized plan for their self-care and then support them in carrying it out.
This Spring, how are you altering your healthy habits for the season?
In traditional Chinese Medicine, the Spring is a time of the Liver and Gall Bladder - a great time for cleansing, clarity, visioning, and re-energizing. I do a lot of juicing in the spring - I absolutely love kale juice - and I definitely plan to clean out the closet too!
Find Meredith at Rasa Spa on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.