Holistic therapy: Duo share common mission with healing touch

May 2017 Posted in Community, Your Health

P1020798By Melissa Wagoner

Mary Purdy and Jen Holland are continually seeking new ways to holistically improve their health and the health of others. To achieve this goal they recently joined forces and opened Abiqua Bowen Clinic-ABC Wellness LLC in Silverton.

Purdy, a 46-year-old mother of three, worked as a registered nurse for more than 18 years in labor and delivery at Silverton Hospital before continuing her education in natural healing practices.

“I worked as a lactation consultant in the hospital and everything we would say wasn’t working,” she said. “I told one mom she needed to see someone in Portland and she started crying because she couldn’t go. I said, ‘OK, I’m learning this.’”

In 2013 Purdy received training in craniosacral therapy, a light touch treatment to relieve tensions within the body and which can be, among other things, useful in infant disorders.

“It’s so soothing for the nervous system,” Holland said.

A year later Purdy was given a brochure about another touch therapy, Bowenwork, by her daughter’s teacher.

“Bowenwork is a set of specific moves over specific areas to reset tension patterns in soft tissues,” Purdy explained.

Seeking out a practitioner for a shoulder injury, she was elated to find the therapy alleviated the pain and gave her a sense of well-being. Convinced of the benefits she studied to become a practitioner.

Abiqua Bowen Clinic-
ABC Wellness LLC

104 South Water St., Silverton

“Anyone could learn the motions but you have to develop that touch,” Purdy said. “I have procedures for everything. It depends on what I feel.”

Holland, 38 and also mother of three, began her healthcare career in labor and delivery.

In 2010 she became a labor doula and in 2016 a certified professional midwife.

“I did a midwifery apprenticeship and I saw a lot of babies that weren’t nursing well,” Holland said. “When I learned about craniosacral it was like, ‘Ah!’ a gentle, hands-on way to ease babies.”    

She immediately began studying to become a practitioner herself.

Working within similar fields, Purdy and Holland met in 2016 through a mutual patient.

“We met and it’s like, ‘This is easy,’” Holland said.

At the time, Purdy, who was renting space at another wellness center in Silverton, was looking to open her own office and grow the Bowen side of her practice.

“I wanted to separate myself from all the other therapists out there,” Purdy said.

Bowenwork takes time for the body to process the movements. “(It) is very subtle and it works on an area of your brain that filters out all of the information that’s coming in,” she said. “You need to have time to let it process. After my therapy, no other therapy for five days.”

Purdy explained that if an injury has taken place over many years it can be weeks or a month before results are perceived.

The clinic is open by appointment, with Purdy working primarily in Bowenwork on children and adults and Holland utilizing craniosacral therapy with infants.

“My intention was up to six weeks (old) and now it’s more like six months and will continue to expand,” Holland said. Most of her patients suffer from what is commonly referred to as “colic.”

She explained that “colic means your baby is in pain or uncomfortable. It’s common, but not normal. Often in little babies it’s their necks and jaws and in between their shoulder blades and their gut. The parents will describe to me what’s going on and I can get a picture.”

Holland uses a technique for a gentle release of tension that allows the baby’s body to relax and heal.

“It’s a light touch manual therapy,” she said. “I’m looking for what isn’t moving very well. The assessments are different. It’s a subtle palpation – looking for where things are sticky.”

She also sees a lot of constipation and bowel issues.

“Infrequent poopers,” she laughed. “I see those a lot. There’s like a poop button sometimes. I get a lot of poop pictures.”

Purdy sees patients for conditions including carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia, shoulder injuries and digestive issues.

“Any recent injury is like the ideal thing to work on. It’s helpful for any pain,” she said. “I do a lot of tailbone work. A lot of people have fallen on their tailbone.”

Bowenwork is also helpful for women during pregnancy she said, adding she wishes she could see every pregnant woman before and after delivery.

“Because pregnant women are constantly changing they can receive it daily,” she said.

For new moms Purdy also offers classes in restorative movement, focusing on reestablishing function of abdominal and core muscles, and an infant massage series.

Purdy is also currently offering a healthy foot class and plans to offer a dynamic aging class in the future. Both women hope their clinic will be a benefit to people of all ages and stages of life. “There’s so much to think about,” Holland said, “but if you’re not aware you can’t make changes.” 

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