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Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

Healthy Aging with Hillery Woods

Aug 31, 2017 02:30PM
In 2010, licensed massage therapist Hillery Woods founded Roots & Wings Therapeutic Bodywork, in Quakertown, to provide customized, restorative and preventative therapies informed by the principles of Tibetan Buddhism, ayurveda, Breema bodywork and permaculture. Her clients include elderly adults as well as those recovering from injury or living with chronic illness.

What does healthy aging look like? In my massage practice and yoga classes, I am constantly inspired by my elderly clients who show me living examples of healthy aging. The ones who are receiving regular bodywork sessions, staying active and laughing seem to be living a meaningful life.

How do relationships impact meaningful living as we age? The idea of meaningful living being rooted in relationships starts with the relationship we have with ourselves. According to the science of ayurveda, each person needs to pay attention to their inner dialogue. Our thoughts, feelings and emotions have a direct effect on our overall health. This is the primary relationship to nurture.

What informs your approach to healthy aging? My work is informed by the wisdom of ancient healing arts like ayurveda and jin shin jyutsu. Both of these are based in science and applied as a healing art.

What causes physical imbalances as we age? Elements inform everything in nature and can magnify imbalances according to age, season and time of day. As we get older, the elements of air and ether are very active. That may translate into joint inflammation, digestive problems and neurological disorders.

What methods do you recommend to treat physical imbalances? Chair yoga is so great for balancing elemental excess. The chair gives us a sense of grounding to the Earth for stability and safety. Using visualization and guided imagery connects us to our imagination and our body awareness. Movements in the chair focus on increasing joint circulation and hand-eye coordination.

What methods do you recommend to treat emotional imbalances? Jin shin jyutsu is based on harmonizing emotions. In fact, all of your fingers represent different emotions and simply holding each finger separately can be a way to help harmonize yourself. Receiving an hour-long session twice a month is a great prescription for wellness.

What kinds of results do clients experience at Roots & Wings? I work with a couple who are in their 80s. They both have been receiving regular bi-monthly jin shin jyutsu sessions for 25 years. They hardly take any prescriptions and are living joyfully. I see, through the experience of my clients, that maintaining health with jin shin jyutsu has minimized their chronic health conditions.

What advice to do you have for those seeking answers to healthy aging? In this great unraveling of our healthcare institutions, preventive and restorative medicine is showing us long-term benefits. Healthy aging is only limited by our imagination and desire to create a world where we don’t hide from the changes of life. Meaningful living starts with the habits we create now and growing our relationship with ourselves first.

Location: 127 S. 5th St., Ste. 150, Quakertown. For more information and to scheduling a therapeutic session, call 215-257-5025 or visit

September 2017

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