I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good massage. I recently learned about fertility massage from the Parent Trip’s fertility panel. This is also when learned about Andrea and her massage practice.
I knew that acupuncture could help people with fertility, but I had never heard about massage being used in this way, so I was really intrigued and excited to connect with Andrea to learn more about her practice and how she uses massage to help people with their fertility.
Andrea also teaches some really cool classes including: menstrual charting, pelvic steaming, moon cycle, and how to use yoni eggs.
I’m excited to introduce you to the newest Woman Warrior in our series: Andrea Thompson, licensed massage therapist.
Get to Know Andrea Thompson
Did you grow up in Portland? If not, where did you grow up?
Yes! I am one of the few, lol!
Tell me about your family?
My mom and her family were from Portland. My dad’s family is in West Virginia. I don’t have children of my own yet, but I am Auntie to several little humans that I adore. It brings me a ton of joy to be part of their lives.
What is your favorite thing to do in Portland?
Portland is a beautiful city full of amazing food and great hikes, two things that I love to take advantage of. Pre-Covid, it was also full of music events indoor and out. A couple of my fav are/were the Waterfront Blues Fest and the Cathedral Park Jazz Fest.
Your Massage Therapist Journey
When did you first know you wanted to become a Massage Therapist?
I have two answers here. In high school, I debated going to massage school vs going to college. I’ve always been the person who was quick to give a hug or shoulder/hand massage to anyone who needed it and thought massage could be a good career for me. College won out, so I went to Oregon State University to get a degree in Biology. Then, I ended up choosing massage school over grad school. About ten years into my massage career, my little league softball coach happened to come in for a massage. She, too, is a massage therapist. When I called my mom that evening to tell her about seeing this person, my mom asked if I had thanked them for my career. Apparently, my coach was in massage school when I was a kiddo and I was super intrigued and declared that I would be a massage therapist when I grew up!I loved hearing that story, and thankfully, I got to share that with my former coach who came in for another session.
Where did you get your degree/do your training?
I went to massage school at East West College of the Healing Arts here in Portland. Since then I’ve done continuing education mostly in Craniosacral therapy via the Upledger Institute and local teacher Carol Gray, as well as Arvigo Techniques of Mayan Abdominal therapy®, Nurturing the Mother® Fertility and Pregnancy/Postpartum Massage, and Holistic Pelvic Care®. These are now the areas that I specialize in for my practice.
Andrea Thompson, LMT
When did you first start your massage business?
I started my biz back in 1999. It’s wild to think it’s been over 20 years.
Can you explain the different services/packages you offer?
Some folx see me just for Craniosacral therapy. It’s deeply supportive and gentle. Others come in to connect more with their body, to clean up their menstrual cycle, or to get support for naturally conceiving. I love being able to work on infants whose parents came to see me for Fertility work and/or Pregnancy massage. Other folx come in for support after birthing. This can be just shortly after, for postpartum massage or years down the road for more specific care related to pelvic issues that were never addressed. Each session is pretty different and dependent on what is happening for that person in the moment.
Can you talk about how you first became interested in fertility massage?
I started doing Infant Craniosacral many years back. When I started looking for more ways to learn about how to work with babies, I randomly came across information about Fertility massage. I was crazy excited, because I’ve always been drawn to pregnant folx. It’s such a powerful transitional point in a person’s life! And, what a wild science experiment that we somehow manage to get mostly right the majority of the time. It blows my mind how many perfectly timed steps must occur over the span of 9+ months to create a little human. I was excited to learn tools to help support people in the process of making a healthy and happy baby!
If you could give me a quick synopsis of your business in 5 sentences or less, how would you describe it?
My mission is to help people get into their bodies and move through any of the sticky parts that keep them from being fully present in their lives. Each session is directed at what is coming up for that person in that exact moment vs being a cookie-cutter routine. Hopefully, my work helps them have a healthier and more loving relationship with their own body as well as the people around them. And, if I can help them as well in their process of conceiving a super healthy and happy baby, then I’m doing what I feel like I came here to do.
Going into business for myself has taught me a tremendous amount about myself as a person. What have you learned about yourself since starting your business?
I always knew that I would work for myself. I had to trust early on that I was capable of earning a living and being successful in a career that isn’t a big money maker but is what I’m passionate about. It’s not easy, but it’s super rewarding. Mostly, I’ve learned that my self-care is important, too. It’s a never ending dance to balance working in ways that serve others while also taking care of my needs.
If self-employment was easy, everyone would do it. Can you tell me about the obstacles you have faced being in business for yourself?
I started my career in Clackamas County. Being a woman of color working in a very white county was hard for me. I had amazing clients that I loved, but I realized that I needed more reflections of myself in my own work just as much as BIPOC clients need that sense of affinity while in a vulnerable position on the table. I also struggled with fully embracing the work that I wanted to do around Fertility massage and Craniosacral therapy. They are modalities that many folx don’t know anything about, and I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough clients to thrive. It took me stepping away and traveling for a few years to be able to come back to Portland and re-establish my business in NE and solely do the work that brings me joy and a sense of accomplishment. Clearly, it was a good choice!
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I’m super proud of the classes that I offer to the public and the sweet feedback that I get from those. It’s nice to be able to have a bigger reach and affect more people. Being asked to be a part of the Portland Plant Medicine Gathering in 2019 was a big confirming moment for me in my desire and ability to teach. To be honest though, I’m proudest of the tender moments that I have with my clients when they have a huge breakthrough on the table and find healing. Or when a parent gets teary because their connection with their baby gets easier after a session. It’s a pretty beautiful thing to be a part of and witness to.
I enjoy reading and love sharing new book ideas with others. What book would you recommend to new or expecting parents?
Oh, so many books! The Fertile Female and Healthy Parents, Healthy Babies are two books to really help you think about ALL the factors included in making a healthy tiny human. My Grandmother’s Hands and It Didn’t Start With You are great to start digging into the deeper emotional/spiritual/epigenetic trauma patterns that you don’t want to pass on to your kiddos.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for highlighting all the amazing Womxn you know who are doing badass work in the world. It’s important we keep lifting each other up, sharing resources, and celebrating each other’s successes. It’s how we’ll all find a healthier sense of community and nourishing connections.