Hi there and welcome! Read on to learn more about me, Heather Fraelick, and associate manual therapist, Elsa Guenther…
Hi there and welcome.
My name is Heather (she/her/hers) and I’m going to get real with you about why I am here and what I believe.
Yes, you already know that I’m a licensed massage therapist by looking at my name and credentials. Yes, you already know that I offer individual bodywork sessions to aid in your well-being. You may also know that I facilitate women circles and teach workshops throughout the Chicagoland area.
What you may not know is what got me here and what drives me to share with you the work that I’m currently doing in the world. The essence of why I do what I do, is what I want to share with you.
In a nutshell, I believe that everybody, including you, have the ability and capacity to heal.
I’m there to help you tap into that healing place; a place that’s already within you. I am not here to do the healing for you though. I’m not healing you, but rather facilitating you.
It’s important for me to create a safe space, whether in session, circle or workshop; for you to let your
guard down, and feel truly seen and heard for who you are and where you are at on your healing journey. Whatever inner distress needs to come out; through the use of my hands, energy work, experience and intuition; in combination with your voice and your body’s guidance – we, together, are releasing the issues trapped in your tissues.
Our tissues hold memories and emotions. They hold onto trauma that wasn’t fully healed. I want you to know they are coming to a space where that’s recognized and that you’ll be able to have those things addressed.
Authentic healing is something that I strive to facilitate in my sessions, in circle and in workshops….it’s not fluffy. Let’s get real. It’s not cookie cutter. It’s individual. It’s not me healing you. It’s me helping you tap into that healing place within yourself.
It also brings me tremendous joy to witness you feeling empowered! I love it when I see you walk away from our time together feeling more connected to your body, with a better understanding of how it works. I strive to educate you the best way I can so you can feel like you are well connected to the vessel you are living in during your time here on earth.
Now I can sit here till I’m blue in the face and tell you all about what I believe. I do think it’s important for you to know the experienced background that stands behind these beliefs. So here it goes…
It all began during my previous career of dance, upon graduating with honors from Columbia College Chicago in 2000. I spent six years performing, then teaching and choreographing dance for 15 years throughout Chicago and the Northwest suburbs. My performing credits include Thodos Dance Chicago, Estradanza, as well as the privilege of working with the independent artists, David Dorfman, Colleen Halloran, Jon Leher, Altin Naska and Amy Wilkinson. I’ve taught and choreographed for several District 214 high schools as well as at the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters conventions.
Throughout my career in dance, I experienced several dance related injuries that left me unable to perform. Disheartened and depressed from the unexpected twists and turns in my career, I begrudgingly decided that I needed a plan B. My sad outlook turned around when I reconnected with a passion I felt in college for the subjects of anatomy and kinesiology and as a result, I decided to learn about healing by expanding my knowledge in these two subjects and attended the New School for Massage; Bodywork and Healing in Chicago, IL in 2004. My experience in massage therapy school changed my life, and as a result, I chose to dedicate my career to the service of helping others heal.
Since my graduation from massage therapy school, I worked in chiropractic offices, wellness centers and high-end spas such as Allyu Spa, The Four Seasons Hotel Spa and Urban Oasis. While the experiences working at such fine establishments were positive, something was missing for me. It wasn’t until 2011, where I had an opportunity to step out on my own and create a pain management practice that focuses on massage therapy, reflexology and Reiki, did I realize how important is was for me to own and operate a practice that focuses on the client as an individual with a unique set of pain management needs and conduct sessions accordingly. I bring the best of my experience to each session while working with an intuitive approach to the healing arts.
I draw from Myofascial Release (MFR), as created and taught by John F Barnes (JFB), craniosacral therapy, chakra balancing, Reiki, Reflexology and body wisdom coaching techniques to create sessions tailored to meet your individual needs that address, not only the physical body, but the energetic bodies that house our mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. This way of working addresses you as a human being and not just a human body.
Staying well connected with the performing arts world, many of my clients are world renowned dancers, musicians, actors and circus performers. I also work with a number of physicians, nurses, and office workers; many who are experiencing chronic pain, neck and shoulder injuries, headaches, low back pain, plantar fasciitis and TMJ Dysfunction.
If needed, I also provide Pre/Post Natal treatments to expectant mothers as well as Reflexology and Reiki as additional treatments to enhance your overall well-being.
I am licensed in the State of Illinois and am Board Certified through the NCBTMB, as well as a member of Associated Massage and Bodywork Professionals (ABMP).
I am a lover of education and I continually participate in continuing education courses to bring the very best in healing modalities to my clients’ sessions and student workshops. In 2014 I began studying Myofascial Release (MFR) as taught by John F Barnes and am hooked on this work ever since due to the authentic and effective healing nature of this approach that I’ve experienced both personally and professionally. Check out more info about this modality at: www.myofascialrelease.com.
On another note, over the years, many of my female clients would express to me how they appreciate being able to come in for their sessions and be in that space where they feel safe and where they feel heard. On a personal level, I have spent time being involved in women circles and found that being in a safe space, in circle with other like-minded women; I was able to heal on a different level than in one on one sessions. I found it’s not only an opportunity to heal myself but also to connect in community with others. This connection has proven to be profoundly healing in my own life and after receiving the responses I mentioned above from clients, I felt compelled to receive training facilitating women circles and have facilitated numerous circles since 2016.
Last, but certainly not least, I am also a lover of teaching and am an active educator in the Chicagoland area teaching students from all walks of life how to enhance their experience by incorporating dance, movement and self care techniques into their everyday lives.
Some of my recent teaching experience includes The School of The Art Institute Chicago and The New School For Massage. After 20 years of personal yoga practice, my latest venture is completing my 200 hour yoga teacher training with the Chicago Yoga Center. I am currently studying with The School of Movement Medicine and The Power Path School of Shamanism and I look forward to sharing how my studies with these schools will morph and inform my work with you in the years to come.
In a long nutshell, that’s my story for you and the experience that I bring to the table during each of our sessions together, whether group or individual.
It lights me up inside to bring to you a compassionate, listening ear to each session and I enjoy helping you empower yourself on your healing journey! I look forward to working with you soon!
Hello, dear human!
My name is Elsa (she/her/hers)–
I am a yoga teacher, nature lover, writer and actor who found Myofascial Release (MFR) while performing in a production that required me to wear a corset. My body was in deep pain (the corset was really just the tip of the iceberg), and after trying good old fashioned massage (which felt nice, but yielded only temporary results), I was recommended to an MFR practitioner (you might know her: the one and only, Heather Fraelick!) and the rest is history!
I’ve been receiving and studying bodywork for years, and I’ve found that my joy for cultivating healing paired with my skill for being emphatically connected and responsive to the ever-changing present moment (what is yoga or acting or MFR if not that?) has lead me to a very fulfilled path as a Myofascial Release Practitioner.
Myofascial Release has dramatically changed my life for the better, and it is my hope that, by sharing this work with you, I can help guide you to feel free and at your best in your body.