If we’ve ever met someone who practices what they preach, it’s Chelsea. This intrepid traveler, compassionate nurturer, and talented massage therapist is an incredible asset to our team and since her arrival, she’s been expanding our offerings and allowing us to positively impact a greater number of people within our community. In short: the gorge loves Chelsea!
Her laid back, health-conscious lifestyle is one we admire and knowing the fabulous places she has called home (like Maui!), we couldn’t be happier that she’s set roots down in the gorge. We’re thrilled to introduce you to Chelsea, not only because she’s an excellent individual, but because we’re sure that she can make your life fuller and healthier.
So, you’re originally from the East Coast?
was born and raised in the beautiful state of Maine. In truth, I would still be there if it wasn’t for the six-month-long winter!
Tell us a little about your journey—did you always study massage?
I attended college at the University of Maine at Orono and graduated with a degree in communications. I spent a short while working an internship at the Girl Scout Council, figuring that if there were any desk job for me, it would be one that came with a whole closet full of Girl Scout cookies!
After that, I traveled to Maui and the Big Island for several winters to work on organic farms and I fell in love with the spirit of the Islands. I stayed in Maui and decided to attend massage school there at the Therapeutic School of Massage in Makawao. After completing that program, I trained with a native Hawaiian in traditional LomiLomi.
I admittedly would still be lounging on the beach in Maui if it weren’t for my drive to further my career in prenatal/postpartum massage. During a visit to a friend, who was also a new mom, I was shocked by the lack of support she experienced before, during, and after childbirth while she was at her most vulnerable and in a lot of pain.
I chased my yearning to help moms to New York City where I achieved my perinatal certification along with my Doula certification. Everything I learned just made me more passionate about providing care to mothers. I’ve continued with more advanced training in this field as well as gleaning all I can from Dr. Gerbi. To boot, I am also now six months pregnant and am getting a new understanding of what pregnancy pains actually feel like.
What’s one major misconception about massage?
It’s unfortunate that so many hold the misconception that massage is just for relaxation and an unneeded pampering of the body. Massage can help everyone—from helping cancer patients find relief to optimizing athletic performance to bringing comfort to pregnant and postpartum women, the sky's the limit!
What’s the greatest benefit of prenatal and postpartum massage? How often should a patient visit you?
There are so many benefits! From lowering stress levels (which is great for the baby as well) to helping manage pain, the benefits are incredible, and women should take advantage. I usually recommend coming at least once a month during her first trimester, every other week during her second trimester, and more often depending on pain nearing her due date. An uncomfortable mom can benefit from visiting even weekly.
What do you love most about your work?
I love that look of relief that washes over moms as they leave the massage room, knowing there is respite from bodily pains and the stresses that come with every woman’s pregnancy. And, when I get to massage a pregnant belly and feel those little baby movements, knowing I am massaging two people at once just makes my day!
What’s the backstory with Mamalates? What sparked your original involvement?
I am so very excited to be teaching Mamalates classes now! It’s all about comfort in postpartum playtime. I have worked with so many moms who try to start running, hiking, biking, or even just walking after pregnancy and become discouraged by pain. Mamalates is a fusion of yoga, physical therapy, and Pilates, aiming to help heal diastasis and turn back on the abdominals and pelvic floor so moms can get back to doing whatever they love without pain!
I am teaching a Mamalates principles class on Wednesdays at noon and hope to soon be offering a Mamalates workout class for moms to take after they feel comfortable with the principles. Babies welcome!
What’s your favorite post-work Gorge activity?
Paddleboarding, bringing my dog, Finley, for a walk or hike, or gardening and cooking with homegrown vegetables always top my charts.
If you could pack up and take an exotic vacation today, where would you go?
Do I have to pick just one?? I would love to be able to travel around South America—especially Patagonia—some day, but traveling to Europe and visiting all the places I read about (historical fiction fan) has also been beckoning to me lately. Although, I’ve never been happier than sitting on Hamoa beach in Maui, so if I had to just keep traveling back there, that would be okay with me.
Interested in scheduling an appointment with the incredibly talented, and equally as compassionate Chelsea Bronder, LMT? Get in touch with us today. For more updates on Chelsea and the goings on around our office, catch us on Facebook and keep an eye out for upcoming free events!