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Gillian J Harwood

Licensed Massage Therapist, Bodywork Therapist, Eastern Medicine Herbalist,

Board Certified Acupuncturist (awaiting processing for state licensure)

 

Gillian@spiritandmatter.com

I am Gillian Harwood, I have a Masters in Science of Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM) and am a dedicated bodyworker,  healer and practitioner of Eastern Medicine. I have been a Licensed Massage Therapist for 7 years and I have been practicing and studying Traditional Chinese Medicine and bodywork for over 10 years now. When I began this journey of wellness a few years prior, I wasn’t very familiar with all the different Eastern medicine practices but I had always been aware of the power of herbal medicine. As a young child I would visit an herbal pharmacy with my mother. She and I would buy herbs for my grandmother when she was having problems with her health. We would always ask for help and get their expertise on any health conditions we had and use the  natural herbal remedies whenever possible. 

 

In 2009, I was hit badly by a car and sustained many injuries. The physical therapy, medications and western approach to treating my injuries from this traumatic experience had begun to plateau and I just knew I needed something more. This led me to begin researching alternative methods of healing and treating PTSD, insomnia and anxiety. I came upon Pacific College of Health Sciences, there I planned to receive treatments at the on-site clinic and inquire about some of the modalities and services offered. I sat through an orientation and in the blink of an eye I signed up for the massage program alongside the Masters acupuncture program. Mind you this was before even receiving any treatment. It just felt so extremely serendipitous and right. Eastern philosophy is something I feel more deeply connected with everyday. So many things in life began to make sense once I started learning and as I continue to. The basics of TCM and general concepts of East Asian medicine just clicked with me. It sparked something deep and I never looked back. The relief I received once I had begun regular treatments with the interns at school was astonishing. I then buried myself in my studies for the next 6 years. It was, and continues to be incredible witnessing my patients health transform. 

 

Since 2013, I've been utilizing multiple TCM modalities as I learned them through schooling and internships. This includes herbs, gua sha, moxibustion, cupping, acupressure, electro-pen acupuncture, Chinese Medical Massage (Tui Na), Thai, Shiatsu, Swedish, compression/deep tissue and lymphatic massage. I am also very soon to be licensed in acupuncture. All of these modalities work cohesively and complimentary together within a treatment. Different modalities and techniques can overlap and blend to individualize a well rounded treatment plan that's tailored to the clients’ needs. Treating the root cause of the symptoms is always our main goal, and in doing so, manifesting a cohesive effort with the patients to guide them along their healing journey. Allowing them to eventually take their healing into their own hands by giving them dietary suggestions, and proper herbal formulas to maintain the treatments effectiveness. I believe chasing symptoms is really only treating at the surface level, which can be necessary in certain instances. Pain, however, is the last symptom to arise as there can be so many systemic imbalances before they actually develop and express as symptoms. I deeply believe in the power of these ancient medicines and modalities of healing. I cannot wait to share the gift of this beautiful medicine, the rich history and philosophy that founded it, and my deep passion for it all with the Chicago community. I’m passionate about getting people excited about their healing goals and working with them to achieve the best possible, long lasting results.

 

Through this work, I have seen such extreme transformations within myself, both a patient and healer along with the countless people who I have treated and worked alongside. I only plan to continue to expand and share my knowledge, almost incessantly, because I love learning about all the incredible feats that can occur using this medicine as a tool to keep the systems of the body properly in tune.

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