Aries Indenbaum, LMT
I see massage as a platform for radical self-acceptance. I see massage as a tool to fully connecting to one’s own body, and feeling confident and comfortable in that body. I see massage as a way to give back to my community, serve others, and be an advocate for health, touch, and movement.
As a dancer, I consider movement pivotal to health. Through massage, I assist my clients in moving more freely and with less pain. I love when a client leaves with a smile, leaving their headache, neck-ache, and all-the-other-aches behind. I use deep tissue techniques and Swedish massage.
I graduated from Oberlin College and Potomac Massage Training Institute. I specialize in: runners, cyclists, triathletes, climbers, and athletes of all shapes and sizes; stressed-out office workers; depression and anxiety; neck and shoulder injuries.
More About Aries:
I'm from Point Reyes, California, a small town just north of San Francisco. I've spent quite a bit of time in New Rochelle, NY and Cleveland, Ohio. I live in a collective house in Park View, DC. I’m an ENFP or an “energetic doer.”
I studied massage therapy at Potomac Massage Training Institute. PMTI is an 18 month program, nearly twice the length of most massage therapy schools, and trained me in Swedish techniques and deep tissue, as well as functional assessment, myofascial release, anatomy, and active isolated stretching. In school, I completed a case study on cervical nerve pain and conducted fieldwork at Whitman Walker, working primarily with HIV/AIDS patients.
Most of my sessions use deep tissue techniques to relax overly-tensed muscles. Many sessions involve targeted work on a single part of the body -- the right shoulder, the neck, the quadriceps, the left side of the pelvis -- to create more mobility within a joint and decrease pain. That said, most work incorporates whole body techniques to overall relax the body, and help the body "reset" to a less tensed state. I seek to provide deep tissue work that is effective, but not painful. I'm also working on my Personal Training Certification through the ACE, as I work with a lot of athletes, and I'd like to better serve those clients. Also, as a long-time fitness nerd, I've always wanted to learn more about fitness, exercise physiology, and nutrition.
I also studied at Oberlin College. I majored in writing and politics, to mangle together my deep love of stories, information exchange, communication, and teaching.
I love to move. I dance -- swing and blues -- about three days a week. I also lift three days a week, and run/cycle/hike as often as I can. I’m a very, very energetic person, and I love that, through massage, I can help others move more easily.
Before massage therapy:
- as a bartender
- as an outdoor educator
- as a pre-k movement teacher,
- as a "social media strategist”
- as a program associate in the non-profit / philanthropy world
Those work experiences, and the different pains I experienced in them -- the discomfort of a 55 hour desk job, standing for 14 hours straight, and carrying small children up and down hills -- give me motivation to serve my clients to the best of my abilities.
My "Freed Story:"
As a massage therapy student, I conducted a case report study, working on an individual with cervical neck pain, thought to be caused by a pinched nerve. However, in the course of treatment, I found an incredible amount of holding and restriction in his pectoral muscles, which lead me to speak with Frances. I had heard that Frances was a guru regarding deep tissue work, and I wanted their advice.
Having almost-met-but-just-missed Frances for a number of months, I finally found time to speak with them on a Wednesday afternoon. I was excited. I blocked off thirty minutes in my calendar. Frances and I spoke for over three hours. I've had very, very few conversations like that. Every aspect of Frances' practice was a precisely the practice I'd always hoped to join, or emulate. Freed has a mission I believe in and ethics I emphatically support, and I hoped that any practice I hoped to build was even the sweetest shadow of Freed.
And then, in a strangely serendipitous way, Frances looked to expand Freed just as I was graduating from PMTI and securing my own license. Everything lined up. And we spoke again, for over three hours. And then, I interviewed, trained with Frances to get me in shape (in both style and form), and started seeing clients as a part of Freed.
I owe Frances and Jessica an enormous debt for believing in me, and fostering me as a practitioner. I love where I work, and the people with whom I work.
I do massage therapy because I love it. I love the feeling of massage, and I love the effect it has on others. Honestly, it feels magical to feel a person's tensed muscles release and soften. Every time a client leaves the studio with that rested, dreamy expression, I feel elated.
Why I love massage:
In college, I spent a large quantity of time in the circus. I love the circus, in its exploration of the impossible, and its glorification and celebration of the unexpected and the bizarre. I learned acrobalance, I studied clowning and acrobatics, and eventually, I directed circus shows. I saw people find parts of themselves that were beautiful, and encouraged them to share them with others. I found a better understanding of my own body, of my strengths and shortcomings.
And I saw people get injured. Often. I wanted to help them, but I didn't know how.
After college, I noticed that most of my friends were in pain, often regularly. Whether in office jobs, spending ten hours a day hunched over a computer; or at a busy restaurant, hauling heavy dishes up and down stairs; or as teachers, constantly on their feet and over-stressed. All of my friends were hurting, and often, they ignored it. And it didn't improve.
I knew that many of my friends felt uncomfortable in spas, and often ill-served by the medical community. We spoke about insurance issues, insults and discrimination at spas, and incomplete medical attention. And I wanted to find ways to help my friends feel less pain, to see if I could actively, positively influence their bodies to stop hurting them. Massage therapy was the easiest (and for me, the best) answer.
I also love to empower others to listen to bodies. Elizabeth and I teach massage classes on the regular to help put the power in your hands -- we also work one on one with couples to provide individual coaching.
I like to listen:
Rephrase: I really, really, really love to listen. As a part of my work at Freed, and a part of my services in every regard, it's imperative to me to set aside time to hear from my clients about their bodies in every regard. So, I ask a lot of questions. I'd like to know about the spots that are painful (or tense, numb, cold, or achy), as well as the parts of life that are stressful, and those that are restful. I promise to listen with empathy.
I see massage as a way to listen to a person's body, and give it the attention (and space) that it deserves.
So please, feel free to speak with me.