Tabitha Marsh: My Personal Journey Into Pain Relief & Mind-Body Medicine
More About Tabitha Marsh:
Learning To Listen To The Body
My first exposure to professional massage was in the early '90's when I was given a gift certificate from the instructor I worked with in English as a Second Language. Within the first session, the massage therapist was able to eliminate a chronic shoulder issue that I had dealt with for years. Like many people in this fast-paced culture, I had been running full force into the future and leaving my body behind in the process. Until that moment, pain and tension were simply things to ignore and live with, but this experience changed my paradigm completely. Soon after, it became clear that it was time for a career change, and I entered the Oregon School of Massage in 1994.
Massage School was a life changing process for me. I took every elective class I could, became a teaching assistant, and even worked as an Administrative Assistant and Bookstore Manager at the school. I started in private practice from the beginning, but also got experience working in chiropractic settings. Later, I was able to turn around and share what I had learned when I became an instructor at a well-known regional massage school. For nearly five years, I taught subjects such as Kinesiology (living anatomy), Hydrotherapy, and Massage Therapy, while also supervising students in the clinic.
Entering into Teaching & Counseling
Along the course of my studies and teaching, I became increasingly fascinated by the connection between mind, body, and our own inner reality. So, I plunged deeper into the world of psyche, soul, and imagination by enrolling at Pacifica Graduate Institute. After completing a thesis with an appropriately long title (The Value of Massage Therapy as an Adjunct to Psychotherapy in Community Health Settings), I earned a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology in 2007.
During the course of counseling individuals, first at a community health center and later at a clinic for eating disorders, I became keenly aware of how nutritional deficits, medication, environmental toxins, and illness itself can affect our mental health. Massage had led me to the mind, and psychology had lead me right back to the body!
Embracing Oriental & Mind-Body Integrative Medicine
Study at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine as well as studies with the Ling Gui and (c) Mogadao systems of qigong provided a final, satisfying bridge between worlds -- both between mind and body and Eastern and Western medicine. During my clinical internship and private practice experience, I have had many opportunities to see 1) how disorders that slip through the cracks in bio-medicine can have great results with acupuncture and herbal therapy and 2) how Oriental medicine can help reduce the side effects of necessary biomedical treatment.