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What is Somatomancy Massage and who created it?

Updated: Feb 15

Since the beginning of my massage practice in 1995, I noticed that I received information from my client’s body as I was working with people. I would get the message that they needed work on their left hip, for instance, and I would check in with my clients and they would often report, that, yes they did have tension, stress or discomfort of some kind in that area.  In fact I remember having this experience right after massage school. When I was working with my first clients, I remember ‘hearing’ messages from people’s bodies. At the time I did not think much of this experience, in fact it felt very normal. I imagined many people could ‘hear’ messages from the body. I was in my mid 20’s, having graduated from massage school at 24 years old. At the time I was very interested in medical massage. I remember when I was choosing massage school, I chose Seattle Massage School because they seemed to be more medially focused. I said to myself, ‘I can do woo all by myself. I need the medical aspect of this training.”

Karin Olsen, LMT in her massage treatment room, smiling.

I have always had my clients/patients fill out health history forms. Graduating in the class of 1995 meant that we were one of the first classes to be introduced to medical note taking.  Massage had become licensed by Washington State in 1976 but we were not recognized as health care providers until 1996. In fact massage was still often considered a cover for sex work or prostitution.  I began my massage therapy career when massage therapists were fighting for recognition as legitimate business owners and facilitators of health care. Because of this I leaned into medical massage seeking help legitimize my career. I set my intuition aside for the time being but I still found that I was drawn to areas of the body that were not a part of the health intake form but were maybe part of a long forgotten injury. Sometimes relieving this bound up area of the body opened a doorway to less pain for my clients.

In my early years, frankly before I even graduated from massage school, I took a reiki class. This seems like smart thing to do.  I wanted to learn how to run energy through my body. The teacher I contacted said she was moving out of town but could provide a one-on-one training in my Seattle apartment, if I desired.  This personal reiki training was profound for me. I noticed I could move energy around my body instantly. My feet had been cold my whole life, so I would move energy into to my feet to make them warm. I was shocked at the ease in which I could do this. I also noticed my hands would become warm, just by thinking about me massaging someone.

Many massage therapists, I believe, use their intuition as part of their massage practices. I found as I began practicing massage therapy, I would feel a pull of my attention to a particular area of the body. It was like my attention was pulled to certain area with no reason behind it. I later began to realize this was my intuition. I also think everyone is psychic. We all have the capacity to feel, hear, know things that are not overtly available. It is a subtle pull of my attention. I would be easy to ignore. It would be easy to brush off as not important, or mind wandering. To feel this intuition requires cultivation. It requires practice and refinement.

In 2023, I developed a style of massage that incorporated my psychic intuitive skills with my almost thirty years of deep tissue massage experience. Somatomancy Massage is a ceremony. I like to tell people that the work begins when you schedule your appointment.  There is a procedure that I have created that helps us get the most out of our time together. We remove some layers of psychic debris, we focus our attention and energy on one subject and we open our hearts to receive insights and wisdom.  I receive divine message about energy clearings that your body is requesting. We do our best to address those issues as well as any conscious discomfort in their bodies.  I speak through much of the massage, relaying messages from the persons’ soul team. We gather this unseen information from your guides, guardians and sometimes ancestors.  Together we create sacred space that is a safe place to interact with spirits. We call your soul team and my soul team to create a container that is secure.  My team has been attending ceremony with me for decades so we are efficient and effective in this work.

For the last twenty plus years, I have been actively educating myself on the spirit world. I have read countless books, taken seminars, courses and workshops. I have both attended and taught at conferences. Regularly, I work with teachers in person to develop my space holding skills, my magical affect and protection skills. I have gathered allies, tools, guides and mentors. I have resources of practitioners that are decades upon my decades, ahead of me in skills. I regularly check in and receive my own healing treatments from seasoned practitioners. I continue to learn and practice. I laugh at myself sometimes as this is my vocation and my hobby. Luckily, the work I have done for my entire life has been for this purpose. My gratitude extends to the depths of my soul for this unusual opportunity to have my soul work match my mundane work.

Reach out if this work is of interest to you. Schedule yourself a soulful Somatomancy Massage session here.

Soul care is self care.

Karin Olsen LMT in her massge treatment room with a fire place in the background.

Karin Olsen has been a licensed massage therapist for almost 30 years. She started Kaleidoscope Massage Therapy in 1995 and sold that business in 2009. In 2005 she and her partner purchased Radiance Herbs and Massage, a legacy business that at that time was 30 years old. She and her partner sold that business in the fall of 2019. Karin has been a business mentor for massage therapists and taught advanced massage skills for more than ten years while owning Radiance. Now Karin runs Moonhill Mystery School, teaching earth-based spirituality classes online and in-person in the South Salish Sea area of Washington State.



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