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Body Work with Barb Morris

By Bekhi Spika

“I don’t open my eyes...I just close them and listen to you, listen to your body.”

Even though I’m fairly certain I’ve never met Barb Morris before, the first time I saw her, I felt like I’d known her for years. Petite in stature but big in heart, Barb’s energy welcomes you in like a best friend; she adapts to the twists and turns in your mood, your needs, and your energy, and you just want to hug her.

Barb practices Asian massage, which is different than other traditional styles. Traditional chinese medicine teaches paying attention to all three bodies: mental, emotional, and the physical, and incorporating a balance of all three in the session. “Body work is just that innate sense of what your wellbeing is or what you might need to create wellbeing.”

Barb studied both Asian massage and Western massage 16 years ago and has been a body worker since. She focuses on all aspects of wellbeing during her practice and feels that it’s her job to provide a place where it’s your turn to be taken care of.

“It’s like adding little bits to a recipe; if I come across your heart and I feel a heavy heart, it’s like oh, we’re going to send loving energy to your heart. If I can tell someone is grieving, I’ll send boatloads of compassion and love right through me to them, because that’s what they need. Just that day, someone to let them know, I see it, and I’m right here. Without saying a word. And you begin to feel the body melt. So I just think I’m different in all work that I do.”

Barb describes a massage like reading a book or doing a puzzle. “I love a puzzle,” she tells me. “I love somebody on my table that I’ve never experienced before…I just put my hands on your body and go oh, this is what we’ll do today. It’s that intuitive innate sense of what you need.”

Decorated minimally and painted in organic greens and greys, Barb’s storefront on 212 W Main Street in Lewistown has been converted into a haven for her clients. From the calming smells and comfy heated bed to the practice of removing your shoes at the foot of the massage room, Barb has created a wonderful and relaxing environment where you can let someone else drive for a while. She even has candies available if you find yourself with a dry throat...this woman has thought of everything.

Barb utilizes lots of different tools to help her “get the chi moving,” as she describes it. (Chi is simply energy.) “I have so many tools,” she tells me while laughing. “I have a whole tote out there that hasn’t even come into the cupboards. I have a whole Chinese tool set.” During my first session alone, she used a scraper, some cups (for cupping), and a few sandbags. She even has ear wax candles that she uses on clients, especially in the winter.

While Barb is certainly different than any other massage therapist I’ve met, she thinks all massage therapists have something to offer. “I think we each have gifts to bring to the table, and I think mine are intuition and an innate sense of what somebody needs. Just knowing, somehow knowing what you may or may not want and need. And it’s never the same.”

Hours: When I asked Barb what her hours were, she said, “What do you need?” Barb is flexible; she prefers to not start before 11am and typically goes until 7 or 8 at night.

Price: $80 for 60 minutes | $105 for 90 minutes

Location: 212 W Main Street, Lewistown, MT