Yomassage Benefit for Integrative Trauma Treatment International
Last weekend, I attended a Yomassage class to benefit the building of an integrative trauma treatment clinic in Rwanda. The event was held for Integrative Trauma Treatment International, a non-profit organization that believes in the power of healing, balance and education. ITTI serves the globe to promote understanding and healing within individuals and communities who have been impacted by trauma worldwide. They aim to provide advanced training, continuing education, employment opportunities, and best practice research for mental health professionals to ensure the best care possible for those who are experiencing the effects of trauma.
While there are graduates from a psychology program at the University of Rwanda, there aren't many clinics providing training or employment opportunities. This clinic, in partnership with the University of Rwanda, will increase access to integrative mental health services for the local population, allow for cross-cultural training, and research to develop culturally relevant interventions. Treating trauma for the genocide survivors and their offspring who are experiencing trans-generational trauma is critical to maintaining peace in the country.
This was my first Yomassage class ever, and I was excited to see what the buzz was all about. The class was held at a gorgeous venue in downtown Portland, OR called Neyborly. When I walked in, the room was completely set up with yoga mats, bolsters, and blankets for every client. My personal therapist Linda greeted me and went over my preferences and needs that I had submitted earlier during registration. She gave me a paper to place next to my mat that she could reference throughout the class. I found my place at my mat and began to stretch and relax until the last of the participants trickled in.
The class started with a guided meditation that helped us ease into a deep relaxation. We moved into 6 restorative positions throughout the class and stayed in each position for around 10 minutes. In each position, the Yomassage Therapist gave us about 90 seconds of massage, and by the end of class I had a full body massage. Additionally, there was a Yomassage Supporter who came around and provided even more touch in each position. Further aiding the deep relaxation was live sound healing from a local artist who played gongs and singing bowl throughout class. This class made me feel the most relaxed I’ve ever felt and I can’t wait to experience it again soon.
Candace Molatore, the marketing specialist at Tea Bar was able to join us and she said, "The class was wonderful! The instructions were super clear and I loved the group setting. A great way to relax in the comfort of friends."
Another participant, local photographer and social media influencer, Nesrin Danan, said, "It was super relaxing and a really peaceful atmosphere. Definitely made you feel comfortable right away. By the end I was so zen’d out I was ready to fall asleep!"
Hosted at Neyborly, the event was catered by Tea Bar, Driftwest Water Kefir, and Ruby Jewel Ice Cream! It was awesome to see so many local brands come together, and they served as the perfect refreshment after a relaxing Yomassage session.
On behalf of the Yomassage team, I’d like to extend special thank you to each of the volunteer therapists who offered their time and effort! Ashley, Graciela, Linda, and Jenelle, we are so happy you are part of the Yomassage community. Also, thank you, Laura, for the beautiful sound healing!
Please visit www.ittinternational.org/ to learn more about Integrative Trauma Treatment International.