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Luna's New Move

Luna's New Move


I HAVE BIG NEWS!!!!......

I relocated to San Antonio,Texas this September. I have been practicing healing, massage, birth services, and more, in Austin for 25 years. Sadly, this chapter has come to a close. My journey is now taking me to a new place. It's scary and exciting but, most of all, I will miss many of you who have supported me along the way.

It has been an honor to be a part of your healing path and, such an amazing community. The good news is, I will still be available a few days, once a month in Austin, TX at South Austin Massage on 3115 South 1st, Suite 104 and, I will be continuing to build a full time practice in San Antonio at 114 N.Ellison Dr. Suite 114. Make sure you call or book sessions online ahead of time since there will be limited spots available. I look forward to building a new community in San Antonio & I hope to see you soon!

Blessings, Luna

Holy Basil- Tulsi

Holy Basil- Tulsi


Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) is an herb native to India, where it is known as tulsi. and is used in Ayurvedic medicine as an “adaptogen” . An adaptogen is a unique group of herbs which are known for assisting with everything from stress to fatigue, and they help the body to adapt on many levels while building the immune system.  The Hindu name for holy basil, Tulsi, means "the incomparable one." Medicine is made from the leaves, stems, and seeds. Holy Basil is sacred in the Hindu religious tradition and is regarded as one of the most important plants used in Ayurvedic medicine. If you go to India, you will see holy basil growing everywhere around Hindu temples. It comes in red and green varieties, both with a strong, pleasant aroma. More clove-like than that of culinary basil, holy basil has been used for centuries to treat a variety of medical conditions including high blood pressure, insomnia, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis and eye disorders. Holy basil is also used for the common cold,  flu, diabetes, bronchitis, earache, headache, stomach upset, heart disease, fever, viral hepatitis, malaria, stress, and tuberculosis. It is also used for mercury poisoning, to promote longevity, as a mosquito repellent, and to counteract scorpion bites.

One study, published in 1991 in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology, compared holy basil to Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and found that holy basil was the most potent anti-stress agent of the three. Holy basil is well know as a treatment for reducing both stress and elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and to promote physical and emotional endurance. Using holy basil along with breathing exercises and regular aerobic exercise can  help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.

Organic holy basil is now available at Luna's studio at South Congress Massage. Please consult with your health care practitioner before adding new herbs to your diet. 

Luna Featured on Baby Proofed Parents

Luna Featured on Baby Proofed Parents


Meet Luna Wood.  Luna is a Nationally Licensed Massage Therapist and Birth Journey Facilitator with over 20 years of experience.  She trained through DONA (Doulas of North America) and ALACE (Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators), and is currently a Certified Massage Doula graduating from the advanced six month Massage Doula program at the Star Institute. She has taught various programs at the Star Institute & Austin School of Massage and has 13 years of experience as an instructor specializing in pregnancy and childbirth. She currently has a thriving practice at South Congress Massage.  If I’d known Luna during my pregnancies, you couldn’t have pried me off her massage table.  She is a gifted, genuine, vibrant woman, and we are honored to feature her wisdom!

BPP: You were a doula for years, and then transitioned to massage therapy.  What drew you to changing your career direction?

LW: I LOVE attending births and I still attend 1-2 a year, however, it has become a challenge to be on call around the clock.  My son is 13, and he is involved in many extra-curricular activities.  I also love to travel, and when you attend births you are unable to do so.  As a busy parent, I find massage easier to schedule, and my day is over earlier, so I can have quality family time.  I also find massage to be relaxing for me as a practitioner.  Every session is a meditation for me.  I get to focus on that person and be completely in the moment.  When I’m on vacation I miss the ritual of my massage practice.  It’s a wonderful way to pace my day and really connect with people in a healing space.

BPP:  Describe what a pregnant mom would experience in a prenatal massage.

LW:  Prenatal massage is so relaxing for mama and baby.  I treat it as two people who want to be in harmony together.  Massaging pregnant women is my favorite because moms are so open to education and feedback, and sometimes just need a listening ear.  I feel privileged to work with pregnant women. Prenatal massage is so important for the mother’s circulatory system, adrenals, hormones and joints, but equally as important for emotional and spiritual connection.  It’s my goal to help the pregnant mama and baby leave my studio feeling fully nurtured and supported mentally, physically and spiritually.


BPP:  What do you focus on when providing massage to a brand new mom?

LW:  Many times new moms need education and information.  Most of the time, I find they need an open ear to LISTEN.  First time mothers are saturated with information from the internet.  Information overload is not helpful.  Many times we just need to process the journey of pregnancy and parenting.  I ask my clients to read books with interesting pregnancy stories or ask them to do artwork, or go hang out in nature.  The brain needs a break so we can be fully present with our growing babies.

BPP:  As a parent, how have you personally worked to obtaining good work and personal life balance?

LW:  I receive massages or another form of bodywork at least once a week.  When I was pregnant with my son 13 years ago I was attending births and practicing massage.  I was forced to slow down when my blood pressure rose from doing too much.  I learned a valuable lesson about self care.  Being pregnant made me more aware of the foods I was eating, and helped me make sure I rested well.  I also practiced prenatal yoga and swam at Deep Eddy Pool everyday.  When my son was born, I made an agreement with myself that I would not go longer than a month without receiving massage or other types of bodywork, and I’ve stuck to it.  Massage is not a form of pampering.  It is preventative care.

BPP:  What benefits could dads/parenting partners get from massage?

LW:  I always remind dads and partners that they are pregnant too!  Just because they are not physically carrying the baby, they ARE carrying the baby energetically and emotionally.  Fathers/partners feel lots of financial and emotional pressures when their partner is expecting.  They nest and prepare just like their partner.  It is important that they receive self care as well.  They don’t want to work and burn out before the baby even gets here.  They need to show up to childbirth and baby care classes, not to mention the birth, with a full tank.  Partners need to model self care, because they will be going through sleep deprivation, fastening car seats and changing diapers soon enough.  Self care should be a good habit that gets started from the beginning of the pregnancy, because once the first child is born, time is such a luxury!   If you make your appointments for massage, take your hot baths, or go for a run regularly it will be easier to keep your good habits once the baby is here.

BPP:  What is your favorite part of working with expectant moms?

LW:  I love that moms do their homework.  What does this mean?  If you ask them to do a breath work technique, drink lots of water, practice some pelvic rocks, sit on the exercise ball, work with visualization, and get massage and bodywork, they actually do it!  They are wonderful clients because they are not only looking out for their best interest but alsol the interest of the baby.  I also love working with babies.  It’s like doing infant massage before they are even born.  I turn the mom on her left side, then her right, and by the time I get to the belly the baby is usually all nestled in and relaxed.  Sometimes if I’m lucky, I will feel a little kick or nudge of enjoyment.  This gives me great joy to share such a beautiful experience with this new soul.  I’m not thinking about my grocery list or what I did yesterday.  I’m RIGHT THERE IN THAT MOMENT!  There is nothing else quite like that moment with that little one and her mama.

BPP:  In your experience, what mental/emotional blocks do expectant moms have to self-care (such as regular massage therapy), and what is your response to those blocks?

LW:  What I find most about moms is that they feel guilty for taking time or money for self care (massage, acupuncture,  yoga class, nutritional support).  I often hear that massage is a luxury, and I often reply, ” No, it’s preventative medicine and it would be wonderful if our health care paid for it!”  In our culture it’s ok to spend money on a new haircut, highlights or a pedicure, but not on our body and health. Time also becomes a luxury in a growing family.  We can not be sane parents without some time for ourselves. It is imperative that we create this in our lives.  Even as a single parent, I made time to have self care while my son’s godmother was at my home or when he was in preschool.  As moms we have to put ourselves first because no one else is going to.

BPP: If you had to give one sanity-saving tip to new parents, what would it be?

LW:  Take naps, get massages, do yoga (even if it’s only 5 min on the floor) and take some time to meditate.  I have made a point to take at least five minutes of meditation before I get out of bed in the morning and jump into my day.  Good habits will take you a long way and keep you sane.

Thank you Luna for your hands on support and nurturing for babies and moms. We appreciate your loving work, and your firm stance on massage being a preventative health benefit, not a luxury. That's how we feel about all forms of self care!

Cheryl & Kirsten

Visit created by Cheryl Sipkowski & Kirsten Brunner, two moms and counselors of 16 years experience determined to deliver the best in parenting resources and sanity support.

Om Shanti Yoga Retreat with Jogi Bhagat

Om Shanti Yoga Retreat with Jogi Bhagat


I am so proud to have a friend and teacher like Jogi Bhagat. I met him over 5 years ago at the YMCA in Buda, where he was teaching Yoga. I went to my first class and thought, " What a wonderful teacher! I feel AMAZING!!!! " I continued to attend his classes and every time class ended, I was in a total state of BLISS! Jogi teaches gentle yoga and has all ages in his class. He is very conscientious of every student. My 13 year old son even attended a few times. It isn't just the yoga poses that make his class magical. It is the spiritual connection Jogi has with his students. Anyone can do yoga, but Jogi is very intentional with his energy. Jogi often spoke of his travels to India. He visits there every year to see his family, and practices yoga and meditation at a retreat. Listening to his travels peaked my interest. I always had a desire to travel to India. Little did I know I would travel to India with him in 2012. My trip to India was incredible. We visited the Taj Mahal, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Rishikesh and more... It was a life changing experience. Jogi's family was so warm and proud to share their native country with us.

After attending his yoga class for several years, Jogi invited me to the Om Shanti Yoga Retreat. He decided to organize a retreat for people who could not travel to India but, wanted to enjoy a peaceful place away from the chaos and noise of the city. When I attended in the past, I met such wonderful people, ate incredible vegetarian food, and practiced various kinds of yoga.

I just participated in his retreat last weekend. I was acting as both a participant and a practitioner. It was wonderful doing massage with the participants because, I got to get to know people on an intimate level. I felt so connected to each of them and could share in their life experiences. Jogi also invited many guest speakers to talk about spiritual interests and, an internationally acclaimed dancer, Anurahda Naimpally from Austin Dance India to perform traditional Indian dance. I highly recommend attending the Om Shanti Retreat next year! It is a magical experience and Jogi makes everyone feel welcome and wanted.

Jogi Bhagat practices yoga in various locations in Austin,TX and offers a Spiritual India Trip, and the Om Shanti Yoga retreat annually. For more information about Jogi visit or his facebook page at

2014- Start of the Year Juicing & Detoxing

2014- Start of the Year Juicing & Detoxing


I am starting the year off right with a juice cleanse.After the holiday travel and eating a bunch of yummy yet, not the healthiest food. I decided to get my health back in priority and drink some juices. Fast, cleanse whatever you want to call it, I am doing 1 week of a true juice fast and 2 months of vegan organic eating. I am also increasing my exercise routine and I am feeling more energy immediately. I lost 5 pounds in the first week. I am doing this for wellness but it always feels great when weight comes off as a bonus. I've been walking my dogs everyday and enjoying nature which goes hand in hand with cleansing. I notice nature more when I'm eating more plant based foods and less animal and processed products. I feel so blessed to be able to afford Skinny Limits as my juice fix. I love to juice my own but I hate to clean my juicer and I'm saving a lot of time I don't have.

I'm using my friend's o3 products in areas of lymph tissue to release any toxins and impurities . I feel like a new woman and ready for new beginnings in 2014.

If you want more information about juicing and detoxing visit and

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

  The Lymph system is an amazing cleansing or septic system of the body. There is no heart to pump the lymph through the tiny vessels of this system, so therefore, Lymphatic drainage can assist the lymph to move efficiently through the body. Lymphatic Drainage therapy has benefits ranging from detoxification of the body, regeneration of burned, injured or wrinkled tissue, anti-aging effects, and relief of sinusitis, bronchitis, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, constipation, insomnia, memory loss, and cellulite. This therapy is especially helpful for clients who have radiation or cancer treatments and, it helps speed the healing process after most post surgical procedures  Luna gently rubs, strokes, taps or pushes the skin in directions that follow the structure of the lymphatic system so that accumulated lymph fluid can drain through proper channels. Lymphatic drainage is very gentle, is not painful and has a relaxing effect. Luna will be completing Bruno Chikly's Lymphatic Drainage Level 3 this week.

For more information on Lymphatic drainage please go here.


Contraindications happen when an increase in lymph flow would be detrimental. Contraindications can either be absolute or relative. Your physician can override relative contraindications if he or she finds good reason, but the absolute contraindication cannot be overridden.

Absolute Contraindications :

  • Acute inflammation - caused by bacteria, viruses and poisons are contraindicated. Tissues will be red, hot, and painful with congestion accompanied by fever. Lymphatic drainage will push these substances into the lymph channels before the body has a chance to eliminate them. This way one can spread the toxic substances throughout the body. It is best to wait a few days until the condition is not acute and the body has had a chance to clean up the area.
  • Malignant tumours – there is a fear of spreading the cancer.
  • Thrombosis – can lead to free floating blood clots in the circulatory system.
  • Major heart problems – if the heart is not fully functioning, oedema can be lymphodynamic due to a lack of venous return. Pumping more fluid in the heart it may stress it more than the actual condition.

Relative Indications or Precautions:

  • Kidney problems – check with the physician before treating.
  • Bronchial asthma – this can stimulate the vagus nerve bringing on an attack.
  • Thyroid problems – no treatment around the throat.
  • Medications – fear of increasing the dosage by draining the interstitial spaces.
  • Chemotherapy – fear of increasing the dosage by draining the interstitial spaces.
  • First three months of pregnancy – fear of miscarriage.
  • Removed spleen – recommend shorter session first.
  • Menstruation – MLD can increase the flow.

Enjoy this video on self lymphatic drainage :


"Lymphatics are the next frontier of discovery in human diseases. Long-ignored because of their subtelty and complexity, the mysteries of our cellular 'waste disposal' system have been comprehensively deciphered by Dr. Bruno Chikly."

— Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Author of Healing from the Heart.