Aubrey Lesicki, BS, LMP
Bodywork, Breast Massage, Lymph Drainage Therapy
See Aubrey interviewed on Seattle's KING 5 News!
"My raison d'être in this lifetime is promoting breast care education and breast massage. Sadly, "mammarology" is not currently practiced as a distinct discipline in the medical field, and my experience has shown me that including breast work as part of a bodywork session helps women to truly integrate their breasts into their movement, alignment, and awareness. I have been inspired by studies that indicate that massage helps promote and restore breast health – especially after trauma, breast surgery, breast cancer, and lactation.
"I have a unique mix of experience, working with conventional as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Particularly, I enjoy working in a multi-disciplinary environment with an integrated team approach, as the practitioners at Holistic Healing Arts provide. I leverage all my skills to customize treatment for each individual. My goal during a session is to bring you into a new relationship with your body so you can function in a way that reduces pain and discomfort, as well as encouraging structural integrity and balanced ease of movement. I want to educate clients to be able to carry their bodywork treatment with them throughout their lives."
Aubrey graduated in 2002 from The Soma Institute in Chicago with a certification in clinical massage therapy. While in training, she worked assisting a chiropractor at Whole Health Chicago, a multi-disciplinary integrative medicine clinic, specializing in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
After relocating to Michigan, she was fortunate to contract with the nationally renowned Spine Program at the University of Michigan – a comprehensive pain management center integrating bodywork, psychology and exercise with conventional physical medicine injections and medications. During this time she studied Trager Method® and became certified in myofascial release, pregnancy massage and breast massage, as well as training in pre- and post-surgery treatment and scar work.
Life brought Aubrey to Seattle, at which point she spent one year in internship at the Trillium Institute with Jack Blackburn, studying presencing somatics and organizing and participating in massage continuing education classes. The internship curricula included:
• positional release technique
• intraoral massage
• oncology massage
• hospice massage
• Table Talking©
• Reiki master attunement
• decompression somatics
• movement therapy
• neuromuscular re-education
• vipassana meditation
• A Course in Miracles study
Aubrey has also studied lactation to deepen her insight into breast care. During internship she worked as a manager and medical assistant at an interventional pain management center, furthering her knowledge of neurological anatomy and chronic pain pathology.
She has completed her lymph drainage therapy certification with Chikly Health Institute and is newly certified with Klose Training as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. Now available at Holistic Healing Arts are essential oils (Raindrop Technique®), and AlfaSight Regulation Thermography scans.
The Birth of MammoTech
My sisters and I have a running gag on how, among the three of us, I lose the bralphabet game. They have many more letters than I. During one of these spats, my little nephew had just been showing us his robot toys. This morphed into my grand announcement- “If your boobs and my boobs battled, your boobs would be called MammoTek! And my battle sign was …. Tricepticon.... as I had larger triceps than pecs, so to speak.
As I have been trying to develop a “marketing strategy” and a “brand” and a “target audience”, this comical memory popped into my head, and I realized this:
I want to help women with a sense of humor be smarter about their breasts. I don’t care the size, age, race or (in this new and exciting world) initial gender of the person. Breasts are an incredible organ, but they are completely ignored by modern medicine, unless they are lactating or have tumors (or are the “wrong size”, but that’s another story). There are medical specialists for every body system. There are professionals for your skin, your hair, your nails, your diet. Why not your breasts? Instead of an aesthetician, I will be a mammary technician, or a mammarologist!
My first inkling that I would be involved with breast care occurred in 1999 in Chicago. I had just started my massage therapy training and was working at an integrative medicine clinic. The homeopathic practitioner had just arisen after a nasty case of mastitis while nursing her first born son. Mastitis is incredibly painful (by which I mean hot-poker-inserted-into-your-nipple painful). She was able to get in with her lactation consultant immediately after the pain started, but was completely disheartened by the visit. The consultant advised her and her husband to massage the painful breast. They looked at each other and looked at her, the “How?” apparent on their faces. She began instructing the husband what technique to use, but the frustrated mother interrupted, “Can’t you just do it? You’re the professional!” To which she replied, “In the state of Illinois, only doctors and nurses have medical license to touch breasts.”
Upon hearing this, my brain kind of exploded. That seemed the height of preposterousness that there was legislation to that effect. Who has time to make up rules like that? If I visit a health care professional and need help with my breasts and I consent to treatment, who else’s business is it?
That was 1999, before there was legislation to license massage therapy and many other alternative medicine professions. But at the time, I was being taught in massage school to diligently avoid touching or exposing any breast tissue during a massage. Any woman who has had a massage knows that sometimes, they just kind of get in the way. And it’s not a big deal. But in school my instructors were making it a double D deal. And I was very frustrated because, in order to access some of the musculature to treat the aches and pains, my hands had to be pretty darn close to breast tissue. So where was the line between providing quality care for my client and “crossing boundaries”?
I put this on the back burner for quite a few years. I kept mincing around breasts, but I was slowly getting more confident. And women were encouraging- if your shoulders are that sore, you don’t care what part of the breast gets involved if it will reduce the pain! I was living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the time and one of the spas I was working at had “breast massage” on the menu of services. I called to get an appointment for a session and to pick this persons brain. Alas, the woman who offered the service had moved away and they hadn’t found anyone to replace her. I was in the AMTA and started asking my colleagues what they new about this. A few had started offering this service if clients had breast pain, but it was all rather hush-hush and definitely NOT advertised. This was intriguing….
I moved to Federal Way, Washington, shortly after that. I needed continuing education credits for my new state license, and happened upon an online advertisement for BREAST MASSAGE! I called immediately to get registered. And called again. And emailed. And called again. I finally googled the instructor’s direct number and told her that I was not having any luck with the class sponsor- could she sign me up? After some more hoopla I was finally registered for the class in Texas (of all places). But I couldn’t find training in this subject anywhere! I had to suck it up and fly to El Paso.
The class was a fiasco, but Cheryl Chapman was amazing. She taught us about treating healthy breasts, and sick breasts and surgerized breasts. The most important lesson I learned is that I had already been touching breast tissue! Breast tissue can extend from the clavicles down to the 8th rib, and as far around as the scapula! By now I had broken the taboo hundreds of times, I just needed to get over it. But I was still anxious about this- I could still hear my massage instructors harping away, “Thou shalt not touch the breasts or thou shall be law suited.” Fortunately, I met another wonderful woman from California in the class, and she turned me onto lymphatic drainage training, which teaches you how to drain breast tissue, which is chock full of lymph.
It’s hard to feel competent in an arena that is so acutely personal and simultaneously so scandalously sensationalized in our society. I have studied neuromuscular re-education, myofascial release, movement intelligence, reiki, presencing, chakras, Trager, positional release, muscle energy, orthopedic massage, Focusing, lactation education, and the list continues. It never felt like I knew enough. Finally, I realized that women's health is more important than whether or not I might be sued or marginalized for doing something different. So now I have completed my lymph drainage therapy certification as well as my training to be a regulation thermography technician.
And I'm bringing breast education out from under the sheets and into the light.
Sister, I am ready to battle!