Feb. 19 will be the 16th anniversary of a horrible car accident, here on the Island, that seriously injured then 16-year-old Rebecca Gould. She was hospitalized after a station wagon, which she was riding in, crashed into a tree at 60 mph along West Mercer Way, the Reporter said in the Feb. 21, 1996, issue.
Gould had fractured vertebrae in the lumbar region. She was wearing a lap seat belt, so her body doubled over, injuring her intestines. She had to have two-thirds of her intestines removed, and there was doubt she would be able to eat normally again. For several months Gould lived on IV nutrition alone. One day, she received Reiki — a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Gould began to recover, her doctor calling it miraculous.
After graduating from Mercer Island High School, Gould went to Hampshire College, a private liberal arts college located in Amherst, Mass., to study writing and alternative medicine.
“I became obsessed with studying things that related to what I went through,” Gould said.
She took classes on alternative medicines and classes on making decisions related to health, and she did a great deal of writing.
“I was really diving into what happens when we have injury or illness,” she said. “As a therapist, it’s hard to rate pain when you’re going through something like illness or trauma.”
Now Gould is a licensed massage therapist specializing in CranioSacral therapy and relaxation massage, as well as a Qigong instructor. She was inspired a year after the accident when she had CranioSacral massage and acupuncture. Now Gould brings it all back home by offering her services through her business Elemental Harmony, on Mercer Island. She shares the massage room at Aljoya with another therapist on Tuesday and Thursday. She is not limited to Aljoya residents.
CranioSacral therapy is a light touch modality, Gould said. The client is fully clothed while she works to decompress and realign the bones. She emphasized this is not like chiropractic services; rather, it works with the cerebral-spinal fluid, with focus on the bones of the skull.
Gould said CranioSacral therapy is especially helpful for headaches, migraines and TMJ.
Qigong, pronounced chee-gong, is a slow, healing movement and breathing that is used to cultivate chi, or vital life-force energy.
“The idea is in Chinese medicine, Qigong is a way to purify and clear out stagnant, murky chi energy,” Gould said.
She teaches Qigong at Aljoya, which is open to the public. Gould’s goal is to provide services for people in the privacy of their own homes as well. She will also be available for appointments at Yogabliss starting later this month.
“Some people think of massage as a luxury, and it can be; that’s OK, too.”
Visit www.elementalharmony.info or you can email Gould at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (206) 599-9270 for rates and appointments.