SOUTH FLORIDA REVIEW BLOG
South Florida's Source For Local Happenings
SOUTH FLORIDA REVIEW BLOG
South Florida's Source For Local Happenings
Experiences like this are definite reminders that we all have an amazing calling, to make a beautiful impact in the lives of those who come along our path. Meeting with Monica was a refreshing, healing and inspiring experience. Although she is very intelligent and well educated, she is sweet and humble and makes you feel very welcomed. The more people like her in this world, the better place it will be.
Meet Pele - a facilitator of healing. She is the owner and operator of Naturally Healing Sanctuary and Karmic Soaps. She is a licensed and certified massage therapist trained at Florida College of Natural Health. She specializes in Deep Swedish massage, but is experienced and trained in Thai, Shiatsu, Kihara, and Reflexology.
Rosemarie “Pele Aashna” Chen also became a trained yoga instructor by Unmaniji King of Lifeskills International and furthered her training extensively with Forrest And Budokon style yoga (mixed martial arts yoga). These styles combined create her own style she likes to call HYBRID yoga. Basically, she focuses on movements that protect, heal and build strength in the body's main areas of concern. Movement and breath are what’s important to Pele. These two will make your body hot, fiery and sweaty - resulting in weight loss from the inside out. The name “Pele” - goddess of fire, comes from the Hawaiian volcanic mountains. She teaches her students to create that “volcanic heat” from the inside, thus detoxifying and eliminating impurities.
Before the interview, Pele gave a magical tour of the Healing Sanctuary accompanied by a refreshing glass of coconut water and some delicious breadfruit. The interview was conducted in the peaceful and serene garden of the Naturally Healing Sanctuary, where we were frequented and delicately greeted by various species of butterflies. Meeting with Pele, brings you that sudden awareness to be more mindful of your breathing. This sanctuary is truly a place where you feel one with nature. In addition, you will walk away feeling inspired to eat right, having gleaned some beneficial information on improving your health and wellbeing.
How did Pele’s business start?
Pele: “My business started back in ’02, about fifteen years ago. After my divorce I was struck with the thought, “Oh goodness, what I’m I going to do with my life? I have no time to take care of a child if I’m in an office from nine to five. Monday through Friday. Who’s going to take care of my new born baby?” These are questions many single mothers ask themselves when going through a divorce. Pele was one of those women who felt she had to take care of her child, pay the bills and still have her freedom. The stresses of divorce were so heavy, that one day she ended up getting a twenty minute massage. This was a turning point because this was the worst massage she had ever had”. Pele said to herself. “If this woman can give a massage professionally, so can I!”
This inspired Pele to enroll in massage school for the next six months, whereby she graduated and took off with massage from there. Massage essentially was her first business. During her massage school, one of her teachers invited her to a yoga class. This came at an opportune time because she was in a lot of physical and emotional pain due to the stress of divorce. She was experiencing bodily pain, joint aches, feeling sick all the time, colds, headaches, diarrhea - something just wasn’t right. Her teacher took note and asked her about her nutritional and fitness habits.
People have this huge misconception that just because everyone out there is saying something is healthy for you, that it truly is but in reality that is false. A majority of people are sick and continue to blindly medicate themselves. Pele decided that as long as she had a symptom of dis-ease or something, she was NOT going to medicate but instead she was going to reverse how she got it by not doing what she did before. It took Pele about ten months to a year to completely cut out meats and dairy. This was hard for her because as a Jamaican, she was accustomed to eating flesh (goat, pork, beef, shrimp, fish, crab, lobster, conch, eggs etc) four to five times a day. She even stopped taking vitamins and supplements - basically anything in a bottled package. Pele advocates, “see, people are not meant to live on powder! To me, that is just a product that they’re trying to sell you. They make it sound so very good and why not try it?”.
When she first started detoxing, Pele’s body retaliated: she developed fevers, colds, walking pneumonia, bronchitis, bouts of diarrhea, itchy skin. None of this made sense to her. She went through a healing crisis. Upon visiting a homeopathic doctor, she was administered sublingual tablets (to this day, she doesn’t even know what they were). It didn’t help at all. Pele now believes that detox is the best way to go about elimination of toxic waste in your body, as opposed to taking cleansing herbs and supplements. She swears by fruits having this amazing healing power. Of course, herbs are good for you but the focus should be on the seven colors of the rainbow which are represented in fruits and vegetables. An arm’s length bowel movement daily is a good indicator that your body is ridding itself naturally and efficiently of waste (peristalsis).
MORE about naturalLY healing sanctuary
What were some challenges in building
At the beginning, everybody advised against being a self employed massage therapist because it would be very hard. They said she should start working with a spa or a cruise line. She was always fighting against that and argued “No, I can do this on my own! There are so many people in the world and everybody needs a massage!” She added with a laugh, “As well as, everybody needs soap!” So for her it was more about the mental block people kept putting up in front of her that she had to keep pushing away.
While she was in school for massage, Pele worked for a Chiropractor and stayed with him a few months after graduating. Then she slowly started with house calls, building her experience and getting her name out there. That was probably the biggest challenge because she had to do the leg work, distribute flyers, visit hotels, mail out postcards, send out emails and texts. Many times she ended up giving away her services for free. Progressively, all that hard work paid off and she built a sold client base. She has clients that have been with her for fifteen years. As with all business owners, you have to focus on aspects that you are strong at and not spread yourself too thin.
Pele provides ninety minute sessions by phone or in person to give detox consults, where they get a diet detox protocol on what they should do for the next six months. For the next thirty days, they keep phone contact by text and her clients are given homework whereby they have to send pictures of bowel movements, urine, take blood pressure, keep a food diary etc. She has success stories that include taking people off diabetic medicine (with their doctor’s permission). Word of mouth and Facebook has been powerful avenues in expanding Pele’s business.
For more information about Pele's Naturally Healing Sanctuary yoga classes or massage, you can visit her website at:
Karmic Soaps on Etsy