What’s Happening at the Market: Choosing embodiment

Ivy Phillips believes in a world of curious, embodied people. This blossoms into form at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market with her new pop-up, Ivy Phillips Bodywork and Massage.

Before the market, Phillips sets up her booth, adorned with fresh flowers, a welcoming area rug, an assortment of yoga balls, blocks, straps, mats and a massage table. Each item is carefully curated to intentionally guide market guests towards more “contact, space, and flow in the body.”

Phillips describes her style of bodywork as unique, dynamic, and fun, having graduated from the Port Townsend School of Massage and completed a three-year bodywork training course with Wilderness Fusion in Asheville, NC.

During the market, Phillips offers a sign-up sheet for market attendees to sign up for twenty-minute time slots throughout the day. In a 20-minute session, Phillips checks in with her guests to see how they’re feeling that day and then begins to guide them through different stretches, helping them to relax into the pose with contact and massage.

Her work is often done on a massage table or on the ground on a yoga mat, depending on the client’s comfort.

“By having different trainings and lenses, I can see people in more than one way,” Phillips said. “I’m able to say, ‘Okay, your neck hurts. What if your neck is connected to your feet or your hips? Or how can we connect your neck to your core so all of your movement is originating from your core?’

“I love physiology,” she said. “I love how the body works. I love anatomy and seeing the pieces. I can close my eyes and see the muscles, the organs, the fascia in people’s bodies.”

Phillips said soft experiences play an important role in her healing modality as well.

“The other question is, ‘What are you stressed out about?’ Let’s take this time to work on your physicality, but also consider if there’s anything you need to let go of today when you’re receiving this massage.”

Phillips says that she’s primarily guided by the client.

“We’ll only go as far as the client wants to go,” she said. “Maybe it’s something that’s really gentle, everyone’s edge is at a different place so it’s my job to be sure to meet people where they’re at.”

Phillips maintains a special link to the local food community. Having worked with Nash’s Organic Produce and Chi’s Farm for ten years, she continues to grow fresh-cut flowers which are sold at Chi’s Farmstand. She often spends her winters pruning fruit trees.

She said she identifies as a fierce and sensitive woman — one passionate about that which emerges at the intersection of healing arts and community.

“We need community to take care of our bodies,” Phillips said. “We can’t do it on our own. We need other people’s perspectives.”

She said she was particularly drawn to practicing massage and bodywork at the farmers market, identifying it as a natural venue for her work.

“What I like about bodywork and massage being at the farmers market is that it’s another way for people to care for themselves while being in community,” Phillips said. “They’re coming to get their groceries for the week. They’re coming to experience community. Come get your food and come step into your body.

“If you come to the market and choose to eat healthy, then you can probably also see that there’s a choice to be curious about your physicality as well. Choosing health includes paying attention to what your body is communicating to you – where are you stuck and where are you excited to move?”

Phillips recommends a session at the market as a great introduction to her practice or the experience of massage in itself. After their 20-minute session, clients can choose to book with Phillips for a full session at her office in Sequim.

“I think we all want to be met, seen, and understood by ourselves and other people. Because of trauma or our past experiences, we can be afraid of that,” says Phillips.

“I have a desire for deep contact with people, physically and emotionally, I really want to honor where people want to be met. My goal is to create a safe space so people have the opportunity to step in and be vulnerable. I just want to share authentic conversations with people and be with them in their uncomfortable places.”

The Sequim Farmers and Artisans Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. through Oct. 29. Visit your community market at Sequim Civic Center Plaza at North Sequim Avenue and West Cedar Street.

Want more market updates? Be sure to tune in every Thursday at 4 p.m. to KSQM 91.5 FM for the live radio “Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market Hour.”

For more about Phillips’ business, visit ivyphillipsbodyworkandmassage.com.

Emma Jane Garcia is the director of the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market.

Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market

Open: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 29

Location: Sequim Civic Center Plaza and Centennial Place, downtown Sequim

More info: manager@sequimmarket.com

On the web: sequimmarket.com