By Robin Banks
Nestled in a quaint studio in the heart of downtown Anchorage Holistic Hands is providing clients with a holistic and intuitive healing experience. Owner and longtime Alaskan, Charmine Anjuli Mallipudi received her training and certifications through the Natural School of Therapeutics in Albuquerque New Mexico initially to manage her own health issues.
“I had so many health concerns built up over the years, and the solutions doctors offered were either prescriptions or surgery referrals along with vague, blanket diagnoses,” she said. “I wanted to figure out the root causes of my pain and fatigue, not just numb it or cut it out.”
The modalities Mallipudi studied spanned from traditional, physically based medical massage techniques to more alternative methods, including energy work. Then, just two months into her training Mallipudi was struck with the realization that she was feeling better than anything she had ever experienced.
“I suddenly had the weights and anchors cut loose from my growing pile of medical concerns,” Mallipudi said. “After feeling that amazing, there was no question of whether I wanted to switch career paths and offer this work.”
Shortly after she completed her training, Mallipudi opened Holistic Hands, seven years ago, in New Mexico and in 2014 she returned to Alaska to share her integrative approach with others.Her technique referred to as ‘Bodywork’ blends massage therapy with alternative methods. Mallipudi explains that the goal is to integrate different healing modalities in one session “in order to awaken the body’s innate ability to heal itself.”
The modalities Mallipudi incorporates come from all over the world and include treatments such as cranial-sacral unwinding, chakra-balancing polarity therapy, hand and foot reflexology, prenatal massage, lymphatic drainage, sacred Hawaiian Lomilomi, and aromatherapy.
Individuals often come to Holistic Hands to find alternative and holistic solutions for their pain or stress. Some clients come in looking for a specific modality while others seek Mallipudi’s expertise and experience on the best approach to treat their condition.
“They come to see me because I help them feel better, at its core they walk in whether is once or as life happens… with some sort of pain physical or emotional and they leave happier and lighter,” Mallipudi said.
For each client Mallipudi creates a customized session specific to what they need in that moment and offers ongoing and evolving treatment options as she uncovers layers of what’s contributing to their pain.
“My goal is for my clients to feel seen, heard, witnessed and nurtured in a sacred and healing space, as they are on their healing journey, each and every time they receive a Bodywork session from me,” she said.
In addition to the treatments Mallipudi provides, she rents out studio space to other alternative health care practitioners for them to provide additional services to clients, including yoga in small group classes or private sessions, Integrated Movement Therapy – a combination of talk therapy with yoga, and Rolfing.
“Ultimately, I’ve created a really comfortable, beautiful, sacred space for healing work and I want to share it with as many people as possible,” she said.
In addition to providing holistic and integrative treatment services, Holistic Hands gives back to the community through their Bodywork Fund. Similar to the concept of “pending coffees” Mallipudi’s clients are paying it forward.
“While a tip is never required people often like to tip for their treatment,” she said. “When they do that money goes into a fund the pays for future treatments for someone who needs it.”
More than 170 treatments have been donated thus far to underserved, underinsured, and minority populations. There is no formal criteria to be eligible for the program and anyone from the community can recommend someone for a treatment.
Holistic Hands is located at 737 W. 5th Avenue, Suite 202 between the Glacier Brewhouse and Orso’s in downtown Anchorage. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday and by appointment only.
For more information visit www.holistic-hands.massagetherapy.com or call/text 907-717-5949.