a holistic haven | balans studio

About six months ago I discovered a true hidden gem in Boston and I am excited to share this special place and the mastermind behind it with you for today’s post. I this write based on my own experience and after a lovely interview with the founder.

I was seeking alternative treatment for myself after an injury and really did my research to find a place that offered a truly holistic approach in Boston {which isn’t easy to find}.  That’s when I came across Balans Studio.  I made an appointment with one of their one of their therapists, and at my very first visit I was in awe of the what I walked into.

Holistic Haven Balans DeskHolistic Haven treatment room

Balans is Swedish for balance, and is an integrative wellness center founded by a native Swedish woman, Marie Aspling. With its clean and minimal design, the studio represents a sacred place for everyone who walks in. Located on the third floor of a brownstone in the heart of Back Bay, it is full of bright natural light shining through with large bay windows overlooking Boylston Street. Balans is run by an incredibly professional group of holistic wellness experts, all of which have the healthy, radiating natural glow.
After my first visit I was fascinated by this group who lived what they practiced and had so much knowledge about alternative healing methods, I was obsessed intrigued and needed to learn more.

After a few visits to the studio I reached out to the owner and founder, Marie Aspling, to learn more about her wellness philosophy & her studio {aka my new haven}.

Holistic Haven

During my time with Marie, I learned about her medical background as a Biomedical Science graduate. After a few years of pursuing a PhD at Mass General Hospital, she decided to follow her heart, which was to work more closely with people and help them to improve their health. Marie went back to school and was soon licensed massage therapist and certified personal trainer. After spending years working with people in a chiropractic office as well as a traditional fitness setting, she decided to take her scientific and fitness knowledge and apply them to help heal patients – physically and emotionally depending on what the patient is dealing with. Her continued education and deepening in Structural Therapy has lead to her work as a Postural Therapist, which is focused on establishing proper postural habits and proper movement patterns.

Marie emphasizes education and creating awareness within each individual. She believes we need to be in tune with our body and mind, and let them guide us towards a healthier life. She also believes that just as we as beings are all unique, there is no one magic method to sustain balance, health and wellness across the board. As a result,  she created a well-rounded, integrated approach to self-care for each individual client by offering them all elements to achieve good balanced health for the body and mind.  At Balans they address and treat the cause not the symptom which is key.

In essence, it is a lifestyle therapy approach with self-care methods that can be translated into your life. Their approach is customized for each individual and has helped athletes for long-term endurance wellness, the elderly for pain in aging bodies, corporate executives looking to achieve balance, and women for pre & post natal care.  For example, when you get a soft-tissue analysis, a massage is customized for you based on that analysis, to help you restore balance – it is absolutely amazing.

In addition to Marie’s Postural Therapy Assessments they offer top notch Massage, Yoga, Movement & Strength, Esthetics and Organic Facials, Pilates, Chiropractic, and Acupuncture therapies {see full list of services here}.

I had the opportunity to sit down with the incredibly radiant and balanced Founder, Marie and her two adorable puppies Bamse and Alma to ask her a bit about her unique and industry leading approach to wellness in Boston.

a holistic haven | Marie Aspling of Balans Studio of Boston
Holistic Haven | Balans Studio of Boston

You have done an amazing job of seeing your vision through to create a unique and customized approach to wellness that is leading the way to holistic health in Boston, what drove you to create Balans Studio?

During my years in traditional fitness and wellness settings I was shocked to see how many people that were doing more harm than good. They overtrained, used improper form, struggled with their weight and often left with more issues than they showed up with. Many injuries occurred that could have been avoided. Even some personal trainers were not educated enough to put a client through a safe training session. I found it to be a combination of lack of awareness and lack of education. Too many people are completely disconnected to their bodies. Wellness and fitness is a package, we need to think about our lifestyle as a whole. Sleeping patterns, nutrition, movement, hydration, stresses….it is a package deal.

I am a scientist and a student of life. If I see something that isn’t efficient or doesn’t work, I find a different way. Working at these places encouraged and motivated me to break away from the mainstream. Something had to change. I had to raise awareness. I knew fitness and wellness could be done very differently, so with that I decided to open Balans. I could not help myself, I have to do what I believe in.

My mission was and still is to educate people and to teach them how to self-care. I believe movement should be done in a way so that it is efficient yet safe. Having a skilled trainer, who engages and makes corrections will make a big difference. Also, to perform we need to recover. In today’s world it’s almost makes us feel guilty to relax, take a day off or go for a massage. This is unfortunate because rest, massage and restorative therapies are critical to overall health. It is a lifestyle and that is what Balans is about.

Tell me a bit about postural therapy & soft tissue analysis – how can you identify and assess a person’s body and state of mind through both of these things? 

Through pictures, videos and hands-on manual assessment I evaluate the posture and structure of someone’s body. This gives me and the client information and a baseline on how his/her body is aligned and how it moves. Postural habits, movement patterns, emotions, trauma…it all goes into the physical body and will affect how you sit, stand and walk. You never see someone suffering from depression or anxiety walking in with his/her chest and head held up high.

By addressing the posture one can help people tremendously, whether it is a physical or psychological distress. Once you begin to realign and restore the posture everything starts to unfold. You move better and feel better. It is an upward spiral. I see it every day, when someone reestablishes good posture they transform both in their personal and professional lives. It is wonderful to watch them grow in to a stronger self!
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You talk about an integrated approach, how do you achieve this once the postural and soft-tissue analysis have been completed?

The client and I review and evaluate the assessment together and it is amazing to watch how it all resonates within the client and how they acknowledge what needs to be done. When they see it for themselves, they instantly see the value of changing. They have already taken the first and most important step – and that is to want to help themselves! Their understanding (awareness!) is key for success and reaching the goals.

Depending on what the findings are I will suggest what I believe would be the most appropriate treatment plan. Bodywork is to resolve any restrictions and tensions, and movement to establish more efficient and beneficial workouts. Most often it is a blend of massage and one or two types of movements (strength, yoga and/or pilates).

What would be your advice for someone interested in holistic health but also intimidated by the idea of getting started?

Anything new can be intimidating. Any change can be intimidating and the unknown can be frightening. I would love for this fear based behavior and thinking to change. If we all could know that we are ok as we are and not think as much about what other people may or may not think, we would all feel so much better. This alone, can help many people!

As for walking into Balans, it is a very safe place. Actually, that is the feedback we get from our clients, that they feel safe there. No one is here to judge and that there are no expectations to be met. The goal is to be who you are, and work with yourself to get you to to where you want to get. We carefully listen to your needs. It is not about fitting in anywhere, it is about finding your path as the unique human being as you are. Nothing is permanent. By nature we tend to resist change but that change is sometimes the best thing that ever happened to us. Come try it and I promise you you won’t regret it!

What do you envision for Balans 2 years from now?

I hope to have come further in bridging our holistic yet scientific practice with local hospitals and clinicians. There is such a need to integrate the two worlds. Traditional and conventional therapies need to be complimented with alternative therapies. Again, it is about raising awareness, and in this case it is to educate hospitals and other medical settings. If we all joined hands we would help many more people.

Thank you Marie!  You have helped many be their best selves and I know you and your team will continue to do so in Boston!!

Marie and her team host several types of events throughout the year, from Ayurvedic cleanse classes, to cooking classes and they also support local businesses that share their vision such as Life Force Juice, and Taza Chocolate by carrying their products in their studio.  Be sure to like them on Facebook if you’d like to be aware of when their events are happening.

In the meantime, she has offered all POISE. readers 20% off their Maria Åkerberg deepskin organics products line {in studio} with the mention of this post.  The line is an organic skincare line made in Sweden, sold exclusively at Balans in the US, and offers products for the face, body, babies as well as safe and healthy cosmetics – it is beautiful.

Balans Studio of Boston | 376 Boylston St, Suite 301 | Boston, MA 02116 | 617.450.8333

Wishing you a day filled with wellness,
~Emmanuelle
Xo

 

 

About Emmanuelle

Event Planning & Public Relations in the Boston Area specializing in fashion, beauty, textiles & consumer goods.
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