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Published January 02, 2014, 01:46 PM

A coach for the soul: Massage therapist expands practice to body, mind and soul

FARGO – In the midst of a difficult divorce two years ago, Nancy Thomas needed a massage. When she arrived for her appointment, Karissa Brusseau worked on more than her muscles. “She said to me, ‘Is anybody in there? Where are you?’ ” Thomas recalls. “I was so blown away.”

By: Sherri Richards, INFORUM

FARGO – In the midst of a difficult divorce two years ago, Nancy Thomas needed a massage.

When she arrived for her appointment, Karissa Brusseau worked on more than her muscles.

“She said to me, ‘Is anybody in there? Where are you?’ ” Thomas recalls. “I was so blown away.”

Thomas told Brusseau about being blindsided by the divorce after 21 years of marriage. She said she didn’t know how she could move on.

“You need to look in a mirror and tell yourself every day, ‘I am enough,’ ” Brusseau told Thomas.

That same day, Thomas, now 48, had those words of encouragement tattooed on her left forearm. It was her first tattoo.

She began regular appointments with Brusseau, who through the years has expanded her massage therapy practice beyond the body to the mind and soul.

Brusseau, 33, is a certified soul and past-life coach. She also does CranioSacral therapy, reiki and intuitive consulting through her business, Lotus Touch, located inside Anderson Family Chiropractic in Fargo. She leads classes, workshops and speaks at holistic expos, and also does phone and email readings and coaching.

“I think God put Karissa in my path on purpose,” Thomas says. “She definitely connected what I needed connecting.”

Thomas would lie quietly while Brusseau gave her visions to meditate. She suggested books to read about soul journeying. They talked about seeing her aura in color.

“She worked my body, mind and spirit all together and made it one,” Thomas says.

Thomas has since moved to Jamestown, N.D. Many of the things she placed on the soul vision collage board Brusseau helped her create – a quieter life, happiness, true love – are now in her life, she says.

“Everything has to be connected as one for you to be able to move forward and think clearly and find what you want and how you do it,” Thomas says.

In June 2011, Brusseau went to Summerhill Ranch, the California home of author Denise Linn, to attend Linn’s International Institute of Soul Coaching. Brusseau says she was looking for a place of healing after the 2010 death of her father and, two months later, her newborn son’s surgery to correct a heart defect.

Brusseau did yoga, meditated as she ate, and walked through the ranch’s labyrinth.

“It was a sacred journey into my soul as profound insight surfaced deep inside of me,” she says of the experience.

Brusseau says soul coaching “helps you get to who you are authentically.”

It’s different than talk therapy that focuses on your emotions, or motivational life coaching.

“Soul coaching gets to the root of what your soul wants to say,” she says.

Brusseau says through relaxation and guided meditation, she can help people get to the underlying reason they can’t lose weight, or break self-sabotaging thought patterns.

She combines her services as clients want.

“We just want to get to that source of where we’re from and it’s a place of love,” Brusseau says. “I feel like I’m a huge bridge.”

Marcia Walhaug, of Kenmare, N.D., met Brusseau at an event where she was doing 15-minute chair massages.

Walhaug says that short session eased debilitating pain in her neck and shoulders.

She started making the 320-mile trip for massage, reiki treatments and soul coaching.

“I have to admit I was scared to look in to myself because of what I might see,” Walhaug says. “You’ve got to unburden all that stuff we don’t realize we’re still carrying around.”

The 66-year-old retired teacher says the sessions have helped her lose weight and gain inner strength.

When Walhaug’s home burned Dec. 13, those around her expressed disbelief at her sense of peace. She even joked that it was OK all her clothes burned, because she’d dropped a size.

“I have the strength to deal with this, and I really give her a lot of the credit,” Walhaug says. “She’s just powerful.”

Business profile

What: Lotus Touch

Ownership: Karissa Brusseau, licensed massage therapist

Where: 4132 30th Ave. S., Suite 102, Fargo

Hours: By appointment

Contact: (701) 866-6269 or sacredsouls@live.com

Online: www.soul-coaching.com or www.facebook.com/karissa.brusseau

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556

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