Lilly Baty has been in the skin care profession for 31 years, and practicing therapeutic massage for 30 years. Her love for bodywork came after she was injured in a serious auto accident. She received daily bodywork treatments and believes it was the key to her complete recovery. Lilly approaches her work with compassion, sensitivity, awareness and technical expertise through a combination of powerful healing techniques. This month we spoke with Lilly to learn more about her practice here in Ashland.
Hi Lilly, thanks so much for speaking with us today. You’ve been a longtime resident here in Ashland and also a longtime massage therapist and licensed esthetician. Many locals may remember you from working at the Sunshine Salon or seeing you around town.
I love Ashland, it’s a great place to meet people – locals and those from out of town. When the Sunshine Salon was located out on North Main, I moved my business there from Grants Pass in 1997, and then later we moved to downtown on Oak St. I worked at Sunshine Salon for a total of eighteen years.
Lilly, please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you first got started in your field.
On my fifteenth birthday, I received my social security card and felt I was a grown up and ready to get a job away from home. I was raised on a remote farm and we had just moved into the city. So it took some courage for me to just walk into a pharmacy that had a cosmetic bar, and ask the owner if she would be my mentor and share her expertise about skin care, cosmetics and how to be a salesperson. She said yes. That was the beginning of my interest in cosmetology, which later led me to becoming an esthetician. My interest in becoming a massage therapist came later in life after raising my three girls and having the car accident.
Was there anything in particular that caught your attention about the career?
I found that I liked working with people of all ages, and helping them to feel good about themselves gave me a lot of confidence.
Then in 1982, you had a very serious car accident which changed your life. Please tell us about this experience and how it changed your life.
Yes, my life was changed and turned upside down both physically and emotionally. I had serious injuries to my spine, leg and face. I felt like this was it. Then an inner voice said, “you can’t leave yet, you have more work/service to do.” So I painfully embarked on months of therapy which included Shiatsu, massage therapy, chiropractic treatments and weight bearing exercises. I healed completely, and so my interest in becoming a therapeutic massage therapist was born.
Working with emotional stress has been something you often assist your clients with. Please tell us more.
Many emotional traumas can be stored in the tissues at a cellular level if not dealt with. For example, a whiplash from an auto accident can create a lot of pain, fear, anger. A fight-or-flight syndrome response kicks in for survival. It’s a cellular experience, and the body, mind and spirit wants to take back its power and become strong. A couple of techniques I use (Myofascial release and Craniosacral) help bring to the surface emotional patterns and belief systems that are no longer relevant or are impeding progress. This all helps reduce emotional stress.
Over the years, you have also had vast experience in working with others who have experienced a serious trauma in their life. How did the the experience of your car accident prepare you for this?
Having the good fortune to work in chiropractic offices for many years, my specialization in neck, shoulder and low back pain was essential in being able to help my clients, all of whom were auto accident cases. From my accident I knew their pain and struggle and I knew how to listen and touch them with compassion. I learned that to truly heal, I needed to move beyond feeling like a victim. I encourage my clients to participate in their recovery process. When they do this there is incredible potential for healing.
You mention that oftentimes victims of trauma just need someone to “hang in there” with them. Please say more.
Some clients, and especially cancer clients, just need a safe place to be quiet, talk, cry or laugh. A soft touch with no judgement is very healing. I love these ‘hang in there’ times with them.
Lilly, I would love for you to share some recent testimonials with us.
Thank you, here are some recent ones:
“I have an old hip injury that flares up often, and every time I go to Lilly because she is incredibly skilled, sensitive, informative and intuitive. She can fully relax and regenerate the area, and I always leave feeling a sense of relief. Also, her facials feel like an exquisite gift to myself and have always cleared up blemishes and left my skin feeling years younger.” – Amirah David
“I have been going to Lilly Baty for massage and facials for the past fifteen years. Lilly is wonderful in the way she creates a soothing ambiance that is so refreshing and soothing. I have really appreciated Lilly’s healing energy and skilled and knowing hands. And the facials Lilly gives are such a treat because as a guy, I didn’t realize that we men have a right to be pampered too! Plus, I always feel younger and more energized when I leave. I feel so grateful that Lilly has been a wonderful and caring resource when I need a massage or facial. Thanks,” Ed Reed, Ashland
“For many years I have received therapeutic massage and wonderful facials from the skilled hands of Lilly Baty. After I had an auto accident that left me dealing with a double whiplash, Lilly used her vast knowledge of therapeutic techniques, such as craniosacral work, to help me to recover range of motion and strength to my neck. Not only is Lilly very skilled but her presence and loving touch is something to experience! I highly recommend what she has to offer.” – Chris Reed
“Due to a recent ski injury, I had been suffering continual and sometime debilitating stiffness in my back and neck. Lilly’s subtly powerful and effective massage left me feeling relaxed, refreshed, and much more mobile.” – Ryan Said
“Lilly Baty is the most professional, knowledgeable and intuitive massage therapist I have ever had. Lilly has helped me tremendously over the years with my lower back and neck issues. Because of her skills, I am able to walk and perform everyday chores. I am forever grateful and look forward to more massages from Lilly’s healing and magical hands!” – JLS
“Lilly is my go-to girl! Every facial that I have received from her has been a wonderful, relaxed and safe experience. My skin feels alive, glowing and well nourished. Love the Pevonia products!” – Lucinda Paul
I see that you use several techniques in your massage practice. Can you briefly tell me what they are, and how do you decide which one to use?
Sometimes my regular clients just ask for their favorite like a general Swedish massage or Sabai Stone Therapy. With all new clients I do an evaluation to determine the best therapeutic approach to use. The therapy techniques I use most are:
Myofascial release focuses on the area of chronic muscle tension and pain. It involves stretching the muscle fibers, removing the restriction that impedes movement. This increases the energy flow and restores postural alignment which reduces pain.
Craniosacral therapy is a form of bodywork that I often use in conjunction with Myofascial release. It is a gentle, non-invasive method that addresses the bones of the head, spinal column and sacrum. The goal is to release constriction in those areas which alleviates stress and pain. My clients find this technique very relaxing as it is calming to the nervous system.
Advanced Swedish-Esalen – This massage method can involve deep tissue work followed by the Esalen approach which ends the massage with long strokes that soothe and calm the muscles.
Shiatsu – This is an ancient Japanese massage which uses fingers to apply pressure to specific acupressure meridian points on the body. It also involves specific stretching techniques to release deep muscle tension which increases flexibility. This is a good therapy to use for stress related health issues. It increases energy and vitality, promotes recovery from injuries and strengthens internal organs.
Sabai Hot Stone Therapy – This is a wonderful, relaxing massage that uses malachite and zinc stones which are heated and placed on the back. Extra hot stones are used for a general massage on the rest of the body. Repeat on stomach and chest. This has so many benefits which includes boosting lymphatic circulation, eliminating toxins, alleviates stress and fatigue, and increases blood circulation and oxygenation.
I also want to mention that I have a wonderful hydraulic table that powers very low, so that anyone with limited mobility can get on the table. It has comfortable arm rests too!
Lilly, please tell us about the facial side of your business.
I am a state licensed esthetician trained to analyze skin problems. I customize facials and recommend skin care products based on each client’s individual needs. I work with teenage acne problems as well as aging skin challenges. Using a holistic approach I will often talk about healthy food choices that help skin conditions. For example, I encourage teenagers with acne to stop eating sugar, white flour products, and fried foods. Within two weeks many see a marked improvement in their skin.
My facials are a wonderful spa experience. I begin each facial with a face and neck massage that lifts and strengthens the muscles and increases blood flow, which in turn releases toxins that can cause blemishes. I use acupressure points that focus on the six facial nerves which releases stress in the face. Stress shows up in the face which is aging and makes you look tired. If the client is interested, I give them instructions on how to do home face lift exercises.
Next, I cleanse the face using an appropriate cleanser. Then the pores are opened and the face hydrated with a facial steamer followed by a special exfoliating brush to remove dead skin cells. I use warm facial towels infused with Young Living essential oils to finish cleansing the skin. This is followed by a customized organic mask tailored to the client’s skin type and or condition if a problem needs to be addressed. Next comes an organic toner and moisturizer to complete the facial. I also do facial waxing and eyebrow shaping.
Other spa treatments I offer are Pevonia’s de-aging tropical body scrubs, wraps and foot treatments.
Often clients will come in for both a massage and a facial, which allows you to spend even more time with them.
Yes, many of my clients like to really treat themselves to a facial, massage and/or a body scrub or wrap which means they are with me for up to four hours! I really enjoy spending more time with each person and seeing how much they relax and feel rejuvenated.
What are some of your best skin care tips for our readers young and old?
It’s important to use products that are suited to your skin type. If you don’t know your skin type, ask an esthetician help you.
You need three basic products– a cleanser, an exfoliating product for a weekly scrub, and a good moisturizer. If you can afford it, a toner is great to use after a cleanser to close your pores. Cold water splashed after the cleanser can work as a toner, and rose water is lovely and works also.
Choose products that don’t strip your skin of its natural PH. Look for ‘PH balanced” on label. Of course, wear a natural sunscreen (without chemicals) and a hat!
Lilly, please tell us more about the Pevonia line of products you sell and how they are utilized in your practice.
Pevonia has been in business for twenty years. They sell a line of products that deliver a wide range of skin care solutions. Their ingredients are grown in organic gardens and the fragrances are from natural essential oils made from specific flower and fruit essences. They contain no dyes, alcohol, fillers, mineral oil, paba, or any allergenic or comedogenic (blackheads) ingredients. PH balanced. I use these products in my facials and my clients love how their skin feels! Many say that the Pevonia moisturizers are the only ones they have found that adequately keep their older skin hydrated.
I see that so much of your work has really been a way for you to express and share goodness and joy. Working with people has really been a big calling for you.
Yes, this career is a big calling for me and has been a rewarding journey. It has been a joy and honor to part of their lives.
Finally, many of our readers will be interested in speaking with you and making an appointment. How can they do this?
I have recently moved to the Innovative Physical Therapy and Healing Arts office at 485 East Main Street, Suite 06, in Ashland. It’s across from the fire station. My business name is Lilly’s Therapeutic Massage and Skin Care.
Check out my website. My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call me to make an appointment: (541) 631-1538. I do accept auto accident insurance.
My thanks to you, and to the readers of LocalsGuide. I want to say hello to my old and new clients — call just to say hi!
485 East Main Street, Suite 06, Ashland
Check out her website here