Creating the life you want takes time, dedication, and commitment. We set out to follow our dreams and slowly but surely build our way there one step at a time. In today’s interview I speak with Shannon and Nathan Tinder. Best friends, lovers, and business partners, they have worked together to fulfill their dreams, to raise a family, build a home, and run a professional and successful healing practice in Ashland, Oregon. In my talk with Shannon and Nathan, I learn more about their grounded and pragmatic process for setting ambitious goals in life and in healing. They talk about their individual techniques, backgrounds and skill sets that weave together in supporting one another. In particular I was struck with a deeply shared connection and joy that they have in being together and helping their clients.
Hi Shannon and Nathan, welcome to LocalsGuide and thank you for taking the time to speak with us today about your practice here in Ashland, Oregon.
Thanks! We are so grateful to share with you all in the LocalsGuide Community.
We are partners in life and business. It all began on an Arizonan hillside in the spring of 2005 while harvesting wild oats to make medicine. There was an immediate spark when we shared our life visions of earth-based health and wellness. We’ve now journeyed through homesteading, raising two boys, permaculture and re-wilding retreat businesses, and now the opening of our wellness center in Ashland. We feel so blessed to thoroughly enjoy co-creating together and being a source of inspiration for each other and sharing that with the world.
This sounds very fortuitous. What pragmatic steps did you both begin to take in co-creating your lives together?
Shannon: It really began before we even met, with each of us putting our manifestation skills to use. We were each speaking as though the other was already in our life and made physical empty space for this beloved. I would say things like “I love how you adore me. I love the massages you give me. I love how special you make me feel.” I’d say these to that imaginary beloved next to me. I also emptied out a dresser drawer, making space for that beloved and placed in there my very specific list of qualities I desired in him. Amazingly, we were both doing this! When we create sacred space, we create a vacuum for intention to fill. This has been our philosophy throughout our relationship, dreaming up our life and then making the space for it to arrive. Oh, and remembering a grateful heart which is truly the best medicine.
You each have very interesting skill sets in what you have both been trained in. Shannon, can you tell us about your own background and then you, Nathan?
Shannon: We are both seekers of knowledge and forever learning. I laugh at the ever-revolving 8+ books by our bedsides. I’d always wanted to be a doctor but was very disheartened by the system once in college, so I turned to vocational trainings. I began with herbalism 18 years ago where I became a clinical herbalist with the Northwest School for Botanical Studies. Later while working as an herbalist in Arizona, I attended Southwest Institute of Healing Arts where I completed an extensive program covering Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofascial, Reiki, and Acupressure, with specialties in Craniosacral Unwinding and Polarity therapies. While raising my boys, I studied midwifery and worked some as a doula, but mostly focused on homesteading and family. In our move to Ashland 4 years ago, I looked at how I could bring all of my work together – my love of the body, women’s health, and energy medicine and studied with Tami Kent for Holistic Pelvic Care. At the same time, Nathan was getting into sound healing. One amazing evening at a sound bath in Ashland, I was awakened to the power of sound and began studying Biofield Tuning with Eileen Day McKusick. This work is central to all my current offerings.
Nathan: I’ve always been fascinated with the wilderness. Growing up in Salt Lake City, I’d escape to the Wasatch Mountains and the Canyonlands of Southern Utah whenever possible. I spent most of my senior year of college interning for Tom Brown, expert wilderness tracker on the East Coast. I played division one football for the University of Utah, which gave me my hard work ethic and core strength. I could have pursued professional football but saw that my path was one outside of the box and turned to the mountains for life. I worked with troubled youth in wilderness therapy for many years. I trained in tracking, guiding, wilderness living skills, and nature awareness. I climbed every mountain I set out to climb. My specialty became fire making and creation story through the hand drill. I’ve taught this primitive, sacred way of fire all over the West Coast to all ages. Shannon and I met at a wilderness retreat center in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona where I learned permaculture, farming, animal husbandry, herbalism and homesteading. This is the place that became the foundation of our vision together. Four years ago I decided to pursue massage education formally. I was blessed to spend many months at Esalen Hot Springs and Harbin Hot Springs, receiving the foundation of my massage education and then finished it at Ashland Institute of Massage.
Nathan, can you please tell me about the name you chose, Sacred Living Center?
Nathan: Yes, this name really excites us! We wanted a name that was dynamic, alive and speaks to what our vision is about – You, and how to help You experience the Sacred in Your Life. What is the Sacred? For us, the experience of the Sacred is a natural experience of Unconditional Love for ourselves and all that is around us. As a Center, we are here to awaken Your own Sacred Living Center. Your Center is a living, dynamic, ever-evolving singularity that is never the same and always in harmony. The Sacred Living Center in Ashland is the home base for our offerings. We can also create Sacred Space anywhere with our mobile massage studio, mobile sauna, and beautiful lounge and temple spaces.
Shannon, can you please give us a brief overview of the services that you both are providing?
Shannon: We offer regenerative therapies for the body, mind, and spirit. We both offer various forms of massage that can be deep or light, and include sound therapies. Our massage modalities cover Esalen, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofascial, Neuromuscular Technique, Lomi Lomi, Cupping, and Pregnancy. In addition to massage, our offerings include Holistic Pelvic Care, Biofield Tuning, Yoni Steaming, Bulk Herbs and a variety of local herbal products. Our skill sets allow us to cater each session to the specific needs of the client. Sometimes people show up and we intuit together what’s best for them that day. We love being flexible and having many tools in our tool bag.
Shannon, can you talk more about the services you provide and who they are best suited for?
Shannon: I’ve come to specialize in women’s health in a variety of ways – Holistic Pelvic Care, Energy Balancing through vibrational alignment, Pregnancy and Postpartum massage, pelvic steam baths, herbs for nourishing and reproductive health, and flower essence remedies. My work supports all women at any age, whether they’ve had children or not. Some of the areas I work with are fertility, cycle regulation, PMS, trauma, shame, pelvic congestion, low libido, and loss. We hold so much in our bodies and field that ends up affecting our physical health. I clear the drag from the system and help one’s inner radiance shine.
I’ve also developed some very specific ways to support the new mom by helping increase her vital energy in the postpartum phase. In our society, the new mama is so undernourished in the transformative time of the fourth trimester. I feel blessed to be part of the new paradigm shifting this in our culture.
Massage and Biofield Tuning can be for anyone. I work with all ages and client needs. I love helping one reset their inner rhythm through long, soothing, nurturing massage and the harmonizing effects of Biofield Tuning. Some reasons why people see me are: to shift limiting beliefs, to calm the mind and nervous system, grief, physical pain, or just to feel supported and good!
Shannon: Biofield Tuning is at the heart of our work as being tuned creates coherent space for healing to happen in the body. It’s pretty simple – we are all vibration and this vibration doesn’t stop at our physical boundaries. We have an electromagnetic field 5-6 feet around us called the biofield or energetic fascia. Stresses in life happen and create dissonance in our body inside and out. I like to give the example of a tissue to represent our fascia and energetic fascia. When something hits us, whether emotional or physical, this fascia responds by twisting and tightening, creating a pull on the rest of the system. You can easily imagine this with a tissue that you put your finger into. Well, imagine what kind of affect that has on the rest of the body. And now imagine this is also happening in the field around you, being hit by traumas, emotions, looping thought patterns. I work with the tuning forks to find these places in the field where one’s sound is off and restore it to its fullness. The forks allow me to hear old stories stuck in the field. I love that this work is being backed by research too. My teacher, Eileen Day Mckusick has trained students all over the world and has a research institute in San Diego where they are repeatedly documenting the same findings by different people in one’s field. She has spoken at the Electric Universe Conference and done various national interviews including an interview show on Gaia TV. This work is the most profound modality I’ve found for producing long lasting positive shift.
You both have been very powerful “manifestors” in your lives together. How do you see this translate into the work you are doing in your healing practice?
Simply – Healing Happens. When we came up with this slogan, we knew it fit us perfect. We do believe in the miraculous shifts in life where one can completely let go and allow. Life is about surrendering to the flow, that flow state that is the present moment. We don’t have anything else in life but Now. Our ability to believe that anything is possible allows us to hold this space for our clients. When grounded, centered space is created – Healing Happens!
I am curious to hear more about what has inspired you both to do the work that you do?
Nathan: Well, I have two women in my life who inspire me – my Mom and my wife. My Mom showed me how to work hard, to believe in myself, and my dreams, and to be totally ok with making mistakes. Shannon has taught me integrity, pure, unconditional love, and shown me a world beyond my wildest dreams. Our kids help us remember to be playful and keep a curious mind. We are both inspired by Don Miquel Ruiz’ work of the Four Agreements – Be Impeccable with Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, and Always Do Your Best. These are the foundation of who we are as well as remembering the magic!
Nathan, please tell us more about your own approach to healing.
Nathan: I give the healing work that I crave. I believe in the innate wisdom the body carries for healing; my job is to awaken the body through the senses and help it remember its perfection. I activate all of my senses and use soft listening hands to hear what the body has to teach me. I enter a flow state of communion with the innate wisdom of the body. I always start with sound, and finish with sound. Sound brings the body into harmony and resonation, when all the beats match in the body, then infinite amounts of space between the beats are created for possibility. When there is noise in the body and mind, created by our chaotic outer world, than there is no space for rest in the body. Our energy cannot rejuvenate and our nervous system gets exhausted. Our society is very tunnel-visioned and senses have atrophied leading to being stuck in one’s head, circling the same thoughts over and over. When teaching nature awareness I teach Receptive Present Awareness, which means listening to nature, feeling the wind on your skin, opening sight awareness, tasting what is on the tongue, listening to all the sounds, smelling all smells. This is the true gem of awareness, being immersed in all the senses, in a timeless state of flow where everything makes “sense”.
I use soft listening hands to provide deep, effective touch. I have always been deeply intuitive, and people appreciate the massages I give. I’ve always loved giving Shannon daily massage and she has been my best teacher. I decided that I wanted to learn how to be more effective and formulated an education suited best for me. I found Esalen Institute, Harbin Healing Arts and Ashland Institute of Massage. I became Esalen Certified, learning long, deep integrative strokes combined with the elements, at hot springs on a cliff above the ocean. The massage is designed to awaken the body through reminding it of its wholeness, paired with deep tissue work – it is very effective. I have brought all of these teachings together to create a truly individual experience where one will always receive a unique massage.
Nathan, please tell us more about the Sensorium. What is it? How does it work and what does it do for your clients?
Nathan: The Sensorium is mobile, climate-controlled treatment room that is in a solar-powered cargo trailer. I designed it to be a sensory appreciation chamber, the opposite of a sensory deprivation chamber. It is a three-year manifestation project that is truly a work of art. I got the inspiration from the mobile sauna I built that is a cedar, wood-fired Finnish sauna, and transforms into sleeping quarters and lounge, complete with a kitchenette in the changing room. I wanted a treatment room that was equally as nice that I could bring with me anywhere and create a Sacred space for transformation. The Sensorium has air conditioning, heat, and a state of the art surround sound system, including a revolutionary immersive design that transmits sound and healing frequencies through the massage table. I use various elixirs to activate taste, chromotherapy lighting, great smelling hydrosols, healing frequencies of the tuning forks and sound system, and deeply, intuitive touch. With all the sensory input, the mind disappears and we experience a state of flow together. Sensorium sessions are available at our Ashland Street location and mobile for gatherings/retreats.
Do you guys work together very often and/or how do you play off of the synergy you share together?
Shannon: We love it when a client wants a session with both of us or one after the other. Our work is really full spectrum in tending to every need of the body. A combined session with Nathan and me looks like intuitive massage from Nathan while receiving tuning fork alignment and energy balancing from me. We also bring our synergistic magic to the festivals we attend with the Sensorium healing studio. We take turns managing the flow and education of customers while the other one gives bodywork inside the Studio. We’ve had amazing responses at these gatherings and have been invited to many along the West Coast. One unique way we’ve conquered the smokey summers here is by taking the Sensorium studio on the road with the family, and giving bodywork in cities along the Coast. Through Facebook and Instagram followings, we are keeping booked on these journeys.
What are some frequent thoughts or feedback you hear from your clients when working with you?
We feel so blessed by the positive responses our clients are having and sharing with us. After a series of sessions with me, one client shared that she felt liberated to take the next steps in her life of opening a new business and pursuing her dreams. Our work together helped her find her innate voice and remove the blocks preventing her from believing in herself. Another client shared:
“Once again, I feel renewed and restored. You lovingly dance around my body and melt all the stress of life away.”
Some other testimonies:
“Shannon has a real sense of intuition when it comes to tailoring her healing modalities to what one needs. I love how she brings it all together and provides a safe, comfortable, peaceful, and healing experience. Regular time with Shannon is a must.”
“Nathan gave me the best massage I have ever received… as a man it isn’t everyday that you find someone who can physically deliver with both the power and the awareness that is required to unwind and heal the body. His intuition is uncanny. I was gifted teachings without words and thorough relaxation by a steadfast, practiced and personal intention that is rare to find anywhere in any craft.”
Who are your ideal clients?
Everyone really! Our work varies so much as to the depths we can go with each client. If one just wants some soothing massage – great, we are here for you. If one wants to explore his or her own depths and have us help – wonderful! We are here to serve clients who are willing participants in their life, ones who know how to take responsibility and prioritize self-care. We are for people who have tried everything else and looking for long lasting relief. We know about the reality of life’s hustle and that to truly be effective in life, it takes a team.
Shannon, what are some of your goals for your practice here in Ashland as you continue to grow?
Shannon: I’m looking forward to doing more group Biofield Tuning sessions both for women only, and mixed groups. I’ve done group sessions at various women’s retreats that were very powerful. We will soon start up a Monday Morning mediation, people can come do a 30-45 minute meditation reset for the week (especially after kiddo drop-off). We will also be expanding our bulk herb section as we find our way with what the community desires. I’ve always felt disappointed in the lack of a full herbal shop in Ashland. There are many places that have some bulk herbs, but nowhere that has met all my needs yet. Maybe we will end up being that one-stop shop place.
You two seem like you have a lot of fun together. I would imagine this also translates into how you relate with your customers.
Shannon: Well, it doesn’t take long to feel the wonderful giddiness from Nathan’s infectious laugh! Our joy does pour forth into every area of our life. We’ve come to be the place where many of our out of town friends come to celebrate their birthdays. We must get at least 6 a year! I know our customers will feel the authenticity and kindness that we radiate in all areas of our life. We truly love seeing everyone feel and be his or her best.
Are there any last thoughts or comments you would like to share with us today?
Come by on Sunday, November 11, from 1-5pm for our Grand Opening Celebration at the new location. We’ll have live music by Daniel Sperry, herbal teas, elixirs, free massage giveaways and lots more! We are so excited to be serving the Southern Oregon Community.
Shannon Tinder LMT #23041 & Nathan Tinder, LMT #023130
1806 Ashland St.
Ashland, OR 97520