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What is the story behind
"Awareness Massage",
my business name & logo?


Before graduating from massage school in 1996, I sought a name for my massage practice.  One day after receiving a session from me, a bird loving practice client suggested the name “Aware Nest Massage” because in receiving the work she imagined herself to be in a safe nest where she became aware of herself.

I immediately embraced the symbolism and the feel of the “aware nest” image.  I changed the spelling to Awareness Massage because I like its flow.   I also like having symbolic layers of meaning for the name of my practice.

swan by jake arnautoff

This painting by Jake Arnautoff hangs in my office.* Jake’s swan reminds me of “The Ugly Duckling” story by Hans Christian Anderson. 

In this story a baby swan who was raised by a duck mother feels ugly because he looks and acts different than his duck siblings. After he is grown one day he notices his reflection in the water and has an epiphany: he sees that HE IS BEAUTIFUL, JUST THE WAY HE IS!!!

The most transformative massages I have received have helped me at times when I've been "in the midst of maddness" to feel my own beauty, inside and out, just the way I am.  In sharing the loving touch of lomilomi with my patients, I'm priviledged to be able to reflect their beauty back to them, so that they too can deeply know how beautiful they are, just the way they are!

My artist friend Art Koyano drew my beautiful Awareness Massage logo.  It depicts an “aware nest” as a pair of hands in which a little swan rests.
My hope in sharing massage with you is to create a nest like environment where healing happens on many levels.

corner of my studio
O wau wale no,
Barbara Helynn Heard


* I saw Jake weekly for years, and helped him minimize the challenges he faced from Parkinson’s disease.

Having Jake’s paintings in my office keeps his spirit and his love with me, though he “walked the rainbow” in 2007. Here is a photo of one corner of my studio. Can you feel how these paintings by Jake bring lovely afternoon and nighttime energy to my space!