Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Stevens.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
How do you know what you want to be when you grow up? In middle age, I think I finally figured it out and am deeply satisfied working in health and wellness! However, my journey started once I graduated from CSU with a degree in Technical Journalism.
I accepted a job in Seattle, WA, and worked over three years in news and video production, but was left feeling miserable most of the time. A Colorado native, I longed for the sun! – and moved back to the Denver area accepting a job in marketing for a design firm. I learned a great deal about business and management, but still longed for something more.
I developed a passion for health and wellness during my stay in Seattle, and while I worked in the corporate world for a long time, I always felt drawn to helping others to heal and to feel better. I began looking for that “right something” that made me feel whole and enthusiastic. In my search, I saw a magazine with a kayaker on the cover and the title read “massage saved me in the water”. I was a kayaker, so this sparked my interest.
Up to this point, I had enjoyed a “luxurious” massage from time to time, but I never considered that it could be more than a fun day at the spa. I started reading about massage and its amazing benefits and toured local massage schools. When I entered the Colorado School of Healing Arts, my heart sang: “this is the place for you”. One year later, I was a certified and licensed massage therapist and I opened my practice in Arvada. That was 16 years ago!
Providing deeply therapeutic massage (and receiving regular massage) has been an amazing source of gratitude and appreciation for the body, and the mind/body connection. We are amazing creatures, capable of so much, and I am honored to support people in their healing. Massage therapy is hard on my body too though. I needed to expand my skills and services and decided that my love for nutrition and healthy living would be a huge benefit to my practice.
I completed my certification as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and most recently became a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Health coaching is an amazing opportunity to help others to create better, healthier habits. Yet people were mostly seeking quick weight loss solutions and I soon realized that I did not want to be in the dieting game.
Watching friends and loved ones struggle through diets (and struggling myself at one time) made me think “there has to be a better way”. This is when I discovered mindfulness and I began studies in Mindful Eating which is a refreshing approach to eating and loving yourself! I am now a Mindful-Based Eating (MB-Eat) instructor helping others to eat mindfully breaking the dieting cycle and connecting them to their bodies.
Learning to be mindful was a challenge though. It made me face many inner struggles with compassion and love. My inner struggles revealed something shocking: “I am not healthy.” Here I was, a massage therapist and health coach, and my adrenals were fatigued, I was diagnosed with IBS, and with Vasovagal Syncope (after fainting late at night, four times in a row). Mindfulness revealed how much I was burying my emotions, eating mindlessly, and flooding my system with cortisol from high levels of stress.
I did not want this to be me. I started meditating to reduce stress, stopped doing cross-fit (which was too intense for my body), and researched the effects of emotions on our body, mind, and diet. I no longer faint; I’m no longer convinced that I have IBS, and I’m a healthy weight. I wrote about that experience and what I learned in my book – Food, Feelings, and Freedom: The End to Emotional Eating.
The combination of massage and mindfulness has been a wonderful success in business and my life. In 2022, I was able to grow and expand with staff, opening Boundless Body and Wellness in West Arvada. I now have 6 staff in massage therapy, health coaching, acupuncture, energy work, and yoga working in an integrative way to treat the whole person – mind/body/spirit.
We also offer wellness classes for the community and team with local artists to share their work in our gallery. Art and health together – how beautiful! Today, I feel strong, energized, capable and joyful. All the things that are “healthy”. Because I am healthy, I can help others to be healthy, and am loving every minute of the journey!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Sometimes the road has been a scenic, Sunday drive; other times, it’s more like a game of Mario Kart! Regardless the journey has been worth it. The struggles in my health came from my original lack of knowledge, a few examples of “being healthy” while growing up, and my inability to ask for help. I’ve always been a go-getter and go-giver used to “doing it all”.
Originally, I didn’t reach out and connect with people who could help. Yet, that made all the difference – I began to feel healthy when I found “my tribe”; people who moved their bodies, ate lovely, nutritious foods, and were excited to try new things. People who could act as mentors and friends supporting me in my success. Another struggle showed up simply in doing too much. Mindfulness taught me to listen to my body.
What is right for one person may not be right for me. I needed to be more gentle and kind to myself, stopping self-criticism and showing gratitude for all my body and mind do for me every day. As a small business owner, my struggles relate to the challenge of “being all things, all the time”. I am the accountant, the receptionist, the therapist, the marketer, the social media manager, the janitor, and more.
Again, at first, I tried to do it alone. I thought, “I’m a smart woman, I got this.” Now, I have a full network of people I can go to with questions or just to vent. If you are starting, your own business, seek out support and resources! Expanding the business has been a recent struggle, simply in navigating the policies and procedures for hiring and managing staff, the extra state legalities, and the added promotion of new services.
But this struggle is managed because I ask for help and seek out the sources which will guide me to positive solutions. (I’m noticing a theme here – seek support.) Another struggle is being a mompreneur. I have two teen boys and it is a challenge to balance work time with family time. It is difficult at times, to focus on work when I want to be with my family, or go on a big adventure.
Finding time to be with my husband and kids – fully present and engaged – is so important to me, yet I still struggle a bit with maintaining that balance. Still, I feel proud that my boys can see their mom succeeding in doing something that she loves and making her path!
As you know, we’re big fans of Boundless Body and Wellness. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Boundless Body and Wellness exists to help others to overcome their physical and emotional pain. We do this through an integrated practice of massage therapy, acupuncture, energy therapy, trauma touch therapy, health coaching, and yoga. We treat the three bodies – physical (the soft tissues and structures), thinking (the mind and the gut-brain), and ethereal (the space and energy we occupy and reflect).
Our massage work is truly therapeutic; we work to bring your muscles and tissues back into full function while easing tension, reducing stress, and aligning the body. To do this, we use all the “tools’ – Swedish, neuromuscular, deep tissue, myofascial release, and sports techniques. We are knowledgeable in neuroscience-based and trauma-informed teachings for pain and performance, understanding the role of the brain and nervous system in recovery.
We use all our tools in an integrative approach to entice a response and release from your body. Along with the therapeutic work, we also offer prenatal and postpartum massage using the BodySystem cushions to allow pregnant women to lie face down during their massage! It’s the best, especially in the third trimester. Moving the body (and keeping it moving) is important to overall health, so we offer yoga classes and private yoga instruction to keep you in the flow.
Our yoga classes are specific to certain conditions (for example: yoga for back pain) and are workshop-style where you learn self-care techniques to keep the movement going at home too. Our acupuncturist is amazing and uses her expertise to get to the root cause of illness and dis-ease. Her treatments are great for physical areas that feel “nervy” or “stuck” such as frozen shoulder or plantar fasciitis. She works with hormonal imbalances, digestive disturbances, and insomnia too. We’ve had great success with clients who combine massage and acupuncture in their self-care.
Energy therapy at Boundless is a combination of Reiki and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as Tapping. Energy therapy seeks to restore the flow of energy and to provide balance through immediate stress reduction, relaxation, reduction of anxiety and pain, and activating your body’s natural ability to heal itself promoting overall well-being.
I’m thrilled to offer my services as a Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach to help you with stress management and emotional resiliency. Through specialized Health Coaching techniques, I work to align you with your values and purpose, while providing methods to lower cortisol and tune into your feelings.
I help you to understand your relationships – to food, to others, to work, and to yourself. I use mindfulness techniques to identify the diet, movement, and activities that make YOU healthy, not something generic and “one size fits all” as you are unique in your needs and motivations. Health coaching guides you in breaking habits that do not support your health, and outlining the habits that do!
My book (Food, Feelings, and Freedom: The End to Emotional Eating) is a major support in overcoming unbalanced and emotional eating. We all have emotions, so you are likely an emotional eater, which is not bad unless it controls your life and health. Recognizing how chemicals (neurotransmitters and hormones), learned behaviors and our gut have a direct influence on our eating choices is powerful.
Once you know what is happening in your body, you can make thoughtful choices to eat for you (without a strict diet). We offer all of this in a relaxed wellness space with local artists highlighting their work on our walls. There is new art every few months. You can grab a cup of hot tea, sit with art and give yourself the time and space to heal!
What sets us apart? We are deeply committed to your well-being and consistently looking for ways to better support you in your health journey. That may be something as simple as sending a message to check in on your progress, or as advanced as getting certified in a new technique. We want you to feel your best!
We also know our anatomy and physiology – know it. And we know the way the mind influences release and recovery. We work with your body, encouraging movement, relaxation, and ease. I also make massage lotions to provide non-toxic, skin-nourishing ingredients and I add products (only the ones I research and trust) to the wellness center when they can serve clients’ needs. We also include high-quality essential oils and/or CBD-enhanced lotions in the massages.
Recently, we started planting trees for every session booked. Our Boundless forest has over 1,000 trees planted to date. Just one of the ways we give back – putting more oxygen and breathing life into our bodies!
I think I am the proudest of the way the business has grown over the years simply by giving the best of myself (and I know my staff does too) and by remaining client and heart-centered! I love the connection to our clients and seeing their progress toward better health and self-love. Our work at Boundless Body and Wellness is always about genuine compassion and expert support!
What are your plans for the future?
I see Boundless Body and Wellness as a deep dive into breath and body connection. We already offer meditation classes as part of our wellness workshops and teach people how to breathe and connect to their bodies. I continue my education in breathwork and seek to pull this breath awareness into a larger benefit for clients. Breath is life and the simple act of inhaling/exhaling influences everything in mind and body well-being.
I am also currently pursuing an advanced certificate as a Dietary Supplements Advisory where I will be able to provide expert knowledge on safe, effective, and responsible supplementation in the diet.
Staff is trained in Trauma Touch Therapy which is a specialized type of bodywork to access and release traumas in the body. I see us working more with mental health professionals to provide somatic release of long-held emotions and traumas – a somewhat new and effective approach to mental wellness.
I see us continuing to grow, offering more services, and finding new ways to give back to our community. And of course, we will continue to grow Boundless forest with the client’s continued support. Mostly, as a business owner and entrepreneur, I love this opportunity to create. “Thoughts create your results” and I’m excited to use positive thinking to create positive changes in people’s lives! I’m lucky and thrilled to have staff who hold the same vision and work to bring the best out of Boundless Body and Wellness.
- Services range from $55 to $135
- Wellness classes start at $15
- Food Freedom book available on the website at $25
- Website: www.YouAreBoundless.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amberstevens.boundless/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Amber.Stevens.You.Are.Boundless
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amber-stevens-81b6b41a/
Good Morrow Photography – Natalie Morrow