Healing From Within
Linda Marrical of The Healing Touch Center offers holistic options to help clients recover from trauma and build curative connections with the world around them.
by Erica Young

The past 18 months have tested the resolve of people around the world. Some have had to rebuild their lives and find a new path forward. Others have had to cope with months of isolation and fear. Others have struggled with sickness, or even had to contend with the deaths of loves ones. The stresses that result from such challenging events manifest in a variety of ways, including emotionally, mentally, and physically. 
Linda Marrical, ABT, is all too aware of how trauma and personal journeys can impact the body. As the owner and founder of The Healing Touch Center in Havertown, she has dedicated her life to holistic treatments that heal the body and the mind. 
Linda is a Certified Acupressure and Shiatsu Massage Practitioner, as well as a Certified IFS—short for Internal Family Systems—Practitioner. Her practice incorporates Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM), among other disciplines, rooted in knowledge from as far back as 4,000 years ago. 
Linda began her studies in shiatsu massage 25 years ago, and then learned acupressure and Chinese medicine. She even spent time in Tibet and studied Tibetan medicine, which incorporates CCM with Ayurvedic medicine from India. Such in-depth research gave her a guide, of sorts, as she created the model of practice at The Healing Touch Center. 
“When I began studying these different practices, I was able to apply these mind/body associations into my practice,” she says. “I was able to see that there was no contemporary model that would apply to our modern culture. It was at this time I came across Internal Family Systems, and studied under Dr. Richard Schwartz, the founder of IFS. I found a therapy model that was very body-centered, and I was certified to also become an IFS practitioner. 
“With this,” she continues, “we have a marriage of Taoism and Western mind/body approaches, allowing me to modernize the language around these specialties to work in the world we are living in today.” 

A Modern Approach
Linda treats a wide variety of difficulties, including all types of chronic pain, the effects of trauma, addictions, panic attacks, PTSD, and end of life/hospice. Her approach includes a variety of treatment options, including somatic therapy treatment focused on acupressure, shiatsu massage, 
and mind/body processing, a Chi Kung energy movement class, and working group courses. Somatic therapy works to connect pains that a person may be experiencing in their body with mental and emotional pains. By understanding these responses, she can work closely with clients to help them heal.
“With each thing I offer, it’s great to work in combination with general practitioners, therapists, and other areas of medicine,” she says. “When working with the body, emotions are termed as ‘feelings’ because we experience a sensation of energy that moves in the body in response to an object or situation. The sensation that arises from a particular object is unique to each of us as it is based on our experiences, judgments, beliefs, both known and unknown.” 
When there is a belief that a feeling or emotion will overpower a person’s internal system, the individual may “lock up” certain areas of the body, according to Linda. The body uses muscles to prevent feeling the sensation and fool the brain into believing that we are not scared, angry, sad, etc., thereby resulting in areas of chronic pain. 
“My treatments are about what the somatic therapeutic treatments feel like on the body,” she adds. “Trauma occurs and nails us in three directions—mentally, emotionally, and physically. The most common kind of protection against trauma is dissociation. So, the goal is to heal from that trauma. My treatments work with physical dissociation, to learn how to hold space for these issues in a way that is safe and controlled.”
A visit to The Healing Touch Center begins with a conversation before the bodywork session. By understanding the obstacles that may be blocking a patient’s path, Linda can help the individual move forward. 
“Getting a sense of what is going on is essential,” she says. “When someone is in pain, holding tension with the muscles to avoid ‘feelings,’ there’s no space for them to be present in the body and be with the part of themselves that is needing to be heard. You can’t get away from pain unless you’re able to be present with it. So, I have many techniques as a somatic practitioner that help my client be present with what they feel on the body in a way that does not feel overwhelming.” 

Coming Together
With all clients, Linda stresses the need to reflect on how the pandemic may have affected them, if not physically, then certainly from a mental and emotional perspective. 
“Everyone to some level has been traumatized by this pandemic,” she says. “If there is a part of us that feels like this is going to become overwhelming, that is trauma. With the lockdowns and quarantines and everything else that has happened, people are afraid to be near people. They’re hurting, and they are afraid to have that connection. So, we can begin to heal those traumas and have that physical connection in a way that is both noninvasive and controlled.” 
The Healing Touch Center is now accepting new clients for Assisted Release Somatic Therapy acupressure/shiatsu sessions, the Chi Kung Energy Movement class, and individuals who want to participate in small group sessions. The Tao of the Seasons will start in September for people interested in rebuilding connections in a post-pandemic world. These in-person programs will help participants explore the positive changes they want to create in their lives. 
“In the Tao of the Seasons group, we’re going through each season in the view of Taoism’s five elements, to see how we can use that to create what we want in our life,” she says. “I want these people to feel connected to each other and to feel safe. This is about what people are experiencing with the disconnect from the pandemic. The intention is to get people to be together in a way that is safe and supported.”
Linda says she supports her clients to find healthy ways to create a more balanced approach to pain and trauma. 
“It’s changing your responses to what comes at you from reactive to proactive,” she adds. “Healing does not mean never feeling pain again; it means that when we do, what we feel is about what is going on in the moment. It is not mixed up with disassociated feeling from past experiences, and that gives us choice in our response. It is through the development of this conscious awareness that we can begin to create the life we want to live.”

Linda Marrical, ABT, Certified IFS Practitioner
The Healing Touch Center, LLC
17 Mifflin Ave., Suite 204
Havertown, PA 19083
(610) 449 3589

Photography by Jeff Anderson

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, August 2021.