By Natasha Anderson
Sleep has been a lifelong struggle for massage therapist Rebekah Delling. A night owl by nature, her difficulty functioning in a world designed for early birds was compounded by the fact that she grew up on a ranger station in the midst of the Pocono Mountains. “Something was always going bump in the night outside my window,” she says. “Bears or raccoons getting into garbage cans. Bobcats yowling. Screech owls screeching.”
Even though Delling knew she was safe, the situation gave her severe sleep anxiety that lasted through middle school. The anxiety returned in 2014 when, living in a wooded area outside Pittsburgh, she heard coyotes in her yard. “Logically, I knew they could not hurt me, but anxiety is seldom logical,” she says. “It was then that I started researching sleep and how I, as a wellness practitioner, could combine the wisdom of sleep science with massage and meditation techniques.”
Delling graduated from American Medical Careers in 2000 with a degree in massage therapy. She has earned certifications in areas including medical massage, sleep science and sleep coaching. In 2016, Delling was recruited as a member of the Wellness Team for the PGA US Open. After owning the Hampton Holistic Center in Pittsburgh for 13 years, she moved to WNC and opened the Hypnotic Massage and Sleep Boutique in Tryon in 2021. The boutique offers sleep support products, supplements, essential oils and lotions. A signature Hypnotic Sleep Massage is offered, along with other massages to help common sleep disruptors like pain and anxiety. The Hypnotic Sleep Massage includes an assessment and coaching session.
“Poor sleep is usually caused by an underlying issue such as stress, anxiety, pain, illness or a chronic condition,” says Delling. “If something comes up in the assessment that is beyond my scope of practice, such as indicators of sleep apnea, I recommend the client seek appropriate medical care.”
After the assessment, clients receive a personalized sleep plan before beginning their massage on a heated table. Delling engages their parasympathetic system through rocking and rhythmic pressure combined with point and energy work. At the end of the massage, she takes them through guided meditation designed to wake them up if they are asleep and gives them techniques inspired by hypnotic suggestion to help them recreate this state at home.
“After my first massage, I slept so much better,” says client Samuel Castillo, of Inman, SC.
“Therapeutic massage shouldn’t be considered a luxury, in my opinion,” says Delling. “It’s a health maintenance practice that requires regular treatments.”
Hypnotic Massage & Sleep Boutique is located at 112 North Trade Street, Suites 3 and 13, in Tryon. To learn more, visit HypnoticSleepMassage.com or call 828.351.7193.