Please welcome Chesapeake Holistic’s newest practitioner: Glynda Cullen. She’s a licensed Massage Therapist and a licensed Esthetician. Glynda will begin offering massage and facial treatments at our Annapolis office on May 8!


For some time, CH has been considering adding spa treatments – but we wanted to wait for the right person with holistic training and a warm, open spirit: Glynda!


Q&A with Glynda


Chesapeake Holistic (CH): Tell us a little about your training and credentials…


Glynda Cullen (GC): I graduated from the Baltimore School of Massage in 1999, which, at the time, was privately-owned and a very special holistic environment. While I was in massage school, I worked as a Chiropractic Assistant and enjoyed helping to apply rehabilitative therapies – it really was a foundation for understanding pain referral patterns and the healing process.


After eight years of being a Massage Therapist, I wanted to study skincare; so, I attended the Chesapeake School of Esthetics in Arnold, MD and became an Esthetician.


I’ve also taken many advanced classes over the years regarding massage and skincare.


CH: Tell us more about your journey as a holistic practitioner.


GC: After my husband and I bought our first home on the eastern shore, around 2001, I landed my first spa job (and stayed for seven years)! I was a Massage Therapist at a beautiful bed and breakfast in St. Michaels, MD. It was a lovely backdrop to begin practicing my new skills. I was also the spa’s trainer for new Therapists.


I then began work at a new ‘green’ salon and spa in Annapolis called Varuna Aveda. This bustling business really pushed me to expand my skill level and the variety of techniques I use for facials and massages. I’m so excited to be establishing my practice at CH, but will definitely miss my friends at Varuna.


CH: What holistic approaches influence your practice and specialties?


GC: I’m very drawn to the nurturing and therapeutic value of Lomi Lomi, a Hawaiian form of bodywork. It incorporates the deep and rich Hawaiian knowledge of natural healing from the islands. The smooth and rhythmic forearm strokes feel like ocean waves helping to relieve stress and tension.


I believe true healing comes from nature and this bodywork is rooted in this notion. While it influences my work, I look forward to specializing in Lomi Lomi once I study in Maui, hopefully next year! So far, I’ve taken two Lomi Lomi trainings: one at the Baltimore School of Massage and another on retreat in New Mexico.


As well, I have a background in Ayurveda healing (mind-body science with a meditation focus). The modalities are based on a system of “doshas,” which break all living things down into the dominant natural elements present (e.g., space, air, earth, water and fire). You balance whichever dosha is in excess by incorporating and increasing its opposite element.


I also study Ayurvedic specialties Abhyanga and Shirodhara, which are healing practices from India.


CH: How do these practices extend to your personal life?


GC: Similar to Lomi Lomi, Ayurveda is a system for living in tune with the natural world – which is a very effective daily approach to balance and wellness! Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga.


Yoga helps me to flow through my personal challenges and stress, and it increases my strength, stamina and fortitude. I practice regularly and truly love Yin and Vinyasa yoga.


CH: Tell us what you’re planning for your spa treatment space at CH.


GC: I truly adore all things spa! I’ve been researching a facial product line, and have started ordering all of the products I need to begin a practice at CH. And, I just painted my new CH treatment room!


It’s so important to practice in a well-appointed space designed with natural elements and meant to encourage what I call sacred rest. I incorporate Hawaiian music and art into my practice to keep my heart open and connected to my work. My goal is to create a safe, peaceful space to allow the soul to truly rest.


Laying aside all pressures, worries and concerns enables the best of a client’s and practitioner’s abilities to flourish and become present. I use ocean wave sounds to provide a gentle natural rhythm for the breath to follow and to guide the guest to the calm within.


CH: In addition to a meditative atmosphere, explain a little about your massage techniques.


GC: While clients should keep an eye out for Ayurvedic massage services in the future, we’re starting simple with classic massage and facial options.


I’ve studied and practice Swedish massage, which involves slow, flowing strokes for relaxation
and rejuvenation. I also do deep-tissue to work serious knots in the tissue and fascia; this improves range of motion and decreases muscle pain.


Myofascial massage is another approach I’ll offer at CH: using slow, deep stretches to relax and free up the fascia that surrounds the muscles.
Hot stone massage is one of my favorite modalities. I’m drawn to working with deeply soothing, grounding warm basalt stones. The stones help bring you back down to earth, while soothing deep knots into relaxation. I love to incorporate stones as well as all of the spa extras into every massage (without heaping on extra fees).


Whatever you need: warm stones, essential oils, hot towels… I customize each client’s treatment with all of the extras every time.


CH: What is your approach to facial treatments?


GC: The facials our clients can expect to enjoy will incorporate the highest quality organic facial products available – I’ll provide natural solutions to remedy your skin care concerns: big or small. The goal is to balance function and results with deep rest.


Essentially, my approach is to blend the two modalities of massage and advanced skincare.


Our services will feature Young Living therapeutic-grade essential oils such as joy, harmony, release, and valor. Creating more meditative moments will be linked to my purpose here at CH.


CH: Lastly, can you share a little bit about your family life and personal goals?


GC: Well, life has been crazy lately getting ready to open my doors at CH. We still live on the eastern shore, and, of course, spring break with my daughter kept us occupied – we went to the beach as a family, played in the sand and practiced our putt-putt game!


My dream and plan is to take intensive Lomi Lomi training in Maui, where my in-laws recently moved. I lived in Hawaii for two years after graduating from high school and have a deep connection to the mana (life force) of the aina (land).