Homestead Healing Arts Studio

Home is a refuge, not only from the world but a refuge from my worries, my terrible concerns. I like beautiful things around me. I like to be beautiful because it delights my eyes and my soul is lifted up.  -Maya Angelou

Dear Friends,

My son and I are back from a road trip to the Smokey Mountains and then on to Savannah, Georgia.  It was our first trip together as his sister was across the ocean on her Senior trip to Italy.  The time together was fun, exciting, exhausting, very much like playing rage against the machine on repeat with a few naps in between. However,  the moments of resting especially for my hands, in a naturally beautiful and wide open space where sea turtles come to nest was exactly what we needed to recharge and soften. I was able to unpack a lot of worries, stressful happenings of the past year, and just be held by the sand and lulled by the harmonics of nature. 

It’s good to be home! My wish for all of you would be to discover a stretch of time to rest.  it could also be a moment of love and connection where you clear the space to breathe and smile…. I have some great specials for spring, making it affordable to receive the work, and would love to offer you some time on the Massage Table. I feel that bodywork gives our tired and overly stressed bodies a chance to recover, to keep our bodies and souls from crumbling.  An Opportunity to close eyes, release and let go of the tension that is causing the hurt and drop into the body. Massage and Yoga are two tools that I offer in the Healing Arts World to help bring us back to our natural resting and peaceful state of being. 

How can I help?

Here are some new things offered and Spring specials to kick start your rest cation. 

Receive a free half hour massage for all new clients. Make it into an hour session for $45.

$20 off all one hour, 90 minute or two hour sessions. Includes Swedish Massage, Massage and Yoga stretching, Myofascial Release, and Deep Tissue Massage. 

Ann Arbor Location: 308 1/2 South State Street Suite #37

Receive a free half hour massage for all new clients. Make it into an hour session for $45.00

$20 off private restorative yoga sessions.

$20 off for all one hour, 90 minute or two hour sessions. 

now offering all massage and bodywork sessions on a Biomat. A Biomat offers deep infrared heat  through a bed of amethyst crystals. Excellent for healing old injuries, brings deep relaxation, and improves healing time for deep muscle injuries, strains and sprains.

Free Community Yoga at Detroit Eastern Market: Beginning in June, every Tuesday from 12:00-1:00 and 1:00-2:00. All classes are free and located inside shed #3.

Mother’s Day gift certificates can be purchased for any amount on my website, click here  to purchase.  



How to make Lemon Balm and St. Johns Wort Oil1 month

All ingredients can be found at a local health food store. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 1.5 cups of lemon balm

1.5 cups of st. john's wort flowers

3-4 cups of almond oil

2,000 IU vitamin E oil

80 drops of lavender essential Oil

Prep time: 1 month

additional equipment needed: 1 quart canning jar, plastic wrap, strainer, filter, funnel and glass storage containers

Cut dried herbs of lemon balm and st. johns wort flowers into tiny pieces.

Next, place the herbs in a one quart canning jar and fill with the 4 cups of almond oil

Then, stir to release any air bubbles.

make sure all plant matter is submerged, then cover jar with plastic wrap, then seal with metal lid, (make sure metal doesn't come in contact with the herbs to prevent plant matter from breaking down)

Place the jar in a warm and sunny location and allow herbs to infuse for 1 month. 

every day, shake the jar for 30 seconds.

After one month, strain the oil through a paper coffee filter and squeeze the herbs to get the excess oil oil. discard the excess herbs and 

Finally, add the lavender and vitamin E oil.  

Shake well before using to mix the blended oil and apply to skin after a hot bath. Can also be used in the bath. 

Apply nightly before going to bed in long slow strokes towards the heart, drawing figure 8's around the chest and long slow strokes down the neck to mobilize the lymphatics system.  



The Lesson

I keep on dying again.

Veins collapse, opening like the 

small fists of sleeping 


Memory of old tombs.

Rotting flesh and worms do 

not convince me against 

the challenge. the years

and cold defeat live deep in

lines along my face.

they dull my eyes, yet

i keep on dying.

because i love to live.

By Maya Angelou

Death and Rebirth have been on my mind as we begin to slip into fall. The constant of change

and transformation as it begins.  Why I do this work, to help others heal.Maya Angelou writes, "i keep on dying, because i love to live" reminding us that our journey is in a constant state of transformation and change.  

Healing Fascial Pain:   Think of Fascia as the covering over the muscle tissue. The Human body contains a thin layer of fascia which wraps around all the muscles in the body. Often when there is a postural imbalance there is a pull in the fascial layer of muscle which causes a dull achy pain in the muscle region. During a massage, a technique called, "myofascial release" is used to help release those restrictions in the fascial tissues by applying a broad, deep compression over large muscle groups.  Ask about discounts for regular bi-weekly or monthly visits. 


  • Massage Therapy has been proven to help with the following conditions
  • from the Mayo Clinic Website. 
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain

Massage Therapy re-programs tight muscles in the body by encouraging a relaxation response. Chronic tension and over-stimulation, high stress levels, and poor diet contribute to disease, pain, and injury.  Learn how to create new habits for a healthy lifestyle, receive the support needed, and find natural pain relief with Massage Therapy and Health Coaching. 

healing hands, healing words, healing actions, heal the earth. today i'd like to share with you a poem from one of my favorite writers, Mary Oliver.  

A Settlement  By Mary Oliver

Look, it's spring. 

and last year's loose dust has turned into this soft willingness.

the wind-flowers have come up trembling,

slowly the brackens are up-lifting their curvaceous and pale bodies.  The thrushes have come home, none less than filled with mystery,

and i am walking out into all of this with nowhere to go and no task undertaken but to turn the pages of this beautiful world over and over, 

in the world of my mind


therefore, dark past,

I'm about to do it.

I'm about to forgive you

for everything.

Key Abdominal Muscles That Propel Us To The Finish Line

Congratulations 2016 Olympics Women's USA Marathon Winners: Amy Cragg, Desiree Linden, and Shalane Flanagan.  

Notice  the forward lean at the finish line. This is the moment that runners train for. The excitement  we feel at the finish line is worth months of hard training. The pure joy felt is an experience many relate to child birth.  

When I first started running this spring, I awoke each morning  with the old familiar full body soreness. Every muscle in my body was screaming. The muscles in the legs, hips, and low back are prominent in running,  but you might be surprised to learn that running also works your abdominal muscles. The power center that is our abdominal region stabilizes the low back, encourages deep rhythmic breathing, and keeps us from falling forward as we take each step. It's the strength of your core muscles that propel you to the finish line, keep you upright, and maintain your ability to breathe deeply.

To prevent injuries, it is very important that  the abdominal wall is strong . This will help to  prevent  repetitive strain injuries, give us better balance, and maintains endurance. 

Abdominal muscles also assist us in deep controlled breathing that is necessary for running short or long distances.  The intercostals, located between each rib move the chest wall allowing for an expansion in the lungs and diaphragm as you breathe.  Until your intercostals are strong, you may experience short stabbing pains in your sides, which is a muscle spasm of the intercostals.  With regular training and a good stretching regimen, these should go away shortly after beginning to run. 

The core muscles include the low back, upper, and lower abdominal muscles. Because running is a dynamic exertion of every muscle in the body, it  will help to wake you up in the morning. Try a 15 minute run instead of coffee tomorrow morning and notice how much more consistent your energy is throughout the day vs. the coffee crash that comes with caffeine.

 Running also helps to engage core strength.  To run with core power and proper alignment, engage the abdominal muscles by drawing the belly button towards the spine while running. To strengthen the core, try spending 10-15 minutes doing some pre-running abdominal strengthening exercises such as crunches, push ups, straight arm planks, and forearm planks. This will get your core muscles powered up before running and will also help prevent any cramping or muscle spasms in the sides of the body. 

Next time you visit me in the office, feel free to ask about a free postural assessment. This will help cue where strengths and weaknesses are in different muscle groups. It will help me as your therapist to recommend   what exercises can be planted into your daily routine to help restore balance, decrease pain, and increase range of motion. 

Thanks for reading! Have a good day. It's 60 degrees and overcast today here in Michigan and I'm ready to get out there and RUN!

Love Always,

Joy Van Bael

Why is CranioSacral Therapy so Important?

CST is a light touch approach that can create dramatic improvements in your life. Every day you endure stresses and strains and your body absorbs them.  CranioSacral Therapy releases those tensions to allow the entire body  to relax and self-correct. Using a gentle touch, starting with about the weight of a nickel, practioners evaluate your internal environment.  Then they use light-touch techniques to release any restrictions. By freeing the central nervous system to perform at its best, CranioSacral Therapy naturally eliminates pain and stress, strengthens your resistance to disease, and enhances your health and well-being.  

Conditions addressed by CST:

  • migraines and headaches
  • chronic neck and back pain
  • stress and tension-related disorders
  • motor-coordination impairments
  • infant and childhood disorders
  • brain and spinal cord injuries
  • chronic fatigue
  • fibromyalgia
  • TMJ syndrome
  • scoliosis
  • Central nervous System Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Orthopedic Problems

Lavender Sugar Scrub Recipe

About a week ago,  a dear  friend gave me this lavender infused sugar made in Michigan.  Her website is  I have really enjoyed having it mixed in my everything and some days I just stick my nose in the bag and take a deep breath. It's that good. Lavender  has always been one of my favorite flowers in the garden. It takes care of itself, returns every year, and holds its leaves all winter like kale by forcing itself into a diabetic coma and sending its oils and sugars into it's leaves! Plant GENIUS!  It is persistent and hardy little flower bush. It needs so little water that you can actually harm it by overwatering.  I hope to visit the farm this summer and spend a day there because I have a special kind of love and appreciation for this plant and the people who grow and harvest it.  

D.I.Y.  lavender sugar scrub recipe:

1 cup sugar in the raw

1/4 cup melted raw organic coconut oil

4 drops of lavender essential oil 

pour the coconut oil (wait for it to cool, not too hot, ) over the sugar and lavender oil and stir together. Place lid over jar and allow to cool.  use as a pre-shower scrub for a calming effect before going to bed. 

Child's Pose: to rest and regain focus. to bring the head lower than the heart and rest the forehead (home to feelings and emotions) onto the earth. this sends a signal to the brain that you're ok. you're safe. it's ok to rest.  

 ishvarapranidhana- a sanskrit word which meansthe release into the supreme love and respect for our connection with things greater than ourselves.  

#childspose #homesteadhealingarts #massage #annarbormassage

This banged up, well loved red tea  pot comes with me to work every day. It was one of the first purchases I made when I opened my first office in Detroit on Mack Ave. in 2010.This Red Tea pot along with every flavor of Yogi Tea, because I adore the flavors but even more for the tiny messages at the end of the string on the tea bags that would speak to me like a kid cracking open a  fortune cookie.  When I first opened up the doors of Homestead Healing Arts Studio, I wanted to create a space where time was slower, where we had time to sit down, share tea, and talk stories with my clients after they received Bodywork and Massage Therapy. This was something that was missing in all the other spa or salon places I've worked out of because appointments were booked back to back (pun! ha ha) or the environment was too loud or  too rushed.   This new space allowed for time to sit and be still near a sunny window and became our sanctuary. It was like my own live, private Moth radio hour.

As I type, I am remembering all the stories that flowed out of this simple ritual around offering and sharing a cup of tea after each session.  There's  a lot more to be learned in this lifetime and I don't have all the answers, but one thing's for sure...a lot of love and compassionate souls living in the city of Detroit.  

Right now,  my work has shifted and I am traveling a lot more and doing more house calls for Massage, but I have kept the red tea pot and I drink the tea slowly, while driving 80 on I94, with Ann Delisi, Nick Austin, Krista Tippettand all my favorite NPR peeps.  It is the power habit that keeps me healthy in the cold seasons.  It  keeps my hands warm because cold hands on bare skin would be brutal  in the middle of a Michigan winter!   I fill it with strong jasmine green tea or switch it up with Rose Tulsi  depending on how I'm feeling that morning.  It slows me down, packs in cancer preventing plant superpowers, and keeps me grounded and hydrated.  

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves- slowly, and evenly without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.    -Thich Nhat Hanh

The Art of Gratitude Practice 

try this first thing in the a.m.  (yes, before coffee. i believe in you.) Sit down on the floor and light a candle. Surround yourself with a few  found treasures from the earth; a flower, a pinecone, your favorite pet rock, an apple, or a bowl of fruit.  Close your eyes gently.  Curl your face into a smile. Sit near the floor with pillows and blankets to support.  When you wake up, your blood pressure may be lower than usual so hands and feet tend to get cold right away.  Keep an electric tea pot near your bed. First thing, click it on to heat up water.  Pour hot water over a few stones to warm them. Then  pour yourself a cup of hot water filled with ginger and lemon.  Prepare all of this the night before so that when you wake up all you have to do is roll and click the water on. Make it so easy that even the world's biggest procrastinator and coffee head who resists all and any healthy morning habits, (ME!) will not be able to say no, I can't or I'm too tired.    While you are waiting for the hot water to cool hold the warmed stone in your hands. Each morning, before the sun rises, ideally between 4:00 AM and 6:00 AM spend at least 5 minutes here sitting and breathing. List 3 things you are grateful for.  Imagine the form, shape, smell, touch, taste, quality of the things on your gratitude list.  Notice the sounds outside before most of the world is awake. Notice how nature wakes up in the same order as evolution. First insects, then reptiles, then birds, then domesticated animals, last humans. Tune into the call of a bird or my personal favorite this time of year, the triumphant mating cry of a recently thawed out frog.  The art of listening is also referred to as mindfulness.   Simply take notice of the shift that takes place when sitting, breathing, and forming thoughts of gratitude and when you're ready to add your voice to the choir,  on an exhale, let out an audible sigh. take a few simple yoga poses focusing on the breath as it moves through you like water.  then. coffee. one cup. just one. mmmm how i do love coffee (in moderation except for Monday's)     


today, i am grateful for the loving air of spring.  it's cleansing, renewing, watering qualities. dandelions, little orange self-righteous pansies, arugula sprouts, and foxglove.  

Vegan Chia Seed Cardamom Pudding 

Who knew that when you soak chia seeds in almond milk they turn into pudding?!  Last night I came home from work and from meetings around 8 PM feeling completely drained, defeated. I wanted to just crawl into my bed in my work drag  and not move another inch. My daughter was busy making food art in the kitchen packing her lunch for the next day and wanted me to try a pudding that she made by soaking chia seeds in almond milk.  topped with papaya and mango, i felt like i was soaked in sunshine basking in a tropical paradise.  

Here is a clean recipe for chia seed pudding. Add papaya and mango at the end. make the night before. lasts for up to 3 days in the fridge. 


2.5 cups vanilla almond milk

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

1/2 cup of chia seeds

3 or 4 cardamom pods, split open, peel the seeds out and sprinkle in the mix

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

fresh papaya and mango

How to Make 

in a large mason jar, combine the almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, cardamom, and cinnamon. Close the lid tightly and shake it well. Refrigerate until thick and pudding like, at least 3 hours, overnight, shaking occasionally.   Serve with papaya and mango slices. 

I have come to believe that each and every one of us has an intelligence inside that knows everything about what is going on in our lives. This includes our symptoms and their meanings (if any) our illnesses , our inner conflicts and the like"   -John Upledger   Your Inner Physician and You

 Soothing touch, whether it be applied to a ruffled cat, a crying infant, or a frightened child, has a universally recognized power to ameliorate the signs of distress. How can it be that we overlook its usefulness on the jangled adult as well? What is it that leads us to assume that the stressed child merely needs "comforting", while the stressed adult needs "medicine" 

-from Jobs Body: a handbook for Bodywork by Deane Juhan

When it's time for your next Massage.


Joy Van Bael studied Cranio Sacral Therapy at Upledger Institute in 2001. This gentle technique can be used for infants, children, adults, and the elderly. It is a gentle approach to achieving balance in the body.  It results in a state of deep relaxation that can achieve transformation, healing, and promote wellness in the body. 

Pre Natal Post Partum Massage

On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty unknown

Running, Sports Massage

mama yoga     Playlist for a mindul yoga practice that I have been using to teach prenatal/postpartum yoga. Enjoy!

moments of joy

old words, new words, green words, blue words...on healing ourselves, healing the planet, rock star parenting, the art of massage therapy, the importance of human touch, and hmmmm. pictures of my beloved weimaraner.

<p>Gift cards are now available for the season of giving in one hour, two hour, or three hour herbal goddess retreat. Each card will be mailed directly to you wrapped in a beautiful hand printed card. Buy online <a href=""></a> or send me a message for details. Cost is $75, $110, and $150 for one hour, two hour, or three hour session. (at Homestead Healing Arts Studio)</p>

Gift cards are now available for the season of giving in one hour, two hour, or three hour herbal goddess retreat. Each card will be mailed directly to you wrapped in a beautiful hand printed card. Buy online or send me a message for details. Cost is $75, $110, and $150 for one hour, two hour, or three hour session. (at Homestead Healing Arts Studio)

Posted 53 weeks ago
<p>Good morning November. It’s officially my birthday month! I am offering a three hour retreat: herbal goddess package includes a custom blended herbal infused thyme, chamomile, sage oil, a two hour massage followed by a homemade vegan soup, herbal tea, and an hour to rest and relax, read a book, have some time to yourself in a warm and cozy environment. All sessions include the  biomat, an infrared heated pad filled with amethyst crystals for deep heat and heart chakra healing. Schedule online at or call 586 944-3395  (at Homestead Healing Arts Studio)</p>

Good morning November. It’s officially my birthday month! I am offering a three hour retreat: herbal goddess package includes a custom blended herbal infused thyme, chamomile, sage oil, a two hour massage followed by a homemade vegan soup, herbal tea, and an hour to rest and relax, read a book, have some time to yourself in a warm and cozy environment. All sessions include the biomat, an infrared heated pad filled with amethyst crystals for deep heat and heart chakra healing. Schedule online at or call 586 944-3395 (at Homestead Healing Arts Studio)

Posted 54 weeks ago
to feel…to think…to move. honor your body today and every day. 5 things to boost your immune system. 1. eat more greens 2. take a good Vitamin D supplement 3. get 8 hugs a day 4. apply this rule to everything in your kitchen. “if it doesn’t rot or sprout…THROW IT OUT” 5. Break into a sweat every day doing something that you love. Skin is the bodies largest organ. Sweat helps us to detox, increases energy, and positive mood.
Posted 249 weeks ago
<p>urdhva drsti: sanskrit: rising, above, focused intention, concentration</p>
<p>english translation:  throw the damn ball or i will take you down.</p>

urdhva drsti: sanskrit: rising, above, focused intention, concentration

english translation:  throw the damn ball or i will take you down.

Posted 252 weeks ago

On my way to Yoga

overjoyed, split leaps from the parking lot to the studio, grinning my biggest clown grin, fully cheerful, speeding tickets on the way to class…these are just a few examples of what happens when i know i am about to take a yoga class.  i have experienced some of the most peaceful moments in my lifetime, lying in a pool of sweat at the end of a yoga class in a resting goddess pose….on the other hand, my life sometimes gets brutally warrior like. As a mother, I sacrifice a few things, like sleep, regular meals, sanity… When my children were babies, I was uninspired by the lack of child care and ability to continue a regular spiritual practice….which I found so vital to feeling good. to have  a quiet space to take refuge in, where I could breathe, and recharge. to be in a clutter free room that i didn’t have to clean….but today, i was honored to be teaching to a group of mamas and babies. to offer up a sacred yoga space where babysitters didn’t have to be arranged.  To start the week out in a circle of women, in a space where children were welcome, and crying was o.k.,  was truly a blessing today. 

  i wonder why more yoga studios don’t keep their doors open to infants for a gentle flow/Yin style class. the little babes were highly entertained by our stretching shenanigans….and we were equally awed and inspired by their awesome beauty and grace.  Moms, I bow to the earth in gratitude that we have these circles of kinship and support. Thank you.

Posted 252 weeks ago