Heart-centered healing as a creative practice: Louise Ma

Photo of Louise Ma in northern New Mexico

Explorations in art, visuals, sound, movement, somatics, healing, trauma, awareness and heart-centered consciousness evolution.

Somatic Sessions In the tradition of Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy

How do you know when you feel connected and inspired? Or disconnected and stuck?

How do you know when you feel heard, seen and safe?

How do you know—not just as a thought, but in the cave of your heart, in the dark silent ground under you, or in the marrow of your bones?

For myself, this practice has reconnected me to the innate intelligence of my body, and has started restoring within me the felt sense of belonging, safety and wholeness that a life of abuse, trauma and confusion had estranged me from. It has been the steadfast anchor in the midst of a chaotic world—rapidly shifting relationships and disintegrating institutions, including the religious and social structures from which I once sought—and failed to find—the stability I yearned for.

Hakomi honors the inherent sovereignty, dignity and wisdom of the client. As a practitioner it is my privilege to elicit and invite forth the clarity and nourishment that already lives in each client's being, often reaching far back into the forgotten crevices of the ancestral line that animates our blood, bones and tissues. This is a work that simultaneously empowers and disarms.

From my heart, I offer this invitation to you to share this path together of nourishment, healing and Self-discovery, resourced by the deepest roots of our true being—the One who already knows the way because They are the way.

If you feel the call—as I did—connect with me today.

Book a free 30 minute call


What is Hakomi?
  • The Hakomi Method is a relational practice for both healing and spiritual inquiry, developed by Ron Kurtz in the 70s. It draws on the wisdom passed down from Buddhist and Taoist traditions. The name "Hakomi" is a Hopi word, which translates to "Who are you?" or more exactly, "Who are you in relation to the many realms?"
  • In Hakomi, we work experientially, playfully and collaboratively. The practitioner embodies an attitude of curiosity and a loving presence in the relational space, while integrating other methods of healing and guidance.
  • Hakomi operates within five core principles:
    • Organicity: Organicity refers to the fact that complex living systems, such as human beings, are self-organizing and self-directing. This means that as practitioners, we can assume there is a life-positive, self-directing, self-healing energy and intelligence at work within the client. Our task is simply to create the setting, the emotional climate that facilitates this natural impulse towards health and towards remembering wholeness.
    • Mindfulness: The principle of mindfulness refers to the understanding that real change comes about through awareness, not efforting. As practitioners, we trust that if we can assist clients into their present-moment somatic experience, then their own awareness will facilitate whatever change or next step needs to occur.
    • Nonviolence: Nonviolence is being mindful of the principle and presence of organicity. It’s the recognition that there’s a natural way that life is unfolding, and aligning ourselves with this organic, intelligent process. As practitioners, this means we have no intentions or agendas of our own that we aren’t willing to abandon at once if they somehow conflict with what is emerging with the client. It means we support our clients’ so-called defenses (their “management behaviors”); we don’t offer advice or interpretations, and we don’t ask questions unless doing so serves the client.
    • Body-Mind Holism: Holism refers to the complexity and interrelatedness of organic systems, including human beings with our minds and bodies, hearts and souls. It is what allows us to holographically read a person’s life story in their posture or tone of voice, to infer an entire childhood from a single memory, to suspect certain core, organizing beliefs from simple repetitive gestures or words.
    • Unity: Unity reminds us of the interconnectedness of all things, of all life, of all events. It is holism on a universal scale. As practitioners, unity reminds us of the ever-bigger picture, of the fact that we are intimately connected to each other, and connected to our culture, our environment, our world.
Am I a good fit for this practice?
  • I welcome working with folks who:
  • Are hungry and curious to study their limiting patterns, beliefs, behavior and experience at the somatic level of being... and beyond.
  • Are hungry and curious to gain a greater understanding of the workings of their subtle and energy bodies, and deepen their relationship with their own instincts, intuition and felt sense of their world.
  • Have or want to cultivate curiosity and self-compassion in the face of strong emotions, such as grief, rage, shame, guilt or fear.
  • Have some experience (or at minimum an interest) in mindfulness and meditation.
  • Have some experience (or at minimum an interest) in a healing/therapeutic container.
  • Would be able and open to working with a licensed psychotherapist for more specialized and structured support, if needed.
  • I would likely refer you out or respectfully decline working together if:
  • We have an existing relationship as friends, teacher/student, classmates, etc.
  • You are presently experiencing bipolar disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, and/or any other conditions requiring consistent psychiatric medication or treatment.
  • You are presently experiencing grave crisis, including (but not limited to) suicidal ideation or debilitating substance addiction.
Are there themes or issues you're most familiar with?
  • Deepening the benefits of healing and therapy practices using awareness and mindfulness
  • Building fluency with somatic and nervous system-level experiences and meaning
  • Resourcing and stabilizing the nervous system through awareness, organic movement and sound
  • Building resiliency and authentic boundaries for empaths and highly-sensitive folks
  • Welcoming or re-connecting with pleasure and bliss after sexual wounding, especially for female-bodied or AFAB folks
  • Support for marginalized folks and folks of color
  • Integrating and processing loss, disasters and endings of relationships
  • Regaining perspective, sense of safety and personal power after spiritual or religious abuse
  • Unpacking spiritual and Kundalini awakening symptoms
How does a session work? How much does it cost?
  • We can start with a free 30min consultation over Zoom or phone to see if it feels aligned for us to work together.
  • Our first session is charged at a flat rate of $75, and will mostly be for us to get aquainted with working together. This means dropping into mindfulness together for the first time, and acclimating you to being witnessed and somatically contacted and guided in this mindful state. The first session begins the preparation of the relational groundwork we need in order to do more advanced explorations in the later sessions.
  • We can work together in as few as one single session, or a series over a period of weeks, months or years. This is decided by the client.
  • Sessions are generally 50-75min in length, over Zoom.
  • Longer sessions may be available depending on individual need.
  • Sessions after the first are currently offered at a sliding scale of $50-100.
  • The sliding scale is $40-$100 for Black and Indigenous clients.
  • Payment can be made through Venmo @seebytouch, before the start of each session.
  • Sessions are completely confidential.
  • Recordings of sessions can be made and offered by request, and stored and delivered in a way that feels secure for the client.
  • Please give me at minimum 24 hours notice if you'd like to cancel or reschedule, thank you.
  • If you'd like, you're welcome to view or fill out the intake form for new clients.
  • You can also view the pointers I offer to new clients on how to prepare for a session.

About Louise

Photo of Louise Ma in northern New Mexico

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area—native Ohlone land—as an only child and first-generation American of immigrant and refugee parents from Taiwan and China. From birth—and even prior—my family life was deeply chaotic and challenging.

I grew up with a passion and talent for drawing and visual art making, and went on to attend The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, where I studied design and drawing. After graduating, I spent another decade in the city working as a designer, mostly for nonprofits and media companies like WNYC and The New York Times. Professionally I was reaching many of my goals, but something felt strangely amiss in the other areas of my life, and in the places within myself I couldn't quite name.

A devastating apartment fire in 2010, followed shortly by the ending of a significant relationship, was a major turning point for me. Synchronistic events in my waking life, and powerful messages from my dreaming life, catalyzed the start of my search for freedom, understanding and peace.

My journey continues to unfolds today in beautiful New Mexico—native Tewa* land—where I live, play, explore and learn from my many guides, the Earth and life itself.

View the full history of my training:
  • Hakomi Mindful Somatic Practice:
    • Currently working towards certification in the Hakomi Method of Mindful Somatic Psychology
    • Completed the one-year ISITTA Innate Somatic Intelligence™ Trauma Therapy Approach series with Manuela Mischke Reeds
    • Completed the two-year Hakomi Comprehensive series Mar 2021-Dec 2022
    • Receiving Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy since 2019
  • Meditation:
    • Solitary meditation retreat Jun-Aug 2020 at Crestone Mountain Zen Center, Colorado
    • Solitary meditation retreat July 2019 Vajrapani Institute, California
    • Non-Dual meditation and inquiry since 2018 in the lineages of Adyashanti, Craig Holliday and Pamela Wilson
    • Vipassana and Zen meditation 2016-2018
  • Movement and energetics:
    • Continuum movement since 2023
    • Jiu Jitsu since 2022
    • Aikido since 2016 in the lineages of Kazuo Chiba Shihan, Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, Robert Nadeau Shihan and Pascal Fromentin Sensei
    • Qigong-informed vocal exploration since 2015 in the lineage of Samita Sinha and Parvathy Baul
    • Qigong since 2012 in the lineages of Tina Zhang and Mukti
  • Other healing arts:
    • Received Non-Dual psychotherapy and EMDR 2018-2020
    • Received Reiki attunement levels 1 and 2 2016-2017
    • Worked with ceremonial psychedelics and plant medicine 2015-2017
    • Received traditional talk therapy, mindful somatic coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and hypnosis 2014-2015


She's an amazing artist. An intuitive healer at heart. I feel lucky to know her. Carl Tashian

Get in touch

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Please name three dates and times in the next week or so that would work well for you for a 30min call, in order of preference.

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How did you hear about me?

You are also welcome to email me directly at desk@louisema.com.

If you'd like, you may also view or fill out the intake form for new clients.

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