Eagan sisters hoping to heal both mind and body | Eagan |

Integrative Therapy Group offers massage, talk therapy

Integrative Therapy Group offers behavior health therapy and massage services at 1185 Town Center Drive, Suite 225, in Eagan.

It seems like everyone could use some talk therapy and a backrub as 2020 comes to a close.

Two sisters in Eagan hope to help.

The pair opened up Integrative Therapy Group about a year ago in Eagan.

Kristy Brecke, who has a doctorate in psychology, offers counseling and therapy services to people of all ages on one side of the office. Her sister, Lisa Jensen, offers massage therapy on the other.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” Brecke said. “Most people that I see carry a lot of their emotions in their body. They can talk until they’re blue in the face, but if they don’t get that energy out of their body, they don’t leave feeling better. I feel like (talk therapy and massage therapy) is such a great mix. There’s all sorts of research that shows when you add body work, especially with trauma victims, to therapy, the outcomes are much better.”

Both have been practicing their respective therapies for several years. Their partnership officially began in November 2019.

“We’ve had the conversation several times in the last five years about having the same place,” Brecke said. “To have the same place to heal, and have that mind-body connection. My lease was coming up and her lease was really flexible at the time. It was scary, but it’s been great.”

They said their services often overlap.

“The more you can address a client’s wellness in one place the better,” Jensen said.

Both said they get along really well.

“We can call each other out when things aren’t going well,” Brecke said. “We can also motivate each other. We can hold each other accountable. It’s a strength of our relationship.”

Opening a business in Eagan is a bit of a homecoming for the sisters.

They are both Eagan High School graduates: Jensen in 2001 and Brecke in 1997.

“I swore off the suburbs after I turned 18,” Brecke said. “But I recognized the importance of the education I got here. It’s comparative to what a lot of private schools offer. I put aside the excitement of the city for my kids. I have a core love for this community.”

Brecke currently takes all of her therapy appointments virtually, but virtual appointments don’t work well for massage.

“My sister just doesn’t have those options right now,” Brecke said. “She’s got to put herself at a lot more risk, but it’s a field that’s needed for a lot of chronic pain patients, and she’s willing to put herself out there.”

In March, the shutdown orders included massage therapists, but Jensen applied for an exemption.

Typically she focuses on clients with specific chronic and acute pain. She’s worked in the same office as a chiropractor before, so she has a background with people recovering from injuries and accidents.

Since she operates out of a small clinic and many of her clients need that therapy, she got the OK to reopen, she said.

“They were trying to keep people out of emergency rooms so we were granted an exception. We were able to open back up to clients with chronic pain and mental health concerns,” Jensen said.

She is giving herself extra time between appointments to clean, and the appointments are spaced out so people are not in the lobby together.

Across the office, Brecke continued to offer counseling and therapy services for adolescents, adults, couples and families. She offered in-person visits for a while in summer and fall, but now she’s back on the computer.

She can help with cognitive behavioral therapy, couples therapy, depression help, family therapy, depression therapy, teen counseling and more.

Brecke’s business is booming.

“I have so many former clients coming back,” Brecke said. “So many people are really struggling right now. I don’t have a lot of space for new clients. I see a lot of people who were in a good place who are now regressing because of the current situation.”

She’s excited to see her clients in-person again.

“Therapy is grounded in the relationships you have with somebody,” Brecke said. “Therapy is about holding someone’s pain and doing that through the screen is not the same.”

Massage has provided some relief in these stressful times.

“Massage has always been known to boost your immune system,” Jensen said. “The physical touch itself releases all these positive chemicals in your brain that boost mental and physical health. The increase in circulation boosts the immune system, too.”

Their office at Town Centre Plaza has five rooms, three for therapists and two for massage. Brecke has contracted with two other therapists currently, and she’s in the process of hiring more. Another massage therapist who specializes in relaxation and stress reduction recently started working with Jensen.

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