Hidden away on a side street one almost ne’er travels, is a gem of a shop called Crescent Moon Holistic Therapy Shoppe. Head towards St. Luke’s, go down Allen Street and take a right at the pizza shop, and the shoppe is nestled in on your right.
With “Crescent Moon” owner Annabelle Williams has carefully crafted a haven of relaxation and calm. No, this isn’t new-age mumbo-jumbo, but the genuine article. You’ll see what I mean… Walking into the shoppe is actually like walking into someone’s living room – quite comfortable and has a homey, welcoming ambience. The entrance leads to a large, open central room. There are smiling Buddhas gesturing mudras, creatively placed knick-knacks, an inviting couch loaded with a score of pillows that screams for your company, and diverse items adorn the walls.
A maddening blend of unfamiliar, but pleasant aromas wafts your way. Annabelle welcomed me with a soothing voice, that furthers pushes you into calm and offered me some tea or coffee. Sights, smells, and sound weave a spell. I swear, I felt my shoulder tension ease up!
Indeed, it’s the intention and objective of Crescent Moon; you’re to leave the worries, woes and concerns of the world behind during your visit. A respite, never long enough.
But this isn’t the rub of Crescent Moon, just the preparation. It’s what the shoppe offers in terms of services that set it miles above others in the South Coast: healing, massage, meditation, and metaphysical instruction. Annabelle made it abundantly clear frequently throughout visits, that she is passionate about the shoppe being a place for people to slough off the world, even if you just came, grabbed a book off the library shelf and sipped a cup of tea.
You see, Annabelle wants this. Some people are born motherly and nurturing and upon your visit, you’ll quickly get it. While surely she wants to run a proper business, her primary objective is to heal, soothe and calm. She sums it up best: “Assisting you with your personal journey to wellness and spiritual development.” One thing Western Medicine does not supply – this is no slight on it – are services like those offered, or the atmosphere, vibe, energy or whatever you wish to call it. Cynics can call it placebo, it doesn’t matter. The end result does.
Before I went into any depth of conversation with Annabelle, she showed me a vast wall of herbs and concoctions which could be used for those into magick, Wicca, paganism or simply as tea. She was vocal about supplanting a well-known tea company, and offer what they offer, but with a larger variety…and fresher. If you are the type that owns a tea ball, you are going to go bananas. Two massive shelves with scores of glass jars revealing contents, higher than my head. To give you an idea, I’m 6′ tall….OK, I’m 5’11” and 31/32. If she doesn’t have it or have a particular blend, she will eagerly find it or create it for you. Imagine your favorite tea, but you’d like a little more of a certain herb – you can have it your way.
Sea Salt from Israel, vanilla sugar, echinacea, lemon ginger, catnip (which she said you can smoke!), juniper, chamomile, Cat’s Claw, roses, anise, cinnamon, sarsaparilla, mint and a hundred more. Whatever use you want it for. You know when you go to the candle store and pick up 30 candles and whiff them? Yeah, that will be you!
After this, she brought me past a display case/counter and into a “living room” or lounging area.
There was a shelf filled with books on many topics, lounge chairs, an Ottoman, and a coffee table. She showed me a side room that had a large, cushioned massage table for private sessions, then led me into the back room that served as a kitchen for preparing teas or coffee. It was in the kitchen that we discussed some of the services that she specializes in, like the Usui Reiki and massages for individuals, athletes, couples, and businesses, Shamballa healing, guided meditations, and more. I nao falo Portugues, but Annabelle does! So all services are available in either language, if you have a preference.
If some of this is unfamiliar territory for you, here is a short, easy to understand guide:
Variety of Massages
Massage is good for the body, mind and soul. Store all of your stress in your shoulders? Temples? Back? Sit and have the chair massage or foot massage or go for the “Pamper Me” Swedish, which is a gentle massage that will not only relax you, but help you release tension. Suffer like me from dry or cracked skin? Have eczema or psoriasis? The “Warm Candle” massage will leave your skin smooth and replenished. Do you play a lot of sports? Have some nagging injuries? Try the deep tissue massage for injured or tight muscles, or the sports massage which is perfect for those of us that have a fitness lifestyle.
The last two massages are the signature massage which combines the “Swedish” and the deep tissue massage with crystals, and the most popular one she offers: the “Tandem,” which is a couples massage. A superlative way to begin a special night, whether an anniversary, wedding, or just a date. These massages start as low as $15 – that’s not a misprint – and last from 15 minutes to an hour and a half.
Spiritual Healing through Reiki and Shamballa
You have probably heard the word “Reiki” before and may have wondered what it is. The most concise explanation is from reiki.org: “…a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing” primarily through light touching. In lay terms, one could say it is the removal of bad energy and replacing it with good energy. It is a stress reduction technique and we all know that stress often leads to poor health.
While the massage sessions primarily address the body and indirectly the mind, Reiki is more subtle, addresses the spiritual, mental and emotional aspects – but the effects can be as profound, if not more. The Reiki sessions are available on their own or you can supplement one of the massages, thereby extending the length of the session, for a nominal fee.
Shamballa Healing is an extension of the Reiki that “…assists in reconnecting you to the full expression of your being, so that you can experience fulfillment in every aspect of your life.” I would certainly do it a disservice, if I were to explain the subject, so I won’t pretend I am knowledgeable on the topic. While you can read more about it on the her page dedicated to it, you will certainly be far better off, visiting in person.
Stress Reduction with Meditation
We’ve all heard the benefits of meditation; it promotes calm, focus, relaxation and is an effective stress reducer. Annabelle offers group sessions, which you can watch the calendar for, and the one on one meditation session, which is by appointment only. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to meditate properly, now there is a source of quality instruction very close by!
Classes and Instruction
Annabelle offers instruction in virtually all the services at the shoppe and then some. You can learn the couples massage, the Shamballa Healing, and Reiki (3 levels), but you can also attend an Intro to Herbalism or Aromatherapy class, get certified in Tarot interpretation, learn Celtic divination, Cauldron or Money Magick, Scrying with Crystals and more! Learn to blend your own teas or healing ointments, rekindle your relationship with a massage or even tap into your more mysterious side.
The one thing that stands out about all these services at Crescent Moon Holistic Therapy Shoppe are the rates. As a person who has had massages in the past, I was actually shocked when she told me how long the sessions were and how much they cost. She makes easily available regular healing – whether physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual – with these affordable rates that don’t bust the wallet, or purse. This is what people who follow the maxim “People first.” do. She has a genuine passion as a healer, and wants to be doing what she loves. She fills a void left empty by modernity – that of the spiritual healer, Shaman or mystic. Her shoppe is appropriately located one street from St. Luke’s hospital allowing you to have the best of both worlds.
Annabelle’s website contains plenty of detail, a calendar and a FAQ. She has a regular Facebook presence as well. However, as I mentioned above, this is all no substitute for the real deal: stop in for a visit and tell her NBG sent you!
Crescent Moon Holistic Therapy Shoppe
16 Brigham Street
New Bedford, Massachusetts 02740
Mon – Tue: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Thu – Sat: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Phone: (774) 328-8763