About Rachel Gimbel

I am the homeschooling mother of a sweet and talented boy; co-creator of the Finca Flor de la Vida chocolate farm and homestead; and host of the Respire Healing Arts Center in Santa Fe, Veraguas, Panamá.

I love the healing arts and I deeply trust nature with my life and well-being. Our bodies, minds, and spirits are innately capable of healing. If we take the time to learn how to work with our nature – and all of nature- we find that we have everything we need for a healthy, joyful life: right here and now. I specialize in techniques for developing more ease, trust, and harmony in the body, mind, and the way we approach life itself. My intention is to de-mystify natural healthcare and empower clients with self-care skills to achieve optimum vitality and well-being. Getting more intimate with nature and with our inner selves is the path to trusting in and mastering effective natural healthcare.

Most of my study of natural healthcare has been from the Ancient East: Ayurvedic and Yogic traditions and Traditional Chinese Medicine. I graduated from the International School of Shiatsu in 2008. I have also studied modern Western bodywork practices. I am licensed as a Certified Massage Therapist in the state of Virginia and am trained in swedish massage, deep tissue, cranial sacral therapy, fascia release, structural alignment, reflexology, lymphatic drainage, neuromuscular retraining, somatic experiencing, prenatal massage, and natural spa treatments. I have apprenticed with acupuncturists, herbalists, and a podiatrist. I work with all-natural ingredients; harvested locally and minimally processed.

I believe in the power of creativity to heal the body, mind, and spirit. Creative energy is life force energy. I am a lover of movement, dance, music, rhythm, sound, and art as a lifestyle. I am a 200hr Registered Yoga Teacher and enjoy teaching groups, as well as private 1-1 yoga therapy. I love 5 Rhythms dance and Contact Improvisation -which are both improvised dancing in groups- and are one of my favorite forms of therapy. Sound healing is also close to my heart. The most potent for me is using the vibration of one’s own vocal sounds (and perhaps musical instruments) to heal deeply by moving stuck energies and emotions.


I just spent the past 12 years in a fairly isolated lifestyle developing our chocolate farm and family homestead, Finca Flor de la Vida. One of the gifts of this farm life training, and de-conditioning away from modern society, has been a much more intimate and trusting relationship with nature. I have experienced firsthand the raw healing innately provided by surrounding forests and rivers. I now take guests into my most beloved forest paths and river spots. These guided forest therapy experiences are designed to deepen intimate connection to nature and to self; finding more ease and harmony in body, mind, and with life itself. I allow the natural elements and each unique person to provide the innate medicine needed, while playing the role of nature guide, sacred spaceholder, and facilitator of meditative and creative opportunities. Together with nature, we curate a customized healing forest walk and river swim, if desired.

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