Ihotu Jennifer Ali, LMT, MPH, CLC

Ihotu (she/her/hers) is a nationally certified massage therapist, holistic health coach, and DONA trained postpartum doula with a background in public health research and education. She offers myofascial release massage and Arvigo Maya Abdominal Therapy for all, with a special focus on women, femmes, pregnant and laboring people, fertility, breech fetal positioning, recovery after miscarriage, abortion, challenging birth or c-section,  menstrual or uterine conditions and digestive concerns. 

Based out of two Minneapolis locations – Clear Holistic Therapies and the People’s Movement Center – Ihotu’s practice includes bodywork in the clinic as well as in homes, hospitals and birth centers throughout the Twin Cities Metro. Ihotu has attended over 40 births as a doula and lactation counselor, and brings a decade of experience and learning from midwives, obstetricians, psychiatrists, herbalists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, nutritionists, and health policy makers. She believes in thoughtfully blending and adapting traditional and modern medicine, and using a “step ladder” approach of natural, non-invasive techniques first and stronger methods later, as needed.

She credits her teachers, including evidence-based public health research at Columbia University, Polarity Energy Work and Shiatsu at the Finger Lakes School of Massage, Mesoamerican Medicine under Panquetzani Ticitl, Maya Abdominal Therapy under the Arvigo Institute, Myofascial and Craniosacral Therapy from Dr. Carol Phillips, Spinning Babies fetal positioning from Gail Tully and Adrienne Caldwell, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Cathy Calderon, Maria Gaviña, and Mama Okpoga, plus study of African and Midwestern plants, herbs and healing rituals in her own lineage.

Ihotu is also a sexual assault survivor and a former rape crisis counselor, raised by a single mother with mental illness, and brings consent and a personal understanding of trauma and sensitivity to her work. She warmly welcomes people of color, indigenous, non-English speaking, undocumented, under- and uninsured, queer and trans folks, non-traditional families, and individuals seeking a mind-body approach to complement talk therapy or medication for anxiety and depression.

“Ihotu is a kind and gentle healing presence, and my body trusted that she would work with tensions without going past its limits at that moment. The abdominal method she practices — which can work with emotional, physical, and biological unbalances — is so necessary because the abdominal region is such a charged and ignored area in our society.”

-Tania, Massage Therapist, New York City


5 thoughts on “

  1. Hi Ihotu, thank you so much for responding to my Revie Sister Nettie Paisley, and providing her with so much information. I also want to say I like your website. I really enjoyed the read.

    I hope to see you soon, and to be able to work along side you once again in Johanne’s beautiful space in Harlem.

    OneLOVE, Rev Barbara

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! I saw your message on the enlightened mama doula page and would love to experience your Mayan abdominal massage. I am a new doula and also a Thai therapist and have some background in chi nei tsang. I would love to give you feedback. Thanks!


    1. Hi Siri! It would be great to connect with you. Could you send me your contact information or an email from the info shared in the post? Looking forward to setting a time to meet soon!


  3. 2 questions :
    1. I’m 62. Would I still benefit from Maya massage?
    2. I have colonoscopy in November. Would Maya massage be better before or after?
    Thank you.
    Jackie Rust


    1. Hi Jackie, thanks for those good questions. Maya Abdominal therapy is helpful at any age, particularly around 62 it can be beneficial for digestive issues and low back, hip or sacrum pain. I would recommend the treatment before the colonoscopy to support your body’s overall health and prepare for the procedure. Best of luck to you!


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