Ashley Hartman Annis

Ashley (they / she) is a somatic practitioner, zine maker, community educator, and full spectrum doula in Madison, WI.

Ashley initially came to reproductive care work in 2014 through her training in the Fertility Awareness Method and has taught hundreds of individuals how to track their ovulation and better understand their fertility, their menstrual cycles, and their wise bodies. This work naturally led her to learn more about pregnancy and it’s many different outcomes and in 2018 she trained as an abortion doula and a birth doula. Since then she's supported all different types of pregnancies and all different types of families: homebirth, hospital birth, high risk pregnancies, planned & unplanned cesareans, trans & non-binary individuals, queer families, pregnancy loss (miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth) and many other types of families and situations.

Her work as a doula & fertility educator also sparked curiosity about other systems in the body—specifically the nervous system. In 2021 she trained as a TRE provider (which stands for tension / trauma release exercises) and is also studying to become a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. She's particularly interested in working with people who have experienced birth trauma, fertility trauma, or other medical trauma and are looking for ways to heal from those experiences, and people who are deeply curious about learning how to read their body. She believes that our bodies have so much information to give us—sometimes we just need help knowing where to look or learning how to listen.

In addition to birth work & trauma work, Ashley also delights in writing and has made dozens of zines (pronounced ”zeens”)—handmade, self published booklets on all kinds of different body literacy topics. She is an educator at heart and loves to make complicated topics easily digestible & fun for her students and clients.

Ashley's work is gender inclusive & trauma-informed—and in addition to these frameworks she also brings humor, compassion, and a non-judgmental vibe into the work she does. When she's not writing a zine, attending a birth, or teaching TRE Ashley enjoy sitting at coffee shops, eating the most delish food Madison has to offer, various forms of fiber arts (knitting, embroidery, hopefully soon learning how to quilt), sleeping late, and just generally being cozy.

“Being with someone as they realize, remember their own wholeness—that is the work of the healer and the doula.” Adrienne Maree Brown

  • Somatic Experiencing Practitioner Certification, Somatic Experiencing International, 2023 (in progress)
  • Postpartum Doula Training, Cornerstone Doula Trainings, 2022
  • Crisis Counselor Training, Crisis Textline, 2022
  • TRE® Global Certification Training, Red Beard TRE® Certification, 2021
  • Peer Counselor Training, Exhale Abortion Support Textline, 2020
  • BA in Gender and Women's Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2019
  • Holistic Birth Doula Certification, The Matrona, 2018
  • Holistic Pregnancy Loss Training, Molly Dutton-Kenny CPM, 2017
  • Fertility Awareness Educator Certification, The Well, 2014

What My Clients Say

"This was helpful for me to get out of my head and into my body after being plugged in all day at work. After each TRE session I felt as though I had gone for a run - in that great endorphin rush sort of way - from the comfort of my home. Ashley is a terrific guide and I would highly recommend these sessions to anyone looking to add another tool to their self-care toolbox."

What My Clients Say

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What My Clients Say

"This was helpful for me to get out of my head and into my body after being plugged in all day at work. After each TRE session I felt as though I had gone for a run - in that great endorphin rush sort of way - from the comfort of my home. Ashley is a terrific guide and I would highly recommend these sessions to anyone looking to add another tool to their self-care toolbox."

What My Clients Say

"I decided to try TRE after a fairly intense birth experience as a way to reconnect with my body and process some of the trauma of giving birth. Ashley provided a safe, supportive space for me to explore this new practice. It was a really lovely way to reconnect with my body and let go physically and emotionally. Ashley encouraged curiosity and self-compassion in a way that really resonated. I highly recommend working with her!" - Lauren A.

What My Clients Say

"My first session of TRE was such a new experience. I appreciated Ashley's constant presence while guiding me into the tremors. Feeling and seeing myself move into tremors was calming and affirming that my body has tools to move into relief." - Mary G.

"By the end of the tenth session, I could hardly believe the transformation that took place over time. Only by looking back to session one can I truly appreciate how far I’ve come. The changes were incremental, and minuscule at times, but that’s how lasting change eventuates."

Laura Thomas

"Eleven months ago, at the age of 22, I had a spinal repair of my L5-S1 vertebrae. This was the last resort to continuing back issues from the age of 10.  I am currently pain free and have not felt this good in a very long time.  If bodywork is desired, then Alex is the person to see."

Michael Locasto

"As a licensed therapeutic bodyworker myself, I choose Alex as my bodywork therapist.  It is the focus, self-authenticity, and centered presence that Alex brings to his work that truly makes him a gifted healer."

Courtney Cowie, LMBT

"He works with both confidence and curiosity, and has a special ability to hold space for his clients free from judgement and expectation. As a result of this work I now inhabit my body in new ways."

Annemarie Kalson

"For the last 15+ years I’ve learned to function outside of my body as a method to suppress emotions and also as a protective means in an effort to deal with chronic pain. Not only has Ellen helped me find the ability to listen to my body, but she helped me find my voice and confidence, both of which I was previously greatly lacking. Ellen was a voice of strength when celebrating my success, and she also provided unwavering support when some of the work brought up “old stuff” that felt scary for a short time. To infer that the work we’ve done together has been transformational would truly be an understatement. Not only has my physical pain reduced, my relationships with my family and partner have flourished due to my ability to regulate myself and effectively communicate needs and hold appropriate boundaries. I am so grateful to Ellen for all she has done, and I look forward to continuing our work together as we continue to work on releasing the chronic stress and tension in my body, helping to calm my nervous system, and ultimately move toward an even more comfortable state of embodiment."

"Working with Ellen one-on-one was an incredible deep dive into self-knowledge through experiencing my body. Where Ellen shines is her talent for creating a space for exploration that is gentle, honest, safe, and empowering all at once. Ellen’s knowledge and expertise are clear, but her approach is one of partnership. And it works! I clearly see the physical and emotional results."

"I've always been someone who'd rather be in the library than at the gym. So when I seriously herniated a disc in my lower back, I was completely unprepared for the recovery process. The injury was very bad, and I had to have surgery for pain relief. The surgery was successful, but for many years my core and leg muscles remained incredibly weak and intractable, and I was living with chronic nerve pain in my legs.

Then, after multiple unsuccessful rounds of physical therapy, I met Ellen, and working with her changed my life. She met me where I was with my body and mind-body connection, which felt like rock bottom. She taught me fundamental somatics exercises for recovering command of my body, and radical knowledge for developing my own daily somatics practices. It's not an exaggeration to say her therapy renewed my relationship with myself. Today I feel more cognizant and comfortable in my body than I've ever felt before in my life. My daily life isn't organized around nerve pain anymore, and I'm able to relax and move again. I actually feel more desire to move and grow than ever before. I can't testify to her work and wisdom enthusiastically enough."

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