Natural Awakenings’ Bodyworker Profiles for 2013: Westchester & Putnam NY Bodyworkers Offer a Variety of Therapies
Not so long ago, the challenge for a bodyworker was simply explaining what the term means. Now, with the exploding popularity of various bodywork techniques, from massage therapy and myofascial release to reflexology and Reiki, the challenge is choosing a specialty. Our area is fortunate to be home to a number of excellent bodyworkers, representing a wide variety of manipulative and non-touch therapies.
Scarsdale & Katonah, NY
Certification: Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner
Years practicing: 12
Tell us about your practice: Feldenkrais Method is offered two ways: as Awareness Through Movement lessons in a class setting, and as Functional Integration table work in private sessions.
Focus or specialty: I work with a wide range of problems, including pain, neurological-muscular issues, and difficulty with daily functioning (walking, balancing, etc.). The focus of Feldenkrais work is on the process of learning to heal and rebalance oneself through movement.
Goal in helping others: My goal is to teach people how to function to the best of their ability.
Professional passion: I greatly enjoy the learning process of the work encounter with the client.
Master Herbalist and Holistic Health Practitioner
South Salem, NY
Certification: Master Herbalist
Certified Avazzia Practitioner
Years practicing: 25
Tell us about your practice: I have a consultation practice in South Salem, NY, and I give workshop and herbal facials. At the LipheBalance Center in Weston, CT, I coach Alkaline Liquid Feast Cleanses. I also co-publish the Holistic Resource Network Directory with Dr. Robert Monk, DC.
Focus or specialty: I am known nationally for successfully addressing chronic Lyme disease and its viral co-infections using medicinal herbs and energy medicine. As a certified Avazzia practitioner I can provide a painless, drug-free way to ameliorate inflammatory issues such as joint pain, sports injuries, shoulder pain, back pain and spasms.
Goal in helping others: My goal is helping others take charge of their wellness naturally. To further this goal, I have written an award-winning book, Gentle Healing for Baby and Child (Simon & Schuster); teach for the New York Botanical Garden; lecture to focus groups; and have hosted TV and radio shows.
Professional passion: I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude when people regain their quality of life.
Licensed Massage Therapist
914.907.4485 • [email protected]
Certification: American Massage Therapy Association,
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, Licensed in NY & CT
Years practicing: 11
Tell us about your practice: Massage is a gentle healing and usually requires more than one treatment to permanently help you, although most people feel immediate relief after one session. I re-educate the muscles to relax and return to their original state. As with exercise, the muscles take a bit of coaxing to return to a healthy state.
Focus or specialty: My formal training is in medical massage therapy. Using integrative massage, I assess your problems and discomforts and tailor a massage specifically for you, using deep-tissue, Swedish and acupressure as well as other modalities to alleviate your problems.
Goal in helping others: My greatest pleasure is helping others reach a state of relaxation and balance as well as re-educating the muscles to relax and return to their original state.
Professional passion: I appreciate having the opportunity to do what I love while helping others lead a stress-free, pain-free life..
Owner of Head To Toe Massage
25 E. Broad St., Mt. Vernon, NY 10552
914.361.9220 • [email protected]
Certification: Licensed in NY, Nationally Certified
Years practicing: 3.5
Tell us about your practice: My massage office is located in the Fleetwood neighborhood of Mt. Vernon, NY, within Fleetwood Chiropractic Center. It is conveniently located off the Cross County Parkway, 3.5 blocks from the Fleetwood Metro North train station.
Focus or specialty: I specialize in therapeutic, medical-based massage and bodywork for the enhancement of health and well-being. I also offer reflexology; aromatherapy; and sports, Swedish and prenatal massage.
Goal in helping others: My philosophy is to work in partnership with my clients to achieve their self-healing and stress-relief goals.
Professional passion: My passion for massage comes from the enjoyment of seeing my clients progress in their physical and emotional healing processes.
Finger Lakes School of Massage
Kendra Rossney, Campus Director
272 N. Bedford Rd., Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
Certification offered: 1,000-hour certification from an accredited school, which allows our graduates to sit for the licensing test
Years operating in Mount Kisco: 5
Courses of study: Swedish massage, hydrotherapy, shiatsu, aromatherapy, medical massage, business, anatomy and physiology, communications, elder massage, chair massage, professional training clinics, sports massage, energy palpation and reflexology, kinesthetic awareness through movement, kinesiology, pathology, cancer and massage
Focus or specialty: We are particularly proud of our ability to offer an intensive program that is focused on our students’ success and their personal and professional development. Finger Lakes School of Massage offers an ideal blend of the academic and energetic pieces that go into developing an outstanding and well-rounded massage therapist.
Goal in helping others: Our goal is to develop massage therapists who are prepared to go out into the world to offer their gift of bodywork to all those who seek healing.
Professional passion: Our passion is preparing students for a career in therapeutic massage with the capacity to provide leadership and vision in the profession. We nourish each student’s innate potential by creating a culture that invites exquisite care of self and others.
Health & Harmony Massage and Wellness Center
2392 Rt. 6, Brewster, NY 10509
845.363.1571 • [email protected]
Certification: Licensed in NY & CT
Nationally Certified, Reiki Practitioner
Years practicing: 3
Tell us about your practice: Health & Harmony offers holistic services for pain and stress management in a peaceful, nurturing environment. Our highly qualified practitioners support each individual’s healing process, ensuring that he or she will leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of the day.
Focus or specialty: At Health & Harmony, our main specialty is massage, and our most popular massage integrates several different techniques, including Swedish, deep-tissue, neuromuscular therapy and connective tissue therapy. We also offer couples massage, hot stone massage, prenatal massage, sports massage, medical massage, Reiki and aromatherapy.
Goal in helping others: Our goal is to help people experience less physical pain and stress in their lives without the use of unnecessary pills or surgery.
Professional passion: We’re passionate about educating people that the negative effects of stress cannot be overstated and that relaxation is as important to our health as diet and exercise, and offering them a quiet, comfortable space where nothing is being asked of them at the moment and they are safe to do just that: relax. See ad, page 44.
Massage and Reiki by Marcus
Synchronicity Healing Center
1511 Rt. 22, C-6 (A&P Plaza), Brewster, NY 10509
845.363.1765 • [email protected]
Certification: 2007 Graduate, Clinical Massage Therapy Program, Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy (Westport),
Licensed in NY, Nationally Certified
Reiki Master Teacher, Studied under William Rand, Center for International Reiki Training
Years practicing: 6
Tell us about your practice: I practice massage and healing at Synchronicity, my store in Brewster, NY. I am also available for private house calls, corporate chair massages, or group gatherings in Putnam, Dutchess and Westchester.
Focus or specialty: I specialize in deep-tissue pain-relief massage combined with assisted stretching. I also work with energy and Swedish techniques for those who just want to de-stress. I bring a combination of modalities and experience to my massage and Reiki practice. I’ve worked on everyone from very sick people in hospice to athletes in top shape.
Goal in helping others: My intention is to help others relax and find peace and harmony in their lives.
Professional passion: My reward is to make people feel relaxed and satisfied. It feels good to give to others, and I love to see people smile.
Massage Envy Spa
777 White Plains Rd., Scarsdale, NY 10583 • 914.902.9200
365 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale, NY 10583 • 914.610.3187
737 Bedford Rd., Bedford Hills, NY 10507 • 914.244.3689
158 S. Ridge St., Rye Brook, NY 10573 • 914.417.6940
Certification: Massage Therapists and Estheticians, Licensed in NY
Years practicing in Westchester: 3
Tell us about your center: Founded in 2002, Massage Envy is the leading provider of therapeutic massages and facials in the United States, with over 860 locations in 47 states. It is a national franchise dedicated to providing affordable, convenient therapeutic massage and facial services to consumers with busy lifestyles.
Focus or specialty: We offer custom-designed therapeutic massage sessions that address clients’ specific needs and embrace multiple modalities. We also offer exclusive Murad® Healthy Skin facials featuring medically proven, skin-nourishing Murad products.
Goal in helping others: Our goal is to provide a pathway to wellness, well-being and worth through professional, convenient and affordable massage therapy and spa services.
Professional passion: We love meeting new people, helping them, and seeing them smile as they leave their sessions.
Carol J. Moran
175 King St., Chappaqua, NY 10514
65 Central Ave. Ossining, NY 10562
914.861.2882 (Chappaqua) • 914.384.2172 (Ossining) • [email protected]
Certification: Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner
Years practicing: 17
Tell us about your practice: The Feldenkrais Method enables us to improve the way we feel and function by accessing our nervous system, in addition to helping us address neuromuscular and skeletal difficulties or recover after an injury.
Focus or specialty: I work with anyone from infants to senior citizens to relieve their neurological or chronic pain, ease stiffness or enhance mobility. I offer group classes and private sessions.
Goal in helping others: My goal is to teach people to reach their full potential and improve the quality of their lives.
Professional passion: What I love about this modality is that it affects a person on every level: physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. My passion is to enable people to eliminate their physical limitations, including pain, and function at a higher level.
Mitchell Carlin Schulman, PhD
Kailo Center for the Healing Arts
201 Briarwood Dr., Somers, NY 10589
914.669.5811 • [email protected]
Certification: Licensed Massage Therapist,
Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
Certified Esalen Massage Practitioner
Certified in Advanced Myofascial Techniques
Years practicing: 8
Tell us about your practice: I provide therapeutic massage and bodywork in a tranquil, private office setting, primarily to adults and older adolescents. My work is informed by a broad and significant clinical and educational background, and by my experience in successfully addressing a variety of client needs, conditions and concerns.
Focus or specialty: Therapies are offered in consultation with clients, and before I touch, I listen. I draw from a number of bodywork modalities to create individualized massage experiences. I incorporate myofascial release into most sessions, and I now offer Esalen Massage to clients seeking a new and unique bodywork perspective.
Goal in helping others: My major goal is to help clients ease their pain, manage their stress, and in doing so, live a more calm and centered life. Mind and body, everything is connected.
Professional passion: I observe the healing power of touch every day, and helping people live more comfortably in their bodies provides me with an ongoing challenge, a continuous education and deep professional satisfaction.
Soulauras Wisdom & Wellness
A Center for the Alignment of Mind, Body and Spirit
520 N. State Rd., Ste. 101,
Briarcliff, NY 10510
Certification: Licensed Massage Therapist, Licensed in NY, Nationally Certified, MSEd, Special Education, 4th Dan Master Instructor, United Martial Arts Centers
Years practicing: 2 as an LMT, 20+ as a hands-on practitioner of movement facilitation
Tell us about your practice: Soulauras is a community of practitioners with a combined 30+ years of experience. Our depth of knowledge, experience and compassion have created the foundation for supporting our clients’ path to health and wellness. We provide an inspired, nurturing environment from which wellness and harmony can be realized.
Focus or specialty: We offer deep-tissue therapeutic bodywork and massage modalities, including acupressure, myofascial pain release, trigger point therapy, and Swedish relaxation and prenatal massage; energy work, including chakra balancing, reflexology and meridian flow; monochord sound healing; and yoga.
Goal in helping others: The mission and vision of Soulauras is to enhance wellness and quality of life through massage therapy and integrated holistic healing with generosity of time, heart and spirit.
Professional passion: We approach each session from a place of humility and gratitude. The trust that is established when clients allow us to support them in wellness nurtures our passion, and we are most passionate about providing sessions in which clients can experience generosity of time, heart and spirit. Boundless joy is our reward.
Medicine Hands Massage
917.362.7546 • [email protected]
Certification: Licensed Massage Therapist, Licensed in NY & CT, Nationally Certified
Years practicing: 10
Tell us about your practice: I’m a massage therapist, holistic teacher and father. My wife and I run a boutique wellness center at the foot of a beautiful waterfall in Garrison, NY, where we offer massage therapy and spa and wellness services. I also provide outcall massage to clients in Westchester, Putnam and NYC.
Focus or specialty: I specialize in therapeutic deep-tissue massage and assisted stretching in order to release musculoskeletal tension and pain, realign chronic postural imbalances and restore ease and full range of motion to the body.
Goal in helping others: My goal is to facilitate ease in the body and empower people toward greater health and vitality.
Professional passion: It’s a beautiful thing to have an immediate, positive impact on others through one’s work.
Metta Massage Therapy
64 Gleneida Ave. #211, Carmel, NY 10512
Certification: Licensed Massage Therapist,
Reiki Master, Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher 200 (500 pending)
Years practicing: 16
Tell us about your practice: I work with deep, strong pressure and look at the body as a whole because the problem is not always where the pain is. I offer appointments in my office as well as house calls; my hours are flexible to meet the demands of my clients’ busy schedules.
Focus or specialty: The modalities I find most effective are deep-tissue, Reiki and myofascial release as well as yoga.
Goal in helping others: My motto is “Be effective without being torturous.” A massage should feel good and help.
Professional passion: I love knowing that I’m making people’s lives better.
Natural Awakenings’ Bodywork Guide
In 2010, the nonprofit Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles, published the results of research done by its department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences that confirmed centuries of anecdotal evidence: People that undergo massage experience measureable changes in the responses of their immune and endocrine systems.
For millennia, therapeutic touch has been used to heal the body and reduce tension. Today, more than 100 types of bodywork techniques are available, with modalities ranging from massage and deep tissue manipulation to movement awareness and bio-energetic therapies. All are designed to improve the body’s structure and functioning. Bodywork may be used to help reduce pain, relieve stress, improve blood and lymphatic circulation and promote deep relaxation; some therapies simultaneously focus on emotional release.
The following list includes many of the better-known bodywork systems. Finding an approach that improves one’s mental and physical health is a highly individual process; with professional guidance, several modalities may be combined for the greatest personal benefit.
Acupressure: Based on the same system as acupuncture, acupressure stimulates body pressure points using fingers and hands instead of needles, in order to restore a balanced flow of life energy (qi or chi, pronounced “chee”). This force moves through the body along 12 energy pathways, or meridians, which practitioners “unblock and strengthen.” Common styles include jin shin, which gently holds at least two points at once for a minute or more; and shiatsu, which applies firm pressure to each point for three to five seconds. (Also see Shiatsu.) Tui na and Thai massage stimulate qi through acupressure hand movements, full-body stretches and Chinese massage techniques. (Also see Tui na.) Other forms of acupressure include jin shin do, jin shin jyutsu and acu-yoga. Learn more at Acupressure.com.
Alexander Technique: This awareness practice helps identify and change unconscious, negative physical habits related to posture and movement, breathing and tension. While observing the way an individual walks, stands, sits or performs other basic movements, the practitioner keeps their hands in easy contact with the body and gently guides it to encourage a release of restrictive muscular tension. The technique is frequently used to treat repetitive strain injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome, backaches, plus stiff necks and shoulders. Learn more at AlexanderTechnique.com.
Ayurvedic Massage: It’s one part of panchakarma, a traditional East Indian detoxification and rejuvenation program, in which the entire body is vigorously massaged with large amounts of warm oil and herbs to remove toxins. With the client’s permission, oil is also poured into the ears, between the eyebrows and applied to specific chakras, or body energy centers, in techniques known respectively as karna purana, shirodhara and marma chikitsa. These treatments, modified to meet the needs of the West, powerfully affect the mind and nervous system—calming, balancing and bringing a heightened sense of awareness and deep inner peace.
Ayurvedic massage techniques are grounded in an understanding of the primordial energies of the five elements—ether, air, fire, water and earth—and of the three basic types of energies, or constitutions, that are present in everyone and everything—vata, pitta and kapha. A knowledgeable therapist selects and customizes various ayurvedic massage techniques by selecting the rate and pressure of massage strokes and the proper oils and herbs. Learn more at AyurvedicMassage.com.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST): The practitioner applies manual therapeutic procedures to remedy distortions in the structure and function of the craniosacral mechanism—the brain and spinal cord, the bones of the skull, the sacrum and interconnected membranes. Craniosacral work is based upon two major premises: the bones of the skull can be manipulated because they never completely fuse; and the pulse of the cerebrospinal fluid can be balanced by a practitioner trained to detect pulse variations. CST, also referred to as cranial osteopathy, is used to treat learning difficulties, dyslexia, hyperactivity, migraine headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, chronic pain and ear, eye and balance problems.
Deep Tissue Bodywork: In this method, stretching and moving the connective tissue that envelops the muscles (fascia) works to lengthen and balance the body along its natural, vertical axis. Distortions of the connective tissue may be caused by internal reactions and complications due to accidents, emotional tensions or past unreleased traumas. The practitioner uses slow strokes, direct pressure or friction across the muscles via fingers, thumbs or elbows. Deep tissue massage works to detoxify tissue by helping to remove accumulated lactic acid and other waste products from the muscles. The therapy is used to ease or eliminate chronic muscular pain or inflammatory pain from arthritis, tendonitis and other ailments, and help with injury rehabilitation. Learn more at DeepBodywork.com.
Feldenkrais Method: This distinctive approach combines movement training, gentle touch and verbal dialogue to help students straighten out what founder Moshé Pinhas Feldenkrais calls, “kinks in the brain.” Kinks are learned movement patterns that no longer serve a constructive purpose. They may have been adopted to compensate for a physical injury or to accommodate individuality in the social world. Students of the Feldenkrais Method unlearn unworkable movements and discover better, personalized ways to move, using mind-body principles of slowed action, conscious breathing, body awareness and thinking about their feelings.
Feldenkrais takes two forms: In individual hands-on sessions (Functional Integration), the practitioner’s touch is used to address the student’s breathing and body alignment. In a series of classes of slow, non-aerobic motion (Awareness Through Movement), students “relearn” better ways for their bodies to move. Feldenkrais therapy is useful in the treatment of muscle injuries, back pain, arthritis, stress and tension. Learn more at Feldenkrais.com.
Hot Stone Therapy: This soothing form of massage employs smooth heated or cooled stones to elicit physical healing, mental relaxation and a spiritual connection with Earth’s energy. Stones are placed at different spots on the body for energy balancing or may be used by the therapist on specific trigger points. Warm stones encourage the exchange of blood and lymph and provide relaxing heat for deep-tissue work. Cold stones aid with inflammation, moving blood out of the affected area and balancing male/female energies. The alternating heat and cold of thermotherapy helps activate all of the body’s healing processes with a rapid exchange of blood and oxygen and an alternating rise and fall of respiration rate as the body seeks homeostasis. Learn more at LaStoneTherapy.com.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage: This gentle, non-invasive, rhythmical, whole-body massage aims to stimulate the lymphatic system to release excess fluid from loose connective tissues, thus helping to remove toxins. Lymph glands are part of the body’s defense against infection; blockage or damage within the system may lead to conditions such as edema, acne, inflammation, arthritis and sinusitis. By stimulating one of the body’s natural cleansing systems, it supports tissue health. It’s also been effective in assuaging lymphedema following mastectomy surgery. Learn more at VodderSchool.com and LymphNet.org.
Massage: At its most basic, this ancient hands-on therapy involves rubbing or kneading the body to encourage relaxation, healing and well-being. Today, more than 100 different methods of massage are available, most of them in five categories: traditional; Oriental or energetic; European; contemporary Western; and integrative, encompassing structure, function and movement. Massage offers proven benefits to meet a variety of physical challenges and may also be a useful preventive therapy. Learn more at amtaMassage.org.
Myofascial Release: This whole-body, hands-on technique seeks to free the body from the grip of tight fascia, or connective tissue, thus restoring normal alignment and function and reducing pain. Therapists use their hands to apply mild, sustained pressure in order to gently stretch and soften fascia. Developed in the late 1960s by Physical Therapist John Barnes, myofascial release is used to treat neck and back pain, headaches, recurring sports injuries and scoliosis. Learn more at MyofascialRelease.com.
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT): Specific massage therapy and flexibility stretching help balance the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, emphasizing the interwoven roles of the brain, spine and nerves in causing muscular pain. Its goal is to relieve tender, congested spots in muscle tissue and compressed nerves that may radiate pain to other areas of the body. (Also see Trigger Point Therapy.) Learn more at MyofascialTherapy.org.
Physical Therapy: Traditional physical therapy evaluates difficulties with mobility or function to focus on rehabilitation that entails restorative treatment and instruction on how to make efficient use of the body in daily activities. Physical therapists use massage, exercise, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and other means to help the patient regain functional movement. Learn more at apta.org.
Polarity Therapy: Combinations of therapeutic bodywork, nutritional guidance, yoga-style exercises and counseling aim at heightening body awareness. Polarity therapy asserts that energy fields exist everywhere in nature and their free flow and balance in the human body is the underlying foundation of good health. Practitioners use gentle touch and guidance to help clients balance their energy flow, thus supporting a return to health. The practitioner’s hands do not impart energy, but redirect the flow of the receiver’s own energy. The receiver then recharges himself with his own freed energy. Learn more at PolarityTherapy.org.
Reflexology (Zone Therapy): Reflexology is based on the idea that specific reflex points on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands correspond with every major organ, gland and area (zone) of the body. Using fingers and thumbs, the practitioner applies pressure to these points to treat a wide range of health problems. Zone therapy, an earlier name for this natural healing art, sometimes refers to a specific form of reflexology. Learn more at Reflexology-USA.net.
Reiki: A healing practice originated in Japan as a way of activating and balancing the life-force present in all living things, Reiki literally means “universal life-force energy”. Light hand placements channel healing energies to organs and glands and work to align the body’s energy centers, or chakras. Various techniques address emotional and mental distress, chronic and acute physical problems or pursuit of spiritual focus and clarity. Today Reiki is a valuable addition to the work of chiropractors, massage therapists, nurses and others in the West. Learn more at Reiki.org.
Shiatsu: The most widely known form of acupressure, shiatsu is Japanese for “finger pressure”. The technique applies varying degrees of pressure to balance the life energy that flows through specific pathways, or meridians, in the body. Shiatsu is used to release tension and strengthen weak areas in order to facilitate even circulation, cleanse cells and improve the function of vital organs; it also may help to diagnose, prevent and relieve many chronic and acute conditions that manifest on both physical and emotional levels. A branch of shiatsu that originated in the United States, called ohashiatsu, includes meditation and exercise. Learn more at ShiatsuSociety.org and Ohashiatsu.org.
Sports Massage: The specialized field of sports massage employs a variety of massage techniques and stretching exercises designed to minimize the risk of injury, tend to sports injuries and support optimum performance.
Swedish Massage: This is the most commonly practiced form of massage in Western countries. Swedish massage integrates ancient Oriental techniques with contemporary principles of anatomy and physiology. Practitioners rub, knead, pummel, brush and tap the client’s muscles, topped with long, gliding strokes. Swedish massage is especially effective for improving circulation; relieving muscle tension and back and neck pain; promoting relaxation; and decreasing stress. Practitioners vary in training, techniques and session lengths.
Trigger Point Therapy (Myotherapy): This massage technique is used to relieve pain, similar to Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT). Practitioners apply pressure to specific “trigger points” on the body—tender, congested spots of muscle tissue that may radiate pain to other areas—in order to release tension and spasms. Treatment decreases the swelling and stiffness associated with muscular pain and increases range of motion. Learn more at MyofascialTherapy.org.
Please note: The contents of this Bodywork Guide are for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be used in place of a visit or consultation with a healthcare professional. Always seek out a practitioner that is licensed, certified or otherwise professionally qualified to conduct a selected treatment, as appropriate.