I don’t know if it’s because I trained in bodywork before we all started photographing everything, or if it’s because maybe…the sanctity of the bodywork room is still respected (I’d like to hope) But I don’t seem to have photos of this time of my life, but this an image from the very first massage photo shoot I did — and this image was in fact, my business card for many years. Captured by Liza Gershman.
My first training in bodywork began with Gary Ruiz in 2005, learning the art of Shiatsu Massage. Gary was the best teacher to learn from as a first instructor, because he truly believes as much about being a good person as he does about doing good bodywork. The integrity he modeled offered a way of building deep connections with clients that was a counterpoint of all my future offerings. After our nearly year-long class ended, Gary suggested I continue my education at the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley. Contrasting the firmer pressure of Shiatsu, I found the potency in light touch to be mind-blowing. Studying an array of work, I honed in on Stress Management as an “emphasis,” during my studies. Around this time, I also completed a basic Swedish massage training at McKinnon Institute in Oakland, where I also took advanced anatomy training and completed my Pre-natal Massage training. The cherry topping to my massage training came when I went to Esalen. My first training was with Ellen Watson, who taught an incredible Art of Touch course, that impressed on me forever the power of thoughtful + present touch. Later, I trained with Perry + Johanna Holloman, who offer their own unique version of Deep Tissue, called Deepwork. While I had intentions of continuing to train with them both for more bodywork courses, being an entrepreneur made breaking away more challenging. Yet, one of the silver linings in the Shelter-in-Place was having the opportunity to learn Integrative Gestalt Coaching with Perry and Johanna. Transcending the work I’ve done for years on the massage table into something else is exhilarating and still very much in the process. Stay tuned for more this spring/early summer!!