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                     Helping People Find More Healthful and Comfortable Ways

                                          To Move Through Their Daily Routines

                                            with Ease,  Alignment, and  Balance


                                   Leave Pain Behind........Relax Deeply Into Your Soul   

                                      Therapeutic Bodywork, Movement, Stress Reduction:

                 Three Different Approaches to Help Increase Well-Being and Find Inner Balance  

           SOOTHING  body and soul     RELEASING  deeply held tensions   CREATING new patterns of ease

                      Briefly:  My personal experiences with finding both frustration and joy in movement,                      in recovering (or not) from injuries,  and of coming to understand and experience what it                       means to be comfortable in my own body, have guided my work into its current formats.

                         (See my blog posts  "The importance of getting the right treatment", 3/04/23,

                             and  " Why Chose One Massage Therapist Instead Of Another?", 3/23/23)



           In my practice, I have divided the work that I do into 3 categories of therapeutic sessions: 

                                              Bodywork, Movement, and Stress Reduction

In actuality, for me, there is no way to separate Bodywork from Movement from Stress Reduction- the three exist within/as part of/ the others: There is Stress Reduction in the Movement, and in the Bodywork. There is Bodywork within the Stress Reduction and the Movement. There is Movement within the Bodywork and the Stress Reduction.


Some cultures/ healing traditions view us as beings of Body/Mind/Spirit. Some view us as physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual beings. Some view us as spiritual and physical beings, some view us as energetic beings; some simply as physical beings.


Again, for me, similar thoughts arise: There is no way to separate our physical from our energetic from our spiritual from our mental- they exist within/ as a part of/ each other.



I have been a licensed massage therapist since 1985,  a certified Zero Balancer since 1998 (I have been a mentor for the Zero Balancing Health Association), and am a certified yoga teacher (200 hour Embodyoga certification, Patty Townsend, 2007- Patty's work is based in Iyengar and Body-Mind Centering).  I hold a BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory of Music, and have been teaching dance/movement in the Pioneer Valley area since 2004.  I have 60 years training in movement, and 50 in "body-mind" techniques.  I continue to take courses in both bodywork and movement techniques on a regular basis.





I believe that we can all increase the ease and joy that we experience as we move in and inhabit our bodies. In many instances, our journey to physical healing may involve focusing on different things - therapeutic bodywork, movement, a connection to one's inner realm, habitual postural/thought patterns, diet, etc..

A few years ago, I changed the name of my practice to Bodywork Beyond Massage. I did this because I was doing increasingly less therapeutic massage and increasingly more Zero Balancing and Dynamic Rebalancing, and bringing more Therapeutic Movement and Stress Reduction concepts into my practice.


In Zero Balancing, we often talk about  "Creating the Opportunity for Change to Occur".

In my work, one of my goals is to help my client/student become aware of their body- aware of relationships and Internal Landscape: postural relationships, the balance of how muscles are used, habitual postural patterns, the quality of energy used in stillness and movement, etc..

This awareness creates more opportunity for change to occur.


This awareness can bring us into a relationship with our bodies that, for many of us, may be new and different: more cooperative, filled with more ease and pliability, less strained and thus more relaxed and restful.

If a client wants to come in for Dynamic Rebalancing Therapeutic Bodywork sessions and not delve into consciously exploring their Inner Landscape and internal relationships, that is fine, too.

I began studying dance when I was a child, and by the time I was a teen I was fascinated by how energy moves- or not- through our bodies, and how posture and ease of movement are influenced by/connected to the flow of energy.

As a dance major at the Boston Conservatory of Music and in years following, I would experience energy flows/patterns of movement that would pull my body along certain paths and when I asked my teachers about what I was experiencing/noticing, they would get flustered and answer "It does not matter".


But it DID matter.


By the time  I was in my senior year of college, my knees and my back were injured.  I began receiving regular massage therapy sessions and was drawn to massage as a therapeutic practice.


After graduation I began practicing massage therapy, and continued studying dance and various bodywork techniques, becoming a certified Zero Balancer in 1998.  Zero Balancing principles/techniques have had a major influence on my life and my approach to/experience of bodywork.


One of the places I began to find some good answers to those questions I had had in college and in years following was in my Embodyoga yoga teacher training with Patty Townsend (certification 2007), rooted in Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen's Body-Mind Centering work.


The therapeutic bodywork I practice has always been linked to movement and energy flow.  As Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen says,  "...Touch is the other side of movement. Movement is the other side of touch. They are the shadow of each other."


Over the years my massage therapy practice had become primarily a Zero Balancing practice, and as more years passed, I began incorporating  fascial release work into my therapeutic bodywork sessions.

I began offering movement education sessions to clients (see page: "Movement" on this website).


When my physical office closed for hands-on, in-person, sessions March 2020 due to COVID, I began on-line studies.  I studied Advanced Myofascial Techniques (Til Luchau) and Zoga Movement Therapy (Wojciech Cackowski); soon after I added a floor barre dance class with Diane Arvanites (Zena Rommett);  and shortly after that, I began studying Body-Mind Centering with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.


All of these classes/approaches have added more depth, specificity, and richness to all of the work that I do-  therapeutic bodywork, movement, and stress reduction sessions, as well as the dance classes I teach.


When I closed my office due to COVID, I also added Distance and Zoom sessions to my practice (see page "Telehealth Sessions: About" on this website).


My vision is for all people who work with me- whether through the format of bodywork, movement, or stress reduction - to find an increased sense of connection to, and ease in, how they move and rest, and how they inhabit their bodies; and that this leads them to a deeper sense of internal trust and comfort.

In all of the work that I do, I focus on how patterns of energy and weight transfer and use travel through our body structure, in motion and in rest. This means I look at patterns of energy transfer and energy use, and also patterns of weight transfer and weight use, and how these patterns have created pathways in the body. These pathways can help or hinder us as we seek to increase our well -being and find our inner balance. The work that I do strives to strengthen patterns that help us, and to release patterns that hinder us.



Even if you are coming to see me because of a problem with one area of your body, I will usually work with/focus on your entire body, because where pain/restriction is felt may not be where it is originating; because everything is connected; and because once we have "re-organized"  areas/released restrictions and redirected flows,  that work needs to be integrated into the rest of the body.


Bodywork Beyond Massage's Therapeutic Bodywork, Movement, and Stress Reduction sessions help to relieve pain, discomfort, and restrictions, headaches, etc.; to increase physical ease, range of motion, and strength, as well as feelings of equanimity, "inner strength", and calmness; and to develop new, more healthful and comfortable ways to move through daily routines, with ease, alignment, and balance.

Each session focuses on what would be most beneficial for that specific person on that specific day; and that day's treatment will fit in with the longer-range treatment plan for that individual.

Although sessions can focus primarily on either the physical or the "Inner Peace" aspect of treatment, each session, by the nature of the work, addresses our full Body/Mind/Spirit, and leaves clients feeling deeply rested and rejuvenated.

Sessions are based on a holistic and functional movement approach, and are designed to be integrated into the client's entire body.

Combining a practical understanding of how our bodies are designed to move with an understanding of how our habitual postural and thought patterns can interfere with optimum use of that design, sessions have been described as "a synthesis of  muscular, skeletal, fascial, and rehabilitative work."

Dynamic Balanced Movement, Dynamic Rebalancing, and my approach to Therapeutic Bodywork,  Movement, and Stress Reduction  are all influenced by my experiences and training as a dancer, musician, and homeopath.

You can find me on Facebook  at both Bodywork Beyond Massage and Dynamic Balanced Movement; and you can  access my blog  by going to the menu list on any page of this website, clicking on "More", and then "Blog".

                                   Increase Your  Well-Being......Find Your Inner Balance


Be Healthy.  Be Kind.  To Yourself, and to Others.  Believe in Our Resilience.  Revel in Happiness.

                                                                     Karen Michaels

                                                                    LMT, CZB, CET

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