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




           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).  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 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.


For years, I daily did exercises for strength and alignment, struggling- with little success- to bring my body out of mis-alignment and discomfort. I finally began to realize “It is not what you do, but how you do it”, and that the “how you do it” that worked for many other people was not working for me.

This led me to explore movement and the body in new ways, and I began to better understand what I needed to come into an easy, healthful, alignment - one that could remain balanced in both movement and stillness.

I began to incorporate these ideas/concepts into my teaching and sessions with clients.


Over the many years I have been in practice, I have come to believe that although I may be working with a body that is in stillness on my table, I need to view/perceive that body as a moving, dynamic, structure that is, at that moment, resting in stillness.


In addition, my personal experiences and what I have noted in my clients have led me to believe that Therapeutic Movement is often a key part of recovering from injury/surgery, reducing or eliminating pain, and building strength; of decreasing the tendency for injury; of changing our habitual postural and thought patterns – which can help us to decrease our rate of in jury, to bring more ease into our bodies as we move and rest in stillness, and to bring a sense of calm into our lives.


The longer I practiced massage therapy, the more convinced I became that therapeutic massage was not the main arena I wanted to be working within, but instead, I wanted it to be one of a number of “tools” I use.

Zero Balancing, fascial work, incorporating a fuller scope of Therapeutic Movement  and Stress Reduction, and viewing the body as a moving, dynamic structure had become of greater import to me.



Because of my experiences and my understanding of how the body responds/ learns/creates new habits, I wanted to offer my clients more than therapeutic massage and some stretches and exercises. (And yes, if a client wants to come see me “only “ for therapeutic bodywork, I am happy to see them for that.)


I know that I recover better- more quickly and more fully- from an injury or strain when I become more aware of my Internal Landscape, and when I increase my consciousness of how I am using my body and what might be triggering my discomfort. This is true whether the injury was the result of a fall, overuse, or postural mis-use.


The positive changes I noted as I began to more consistently and fully bring these concepts into my work with clients/students have been profound.


How energy flows - or not – in our bodies has always been a source of fascination and intrigue for me.

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/focus on your entire body, because where pain/restriction is felt may not be where it is originating, and because everything is connected.


Bodywork Beyond Massage's Therapeutic Bodywork, Movement, and Stress Reduction 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 home page on 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