Licenses, Education, Training
Massachusetts Board of Registration of Massage
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
Certification # 531531-07
Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals
Certified Member # 960915
Susan Clark, Reiki Master Teacher
Reiki Master Training
Dovenstar Reiki Institute
Reiki Practitioner Training
Levels 1 and 2
Lightworkers Healing MethodTM
Complete Core Curriculum
Hypnotherapy Training Institute
Master Hypnotist Training
Corte Madera, CA
Colorado School of Healing Arts
Trauma Touch Therapy Intensive Training
Shannon Gilmartin, CMT
The Art of Massage CuppingTM Therapy
Patricia Duff, Reiki Master
Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Michael LiPelt, N.D., L.Ac., DDS
Craniosacral Therapy 1
Brenneke Continuing Education
The Art of Inner Seeing
Seattle Massage School
Brenneke/Cortiva School of Massage
Massage Therapy Training
I learned massage at the Brenneke (now Cortiva) School of Massage in Seattle. My first practice was in a health club in Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood.
I sold that after about five years and then I had a sports practice in the Dominican Republic where my clients were surfers and expats. My “office” was on a terrace at the beach and sometimes windsurfers would jump up off my table if they heard the wind pick up. They’d come back later covered in salt and seaweed, aching, exhausted and happy!
Since arriving in Boston in 2007, I’ve worked as a massage instructor and as lead therapist at Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women.
I’ve traveled to the Colorado School of Healing Arts, near Denver, to learn bodywork for trauma. Then I went to Corte Madera, California for a month to attend the Hypnotherapy Training Institute’s 200-hour Master Hypnotist certification program. I also studied energy healing for 18 months with the Lightworkers Healing Method, which is based in Sarasota, Florida and holds classes at Kripalu.
During those 18 months I worked as a teaching assistant as I continued turning in case studies for my own practice. It was all-consuming and intense. When you learn “healing” you get lots of lessons in healing for yourself…even ones you weren’t quite ready for. Tough program but so well worth it!
Backing up a bit, I went to Clark University in Worcester, MA, but higher education didn’t hold my attention past getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology. It’s nice that I got an A in statistics so I can get the gist of the research papers that say massage therapy and meditation are good for you!
Instead of graduate school I went into the Peace Corps and, true to the old TV ads, it was the “toughest job I ever loved.”
When I came back to the States, grad school still didn’t seem interesting to me. I went instead to Key West, Florida. That gave me yet another new perspective. People who lived there were definitely interesting, a mix of Cubans, Bahamians, and “Conchs” as they were called, old time islanders with little use for convention and lots of use for a simple life and Sunset, strong Cuban coffee at 3pm, and rum at all hours.
I got interested in herbal tinctures and holistic health while I was there. That’s how I decided to go to Seattle to experience the west coast and to learn massage.
While there I traveled by bike, I hiked, I did yoga, and I meditated. A lot. I laugh at myself for missing the grunge scene because I was busy doing downward dog and chanting om. (I did once serve coffee to Pearl Jam, though, working in a cafe during massage school.)
Seatte, was a great, healthy, holistic outdoor life. I loved it there, but I have to admit I got tired of the rain, so after six years I came back to Boston.
Wow. Culture shock. I couldn’t find much yoga here yet at that time, 1999, believe it or not, and massage therapy was still a hard sell.
While bumping along in pre-holistic Boston, I went to visit my grandma who’d retired in the Dominican Republic. There I met a surfer who offered me a space to set up my massage table in his surf school, named Happy Surf.
How could I refuse? That’s how I ended up doing five years of sports massage for wind-, wave-, and kite-surfing enthusiasts from all over the world.
That time in my life was magic…sleeping, waking, working right next to the ocean. I wrote. I worked. I met interesting people. I got to watch the sun rise and the moon set into and out of the ocean in my back yard every morning and every evening. I did love that place…
It was hard to maintain my national certification credential in the Dominican Republic, though, because of the continuing education requirement. I was able to find a Reiki teacher there, but after awhile I longed for more opportunities to better my skill set. Also, my gram eventually died and I felt the pull to get back to “real life.”
Real life turned out to be working in Boston for four years making contacts and going to continuing ed classes. When I’d developed a large enough following, I started my own practice, first in the Back Bay and finally in Brighton, where you’ll find me now.
Another question people often ask: What do you do for fun? For fun…I work! It’s true, my work is my calling. I love doing things that help me become a better healing professional. To help others heal is to heal yourself and that’s all I want from life. I want simplicity, freedom, peace, and love, and to do my best to help others have these things too.
Included in my list of likes, past and present are: meditation and yoga, Zumba, dancing, martial arts, other cultures (I speak passable Spanish and used to have enough Arabic to work and not starve in Tunisia), reading things metaphysical and holistic, writing, and messing with my website and Facebook. Oh, and animals! I’m a vegan and have been since 9/11. It’s the way I’ve chosen, along with my work, of putting out vibrations of kindness and compassion into our world.