I became a Shi’atsu practitioner in San Francisco in 1997. After I moved to the DC area, I attended the Baltimore School of Massage where I completed a comprehensive program that included Swedish, deep tissue, myofascial release, sports and pre-natal massage, and therapeutic techniques for working in a medical and/or clinical setting. I’ve also studied craniosacral therapy, Jin Shin Do mind-body acupressure and am a Reiki Master/Teacher.
I worked at the Quiet Waters Center from May 2008 to August 2011. Prior to that I practiced at Healing Arts of Capitol Hill beginning in 2001. Before that I worked in the office of Dr. JoAnn Zinn, a chiropractor in Takoma Park. Before I was a massage therapist, I had a career of careers, trying my hand at many different professions.
I’ve been an enthusiastic receiver of therapeutic massage for decades. I believe massage is one of the building blocks of good health, in the same category as eating well, getting enough sleep, doing good work, having fun and spending time with people you love. Therapeutic massage is not likely to save the planet, but it enhances good health on many levels. Like all foundational pieces of good health, therapeutic massage works best when clients receive the work regularly. One night of sufficient sleep is better than nothing, but over time, consistently decent sleep builds good humor and resilience, improves focus, strengthens immunity. The benefits of good sleep are cumulative. I believe the same is true for massage. Clients who come in for an occasional massage or people who come for treatment when they’ve been ill or injured will also benefit. Massage is always a good idea!
My intention in all sessions is to create ease and flow for my clients, to create spaciousness in which the release of anxiety and tension can occur. I believe in corporeal intelligence; that is, the tendency of the body to seek balance if given half a chance. I use a combination of massage styles, including Swedish, deep tissue, Reiki, and mind-body acupressure, creating a slightly different session every time depending on the needs of the client. Some massage therapists have recipes for bodywork – smoothing Swedish all the way, or pounding deep tissue from head to toe. I honor that style of practice and admire its consistency, but it’s not what I do. Every massage is likely to be similar, but distinct from the sessions that precede and follow it. Sessions last about an hour.
I sometimes work with clients while they are hospitalized, if it's OK with hospital staff and family. I also visit clients at home when they are too ill to come to my office. Other than the above, I do not do outcall work.
For clients facing complicated physical issues, or for people too physically or emotionally frail to receive vigorous therapeutic massage, I offer Reiki, therapeutic touch and other energy modalities. This is a great option for healthy clients when they’re sick as well as during times of emotional duress.
I believe everyone can benefit from numerous approaches to good health. Therapeutic massage supports every kind of self-care. May you be well. Shalom.
Reya Mellicker, LMT, RM