Beginning in July 2021, Jennifer Keller will join me here at Thrive Together Healing Arts. Here’s a little Q & A to help you get to know her:
What draws you to bodywork as a career?
I’ve always enjoyed helping people and being of service. After a lot of customer service jobs, I needed to find a way to serve people that fed my soul and kept me engaged and excited. The body is such a beautiful, complex machine and the opportunities for learning are endless. I also love working one-on-one to achieve goals and having an ongoing therapeutic relationship with clients.
Where did you do your training, and what kinds of continuing education have you integrated into your practice?
I completed the 750 hour Professional Massage Practitioner program at Discoverypoint School of Massage in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. Since then, I’ve taken continuing ed in Thai massage, cupping, and a 6-month mentorship in neuro-myofascial, unwinding, and structural decompression techniques which has been my favorite and given me a new way to perceive working with the body.
Has there been a bodywork experience you have had, either giving or receiving, that has felt transformational in some way?
There are a few things that come to mind. I remember the first time I received a massage and experienced an emotional release. This was a lightbulb moment for me about how trauma can be stored in the body *for years*, and how powerful touch can be as a modality that helps shift that stored energy, bringing a person into greater presence and awareness.
The second experience was when I was working with a client who’d had multiple massages for injury treatment, but was still experiencing constant pain. They were willing to give my myofascial technique a try even though it was a departure from the deep-tissue they’d been used to. As we were working, I could feel their tissue shifting and asked the client what, if anything, they were experiencing. They reported feeling more space in their body, and despite lying still on the table, having a sensation of their arm feeling raised into the air. At the end of that first session, they had greater range of motion and ease of movement and it is so exciting to witness people experiencing these kinds of feelings in their bodies.
When do you know that you are in the zone with someone on your table?
When I feel the most in the zone is when my client’s body softens, and I am aware that I am working at a depth that is sinking in to where their tissue allows me to go, rather than trying to plow through their resistance.
What was it about my practice that felt like a potential fit?
I’d been envisioning becoming my own boss and had a list of desired characteristics for my new office. When I saw your offering, it ticked all the boxes: mentorship, start-up support, trades, hydraulic table, COVID precautions, location. I really loved the Structural Integration class I had at school and thought your experience could further inform my work. We share an interest in working with the effects of trauma and I think we have similar attitudes about helping and supporting people.
What are some areas of curiosity for further training?
I am very interested in Somatic Experiencing and Craniosacral therapy. These are my next two certification goals. I am also interested in pursuing training in massage for cancer care, and exploring the use of sound as an adjunct to massage.
What are you excited about in this new venture?
I am excited to form relationships with clients and discover how I can help folks from all walks of life achieve their goals for greater health and wellbeing. I am always exited for opportunities to grow as a person and a massage therapist.