embodygrace
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about gina

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I’m here to help you feel more present, empowered, mobile and graceful in your physical form.

I am a bodyworker and a movement teacher, and a fellow human that longs for us to inhabit and trust and play in our bodies as we did as children - even as the world around us strives to draw us into its technological and virtual reality.

I believe in natural intelligence, and that it has far more to offer towards our well-being than artificial intelligence.

As we are inundated with information about diet, exercise and self-care, I strive to help you uncover what your body wants to reveal to you, so you can make more informed and authentic choices for your own health and well-being.

My goal is to help you honor and appreciate your body as the vehicle for your soul, your life’s expression and purpose, and to embody grace.


For almost fifteen years…

…I have had the honor and privilege of helping many people seeking relief from stress, injuries or imbalance - from all walks and stages of life: corporate office workers, people with joint replacements, bone loss, scoliosis; survivors of trauma and chronic health issues, like Lyme disease; young people dealing with sports injuries and anxiety; overwhelmed mothers and other caretakers, and folks that just want to be able to move better and more often.

I’d be honored to work with you.

Three ways you can get started

If you’re in the Chester County PA area and you’re interested in bodywork or attending live classes, workshops or coaching sessions, see my services and classes page here.

If you’re interested in practices that you can do at home or anywhere on your own time, explore those possibilities here (coming soon!).

If you’d like to just read, listen, or otherwise get some ideas and inspiration, read the blog or search through my free resources here.

To get in touch with me, click here.

 

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my training, credentials and influences

I am a shiatsu practitioner and a certified Restorative Exercise Specialist

 

I hold an Associate Degree in Visual Communication from the Art Institute of Philadelphia, a certification in Asian Bodywork Therapy (specifically, shiatsu) from the International School of Shiatsu in Doylestown, PA, and a certification as a Personal Trainer in Restorative Exercise from the Nutritious Movement Center Northwest in Sequim, WA.

I’ve also taken courses in Herbalism, Myoskeletal Alignment, Reiki, macrobiotic cooking and Ecopsychology.

I have created websites and promotional materials for myself and other therapists.

I’ve worked in many restaurants, for a New Age magazine, canvassed for Greenpeace, and owned a tie-dye company for 20 years with my former husband.

I have been a passionate blog writer since 2006, created a handful of ebooks, and for a few years, held a position as “Town Crier” for a start-up hyperlocal news company - bringing stories of interest and positivity to my community. (Meaning: I LOVE to write!)

For the last ten years, I’ve taught classes and workshops in movement and stress management - solo and with my partner - to our clients, community and in corporate settings.

As I consider my practice to be the confluence of the many rivers I’ve explored, my lineage is broad and deep.

From my shiatsu teachers, movement teachers, co-parents and teachers following ‘alternative’ educational paths (and my 12th grade English teacher who taught philosophy!); to fellow writers, bloggers, bodyworkers and holistic practitioners; spiritual mentors (especially Hildegard of Bingen and John O’Donohue); to Bill, my partner-in-all-things, and of course, my clients and students being my greatest teachers - to all of them, I offer a deep bow of gratitude.


The body is our only home in the universe, a house of belonging here in the world, and a sacred temple.
— John O'Donohue
 

 my story

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It all began in Philadelphia.

Not yet having encountered ‘holistic’ or natural health growing up, I found myself working in a Philadelphia health food store (a macrobiotic market, more specifically) when I was 20. It was there I was first exposed to the wondrous logic of Oriental medicine and its basis in the rhythms of nature and deep observation of relationships.

It would be a number of years before I circled back to shiatsu (to which I was introduced at that early time) - but, in the meantime, my trust in ‘nature-based’ health informed my choices to birth our sons at home, educate them outside the institutional school system, and learn to garden food, flowers and herbs.

Taking a weekend workshop in Reiki Level One with my then 9-year-old eldest son shifted my focus from my graphic arts training to working with my hands another way. I enrolled in the beginner’s weekend at the International School of Shiatsu in Doylestown, PA, and sitting there that first day, it felt like everything I had been theorizing about what humans need to be healthy and happy was affirmed.

After discovering the holistic health path myself over 30 years ago…

… I’ve explored many avenues of diet, bodywork, stress management and other self-care approaches, and I’ve experienced the satisfaction and empowerment that comes from working in harmony with one’s body, affirming the trust I have in the rhythms of nature that we are intrinsically aligned with.

Now, in my 50’s, I feel I have more to bring to the table, as far as the dramatic changes we’re experiencing from one generation to the next. I have a bit more humility as I realize the work involved with keeping one’s body vital in an environment that encourages ‘non-movement’, as well as the overwhelm of chasing down rabbit holes for the ‘right’ approach, the faith placed in that one thing you hope will be healing key, and the frustration of when that one thing (or a hundred thing) isn’t delivering to expectation.

Since 2005, I’ve been helping people relieve their stress, and feel better through bodywork.

During that time, I began to notice an increase in ‘posturally-related’ issues, which is why, when I discovered the work of biomechanist Katy Bowman in 2014, I also decided to become a Restorative Exercise Specialist.

But, also, in these last 14 years, I’ve seen an increase in what I would call an ‘adversarial relationship’ many of my clients have with their bodies.

We’ve come to believe that the body must be subdued in the name of health, and that pain within a bodywork session or exercise routine is a sign of its effectiveness.

There’s great benefit and growth in challenging comfort zones and pushing boundaries, but this is most effective when the body and mind are engaged, relaxed and receptive - not disconnected and recoiling from discomfort.

In a time where the prevailing messages keep us in a constant state of dissatisfaction with our looks, and a resignation to ‘getting old’ and breaking down, our pursuit of health takes more the shape of a futile struggle, rather than a means of experiencing the fullness of our lives.

As poet John O’Donohue once wrote, “the body is our only home in the universe, a house of belonging here in the world, and a sacred temple”.

It’s an exciting time as more humans in our culture are returning to embracing the wisdom and sacredness of the body!


Other FAQ’s

How do you pronounce your middle name?

Loree is pronounced ‘lor -ee’, accent on the ee. I was named after Annette Funicello’s daughter, Gina Luree. (If you’re too young to know who that is, ask your parents ;)

What are the tattoos on your wrists?

Both are in Japanese kanji. The left is ‘shiatsu’; the right is ‘Grace from Heaven, or God’.

What are your dreams?

For many years, I had felt called to live in old farmhouse, preferably amongst the ‘plain people’ (Amish and Mennonite), rolling hills and green fields in Lancaster County, PA. Much to my amazement and gratitude, turns out that farmhouse was calling us, too. Someday, I hope to have a natural movement center - with space enough to move indoors and out in nature.

What lights you up?

I love reading and learning (and talking) about the body, how the brain works, and how much God is embedded in all of our workings. I love writing about all that. I love sitting on our back deck in the company of big, old trees and hummingbirds, my partner and perhaps a friend or two.

What makes you anxious?

I am still a nervous speaker and teacher, and yet, when I resist the impulse to share what excites me about our human body and nature, I suffer inside.

What informs/inspires your practice?

All of my wanderings and explorations seem to bring me back to the root of all things - our Creator. Balancing the latest scientific understandings with how my soul perceives the natural world around me, as well as what other spiritual ‘bodyful’ teachers have shared is what I strive to bring to my clients and readers.

 

gracenotes

inspiration+encouragement+updates

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