Training: 1200+ hours
School: New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in Albuquerque, NM
Licensed since: 1997
Continuing Education: Chi Nei Tsang, Pre/Post Natal Massage, Reflexology
Shelly Smith is a 1997 graduate of the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics 750 hr program, with over 400 hrs of continuing education. Shelly specializes in Chi Nei Tsang (Qi Gung abdominal massage), Digestive Health, Reflexology, Pregnancy Massage, Polarity, Wraps and Salt Scrubs. Her massage style integrates swedish with some shiatsu point work and warming friction -Abhyanga massage techniques. Her massage is most appropriate for client’s looking for stress relief and relaxation. After receiving her fundamental training, Shelly worked in a Naturopathic doctor’s office practicing colon hydrotherapy. She later served as director of the Healing Arts at the Pueblo of Pojoaque Wellness Center near Santa Fe, NM. She enjoys teaching and has served as an instructor of massage and Reflexology.
How long have you been a licensed massage therapist?
How many hours of training do you have?
My initial training was a 750 hour program. I also have 460 hours of Continuing Education in Bodywork and Massage.
Why did you choose massage therapy as your career?
I believe body-centered or somatic therapy has great healing potential. I continue to be interested in a holistic approach to healing.
Where did you go to school for massage?
New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in Albuquerque, NM.
How do you describe your massage/work to others?
I offer an integrated approach to massage blending energy and qi healing with physical techniques. I maintain a calming presence while giving bodywork and I have found this to be very helpful for clients to let go physically and emotionally. As a Natural Therapeutic Specialist, I have a passion for nutrition and a healthy life style and can not help but to share this information with my clients when it seems appropriate.
What are some examples of Continuing Education you are interested in and why?
I really enjoy continuing education in Asian and Ayurvedic bodywork, Cranial-Sacral, Polarity and Qi energy work, as well as somatic or body-centered release work such as Somatic Archaeology ™. I have always wanted to continue my studies in Lymphatic Drainage.
How has receiving massage affected you personally?
I find massage along with energy work really helps rejuvenate me and return me to balance.
What do you do to stay healthy?
Walk, hike, stretch, practice Qi Gung and eat really well.
What do you like about working at Myo Massage?
It’s convenient to have them schedule my appointments. Plus I really like working on cork floors because it’s more supportive physically and grounding. I also work with an incredible staff of fellow massage therapists.
What is Chi Nei Tsang massage?
Qi Gung applied to abdominal massage. The work can be deep, light or just energetic. I modify techniques based on each client’s needs. Clients can address digestive issues, daily stress or deep trauma through Chi Nei Tsang work. It really helps with breathing fully into the abdomen and learning how to stay grounded. Part of the goal of Chi Nei Tsang is to not only release stresses held in the belly but to teach each client how to perform self abdominal massage. Massaging the belly daily is a great self-care practice. In addition I am a Natural Therapeutic Specialist. This training helps me assist clients in identifying foods, herbs or supplements that may be aggravating or supporting great digestion.
Who do you recommend Chi Nei Tsang for?
Anyone with digestive discomfort or bowel diseases. Chi Nei Tsang is also helpful in preparing the body for pregnancy and healing certain reproductive imbalances. Many others can benefit from Chi Nei Tsang to help release physical and emotional stresses they carry in their abdomen.
What is your favorite thing about offering prenatal massage?
I love working with pregnant women. It’s such an honor to work with women during such an incredible transition in their lives. I love working with them on a regular basis throughout their pregnancy so they are more relaxed, pain free and prepared for a more comfortable labor.
What are some common complaints from expecting moms that prenatal massage can remedy?
Many pregnant moms experience low back, leg and foot pain. Prenatal massage is great for releasing the physical tension as well as increasing circulation for both mother and baby. Increasing the circulation and flushing accumulated lymph in legs and feet, especially helps eliminate or reduce aches and pains in limbs and feet, or likewise in the arms and hands. Lots of moms continue to work throughout their pregnancies and may also have tight neck and shoulders from computer work or adjusting to sleeping on their sides. Deeper work can be applied to the neck and shoulders safely without worry of it affecting the baby.
What is reflexology and how does it work?
Reflexology applies pressure to the feet and hands to stimulate reflex points and meridians running through the limbs. It involves very thorough massage and the application of static pressure. There are over 7,000 nerve endings in each hand and foot, simply massaging them for a full hour will deeply relax just about anyone. Some people come in for foot Reflexology to deal with structural pains related to dancing, running or working on their feet all day. Others may be recovering from an ankle or knee injury or surgery where one or both feet are compensating for walking and applying body weight differently. Some Reflexology clients enjoy how having their feet massaged affects their entire body and over all state of health. Headaches, sinus issues, and other health conditions are frequently addressed in foot Reflexology. Reflexology can be very detoxing for the entire body.
Is reflexology painful?
It doesn’t have to be. Lots of people like very deep foot work and these people will not be disappointed. It is not necessary though to apply mondo deep pressure to achieve great results with Reflexology. Repetition of pressure, pressing, releasing, pressing again over a specific reflex point is very effective technique that can be applied with deep or lighter pressure to the client’s comfort level, and still offer effective release of pain or stagnation.