About Me

Natalie De Surrey, LMT 2017

The Short Version...

 My treatment style is a combination of therapeutic deep tissue, relaxation and the use of of essential oils and reflexology for clients who are interested in exploring other modalities, or have concerns other than what muscular massage can address.


My training is in a clinical context, meaning injury specific and goal oriented. However, I incorporate relaxation techniques throughout your session so you will experience a seamless transition between therapeutic work and sensory relaxation. There is a connection between peace of mind and physical health that cannot be overstated. Aromatherapy and reflexology help facilitate deeper levels of mental relaxation so you can be open to receiving deeper massage if  that is what you need. I will always work at a pressure level that you are comfortable with.


I incorporate passive stretching and mobilizations into the sessions when appropriate and may give you some 'homework'  such as stretches, seeking out a specific pillow or bolster for your bed or desk, simple exercises to build postural awareness or enhance breathing. This can extend the benefits that you gain from getting a massage.   
 

Addressing my class at graduation, 2003

The Long Version...

 

I graduated in 2003 from the Soma Institute as valedictorian of my class. As valedictorian, I was asked to give a speech at the graduation ceremony – which I still have and was looking at it recently. I'm happy to say that I still have the same reasons now for wanting to be a therapist as I did then; to help people feel good in their bodies and so, in their lives.

Massage is one of the best ways that I know to directly connect with people feeling stress, tension, anxiety, pain. Therapeutic benefits of compressing, kneading and rubbing tender tissue are well documented. Touching something when it hurts is instinctive; babies and other animals do it without knowing why. While over the years I have added other therapeutic tools to my toolbox, it is direct touch combined with these other modalities that I find most effective.

After graduation, I  started out as a tutor and this led to a teaching position. The courses I taught were based on clinical assessment and treatment. I taught Anatomy Palpation, Clinical Massage Therapy I and II, Kinesiology, Pathology and Clinical Integration which is the evaluation and treatment of injuries, both acute and chronic. While Massage Therapists do not diagnose we do make educated guesses and plan treatment accordingly.

While on the faculty at Soma, I supervised students participating in a 2 year study at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on the effects of massage on cancer patients. Other supervisor positions included overseeing student volunteers at The Chicago Marathon, Swedish Covenant Hospital and Soma's student clinic. In addition to The Soma Institute I taught at The New School of Massage.

Before starting my own practice in 2007, I worked in an outpatient physical therapy clinic that specialized in Sports and Performance Medicine. I had the opportunity to work with Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, The Joffrey Ballet backstage, Hubbard Street Dance Company, the casts of Wicked, The Color Purple and others. This has informed my practice a great deal as far as using soft tissue manipulation as a tool in the context of injury rehabilitation and helping people to return to the activities they love. My goal as a therapist is to get my clients back to where they are pain-free and engaging in the activities that bring them joy and keep them healthy. I always ask my clients what their goals are in seeking massage. Goals may vary from session to session, especially if a client has an ongoing condition.

In 2011 I completed a 300 hour reflexology certification from Healthy Soles School of Reflexology and am currently pursuing certification as an Aromatherapist. My interest in reflexology and essential oils stems from a desire to help clients dealing with mental and emotional stress to relax, so that physical restoration can take place. There is a connection between peace of mind and physical health that cannot be overstated. Aromatics and reflexology help facilitate deeper levels of mental relaxation.

I've been practicing for almost 15 years. I look forward to bringing my experience and skill to those seeking relief through massage and bodywork for many more.    

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