Therapeutic Massage by Lauren Piro was founded in Washington, DC in 2005
with an entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for massage and alternative healthcare,
and a drive to serve others in their well being. We have been providing therapeutic
treatments at our Columbia Heights location since 2009.
We are committed to protecting our planet. We utilize partial wind power and
organic oils, creams, lotions, soaps, laundry detergents, and cleaning supplies.
Working with professional athletes including the Washington Redskins, DC United, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as well as in a chiropractic and rehab office, Lauren gained experience in sports massage and rehabilitative treatments that focus on pain relief and recovery from injuries, accidents, and surgeries.
Lauren has served on the teaching faculty at PMTI, in courses in Anatomy and Physiology, Pathology, Functional Assessment, Clinical Applications and Integration, Myofascial Release, and Couples Massage.
She volunteered as a massage therapist with Touch of Relief for several years, offering therapeutic massage to survivors of trauma and those suffering from chronic illness and/or addiction issues. Through Touch of Relief, she had the opportunity to provide treatments to survivors of Hurricane Sandy in her hometown of Long Beach, NY.
Lauren is a Board Certified Massage Therapist, a Corrective Exercise Specialist, and an Herbal Medicine Apprentice. She graduated from Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI), the most comprehensive massage training program in the Mid-Atlantic region, in 2005.
Lauren holds a massage license in Washington, DC (license #MT0711), is a Certified Massage Therapist through Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP) and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy from Elizabethtown College.
Certifications and Continuing Education courses include:
Bodywork for the Childbearing Year- Kate Jordan Seminars
Certified Infant Massage Instructor- International Institute of Infant Massage
Orthopedic Massage Techniques for Cervical Pain
Neuromuscular Therapy for the Torso and Pelvis
Serving Transgender Clients in Holistic Health
Helping Clients Manage Migraines
Addressing Hip and Low Back Pain
Neurostructural Integration Technique
Neurokinetic Therapy Level 1
Active Isolated Stretching
Massage for Sports Injuries
Massage for Anxiety and Depression
Hot Stone Massage
Thai Massage on the Table
The Trager Approach
Reiki Level 2
Lauren's intention as a massage therapist is to facilitate awareness, to promote balance and integration, and to optimize health. Through her background as a Psychiatric Music Therapist working in Residential Treatment Centers and Psychiatric Hospitals, she developed a profound understanding of our basic need as humans for compassion, support, nurturing, and healthy touch.
Lauren is committed to creating a safe, healing space to bring about each body's innate ability to heal itself and thrive. Because we all deserve well being.
I think when most people think about massage, they think of relaxation. But therapeutic massage can address physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels far beyond just that. Specific techniques, when utilized by an educated, skilled, and experienced professional can also:
While my clients come to me for a wide variety of concerns, as both a licensed and board certified massage therapist and a certified personal trainer, my practice is largely based around people who have chronic pain or who are rehabbing from injuries and/or surgeries. With a background in psychiatric music therapy with inpatient, outpatient, and residential populations, I particularly enjoy working with people who are dealing with mental and emotional issues as well.
I wouldn’t say I have one particular style of massage. With over a decade of experience in the field, I have taken many continuing education courses and have developed a wide skill set to address many different kinds of issues. In most treatments, I combine nurturing, relaxation work with a detailed clinical approach to relax the body, mind, and spirit; work out those stubborn knots; and address any compensations that may be occurring as a result.
I use a holistic approach to address all the layers of my clients’ individual needs in the moment. And those needs may change over time. For example, a client may initially see me for pain relief but it may turn out that anxiety and panic attacks are a more present issue as we begin to work, so it may take time to work through that before we can begin to address the pain in more detail. Or a client may sprain her ankle or get in a car accident, in which case deep tissue would be contraindicated, so we utilize a much more gentle approach to release constrictions to help them recover more quickly.
Also, a new medication may cause side effects that need to be addressed and/or avoided. Or a life transition such as pregnancy, a new job/desk set up, or a move may bring up new stresses and/or emotional or physical issues. This is why it’s so important to develop a relationship with one therapist you see over time who knows your body rather than hopping around to whoever is offering the best deal at the time.
I think budget and lack of awareness of the therapeutic value of massage are two of the main reasons people who don’t get massage aren’t seeking out treatments. Discomfort with touch or body issues, perhaps due to trauma, may be another reason. While we don't do talk therapy, a good massage therapist is trained to help you handle these issues. And developing a positive relationship to touch and/or your body in the context of an ongoing therapeutic relationship is a great way to work through these issues in conjunction with your talk therapist.
That can be tough, and it's something even I still struggle with at times when I leave my DC network of therapists. While technical skills and anatomical knowledge are really important, so much of what makes massage great can’t be taught: quality of touch, intuition, compassion, people skills, etc. I think the best way to find a great massage therapist is through word of mouth, as you’ll get direct feedback from someone who has experienced the work. I recommend reading online reviews, asking your health care professionals for referrals, or asking your friends, family, or colleagues who they see!
I think massage therapy is a great way to help bolster mental and emotional health, especially in tandem with talk therapy. As I mentioned previously, massage helps to release endorphins, which helps to relieve anxiety and depression on a purely physiological level. Massage also helps to facilitate the connection between the brain and the body, thereby allowing access to repressed emotions and/or memories. That mind- body connection combined with the healing touch of a compassionate therapist can also help people with eating disorders, sexual traumas, or other body issues develop a more healthy connection to their bodies. I find that massage therapy is especially powerful for people who have anxiety. Reconnecting to their bodies can help reduce spinning thoughts and promote deeper breathing, which helps turn off the ‘fight or flight’ response and allows the parasympathetic nervous system, or the relaxation effect, to take over.