About Therapeutic Massage by Lauren Piro

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 the health of our planet. We utilize partial wind power and organic oils, creams, lotions, soaps, laundry detergents, and cleaning supplies.  




Education

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.


Additional Certifications and Continuing Education courses include:


The STRAIT Method- Scar Tissue Release- Marjorie Brook Seminars


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


Helping Clients Manage Migraines


Addressing Hip and Low Back Pain


Neurostructural Integration Technique


Neurokinetic Therapy Level 1


Myofascial Release


Active Isolated Stretching


Sports Massage


Massage for Sports Injuries


Assessment


Massage for Anxiety and Depression


Hot Stone Massage


Thai Massage on the Table


Thai Shiatsu


The Trager Approach


Reiki Level 2


CPR/First Aid

Experience

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 expertise 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 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.



Philosophy

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.

An Interview with Lauren by Jihan Madyun, LICSW

What are the benefits of massage?

I think when most people think of 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:

  • Relieve muscle tension, spasm, stiffness, and soreness;
  • Release endorphins, which reduce pain, anxiety, & depression;
  • Improve circulation of blood, nutrients, and oxygen to speed healing;
  • Reduce mental stress and fatigue;
  • Reduce strain and dysfunction in joints;
  • Reduce and realign scar tissue fibers;
  • Improve flexibility, mobility, and range of motion;
  • Relieve headaches;
  • Improve recovery time from intense workouts;
  • Improve sleep;
  • Improve posture;
  • Increase energy;
  • Promote body awareness; and connect and ground the body, mind, and spirit

What do most of your clients seek massage for?

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. 

How would you describe your style of massage?

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.

Why do you think more people don't get massages?

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. 

How do you pick a good massage 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! 

What are your thoughts on receiving massage therapy to bolster one's emotional/mental health?

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.