A New Way To Relaxation - Yomassage

Yomassage is a perfect opportunity to find relaxation, help you de-stress in between your massage sessions and enhance your self-care practice.

Yomassage is a perfect opportunity to find relaxation, help you de-stress in between your massage sessions and enhance your self-care practice.

Yomassage is a fusion of relaxing and restorative shapes, massage therapy, and mindfulness.

This class is a completely luxurious experience that includes a comfortable room temperature with dim lighting, lots of props for ample support and comfort, and can often include essential oils, eye pillows, and more…

Class sizes are small in order for everyone to have ample time in each restorative shape and receive therapeutic touch. No yoga experience necessary.

Space is limited in each class. Classes are already filling up. So reserve your spot today.

60-minute classes & 90-minute classes available.

Contact me with any questions and to sign up for the next Yomassage Class - Hello@katykern.com

NOTE: As of now, the class schedule will be held on different dates and times. Also, I am looking to add a couple of day classes soon. For full schedule, please go to my website. Online scheduling is not available at this time for Yomassage classes.

My Broke Heart Couldn't Be Stopped


10 years ago today I was being wheeled into an operating room to undergo a long and risky heart surgery.
I was born with a congenital heart defect, a bicuspid aortic valve. About 2% of the population has BAV, and it is twice as common in males as in females.

So when I became ill with only high fevers, the doctors were baffled at my symptoms. It took 4 weeks to determine that I had a heart infection. Unfortunately, by that time, the damage had been done.

The doctors wanted to give me a mechanical valve. I panicked. I have a noise sensitivity as you may know and I feared I would be driven mad with a constant clicking. That was the only surgical option according to the doctors.
It took six weeks of trial and error with antibiotics as I was allergic to many of the medicines they tried. Last one worked. During that time, I went on Facebook and found a heart surgery veterans group.
A couple of men talked about their BAV and surgery: no mechanical valve, all natural parts. The Ross Procedure. I was intrigued and sent them a message.
The Ross Procedure is where I donate my pulmonary valve to replace my aortic valve and receive a pulmonary donor valve. A rare surgery that very few doctors perform but I told my doctors that's what I wanted.
They disagreed. Too risky, I was too old, the surgery is too long, my heart was too damaged by this point, etc...
My broken heart wouldn't be stopped. I demanded the surgery and was released from the hospital from Florida and flew up to Duke University Hospital.
I am here today because I took charge of my health and didn't let anyone tell me what I could and couldn't do.

My Irish Eyes Are Smiling


March is finally here. Can you believe it? This year is flying by although I can’t say winter has been bad around Philadelphia at all. YAY!

This month marks a couple of big anniversaries for me both personally and professionally, and I am ready to celebrate.

First, my Irish eyes are smiling brightly because March 17th signifies a great beginning. One year ago, on St. Patrick’s Day, I officially started in my new practice and space in Narberth, Pa (right outside Philadelphia).

For several years prior, I worked for yoga studios, a personal training company and a massage studio. In addition, I traveled all over the city working with corporate and private clients, and it took a toll as it was a struggle to maintain my energy. Moreover, to make ends meet, I was also a pet-sitter, but that career wasn’t my calling and it took up a lot of my time.

I needed to focus my energy on what I loved: helping people relax. So I decided to take a massive leap of faith and open my own practice where I could hone my skills and knowledge, and Katy Kern Restorative Massage emerged.

There are not enough words to communicate how unbelievably lucky I feel and how wonderful this last year has been for me. I have met so many lovely, amazing people who put their trust in me to help them. This inspired my thirst for knowledge to grow exponentially and my business shifted from primarily bodywork to now include CranioSacral Therapy, and self-care lessons and workshops (and soon traveling across the country) all to help people reduce the effects of stress and anxiety.


I must admit thinking about this past year, I get a little overwhelmed. I am eternally grateful to everyone who has come to see me and supported me on my journey.

What a year, right? I am so looking forward to what comes next.

Second, March 23rd is another significant date for me.

Ten years ago, I underwent open-heart surgery to have a double valve replacement after contracting endocarditis from strep throat. It was a scary time, indeed. However, my life changed forever that day and it sent me down a path, although rocky at times, that brought me to this place and time.

I don’t say this often, but getting a heart infection was the best thing to happen to me because it forced me to pause and evaluate my life. Unfortunately, I didn’t like what I saw, so I took steps to change and it took some time, a lot of education and some trial and error. Fortunately, I am stronger now than I have ever been and content.

So, just a little update on my health status, last October I saw my cardiologist, and he said my heart was perfect. In fact, he couldn’t get over my health. He asked what I do to maintain my heart health. I told him I followed a passion and am living a life that brings me the greatest joy. That, and I also practice a lot of yoga and self-care ;)

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Lastly! Mark your calendars for Saturday April 6th from 2-4 pm. I am teaching another self-care workshop at The Yoga Garden in Narberth ( <—click here to sign up). Now I mention this a wee bit early because my last workshop sold out. So sign up early.

This workshop will focus on specific type of deep tissue self-massage technique. We will use therapy balls to get into the areas of tension in the body to allow these areas to release or soften safely then follow up with some yin and restorative shapes that it will feel like you had a 2-hour massage.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Warmest regards,


P.S. Missed any of my newsletters or blog posts? Click here.

Also, for last minute schedule changes or open appointments, follow me on Instagram @katy.kern. I try to post my unexpected openings there especially in Instagram Stories.

For all upcoming events teachings and workshops, click here.

Life Moves Pretty Fast

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Life Moves Pretty Fast

If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

It’s February. WOW! Can you believe it? 2019 is already zooming by so quickly.

Helping people relax brings me such joy so much so that I am working on expanding my practice to bring self-care lessons to you no matter where you live… Plus, this year I am working on putting my business on the road. Yes, lots happening here. But no worries, I always heed the immortal words of Ferris Bueller even though my life has become busier both personally and professionally. 

Taking the time to pause is an essential part of my self-care routine, and it’s allowed me to remain balanced especially these last few months.

Now, let’s catch up on what’s happened so far this year and what's coming up.

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Last Month

I Launched my YouTube Channel

First, I recorded and posted my very first video – okay, I will admit that was beyond nerve-wracking. And I am embarrassed to admit how many times I had to practice (build up the courage). However, I persevered because learning about Sensory Processing Sensitivity changed my life in such a positive and profound way. Amazingly after sharing it, I discovered it helped others as well. My video now has been shared on other’s blogs, and many have contacted me to find out more about it. In case you missed it, here’s the link to the video.

Soon I will start uploading more videos on some simple self-care tips and techniques. So feel free to subscribe and thank you to those who already did. Another WOW! Also, if there is an issue you've been dealing with or a specific area of tension (i.e., shoulders, hips, feet, etc..) you'd like to me to focus on, please feel to reach out and let me know. I will add that to the list.

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New Addition

CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy:

CST is such a game-changer in the way that I can help people find relaxation and less tension in their minds and bodies.

Nearly everyone who has seen me these last few weeks has received a sampling or full session (or multiple sessions) and discovered how deeply relaxing CST was for them. Less pain, better sleep, breathing easier, sharper focus and less anxiety were just some of the results I heard even after only one session.


Upcoming additions

Stay tuned

Travel Massage & Relaxation Self-Care Coaching. Dates TBD
Los Angeles, CA
West Palm Beach, FL

Intensive Relaxation Programs (3-5 days) 
Traveling to you to help you reset with massage, CST, yoga and self-care lessons.
(United States  & UK only) Feel free to contact me for more details.


I am teaching a Yin Yoga class at The Yoga Garden in Narberth, Yin Yoga, 7:30 pm. We will focus on the heart meridian, the ruler of all emotions, where we will seek tranquility, gentleness and emotional balance. I will read from the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra translation of The Radiance Sutras:

"There are many rivers inside a human body, thousands of miles of blood vessels. That is just the physical level. On the level of the prana body, there is similar intricacy. This yukti invites us to listen to the flow of life within. There is a sound of your own heart center vibrating. You may hear it if you are finely tuned. It is the song of you, the vibration of you having this adventure in existence."

Bring your loved one, a friend or just yourself as we explore the song of you.


HSP Sensitivities and Self-Care

It's a new year which means new things are happening and some changes are coming.

I've spent the last four years learning, developing, and implementing daily routines that have helped me live a very fulfilling and balanced life. With this knowledge and the education I've received, I created my practice so I can help others achieve routines of self-care that work for them be it massage, yoga or lessons in self-care.

Change can be hard even if it is something that will help. I know this because I avoided change for many, many years, and that did not serve me well which is how I ended up with an anxiety disorder that took me a long time to overcome. However, once I started slowly, keyword here, adding small increments of change instead of huge chunks, trying several styles and exploring what worked and what didn't, the right self-care routines made a radical change in my life.

And my thirst for knowledge on what can help others never ends.

Last fall I discovered something that completely blew my mind as I was researching anxiety and a category of people I serve who have a high percentage of anxiety disorders. So that led me to delve deep into this topic which I discuss in my first video below. Enjoy!

Your Touch Can Help Someone

Recently, I found myself in a situation where my personal life and massage experience commingled unexpectedly and think it's worth sharing to create more awareness about anxiety disorders and how it affects the people in your life. And I believe you can help if you find yourself in a similar situation.

However, before I get to that, let me share a bit about anxiety disorders: According to the ADAA.org, over 18% of adults and 24% of adolescents in the US suffer from an anxiety disorder. (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, Social Anxiety, etc...) These disorders are highly treatable, but only a small percentage seek professional help. Learning of this and due to personal experience, I've focused my massage practice on helping people by alleviating some of the physical and mental side effects (headaches, aches and pains, sleep issues) of anxiety disorders. 

In late October of this year, someone I know who has an anxiety disorder and was having a rough time as of late tried to overdose on over-the-counter medication. While at the ER, I sat there for hours waiting for test results sitting with them as they lay in the hospital bed still in a heightened, fearful state. I will admit I felt rather helpless.

However, I couldn't just sit there and do nothing, so I did what I know best. I asked if I could hold their hand. They agreed, and I noticed an immediate softening in their energy so for the next five to six hours I touched them gently guiding them into a more relaxed state.

For someone who is experiencing an escalation of anxiety symptoms, their sensory nerves can become hypersensitive. So I started by holding their hand observing their reaction. Witnessing the calming effects, moments later I gently caressed their forearm. Every few minutes I changed the pressure or location while maintaining a slow calming rhythm which is key in a moment like this for any quick movement or too much pressure can stimulate the nervous system in the opposite direction of your intention.

Fortunately, I noticed a shift in their mood that went from fear and panic upon arrival to calm and content by the end. There's still work to do in regards to their mental state, but for that night, I was able to use my skills and knowledge to help them over a hurdle.

If you are ever in a situation where someone's anxiety becomes heightened, you can help. Just kindly ask permission to touch them and if they agree to it remember to be gentle and keep the pressure light to medium and shift to different parts of the body after a few moments checking in with them from time to time. By the way, it doesn't have to be skin to skin. 

Some things to be aware of touch, if you stay too long in one area, the neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) start setting off signals of discomfort and can create tension in the tissues. And the goal is to make sure they remain comfortable and relaxed. Another tip, small circular movements with counterclockwise strokes relaxes the recipient while clockwise would energize. (Between thumb and index finger on top of the hand and between eyebrows are places this works well.)

You don't need to be a massage therapist to help someone suffering from anxiety or a high-stress moment because your kind and gentle touch can make a difference.

For more information on anxiety disorders:

12 Effects of Anxiety on the Body
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Therapeutic Massage for Anxiety and Panic Disorder

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. I am here to help.

The Power of Touch


Hope your fall is going well, and you are focusing on of all your self-care needs. Amazingly, the holidays will soon be here. Can you believe it? Remember that I am always here for you so feel free to contact me for support and guidance in your self-care maintenance.

Nearly every day I open my laptop to research topics in my field (massage and yoga). I enjoy learning more about fascia, muscles and chemical reactions that occur when one is under stressed verses in a relaxed state. I meander through blogs, articles and scientific studies to have a better understanding and working knowledge of how both bodywork and movement creates a healthier mind-body connection, reduces the effects of stress and anxiety, and its facilitation to healing the many ailments that plague us.  

Recently, I came across a term that I had to learn more about: Touch Starved- which is the body’s reaction when one is experiencing a lack of touch. (Also known as touch or skin hunger.) When I first read about this issue, my heart sank. And as you know, I've dedicated my life and practice to helping people overcome the effects of anxiety and stress but learning about the population that suffers from touch starvation has fueled me to learn more and educate those around me. 

Here's what I learned...

Touch is the first sense developed (in utero), and it’s what soothed us as babies and children, but as we age, physical contact often becomes considered taboo, in turn, people touch each other less and less. A lack of touch can make us feel lonely, depressed, angry and can lead to illness. On the flip side, healthy touch lowers heart rates, reduces anxiety and cortisol (stress hormone) production. Touch increases Oxycontin - the calming hormone - which in turn makes us feel safe and nurtured.

People who suffer from touch starvation are more likely to experience depression and stress, mood and anxiety disorders, and lowered immunity response. Just to name a few.

Touch, unfortunately, is often the most neglected of all the senses. And the more I read about touch and its importance, the more I also discovered we are living in an epidemic of touch starvation among humans especially here in the US and in the UKSeveral factors have led us to this state: ever-increasing use of technology, overly scheduled lives, fear of being falsely accused of sexual harassment, and social disconnection as more people live alone.

Fortunately, the effects of touch starvation are not permanent and are reversible. Just like exercise, a small amount of touch will increase your overall well-being. Experts say about 150 minutes a week of touch can greatly reduce touch hunger and its ill effects. So, remember to take some time for touch, be it hugs or cuddles, a slow dance, holding someone’s hand, a pat on the back or massage.


FYI: If you are interested in learning a bit more about the Science of Touch, click here to watch a short video.

Articles & Studies I found most interesting on this topic:
NCBI - The Importance of Touch, 2010
The Guardian: No Hugging: Are We Living Through A Crisis of Touch, 2018
The New York Times  - The Power of Touch, Especially for Men, 2017
Broadly - The Life of Skin-Hunger: Can You Go Crazy From A Lack of Touch, 2016

One Simple Decision

We choose how we live our lives. Each day we make choices, some good and some not. Here's my personal story on how I became content with my life because of one simple decision. 


I approach each day with a curious enthusiasm for how I can make the most of my life to find balance and contentment. In others words, finding ways to relax so I can gracefully handle anything that comes my way. This thought process is at the basis of how I offer my energy to each person who walks into my office. 

However, my life wasn’t always balanced nor as relaxed. Not too long ago I was living in the depths of depression and anxiety. It took some time, but I crawled my way out of the chaos with a single decision that led to a domino effect of healing. 

In my last blog post, I discussed the heart infection, open-heart surgery and physical changes I had post-surgery. Well, another considerable shift happened during my recovery – a wake-up call. I realized I wasn’t happy with my life and I hadn't been for some time. I knew why but was afraid to improve it because it involved a radical, life-altering change. Avoidance became the priority which led to a deep depression and extreme anxiety where I became frozen to any attempt or alteration.

About 18 months after my surgery, my worn mental state began to affect me physically. As stated in my previous newsletter, stress and living in constant sympathetic mode (Fight-Flight-Freeze response) can cause physical changes, some very dangerous and life-threatening. 

Sleep became difficult; I woke up ill most mornings with little energy. I couldn't let anyone touch me as my skin felt electrified and my heart felt like it was going to beat out my chest. I had moments where I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Full-on panic was the norm. Then there was the rapid weight loss (see photo to the right - 25lbs less than I weigh now). I was wasting away, literally.

The only thing keeping me afloat at that time were my dogs and writing about movies. They were my escape (distraction), but by then, I knew I was going to die if I didn’t seek some help, so I went to my parents who sent me to a doctor.

After a few weeks, I returned home numbed up on medication but no stronger. Still fearful of the consequences of change, I did nothing to help myself. The sympathetic mode had its hooks in deep. No relaxation in sight. Have you ever felt like this?  

Fear kept me frozen for the next four years from making choices for my well-being. Feeling ashamed, I remained silent and never asked for help from anyone. And I will admit, there were some days I wish I no longer existed. True, this was no way to live, but I had lived so long in such a dark place that I couldn’t see the light anymore. 

So, what changed? As I mentioned in one of my Instagram posts recently, a simple decision to see a play shifted my perspective and sometimes that is all you need. In early 2014, I was working on my movie reviews, and I read one of my favorite actors, Ewan McGregor, was making his Broadway debut. Having studied theatre in college and mixed with my admiration, without much thought, I decided to see the play. 

What seems like a simple choice to most, turned out to be the genesis for my dramatic step back into the living. For years I kept my head above water, ready to let go. But that day I made a decision and looked to the future. 

Honestly, I still lacked energy, but I kept going for the next ten months following through on small healthy decisions because I had something to look forward to, finally. By the week of the play, I searched for more resources to help me find strength and inner peace. With the frenetic vibes of NYC, I knew I needed to find something to help me combat my anxiety as I was still quite fragile.

Years ago, I practiced yoga and always felt calm by the end of class. So, not wanting to have an anxiety attack before stepping into the Roundabout Theatre, I went to a yoga class. It was hard – both physically and mentally, but I felt some peace by the end. A veil began to lift, so I came back the next day and the next until it was time to leave for the play.

Going to NYC gave me something I hadn’t had in a long time – Hope. Life can be different; you just have to work at it. Next step was to build strength, heal and find courage.

With yoga back in my life, I had a path that would guide me towards relaxation, and within two months I was in a yoga teacher training which strengthened the process of my curious enthusiasm on how to find my balance. By then, I was practicing yoga every day, got off all medications and within three months I was strong enough to finally make and follow through the big decision that was too hard prior. 

Now three and a half years later, practicing yoga consistently, teaching yoga and working as a Massage Therapist, I am genuinely content, stronger and full of knowledge on how to find relaxation and help others find theirs. I continue to educate myself on what makes me happy and balanced.

Remember to remain curious about what makes you smile, calm. Don’t just sit in fear of change but permit yourself to take steps towards contentment.

I offer my story as a ray of hope to anyone who is struggling or afraid to make changes. I know it’s not easy, but you have the light within to find contentment…make a simple decision, look forward and follow your path towards relaxation. It is attainable. I am living proof! 


Stress Changes You

Recently, I posted a photo on my Instagram feed about my hair - yes, that's what I am bringing up today but give me a few seconds to explain and things will become clear.

Up until about a decade ago, I had fairly straight hair. But something happened to me, my body, that caused some changes and I ended up with curly hair as a result.

What did this? Well, a severe health issue with some prolonged stress.

Ten years ago, I was overly scheduled, taking care of others and their needs, ignoring my own and not allowing for breaks or any self-care. I had been like this for years, always putting other's needs in front of my own until I contracted endocarditis (heart infection) from a case of strep throat. Until diagnosis, my illness was a mystery because all I had were very high fevers, for weeks. Once determined what was causing the fevers, the damage to my heart had been done.

Long story short, I ended up needing open heart surgery for a double valve replacement with something called The Ross Procedure, an intense and long surgery.

The entire health issue took months from first onset to final recovery, tons of medications, and several hospitalizations. I even endured a mini stroke. In that time, I also was under extreme mental stress as I was fearful of dying.

Luckily, I had a great team of surgeons and medical professionals to fix my heart so I made a full recovery. However, shortly after my surgery, I noticed the texture in my hair changed. And stayed that way.

Now what does this have to do with massage? Well, it's about stress and the hormones your body releases. When someone is under extreme and often prolonged stress, cortisol and adrenaline - the stress hormones - are released which can cause inflammation and other damaging results to your body. 

Have you ever noticed when you are under stress that something changes about you? Unexplained weight loss or gain, changes in skin texture, mood swings, high blood pressure, etc... these are just some of the results of stress and the chemical effects it has on our minds and bodies.

As a massage therapist, I try to help people to relax and induce the parasympathetic nervous system to take over which helps deactivate the stress hormones. This helps regulate the chemical imbalances. However, if these imbalances go unchecked or linger too long, changes can occur in the body.

Case in point, the texture of my hair. Now it may seem innocuous, my hair, but it is always a reminder to take care of myself especially when life becomes too hectic. Also, I will also admit that after my illness, I slipped into a deep depression with bouts of extreme anxiety. But I will save that story for another post.

So, take some time to find moments of relaxation - go for a walk, read a good book, talk to a friend, book a massage or just breathe deeply for a few minutes. All this will help combat the effects of stress and keep you balanced.

A Personal Story - Coping With Stress


My passion in life is to help people find ways to relax in order to reduce stress so they can live healthy, full and content lives.  Recently, I came face-to-face with some personal stress, so I feel compelled to share how I cope.

There are many ways we combat stress and the effects of it. I, for one, practice yoga and I get regular massages. But probably my greatest tool for dealing with life’s stresses was spending time with my dog, Primus. Just a few minutes with him, I noticed I stopped thinking about what was bothering me.  I relaxed. Cuddling with him was like a meditation practice.


There are plenty of studies about the benefits of having animals in your home but I knew instinctively cuddling with my dog made me feel better. However, I recently lost my precious pup and I noticed the void. I knew what it was as I’ve been through this before.

Four years ago, I lost another dog; his sister, Pixie, and we were both quite lost without her.  At that time, I didn’t have many tools to fight off stress as I hadn’t gotten back into a yoga routine and massage wasn’t even on the horizon. In fact, I was in a depression and had been for years but my dog needed me so I’d take him on long walks daily, sometimes several times a day to help him (and me) get through the loss and it ended up having a profound effect on me.

Over the next few months, I noticed an improvement in my overall health and I started making decisions to help me enhance my well-being. Some decisions seemed natural, like eating better, while others seemed innocuous, at the time, but altered my life completely.

For example, one decision involved planning a trip to NYC to see a Broadway play and in a convoluted way that got me back into my yoga practice. Few people know the whole story as it’s hard to explain but once back in a consistent yoga practice everything changed for me as I learned to relax and take time to be in the present. The decisions following evolved, my long-term depression lifted and healthier options revealed themselves. It was a domino effect of self-care and it brought me to where I am today:  Content, healthy and able to help others.

And although I miss my dog terribly, he lives forever in my heart and I am eternally grateful for those wonderful walks with my best friend. I continue to practice yoga, giving and receiving massage is extremely therapeutic for me, and now taking walks by myself has kept me from sinking into an abyss of sadness.

Life has its ups and downs, and we all use a variety of techniques to work through them. For me, walks with my dog led to me having a clearer mind to make healthy choices, these decisions led me to yoga, and yoga led me to Thai Yoga Massage and then ultimately Massage Therapy, a calling.

Slow down, take a walk, meditate, cuddle with your four-legged friend or book a massage. One decision to take care of you and your well-being can have a lifetime of benefits.

I've Reduced My Stress Levels With Massage


Hello all!

First my apologies, I haven't updated everyone in a while. However,  many of you know that currently I am enrolled in Massage Therapy School. Yes, I am still teaching Yoga and now I have expanded my business to include Thai Yoga Massage. So in a couple of months, I will add in more massage therapies (Swedish, Deep Tissue & Myofascial Release), all tools to help people find relaxation.

Now for the update....

Going back to school was not only the best decision of my life, but it also helped me reduce my stress levels. HowWait! Aren't you in school full-time, raising teenagers and working? The answer is yes. But one thing made all this much easier to handle: Massages.

I've been receiving some sort of massage every week, sometimes several times a week, since August when I started up in school. The times vary, and so do the modalities, sometimes it's a 20 minute Swedish or 30 minute Myofascial Release or 45 minute Deep Tissue. While in school, we not only practice giving but we are also the clients for our classmates.       

Receiving a massage feels wonderful, I can attest to that, but  I've noticed something else. Honestly,  there's been a big shift in how I feel even far after the massage is over. In fact, people in my life have noticed a difference in me and said something. They say I look happier and more content. And I will have to agree with them. Not only for the fact that I fell in LOVE with learning these techniques and how I can help people, but how receiving massage therapy has affected me both physically and mentally.

How does it work though? Massage induces your parasympathetic nervous to take over, which allows you and your body to slow down for repair processing like rest and digest. When your sympathetic nervous system is active, like in times of stress, high levels of cortisol is released which can lead to inflammation. From there, if your stress levels are always high, this inflammation can lead to illness. Receiving massages, even monthly, allows one to get off the merry-go-round of stress
Here's an excerpt from an article from Institute for Integrative Healthcare that explains what happens and how massage helps.


Bunker, et.al. (2003) defines “stress” as depression, anxiety, panic disorder, acute and chronic life events, type A personality traits and hostility. One study, in particular, shows us that increased social isolation is especially stressful and leads to especially high levels of cortisol (Dickerson, et.al., 2004). These emotions may be the result of actual events in our lives or they may be only perceived by us, but they bring about the production of cortisol in the body, causing overall inflammation. We learn from Field, et.al. (2005) that cortisol is the hormone marker for stress, as it is an end product of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-cortical axis. Therefore, high levels of cortisol are the body’s tell for high levels of stress.

The Negative Effects of Too Much Cortisol

High cortisol levels in the body lead to weight gain in the midsection along with a variety of other metabolic changes which lower the immune system and stress the cardiovascular system, putting a low level but constant stress on the body over long periods of time. When stress is short term, we recover physically and move on with our lives, but when stress is long-term, it begins to take its toll on our bodies. The constant high levels of cortisol in the body causes inflammation, which eventually affects the heart and blood vessels bringing on high blood pressure, hypertension and, eventually, heart disease.....

Field, et.al. (2005) demonstrates that massage therapy is shown to reduce cortisol levels by an average of 31%, increase serotonin levels 28% and dopamine levels 21% on average. Similarly, Hernandez-Reif, et.al. (2000) explain that diastolic blood pressure and hypertension decreased after massage and that there was less reported anxiety, depression, and hostility... 

There are countless studies done on the effects of massage, but I am living proof that massage works. I am so honored to be a part of a field that has so many benefits to people. Even after I graduate, I will continue to receive massages because as we all know, life and stress go hand and hand. So if you or anyone you know is suffering from stress, please share this and book an appointment with a massage therapist in your area and get off that merry-go-round.

An Update & A Decision

Recently, I finished my last documented Thai bodywork session.

Thank you to everybody who helped me with this. I am forever grateful. I learned so much from you all. Over the last couple of months, I've mulled over a decision and finally came to the conclusion that I don't want to stop learning about massage.

You all might have seen my anatomy geek posts and those along with wondering where my path should go from here, I decided to enroll in Massage Therapy school to become a licensed massage therapist.

I can't wait to help more people learn to relax with yoga and with a larger tool box of different massage modalities.

Putting The Energy Out Into The Universe

To learn more about how Yoga complements Martial Arts, watch the video here

Well, I do believe when you put something out in the universe, it comes to you.

For awhile now, I have wanted to travel and to teach yoga. Recently, I stumbled upon a site that may be able to help me do just that (details later).

Also, I have started putting together workshops to teach at yoga studios and martial arts gyms.

Surprisingly, I've already received interest from places I've never been before. Now only a few people knew about my plans so it's amazing I've been contacted already, out of the blue and from across the globe.

Life has so much to offer. Put energy into it, work hard and with intention. Be ready!

For more information, click here: Yin Yoga Workshop.

Look Within Without Judgment


Do you ever feel like everyone got a memo explaining how the world works on the day of their birth but somehow your's got lost on the way to the hospital?

For a long time, that's how I felt. And it took me most of my life to feel "normal" or that I fit in.

Often people have told me I'm cold or unfeeling. I must admit I am stoic at times not because I don't feel but because I feel too much. And I rather not be vulnerable in front of others.

All these thoughts and emotions swirl in my head constantly making life really hard at times. Luckily, I can spend time on my mat, look within without judgment. I just observe and recognize who I am. And that's the key.

Observe without judgment and life has a way of becoming clearer, understandable and you become able to unlock the mystery of you. Namaste

Yoga Journal Weekend

I can't believe my time is coming to an end here in New York City.

The last few days have been so wonderful that it almost seems like a dream. I waited months and months to get here along with a lot of hard work but it was totally worth all of it.

It was such a pleasure to meet all the fellow yogis from Business of Yoga Boot camp who came from near and far. We all were so lucky to be a part of this endeavor together and be able to create all our amazing websites.

Here are a few highlights of this weekend. From bottom left: Justin Michael Williams, our fearless leader from BOY. He helped us, along with Karen Mozes, to create the websites but also helped us define who we are as yoga teachers and business people. Leo Rising, the guest yoga teacher, taught such an inspiring class after our second day here. The photo shoot, where I got a little too nervous and finally spotting these awesome yoga leggings from Kira Grace These are the best leggings EVER!!

Thank you all for tagging along and supporting me as I made this next step. Love you all!


Yoga Journal Bootcamp Photo Shoot, NYC

Well, I'm back in NYC but this time for some yoga business with @yogajournal.

Here's some random pics of the photoshoot we all did for our websites, which is one of the main reasons we are here. Brand new website to be launched soon!!

Now I'm not a fan and I get nervous when lights and cameras on me and people telling to me "raise my chin," "shoulder down", "smile", "relax and breathe"....wait!! This sounds like a yoga class.

Well, it is over now and that means it's time to relax in the city before two full work days Thursday and Friday.

Wishing everyone a wonderful day!


Connie Holen

I'm a Digital Strategist + Squarespace Web Designer for yoga, fitness and wellness studios who need a strong brand presence both on-line and off. I specializes in creating clean, modern and easy-to-manage websites that cleanly integrate online scheduling software and are optimized for local search engine results.