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I have been an esthetician since 1996 and a massage therapist since 1992. Having treated thousands of people over the years, my new studio reflects a streamlining of my approach to skin and body care services. Here I will share a bit about my philosophies of health and healing.
(We are working on this page so please excuse us if it is a bit messy.)
As a lifelong singer and a songwriter since around my third month as a folk guitar student, my musical journey has brought me into the classes of many good and some great instructors. Two life changing teachers have given me the greatest gift yet: the transforming opportunity to teach voice (Linda Brice) with the transcending vehicles of Circle Singing and Vocal Improv (Bobby McFerrin). This serendipitous confluence has forever changed my life and I am excited to share what I’ve learned.
I approach voice teaching as a holistic healing art. I find teaching voice to be much more intimate than any other work I’ve done and make it a point to provide a safe, supportive environment. It gives me no greater pleasure than to guide individuals in unleashing the beautiful voice inherent to all.
While I have a few pieces of expensive esthetic machinery, my most valuable tools are still my eyes and fingertips. I believe everyone has a right and the possibility for beautiful skin and I will do everything I can to help you achieve your desired results.
Improved skin texture and beauty is a natural process that begins with gentle coaching and a good home care regimen that can be almost as simple as you want it to be. Skin health, like skin distress, is a cumulative process. Since the skin offers signs of self-healing when it is dry, red, blotchy, discolored or broken out, we will work together to nudge it gently in the right direction of calmer, smoother and more radiant skin. I will encourage a good home care routine with respect to your needs. I like to think that my main job is to help you understand your skin better. While I want to be the first person you call for a facial, I also want you to understand how to best take care of your skin with its many subtle and sometimes not so subtle changes.
I have maintained a commitment to working with the most natural and effective professional skin care lines since I first became an esthetician in Austin, Texas, in 1996. This sounds easier than it ends up being in reality, since practically every line on the planet espouses that their products are “natural.” I can eliminate most products alone simply for their use of artificial color or fragrance. Then add mineral oil, parabens, SLS, phthalates , etc, and the list of products available for my criteria shrinks rapidly.
Pharmaceutical science sides with the use of parabens and other petroleum derived ingredients, yet I reject them as useless in the ultimate goal of skin health. Why bother with petro-chemicals when nature has supplied us with healthier options? Most skin care companies use cheap fillers and most all over-the-counter products at grocery and department stores have very little of the advertised main active ingredients. The products I use in treatment, recommend and sell contain much denser actives from purer sources and the benefits far outweigh any extra cost.
I stay abreast of what is happening in the skin care industry by frequenting trade shows, where product manufacturers rise and fall with their new offerings. After roaming countless aisles scouring hundreds of labels, it is rare and exciting to find a product line that meets my standards. I love finding small, niche companies with unsurpassed purity and scientific efficacy in their products. What’s more is that I love sharing these products with you!
My sense of skin care as healing art emerged after completing the first of many massage trainings in 1992. Practicing massage without the ability to treat the skin felt incomplete, so I entered into esthetics as well. Many unsuspecting people have told me that they experience far deeper relaxation with a facial than with a massage. I have had success treating many different types of skin conditions including acne, rosacea and hyperpigmented.
Just as my skin care practice has evolved and simplified, my massage practice has evolved from muscle to energetic palpation. I received my first massage diploma in Swedish Massage from the Judy August School of Massage in Austin, Texas, in 1992. I have a certificate from Harbin Hot Springs as a Shiatsu Practitioner and a certificate in Neuromuscular Therapy from the Austin School of Massage. I have studied locally through the Oregon School of Massage and East/West School of Massage. I have several certificates from the St. John’s Neuromuscular Therapy Seminars in cervical injuries, TMJ Disfunction and lower body injuries, as well as some training from Dr. Leon Chaitow (Osteopath) in treatment for breathing disorders.
An injury in 2005 caused me to place my massage license on “inactive” status until just recently when I attended the necessary continuing education courses to make license renewal happen. I will be taking a different approach than before in that I will offer just two different body work sessions: Shiatsu and Energetic Balancing.
Shiatsu has always been the form of body work that has brought me the most relief. This was confirmed yet again a few weeks ago as I received a Shiatsu at one of my favorite spas in San Francisco. I will be offering Shiatsu as well as energetic balancing treatments as my new course of massage treatments. Shiatsu loosens muscles and joints and releases energetic blockages along acupuncture meridians, bringing back the bounce in your step and the smile to your lips. It is much different than Swedish massage in that there is no oil used and the pressure applied is specific in place of the broad strokes of Swedish. For those two reasons it can feel a bit deeper than a regular massage.
My mission during all treatments is to help you attain a sense of well-being and lightness so you can put your best forward and have the life you desire here on our most generous planet, Mother Earth.
With love and health,
Marie Swan Black