What will a massage with you be like?
That depends on what your body needs at the time of our session.
It may be relaxing, deep without being painful, nurturing, focused, intense, restorative, revelatory, and you may even be in and out of sleep.
Your modesty will be respected at all times and you may undress to the level of your comfort. A sheet will cover your entire body except the area being massaged.
I give your muscles a well-deserved kneading, soothe your nervous system, and access your natural pharmaceuticals. Skin-to-skin contact, especially massage, releases oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins, which are your feel-good chemicals.
I warm up the body with deep compressions and myofascial stretching then use long, soothing strokes to learn about your body. From there it’s an open road…
Is it all soft, gliding stuff or do you focus on what’s going on with my body and really get in there?
Massage is a two-sided conversation and I listen deeply and respond to your body's communication of its needs in the moment.
I use the most appropriate tools from my hefty metaphorical massage toolkit in each session. The key to positive change is applying the right tool at the right time. I use techniques including Swedish, trigger point, deep tissue, lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, structural integration, pre/postnatal, craniosacral, reflexology, Thai, and Ortho-Bionomy.
Also, I’m an Usui Reiki Master-level practitioner, and use this form of energy work to encourage harmony throughout the physical, mental, and energetic bodies.
What I cannot do for you on the table, I can facilitate between massages through one-on-one yoga lessons. In our private lessons, you will create tissue resilience by stretching and strengthening so that you feel better for longer and benefit more deeply from our massage sessions. I bring the same sensitivity to our personalized yoga lessons that I bring to massage and Reiki sessions in order to meet you as you are. Learn more about how I can help you through individual yoga sessions here.
I want a really hard massage. I know that it has to hurt for it work, so you can hurt me if you need to.
Thank you for your permission, but no, thank you! While that is a valid preference, it is not the style I have found to be most beneficial.
I do not want or need to hurt you.
While you may experience some intensity during our session, we needn't work to the point of pain. A hard, painful massage is ultimately unhelpful as it sends distress signals through the nervous system. My aim is to tend and befriend your nervous system, giving you a chance to unwind, reset, and restore. I'd much rather you melt into the table than hit the ceiling.
If and when you’d like to challenge yourself to surrender to depth, enjoyment, and relaxed awareness, I would love to work with you!
My neck, shoulders, and upper back are always tight. Come to think of it, my lower back and hips don't feel so hot, either.
The best ways to reach me are text and email.
I maintain a treatment space on the Westside of Santa Cruz and also offer in-home sessions. Upon scheduling, please indicate your location preference as additional fees may apply.
Please feel free to text or e-mail me to schedule a session or request more information - I would be happy to answer your questions.
I am a second generation bodyworker. For more than 25 years, my mother has stewarded an all-female massage therapy practice from her office within my childhood home. Growing up surrounded by this influence, I developed an awareness of the importance of therapeutic touch, holistic health, and community-care.
After graduating magna cum laude from Goucher College, I tried on lots of different costumes including wine director, copywriter, and Spanish language translator and instructor. In 2012 I was called back to the somatic arts and received exceptional hands-on training at the San Francisco School of Massage and Bodywork. My training is informed by the interconnected nature of the body's tissues and systems.
Reiki, the channeling of universal life force energy, piqued my curiosity, sending me on a journey to explore the realm of energy work. Revelatory and liberating experiences with the energetic body sparked me to move through all levels of training to become an Usui Reiki Master.
While living in Los Angeles, I trained with the Heart Touch Project to provide palliative care to isolated populations and those at the end of their lives.
My immersion in the somatic arts has highlighted the transformative potential of compassionate therapeutic touch, breathwork, proper nutrition, and mindful embodied movement.
I am an RYT-200 certified yoga teacher, having completed a year-long program through Luma Yoga, led by Valerie Moselle, a highly esteemed instructor and author of Breathwork: A 3-Week Breathing Program to Gain Clarity, Calm, & Better Health. My approach to yoga honors skeletal variation over aesthetics. I value evidence-based approaches to movement and breath with a focus on creating resilience.
I am a student of permaculture and my work is informed by its core ethics of people-care, Earth-care, and future-care.
As part of my commitment to community-care, I teach Gentle Flow group classes, which are suitable for all levels of experience, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 1:30pm, and Fridays at 11am at Luma Yoga & Family Center in downtown Santa Cruz.
I look forward to working with you on the massage table or yoga mat!
Zoë Kosovic, CMT, RYT