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For your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health & Well-being - April 2005

The Dragon who Laughs

Professional Relaxation Therapy
76 S. Main Street - Above the Red Rock Bakery
by H.L. Weber

I interviewed Judith Schroeder about her massage practice one fine afternoon in March. I’ve known her for eight years, and have been one of her regular massage clients for the last couple of years. She approaches her work with a combination of seriousness, focus and humor. She’s always learning. I like that. ~hlw~

Judith Schroeder, LMT, ABMP, NCTMB
Laughing Dragon
Judith works with people from all different walks of life … tourists who want to be more relaxed, athletes who need optimal muscle fitness, older people with chronic health challenges, people recovering from an abusive relationship or addictions, people going through big transitions in their life, and people switching from conventional medicine to more holistic approaches and most importantly, people who live in Moab and work three jobs.

Judith's credentials:
LMT - Licensed Massage Therapist
AMBP - Association of Massage and
Bodywork Professionals
NCTMB - Nationally Certified
Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork

Judith offers various massage techniques, including therapeutic massage for someone who wants to focus on a specific difficulty, recovery from surgery, an injury or a chronic problem; Swedish massage which involves movement that can be slow and gentle or deep and vigorous according to the results the client wishes to achieve; acutherapy, which involves a light touch, and helps re-set muscle proprioceptors; and polarity, which helps to balance the body both physically and energetically.
To make an appointment, call 435-259-5507 and leave a message. Judith will get back to you as soon as possible that day.

Judith gives massages in her Moab office, her Castle Valley studio or at your location. Her office in Moab is at 76 South Main, Suite 21, above Red Rock Bakery.

“Almost all healthy people occasionally have some physical condition that can be improved or relieved by massage. No matter how good you feel, a massage will leave you feeling better.

“Massage is a great way to relax, and touch base with yourself and how you’re feeling. Some people make appointments when they are going through a crisis. Other people on a regular basis no matter what. Some of my clients use massage as part of a healing journey.

“Massage is a way to tap into a deep, innate stillness. You can give your body and mind time to relax … it’s kind of like a vacation from your usual activities. Inner space – the final frontier.”

Does a person have to know what kind of massage they want?
“No. In fact, I have one client who just asks for a ‘combo plate’ and I use a combination of techniques based on what she tells me she’s feeling like that week. I like to structure the session around clients’ requests and how they’re feeling.”

What if you've never had a massage and you're worried about it?
“We can do things with you fully clothed … acutherapy, for instance. For people who are not so touchy-feely, that can be a good way to start. You don’t even have to lie down on a table. You can just sit in a chair.”

What was your training?
“I studied massage at the Myotherapy Institute of Massage in Salt Lake City, where I learned anatomy (especially all the muscles), physiology, chemistry, stress and strain, psycho/soma, psychology, acutherapy, polarity, Swedish massage, tui na acupressure, reflexology, shiatsu, sports massage, and segmental bodywork. Whew!”

What did you like most about school?
“Knowing I was going to get out of school and play with people.”

What's the best thing about being a massage therapist?
“The best thing about being a massage therapist is the people I meet. Most of them are interested in becoming better persons. They’re on a personal journey, discovering who they are, where they fit in life, and how they can have a more positive effect in their own life and in others’. It is an honor to be a part of these processes and share the journey.”

Why do you call your business Laughing Dragon?
“To me, dragons are about how life constantly changes and transforms. I also believe laughter is one of the best medicines, so I thought my dragon should be laughing.”

Judith's philosophy about her work...
“Here’s how I work with a client … I want to know what works for you. What can we do to help you feel better and get more enjoyment out of your life? It’s hard to have fun when our bodies hurt.

“I like giving clients something they can take with them, something that helps them take care of themselves and heal. It could be an exercise, a meditation or a stretch.

“I see myself as a facilitator. I just offer healing energy. Bodies know what they need to do with it. My clients and I are a team. If we are really successful, we’ll make me obsolete for the most part, and you’ll just come for a relaxing tune-up massage or whenever you’ve overdone it.”

A related story...
“Last summer a tourist made an appointment with me. She had been on the road for a few days, and her shoulder hurt. She had had the problem before. She saw a chiropractor, and a massage therapist, but no one could help her. She told me about the problem, and I thought I knew what it might be. I showed her a technique, and she was able to fix it herself.

“When her husband came to pick her up, she showed him how to do it. She had already spent five or six hundred dollars on this problem. Two weeks later, she called me, and said she felt great the rest of the vacation. I was really happy to have the training to give her something she could use in the future to take care of herself.”

Judith teaches Tibetan Tai Chi and Qi Gong at the MARC on Wednesday nights 5:30-7:00, and also gives private lessons. She started learning meditation, tai chi, qi gong and martial arts years ago.

When I asked how tai chi led her to massage and she said, “One day I was bopped on the head by the universe, which said ‘ye shall go to massage school.’ It seems to be part of my path.”

Judith is available for out calls or in her massage studio. She can be reached by phone at 435-259-5507.

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