About Susanna

head shot unicorn

Photo by Deidre Schoo

I am a native New Yorker, who has been on a life long mission to spread well-being in my glorious but stressful home town.

When I was twelve years old my ballet teacher noticed that I had a curvature in my spine and recommended that my parents arrange for me to receive a series of ten Rolfing sessions with hopes of straightening my scoliosis. My parents were skeptical and took me to a surgeon instead. After contemplating surgery we all decided to try the less invasive option. Most importantly Rolfing taught the connection between relaxation and breath. A lot of time was devoted to the simple but profound practice of using breathing to exhale stress. This tool helped make my adolescence a tiny bit less awkward. No small feat.

The ten Rolfing sessions proved to be a rite of passage. I emerged an enthusiastic dilettante Rolfer. My family, middle school and high school friends were my guinea pigs as I tried to imitate the healing touch that I had received. This was just the beginning.

During my college years in Middlebury, Vermont, I apprenticed a local massage therapist as a way to help myself and other classmates handle exam tension. One night at a boring keg party and I looked at my friend Beth who was equally uninspired. I had just learned a new massage technique and I asked would she mind if I practiced on her back. We found a futon on the floor in an empty room and I went to work. After twenty minutes we both emerged from our session and our mutual friend Andrea yelled from across the room “Beth what happened to you? You look great!!!” I was impressed that the effects of a twenty minute back massage were that noticeable to anyone other than the receiver.

Fueled by my search for peace of mind and body, I had a life altering experience when I traveled to Nepal in 1986 for a college semester abroad with the School for International Training. I studied Buddhist meditation and philosophy at Shechen Gompa in Boudhanath and in central Kathmandu I studied Newari Temple Dance with the priest, Ratnakaji Vajracarya. I also went on a pilgrimage to the remote mountain retreat of Hyolmo, where I stayed in the humble abode of a Tibetan yogini, Pema Latso. There was the most basic stove for cooking but nothing close to electricity or running water. The living conditions were not easy for me and the first few days I did suffer from pain in my joints due to the cold and damp conditions. However, Pema Latso’s hospitality and kindness lifted me out of my habitual self pitting. She spent many glorious hours each day and night chanting a hauntingly beautiful song accompanied by her hypnotic double faced drum and bell. The more I bathed in her prayers and sacred songs, I felt a weight lifted from both my body and mind. Her wealth of warmth and spirit gave me a sense of ease and comfort I had longed for. Living in a Buddhist society and meeting with meditation masters from Tibet showed me a path of profound grace and peace unlike any I had ever known.  I was inspired to bring this transformative experience back home. It is with this intention that I decided to pursue a career in something that would bring peace to this stressful world. Massage Therapy seemed to be the best vehicle for that goal. I always do my best to bring the inspiration of the healing meditation masters who have touched my heart into my massage practice.

I enjoyed studying at both the Ohashi Institute and the Swedish Institute in NYC. I continued to expand my understanding of the body and add to my skills by taking classes in Chinese herbal medicine, therapeutic essential oils, and Ayurveda.

 I have maintained a private practice since 1997, providing treatments in private homes homes, offices, and on location. Clients may also make appointments at my Union Square studio. I have many years of a experience working in film, commercials, and television, including a long-standing engagement with the cast and hosts of Saturday Night Live. I have also worked with patients in hospital settings. Massage can benefit all kinds of people, providing a necessary tune up and tune in with the body, whether going on stage or unwinding after a long day, as a regular part of the week or as a special treat and I am grateful to be able to provide this service.