Getting to know you - Megan Kershaw, Massage Therapist

Q: What led you to pursue a career in Massage Therapy?

A: As with most things, my decision to go into massage and bodywork is the result of a longer
process. I’ve worn a few different hats in my life, and am very fortunate that my life is a
collage of diverse experiences, most of them wonderful and enriching, if not educational. I
came to massage through the side door of yoga and organic farming. The physical labor of
farming required that I be proactive in caring for my body, hence the yoga. And through my
experience with yoga began my interest and curiosity about the body. 9 months after
completing a yoga teacher training, I was enrolled at the Asheville School of Massage &

Q: How would you describe your massage style?

A: My style is certainly a hybrid of different techniques. You take the foundation of Swedish
massage taught in school, and then start layering upon that. I’ve been mentored by some
talented individuals, and have “borrowed” techniques from them for my personal toolbox and
that I believe will add value to the massage experience with me.
I agree that most often, therapists will give the massage that they themselves would like to
receive. For me, that starts with the therapist’s presence with their client, tuning in to their breath
and any tensions in the body. My style is decidedly firm and thorough, though that does not
always guarantee that I will “work” your whole body thoroughly; sometimes need will dictate I
spend an hour on the back and neck, alone. In sum, my intention is to create a sense of
wholeness and connectedness in the client.

Q: You’ve had training in the Esalen Technique; can you describe that modality to us?

A: Yes! In November 2015 I spent 3 weeks in Big Sur, California at Esalen Institute, a renowned
retreat center that offers workshops and retreats in all topics related to the advancement of
human consciousness. I was there specifically for the 100 hour training in the Esalen technique,
unique in its long, flowing, heel to head massage strokes. Admittedly, to carry out these strokes,
there is less sheet material in the way(keep in mind it was developed during the 60s on the
shores of California, where the temperatures are always comfortable to the skin). The technique
has been refined over the years, but mainly its purpose is that of an intensely relaxing massage,
triggering the parasympathetic system for greater healing in the body. It does this through a
variety of techniques including rocking; long, fluid strokes; providing a sense of
three-dimensionality to the body; cross-directional strokes to “confuse” the mind, which forces
relaxation. Tuning in to breath and encouraging client to breath into tension spots is essential.

Q: What’s the one thing you can’t live without?

A: I couldn’t possibly choose just one thing! Friendship, humor, health, adventure, good food,
the ocean, diversity...all the spices of life!

Q: What’s your favorite self-care ritual?

A: My yoga practice. When I’ve gone a week without a downward dog in sight, I notice it- both in
my physical body and my emotional body. Long walks on the beach - swims in the warm season also help ground and reconnect me.

Q: Have you set any intentions for 2017?

A: I will keep it short and simple for the sake of this Q&A! I recently read a book called The
Miracle Morning, which has encouraged me to commit to a solid morning routine. Own your
morning and you own you day, as the saying goes. This morning routine includes adding
relevant affirmations and visualizations, as well as reading and journaling, to my existing
exercise routine(either walking or yoga). The point is, these are all parts of the roadmap that will
increase your chances of getting to whatever destination you’ve chosen. It’s a fun concept to
consider and, more importantly, to employ. And though I believe the journey CAN be the
destination, I believe it’s good to take inventory of where you’re at, compared to where you’d like
to be. Also, cultivating gratitude for all the things I’m blessed with is a big intention I’ve set for

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Megan is available on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.