About Our Practitioners
- » Astra Rooney, LMT
- » Brenda Tracy, LMT
- » Dan Bradley, LMT
- » Elizabeth Shrader, MPH, LMT
- » Emily Tellez, LMT
- » Lauren Butler, LMT
- » Nicole Maisel, LMT
- » Rae Johnson, RN, LMT
- » Tamara Breuer, LMT
- » Katy Cribbs, LICSW
- » Lois Clinton, LICSW
- » Dayna Muehlberger
Astra Rooney, LMT
A recent transplant to DC, Astra Rooney (DCLMT #2181) has devoted her professional life to learning and teaching various types of bodywork. "My favorite approach is using Thai acupressure to treat orthopedic conditions and chronic pain. I've studied a number of Eastern and Western styles and like to interweave them into each massage session. For me, 'integrative therapies' means I get to pull a lot of different tools from my toolbox so people feel more balanced and relaxed, and also to help them on their path to recovery from injury, surgery or pain patterns."
Training and Education: Astra is a 2007 graduate of the renown Fingerlakes School of Massage in Ithaca, NY. In addition to licensure in the District of Columbia, Astra is licensed as a massage therapist in New York State (#021822) and Pennsylvania (#MSG004516). She holds a bachelor's degree in Fine Art from Rutgers University.
- Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy with Ron Carter at Deep Feet Bar Therapy, Wilmington, DE
- Reiki Level II at The Reiki School + Clinic, Philadelphia, PA
- Thai Acupressure for Orthopedic Disorders with Noam Tyroler at The School for Thai Acupressure, Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Thai Massage Teacher Training: Levels 1 and 2 with Noam Tyroler in Lexington, KY, Brattleboro, VT, Philadelphia, PA, and Chiang Mai, Thailand
- General Thai Massage, Wat Po Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School, Bangkok, Thailand
- Advanced Medical Thai Massage, Wat Po Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School, Bangkok, Thailand
- Women's Health Care Thai Massage, Wat Po Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School, Bangkok, Thailand
- Thai Medical Theory for Bodyworkers at The Naga Center School of Traditional Thai Medicine and Massage, Portland, OR
- Nationally certified with the National Certification Board for Massage and Therapeutic Bodywork (NCTMB)
Work Experience: Astra built a solo practice in Ithaca, NY and has practiced in numerous spa and health care settings. She teaches workshops on Thai massage therapy, integrative massage therapy, and mind-body awareness.
What our clients are saying about Astra:
"Thai point massage. Astra was informed, intelligent and effective. I exercise 4 to 5 days a week and I just injured my knee. She informed me of ways to help heal the knee as well improve my body alignment. I will continue to receive deep tissue and point massages until I am back to full swing. I know my body well because I am active and have had several knee surgeries but Astra opened eyes to new ways of healing. "
"Postnatal - Best Message of My Life! Yesterday I went for a postnatal massage with Astra five days after my daughter's birth. I was hesitant to leave her for the hour but after a difficult labor and lots of trouble breastfeeding, my body was in rough shape. Astra met with me before and after the massage to discuss hot presses I could use at home to help my breasts and with healing. She even gave me herbal compresses to take home. The massage itself was amazing. She loesened everything up. This should be mandatory for every new mom!"
Brenda Tracy, LMT
Brenda (DCLMT #2397) brings a personalized approach to the table. "Each person carries stress differently," she notes. "Massage therapy is an excellent way to allow the mind, body and spirit to decompress on its own time." Brenda excels at identifying specific areas of stress and applying appropriate techniques to help the body relax. Brenda has three children and works full time as a talent acquisition specialist.
Training and Education: Brenda recently graduated from the Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI), having completed 622 program hours. In addition to Basic Swedish Massage techniques, her formal studies introduced her to: Medical Terminology, Energy Systems, Stretching, Polarity, Spa and Hydrotherapy, Shiatsu, Trager, Myofascial Release and Biodynamic Craniosacral Techniques. A generalist practitioner, Brenda specializes in Swedish and deep tissue work, myofascial release, and stretching techniques.
Brenda previously earned a Bachelor’s degree in German and History and a Masters of Business Administration.
- Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (2017)
- First Aid
With 25+ years’ experience in Human Resources and three children, Brenda truly understands how stressful and challenging life can be. You'll find she has a calming, patient presence that contributes to a relaxing experience at The Well.
Clients love our newest addition! Brenda joined The Well in June 2018, and her first clients have offered glowing reviews and booked their repeat appointments on the spot. Book yours now and find out for yourself! You can find Brenda at The Well on Sundays.
Dan Bradley, LMT
Dan Bradley (DCLMT#0542) works with physically-active adults to maximize their performance and reduce injury in and around training for athletic events. “I have been trained in and focus on sports massage and active release technique. I help my clients enhance their athletic performance through sports massage techniques that include deep tissue work, fascial stretch therapy and active release technique. By integrating these modalities, I’m able to help my clients excel by minimizing acute and chronic injury and promoting faster recovery." From cyclists to runners, swimmers, ballers and everything in between, Dan is our in-house sports therapist.
Training and Education: A 2003 graduate of Washington D.C.'s Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI), Dan earned his Level One Certification in Fascial Stretch Therapy from the Stretch to Win Institute in Tempe, Arizona. Dan’s areas of expertise include:
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Sports Massage
- Active Release Technique (Full Body Certified)
- Fascial Release Therapy
Work Experience: Dan's breadth and depth of knowledge in bodywork is reflected in the wide range of settings where he has worked as a massage therapist: medical locales including chiropractic and dental offices; day spa settings; and private practice for general pain management and stress relief. As an expert in the field of sports massage, Dan has brought his magic hands to the 2009 U.S. Track and Field Championships, the 2013 U.S. Masters Swimming Championships, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Track and Field Trials in Oregon, and most recently at the 2016 Capitol Hill Volleyball Tournament. When not at The Well, you can catch Dan at Skyline Wellness in Arlington, Virginia.
What our clients are saying about Dan:
"Dan is Great! I've seen Dan twice now and both times were terrific. He has a great knowledge of anatomy and his experience with athletes and sports-related injuries was invaluable, even for some issues caused by more sedentary activities (like being hunched over a computer too often). He has a gentle manner that made the massage very relaxing but therapeutic at the same time. I'd definitely recommend him to others."
"Great Experience. Welcoming staff and atmosphere. Friendly, professional, and tranquil. I had been in severe pain for 2 weeks due to a knot in my glute. I couldn't lift my left leg, use the stairs, roll over in bed....etc. Dan listened to my description, and worked on the problem area the entire session. I am happy to report that I am almost 100% now. He worked the knot out, and recommended some stretches and ice instead of heat. I will definitely be back. THANK YOU! "
"Pain gone! I had a deep muscle massage with Dan last week. I came in with significant hip back and shoulder pain, all in my right side. After 45 minutes of deep, and admittedly uncomfortable, massage, Dan was able to release the spasms that were plaguing me. I slept pain-free for the first time in weeks. Still good 4 days later. BRAVO!"
Elizabeth Shrader, MPH, LMT
Elizabeth (DCLMT#1379) is the founder of The Well: "My goal as a massage therapist and wellness entrepreneur is to provide integrated services that promote our clients’ health and wellbeing, ease their tension and stress, and help them find peace and balance in their lives. For clients living with chronic or acute pain, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing their faces after a successful session where they realize that living pain-free is possible." Elizabeth specializes in prenatal, labor, and postpartum massage for women and infant massage instruction for babies and their caregivers.
Training and Education: Elizabeth graduated in 2010 from the Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI) in Washington, D.C. She also holds a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from UCLA, specializing in Reproductive Health/Maternal Child Health and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Latin American Studies from Yale University.
Certifications: Elizabeth has over 1000 hours of advanced bodywork training, primarily focused on pain management and women's health.
- National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB) #585986-09
- Integrated Positional Therapy: Levels 1, 2 and 3 with Lee Albert at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health combining muscle energy technique and strain-counterstrain to help clients live pain-free without drugs or surgery.
- Restorative Hot Stone Theray with Shoshanna DiBetta at Stone & Spa Ayurvedic Healing Arts.
- Prenatal/Labor/Postpartum Massage through Kate Jordan Seminar's "Bodywork for the Childbearing Year"
- Birth doula training (pending certification) with Katie Daly through Doulas of North America (DONA), to help clients achieve their desired birth experience.
- Certified Infant Touch and Massage Instructor with Wayne and Maria Mathias through the International Institute of Infant Massage.
Work Experience: Elizabeth built her solo massage and doula practices as Mount Pleasant Massage Therapy before opening The Well and joining DC Birth Doulas. For several years taught infant massage at The Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington and has worked as both clinical and academic instructor at PMTI. Before becoming a massage therapist, Elizabeth worked for international health and development organizations throughout the Americas. She has over 30 years' experience in clinical and community settings working as a women's health advocate and educator, primarily among immigrant and low-income populations. Fluent in Spanish, Elizabeth lived and worked in Mexico and Central America for 15 years and maintains ties with the region through family and friends.
What our clients are saying about Elizabeth:
"Amazing experience! Elizabeth Shrader's knowledge of the human body and massage technique is clear through the way she gently and methodically works each kink out of your body, massaging the tension from beginning to end of the muscle. I am always impressed by the attention she gives to my individual needs and preferences, as she therapeutically eases my aches and pains. No other experience is quite like her work. Wholeheartedly recommend."
"Splendid Post-partum Massage! I just had a post-partum massage with Elizabeth, and it was simply divine. She is extremely skilled at body work. After carrying my baby around for 4 months, I had shoulder, neck and lower back pain. She was able to help relieve the pain and recommend better postures for nursing and carrying my baby. I highly recommend The Well. "
Emily Tellez, LMT
Emily (DCLMT#1407) practices her own unique style she calls East Meets West: "I combine Swedish circulatory massage, deep-tissue focused techniques and trigger point therapy with Eastern acupressure energy points, following my client's verbal and non-verbal cues. I find integrating these styles in a holistic session is most effective for relieving tension and stress. I find that 90- to 120-minute sessions are ideal for addressing focus areas and connecting the whole body, head-to-toe." Along with her studio skills, Emily has a thriving mobile massage practice, ready to come to your home or office with massage chair or table.
Training and Education: Emily graduated from the Potomac Massage Training Institute in 2010 and is licensed in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. She also holds a Masters degree in Fine Arts (MFA) from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BFA from the University of Arizona.
Certifications: Emily has over 1500 hours in professional massage training and is nationally-certified through NCTMB. She is also a member of the American Massage Therapy Association, currently serving on the DC Chapter Board.
- Clinical Acupressure with Aminah Raheem at Soul Lightening Acupressure
- SEVA Acupressure Stress Release
- The STRAIT (Scar Tissue Release And Integrated Therapies) Method with Marjorie Brook at Marjorie Brook Seminars
- Restorative Hot Stone Therapy with Shoshanna DiBetta at Stone & Spa Ayurvedic Healing Arts
- Geriatric Massage: Level One with Sharon Puszko, Ph.D. LMT at Daybreak Geriatric Massage Institute
Work Experience: With her MFA, Emily works part time as an art handler for a private company that services local art museums. She sees massage therapy as a holistic art form that serves the mind, body and spirit, both for herself and her clients.
What our clients are saying about Emily:
"Muscle Whisperer. I have a lot of problems, lower back, neck pain and stiffness, DDD. Emily has given me new life after a 90 minute massage! She chases down my muscle knots and eliminates them with comfort and precision! Looking forward to next month! "
"Emily rocks! I have been seeing Emily whenever my schedule permits for more than a year. What had once been a persistent ache in my upper back has gone. She's also been great at helping deal with my plantar fasciitis. She has a great knowledge of anatomy that really helps when you can't figure out the exact d eource of a pain. She has a kind manner and really listens to what you need. And the massages are awesome! I can't say enough good things about Emily or The Well. "
Lauren Butler, LMT
Lauren (DCLMT #2413) found us just after relocating to DC and we're sure you'll find her a great addition to our team. An Advanced Practitioner, Lauren has developed her practice over eight years. "Massage is great for every body. For any issue - pain, anxiety, stress - there's a modality that can bring relief. It's so motivating, as a therapist, to see how clients can feel the effects almost immediately."
Training and Education: Lauren earned her Massage Therapy Diploma from Miller Motte Technical College in Greenville, NC. Before relocating with her family to DC in 2018, Lauren had been traveling throughout Metro Atlanta as a mobile massage therapist. Lauren's many modalities include: Swedish and deep tissue massage, Reiki, Myofascial Release, Therapeutic Massage, Sports Massage and Thai Massage.
What our clients are saying about Lauren:
"You are LUCKY to have her at The Well. Really. She wasn't just good, she was great."
"She's a keeper! I will definitely be back soon!"
"My session with Lauren was amazing! I feel twenty years younger!!"
Nicole Maisel, LMT
Nicole has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in the health and bodywork field. "I've been aware from a very young age that I wanted a career that was of service to people. Massage seemed like a good fit in terms of being able to learn a craft, spend focused time with individuals, and build lasting relationships with them. With massage, there's always something more to learn and always something new to discover. Massage therapy allows me to add value to my clients and my community."
Training and Education
Following her 2005 graduation from the Ben Benjamin Muscular Therapy Institute (now Cortiva Institute) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Nicole deepened her training in sports massage, injury recovery, myofascial release, structural integration and neuromuscular therapy. Mirroring her own personal path to parenthood, Nicole has found new horizons through fertility, prenatal and postpartum massage and, most recently, childbirth education using self-hypnosis to help clients achieve their desired birth outcomes. Nicole also earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in dance and movement from Curry College is Milton, Massachusetts.
- Active Isolated Stretching
- SEVA Acupressure System
- CranioSacral Therapy with the Upleger Institute
- Fertility Massage with Claire Miller
- Prenatal and Postpartum Massage with Kate Jordan
- Bliss Born Childbirth Education
- Holistic Healthcare
Nicole has a deep commitment to her practice and keeping current on recent developments through continuing education. She has built a fulfilling career working in some of the DC region's premier wellness centers, including Still Point Wellness Spa, Washington Institute of Natural Medicine, Pulling Down the Moon, Ohana Wellness, and Foundation Fitness, among others. Nicole appreciates the flexibility afforded by massage therapy which has allowed her to step away from the table for longer stretches to raise two beautiful boys.
Rae Johnson, RN, LMT
Rae (DCLMT#1069) is a life-long educator and advocate for wellness promotion: "I am dedicated to providing therapeutic massage with an integrative and holistic approach. I utilize Swedish and deep tissue techniques along with myofascial release and Reiki to foster each individual’s natural ability to restore, heal and find balance in their body, mind and spirit. It is an honor to be present and provide space for this collaborative work.”
Training and Education: Graduated in 2007 from the Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI) in Washington, D.C. Received a Masters in Integrative Health and Nutrition in 2013, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in 2000, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Nursing in 1987.
Certifications and Licensure:
- National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCTMB)
- Certification in Reiki, Levels I and II
- Registered Nurse
- Licensed Nutritionist
Work Experience: Rae continues to work in public health as an RN after nearly three decades. Her passion to provide holistic and integrative health services to the underserved led her to pursue education in the arts, bodywork and nutrition. She helped to start a Chronic Pain group and Massage Therapy program in her community-based public health clinic. Operating since 2007, it provides patients with massage and education to support their own pain relief and healing. Rae has also lived and worked in Latin America and is fluent in Spanish. She is an exercise enthusiast and practices and encourages time connecting with nature as an avenue to health restoration and balance.
What our clients are saying about Rae:
"Rae Johnson -- the best! I don't usually review my massages, but I thought I'd put in a few words about Rae this time. I couldn't ask for a better massage therapist! She has mastered the art of massage therapy, is sensitive and caring, and is a good listener when I compulsively talk when I'd do better to receive the benefits of the massage! "
"Excellent massage by Rae. She understood my needs and the massage was 'just what the doctor ordered.'"
Tamara Breuer, LMT
Tamara (DCLMT #2151) views massage therapy as a tool to facilitate healing and self-discovery. Her favorite part of giving massage is helping her clients take charge of their own healing journey. In addition to massage therapy, Tamara is an avid athlete and currently practices weightlifting, CrossFit and yoga. Due to her athletic passions, she has a deep understanding of how the muscles are affected by different movement patterns, which she applies to her sessions with clients. Tamara specializes in deep tissue and Thai massage, consisting of pain management for the general population and improving mobility for athletic performance.
Training and Education: Tamara graduated from the Potomac Massage Training Institute in 2015 and is licensed in Virginia and the District of Columbia. She also holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland.
- Deep Tissue and Swedish Massage
- Traditional Thai Massage
- Sports Massage
Work experience: Tamara first encountered bodywork while training in theatre in New York. During this time, she used yoga and different bodywork modalities to deepen her body awareness while performing onstage. Soon she found that her interest in healing arts outweighed her passion in theatre, and she moved to Washington D.C. to pursue massage therapy. Upon the completion of her training, Tamara worked in several different massage environments, from a gym setting to a spa. In addition, she spent six months in Thailand learning Thai massage. She has had experience running her own practice for a year before joining the Well in September of 2018.
You can find Tamara at The Well on Tuesdays (12pm-7pm), Wednesdays (2pm-9pm) Thursdays (12pm-7pm), Fridays (2pm-9pm), and alternating Saturdays (10am-6pm).
Katy Cribbs, LICSW
Katy (DCLC #50079982) is a licensed independent clinical social worker practicing in DC since 2011. Katy practices psychotherapy with a commitment to bringing deep presence, insight, and support to her therapy clients as they find the courage to heal. She is excited for the chance to offer psychotherapy at The Well and believes in the importance of holistic and integrated wellness for body, mind, and spirit. “We all carry wounds, big and small, which affect our inner well-being, our relationships, and our ability to engage with the world. By facing our own pain and suffering with compassion, we have the power to transform it into strength. Often, we cannot do this alone. Therapy is not a quick fix, but rather a journeying together to discover your own capacity for resilience and strength and healing into your deeper, truer self.”
Katy's approach to psychotherapy uses the therapeutic relationship built on deep trust and incorporates mindfulness, internal and cultural narrative awareness, strengths-based insight building, cognitive restructuring, and attachment theory. She works with clients from a spiritual perspective to focus on what gives meaning, purpose, and connection. Katy specializes in working with adults facing grief and loss, dealing with illness, coping with caregiving for an elder or a new child, and those facing depression, anxiety, and other symptoms arising from life transitions and adjustments. She believes in finding ways to mark life’s endings and beginnings as sacred spaces. As the mother of a toddler, Katy is particularly passionate about supporting other parents to make meaning and pursue balance in their family role. Katy also has experience providing clinical supervision to social workers wishing to pursue clinical licensure in DC.
Training and Education: Katy graduated with a Masters in Social Work in 2011 from Catholic University’s National Catholic School of Social Services in Washington, D.C. with a joint concentration in clinical work and social change. She is licensed in Maryland and DC. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheaton College.
Specialized Training: Katy has an advanced certification in hospice and palliative care from the National Association of Social Workers. She is also a 2013 graduate of the Metta Institute’s End-of-Life Practitioner Program, a sixteen-month course which integrates personal and professional mindfulness and presence practices into work at the end of life. Katy was selected to participate in the ExCEL in Social Work program, designed to educate and empower oncology social workers to engage in research opportunities. She has provided trainings to care facilities and faith communities on end-of-life issues and advanced directives. Katy values her ongoing clinical education, and she is currently focusing in perinatal mental health. She most recently completed the PSI Certificate Program in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, focused on mental health for pregnant and post-partum women and their families.
Work Experience: Katy moved to DC to participate as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Joseph’s House, a home for homeless men and women with AIDS and cancer, where she continues to serve on the Board of Directors as well as to provide clinical consultation services. She has worked as a clinical social worker at Capital Caring, providing home hospice services, family therapy, clinical supervision, and bereavement counseling since 2011. Katy also has experience working in inpatient substance abuse treatment, homeless services, and with survivors of human trafficking.
To schedule an appointment with Katy, send an email to katy.cribbs.licsw[at]gmail[dot]com or telephone (202) 455-6856.
Lois Clinton, LICSW
Lois Clinton (DCLC#50077693) has been practicing psychotherapy in the District of Columbia and Maryland since 1994. “I’m excited to bring holistic psychotherapy services to the Mount Pleasant community and beyond, through my affiliation with The Well. My passion is to teach people, through a lens of mindfulness, how they can reach their full potential by letting go of old patterns. Most people don’t realize that adversity can build resilience and unleash amazing new creativity and positive change. I am continually honored to be a part of peoples’ transformation process.”
Lois has significant expertise in treating trauma and a wide variety of mental health issues. She believes in treating the whole person, and favors an integrative, mind-body perspective. She truly listens to her clients’ needs and assesses their readiness for change. She uses safe and gentle trauma release techniques and various wellness practices that cultivate individuals' capacity for growth and resiliency.
Lois can help you with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, grief, phobias, relationship problems, lack of motivation, distractibility, fatigue, and other mental health issues. She works with women and men at all stages of their life cycle, providing support and encouragement for individuals experiencing both life transitions or feelings of inertia or "just being stuck." Women’s health issues, including thriving in menopause, is another area of expertise.
Lois has a passion for working with families and children, particularly middle schoolers and teens, who may be struggling with various life and school challenges. Lois is the mom of two active teens and has learned a lot about holistic therapies and treatments for kids . “There is nothing more satisfying than empowering families with positive communication and life skills that foster trust and confidence in their kids.”
Training and Education: Lois earned a Masters of Social Work in 1994 from Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, Massachusetts. She is also a 1983 graduate of Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.
- Somatic Experiencing
- The Trauma Resiliency Model
Work Experience: Most recently Lois worked at The Walter Reed National Military Center for nearly 10 years, treating wounded warriors with post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain and other mental health disorders. She worked for five years in the Walter Reed Pain Clinic, creating and implementing their Mind-Body Medicine program for pain. Prior to Walter Reed, Lois worked in private practice, and as a school therapist in multiple settings, including a residential treatment center. She is founder of Mindful Resilience, LLC. Lois draws on her deep knowledge of complimentary mind-body practices including flower essences, nutrition and use of supplements for optimal mental and physical health.
As The Well's Practice Manager, Dayna makes sure that everything runs smoothly in the front and back office and creates the space that allows healing throughout The Well. A lifelong practitioner of Yoga, Dayna stumbled into her first teacher training -- a 200-hour certification through Tranquil Space -- in 2003. Since then, she’s been certified in Aerial Yoga, Kids Yoga and is finishing up an Advanced 500-hour Training with Tranquil Space. After having two kids, her need to incorporate mindfulness and the philosophy of Yoga to help deal with the challenges of urban parenthood came sharply into focus. Dayna currently teaches Kid Yoga at Past Tense in Mount Pleasant and within the DC school system, working in partnership with the Restorative Justice Program, which provides an alternative to traditional punishment for kids under stress. Dayna shares mindfulness and other aspects of her practice with The Well community by moderating the monthly Yoga Book Group.