Joseph Schaffer, LMT
“Release your past, heal your present, open your future.”
• Arizona School of Integrative Studies, Tucson
• Trauma and Emotional-Release Informed Bodywork and Massage
• Reiki third degree, Reiki Usui tradition of natural healing
• Trauma-informed bodywork, postural correction, shoulder and hip-girdle alignment
P R I C E S
60 minutes $90
90 minutes $130
If there’s one thread that connects all of Joe’s various interests, it’s the idea of flow—whether in communication and emotions, physical systems, art and movement, or in energy that flows through the body.
But flow is also in the unlikely connections we can make between different areas of life. As a landscaper, Joe learned how to communicate with customers and create a plan with them. That carried over into his subsequent work in tech support and in air-compressor repair. There, he learned to troubleshoot faulty systems and fix anything from electrical failures to mechanical issues. Joe had always been inclined toward helping people and was always up for giving his friends back rubs, so massage therapy was a natural choice. In massage school, he noticed parallels between troubleshooting compressors and troubleshooting issues in the human body—in both cases, it came down to energy and flow. He knew he had found not only his life path, but a vast array of traditions and innovations to explore and learn.
Joe is constantly adapting his style to make the most of each treatment. His multifaceted approach incorporates elements of Thai massage, shiatsu, Neuromuscular Therapy, sports massage, and CranioSacral Therapy for a well-balanced, therapeutic, and rejuvenating experience. His intuitive understanding of energy and its role in our mental and physical well-being led him to study Reiki, so he could provide a channel for healthy energetic movement during massage.
Joe enjoys helping people from all walks of life. He has developed particular skill and interest in working with people who are mentally and/or emotionally distressed or dealing with physical or emotional trauma. The events of 2020 brought Joe a new and vivid awareness of the toll that trauma can take on our physical, emotional, and energetic bodies. Delving into trauma-informed bodywork, he began to see just how much the body holds on to, and how trauma affects us in ways we might not notice. Joe applies physical and emotional bodywork techniques specialized for trauma recovery to bring a deeper level of awareness to the connection between the body and the mind.
A session with Joe begins with a brief conversation about the client’s particular issues and needs. Communication stays open during the treatment, to gauge progress and ensure the client’s comfort. Once the client is on the table, the treatment is guided by how their body is reacting to the work. “I start building a checklist of certain patterns I’ve seen in myself and other people,” he says. “Everything from the energy I feel to the rigidity of the limbs to where the body is holding tension, to which side of the body is affected. All are things that clue me in to what is affecting them, and what the root cause could be.”
In general, Joe’s approach is to relax the mind, open up space in the body, and heal. He keeps an empathetic eye towards how habitual emotions and trauma can affect the body. “More often than not, the body remembers trauma a lot better than the mind can. If you can pinpoint and acknowledge that trauma, it’s much easier to move through it, let go of it, and stop letting it manifest inside you.” Typically, he will suggest stretches to complement the treatment, both for speedy recovery after the massage and for regular maintenance.
A creative spirit who sees massage as its own art form, Joe is an avid painter and a dedicated poi spinner of over 10 years. “I’m a drummer and I love all kinds of music, from electronic to funk to metal to bluegrass, and attend music festivals whenever possible.” From all these arts, he derives lessons in patience and fluidity and applies them to massage.