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  • Ashley Bercovici

Who I am and why I want to help...

A little about Healthy Roots Massage and Bodywork, myself, and some of the reasons why the therapy I do could be helpful for your wellness and rehabilitation.

“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.” - Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a pretty smart guy, so I am going to have to agree with him on this one. Operating under this conclusion, I am not a master, or a guru, but a practitioner, and an observer. I am not a doctor, I am a body worker. I am not a therapist, or a healer, I have experience with trauma, and I love and want to help people.

The things I have written and included here are my opinions, observations, ideas, and works-in-progress. I am not so bold as to think or say I have everything right; and my very intention is betterment - of myself and others. Nothing I have to say is a matter of my pride; everything a matter of wellness. That being said, if I ever have something unequivocally wrong: see something say something is a good motto to live by. I am always happy and humbly open to input and correction!

Now that‘s out of the way, here’s how I got started...

There are definining moments that occur in life, but nothing written determines where our story will go or how it will end.

I wanted to be an astronaut, as a child. I dreamt of searching the stars. Alas, who of us actually gets to become what we want to when we're 8? Also, I am terrible at math, so... NASA wasn't ever going to be in the plans for me.

Growing up, I always assumed responsibility for taking care of others, acting as an advocate or helping others in need or distress. Out of high school I enrolled in community college with the intent on going to nursing school. After finishing my pre-reqs and beginning a specialized class for nursing candidates I realized that nursing is not actually a career I would excel in. The emotional demands of working in an emergency room, or nursing facility - frankly it didn't match my skill set. I left school and continued to work in the medical and pharmaceutical fields.

Getting to massage

After marrying my husband and moving to Vermont while he finished his PhD, I decided it was time for a career change myself as well. My goals when I left Boston were to pursue ways to actually help people. I wanted to devote more of my life helping those interested in learning about the Bible and the hope for the future that I have, and as a way to support myself to find a career to also take care of those in need.


I had been in a car crash as a teenager. I fractured my pelvis and sacrum in multiple places, tore my rotator cuff, and sustained a traumatic head injury. I suffered emotionally from the death of my best friend, also as a result of the crash. I had not been rehabilitated appropriately after I healed, so for 20 years I have managed with the pain and limitations of the physical injury, nor did I ever properly deal with the emotional ramifications. Almost immediately after the crash, however, my mom sent me to a massage therapist she knew and trusted. I honestly can't remember her name, or what she did while I was there, I do vaguely recall it being the only place I wanted to leave the house to go to, and having the only emotional outlet I had at the time. Years later, as an adult, I looked back on that experience and realized it was instrumental in my healing.

I wanted to help others like that.


So I enrolled in massage school.


Education

Where my massage story truly begins.

I entered a program at the Wellness Massage Center & Institute in St. Albans, VT and received the best possible massage education that I could possibly hope for. Along with an absolutely fantastic team of teachers, I shared the classroom with a diverse number of women who all contributed to a comprehensive real-life learning experience! The program itself was deeply rooted in anatomy and physiology, and structural function. This is where my education differs from other massage programs. Both the anatomical science of body structure and movement, along with precise application of tissue manipulation, made for a very unique skillset that has set me apart in the massage field for the last 10 years. Really, this came mostly from an incredible education through incredible practitioner-educators.


My Practice

How where I've been has taken me to where I am today.

My massage education created in me a desire to do nothing else. Over the past 10 years I have taken courses in Thai massage, cupping therapy, Shiatsu, Craniosacral therapy, Anatomy Trains, infertility treatment and therapy... among others! There are numerous techniques, modalities, and treatment theories that I have borrowed from many of these courses and apply regularly into my daily treatments, to create a massage technique all my own.

I still live with some of the traumatic effects of the auto accident over 20 years ago - everyday life, my fitness goals, health struggles, all are impacted by these negative effects!

Why is this important? Because physical and emotional trauma are injuries to the body, but can be experienced long after time has passed and wounds have healed. These traumas become patterns, compensations, barriers to health and mobility, even if we don't realize or sense it. I was fortunate to have massage as part of my treatment immediately following the crash, and to this day I attribute that bodywork to the greatest relief I experienced during that period. It also taught me about the power of touch, safety, self-connectivity, and the necessity of integration of all our body's systems for proper function and healing!


As I still live with some of these negative effects, many of you live with the effects of past physical and emotional trauma you have experienced too! BUT, I have slowly found ways of unwinding these twisted effects. Though we usually adapt to make room for the effects of these traumas, there is always time to take your mind and body back! A broken leg, torn ACL, or hip replacement doesn't mean you need to live with tight hips or a gimp and a hobble forever! Maybe you think, like I have for years, that this is your "normal." It doesn't have to be.


For the past few years, I have looked into a number of new and different concepts to try and get educated on in hope of finding something 'missing' from my practice, something else to do to help my clients. Much of what I have learned up til now has been so close... but there was just something, missing... and then I found my inspiration. My muse.

I have always been athletic, into fitness, a runner and snowboarder. I have always been specifically interested in how fascia, connective tissue, and muscle growth are connected to improving overall tissue health and pain reduction. This is where it came together! I decided I wanted a fitness education to marry the two theories of massage and bodywork with fitness and resistance training - with the ultimate goal of helping my clients to have the greatest overall comfort and strength possible.


Over the fall of 2020 I took the CPT course with NASM, a highly reputable and accredited fitness training program, and constructed a "gym studio" in my office to work with clients on-site! This space is simple and unassuming. Much of what I have set-up is with what someone might typically already have access to at home or can easily and inexpensively acquire. My goal was not to focus on athletes or heavy-weight lifters, but to be able to reach into my client base to help those already seeing me for relief, to add one more component, and a different, more complete and complex solution!

It is my hope that with this new on-going education that I am thrilled to have embarked on, that I will be able to help my clients more thoroughly than ever before, in and out of the gym studio. Even my massage is receiving renewed vigor from re-visiting that comprehensive medical-based massage theory that I initially received!


I love talking about how resistance, balance, and strength training can help anyone in everyone in almost every aspect of normal every day life! Wonder if it can help YOU? Ask! Let's talk about it!

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