Available by Appointment
Healing Arts Studio located in downtown Santa Barbara
27 E. Victoria St., Suite O
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The purpose of my work is to help people feel more spacious in their bodies and minds, so they may show up in the world in a more peaceful and powerful way. I draw from twenty years of therapeutic massage, yoga, and shamanic healing experience to offer clients transformative hands-on bodywork. Each session is catered to meet the individual’s unique needs, and may address physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms.
My approach to massage therapy and bodywork is nurturing and productive. Sessions are helpful for anyone wishing to relax, reduce tension, and let go of a stressful week. I also support people to enhance their athletic performance, prevent injury, and reduce or remove pain associated with injury or muscular strain.
My approach to healing is deeply steeped in somatic psychotherapy, relational psychology and shamanic studies. I support people to elucidate the many aspects of the self and I look at the body – and its symptoms – as being deeply interconnected with one’s emotional and spiritual state of being. My clinical background gently supports the unique nature of my work and when applicable, I encourage people to get in touch with the psychosomatic and spiritual aspects of their physical symptoms.
Depending on the interest of the individual, massage and bodywork modalities can support people to sense beyond their physical symptoms, and delve into psychosomatic or spiritual aspects of body tension and stress. One’s intention has everything to do with where we go in the session. One person may want to treat lumbar strain and reduce stress, while another may choose to delve into their relationship issues or heal past trauma.
I utilize professional Massage, Bodywork, Cranial Sacral, Myofascial Release, Energy Healing, and Accupressure techniques to promote ease, spaciousness, and vitality. I also facilitate healing by offering simple body-centered (somatic) awareness practices to support nervous system regulation. At the root of most tension, stress, and anxiety, is our mammalian sympathetic nervous system response (“fight-flight-freeze”). When the body is continually operating from a place of sympathetic dysregulation, also called sympathetic arousal, physical and emotional symptoms may ensue and make life unmanageable. In addition to being physically comforting, my approach to massage and healing helps people get in touch with the more calming, parasympathetic branch of the nervous system (“rest and digest”). This aspect of the autonomic nervous system promotes a state of equilibrium in the body, which helps reduce stress and anxiety. The more we get in touch with this part of the body and being, the more ease we feel, and the more inclined we are to embrace the joys of life.
There are many benefits to receiving therapeutic massage and healing bodywork. Some studies have shown massage and bodywork techniques to be effective in relieving a variety of physical issues including, but not limited to: soft tissue and fascial tension, injuries, stress, anxiety, muscle tension, headaches, insomnia, digestive disorders, temporomandibular join pain (TMJ), back pain, and more. Massage and bodywork can be beneficial after surgery to reduce scar tissue, and may also ease the discomfort of acute injuries. Massage and bodywork may also help professional athletes and active people improve performance and prevent injury. It reduces ischemia (tight tissue with reduced blood flow).
Massage, bodywork, and energy-work may also heal emotional and spiritual imbalance, which often predicates physical symptoms and pain. Modalities may assist people to feel more relaxed and at peace, thereby promoting nervous system regulation. The therapeutic relationship between the practitioner and the client is also beneficial, as it can be nurturing and plays a powerful role in relational healing.
Please note: Massage and bodywork is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical care. Those with serious medical conditions should consult with their doctor before receiving massage and bodywork.
The professional field of massage therapy and bodywork has expanded to include a large variety of healing modalities. Each modality has something therapeutic to offer, has a unique feel, and can be catered to the unique needs of the individual.
This technique is deeply relaxing and rejuvenating. Nurturing touch and oil or lotion make the flow of this massage luxurious and calming. The technique may include long strokes, circular motion and kneading, applied with soft to medium pressure. In addition to alleviating muscle tension and a variety of symptoms, therapeutic massage aids in circulation, lymphatic movement, and cortisol (stress hormone) reduction. Therapeutic massage can be integrated into other modalities, or experienced on its own for an extremely relaxing experience. All massage and bodywork offered is non-sexual.
This massage style is often generally called “Bodywork”, as it integrates various techniques to create more space in the body, while targeting a variety of physical symptoms. Deep tissue massage aids in pain relief and injury rehabilitation by penetrating deeper layers of soft tissue and muscle. Pressure is usually medium to firm, but can be catered to meet the needs of the client. A common misconception is that deep tissue massage is supposed to be unbearably painful. Although it can be uncomfortable, it should never be something the client and practitioner can’t comfortably work through.
Neuromuscular and trigger point therapy may also be integrated into a deep tissue session. These techniques involve adding concentrated pressure on areas of muscle spasm and tightness. Muscle articulation (gentle movement of limbs etc.) and resistance-based techniques may also be utilized to promote muscular release. Deep tissue, neuromuscular therapy, and trigger point techniques are highly effective for clients who present with chronic pain, and are often successful in reducing or eliminating the symptoms of longstanding painful conditions.
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. It was pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University, where he served as professor of biomechanics. Using a soft touch, practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it’s effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction (upledger.com).
Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective technique that involves applying sustained pressure into myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. The practitioner applies techniques very slowly and does not use oil. The slow “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load of gentle pressure is applied slowly which allows the viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate. Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce pressure and painful symptoms. Myofascial Release therapists use a multitude of techniques and movement therapy to relieve symptoms and fascial strain. After a MFR session, clients report feeling much more spacious, elongated, peaceful, and stretched out. Flexibility and postural awareness is also improved with regular treatment. Myofasical release was developed by John Barnes, PT (myofascialrelease.com).
Accupressure, also know as Jin Shin Do, promotes a pleasant, trancelike state, in which one can relax and move into their body to access feelings and inner wisdom. This modality helps release body armoring (tense psychosomatic holding patterns) and chronic tension, balances “Qi” (energy), and improves vitality. Accupressure involves gentle, yet deep finger pressure on specific acu-points along the body. Generally, a local point in a tense area is held together with related distal points to help the tense area release. This clothes-on method helps relieve stress, muscle tension, and trauma related problems. Accupressure is a synthesis of a traditional Japanese acupressure technique, classic Chinese acupressure theory, Taoist philosophy, Reichian segmental theory, Ericksonian psychotherapy, and breathing techniques (jinshindo.org).
Romi is a true healer. I have experienced greater clarity and grounding while also feeling more attuned to my heart space after being in her presence. She combines an authentic and powerful intuition with years of education and practice. Romi is a rare gem who has contributed greatly to my own healing journey. I feel confidant referring her to anyone seeking high quality Yoga Instruction, Bodywork, or Psychotherapy.
Thank you so much in supporting me in this wild journey of training. I am so appreciative that you have been part of my process and you have helped me in so many ways . . .. You are very special and I am glad you are on my “team” for this event.
Romi, You are awesome. Thank you so much. I am so grateful for your healing and you are a blessing in my life.
I would highly endorse Romi Cumes for anyone trying to get their body in better shape and recover from injuries. After 30 years in the Fire Service I had become rigid, inflexible and attempts to return to my conventional style of exercise would frequently end in injury. A gift from my family caused me to enroll in Romi’s Intro to Yoga course. Over the past 20 months I have continued to be a student in Romi’s classes and have noticed dramatic improvement to my quality of life, my sleep patterns and peace of mind. My family has noted these changes as well. Romi is a dedicated and patient teacher who does not adhere to a “one size fits all” approach to teaching and tailors her approach to individuals. She has an intuitive sense about her students’ abilities and moods on any given day and approaches her instruction with that in mind.
I have also gone to Romi for bodywork for more deep tissue issues and found her to be excellent at this as well. Once again, her intuitive nature is a real asset in her massage and deep tissue work. My only regret is that I have not taken advantage of this therapy more often. I would recommend, without qualification, Romi Cumes as a Yoga instructor and therapist. She has a tremendous amount of good energy that flows into her work with people.
Romi is a Healing Goddess!!!