About Karen


Shiatsu Therapy

Equine Therapy

Shiatsu is gaining more and more acceptance as a means of healing. The goal of Shiatsu is to influence the internal organs as well as balance the overall physical and psychological functioning of the body. Shiatsu can help to reduce various ailments by incorporating deep pressure techniques and utilizing acupoints in its treatment.

By removing stagnation and balancing energy flows, it helps ward off the onset of illness, therefore being an excellent form of preventive health maintenance. Shiatsu, along with proper exercise and diet, is an effective way to maintain optimum health, prevent ailments and ensure physical, spiritual and emotional health.

Emotional anxiety, stress, frustration and depression often times associated with injury may be significantly diminished with regular treatment, making Shiatsu beneficial to those performers and athletes in the process of recuperation.

The objective of Karens Shiatsu Therapy is to:
  • unblock channels with deep pressure to facilitate faster healing in the injured athlete
  • incorporate the use of orthopedic work for injuries
  • for chronic conditions keep dancers performing at their highest level
  • calm the emotions often times associated with overwork, performance pressure and recuperation from injury
  • fight fatigue and predisposition to injury
  • assist the body to relieve tension and stress
  • promote recovery from repetitive dance class, workout or daily exertion

Shiatsu's foundation is pressure, and the massage is primarily constructed around pressure techniques, so no oil is used. Oil makes it difficult to grip skin or muscle or to apply pressure. You do not need to disrobe for Shiatsu. The client should wear light, loose, comfortable clothes in a natural fiber like cotton.

In addition to performers, athletes and business professionals, Karen's clients include:
Cast and crew members from the National Touring companies of:
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Stomp
  • Blue Man Group
  • The King and I
  • Picasso at the Lapin Agile
  • Miss Saigon
  • Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk
  • Riverdance
  • Cabaret
  • Seussical
  • Wicked
  • A Chorus Line
  • The Lion King
  • Les Miserables
  • Boston Ballet
  • Mariinsky Ballet
  • English National Ballet
  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
  • Cavalia
  • Big Apple Circus
  • Joffrey Ballet
  • New York City Ballet

"Karen is open minded, well trained and an excellent Shiatsu therapist. Not only am I a regular client, but I also recommend her to and trust her with my dancers – therefore I recommend her to anyone."

Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director, Boston Ballet

"Finding a healthy balance in life isn’t easy. Regular visits with Karen keep me centered, in tune and on track, enabling an internal balance which is essential in today’s world."

Elizabeth Olds
Artistic Administrator / Assistant to the Artistic Director, Boston Ballet

"Dancers need their mind and body connection to be at its best in order to effectively perform and have their true artistry show through. Karen is very skilled in restoring or tuning up that connection. I have been impressed with Karen's ability to treat the whole patient and get to the crux of the issues at the same time. She is a master at using the Shiatsu technique to calm the sympathetic nervous system relieving muscle tightness, pain and alleviating stress. When we are sharing patients, they return to me ready and able to progress in physical therapy feeling more relaxed and with less pain after seeing her. She is wonderful to work with!"

Heather Southwick, MSPT Director of Physical Therapy, Boston Ballet

"I receive Shiatsu Therapy from Karen Gardner on a regular basis. It is the only bodywork therapy I prefer as it helps balance my bodymindspirit. It is extremely beneficial to my daily and performance life."

Misa Kuranaga,
Principal dancer, Boston Ballet

"...Karen's work on me was healing and rejuvenating. She balanced me and helped me through some rigorous performances."

Marisa Tomei
Academy Award winning actress

I arrived in Boston a week before we were to open with The Big Apple Circus. I could barley move my neck, and was getting no sleep at all from the pain. Rather than go to the hospital my boyfriend recommended Karen who had done wonders for him! I went and my world changed! Not only did she completely fix my problems, she also did wonders for my horses!!! She is a miracle worker!!!!and now, also a great friend! The world needs more humans like this amazing woman!

Jenny Vidbel
Vidbel Liberty Horsemanship
Big Apple Circus

Karen, thank you so very much!!! Thanks for everything- I am so happy and grateful I had the opportunity to work with you!

Keenan Kampa, soloist, Mariinsky Ballet, Russia

"...Karen's technique is consistently precise and studied- a credit to the rigor of her training. She's one of a very few Westerners who've taken the time and trouble to master the details of this ancient, healing art..."

Catherine A. Salmons, journalist
Boston Magazine

"...Mind, Body, Spirit and Healing is what I think of when I'm having a session with Karen. Her Shiatsu Therapy has helped me recover from back surgery and a shoulder injury as I train for the Iron Man. As an athlete, Karen's bodywork is just as important as working out- working to obtain harmony. I would highly recommend her therapy to anyone. Greatly appreciated,

Bob Ell, athlete
Iron Man Triathlon World Championship 2000

"...I have experienced almost all types of massage due to my work and discovered that Karen's application of the Shiatsu technique was most beneficial in both relaxing me and re-energizing my body simultaneously. She's simply the best!"

Annbritt Gemmer
Conductor/Music Director
2nd National Tour Miss Saigon

"...The months spent filming in Boston I hired Karen as my personal Shiatsu practitioner. During what would have normally been an anxious, hectic time, I felt better than I ever had during a project due to Karen's sensitivity and wonderful treatments. She is brilliant!"

Debbie Robins
L.A. Film Producer