Libby Winterhalter, licensed massage therapist (LMT), has been in private practice since July 2004. She graduated from SHI Integrative Medical Massage School, then located in Lebanon, Ohio. Prior to that, she received a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Communications along with a minor in Religious Studies from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 2001. Libby has also worked both in the corporate world and she served as a Journalist for the United States Navy for 22 years, from which she is now retired. She is an active member of the American Bodyworkers and Massage Professionals Association (ABMP).
Libby naturally blends both medical-based treatments and holistic therapies offering a more effective and comprehensive experience. Each session is specifically tailored to that client using one or more of the following techniques: therapeutic massage, Swedish (relaxation) massage, sports massage, Active Isolated Stretching – considered to be both a neuromuscular and myofascial release technique – Trigger Point Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy and more.
Libby has worked extensively with clients dealing with chronic pain, strains and sprains, compromised joints, spinal fusion(s), temporomandibular disorder, scar tissue, migraines, whiplash, digestive issues, plantar fasciitis and other foot-related pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, failure-to-thrive syndrome, pregnancy, cancers, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), sports-related injuries and severe injuries resulting from other accidents.
Thankfully, not all of Libby’s clients are facing life-altering issues. One client tells her she keeps him feeling younger than his years. Another client says Libby keeps her out of pain, while someone else tells her that she offers a necessary reprieve from the stressors of the world.
Libby is looking forward to expanding her practice and working with such an accomplished group of healthcare providers.
Want to know more about Libby? See her interview below.
How did you get into your field?
When I was a young girl, it was a family member that first suggested that I go into massage therapy. But, like most, I had no idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up. Little did I know then just how important massage therapy would become in my life.
As it turned out, the first leg of my career journey was spent in the United States Navy. There I served as a journalist for more than 22 years. After my service in the military, I became a claims examiner and underwriter for a major insurance company; and then later, a lead consultant helping executives make the transition to new careers.
My interest in the medical field, however, was always at play in the background. My uncle was a renowned surgeon, my mom and one of my sisters were registered nurses. I loved hearing the stories of people healing from conditions and illnesses that seemed otherwise hopeless. So, when I faced the decision whether to continue in the corporate world or to search for something that could offer more meaning in my life…the idea of training to become a massage therapist seemed like a perfect fit. This decision felt right from the very beginning and I have never looked back!
What is your training background?
In 2001, I graduated from The College of Mount St. Joseph – as an “adult learner” – having received degrees both in Communications and Religious Studies. The following year, I started studying massage therapy at SHI Integrative Medical Massage School, then in Lebanon, Ohio. I opened my practice within a few months of getting my license in 2004.
I’ve assisted Aaron Mattes, RKT, LMT during his Active Isolated Stretching seminars and have also created and facilitated workshops on this topic. I’ve authored numerous articles dealing with massage therapy, medical topics and other health-related subjects. And, I look forward to speaking more on the subjects of optimal health and wellness.
Who influenced your career path (who have you enjoyed learning from, mentor, etc.)?your career path (who have you enjoyed learning from, mentor, )?
First and foremost, my father. I learned as a young girl that I could make a grumpy grown-up melt if I sat and massaged his feet.
John Rosenberg, my brother-in-law. He received many massages before I became licensed. It was his compliments – and critiques – that helped me become a better massage therapist. John has also been instrumental in helping me make several recent and pivotal business decisions for which I am truly grateful. My sisters, Amy Rosenberg and Dawn Parks, have also been instrumental in offering support and encouragement all along the way.
Judie James, who is my very good friend and business mentor. When I first met her, she agreed to help me create a logo, business cards and a brochure. At some point, within a year or two of being in business, Judie saw that I was struggling with the business side of my practice. She stepped in and offered to mentor me. It was quite a process…but so rewarding!
Plus, there were my teachers, friends, and clients with unique medical situations that inspired me throughout: Marilyn R., Aaron M., Deb B., Ro P., Karina S., Judy B., John B, Pat B., Maria C., and so many more!
What makes you love your field?
For me, massage therapy isn’t a job. It’s a calling. I believe that massage therapy can play an integral part in anyone’s desire to achieve better health and live a more active lifestyle. I love being able to help clients along their healing path. Knowing that someone trusts me with their wellbeing is very fulfilling.
I also love getting to know and build relationships with people that I would have never likely met otherwise. It’s these relationships — and the variety of them – that make my work so interesting.
What kind of clients do you love working with?
Oh, this is a tough one. I have been fortunate to have worked with some of the most amazing people. What I try to do is find something to appreciate about each and every client. I enjoy having a variety of clients with different challenges. Clients in pain, whether it is physical or emotional, offer a totally different experience for me as a therapist compared to an athlete striving to reach a new goal. Each person is different, every session is unique.
What sets you apart?
I believe my work is different. With each client, I start the session by listening to what the person wants, or thinks is needed, before he/she gets on the massage table. Then, I try to empathize with their situation, by giving the type of massage that I would want if I were in their place. As a therapist, I pay careful attention to how their body is responding to the various techniques and any intuitive thoughts that I may also receive. My overall objective is to provide a healing and relaxing experience for the client.
Perhaps the biggest thing that sets my work apart from others, is that I am an experienced therapist with an impressive history of working with people whose health and physical issues span a broad spectrum. My experience includes clients facing a debilitating or terminal illness, disabilities, extensive surgeries, unfathomable injuries, toddlers with failure-to-thrive syndrome, pregnant women, extreme athletes facing injuries, accomplished musicians and dancers, strong professional men and women, housewives, active and retired military personnel and so many more
What’s your mission?
My marketing tagline says it best: Helping You Achieve Optimal Health™. I’ve been searching for a healthier, happier, more fit lifestyle for a long time. I believe that most people want this, too. As I find the things that work well for me, I experience fewer aches and pains, and I feel more alive, younger even. I believe that therapeutic massage, done well and consistently, is integral to achieving better health and being more active. You could say then that it is my mission to help clients feel better, be better and live fuller lives.
What do you do with your spare time?
I haven’t had much spare time lately but, as I get settled at Anchor Wellness, I look forward to finding time to explore things like cooking, traveling with friends, writing a book (or two), or doing almost anything fun around water activities. I believe that my move to Anchor will help me find the balance that I am looking for so that I can focus on more things that bring me joy.
How do we follow you?