RiverShen Counseling & Bodywork

The River brings body and mind together to build energy and courage for acceptance and change



Welcome to RiverShen Counseling & Bodywork. Offering a host of services to balance your health and well-being.

How are these services different? What makes the experience life altering?

Over almost two decades of practice I have had many teachers along the way.  One teacher in particular, Yamaguchi-san in Oakland California, taught me some invaluable lessons.  Yamaguchi was previously a massage therapist for the San Francisco 49'ers, he was also a survivor of the Japanese internment in the United States when he was a teenager. He had a very full life and lived a very modest one. Despite his many accolades and accomplishments, he kept his abode very humble as a reminder that it is not the outside that matters but what is within that creates our environs. His bodywork was magically transformative and his character came across as extremely serious which was a strong contrast to his sense of humor. He was able to contain these dualities which I adored. What I took away from his teachings was the idea that less is more. It's not the fancy environment that gives you a great service. It is the work itself.  When we pause and slow down in a focused and meditative way, the body:mind finds its way back to healing. 

I have been practicing meditation for over 30 years and this practice deeply influences my work. I see the body: mind as a landscape that changes every day, every week, and with every major emotional event.  It needs different intentions and sometimes different work. This much continuous attention requires a lot of energy.  When you have the right amount of attention paid to you, there is a sense of being nurtured and nourished. This is what I can provide to you. 

RiverShen, also known as River spirit, symbolizes the harnessing of River qualities within you. River qualities are about going with the flow, change, energy, movement, and acceptance. Once you harness this River spirit, it can provide a greater sense of courage towards anything you have to face. I will be there with you through that process. 

I live simply so as to limit my carbon footprint and stay on my spiritual path. What money I make goes back into furthering my studies of the body and mind through books and trainings which in turn goes back to my clients in a circular path.

I encourage my clients to listen to their bodies about when to come back for their next sessions.  We have been schooled by the biomedical field to believe that the experts are "OUT THERE". In other words, other people are supposedly going to know what's going on in our bodies more so than ourselves.  This false training has led us further and further away from our intuitive knowledge and thus the reason why yoga, meditation, reiki, acupuncture, tai chi, and qi gong have become so popular. We are starting to understand that we need to reconnect with the self to find health and balance. The expert of our bodies lies within ourselves and the methods I have been blessed to pass on by my predecessors help one begin to listen to the body and become aware of what it needs and does not need. Developing intuition and insight goes along way in self care.  

Sometimes we get bogged down by the depth of our physical and emotional pain. I encourage everyone to be a container of the awareness, focus, and intuitive process but also find the light, the love, and the fun of life! There is much healing readily available in a smile. So go ahead and force a smile right now....even if you think you are a dork for doing it! It may change your day and lift your spirits. If not for you, then perhaps that smile will create a ripple of smiles from one person to the next. Share the joy, spread lightness of being and in these actions we change the world. I look forward to meeting you on your journey of wellness....namaste--Vanessa

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