Paula Derry

Paula Derry, PhD, LMT
Shiatsu/Integrative Bodywork
Stress Reduction
(443) 610-9881

I combine Shiatsu with a variety of other holistic approaches, using whatever approach would be helpful or needed in each session. Benefits: Enhance feeling centered, embodied, energized, at peace; reduce physical and psychological effects of stress, like headaches, muscle tension, anxiety; support people with illnesses like fibromyalgia, chronic Lyme, etc. by encouraging better sleep, rest, energy; encourage feelings of safety and well-being. Special interest in women’s issues. Shiatsu is a touch therapy that is gentle yet deep. I also use tech­niques from Zero Balancing, Shiatsu Shin Tai, and other approaches, using whatever practices will best meet your needs. You are fully clothed during the sessions. Receivers have commented that my touch is intuitive, sensitive, and communicates a sense of safety. At the same time, I also think strategically and analytically about how best to work.

What Is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu is a touch therapy based in Chinese medicine that promotes healing and wellness. A basic idea in Chinese medicine is that in a healthy body a vital energy called chi (or qi or ki) flows freely and abundantly along pathways called meridians. If energy is out of balance, this is experienced as dis-ease and ultimately can result in disease. Another basic idea is that the mind, body, and spirit form a whole: what happens in one is intimately tied to what happens in the others. The goal of shiatsu sessions is to encourage the balanced flow of chi, which is experienced by the receiver as feelings of deep relaxation, physical well-being, wholeness, and greater awareness of both positive states and also of tensions. When energy is balanced, the body can follow its natural impulse to heal itself. This balancing is achieved through touch.

What is Integrative Bodywork?
Integrative Bodywork combines Shiatsu with other holistic therapies to provide you with an experience that works best for your needs. The sessions might include techniques from Shiatsu Shin Tai, Zero Balancing, myofascial massage, mindfulness meditation, imagery, breathwork, or other practices. Conversation is also possible to clarify concerns, problem-solve, or facilitate planning. Paula’s role is that of a facilitator, educator, and consultant.

What is a session like?
Goals of the sessions include:

  • Deep relaxation;
  • Fewer stress symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, depression, physical symptoms like headaches;
  • Relieve muscle tension and stiffness;
  • Greater sense of well-being, clarity, and wholeness;
  • More complete connection of body, mind, and spirit;
  • Support recovery from illness;
  • Support the ability of the body to heal itself

During the session, you lie on a massage table fully clothed. I touch points on the pathways of chi energy and other important locations, and I gently move your limbs and other parts of your body. Everyone has a different experience, and every session can be different. The sessions can cultivate a shared attitude of attentiveness, even of meditation, and heightened awareness of experience. Feeling relaxed, energized, solid, clear, groggy, or tired are all common. Some people have images, memories, emotions, or thoughts. The sessions should not be painful; however, there may be discomfort or sensitivity from sore muscles, a sensitive energy pathway, or increased awareness.

Who is Paula Derry?
I am both a practitioner of hands-on bodywork and a holistic health researcher. I am a graduate of the Ohashi Institute, where I trained to be a practitioner of Ohashiatsu, a variant of Shiatsu, and was a Certified Ohashiatsu Consultant. I am also a licensed massage therapist and have workshop training in a broad variety of approaches to holism. My original bodywork training was a certificate program in Esalen massage and eclectic bodywork at the Gefion School in Berkeley, California. While my practice is in bodywork, not psychology, I was for many years a research health psychologist and this informs my understanding of my bodywork practice.

What are your fees?
Intake visit: $125. During this 90-minute session, we talk about your background to give me a better sense of who you are, and about your goals for coming. We also do a hands-on shiatsu session.
60-minute session: $85. This is the most usual length of a session. It includes 45-50 minutes of hands-on work.
75-minute session: $105. This session is for people who want extra time receiving shiatsu or who want to reserve time for talking.
90-minute session: $125. This session is for people who want extra time receiving shiatsu and extended time for talking.

How do I schedule a session?
Contact me at or (443) 610-9881.
Please pay at the end of the session, either cash or check.

Snow Policy: I follow the Baltimore County school systems. If the schools are closed, my appointments are cancelled. (I live in Baltimore county.)

Cancellation Policy: Please give at least 24 hours notice before a cancellation, or you will be expected to pay for the session you miss. Thanks.

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