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  • Samantha Pridgen, LMBT 1996 – Massage Therapist

    Owner, Massage Therapist

    Where I Came From:

    I was born in Southern California and lived at the foot of Mount Baldy in Claremont. Throughout my early years, I was lucky enough to have spent many years visiting Lakes Mead and Powell. The energy of those places has stayed with me my whole life. Over the course of the years, I discovered I had a knack for perceiving different perspectives in any given situation. After graduating high school in 1985, I spent a year and a half at college in Northern Arizona. Then in 1987 I chose to move with my family to Raleigh NC and it was here I discovered a passion for being a Massage Therapist and practitioner of the Healing Arts that remains to this day.

    How I Got Here:

    My journey began in May of 1990, when I met a woman involved in the healing arts who asked me to apprentice with her. Over the next 2 years, I learned about Massage Therapy, Aromatherapy, the Body and different ways to treat it. The the most important aspect of this training was to be my understanding of the Energy of the body. I achieved my 2nd level of Reiki training in 1991. This led to understanding the tangible nature of Universal Energy and the energy of all living things. In 2016 I elevated my Reiki skills to that of Reiki Master.

    In September of 1992, I realized that my career would be as a Massage Therapist practicing the Healing Arts. Thus, I chose to attend the Carolina School of Massage Therapy in Carrboro, NC. Over the course of a year, I became a certified Massage Therapist. The courses included (but are not limited to) Swedish and Sports Massage, Deep Tissue, Polarity Energetic Therapy, Acupressure and Somatic Studies. I graduated in September of 1993.

    Where It Took Me:

    While attending school, in 1992, I opened Body Elemental. I continue to own and operate BE to this day. Over the next 28 years, I developed my skill set to provide essential whole body healing to my clientele. I incorporate whatever the client needs the time of their session. This includes Craniosacral, Aromatherapy, Swedish Massage, Chi Activiation, and Reiki. Most importantly, I create long-term relationships with my clients in order to address the many layers of healing that person may need or choose to investigate. I have some of the clients who have been with me the 28 years I have been practicing, but I also have new clients from just last year.

    Becoming a Massage Therapist and Healer is the fulfillment of my life’s purpose.

    I am so very grateful for the gifts I have been given, and the ability to have developed them over these past two and a half decades.

    E-Mail Samantha

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  • Laura Ghantous, LMBT 1558 – Massage Therapist

    Massage Therapist

    After graduating from N.C. State in 1993 with a BS in Zoology, I worked in a lab for a few years. During this time, I developed neck pain and migraines. I eventually sought out massage therapy for pain and stress relief. But I found much more than simple pain relief. Through deep relaxation of my body and mind, I reconnected to my spirit and found the peace and perspective needed to make a big change.

    So, in 1996 I enrolled at Carolina School of Massage Therapy. While going to classes on weekends, I interned with physical therapists to learn trigger point therapy. This time was invaluable for my understanding and assisting with chronic and acute pain.

    After graduation, I went straight to work at the YWCA and with Samantha Pridgen at Body Elemental as a Licensed Massage Therapist. The second I met Samantha I knew we would be a great match. I was right: We’ve been working together for more than 20 years. I’m grateful not only for her guidance, but our friendship as well.

    My work is a blend of Swedish and deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, and various energy techniques. Recently, I’m exploring Raindrop Technique with Young Living Oils and Fascial Conduction. Raindrop reduces inflammation and Fascial Conduction provides a deeper and more connected healing throughout the entire body.

    Most importantly, I tailor to the client’s needs at the time of the appointment—allowing the sensitivity and compassion in my hands to guide me. At times I can be clinical in my approach, but I’ve found the most effective session, for true restoration, should always provide a deep sense of peace.

    As part of my holistic healing and rejuvenation path, I started practicing The Nia Technique in 2006 and have now taught it for more than a decade. Nia, as a blend of dance, martial, and healing arts, has endless possibilities for movement—and awareness. The combination of massage therapy and Nia has been my ultimate solution for moving through life with dynamic ease.

    Another highlight on my wellness path includes teaching a brain and body fitness program called Ageless Grace. It focuses on neuroplasticity by stimulating five areas of the brain that condition the body for lifelong comfort and ease. The exercises help us better respond, react, and recover when thrown off balance. Ageless Grace is practiced seated in a chair which engages the core, challenges the brain, and makes it accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

    Since the pandemic, I started offering Nia and Ageless Grace classes online to keep my massage clients and students happy, healthy, and connected. Check out my blog if you would like a taste of the classes and a sneak peek into Body Elemental.