David Lobenstine is among the most skilled, gifted and thoughtful practitioners I have met in three decades of receiving bodywork. He brings a deep knowledge of anatomy, a touch both insightful and masterful, and a rare spiritual generosity. He has helped me resolve chronic issues, for which I am grateful. But, far more rare, he has deepened my own somatic and spiritual conversation with my own body. It is an extraordinary gift when that most in-dwelling, personal and intimate discourse—between one’s self and one’s body—can be fully joined by a third. David has accomplished just that alchemy. To work with him is to attend a master’s class for body and soul.
— Dave Nimmons, writer

David is truly a find. He is a gifted massage therapist who takes a highly focused, personal and mindful approach to his work—which elevates the experience beyond any I’ve had before. Part physical release, part meditation, his sessions always leave me feeling relaxed and restored. I don’t ‘veg out’ during a David massage. I’m a participant, learning as I go, and using my breath to find expansion and release. It’s been a pleasure working with David, and I am so grateful for his strong, skillful hands and open heart.
— Jill Taddeo, freelance writer

Massage for everyone

therapeutic massage

I’m happy to tell you as much as you want to know about my work; I use a combination of Swedish and deep tissue massage, myofascial release, and breathwork. 

But ultimately, the techniques don’t matter; what matters is you. What matters is what your body needs at this moment. Do you want release from those nagging knots? Or help with an old injury? Or do body and brain just need relief from the stresses of life? Each session is built around you, and is guided by what you—and your skin and connective tissues and muscles and breath—tell me.

We begin by finding the depth of pressure that your body needs, using your breath as my guide. By following the inhale and the exhale, we can work as deep as is necessary to effect change, but without overwhelming your body or causing you pain. On my table, you don’t have to grin and bear it! We can sink deeply into areas of pain or tension or frustration, because we are working with your body, rather than against it. The result is lasting change, because I am not forcing your body to do anything, I am not trying to fix your body—only you can do that!—instead, I am facilitating the change that your body is ready for.

What a Full Breath Massage Feels Like


Want more specifics about the anatomy of a typical session? Read on.

We’ll begin each session by talking for a few minutes about how you are feeling, what you would like to work on, and any medical or physical issues relevant to the massage. I will leave the treatment room, you will undress to your level of comfort and lie down on the massage table, underneath a sheet and blanket.

I’ll re-enter, I adjust the bolsters, the music, the temperature, and whatever else you need. And whenever you are ready, we’ll begin.

We decide together how to structure the session. Some sessions are a little more broad, a little less muscle-specific, and I work the whole body—arms, legs, back, shoulders, neck, and head (and face and abdomen, if you like). Some sessions are very specific, with detailed work focusing on one or two particular trouble spots. Some sessions are a combination of both. Sometimes we use oil, sometimes we don’t, depending on what you need. The choice is always yours.

I use a combination of techniques—see below—based on your aims for the session. I encourage you to let me know at any point if you would like more or less pressure. As needed during the session, I will offer you a few verbal suggestions or visualizations for your breathing, in order to enhance your body’s ability to engage with the work. My goal is to cultivate a dialogue throughout our session, both spoken and unspoken, where you are working with me to effect the change that you hope for.

Toward that end, I work with the exterior self—the many layers of skin and muscle, the endless sheets of fascia and strands of tendon—to help renew the whole self. Here are some of the techniques I use:

  •  I use Swedish and deep tissue massage strokes to lengthen and release the body's multiple layers of skin and muscle tissue, and to increase circulation of blood and lymph.
  • With the long, slow sinking of myofascial release we warm and loosen the body's fascia, saran wrap-like layers of connective tissue that wrap around all of our soft tissue and can trigger pain and tightness when restricted.
  • Using Shiatsu, a Japanese massage form, we can stimulate the flow of chi, or energy, and open tight or congested points along the body's acupuncture meridians.
  • A variety of breathing techniques, employed throughout the session, enhance awareness of your particular areas of pain and tightness, and offer a powerful tool deepen your awareness with and create change in yourself.
  • Somatic education allows us to experiment, during and after the session, with simple stretches, shifts in posture or activity, and other means to encourage free and efficient movement.

I combine these techniques with a simple goal: to help you better understand your own body, and more effectively inhabit your own body.