Melinda started her journey into the holistic arts at the age of 20. While looking for a powerful and alternative way to heal from various physical, mental, and emotional imbalances, she met a holistic duo (a physician and his wife) who led her straight into a whole new way of living and opened her up to an unexpected field that inspired great passion in her. 

In 2002, Melinda took a risk and moved to Los Angeles from Orlando to apprentice under her teacher duo at the Shen Life Center for five years. She studied integrative massage and energy modalities, yoga and meditation, holistic lifestyle practices, and biological spirituality. Her health and personal development improved beyond her expectations with the influence of Stephen and Erica Rogers. The opportunity to study so closely with the Shen Life Team was priceless.

During her time at the center, she earned licensing and certifications to work as a professional bodyworker and yoga instructor. The field of holistic living became much more than a full-time career; its Melinda’s life’s work.

After moving to Fairfield County Connecticut in 2009, Melinda continued her education at CCMT in the Clinical Massage Therapy Program and acquired her licenses in the states of Connecticut. She is also a member of the NCBTMB and the AMTA. 

In 2014, Melinda received her health coaching certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Teaching others how to develop a holistic lifestyle practice for greater self care became a growing passion and continues to this day.

Melinda has built an incredible career in holistic wellness and enjoys imparting all of her wisdom to others interested in being healthy, happy, and more connected with their optimal self. 

She feels the attributes that make her an effective practitioner are a combination of her warm and compassionate personality, natural talents and abilities, incredible training and education, passion for advancing herself and others, over a decade of experience in her field, and consistently showing up to each session with everything she’s got. 

With over 18 years under her belt as a wellness professional, Melinda is just as passionate today about holistic living as she was from day one.

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Ipo (pronounced ee-poh) was raised as a puppy around a healing environment. For the last five years he has sat in almost every session in the Essential Bodywork office. He likes to greet clients with a friendly energy helping them feel welcome as they arrive. He then positions himself in the treatment room holding space for the session. He has a loving energy and his presence adds a warm and fuzzy vibe, which brightens the space. Ipo is an important team member and has more than earned his own bio for all to appreciate his healing abilities.

“Melinda is, by far, the most talented and intuitive massage therapist I have ever worked with. She has techniques that have helped me with injuries and also chronic neck pain. Her massages are not only incredibly relaxing, but I feel better and like something was accomplished in my overall wellbeing when I leave.

Her office is fresh and beautiful and calming, and her assistant (Ipo, the dog) gets five stars too. I highly recommend Melinda, and I highly recommend talking to Ipo the dog. He is a good listener. :)”

~Kate Baliotti

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