Damariscotta massage therapist Lori Rizzuto specializes in Bowen therapy and end-of-life work at her practice, Mindful Healing, off Back Meadow Road.
Rizzuto came up with the name 20 years ago after thinking about what she brings to the table in terms of her practice.
“If you just take the word mindful, it truly encompasses what I bring to people when I’m with them,” she said. “When somebody comes to me in pain or has a disease or some other condition that they are seeking help with, I really bring a mindfulness to my work with them.”
Rizzuto said she relies on her intuition and “strong sense of empathy” to bring comfort and relief to her clients.
Rizzuto worked a series of jobs before landing one that inspired her to pursue a career in massage.
“I was a dancer originally, and then I lived on boats and did boat work, and then I was a personal care attendant for a young man who was a quadriplegic, and that’s where I really started becoming interested in working with people with their health and doing bodywork and addressing their health through alternative, holistic means,” she said.
“I was looking for a profession,” she said. “I thought of nursing. I really didn’t want to go into the traditional medical system and I had already been doing a little bit of shiatsu, which is a Japanese acupressure type of bodywork.”
Rizzuto was living in New Hampshire at the time, and wanted to find a way to continue with her newfound passion. That’s when the solution to her dilemma presented itself.
“My mother was living up here and I found out about (the Downeast School of Massage in Waldoboro) and she said, ‘Well, why don’t you come up here and stay with me while you go to school.’ So I ended up here and my primary study was shiatsu and deep tissue massage,” Rizzuto said.
Rizzuto graduated in 1988 and started her own practice.
She discovered Bowen therapy just 10 years ago. Her personal struggle with fibromyalgia led her to the discovery. After being worked on by a friend in training, she went from pain levels of eight or nine on a scale of one to 10 to a one in only three months.
“In 2010 I got certified and then I continued and did all the advanced training, so now I really consider myself a Bowen therapist,” she said. Bowen therapy is a holistic technique that focuses on soft connective tissue.
One of Rizzuto’s other specialties, her end-of-life work, is more than just part of the business to her.
“This is my business, but working at end of life has been my calling,” she said. “If I were to choose one word, I think comfort is the word that my end-of-life work brings to people. There’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of anxiety, and a lot of unknowns for anyone who is dying.”
Before meeting with her patients, Rizzuto will talk to them about what she does and tailor her skills to her client’s needs. No bodywork is necessary. Rizzuto is an end-of-life doula, and is available to talk, to guide her clients through the end of their lives, and to pray, as well as to do a multitude of other things. Rizzuto is also available to be there when death is imminent, comforting both her clients and their families.
Mindful Healing, 57 White Oak Ridge Road, Damariscotta, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Rizzuto offers a sliding scale and accommodates patients’ ability to pay as much as she can. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 563-3353.