Elizabeth "Liz" Kriz
Certified Thai Practitioner
e-ryt200 & ryt500
As a body-worker, a yoga practitioner and teacher, I met my soul mate in Thai massage. The first time I experienced a Thai massage, I walked away on a cloud. My body felt light yet completely grounded; my mind felt at ease, yet not fuzzy or sleepy; my spirit was at peace. I have since come to understand why Thai massage can have such a powerful impact and I wish to offer that to all my clients. Thai massage in combination with authentic Thai medical theory (which is rich, robust and completely separate from Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine) works to bring balance to all layers of the body, mind and spirit, from the upper most layer of skin to the deepest organ level.
Embedded deep within Thai culture and rooted in Buddhism, Thai healing arts offers a vastly different approach to health and healing from our Western counterparts. Thai healing arts aims to balance our current elemental constitution, create a state of calm in body, mind and spirit, to re-align the bodies structures, to treat sen or channels, to release blockages from sen and release stagnation, to move and balance wind, to clean blood, lymph and tissues and to treat the organs. With deep Buddhist roots, we practice while knowing that imbalance is natural and a perfect state of health, like everything, is impermanent. Our imbalances result from seasonal changes, times of day, what food we eat, a thunderstorm ... and life's daily struggles and large challenges.
I believe that healing begins with the practice of relaxing and letting go. We must detox from our busy doing and rushing so our body's innate wisdom for balance and healing to take place. Massage therapy plays a very important part in this process, along with other self care routines such as yoga, meditation and spending time in rejuvenating surroundings. My hope as a body-worker is to contribute to nudging towards balance by finding relaxation, peace and comfort in your body and spirit in a safe, caring environment.
After years of corporate work, teaching special education, running my own special effects and retail business, I finally listened to a deep longing... I perused an education in yoga. I had been practicing on and off since college (that would be in the 90's...). I loved the peace and stretch of it. I loved the way I felt after class... stretched out on both the physical and mental planes. In 2008, I became a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200). I taught weekly yoga classes at my local community center and I was hooked. I pursued and finished an Advanced Vinyasa Teacher Training at the 500 hour level in 2012 with Rolf Gates (RYT 500). I am now an E-RYT or Experienced Yoga Teacher as I have taught over 1200 hours of classes.
During this time I also became attuned to Reiki healing energy and under the guidance of my mentor Judy Harrington, I was attended to Usui Reiki Master Level in 2010.
Becoming fascinated by how the body moves and works seemed a natural result of my yoga practice and teaching, so after much thought and life changing directions, I decided to attend NC Massage School in Cornelius and graduated in March 2013 from their 650 hour program which included a Certification in Neuromuscular Therapy. I began working immediately as a full time massage therapist upon receiving my North Carolina License. I worked that first year on learning the craft of being a massage therapist with the help of hundreds of clients.
And then I found Thai massage...
As a college freshman, I set out to become a Registered Nurse but quickly realized this was not for me. I felt called to gain some life experience and work as a Resident Intern for a small nonprofit in West Charlotte. I followed a spiritual calling and found a love for being deeply rooted in people and their community. I stayed for seven years organizing programs and retreats. I helped implement edible landscapes and identified native edibles. I traveled to North West Ontario to visit the Grassy Narrows native reservation. We were visiting to share their story of ongoing colonial threats by large logging corporations. I heard first hand just how much Anishinabek native people rely on their land for food and medicine.
During my time with this local nonprofit, I earned a degree in Horticulture and focused my studies on the production of North Carolina medicinal herbs. I enjoyed working on local farms and community gardens but longed to study medicine. In February 2015 I was chosen to participate in the Professional Fellows mentor program working with a successful female farmer in Zambia. I traveled to Zambia and Zimbabwe visiting many African entrepreneurs.
I graduated from the Therapeutic Massage Training Institute of Charlotte in 2016 and continued my studies in energy work. I studied energy curriculum through Healing Touch Program (HTP) and am currently in a yearlong apprenticeship to become a practitioner. I chose to study through HTP because it is well integrated into the Holistic Nurses Association and is approved by various professional credentialing bodies. My studies with HTP gave me a greater awareness and appreciation for personal responsibility in health.
I am interested in Thai medical theory because of the culture’s rich history. Rooted in elemental theory, this approach to healing is specific to people's environment and spiritual beliefs. I have an appreciation for the depth of knowledge that Thai medical theory offers and enjoy practicing Thai Yoga Massage and bodywork. The rhythmic motions, deep compressions, stretches, and acupressure of Thai massage is the perfect complement to a western massage approach.