TAKE SHAPE has remained a small company able to take a strongly personal and individualized interest in all of its clients.
In 1999, Maria Amendolia founded TAKE SHAPE to combine the elements of a healthy whole: fitness, healthy movement, and massage. Maria realized that people could truly benefit from the attention of a personal trainer who was also a massage therapist, and vice versa. The ideal was to have a therapist who truly understood the physiology of a physically active body and who could help a client maintain healthy movement and repair the unavoidable stresses and strains of an active, vigorous life.
At first, TAKE SHAPE was a one-woman show, but very quickly, Maria had more clients than time, and Claudia Carson joined the company as a second therapist. We were lucky enough to have her skilled hands for almost fifteen years before her retirement from the field. More recently, the team has grown to include a number of excellent massage therapists, each with her own unique talents to offer our clients. That has allowed Maria more time to study, and she has expanded her breadth of knowledge to include advanced techniques such as NKT® and RockTape. This allows her to work in combination with TAKE SHAPE’s other massage therapists to further assist clients in reaching their goals of healthy movement and pain-free activity.
Yet, true to Maria’s original vision, TAKE SHAPE remains a small company, able to take a strongly personal and individualized interest in all its clients.
WHO WE ARE
Maria P. Amendolia
Maria P. Amendolia, owner and founder of TAKE SHAPE Massage and Movement Therapy, believes that massage is as integral as exercise to a healthy body and mind. Described as “motivational” and “inspirational” by her clients, Maria believes that everyone can become fitter, healthier, and happier—and is thrilled that she can help her clients reach these goals through exercise, healthy movement, and bodywork modalities such as NKT.
Maria trained at the Swedish Institute and is licensed in both New York State and Connecticut. She started a private practice in New York while continuing to study advanced techniques. Maria is certified as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She has been teaching group fitness classes in town at the Darien YMCA for almost twenty years. In the last few years, Maria has found herself drawn more to the why of our pains and injuries. This has led her to train as a certified RockTape “Doc” and to become one of only two certified Level Three professionals in NeuroKinetic Therapy®, a manual muscle-testing technique that can help repattern the motor-control system—and ease even the oldest injuries and aches.
Shelley May has been working at TAKE SHAPE for nearly four years, while watching the middle two of her four children fly the nest. With one still at home, Shelley, who has been an advocate of healthy living and holistic self-care all of her adult life, fills the time around her chauffeur duties doing massage at TAKE SHAPE, meditating, and teaching at the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy.
In addition to teaching at her alma mater, Shelley continues to study in order broaden the skill set she brings to her work as a therapist. She does myofascial release, deep tissue, and chakra balancing, and she incorporates the principles of traditional Chinese medicine (including acupressure and shiatsu) and biodynamic craniosacral therapy into all her massages.
Bea Rowe finished her massage therapy training in 2008. Her massage is Swedish based but incorporates myofascial release and deep-tissue work to best address the needs of her clients. She does wonderful all-over massage as well as amazingly effective targeted work when a client comes to her with specific issues that need addressing.
Bea is certified in MotherMassage, which supports both mother and child before, during, and after pregnancy. She has over two hundred volunteer hours at Stamford Hospital in their Tender Touch program. In addition, Bea has also trained in neuromuscular therapy.
Rebecca Lowden is a graduate of the clinical program at the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy. Her style is Swedish based, with a clinical bias, seeking to help clients keep or return their bodies and minds to optimal functioning.
Rebecca graduated from the University of London with a BSc in human biology. She later developed a strong interest in health and complementary therapies while parenting her two children. After they both left for college, Rebecca responded to her inner prompting to retrain in a wellness profession, and here she is.
An advocate of healthy living, Rebecca believes that massage is integral to a healthy body and mind, and she enjoys working with clients who value natural health and wellness.