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.



Maria P. Amendolia

Maria P. Amendolia, owner and founder of TAKE SHAPE Massage and Movement Therapy, believes that self-care is a combination of the physical, mental and emotional. 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 her newly expanded action coaching practice. She uses her 20+ years experience in group exercise, personal training, healthy movement, nutrition counseling, massage, and bodywork modalities such as NKT to help her clients make choices that bring them closer to their goals. Maria trained at the Swedish Institute and is licensed in both New York State and Connecticut.

Maria is certified as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She taught a variety of group fitness classes in the area and for 18 years at the Darien YMCA. Over time, Maria found herself drawn more to healthy movement and lifestyle choices, which led her to become a certified RockTape “Doc” and Level Three practitioner in NeuroKinetic Therapy. She is a certified nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition as well and has been excited to shift her services to a more holistic perspective of helping her clients achieve who they want to be.


Bea Rowe

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.

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Emilia Santo

Emilia Santo, MA is a licensed massage therapist in New York and CT. She has been practicing her craft for the last nine years. She taught massage classes at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, including traditional Shiatsu and Thai massage. Emilia is also a certified yoga instructor (200RYT) from Integral Yoga in New York City. This lends to her approach of looking at the human body from a wholistic perspective: mind and body being in a constant dynamic relationship, where emotional discomfort can cause physical pain and the demands on the physical body impact emotional health.

Emilia is a dynamic, caring and compassionate individual who’s passion as a massage therapist is to promote overall well being, reduce pain and ease discomfort.

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Josh Straiton

Josh Straiton has long been obsessed by the interconnectedness of body and being. Pursuing this passion, he graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in exercise science. After working with hundreds of clients, Josh noted common patterns of tightness too deep to reach by even the most thoughtful stretching protocol—and then he had a massage that changed his life and outlook. He discovered that the patterns of tightness revealed through massage could be released and corrected through manual therapy.

To that end, he studied massage therapy at Finger Lakes School of Massage, where he discovered a form of bodywork called Structural Integration (SI), which seeks to integrate the human structure by relating it to gravity. After completing an apprenticeship to learn the work, his goal is to offer this experience to as many clients as he can.

Are you ready to make the leap to a fitter, happier, healthier you?

All of us here at Take Shape are ready to help. Get in touch with us today!