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Natural Awakenings Philadelphia

Emily Smith: Happily Practices What She Preaches

Mar 30, 2019 09:56PM ● By Martin Miron

Emily Smith

simple human movement is a healing arts studio for rest, relaxation and resiliency located in Narberth and Chestnut Hill, where owner Emily Smith offers myofascial release, massage, Pilates and movement instruction. She also guides a weekly group movement self-massage/myofascial release class, liquidbody, in Wynnewood and Chestnut Hill, and has a small container garden business, Gardening for Body and Soul.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from Pennsylvania State University and is a licensed massage therapist. She has advanced training in John F. Barnes' Myofascial Release Approach (MFR), is certified in Pilates with the Physicalmind Institute and has completed teacher training in yin yoga, Women's Radiant Lotus Qigong and Original Strength. She is also a creative writer.

Smith notes, “My work instructing movement began with teaching Pilates in 2002, where I opened, owned and eventually sold a Pilates/yoga/massage business, Trinity Wellness Studio, in Frisco, Colorado. Professional training in massage and Myofascial Release Therapy followed a return to Philadelphia roots in 2010. My life’s focus changed directions after moving back to the east coast and my personal and professional experiences guided me towards the healing arts and myofascial release. I started receiving the work in 2011 and I've been working with my hands as a Myofascial Release and massage therapist and teaching liquidbody in the Philadelphia area since 2013. Gardening has been a hobby for over 20 years and recently has become a small second business. Plants remind me how adaptable we all are. I would choose getting my hands dirty working with people and plants to staring at a screen. I’ve never had a desk job.”

MFR is a hands-on physical therapy that is safe, gentle and consistently effective in producing lasting results for treating chronic pain and enhancing the quality of life. MFR repairs and remodels traumatized tissues. The John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Approach consists of the therapeutic and gentle application of sustained pressure into fascial restrictions.

Liquidbody is a self-care method and class that blends mindful movement and stillness, softening and relaxing, lengthening and strengthening. “It allows you to train your mind and body with awareness, breath and movement to self-treat and prevent chronic pain; lift and lower your own weight from standing to lying on the ground and from the ground to standing; create tissue change simulating the effects of John F. Barnes' Myofascial Release Approach with compression and decompression techniques using foam rollers, balls, resistance bands, yoga props, various self-myofascial release tools, Pilates equipment, mini-trampoline to therapeutically and gently remodel your fascia; and explore movement as medicine and play” says Smith.

Gardening for Body and Soul services include designing, creating and maintaining beautiful and peaceful indoor/outdoor growing spaces and container gardens.

“Movement is most important,” says Smith. “It’s key to longevity and it’s medicine. It continues to amaze me how one thing we all have in common, most of us understand so little about how to use and maintain. Liquidbody is a different way for caring for the body. The ways we tend to ourselves daily are strong influences to our overall health. This is a class that you could come to once and leave with skills to use daily for a lifetime. It’s like learning how to brush your teeth, just for your fascia instead.”

About her success, Smith shares, “I feel most successful when the work is successful. It’s exciting to see people change and heal their pain. This work requires courage from both people involved. It’s an honor to work so closely with spirit and the body.” Her passion for what she does shows at every turn. “I love this work and how it speaks for itself. I found John Barnes Myofascial Release Approach as a patient, and am grateful to know it and share it as a therapist. My wounds are blessings. Anytime I experience my own healing crisis, I know it's an opportunity for me to practice what I preach, self-treat and experience the work as a patient and appreciate what I can do for others.”

Smith will start offering treatments in Chestnut Hill April 5, and teaches ongoing liquidbody classes Wednesday nights in Wynnewood and Thursday nights in Chestnut Hill.

simple human movement has locations in at Narberth and Chestnut Hill. For more information, call 484-472-3626 or visit


hold your heart up

exercise your right to move

 movement and posture are universal languages

rediscover how to speak body

exercise your right to relax

invite yourself to

experience awareness

expand and contract the mind-body connection

develop feeling intelligence

connect to the internal and external landscape


rest while awake

be adaptable

come home to homeostasis


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