Meredith Brunner
A Holistic Health Mere LLP


Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork is the highest voluntary credential a massage therapist can obtain within the profession—it is above and beyond entry level state licensure. By becoming Board Certified, I represent a community of therapists who have gone above standard educational and work experience requirements with a dedicated and lifelong commit to continuing education. Furthermore, I live up to higher standards and ethics in alignment with The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

To achieve my Board Certification, I provided proof of a minimum of 750 hours of education, 250 hours of professional, hands-on work experience, passed a criminal background check, agreed to uphold NCBTMB's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, and passed the Board Certification Exam. By passing the BCETMB and meeting all requirements, I demonstrate advanced assessment and critical thinking skills, as well as a commitment to excellence. I wear the credentials BCTMB with pride in myself, my profession, and, most importantly, my clients.

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Certified Neuromuscular Therapist

Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) is a precise, thorough examination and treatment of the body’s soft tissues using regionally oriented protocols that are taught in a step-by-step process. These time-tested, hands-on techniques are built upon a science-based foundation and guided by clinical evidence. NMT can integrate well into any practice setting and is frequently included in mainstream medicine, integrative medicine, chiropractic care, and multidisciplinary clinics worldwide.

In addition, NMT considers perpetuating factors that may be associated with the client’s complaints. For example, when a client presents with shoulder pain, the upper extremity protocol will be used as the primary examination. In addition to the muscles directly crossing the shoulder joint, muscles that attach the shoulder girdle to the torso would be included along with steps to help insure mobility of the scapula. Dysfunctions within the arm, forearm and hand often produce compensation patterns in shoulder movement, so examination of those regions should be included. Since innervation to the shoulder exits the spine at the cervical region, mobility and muscles of the neck will be considered; compression or entrapment of the nerves serving the shoulder should be ruled out.

Perpetuating factors can also include shoulder joint pathologies, postural positioning, habits of use, nutritional components, emotional wellbeing, allergies, neuro-excitants, neurotoxins, and other core elements that can masquerade as myofascial pain and dysfunction. Due to the diverse nature of perpetuating factors, astute NMT practitioners build a broad network of healthcare providers for referral of those clients whose symptoms suggest “red flag” warnings or underlying pathologies.

Most factors that cause pain and dysfunction can be easily grouped under three general headings of biomechanical, biochemical, and psychosocial factors, with the interface between these being profoundly related. Most practitioners apply strategies from only one of these categories, often resulting in improvement that plateaus before full recovery. However, a synergistic effect - often with significant relief - is obtained when all three categories are addressed.  This may require a multidisciplinary approach.

NMT assessments and examinations primarily address

  • ischemia (tight tissue with reduced blood flow)
  • myofascial trigger points (hypersensitive points within muscles that give rise to referred phenomena, including pain)
  • neural entrapment (pressure on nerves by muscles and other soft tissues), and nerve compression (pressure on nerves by osseous and other bonelike tissues, such as cartilage or  discs).
  • postural assessment (assessment of the position of the body as a whole)
  • and dysfunctional gait patterns (manner of movement when walking)
  • with constant consideration for many other perpetuating factors, such as hydration, nutrition, breathing patterns, and psychological stress.

NMT is highly effective for clients who present with chronic pain and is often successful in reducing or eliminating even longstanding painful conditions. Some of the techniques can also be applied to acute injuries and for post-surgical care; many of which help to improve performance in sport or dance and to prevent injuries due to these activities.

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Certified Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapist


Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy (BCVT) is a mindfulness based manual therapy. Mindfulness is conscious awareness of experience in the body without judging or interpreting it. This provides a greater sense of choice when facing the stress of everyday life. New science says that mindfulness practice balances the brain and body. It is proven to reduce fear and anxiety. The practitioner of BCVT is using mindfulness continually during a session.  Mindfulness is known to increase empathy and safety so that healing the body and mind is enhanced.

Mindfulness is an antidote to living such a hectic life in our contemporary society. In this way mindfulness builds a connection to the therapeutic value of slowing down and becoming more still. Research shows that with the help of the practitioner most everyone can experience the health benefits of slowing down and becoming still with mindfulness.

Heart – Brain Connection

BCVT is a manual therapy that focuses on helping the cardiovascular system to relax.  In this way blood can flow more easily and carry the benefits of the immune system to those areas of the body that need the most help. The contact is very gentle, and the client remains clothed for the whole session. When the heart and vascular system relax, a strong signal is sent to the brain to promote resilience.  Resilience is the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, adversity, or challenge. By becoming more resilient through BCVT, a client can remain calm, think clearly and be in better control of their mind and emotions.


BCVT includes the practitioner verbally guiding the client through mindfulness of the body and breathing. These are short practices that usually begin and end a session. The intention of these guided practices and the whole session is to create coherence between the brain, the heart, and the entire body. The middle of the session is gentle hands-on contact with arteries and other traditional skills from the field of biodynamic craniosacral therapy. Greater coherence according to science improves decision making, creativity and performance in general whether at work or exercising.

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200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT)

200-YTT from Studio Gaia Edwardsville consists of training in ALL of the following subjects with emphasis on those in bold:​

  • Postural alignment 

proper postural alignment, modifications, and advanced variations, as well as the benefits & contraindications of a variety of yoga poses. ​

  • Sequencing  

science & art of proper sequencing, how to design sequences around specific muscles, philosophical themes, and rhythms of natures including daily, seasonal, and moon cycles. 

  • Anatomy and Physiology 

study of the spine & nervous system, the role of posture in chronic pain, and how to create balance in the opposing muscle groups to increase strength, flexibility, and resiliency in the body.

  • Energy anatomy

understanding the Ayurvedic energy body system that consist of the spinal energies line of Ida, Pingala, & Sushumna as well as the 7 main chakras, or energy wheels and how blockages & imbalances in this system can manifest in physical and psychological symptoms.

  • Ayurveda and Nutrition

knowledge of how to eat for your body type, based on the Ayurvedic concept of balancing the dosha's or life force energies of the body through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle choices to find and maintain your optimal vibration.  

  • Environmental Impacts of Food and Lifestyle Choices

lessons on how to lessen one's carbon footprint by minimizing waste, buying local, eating seasonally, and growing your own food at home to live more in sync with nature.   

Taught by Jen Jones, RYT 500, received her 200-hour certification in 2007 and completed her 500-hour certification at the Asheville Yoga Center with an emphasis on Yoga Therapeutics. 

Program is Yoga Alliance certified.

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Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is a safe and highly effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate.

Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.)

The use of Myofascial Release allows us to look at each patient as a unique individual. Our one-on-one therapy sessions are hands-on treatments during which our therapists use a multitude of Myofascial Release techniques and movement therapy. We promote independence through education in proper body mechanics and movement, self-treatment instruction, enhancement of strength, improved flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.

Hands-On Treatment

Each Myofascial Release Treatment session is performed directly on skin without oils, creams, or machinery. This enables the therapist to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate release of the fascia.

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