Santa Monica Healing Arts Center is an association of health care practitioners providing a variety of wellness modalities. These include: the Rolf Method of Structural Integration (also known as “Rolfing”), Myofascial Release (for relief from chronically held muscle tension), Medical Massage, Acupuncture. Santa Monica Healing Arts Center has provided Rolfing in Santa Monica since 1984.
SMHAC was founded by Shawnee Isaac Smith and Vivian Engelsen in 1984 and successfully provided acupuncture, medical massage, osteopathy, craniosacral work, and of course Rolfing, in Santa Monica for many years. In addition to her work as a Rolfer, Shawnee is a Jungian Psychotherapist. She founded The Heart Touch Project during the early years of the AIDS crisis, bringing compassionate touch massage to dying AIDS patients. Please visit the Heart Touch website for the project’s amazing history and its current outreach.
Pat comes from a background in the arts. She received her M.F.A from California State University at Long Beach. To get help with chronic back pain she received the Basic 10 series of Structural Integration from a veteran Rolfer, Don Setty, who had been trained by Dr. Ida Rolf. The change in well-being was so profound, she decided to become certified to pass these benefits on to others. She has found that immersion into both the imaginative/intuitive and the analytical in the practice of healing touch greatly enhances the potential of mind/body transformation. She also practices medical massage and light touch energy work.
Their clients have included dancers, athletes, actors, musicians, doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, parents, children. Many have come for help with chronic pain due to injury or structural imbalances, and many for help with transitional periods in their lives, an evolutionary process that this work supports.
Pat studied with Emmett Hutchins and Peter Melchior, the first two teachers that Ida Rolf entrusted with instruction in the method. She received instruction at both the Rolf Institute and the Guild for Structural Integration where she became certified in 2004. She has studied Quantum Touch with Richard Gordon and Matrix Energetics with Dr. Richard Bartlett, D.C., N.D.
Pat also practices in Ventura, CA.
Vivian Engelsen was a co-founder of Santa Monica Healing Arts Center and has been practicing acupuncture for nearly thirty years. Her story in her own words:
Vivian Engelsen received a master of Fine Arts degree from Notre Dame University in 1977. After a bout with a respiratory infection unresolved by antibiotics she became interested in alternative approaches to healing. Inspired by the results of an holistic approach to health, she went on to study Chinese medicine at the California Acupuncture College. She was licensed in 1984, went on to receive a Master’s degree in herbology from Union University in Los Angeles in 1985. She been in private practice in Santa Monica since that time.
These studies, combined with extensive training in nutrition and essential oils, form an integrated approach and powerful enhancement of the treatments. She uses supplemental support from companies such as Standard Process, Metagenics, Pure Encapsulations, and DoTerra Essential Oils.
Her specialties include, but are not limited to: pain management, immune support, sinus/allergy and upper respiratory diseases, hormonal imbalances, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, cholesterol management, detox protocols, and work/emotional stress related issues.