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Please help me welcome a Woman Who Wows… Colleen Cohen

I can’t wait for you to meet Colleen Cohen and learn about the incredible ways she’s impacting so many people’s health and well-being, including mine.    Incorporating her years of Massage Therapy practice, Ashley Black Guru’s Fascia tools, and her fascia stretch therapy skills, she is transforming the physical wellness of even her most challenged clients.

Colleen Cohen grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh but has been living in the Chesapeake/Virginia Beach area for 30 years. 

Colleen received her training at Advanced Fuller School of Massage in 2012 where she took advanced courses in Sports Massage, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, and Myofascial Release.  She has a love for learning and sharing what she knows about healing the body with her clients.   She believes the therapeutic relationship between therapist and client is very important.  Working together, we can address the body as a whole and help restore balance.   She will identify areas that may not be functioning properly and work to correct imbalances before they escalate into pain.

She is proficient in the use of Ashley Black’s Fasciablaster, which is a cutting-edge tool specifically designed to address fascial restrictions, adhesions and distortions which can be the root cause of a myriad of unanswered questions about your body.

Her prior experience includes working with the performers of Cirque de Soleil for 5 weeks during the summer of 2015, back stage with the So You Think You Can Dance Tour, country and pop bands that have come through our area and a few professional and amateur athletes.  She worked for 2 years with a local chiropractor and is now has her full-time practice at unify Health & Fitness Studio.  

Colleen has recently received her Level 1 Fascial Stretch Therapy Certification at the “Stretch To Win” Institute in Chandler, AZ.  FST is an assisted stretching program founded by Ann Fredrick in 1995 that targets the fascial network of the body.  It is a pain free technique that opens up the entire body to allow for more freedom of movement.  It is used by professional athletes to prevent injury and increase performance but is totally adaptable to all ages and levels of flexibility.  It has profound and lasting effects since each session is tailored to the clients’ specific goals. It is unlike any other therapy out there.  Check out the videos at stretchtowin.com

She is a firm believer in the cumulative benefits of bodywork and is a living example of living by that in her day-to-day life. 

What words do you live by?

Do what makes you happy, be kind, don’t judge, eat your vegetables, recycle, don’t litter, live within your means try anything once, and always tell the truth

Who influenced you the most growing up?

I would say my mom was a big influence in my life.  She always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted so I never have been held back by limiting beliefs. There are so my inspirational people like Tony Robbins and Eric Tolle and I’m always looking to deepen my spirituality.

 

Share with us the importance of Family

I am married to my best friend, Chip.  We just celebrated our 24 year anniversary. I have 2 children.  My daughter’s name is Danielle, or “Dani” as we call her.  She is 20 years old and is a Junior at Longwood University, majoring in Therapeutic Recreation.  I also have a gorgeous red head son named Ryan, who is   in his senior year at Hickory High School. He is very athletic and has been involved in sports since he was 3 years old.   He hopes to attend JMU in the fall.  They are my everything and my reason for being on this planet.

What brings you joy?

 

Sunsets on the beach and watching my children laugh

Have you had a significant life experience that has helped define you or help you realize more about your heritage/roots/family and how has that altered your course of life?

Yes, too many to mention here.  It’s not how many times you get knocked down but how you learn and grow from those setbacks.  Everything that has happened to me has put me exactly where I am supposed to be. 

What did you want to do/be growing up and how has that evolved?

I never had a clear-cut path or a career that I was driven to.  God has provided me with many opportunities which has allowed me to discover my talents and uncover ones I didn’t even know I had!

 

Share with us about career, aspirations you have the roles you play in the community, why you love what you do, and what drives you to be the best.

I truly feel like I am living my calling.  I have had several very successful careers but none that have given me such a sense of gratification and joy as bodywork.  Everyday I am blessed to help my clients feel better.   Through the use of my hands, knowledge of anatomy and my intuition, I am able to take away  others pain.  This is extremely powerful and has a strong ripple effect.  It allows people to do what they love and not be inhibited by the limitations pain puts on their daily activities.  It also allows them to be the best version of themselves as they interact with friends, family, coworkers and strangers.  

What other profession do you get to spend one on one quality time with someone who actually wants to be there?  The greatest gift I can give my clients is teaching them how to care for their bodies on their own.  I think that is what sets me apart from other therapists.  The use of the “Fasciablaster” has taken my reach to an entirely new level.   I have been able to help educate my clients on how to care for their bodies thru fascial restoration, instead of using drugs or undergoing surgery.  This has been life changing for many to say the least.  My goal is share my knowledge freely to anyone who may need answers on how to stop living in pain and actually feel and look their best.  I am part of the “ Ashley Black” Team, keeping up with all the science, clinical trial results and user feedback on a daily basis.

 

Describe the ways you influence others you spend time with, work with, and/or impact daily? 

I try to open people’s eyes to the fact that life is so very short and we only have one body that carries our spirit.  It is our duty to make sure we take special care of ourselves and to treat others with respect.  I always encourage someone who may want to follow a dream but is unsure if it is something they can do.   Go out of your way to be kind every single day and you will get so much in return.

Do you have a personal mission statement you’re committed to that gets you up in the morning?

Each day is a precious gift not to be wasted so get your butt up and go be amazing. For the longest time I set my phone to wake me up to Carol King “Beautiful” If you haven’t listened to it in a while go to Youtube and take in the words. “you've got to get up every morning with a smile on your face, and show the world all the love in your heart”    It’s just perfect!!

What are your passions outside of yoHow do you set goals for yourself either short or long term for the many areas of your life and who or what systems do you have in place to stay accountable to them?

I am naturally an overachiever so setting goals is not an issue for me. Not letting my goals consume my life is the challenge.  So now if something on my list doesn’t get done its ok, tomorrow is another day!  My family always comes first.  So much is out of our control.  So I try to keep things simple.

What are your hobbies, interests, sports?

I love anything outdoors, gardening, hiking, paddle boarding, sitting on the beach.  I love baseball,  my son has played since he was  five years old.   Spending time with my tribe is very important to me, but I also like doing things by myself. 

Bikram yoga has been my go to form of exercise for the past 15 years after giving up running.  It keeps me flexible and helps to calm my mind.   I recently began using the Peloton App with my spin bike and have been loving it!  Talk about working up a sweat!   I also  do some light weight and resistance  training.  I believe in the balance between strength and flexibility   Everyone should do some form of deliberate exercise a few times a week, it does the body and soul good!   I also love just walking!

Do you have a special animal in your life?

My dog Louie is very special, he is an Australian Labradoodle and makes whoever he meets smile.  He is without a doubt the funniest most loving dog I have ever had.  Now that my youngest is going off to college next year, I find myself looking at puppies!

Tell us about the people you surround yourself with and how you’ve developed those relationships.

I surround myself with happy people.  I have taken some good advice and am limiting time spent with energy drainers.  Always looking to connect with some really fun down earth women so if you want to connect hit me up!

What are some of the greatest adventures you’ve been on?

A few years back, I went to the oldest dude ranch in Colorado, it was the greatest adventure I have ever been on. A week of riding horseback through some of the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen.  We got to swim the horses across the Colorado River and take them to the high country with some extremely scary and steep trails.  It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.  The people I met were so real and down to earth.  I need to go back!

Where would you most like to travel or adventures you like to have in the next five years?

I would love to go to Italy and see more of the US. I haven’t had many opportunities to travel.

What are the best things you’ve ever eaten and where did you eat them?

A few of my favorite restaurants in the area are “Blue Seafood and Spirits” and “Sage Kitchen” at Strawbridge and “The Bee and The Biscuit “in Pungo.  I really like to support the small business owner.  The restaurant business is tough so when I find a place that is good, I go back often.   I don’t eat out much so would love to learn about some amazing new places.

Tell us about your cooking skills;

I cook a few things and stick to what I do well.  I make the best potato salad in the world and baked chicken with French fried onions.  I love salads, so we eat a lot of organic greens with tons of toppings

Do you have a favorite drink?

My favorite alcoholic drink is homemade margaritas, I also love Pellegrino with lime and organic coconut water

How do you approach how you consume food?

I really try to focus on quality organic whole foods that are good for my body and make me feel my best. But I have a weakness for sweets and love pizza and beer every now and then.

Do you have any special approaches in particular to maintaining good health and wellness?

I include healthy fats in my diet like avocado, coconut, and MCT oil.  We have an infrared sauna in our home.  Everyone in my family uses it.   It is a great way to detox and has so many other health benefits.  I use some essential oils mainly because I love how they smell.   I am a believer in the “Fasciablaster” and massage and incorporate both every week.  Drybrushing and rebounding are also ways I help to stimulate my lymphatic system.

What are ways you give back to the community?

I haven’t been able to do much volunteering but would like to in the future.  I love the elderly.  I feel they are not always given the respect they deserve.  Getting old isn’t always fun so I really try to make an effort to say hello or speak to an elderly person that I may have the pleasure of seeing during my day.

How does Faith play a role in your life?

Having faith has helped me to not worry so much.  There was a point in my life when I let the, “what if’s” take over my thoughts which caused me a lot of unnecessary anxiety.  Now, I let “Jesus take the wheel”.  I choose to believe everything happens for a reason.

Do you have get-togethers or traditions you share with friends and family?

Most of my family lives in the area so my favorite night is Christmas eve.  We have a huge spread and have an open-door policy.  Anyone can come by for some holiday cheer.  It’s the greatest night of the year.  Christmas night is always Chinese food and poker, that usually goes on all night!

What are your secrets to staying organized and working forward each day? 

I try to plan out my schedule a week in advance for everyday kinds of things but since I live by the schedule if I want to take a trip or run away for a few days I have to plan well in advance.  That is the only downside of what I do.  I can’t really be spontaneous with a packed schedule.  I will never cancel on client unless it is an emergency.  I know my clients need the bodywork they come to see me for and I take that very seriously.

How do you stay focused on what’s important to you or how have you secured the time to do so?

It’s all about priorities.  I take care of the big stuff first and fill in with the smaller things, that way if I run out of time, its ok if some things have to wait

Tell us about your sense of style and fashion & how has your sense of style and fashion evolved over the years or has it?

I don’t believe in having rules around fashion.  If I like something and it makes me feel good its fair game.   I’m big on fabric texture.  If it is itchy, stiff or uncomfortable it’s a no go!

Do you have a favorite item in your closet you cherish?

I love my boot collection and my jeans.

Do you have a favorite shop or brand that you like to indulge in or a special approach to finding items that you cherish?

Lululemon for athletic wear and Free People for casual clothes.  I love browsing through TJMaxx.  I can spend hours there, you never know what you may find. 

Tell us about any and all beauty routines, products that you believe in or secrets you’re willing to share that have helped you?

Always wash your makeup off before bed. Retin A, Vitamin C and a good moisturizer.   I lather my body in coconut oil to keep my skin hydrated.  I have good hair, so I do spend money on hair care and never color my own hair.  I keep my smile white and have recently fallen in love with Rodan and Fields lash boost.  My lashes have never been so long.

If you could do anything and not fail (and we all supported you) what would you do?

I would have my own fascia restoration clinic and wellness center where people could get fascia work, passive stretching and do fascia friendly exercise like yoga, pilates, barre, and spin classes.   It would also have infrared saunas, a salt cave and cryotherapy.  Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

Final Thoughts

I feel very humbled and honored to be asked to be part of this blog and share a bit about myself.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share what I do in hopes it will reach those who need it. Honestly, I am just like everyone else trying to figure things out as I go.  I do believe good always wins over evil and try to have a positive outlook on life.  While everything in life seems to be getting more and more complicated, I do my best to try to live simply.  Less is more.  For me anyway.  Where am I going?  Well, that is TBD…..Stay tuned.

Thank you Colleen Cohen for Wowing us.

Here's how you can find Colleen Cohen

FB: Colleen & Co. Massage Therapy

You can find Colleen through her business page on FaceBook including phone number and online scheduling or call 757-342-5335 and she will call you back

Important Websites for Colleen:  www.unifyvb.com and www.ashleyblackguru.com

 

 

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