Lara Oberlin

Lara Oberlin offers an integrative approach to therapeutic massage, and intentionally provides sacred space and creative sessions designed to support her clients’ goals to be the very best versions of themselves that they can be. With her clients, she co-designs each session to match their preferences and goals of feeling better, and she is fully licensed (LMT) from the Michigan State Board of Massage Therapy.  She received her 600 hour professional certification (CMT) in massage therapy from the Kalamazoo Center for the Healing Arts, where she studied relaxation massage, myofascial release, acupressure, reflexology, craniosacral therapy, and polarity therapy. 

Lara has obtained post graduate certifications of attendance in Craniosacral Therapy I and Craniosacral Therapy II with Upledger Institute and is working toward Upledger certification, in Myofascial Release I and Myofascial Release II via John Barnes, and in Active Isolated Stretching with Aaron Mattes. Additionally, she is an RYT200 and plans to continue her yoga training in 2017. She has been a member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals since 2011 and is committed to the very highest principles of the massage and bodywork profession. Lara lives near downtown Kalamazoo and is passionate about practicing and living in the wonderful space at Down Dog Yoga Center!   

Visit Lara's Website

Contact Lara:   269-539-0290   (or)

NOTE: Lara is no longer scheduling appointments online and has limited room in her schedule to accept new patients.  Please contact Lara directly using the above phone number or email to inquire about scheduling an appointment.

Treatments offered by Lara

Swedish Massage: 

Full-body, deep relaxation massage covers both planes of the body and maintains client modesty and dignity.  Techniques used to release stress and muscle tension include long, gliding movements or cyclical, rhythmic applications of pressure moving with and across the large and small muscles of the body, including the face, scalp, neck, arms, abdominal muscles, legs, feet, gluteals and back.  Any of the modalities listed below may be integrated within the Swedish approach.  The body is draped appropriately throughout the session, as with all other modalities, and clothing is not necessary as you will always be draped safely and modestly.  Oils, lotions, and/or creams are commonly used in Swedish Massage.  Lara typically uses jojoba oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil as a base, and the lotions and creams she uses are also plant-based and can all be blended with the highest quality essential oils that are 100% derived from the actual plant, bark or flower they are named after, such as rose, sandalwood, chamomile, lavender, bergamot, etc. (or blends of oils may also be added to carrier oils, creams and lotions).

A special effect of Swedish massage can be to experience  a sense of profound peace and overall wellness during and after massage.  We may feel inspired to keep that good feeling going, and develop tendencies towards healthier food and activities.  Even one session is supportive and may serve to carry us far into our day, week, or month etc. with lasting comfort, while regular massage may facilitate deeper and more long lasting changes in the body that produce a more easeful and peaceful experience of our entire life.


Myofascial Release:

Lara is certified in two 20-hour practicum forums from John Barnes Myofascial Release workshops in Detroit, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana.  MFR works by releasing connective tissues called fascia which run from head to toe, holding all of our muscles together in a web of support that connects the whole body. Trauma and bad posture can cause the fascia to bind up or shorten in places, which is called a fascial restriction. By applying sustained pressure onto these fascial restrictions, the tissues of the fascia warm, soften, and eventually begin to elongate under the influence of touch, thereby releasing the body from pain and tension and creating a space for healthy holding patterns to exist.  No oils or creams are used.



This ancient healing art brought to us by traditional Chinese medicine uses finger pressure to improve circulation along lines of energy in the body. Awakening the body’s vital life force (known as chi or Qi) contributes to an overall clearing of blocked energies and whole body health.



Aromatherapy is the controlled use of essential oils to maintain and promote physical, psycholoigical, and emotional balance, and use of the oils in massage practice is one of Lara's specialties.  Lara has always loved the oils for the medicinal qualities, and she obtained porfessional training in the oils.  She has carefully selected more than seventy oils to offer her clients.  Her oils are of the highest obtainable quality and have been through extensive testing (GLC, MS, and FID) to ensure therapeutic quality.  She practices a gentle and pleasant method of Raindrop Therapy upon request.     


Craniosacral Therapy:

This is a very gentle, light touch approach the releases tensions in the Central Nervous System so that every other system in the body can relax, self-correct, and free itself from pain and discomfort. Lara is certified in two 30-hour practicum forums directly from the Upledger Institute. Sessions can be done fully clothed and without any oil or cream, and usually last between 30 to 90 minutes. By engaging the sutures of the skull, the back of the neck, and the sacrum with a light, animated pressure, the flow of cranial sacral fluid is enhanced.  She is additionally informed by two Reiki attunements, T’ai Chi instruction and other healing arts which she has been practicing, giving, and receiving since childhood.


Emotional Freedom Technique:

This acupressure approach involves tapping on acupressure points while speaking affirmations, which assists with removing obstacles from any goal.  Lara can introduce you into how to do this technique for yourself and would be pleased to point you in the direction of a professional EFT Trainer if you are interested.  


Gua Sha:

Gua Sha is a traditional, Oriental medical technique used to remove blood stagnation from the the surface tissues. It is particularly effective in alleviating neck and back pain where deep pressure is desired.   This is accomplished via a smooth edged tool such as an Asian soup spoon, a coin, or a stone tool made especially for Gua Sha.  Lara has used stone tools, but prefers to use a spoon.  Loosely translated, “Gua Sha” means “to scrape away the disease” or “allow the disease to escape.”  The use of Tiger Balm is often used for this therapy, but it can be executed with oil as well.