about us

our practitioners

Ohana Wellness is a cooperative center filled with like-minded healers. We have massage therapists and acupuncturists who all share a passion and love for their work but differ in their “style” to make each session unique for you.

We invite you to get better acquainted with us and our individual specialties by reading our bios below.

Saya Raine Barkdoll photo
Saya Raine Barkdoll, RMP
Owner / Massage Practitioner
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Saya graduated from the Potomac Massage Training Institute in Washington, D.C. in 2000 and has been practicing ever since. Her passion and love for massage therapy has grown more every passing year. She has continued her education over the years by studying prenatal massage, trigger-point therapy, deep tissue massage and isolated stretching techniques and more.

Saya offers an integrative style of bodywork, specifically focusing on the clients’ individual needs. She has worked with many athletes, elders, terminally ill patients, survivors, children, expectant mothers and many more. She has been a participant in AVON’s Three-Day Breast Cancer Walks and she has donated her time with the Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program.

Saya is now teaching infant massage to parents. She studied under infant massage USA and is passionate about helping families understand the benefits of massage and loving touch. She teaches a course where in the end you will feel confident and empowered as a parent not only with massage technique but also understanding your baby’s individual needs.

She feels passionate that massage therapy is not just a treat but a necessity for every body! She has seen the incredible outcome with so many including her own daughter and she knows, first hand, the power of massage.

Saya's Story

Warning: This post contains sensitive content, trigger words, and experiences. 

When you first meet Saya Barkdoll, you’re a bit confused. She’s a petite blonde bombshell, attractive in all the standard societal ways, soft-spoken, with a million-watt smile. But, she’s also heavily tattooed, pierced, and moves through the world with an atmospheric kindness and unyielding strength all wrapped up in a tiny package.

Read more of Saya’s Story HERE

 

Melanie Gorr photo
Melanie Gorr, LMT
Massage Practitioner / Fertility Massage / Pre-Natal Specialist
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Melanie graduated from the Baltimore School of Massage in 2002, and began her massage career in Bethesda in 2003. With an ever expanding passion and commitment to massage therapy, Melanie strives to provide her clients with exceptional quality and care. She utilizes a variety of techniques based on deep listening to each client’s specific needs coupled with an intuitive approach to her work.

She has extensive experience working with a wide variety of clients, from those incorporating massage for their regular relief of general stress and tension, to clients living with the affects of chronic illness and pain. Melanie has a strong belief in the power of bodywork to enhance the overall well-being of everyone. She is a Prenatal Massage Specialist, with advanced training in prenatal and postpartum massage as well as Fertility Massage. Melanie has felt tremendously blessed in her nearly 15 year career to be a part of so many wonderful clients’ wellness journeys and providing them with a respite from daily stress and cares in a calming, nurturing, and caring space.

Melanie's Story

I was taught to skip the chapter of me.

I was taught to pull myself up by my bootstraps and keep going.

I was taught that self-care was selfish.

I was taught that getting a massage was indulgent, luxurious, beyond my means.

I am still undoing these teachings, but this story is not about me. It’s about Melanie Gorr, the woman who nearly 7 years ago, took me into her little room and gave me a touch of confidence and kindness. And when I left, she let me know that I would never have to skip the chapter of me again, that I can let the straps fall, that by taking care of myself I was doing a great service, and that yes, indulgent and luxurious may be used as adjectives to describe a massage, but the more accurate description is: worth every dime.

Read Melanie’s Story HERE

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Eva Lazo, RMP
Massage and Reiki Practitioner and Energy/Healing Intuitive
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Eva is a Registered Massage Practitioner, Level 2 Reiki Practitioner, and energy/healing intuitive. Since her graduation from Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI) in February 2013, Eva has been practicing Swedish and Deep Tissue massage, aromatherapy, and has completed a certification in Structural Myofascial technique. She is dedicated to providing an open environment for healing and awareness while integrating mind, body, and spiritual techniques to all of her clients.

Eva’s passion for massage began as an adolescent and throughout her journey/training at PMTI she expanded on this passion to help others by addressing healing in all aspects of their physical, intellectual and spiritual bodies. Eva provides client-centered massage by truly listening with her heart and allowing the client space to express what it is they are looking for in their session. Her intuition then guides her on how to best care for the client and which techniques would be most helpful in the healing process, i.e. swedish, deep tissue, myofascial, aromatherapy, reiki, or a combination of all.

One of Eva’s lifelong goals is to guide others in the healing process, share awareness, and to help individuals transform on all levels of their life.

Eva’s intention and approach to massage can be summarized by the following quote:  “When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of creation is completed inside us; the doors of our souls fly open and love steps forth to heal everything in sight.” – Michael Bridge

What You Can Expect from Eva

I’ve come to expect Eva Lazo’s smiling face over the years at Ohana Wellness. It’s become my second home and sanctuary, and it is individuals like Eva that bring an important element to the atmosphere at Ohana Wellness: a feeling of ease. 

My most recent massage was on Eva’s table. I had just returned from being cramped like a sardine in what felt like a tiny toy airplane, culminating in over 10 hours of flights, working 12-hour days, overstimulated by too many people, my body and mind tense, exhausted, and needing some care. Las Vegas sure is the city of bright lights but can often feel like an overstimulation marathon to #anxietywarriors. I had 60 minutes scheduled with Eva, and I was curious to see if we could undo a week’s worth of damage. Well, I’m happy to report – she did. 

Read more about What You Can Expect from Eva HERE

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Natalie Foster, LMT
Massage Practitioner
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Natalie has always been aware of her desire to help others but it wasn’t until she began to study massage therapy that she recognized that she had found her path. This awakening led Natalie to seek outlets to enrich her knowledge of the numerous disciplines of massage. Her path of learning led her to graduate from the Community College of Baltimore County in 2006 with an AA in Applied Science with a concentration in Massage Therapy, shortly thereafter becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT).

Over the next eight years, while working at Aveda Bethesda, three of which she served as the senior therapist, Natalie has developed, refined and augmented her range of massage techniques. Currently she can offer massage experiences in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports massage, Prenatal and Postpartum, Aromatherapy and Hot Stone Massage methods.

Natalie’s overall belief in personal health is that of a well rounded and balanced approach with an understanding that each individual needs different things to find their ideal level of healthiness and happiness, massage is a part of this balance, along with exercise, diet and mental stimulation. She uses this ideology to help develop personalized sessions for clients that cater to their specific preferences. Natalie’s professional experience and studies coupled with her intuition and nurturing personality allows for the ideal massage experience for your individual needs.

During her free time Natalie finds her balance through, exercise, travel, enjoying live music, watching football, eating healthy, and occasionally not so healthy, while finding time to enjoy life as much as possible with friends and family.

What You Can Expect From Natalie

Classic (adjective) – typically defined as a typical or perfect example of something as it should be. 

This is exactly what my experience with Natalie Foster was as I embarked on my 90-minute journey of pure bliss, unimaginable relaxation, and deep care of my exhausted(and very tense) body in her very capable hands.

Natalie has been one of the brightest, smiling, caring faces at Ohana Wellness since I can first begin remember becoming a patron. Since she’s one of the OG’s of this little sanctuary, I was excited to experience massage and bodywork with her. No surprise – Natalie is an exceptional woman and healer who exudes confidence, light, and laughter. love her smile, it immediately disarms any anxiety you may have, any stress you may be carrying, and any reservations about getting on the table. In that one instant, you’re immediately put at ease. I think it’s safe to say, Natalie’s smile is as big as her love for the work she does and for Ohana Wellness.

READ MORE HERE

Briditte Hart photo
Brigitte Hart, BAC, LMT - State of FL, RMP- State of MD
Massage Therapist
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Brigitte began practicing massage in 2011 after her training at Florida College of Natural Health in Orlando. She developed an interest in the practice while working in Ohio as an assistant to a trigger point therapist in 2007. Her curiosity grew deeper and she decided to further her studies and begin a career in bodywork. Her fascination with massage therapy continues to grow exponentially as she continues learning and working in this field.

Brigitte graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Bowling Green State University in 2010. She was board certified and licensed in the state of Florida in March of 2011. Brigitte has since become registered in the state of Maryland and has certifications in Thai Yoga Massage and QiGong Massage.

Skilled in many modalities and specializing in trigger point therapy, deep tissue, Thai yoga, and structural integration, Brigitte brings an elemental appreciation of human bio-mechanical systems and anatomy along to the table to offer treatment that is as healing to her as it is to her clients. She thrives on learning from every being she works with and is constantly honored to be able facilitate the human healing process in her practice each day.

Brigitte's Story

Brigitte Hart is a power house. I had the pleasure of getting to know Brigitte before she shared this story with me. We bonded physically, emotionally, and spiritually through the very powerful act of Thai Massage. But, I wanted to know more about how she came to Ohana Wellness and how she came to be in bodywork. Much like the other practitioners at Ohana, Brigitte is a jack(ie) of all trades—she is talented, gregarious, and a true power house physically and emotionally.

Read more of Brigitte’s story HERE

Briditte Hart photo
Meghan Bowen, LMT
Massage Therapist
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Meghan O. Bowen, LMT, NCMTB

Meghan loves learning and growing and found her purpose in life when she graduated from the Baltimore School of Massage. Her naturally positive, compassionate personality led her to massage therapy and the many benefits it provides. Meghan is very passionate about improving the quality of people’s lives and her energy about the positive effects of massage is infectious.  Meghan strives to see the strengths in every human body and focuses to allow each individual to align their mind, body and soul. Her own history of injuries makes her very empathetic, thereby having a deeper understanding for the benefits of massage therapy. Meghan specializes in Swedish, Deep Tissue and Trigger Point Therapy and employs these with various techniques based on each client’s individual needs.

What You Can Expect From Meghan

There’s a lot you need to know about Meghan and we’ll get to all of it. But, none is more important than the fact that I affectionately (and accurately) refer to her as hot-hands-Meghan.

This woman.

Has the hottest hands.

On the planet.

It’s like being massaged by someone who’s got Hand Warmers built-in to their hands. It’s heavenly.

When I got onto Meghan’s table, it had been a pretty substantial period of time since I had been anywhere near a massage table. Life, life, and life got in the way and before I knew it, it had been several months before I had paid any attention to how my body was feeling (or screaming). We started by catching up and Meghan’s warmth extends far beyond her hands – she’s got the most delicious energy, where you feel like you can tell her the most awkward feelings you have in that moment or all the crazy sh*t you’ve been trying to cope with in your life. A fellow Sagittarius, we bonded over our absolute lack of prioritization of ourselves (though to be fair, I’d venture to say all zodiac signs suffer from this) and she reminded me of the importance of being intentional of putting myself first. She reminded me in the best big sister way possible: what do the flight attendants tell you when they’re going through the safety measures? “please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.” So, here I was about to get replenished on my very own low oxygen levels.

Read more about what you can expect on Meghan’s table HERE

Liz Brinson photo
Carole Dean

Massage Therapist

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Carole Dean, LMT

Carole Dean is a native Washingtonian and graduate of the Potomac Massage Training Institute in Washington, D.C., with over a decade of experience in the field of massage therapy.

She has over five years experience practicing in a chiropractic, medical massage environment; working in conjunction with chiropractors and physical therapists in treating patients with acute and chronic physical pain, trauma and dysfunction. Carole spent six years in a holistic wellness clinic where she specialized in helping clients with chronic health conditions, detoxification and oncology related support, work and stress related physiological and emotional tension. She worked closely with other integrative health practitioners to create bodywork protocols that supported her clients overall wellness and needs.

Carole combines a variety of modalities in her bodywork to relieve muscle tension, stimulate circulation, improve flexibility, promote relaxation and reduce stress. Carole has extensive training in Swedish, deep tissue, trigger point, medical and prenatal massage. She is also experienced in oncology massage, craniosacral therapy (CST), shiatsu, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) and reflexology.

Prior to becoming a massage therapist, Carole worked for Marriott International Headquarters in Bethesda for 15 years as a systems administrator and administrative assistant. Additionally, she spent several years working for federal, city and state governments in an administrative capacity. Carole is very family oriented and enjoys spending her downtime with family and friends, or curled up with a good book and a glass of wine.

Liz Brinson photo
Wendy White

Massage Therapist

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Wendy White, LMT

Wendy is a Licensed Massage Therapist in Maryland and completed her massage training at Potomac Massage Training Institute. She has her Bachelor of Science in Recreation with a Concentration in Health Promotion. She has a holistic approach in her massage therapy practice, assessing the whole person on an individual basis, learning and investing in their personal wellness journey.

Always having an appreciation for movement and how the body is ever-changing, Wendy started off her career in the fitness and wellness field as a personal trainer and fitness instructor and has enjoyed learning how dynamic each individual is. As she realized even just a few of the many ways body work can positively impact a person’s lifestyle, she was happy to embrace it into her work. She welcomes everyone that wants to enhance their wellness journey through massage therapy.

Outside of work Wendy is happy spending time connecting with her husband, two kids, family, friends and community. She enjoys being active, creative, traveling, and slowing down to enjoy some laughs and good vibes.

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Devin Alexander
Massage Therapist
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Devin has been doing hand and back massages on friends and family members for as long as she can remember. Massaging has always come naturally to her, however she did not initially think to make a career out of it. In the past, she was going to college with the intention of majoring in art when she was lead to realize that the typical college plan just was not for her. The same semester that she decided to leave college, she noticed a massage school booth at a festival, signed up shortly thereafter, and she has not looked back! Making people feel happy, relaxed, and comfortable with themselves has always been a passion throughout her years of dancing, drawing and, more recently, bodywork.

Devin graduated from Central Maryland School of Massage and has now been practicing for a decade, her style of massage could be categorized as firm to deep pressure, but she loves customizing her massages to fit each person’s needs and wants for each session.

Devin Alexander photo
Diana Parra
Massage Therapist
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Diana has always been interested in physical rehabilitation and health care. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy in her native country Colombia, she moved to the United States to continue practicing in the medical field. Soon after her arrival, she got interested in the different modalities that manual manipulation can provide, and she decided to focus her career in Massage Therapy. Diana attended Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage in 2013 and since then she has been practicing it full time. Diana’s areas of expertise are therapeutic/medical massage where she incorporates deep tissue, trigger point therapy and stretches. She also enjoys very much the use of aromatherapy, and other tools such as hot stones, and cupping as complements for her services. In her long run as a massage therapist, Diana has worked for high end spas, physical therapy offices, and gyms, and has been trained in Prenatal massage, reflexology, and scalp treatments.

Diana is passionate about caring for people and currently is attending Frederick Community College to obtain her associates degree in Medical Assistant. She wants to incorporate all kinds of help from the medical perspective to provide healing to people.

In her spare time, Diana enjoys spending time outside with her daughter, going hiking, exploring new places around town, and a good cup of coffee. 

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Carla Green, LMT
Massage Therapist
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Carla has been practicing Massage Therapy since graduating from the Florida School of Massage in 2011. She has worked in a variety of settings from a Holistic and Physical Therapy office to a prominent chain where she was lead therapist for 3 years.

She is certified in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (Vodder Technique), Pre-natal, and Hot Stone.

Her interest in this profession originated from bodywork she had received years prior; and over time she has appreciated Massage Therapy’s wide range of benefits. She has discovered that the art of listening is paramount in this profession and that overall emotional, mental, and physical health can be further enhanced with bodywork. It is her true desire that everyone she meets is treated as a unique individual and that their massage session mirrors that individuality.  

In her free time, she enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, biking, and hiking with her husband and Ridgebacks.

Devin Alexander photo
Malka Widofsky

Acupuncturist

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Malka Widofsky is a licensed acupuncturist in the state of Maryland. She attended Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York, where she studied Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Malka graduated with an Associates in Massage Therapy, and Master’s degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM). Malka is Board Certified in Acupuncture by the NCCAOM.

Since graduating Malka has studied under world-renowned acupuncturist and naturopath Dr. Andy Rosenfarb, and is trained in his Micro Acupuncture 48 system. Malka considers herself a general practitioner who loves to treat through an integrative approach. Her areas of interest include, pre and postnatal care, women’s health, and aesthetic acupuncture.

Malka is drawn to Acupuncture and Chinese medicine for it’s holistic approach. She loves the way that the medicine looks at the body as a whole, and a sum of all its parts. She is captivated at how the whole body is connected and how many seemingly different ailments could all stem from a common root. Malka has taken this approach coupled with a strong background in Western medicine to help treat her patients in the most well rounded holistic care available.

We get rave reviews on Yelp:

Melissa R. writes: “…The environment of Ohana Wellness was also very calming and homey. All of the staff I chatted with were incredibly personable and welcoming, I honestly didn’t want to leave and walk out onto the bustling streets…”

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