Frequently Asked Questions 

FYI: I spell my name, Karin Pine. A not uncommon error is to spell it Karen Pine.

What kind of massage do you do?

I begin every session with the question, "What would you like me to do for you?"  Each client arrives for their session with a sense of what they hope for in -- and from -- their massage.  That hope might be for relief from stress and tension, relief from tightness in their muscles, or whatever.  Clients may also identify what they do NOT want, as well.  My commitment is to honor both your spoken requests and boundaries and also those that I sense from/in your body as well. 

I have been told many times that my touch is "kind," "caring," "compassionate."  My work is results oriented.   Hence, rather than offering sessions specifically in Swedish massage, Acupressure, Deep-Tissue, etc. (at extra costs), I use appropriate massage and bodywork skills, training, techniques and intuition to craft your special, custom-tailored session.

In a typical session, I slowly and gently work out the kinks, starting with your head and neck, spreading gradually to the shoulders, then the arms, wrists and hands, and finally, as time permits, to hips, legs and feet.  My hands listen carefully to your body as it tells me about any old injuries, limited range of motion and/or chronic pain. 

My fingers immediately recognize places where your body holds pain.  I apply a gentle but deep technique I have developed, called "myofascial massage", to encourage the body to release knots, spasms and adhesions.  Other techniques I use may include myofascial unwinding (which can reverse old injuries), acupressure and trigger point release (which addresses spasmed, knotted muscles), Chi Gung energy-system balancing and often, cranial-sacral therapy (addressing the connection between upper and lower body pain).

Depending on whether you have requested a relaxation session or a healing or therapeutic session, I will address more or less detail on each area of the body.

Throughout all of my sessions, I am channeling Reiki energy, the very mystical healing energy called "Universal Life Energy." Reiki helps open up places in the body where energy is "stuck" and restores a sense of peace and harmony to that part of the body. I am a Reiki Master with over 15 years experience in energy healing and Ch'i Gung.  In order to give you the session you have requested, I draw upon a vast experience and training in a number of types of massage and bodywork.

[Myofascial tissues are the connective tissues that envelope, protect, separate and support all other structures and tissues in the body.  Myofascial (Connective Tissue) Massage is a very slow, stretchy, gentle but deep touch that encourages the connective tissue and enclosed muscle to release the source of that pain.]

What should I do before and after my session?

Before: Have a soak in our hot springs.  I am across the street from Delight's Hot Springs Resort for a convenient soak. The natural hot mineral waters of Tecopa, California are incredibly relaxing in themselves.  The waters have proven therapeutic value .  If you like, please enjoy a soak just before you come for your massage.  [A note of caution:  if you are presently under a doctor’s care, particularly for high blood pressure, please consult your doctor prior to soaking in the hotter (104+ degree) waters.]

After: Have another soak!  It will relieve any possible soreness you may feel, particularly on sessions where we went really deep.

I’m sure you’ve heard that after a massage you should drink PLENTY of clear cool water.  It bears mentioning however, that sodas, diet drinks, coffee/tea are not water. They can frequently leave you more dehydrated particularly here in the desert.

After a session, take it easy! … or at least easier ... for a few days.  Your body will continue to “unwind.” Once locked-up energy has begun to release, it will continue to release for a few more days IF you treat yourself kindly and slow down a bit.  And, if you feel like napping, please listen to your body -- give it a rest!

The difference between structural bodywork and "massage" is that, in most massage, the best you are going to feel is the moment the massage practitioner finishes.  With bodywork, if you can take it easy for a few days after the session, those areas which we opened up in the session, will continue to release for a period of time and will "reintegrate." Generally, within 4 days after a session, you will actually feel even better than you did the moment we finished!

Finally, keep noticing where/if your body is holding residual tension, and stress, if at all….. Give yourself time to notice what is going on in your body, breathe into it, choose to let that residual or habitual tension go.

What should I expect during each session?

Naturally, each person's experience is different, but here is some information that you may find helpful.

Plenty of Time to Slow Down:  First, because I only take a few clients per day, I allow approximately 2 hours per client, even though the hands-on part may only be 60 or so minutes.  This is so that no one has to rush.  Rushing creates more tension and stress, not less!  So, if possible, please DO arrive on time for your appointment, but know that there will be plenty of time for us to relax together.  We will discuss what you would like to accomplish or experience with your session and I will answer any questions you may have about what to expect.  We will also take time to discuss any injuries, concerns or special conditions you may have, if you feel it appropriate. 

Because we will generally have plenty of time, if you find that you are really liking your session experience, at any time in your session you may also "add more time to the meter" if you wish.   There will never be any expectation or pressure to "up sell" you.

A Safe Space:  Prior to commencing our session, I will ask you you to please promise to tell me if, for any reason, any part of your experience is not ok.  No matter what you tell me -- it's too fast, too slow, too hard, too soft, I want different music, could I have a blanket? -- I absolutely promise you that I will immediately stop and change or correct "it".  Your boundaries and preferences will always be respected and protected here.

Clothing:   Privacy is provided for you to undress to your comfort level.  During sessions your body is draped at all times with a sheet (and light blankets as needed), except for the area being worked on.

Oil:   I use a professional massage oil (a water-dispersible combination of grape seed, sesame, almond, etc.) to which I add aromatic essential oils (such as lavender, lemon grass, peppermint etc. Although they are high grade oils, they are not organic.  Please let me know in advance if you have special skin sensitivities or allergies that might react to these oils.  Massage oil is not used during sessions of cranial sacral therapy.

Interacting: The sessions are only somewhat interactive. I will encourage and coach you, from time to time, on “going inside” your body. I may quietly ask you questions or for feedback. Most of the session will be quiet and soothing as my hands guide and work with your body.

Painless: Because I can feel where the pain is in your body (and will need to go to the location of that pain, however gently) it is not necessary for you to tell me where it hurts.  Although you are welcome to report your sensations as we progress, it is not necessary; I can literally feel them.  Clients generally tell me that “it hurts good …. like stretching a limb that has 'gone to sleep.'”

Transformational:  Personal awareness /consciousness can begin in the body.  As I identify places where a client's body holds musculoskeletal pain, my hands show the tissue how to let go of the pain.   As a person becomes increasingly aware of his/her body and how it holds -- and can let go -- of (musculoskeletal) pain, new possibilities and paradigms for a more positive life can become available.

Emotional Material: Sometimes, as the body releases tension during bodywork, an emotional component -- the "issue in the tissue -- gets freed up along with it. Some people may have visual memories arise when I work in an area that holds pain.  Regardless of the emotional content, I promise you that I will hold a safe space for you to release without pressure, judgment, processing or expectation from me.  You are welcome to express your feelings or talk to me about your experience, but only at your choice.

Erections: Though rare in my bodywork, the male body does, on occasion and often unpredictably, respond to being touched, with an erection. This is an absolutely human, biological response, completely normal and not at all a subject for concern or embarrassment.  If ignored, erections usually go away.  However any attempt by a male client to take sexual action on the basis of that erection will immediately terminate the session with full payment due immediately.  My bodywork is 100% therapeutic and does not ever include a sexual component.

Colds, flu, contagious conditions:  For the sake of other clients as well as for my own health, it is required that notify me in advance if you have a contagious condition.

After Your Session: I will leave the room and allow you a few minutes to relax and tingle.  After a 5-10 minute rest to reorient yourself, please get up carefully (as you may still be deep inside your body) and get dressed.  When I hear you moving around, I will come back in and answer any questions you may have and assess the results we accomplished.  Occasionally, if there continues to be discomfort left in an area where we were working, I may put you back on the table to see if we can just clean up the last little bit.  Frequently, once a client is off the table, I will often teach them stretches and exercises, look up information and/or make practical suggestions to assist them in continuing their Healing Journey.

How did you get to Tecopa?

Most likely, same as you did:  by car.  Ok, I’m just teasing!  Real answer:  After September 11th, I closed down the Topanga Healing Center which I had created in 1996.  I moved to Tecopa to be near my ex-husband who was temporarily living in Pahrump, NV.   Unfortunately he died shortly thereafter .... and I am still in Tecopa.

Do you stay here in Tecopa all year round?

By July of each year, the temperatures in Tecopa can go as high as 127-degrees (F).  While I absolutely LOVE how peaceful and quiet it can be around here (usually population 24 or so), I also crave green places and growing things…. Since I have very few clients willing to come to Tecopa during the summer, I generally travel during the hottest months. I am however, back here and ready to work by October 1st of each year. I can still be reached by phone and email using the contact information below.

OTHER QUESTIONS?  Please feel free to email me at

Karin Pine   (760) 852 4478 

Corner of Tecopa Hot Springs and Elias Roads, Tecopa CA 92389