I’m Lauren Cates.

In 2003, massage therapy found me like a needle in a haystack.

In my practice, I welcome all kinds of people in all different states of health. To be “appropriate” for my practice you need only be a human who feels that skilled, compassionate touch will be a nurturing and valuable support to you and your body.  If you run marathons?…perfect.  If you are a Stage IV cancer survivor?…I’d love to meet and work with you.  If you spend more hours in front of a computer than you’d like to admit and your neck and back are telling you about it?…we could be a good match.

My path to massage was far from direct.  I was working as a bartender in downtown Washington, DC making most creative use of my degree in English Literature when somehow I found myself at an information session for people who were considering going to massage school.  I didn’t feel like I was considering going to massage school, but there I was.  I had never had a massage before in my life.  The first massage I ever received was the one I was required to get in order to complete my application for massage school.  There was nothing in my life that would have obviously connected me to a career in massage therapy, but after the first day of massage school I knew I was in the right place.

It was crystal clear that I had taken the first step in the direction of what has become an ever more meaningful and joyful life.

Just 9 months into my massage training I had the unique and humbling opportunity to be with my grandfather at the moment of his death.  I was employing my nascent massage skills working with him in his hospital bed when I watched and felt him take what would be his last breath.  I had always been viscerally afraid of death and dying, but this felt like the most natural and appropriate place to be, holding his hand, showing my love through massage.

As my training and career have progressed I have gobbled up every opportunity I could to train and work with leaders in the fields of oncology and end of life work.  People like Charlotte Versagi, Gayle MacDonald, Tracy Walton, Martha Menard, Isabel Adkins, Frank Ostaseski and others have been and continue to be great supports and mentors.

Lighthold is an active private practice.  In addition to working with clients in my office, I offer education in end of life care and oncology massage nationwide and I work tirelessly to advance the presence of massage therapy in healthcare settings, particularly in service of the oncology community.

A wide variety of clients in a wide variety of settings suits me perfectly.

I look forward to hearing from you and creating an opportunity for us to do good work together.

Contact me today.

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