Luci Merlo

Luci Merlo
Rehab RN/Health Educator
Certified Massage Therapist
Certified Trager® Practitioner
Certified Lymphatic Therapist
Aquatic Tai Chi Instructor

By appointment: 540-357-1125

Luci Merlo practices massage therapy, The Trager Approach (movement education), and manual lymphatic drainage at The Center for Creative Change in Blacksburg, VA. She also teaches Ai Chi — aquatic tai chi. See below for Trager and Ai Chi descriptions.

With a strong background in rehabilitation and health education, Luci helps her clients outline a total health strategy, placing their massage and movement therapies in the context of their unique lifestyle challenges and opportunities.

  • Training: B.S. degrees in Nursing (Radford University, 1994) and Community Health Education (Virginia Tech, 1989). Massage and movement studies with respective organizations: Virginia School of Massage, Charlottesville; US Trager Association; Monarch Continuing Education; Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute.
  • Experience: Luci worked at Carilion Rehabilitation’s outpatient clinic in Radford, VA from 2000-2014. There she served a broad spectrum of clients with massage, Trager and Ai Chi, along with comprehensive nursing care. A major focus was chronic pain management (multidisciplinary behavioral model). She treated complex neurological and orthopedic disorders such as Parkinsonism, MS, stroke, whiplash, spinal cord and head injury. Luci also addressed wellness needs for the general public, coworkers, seniors, and pregnant women.

Working for many years with such a range of clients and conditions, Luci has a clear picture of the challenges and rewards facing individuals on a path to improve their overall wellness — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Through massage, lymphatic drainage, Trager, and Ai Chi, she offers specific treatments for particular issues while helping her clients gain a wider perspective for their best mindbody function.

Trager® Movement Education

Trager® is a creative approach to helping people discover their capacities for comfortable, efficient movement. Trager improves myofascial tone, posture, and structural organization. Trager is gentle, pleasant, playful, and thoroughly relaxing. The net result is release of habitual, dysfunctional movement patterns and integration of more useful and enjoyable ways of being and doing. Trager builds positive body image with a focus on “what works” rather than on “what’s broken.”

There are two aspects to a Trager session — passive and active:

  • The passive aspect is “tablework.” Here the practitioner lifts, rocks, compresses, stretches, and ranges all parts of the body while the client lies quietly on a massage table. The client may wear loose clothing or be draped as in regular massage. The manual techniques flow with natural body rhythms and breathing. The manual techniques recondition and rebalance the myofascial network, greatly reducing fascial and joint restrictions.
  • The active component is called “Mentastics.” Before or after the tablework, the practitioner guides the client with a variety of movement ideas, including imagery. The goal is for the client to find options for posture and movement that will carryover into more ease and freedom in daily activities.

Cumulatively, the tablework and “Mentastics” experiences build the client’s fundamental movement awareness. Deepening sensations of ease and equilibrium in the mindbody lead to lasting positive changes. Visit for more information.

AI CHI – aquatic tai chi

Ai Chi teaches essential tai chi principles — balance, coordination, flexibility, posture, mental focus, and relaxation — made easier through a simpler series of movements performed in warm water. The Ai Chi form is well-suited to anyone with joint or muscle problems wanting to improve daily function. Ai Chi also serves as cross-training and injury prevention for individuals engaged in high-performance activities.

Luci Merlo is available at Warm Hearth Village and Christiansburg Aquatic Center pools to teach Ai Chi individually or in classes. Contact Luci directly (, 540-357-1125) for current times and locations.

Contact: Luci Merlo, 540-357-1125,

Holistic Psychotherapy, Massage, Acupressure, Rolfing, Trager, Meditation, Yoga