Luci Merlo

Luci Merlo
Licensed Massage Therapist
Certified Lymphatic Therapist
Trager® Movement Practitioner
Ai Chi Instructor
Certified Rehabilitation RN

By appointment: Call or text – 540-357-1125
Email –

Luci Merlo offers a broad and balanced approach to massage and movement therapies. Highly experienced in deep tissue and myofascial release techniques, Luci further integrates advanced lymphatic and neuromuscular reeducation methods. All sessions are grounded in deep relaxation for cumulative and lasting benefits. Luci develops the relaxation aspects of her work with on-going study of zen meditation, tai chi/qigong, and craniosacral modalities.

Using massage, lymphatic techniques, and movement awareness (see Trager and Ai Chi descriptions below), Luci can help clients implement a plan to improve general health and daily function. As a rehabilitation nurse, she has applied massage and movement therapies in medical clinics treating clients with complex conditions including chronic pain, stroke, MS, Parkinson, cancer, orthopedic and spinal injuries. She has also helped clients on the wellness end of the spectrum: athletes, pregnant women, active seniors, busy workers and professionals.

Luci understands the challenges that all individuals face in maintaining total wellness — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. She works holistically with her clients, partnering with each to reach his or her unique goals.

Education, Licenses, and Certifications

  • RN/B.S. Nursing – Radford University, Radford, VA
  • B.S. Community Health Education – VA Tech, Blacksburg, VA
  • Massage Therapy – VA School of Massage, Charlottesville, VA
  • The Trager Approach Practitioner – United States Trager Association
  • Lymphatic Therapy – Monarch Continuing Education
  • Ai Chi Instructor – Aquatic Therapy Research Institute

Trager® Movement Education — The Trager Approach

Trager is a mindfulness-based method for helping people discover their capacities for easy, efficient movement.

The method is described as gentle, pleasant, playful, relaxing, and creative. The overall aim is to release habitual, dysfunctional movement patterns and find more efficient and enjoyable ways of being and doing. Trager puts a clear focus on “what works” rather than on “what’s broken.”

There are passive and aspects to a Trager session:

  • The passive component is “tablework.” Here the practitioner lifts, rocks, compresses, stretches, and ranges all parts of the body while the client lies comfortably on a massage table. The passive movement follows natural body rhythms. The net effect is a reconditioning and rebalancing of the myofascial structure while calming the nervous system. For tablework clients may wear loose clothing or be draped as in massage.
  • The main active component is called “Mentastics.” Here the practitioner guides the client in a variety of movement explorations. Imagery is commonly used. The goal is to find options for better posture and movement that will easily carryover into the client’s daily life.
  • “Reflex response” is another active component. This involves giving gentle resistance to elicit specific neuromuscular actions to refine myofascial tone and balance.

All of the elements of a Trager session help the client build new positive body awareness by enhancing sensations of physical ease in an emotionally supportive atmosphere of peace and pleasure.

Visit for more information.

AI CHI – aquatic tai chi

Ai Chi teaches essential tai chi principles — balance, coordination, flexibility, postural alignment, mental focus and relaxation (mindfulness) — through a set of simple movements performed in a warm pool. Ai Chi emphasizes coordination of abdominal breathing with the movements. It is practiced at a slow pace. Ai Chi is good for people with joint or muscle problems who want to improve daily function. It may also serve as injury prevention or recovery and stress reduction for individuals engaged in sports or other high-performance activities. This exercise in warm water is excellent for boosting the lymphatic system.

Ai Chi classes are held at the Warm Hearth Village Center pool. Individual sessions are also available by appointment.

*In addition to seeing clients at The Center for Creative Change, Luci collaborates with Dave Cecchini, exercise physiologist and personal trainer at Valley Active, a functional rehabilitation facility in Blacksburg, VA.

Contact: Luci Merlo, 540-357-1125,

Holistic Psychotherapy, Massage, Acupressure, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Trager, Meditation, Yoga