A Certified Advanced Rolfer and Rolf Movement Practitioner


Thom Shenk is a Certified Advanced Rolfer and Rolf Movement Practitioner having studied Structural Integration and graduated from the Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colorado in 1999. He is also a graduate of the Baltimore School of Massage (1988) and is nationally certified through the NCBTMB and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. His combined knowledge and understanding of bodywork is eclectic in nature as he assists clients in freeing their bodies from pain, discomfort, tension and the effects of gravity on the body's structure.

Rolfing is an encompassing holistic process that works through the fascia. Fascia wraps through and around all other structures of the body organizing the movements and shape of the person in gravity. As such Rolfing encompasses all other types of direct and indirect intervention. If a person is becoming more organized, open and free then they are being Rolfed. An understanding of interdisciplinary modalities enhances structural integration immensely.

Thom is well grounded in the scientific aspects of Rolfing with extensive understanding of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology. His awareness of the systems of the body is intentional. The programs he has taken have taught Thom about the muscles through Massage Therapy, the internal organs through Visceral Manipulation, the nerves through Neurofascial Release, the energy meridians with Jin Shin Jyutsu (1984) and the auric/energy body as a Reiki Master and Sekhem healing (1997). He has also studied Pilates, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Matrix Energetics. He was an Emergency Medical Technician in the early 1980's.

In his work Thom is compassionate, he combines deep insight with his intuitive abilities, and is supportive of each client's goals for good health. He guides his clients to increase and expand their flexibility of movement, their vitality for life, and wholeness of the body, mind, emotions and spirit. He has given 80,000+ bodywork sessions during his twenty-five plus years in the spiritual/ bio-energetic bodywork field.


Thom has extensively studied the metaphysical technologies. He has practiced several forms of meditation since the early 1980's. Beginning with Zen, in the lineage of Shinru Suzuki Roshi. He has completed, organized, and protected, Vision Quests, a form of Native American initiation and meditation. He has also practiced intensely several Tibetan forms of meditation e.g. (Mindfulness and Tantric). He participated in a yearlong Rebirthing training with Jim Worsley who had traveled with Leonard Orr to India where they learned the transformative yogic pranayama process. He has as well been Initiated into the Hindu process of Transcendental Meditation. Thom participated in a six and a half year long, series of Egyptian teachings given by lineage holders of a five-thousand-year-old lineage of teachers. It culminated in a series of courses called “The Journey of the Soul”. He practiced Kundalini Yoga for five years and has familiarity with Yang style Tai Chi and Chi Gong. Thom met Cloud Anderson in 1982 and learned Yang Style Tai Chi and Zen Meditation with him. Thom first crawled into a Sweat Lodge with Cloud, in 1983 and then participated in his first Vision Quest in 1984. Soon after Thom Began an apprenticeship with Cloud who had studied in the lineage of Captain Robert Spott of the Yurok tribe. Cloud had also studied with Chen-Man-Ch’ing, founder of Yang Style Tai Chi, and Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, a Zen Master and author of the book Zen Mind Beginner Mind. Thom then moved from Washington St. to Virginia in 1986 and there led his first Sweat Lodge in 1988. In 1991 Thom met Shawnee Sky Bull and his teacher Charley “Red Hawk” Thom, a Karouk Chief. He then participated in Sweat Lodges with Shaw and Charley for many years. Charley a Shaker priest married Thom and his wife Lilly, in 1998. In the early 1990’s Thom met Gilbert Walking Bull a Lakota Sioux, and for a short time he became a member of a society Gilbert ran called, “Tiospaye”, (extended family). Gilbert was a Great Grandson of Chief Sitting Bull and a Great Nephew of Crazy Horse and Nicholas Black Elk. In 1996, Thom participated in Sweat Lodges with Wallace Black Elk. Wallace was a revered Lakota Sioux Shaman, and the son of the famed Shaman Warrior, Nicholas Black Elk. During the late 1990’s, Thom participated in Hyemeyohsts, “White Wolf” Storm’s, “Earth Teachings” In West Virginia and Montana. Wolf was a celebrated author, a Zero Chief, and a member of the Crow Tribe. Thom built a Sweat lodge for Beautiful Painted Arrow, also known as Joseph Rael, an author as well, and a Tewa Medicine Man during the same time period. Joseph was originator of the global network of Sound Peace Chambers. During the 2000’s Thom participated with Chief Richard, who is in the lineage of John “Rolling Thunder” Pope, Richard presented several Yuwippi and Lowampi ceremonies. Thom first took Tom Browns Basic Class in 1987. Tom is a nationally celebrated Naturalist, Tracker and Shaman. He was trained by a Lipan Apache Elder and Shaman, Stalking Wolf. After a long hiatus, Thom has begun participating in Tom Brown’s online classes. In 2011, having completed a series of Vision Quests over 30 years, Thom began studying in Malcolm Ringwalts’ Vision Quest program as taught through the lineage of Tom Brown and Stalking Wolf. Thom participated in these courses: Guardians of the Quest, Vision Quest Protecter Course, Seven Levels of Quest and the, Teacher Training for the Protector Training Course. Thom has had the opportunity to organize and protect several Vision Quests. During the 1980’s and early 1990’s Thom lived in a tipi, in Oregon, Washington State, and Virginia when he could find land to pitch the tipi. He currently leads a sweat lodge and vision quests. Thom has the honor of carrying a Pipe that he received in 1988. It comes through the Hopi lineage of Grandfather David Monongye, Rev. Rosalyn L. Bruyere and Sacred Hand Woman. Thom has done countless ceremonies with other medicine people as well. He is humbled in this life to have received insightful gifts from these teachers, and to honor their teachings and memory. For five summers during the early 1980's, Thom was a Wildland Initial Attack Fire Fighter in Northeastern Washington State. For the consecutive seven winters he worked as a Professional Ski Patroller in various ski areas across the United States. Between fire and ski seasons Thom worked as an aide in a nursing home in the town of Colville in NE. Washington State.

Informal book list

  1. Harry K Roberts; Walking in Beauty, Growing up with the Yurok Indians.
  2. Bobby Lake-Thom; Spirits of the Earth, Call of Great Spirit, Native Healer.
  3. Gilbert Walking Bull; Rocks Not Happy in Sacks, Mi Ta-ku-Ye (about my people), E-Ha-Ni Wo-E (In this powerful way they expressed themselves).
  4. Wallace Black Elk; The Sacred Ways of a Lakota.
  5. Nichoas Black Elk; Black Elk Speaks
  6. Joseph Eppes Brown: The Sacred Pipe. Told by Black Elk
  7. Hyemeyohsts Storm; Seven Arrows, Song of Heyoehkah, Lightning bolt.
  8. Beautiful Painted Arrow; Stories and teachings from the native American tradition, Being & vibration: Entering the New World, Plus more.
  9. Doug Boyd; Rolling Thunder.
  10. Mary Elizabeth Thunder: Thunders Grace.
  11. Tom Brown: The Tracker, The Way of the Scout, Grandfather, Awakening Spirits, The Search, The Vision, The Quest, The Journey, A Guide to Healing the Earth, plus many other books and survival guides.
  12. Shunryu Suzuki Roshi: Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Branching streams flow in the darkness, Not Always so, Zen is right here.
  13. Chen-man-Ch’ing: T’ai Chi, The Supreme Ultimate Exercise for Health, Sport and Self -defense.


(301) 452-6630