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UMB's Launch Your Life

‌As part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore's Launch Your Life Program, our team leads sessions on yoga, tai chi, meditation, therapeutic breath, pilates, nutrition, self- and partner massage, and more, as well as 15-minute one-on-one seated massages.

Learn more about Launch Your Life.

The Team

Christine Barnabic, MS, RYT 200, Reiki Master (Topics:  Pilates, Yoga, Reiki, Meditation, General Health & Wellness)

Christine is the Education Program Management Specialist at the Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM), part of University of Maryland School of Medicine. She completed her Master’s Degree in School and Administrative Health in 2013 and her Bachelor’s Degree in School and Community Health in 2007 from Towson University. Prior to her position at CIM, she worked in brand marketing and taught health in the Maryland Public School System. She has also taught gymnastics and volunteered with the American Red Cross, Cupids Charities benefiting the Children’s Tumor Foundation and locally as a Chair on the board with the Federal Hill Main Street neighborhood organization.

She completed three types of Barre and Pilates trainings through M.Power (2015), worked with Kim at Baltimore’s original Barre studio Charles Street Barre (2016) and Pilates/ Barre training with Jason Williams (2017). Since then she has also started Yoga Teacher Training including Reiki. She is experienced in teaching health and wellness from age 5 to 85 and incorporating physical activity to encourage others to increase their personal strength and power of positivity.

Emily Couto (Topics:  Yoga, Move and Meditate, Breath Practice)

Emily completed her 200-hour training with the first yoga group her at University of Maryland School of Medicine, Center for Integrative Medicine in 2013. Since then She has been teaching regularly at Baltimore Yoga Village and Studio B. She is experienced in teaching vinyasa, hatha, restorative, gentle, and beginner classes. She begins class with breathing techniques, and typically end with some type of meditation.

Cassondra Smith, LMT (Seated Massages)

Cassondra is a licensed massage therapist who has been practicing for 15 years. In addition to learning about Swedish, Deep Tissue and Myofascial Release massage in school, she has also been trained in sports massage, prenatal massage and many other techniques. She worked at a day spa for 13 years, as a freelance massage therapist, and was faculty at a massage school for a number of years. Now, she does both home and office visits and is a “traveling” massage therapist.  Read about our intern's experience while getting her first seated massage here.

Rebekah (Beka) Frizzelle-Owens, LMT, BCTMB, CPMT, CIMI (Topics:  Self-Massage, Partner Massage)

Beka is Board Certified in Massage Therapy and a Maryland State Licensed Massage Therapist who has been practicing massage for 15 years. In addition to being trained in prenatal and therapeutic massage for adults, she is a certified pediatric massage therapist (CPMT), a certified infant massage instructor (CIMI), an advanced Reiki practitioner, and has studied numerous massage modalities, including massage for cancer, hot stone massage, Lomi Lomi, post-natal massage, Isometric Muscle Balancing, acupressure, reflexology and others. She works full-time as the PR Specialist at the Center for Integrative Medicine, part of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she also lectures about massage to medical students and in the community. She sees massage clients at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center and in her private practice.  She also contributes to the CIM blog, including articles about pediatric massage and self-massage.

Elizabeth (Liz) Parker, PhD, RD (Topics:  Practical Nutrition)

Liz is an Assistant Professor of Family & Community Medicine in the Center for Integrative Medicine, part of University of Maryland School of Medicine.  She completed her PhD in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise (HNFE) and Bachelors of Science in HNFE with a double option in Dietetics and Exercise Health Promotion at Virginia Tech. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer.  Her research interests include obesity, energy balance and lifestyle interventions to improve health and chronic disease related outcomes.

Sean Vasaitis, PhD, MS EHS (Tai Chi)

Sean completed his doctoral work in Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2007.  He holds a Master’s degree in Exercise and Health Science from Miami University, Ohio and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

Sean's research goals follow the overarching concept of integrating Western approaches to medicine and pharmacological therapy with evidence-based complementary medicine to further a holistic approach to disease treatment.  In addition to his research in novel drug development and metabolic function, he has taught taijiquan (tai chi) to patients with stroke, cancer, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes as part of studies with Johns Hopkins Prohealth, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and within his own business practice.

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Launch Your Life Partners

Be sure to visit other UMB internal partners that can provide a wealth of resources to help you live a better life. Events and programs sponsored by UMB departments are typically held on campus.

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