About the Author
Born in Philadelphia, I was raised in rural Lehigh Valley, PA where I spent many hours climbing trees, creating "pottery" in our stream, making "ink" out of berries, and collecting stones.
After high school I decided to return to the big city, and in between many temp jobs and long term secretarial positions, I began to study English & writing, then visual art at Philadelphia Community College & Philadelphia College of Art. In 1973 I decided I needed to start moving again and after a stint with avant-garde Bricolage Theater, I received a BFA in Dance from Temple University and founded Agape Dancers.
Soon after my husband and I
moved into an old house,
knockeddown some walls, and
created Innerworks Center-
Classes for Bodyworkers &
Health Professsionals, where as
Director, I taught massage and
yoga and coordinated other
classes and events.
I have been practicing and teaching massage and yoga for over thirty years and have given over 15,000 hours of massages to a variety of clients, from infants to animals to the dying.
In 1992 my husband took the role of hospital administrator for a facility in Southern California, and along with our seven month old daughter, two dogs and three cats we left the east coast.
In Long Beach I joined forces with physical therapist Jacquie Maroun and together we taught Massage & Movement for Pregnancy & Beyond for staff at Long Beach Comunity Hosital. As a Certified Infant Massage Instructor I traveled throughout Orange County to teach parents in a variety of settings how to massage their infants.
Infant Massage Class, Long Beach, CA, 1993
In 1995 our family moved to Murrieta CA where I joined the staff at Wellness Professionals at Murrieta Hot Springs, continued to teach massage and yoga, and co-founded Inland Holistic Health Association. I have come full circle with my massage for the home bound, and those at the end of life. Additionally, as throughout all of my life, I care for and massage an interesting variety of animals!
In 2001 Lurena Hay Miller and I received a grant to tour twenty area day centers for physically and mentally challeged, where we shared relaxation skills and yoga with staff and clients.
I was astounded when clients who were extremely disfigured were asked not to come into area restaurants. These clients and their caregivers, both with such brave and open hearts, as well as my father who suffered from a stroke and incurred traumatic brain injury, are who moved me to write this book.
As Artistic Director of Agape Dancers, a modern dance company, I reached out to audiences using choreography that combined yoga, martial arts and images from nature.
Dance continues to flow through my life with MAE (Movement Artists Ensemble) in Escondido, CA. Below is a video poem created by Gwyn Henry, dancer, poet, video artist and founder of MAE (please click on the box in lower right hand corner for full screen):.
Beneath the Trees
MAE Movement Artists Ensemble
Escondido Center for the Arts, March 2013
with Gwyn Henry, Pianta, and Wendy Hammarstrom
I create mandalas with a variety of mediums, from paint to rocks, and share those art forms at schools and community events.
Rock mandala group creation
Heritage Park & Escondido Art Partnership Gallery
September 14, 2013I
I have written a column on health and wellness for the Californian newspaper for two years, as well as a bodywork column for Awareness Magazine and freelance writing for High Country Journal in southern California, The Murrieta Chronicle and Neighbor’s Newspaper. You can find more at my blogs, www.wendyswellnessworld.wordpress.com, or
I continue to share my expertise through giving presentations, teaching, writing and practicing massage and yoga therapy with clients in North County San Deigo and Inland Valley (Riverside County, CA).
State of California Massage Therapist (CAMTC)
Member, American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)
Rock Mandala, East Meets West
Background image photo by Wendy Hammarstrom
Dripping Springs Ranch, Aguanga, CA,
where I was pond caretaker.
Copyright Circles of Healing 2016