Barbara Bancroft, LMT
EDUCATION Scherer Institute of Natural Healing, Santa Fe, New Mexico (now Santa Fe School of Massage)
SPECIALTIES Integrative and deep-tissue massage, reflexology, Reiki/energy work, TenZo
Barbara: (520) 270-1575
Rooted: (520) 326-8300
Barbara grew up on the East coast, where she taught law and began a graduate program in English before she moved to the Southwest to study massage therapy in Santa Fe. Shortly after graduating, she visited Tucson and fell in love with the city; she has lived here ever since.
Barbara’s introduction to massage therapy was personal. It began as a yearlong break from her academic career "to get out of my head and learn how to live in my body.” While in massage school, she began working on integrating mind and body to address long-term trauma issues. Her focus was entirely on healing herself, with no plans to practice massage. But massage school precipitated an unexpected metamorphosis, and by graduation Barbara realized that for her, massage was not simply a career choice but a way of life. She has now been practicing massage for more than 20 years. She has worked extensively in spa contexts, including the Hilton El Conquistador and the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain, among others, and ran her own private practice for about 10 years.
Barbara has a deep belief in the transforming power of massage. As a therapist, she uses integrative massage, deep tissue techniques, reflexology, and reiki to help each client achieve his or her own personal massage goal—whether that is healing a specific physical issue, creating a deeper connection to self, or simply relaxing. Barbara is also certified in TenZo Asian massage, a technique which blends elements of Swedish massage, Shiatsu, and Thai massage for a unique bodywork experience that focuses on light stretching and energy balancing.
Q&A with Barbara!
What is your hometown?
I grew up sort of all over the place, mostly on the East Coast. And before I settled in Tucson, I moved fairly often as an adult. So I feel like Tucson is my adopted hometown, even though I got here a little late, because it’s the place I’ve lived the longest. Plus, after 22 years, I feel like I’m an honorary Tucson native.
What is the farthest place you have traveled to?
Either Europe or Bolivia, I’d have to check the distance on a map to be sure.
What's the last book you finished?
Ooh, I love a well written murder mystery and right now I’m making my way through Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series. The most recent one I finished was “The Silent Speaker”.
What's your favorite thing about Tucson?
That it’s both laid back and vibrant.
What would you choose as your last meal?
Well, I have a pretty demanding sweet tooth. Since it’s my very last meal I would probably sit down with a chocolate cake and a fork and make it count.
What’s your favorite movie?
“Nostalgia for the Light”, a documentary by Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzman about ordinary people trying to come to terms with the aftermath of the Pinochet regime. He interweaves the stories of astronomers in the Atacama desert who are looking into the deep past of space and archaeologists who are working in the same region to recover the bones of loved ones lost in the more recent past of political turmoil. It’s not an easy movie to watch, but I love it for its portrayal of the power of the human spirit to transform profound tragedy into hope.
What’s your massage superpower?
I’m able meet a lot of different kinds of people where they are.
What do your clients say about you?
I’ve had a number clients who have said I’ve helped them change their lives. I think that’s the highest, best thing anyone could say to me.
If you weren't a massage therapist, what would you be doing instead?
I would love to have been a writer. It may still happen one of these days.
What’s one thing that surprised you after you became a professional massage therapist?
Well, no one was more surprised than I was to find myself practicing massage at all! And if you’d told me when I started massage school that I’d still be practicing 20+ years later, I would have laughed at you. But the work has been deeply engaging and satisfying on so many levels. I learn so much from my clients. I never stop being surprised at how affecting the work is and how much emotional and spiritual generosity my clients are willing to show.