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“The Synapse Massage & Bodywork Crew has been providing exceptional therapeutic massage services in Oakland, California since 2002. Treat yourself with a relaxing and rejuvenating massage today.”

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Meet the Synapse Crew


Vicky Cassis

CAMTC # 80713

Vicky is committed to providing holistic bodywork to help clients navigate their healing journey.  Vicky combines deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release techniques to address chronic pain and injuries.

Vicky’s approach to bodywork ranges from relaxing to clinical depending on what folks need from each session. Since graduating from the Bodymechanics Institute of Myotherapy and Massage in Washington, they have worked with clients for relief from acute injuries, postural rehabilitation, and maintenance of health and wellness.

Aeryn Merced

CAMTC # 76779

Aeryn’s approach to bodywork is focused on creating space for each client’s innate healing abilities to shine through. Her sessions are a nurturing blend of Esalen massage, deep tissue and Eastern-influenced meridian work.

Combining her experience teaching restorative yoga with her massage education from Mckinnon Institute in Oakland, Aeryn has developed a working physiological knowledge of the body and a deep reverence for the energetic composition of the body and mind. Utilizing her studies in various modalities, Aeryn works with you to bring you back to a relaxed, balanced state.

Dustin Kosek

CAMTC # 71999

Dustin believes that the body is sacred and should be treated as such. As someone who regularly surfs and plays soccer, he also knows the importance of maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit for optimal performance.

He derives his inspiration from his travels to Indonesia where he was introduced to Balinese massage. Dustin continued his studies at the National Holistic Institute of Massage where he completed 900 hours of training. His background in early childhood education fostered his calming and patient energy, which is a nice compliment to his work as a massage practitioner.

Whether the focus is on relaxing after a long week of work, or recovering from a long hike or sporting event, Dustin uses the regenerative powers of massage to help others continue doing what they love most.

Carolyn Letherland

CAMTC #24127

Carolyn believes in the healing power of massage and provides her expertise to assist in the process. Drawing from her extensive training through the National Holistic Institute, her unique style blends various modalities to create each hypnotic and restorative session. As a therapist, her goals are to provide relaxation, decrease pain and support body awareness and self-care for each client.

She brings to her craft a wealth of life experiences including a background in Montessori education and the completion of a yoga teacher training. Outside of her working life, Carolyn enjoys traveling to far away destinations but loves to call California home.

Liz Williams

CAPT 32437

Liz Williams offers physical therapy, pelvic floor rehabilitation, and diagnostic bodywork. She brings to the practice an integrated approach that combines manual therapy, mindfulness, and exercise to facilitate health & well-being. Her goal: to help clients find their way to a healthy and balanced body that moves well in their every day lives.

Liz has worked extensively in orthopedic and neurologic rehabilitation since attaining her master’s degree in Physical Therapy from UCSF/SFSU in 2005. For a complete listing of all of her continuing education coursework, follow this link. In addition to her work as a PT Liz has been a certified massage therapist since 2000. She has studied meditation and yoga extensively since the late nineties, and completed over 500 hours of training in yoga therapy. All of this to say – Liz is committed to the study of the mind-body connection and brings this wisdom into her clinical practice.

Outside of her life as a clinician, Liz teaches and trains in partner acrobatics. When not balancing on her hands, she can be found riding bikes, exploring the Sierras, or enjoying delicious cuisine with her family and friends. Liz is a bit of an activity nut, and has a fairly in-depth movement history to draw upon when working with clients.

Please note: equal care will be provided for all clients regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender identity/ expression, or sexual orientation. All folks are welcome here.

Zoe Burton

CAMTC #46636

Zoe loves practicing massage as a way to facilitate well-being. Her work is therapeutic in nature, drawing on advanced techniques including deep tissue, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, Swedish, sports, and prenatal massage.

Zoe incorporates specific work within nurturing full body sessions, which allows for deep relaxation. Her daily meditation practice supports clarity, grounding, and intuition in her bodywork.

Her work is informed by over 900 hours of education at the San Francisco School of Massage and Bodywork and at NHI’s Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program. A lifelong learner exploring the body, mind, and spirit, Zoe supports clients as a fellow traveler on the path to better self-care, healing, and a thriving body.

Saloni Desai

CAMTC #69167

Saloni is a passionate believer in the mind-body connection and its role in our everyday coping strategies.

Drawing from her 1000+ hours of study in a wide variety of Eastern and Western modalities, Saloni customizes her techniques to best align with the needs of each client. With an emphasis on energy, flexibility, and malleability, she strives to release and reorient holding patterns of stress, dis-ease and physical manifestations of trauma within the body from the core outward.

Saloni’s life experiences have given her a passion for health, wellness, and mind-body balance. Having learned to manage her own chronic pain and autoimmune issues over the past decade, she values being able to support and facilitate healing for all who come her way. A fervent proponent of self-care, Saloni recognizes the benefits of setting aside time each day to heal oneself, and is passionate about sharing this knowledge with her clients.

As she continues on this journey, she invites you to explore the inner workings of your self and discover what can be revealed when you unwind and allow yourself the time you need to heal.

Stan Barrett

CAMTC #27853

Stan is the humble owner of Synapse, who began his career in bodywork on the East Coast more than two decades ago. From 1998-2002 Stan lived out his dream of working in professional cycling with Mercury, an American team based in France. In the ensuing years he developed his expertise in sports massage by working with UMass Rowing and the University of Wisconsin swim team. Stan has also worked with elite runners, adventure racers, and triathletes over the years.

Fast forward to the early 2000’s – Stan landed in the Bay Area and worked at the Claremont Spa where his practice deepened in efforts to meet the expectations of the most discerning clients. The nuances of the spa experience, in combination with decades plus of skilled bodywork, are the foundation for the massage experience one can expect when coming in to Synapse.

In addition to creating a top-notch experience for clients of Synapse, Stan goes to great efforts to create a positive environment for the talented team of Synapse therapists. As a result, Synapse is known for its reliably outstanding bodywork in the East Bay, which is built upon a foundation of mutual respect. Stan is honored to be of service to you, your colleagues, and your loved ones.


Ximena Arestizabal

(Pronounced "He-men-ah")

Ximena Arestizabal is a native of El Salvador who grew up in the East Bay. Since graduating from the National Holistic Institute in 2000, she has worked in many settings ranging from physical therapy and chiropractic offices to luxury resort spas. She has recently returned from living in Hawai’i where she studied lomi lomi massage.

Ximena’s work strikes a perfect balance between intuition and skilled therapeutic intervention. As influenced by lomi lomi, each session is soothing, and flowing –leaving her clients with a sense of balance and wellbeing. Ximena is excited to be back in the bay area to continue practicing and learning with each client.


The incredible praise we’ve received from our clients

Great facility. Very clean. Was greeted by my therapist when I walked in. Very professional. Thorough and deep massage. Would definitely go back. Really worked out some deep knots and tension.

5 starsJordan lentoRead More

Really really awesome massage. especially for the price. I felt so much less tense leaving. I will definitely be back!

5 starsMeghan JohnsonRead More

Zoe Burton is an *awesome* massage therapist. She’s very skilled in anatomy, and knows exactly how to find and release all the knots and adhesions to relieve my tension – which is so critical reducing the arthritis pain in my joints. A++++ – She’s awesome with my wife’s fibromyalgia as well. The building is great, and even has private parking in the back.

5 starsKevin PerryRead More

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