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STEP-BY- STEP TO HEALTH by Christin Yates. Bottom photo by Philip Murphy.

Holistic, full-body health has been Karina Mueller’s passion for quite some time. As a massage therapist and a Health Coach, health and wellness are a huge component of Karina’s personal life and career. After spending years in a corporate job, Mueller realized her health was being put on the back burner. Five years ago, she decided to enroll in massage school at the Chattanooga Massage Institute in Hixson, TN. On her first day of class, a light went off and she decided to devote her professional life to helping others be healthier in every aspect of their lives. Upon finishing massage school, Mueller received her health coach training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is certified as a health coach through the AADP (American Association of Drugless Practitioners).

Through Midtown Massage and Bodywork, Mueller practices both Ashiatsu and Thai massage. Ashiatsu massage is a unique type of therapeutic massage in which the therapist uses her feet to apply long, deep strokes using bars for support to vary pressure and weight. By using the soft, broad surface of the foot, therapists are able to provide better and more comfortable deep tissue massage, which is perfect for people with chronic pain. Thai massage incorporates a traditional combination of point pressure and yoga-like stretching. In this type of massage, clients are fully clothed and stretched from head to toe, a technique that benefits those with limited flexibility or muscle tightness. Aside from massage therapy, Mueller coaches clients through her health coaching business Happy Healthy Coaching. Unlike a nutritionist who prescribes very specific nutritional plans, Mueller takes a holistic approach to coaching, evaluating individuals’ lifestyles, nutritional regimens, allergies, and fitness routines. She is then able to recommend a plan that can help him or her achieve happiness physically, spiritually, and emotionally In addition to her physically demanding massage job, Mueller combines a number of different exercises that she has found best benefit her body. A former cardio junkie, she has recently realized that as she matures and as the physical demands of her job evolve, she needs to change her workouts to keep her body in optimal performance mode. Currently, Mueller swims laps every day and runs four days per week. She also enjoys at-home workouts, especially Insanity, and also lifts light weights at home. The last component of Mueller’s healthy lifestyle is her diet. While each individual’s nutritional needs vary, she has found a nutritional plan that works best for her. She loosely follows the Paleo way of eating, which includes grass fed meats, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats.

HEALTH+FITNESS | August 2015

She also avoids gluten (due to an allergy) and limits dairy. In essence, she eats whole foods about 99% of the time and stays away from anything processed.

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Mueller believes a healthy individual is made from the inside out, and it includes more than working out and eating right. She enjoys helping people reach their fullest potential and watching them become happier, healthier individuals, and she lives out what she teaches each and every day.

“I strive to provide my clients with individualized treatment and care with the intention of reducing pain and stress, as well as improving mobility and increasing flexibility.”

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