Shay Bakken Massage

Shay Bakken, LMT (WI #12910-146) Eau Claire, WI

About the Practitioner


I have been practicing therapeutic  massage since 1995. My office is located in Eau Claire, WI. 


I completed my original training in therapeutic massage in 1994 at Susan Raye's School of Massage, formerly of Rochester, MN. My initial education included 315 combined classroom and clinical hours in Anatomy and Physiology, Business Ethics, and various modalites including Swedish, Touch for Health, Thai, Reiki, Reflexology, and an internship at Jensen Chiropractic Clinic in Stewartville, MN.

In March 1995, I became a member of the national organization, Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. I am a Certified Member today.

In January 1995, I took a position as staff therapist at Jensen Chiropractic Clinic in Stewartville, MN. Three months later I was offered a position at City Looks Salon and Day Spa in Rochester, MN, and I became the lead therapist at that location from April 1995 to June 2001. While at City Looks, I received additional, extensive in-house training in spa therapies, including body wraps, hydrotherapies, exfoliations, and specialty massage modalities, including maternity (pregnancy, pre-natal) massage.

In June, 2001, I left City Looks to open my own home-based practice in Winona, MN where I practiced from 2001-2003. During these years, I contributed to the community by organizing chair massage events to benefit the local Red Cross and by participating in the "Ask the Experts" column in the Winona Post.

In September, 2003, I moved back to Rochester to begin work on a Bachelor's degree program at RCTC. While completing my generals there, I took a staff position at another Aveda concept salon, Lasata Salon and Day Spa, Rochester, MN, where I remained until 2005. While at Lasata, I was trained in Hot Stone Massage.

Moving back to Winona in 2005 to complete my Bachelor's degree at Winona State, I briefly established an office at Parlor & Den before moving to Relax Your Back, now called Nouveau Massage & Bodywork, in September 2006.

I returned to Winona State to complete my Master of Arts in English Literature in 2010 and finished that degree in 2012. 

In 2013, I took time off from teaching College Writing to complete an additional 780 hours of education in massage therapy. During the fall semester in 2014, I served as a Teaching Assistant in the Therapeutic Massage program at Western Technical College in La Crosse, WI. I then went on to to become a Massage Therapy Instructor in the Massage Therapy program at SE Technical in Winona, MN from 2015-2018.

In the summer of 2018 I resigned my position to pursue new goals in the medical massage field. I moved my office permanently to Eau Claire, and have now returned to massage full time. Though I will miss working with students, I am thrilled to have more time to dedicate to my practice and to my personal growth as a massage therapist. Beginning in April 2019, I will be working full time as a Hospice Massage Therapist Monday-Thursday, and maintaining a private practice in my Eau Claire office on Fridays only. 

My most recent continuing education includes the Hospital-Based Massage Therapy Program through Mayo School of Health Sciences (Certified, Fall 2016). I am currently working towards certification in Orthopedic Massage through the Academy of Clinical Massage. I hope to complete coursework in Oncology massage, Dermoneuromodulation, and Lomi Lomi in the near future.


The massage I practice is Swedish-based with techniques integrated from multiple modalities including Myofascial Release, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point, Thai, Positional Release, PNF, and Reflexology. No one massage session is strictly Swedish, strictly Deep Tissue, strictly Thai... Integrating multiple modalities allows me to provide a massage tailored to each individual, and to balance the therapeutic and relaxation components of bodywork. While my approach is both deeply therapeutic and deeply relaxing, it is never painful as I do not subscribe to the 'no pain, no gain' philosophy of bodywork. It is a common misconception that "deep tissue" work is synonymous with uncomfortably "deep pressure" and/or must be painful to be effective. The deep tissue techniques I practice are not all deep pressure methods. I may use my elbows, forearm and bodyweight to apply firm, deeper pressure up to and within a client's pain threshhold, but I am not the kind of therapist who will do further injury to a client's soft tissue by overworking one spot, or performing "elbowstands" on top of the client's muscles to exert the maximum possible pressure. Instead, in order to release tautness and restrictions in deeper muscles and connective tissue, I often use myofascial and neuromuscular techniques, joint mobilization, passive stretching, and positional release techniques. I recommend reviewing the testimonials from my current clientele for more information when deciding if my approach will be a good fit for your massage session goals. To do so, please click on "Client Testimonials" from the site menu.

My many years of practicing in day spas continues to influence my approach, and I include many comforting spa extras (such as aromatherapy) into each session at no extra charge. I use top quality massage creams and oils, a heated table, heat-pack applications, and an eye pillow in every session (excluding sessions for clients who are pregnant, or for clients presenting with conditions, such as inflammation, where heat applications are contraindicated).