jen cusmano &   Massage Modalities

Jen, known by most for her remarkable reputation in massage therapy.

She is a board certified neuromuscular therapist, working for 22 years.

~1987~

The journey first began. Life as an art major was the plan. This quickly changed to match her true calling. Branching off to fitness and sciences, she realized this was what she loved to do.

Along with instructing fitness classes in the Hunterdon, Morris and Somerset County Areas,

she gained a passion for helping people as a NJ certified home health aide.

~1988~

One short year flew by but Jen took the plunge and started her own personal training company,

honing in on the Califon area where she has lived since 1982.

~1989~

Jen began exploring somewhat with what she is most well known for today by many.

Training in physiology and body therapies, studying biomechanics, and pre-med for

future physical therapy she interned with some local physical therapy centers,

and began piecing the very complex puzzle of the human body, along with her fitness experience.

~1991~

With 3 more years of business experience under her belt, she jumped to the next stepping stone.

The Body Firm Fitness Company was born. There she grew her fitness business while training with

a local power lifter for bodybuilding as well as training with step inventor Gin Miller, bodybuilders Arnold Schwartzenaggar and Franco Columbo. For the next 6 years the hard knocks of a

business in a bad economy would teach Jen the most valuable lessons in business.

~1997~

She attended SSMT for neuromuscular therapy by calling of the heavens above:).

This gave her some of the final necessary

components to bring her to be the spectacular massage therapist she is today. But a brief note added I do want to give my instructor Ron Diana full credit for his amazing teaching and compassion - for without his science based thinking I would have never completed this program.

Being a scientist I needed him for his infinite wisdom and to give me the canvas so I could create my own picture.

~2004~

Years passed but the exploration continued, all paths adding to the last but giving a fresh spin unlike any other. Her days of living and educating others on living a natural life began with her new home, a small farm in Long Valley, NJ. This allowed her to share her love for herbs, natural therapies, animals and simply, nature. Holistic Nutrition…Iridology…Naturopathy…all added one by one to her repertoire to prove this all can be

incorporated into one big picture. She received degrees in all of these fascinating alternative subjects and found so many amazing mentors along the way included Dr. Paul Eck and Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez.

~2012~2016

With a bachelors in Holistic Nutrition and a Doctorate in Naturopathy, she continued to grow. She had received an Advanced Certification in Holistic Iridology as a Diplomat with the infamous Dr. David Pesek, International Holistic Iridologist. Achieved Board Certification Nationally as she has worked in the industry for 20 years.

~2017~

Jen continues her studies of nutritional balancing with Endomet Laboratories and homeopathy with Deseret Biologicals as well as pursuing her studies in iridology which she is currently conducting a group study and its connection with the Neuromuscular system. She has also created a series of group classes in Movement using Tom Myers "Anatomy Trains " as well as incorporating her own personal techniques that she has contrived over the last 30 years. The Institute of Naturopathy will be her newest focus as she helps to drive the force of her beliefs of bodywork and neuromuscular therapy to other therapists.

Jen is an avid beekeeper pursuing her farm’s apiary with over 30 beehives that feed off of the lavender field tended to by her husband and herbs tended to by her and her daughters.

Jen still has a strong passion for art and a love for Ancient Greece and Archeology.

~2018~

Physio Architecture gets its approval for Trademark and Jen moves into the new 200 hour Physio Architecture certification program. Jen starts her herbal program with David Winston as well as creating the course Benefits and Prevention of Holistic Massage a Foundation course for Physio Architecture.   

Massage Modalities At Physio


       Since I started doing massage therapy I created a style unique to my own person and many people have asked what kind of massage it is? The answer is that I use a combination of different modalities to suit each client on each visit. I choose to describe it as structural therapy, with a focus on correcting issues in the body and in the process we relieve your symptoms while still keeping it holistic - which means the Whole Body. Below are descriptions of what I have been trained to do and what I may use in your session if I feel necessary. When you come in to see me you will see the sign on my door that says Neuromuscular Integration that is what I consider my style of massage combining some or all of the styles below. You will also see Physio Architecture which is my Trade Mark of using Massage, Movement, Nutrition, Sauna, Steam, Hydrotherapy & any other Naturopathic Modality that will enhance your vitality for many years to come.


       Trigger Point Therapy - Janet Travell spend thousands of hours learning about the points of the muscle that created pain and discomfort when the nervous system via the muscular system was in overload. Trigger points are a very important part of my work as when they are present it is significant evidence that there is strain and counterstain throughout the entire anatomy. Finding trigger points helps me to understand where I can start first to relieve pain and then continue on to relieve stresses that are direct and indirect.

Myofascial Release - Myofascial release is focused on releasing the muscle tissue ("myo-") and correcting imbalances in the connective tissue ("fascia"). The muscle and the connective tissue combined as a unit is called myofascia. The myofascia is often responsible for restrictions, pain, and other imbalances within the body. Myofascial release utilizes gentle to firm pressure with time to achieve its results. Myofascial release is also a part of many other massage modalities including; structural integration, neuromuscular therapy, deep tissue massage, soft tissue release, etc.

      Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate.  Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.)

The use of Myofascial Release allows us to look at each patient as a unique individual. Our one-on-one therapy sessions are hands-on treatments during which our therapists use a multitude of Myofascial Release techniques and movement therapy. We promote independence through education in proper body mechanics and movement, self treatment instruction, enhancement of strength, improved flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.

Hands-On Treatment

Each Myofascial Release Treatment session is performed directly on skin without oils, creams or machinery. This enables the therapist to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate release of the fascia.

Structural Bodywork- Structural Bodywork focuses on realignment of the body for optimum efficiency. Most all structural bodywork is accomplished by affecting the fascia or myofascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles, bones, organs, etc. of the body, and helps to maintain the relationship of these structures to each other in space. By finding where the fascia is shortened improperly, or is restricted, we can make corrections that will allow you to move more comfortably and with less effort. As structures of the body move more freely, the pain felt due to the restrictions, or improper relationship of body parts subside. Structural bodywork was brought to public attention by Dr. Ida Rolf. Her study and teaching brought about Structural Integration which is realignment of the body within the field of gravity. While sometimes we are working to realign the full body within gravity, other times my clients just want to work on one problem area, such as a troublesome shoulder. When we are more focused like this, the work is more properly called structural bodywork, and not structural integration.

     Structural Integration - Structural Integration is similar to structural bodywork in the goal of realigning the body, but is more specifically trying to optimize the body in the field of gravity. It also is not focused on correcting "problems" or symptoms, but rather is working to improve the system as a whole unit. Structural Integration typically also has a specific sequence of sessions called a series, with the most typical series consisting of 12 unique sessions. Each session has a set of goals that works toward improving the whole system, and each session builds upon the work achieved in the previous session(s). 

     NeuroMuscular Therapy - Neuromuscular therapy utilizes the principles of some neurological and physiological laws, to understand why the body comes to dysfunction. As such, neuromuscular therapy focuses on areas of your body that lack proper blood flow (i.e. ischemia) and areas that refer pain (i.e. trigger points). For a much more detailed look at St. John Neuromuscular Therapy, click here.

     Deep Tissue Massage - There is a confusion in the massage community (and public) regarding deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage is massage directed at the deeper layers/muscles in the body (such as psoas, multifidi, rotatores, obterator internus, etc.). Heavy pressure massage is massage that uses a lot of force to work into the body. Many people think that they are the same, but there is a distinct difference. One can do deep tissue work with light pressure or force, if the body is ready to recieve that kind of work. In this way, the deep structures can be released without any negative consequences (usually inflammation). While heavy pressue massage can get to the deeper structures by brute force, you often are irritating all the layers that you are working through. My experience shows me that the body is like an onion in the sense that if you want to work more deeply, you need to work out the layers above it... one layer at a time. This yeilds the best results, which are most long lasting.

      Soft Tissue Release - Soft tissue release is a unique combination of pinning a muscle while using Active Isolated Stretching to facilitate the release of the contracted muscle. This is similar to the pin-and-stretch technique, but it also uses the nervous system to facilitate the relaxation of the muscle being released.

     Muscle Energy Technique - Muscle energy technique uses the body's own antagonistic muscle releasing feed-back loops (in the nervous system) to help facilitate the release a tight muscle. It combines opposing muscle contractions at specific lines of stress in the muscle, as well as specific stretching to achieve results.

     Manual Lymph Drainage - Manual lymph drainage is focused on making the lymph system of the body more efficient, and relieving its blockages. The lymph system is responsible for uptake of waste fluids from between cells, reducing inflammation, and also plays a key role in the body's immune system (since it acts as a storage facility for white blood cells).

      Pin and Stretch - (a.k.a. Active Release Therapy, or ART) Pin and stretch is a technique where the therapist will lock (i.e. pin) some soft tissue in place while lengthening (i.e. stretching) the same soft tissue. This has the effect of reducing restrictions that are located within the tissue. You can think of it as being similar to using a rolling pin to roll out and lengthen bread dough, though the action of pin and stretch is a bit different than that of using the rolling pin.

     Contract Relax Stretching PNF and Active Isolated Stretching - Both of these methods of stretching utilize the body's nervous system to facilitate relaxation in the muscle you are trying to lengthen. These are sometimes handy in creating release during your massage session.