Dessi Issaeva, CMT

San Francisco, CA

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

MEDICAL MASSAGE APPLIED NEURO-KINESIOLOGY ACTIVE RELEASE RECHNIQUES SPORTS MASSAGE DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE My work addresses the core of the issue applying deep tissue, active release, neuro-kinesiology and human movement. It rests on over 1600 hours of technical education and understanding how the body operates as a system. I address both structural and medical challenges and clients are amazed how approaching the nervous system in its own language produces instant changes. I am convinced that an effective, results-oriented look at the body is one that sees Nature’s tensegrity genius in the system. Relaxation massage has its own therapeutic benefits and is always an option. My moto is "STRUCTURE and FUNCTION as Nature intended… simply HONORED…"

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I am truly in conversation with NATURE. Every session is UNIQUE because our needs are different from person to person and from week to week, and that is what sets the tone of a session. The intelligence of the body never fails to amaze. So much medical INTERVENTION can be spared simply by tapping into the self-healing ability of the human body.
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Location

San Francisco, CA 94115

Background check

Complete

Years in business

4

Number of employees

1

Times hired on Thumbtack

110

Reviews

63 Reviews
  • Chris B. Sep 15, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Dessi was amazing. I went in for a deep tissue/sports massage and she seemed to know exactly what my body needed and what muscles needed extra attention. Dessi is clearly very knowledgeable about her craft. She was so responsive and very easy to schedule an appointment with. Would definitely go back!
  • Thumbtack Customer Jul 26, 2017
    Great experience!
  • Claire C. Jun 28, 2017
    Deep Tissue Massage
    Verified Review
    I had 2 great sessions with Dessi for massage and clinical kinesiology. She is a thorough and knowledgeable professional who is completely dedicated to helping her clients feel better. Thanks, Dessi, and I hope we work together again soon!
  • Carol W. Jun 23, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
  • Michael M. Jun 4, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Excellent experience with a ton of valuable insights! Really helped narrow down certain problem areas to work and improve on, thanks!
  • Jennie L. Jun 3, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Dessi was welcoming and extremely knowledgable. I am look forward to working more with her.
  • Vicki T. May 15, 2017
    Medical Massage
    Verified Review
    Really helped alleviate pain from an injury. Look forward to continuing to work with Dessi.
  • Matthew B. May 5, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    !
  • BRUCE O. Apr 28, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Outstanding Massage Therapist
    Extremely empathetic and compassionate professional who clearly knows how to do both massage as well as alternative approaches to wellness.
  • Maurice E. Apr 17, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Great work!
    Great job!
  • Swati K. Mar 31, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review Updated
    Amazing massage
    I got a sports massage with Dessi, which was really great. She found all the right spots and loosened a lot of knots. I would highly recommend her as not only did she give me an excellent massage, she had really helpful and insightful tips to let my muscles breathe and improve my lifestyle
  • Verified Review Original
    Amazing massage
    I got a sports massage with Dessi, which was really great. She found all the right spots and loosened a lot of knots. I would highly recommend her as not only did she give me an excellent massage, she had really helpful and insightful tips to let my muscles breathe and improve my lifestyle
  • MIke S. Mar 14, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    I'm came out worse than when I went in!!!
    Did not get the deep tissue and/or ART massage I requested and very much needed, instead spent over 2 hours getting some kind of "woo-woo" realignment of the central nervous system technique. I easily walked in there and hobbled out considered whether to have Uber drive me around the block to my car. Absolutely no body work was done. The entire session consisted of doing some kind of resistance testing by either lying on my back with my arm pointed to the ceiling and giving resistance to prevent her from moving my arm or leg, or on my stomach with arm to the side again also preventing her from moving it. Flip over, flip back, while in between she'd swipe or touch or circle a certain area, then right back to the resistance testing... over and over and over. At first, I thought it was going to last five or ten minutes, thinking "ok, now she's going to start the massage." Nope, never did. Even worse, in addition to the constant flipping back and forth, which was aggravating my sciatic pain, she kept further aggravating my condition by having me get off the table to see how my walking felt. It kept getting worse. At one point she was snapping her fingers above my back. Yes, I'm an idiot for not having stopped it and left. I will say, she's very attentive and caring and I'm sure many of you think this stuff works, but when someone asks for deep tissue, that's what they should receive or at least provide their approval of this alternative (hocus pocus) technique. Perhaps she's good at massage and ART, but I'll never know.
    Dessi I. Mar 15, 2017

    Hi Mike, I really appreciate your feedback and it's always useful to know how your body reacted to the work 2-3 days after the session as we discussed. I am sorry that I didn't have a chance to work with you on more than one occasion, so that I understand what your body is signaling to take as a next step. Given the rich list of injuries and interventions you have had, your body has created a complicated combination of compensation patterns which requires patience and perseverance to unravel. A simple PT or chiro treatment involves a minimum of 5 sessions, and it may or may not produce results in the first session. As a practitioner, given that you requested help for acute symptoms, I owe it to you to work towards their resolution and let you know that deep tissue is merely a band-aid for the day of. It is not gratifying to ask you to return on a weekly basis with no long-term changes. Perhaps I misinterpreted your request for "welcome deep tissue and/or any technique" and should have reconfirmed. I would be happy to work with you clinically at no charge, to see if we can improve your condition if you haven't found another approach that is successful. In health, Dessi

  • Jimmy K. Feb 27, 2017
    Alternative Healing
    Verified Review
    Top Quality.
    From the first session I can tell Dessi is incredibly knowledgeable about her work. She oozes passion for what she does. It was amazing seeing her take different approaches to my headache and neck pain. I'm excited to see where she takes me in the coming sessions.
  • Nick K. Feb 22, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Great Bodywork!
    Dessi has a strong understanding of the human body and functional anatomy. She was also communicative in our communications and adjusted her schedule to get me and my partner in for an appointment.
  • Clark S. Feb 20, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Excellent prenatal massage
    Excellent prenatal massage. I can't wait to go back!
  • Andreas S. Jan 29, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    A great experience
    Great experience. Professional, timely, responsive, good communication. Highly recommended.
  • Thomas K. Jan 24, 2017
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Dessi knows her stuff
    Dessi is very knowledgeable about the body and really was able to get deep into my muscles. She uses a Shea butter as opposed to an oil for her massages and this definitely provides better grip, but with that comes more friction on your skin. I wouldn't say this is a problem if you are hairless. It was tough on my legs, but not unbearable. Be prepared to rotate on the massage table and lay certain ways so she can get to certain spots. She catered this type of massage to me as I wanted a deep tissue/sports massage.
  • Liz V. Jan 23, 2017
    Swedish Massage
    Verified Review
    Great massage good location!
    The relaxation massage was great!
  • Matt D. Dec 29, 2016
    Swedish Massage
    Verified Review
    Excellent massage
    Dessi was on time, place was easy to find, nice studio in an alternative healing arts space, she was very pleasant and knowledgeable and give an excellent deep tissue massage (frequently checked in about the pressure), had done and excellent job of evaluating my needs before we began and incorporated some wonderful movements designed to get muscles moving without adhesions beyond simple deep pressure alone. I would very much recommend her and will plan to see her again.
  • Ryan W. Dec 27, 2016
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    For a more balanced body
    Dessi was professional, thorough, and extremely knowledgeable. I had not had neuromuscular massage before. I've had dozens of massages and Dessi is at the top of the list.
  • Drew J. Dec 18, 2016
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Great experience
    Dessi is an extremely knowledgeable and professional therapist. I left my session feeling much lighter and with a noticeable decrease in the back pain that's been bothering me.
  • Norma D. Dec 17, 2016
    Sports Massage
    Verified Review
    Remarkable Skills & Results
    This was my 1st appointment with Dessi. We had a remarkable result end of my session. I am encouraged by her care, knowledge and strategy for healing my current body ailments. Supported by her clean & pleasant massage room. I look forward to my next appointments.
  • Maurice E. Dec 16, 2016
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Great massage. Very professional.
    Great massage. Very professional.
  • Jennifer P. Dec 16, 2016
    Deep Tissue Massage
    Verified Review
    Dessi is so knowledgeable about bodywork. I have had upper back and neck pain for the past 2.5 years- we did one session of neuro-kinesiology work, and I'm already feeling so much better. Our first session went so well, I purchased a package to continue working together!
  • Helen S. Dec 15, 2016
    Wealth of knowledge and goes to the core of the pain
    Dessi such a wealth of knowledge and talents. I was referred to her through a talented Rolfer, Chiropractor in Nevada City. P-DTR is a wonderful way to reset the nervous system. I have had so many chronic body issues after a car accident in 2003, and it seemed that after the (nearly 100 or so) practitioners that I've seen, my nervous system still holds on. It utilized muscle testing, resetting the body with different light touches or working with the reflexes.and working on releasing trauma in my body. It was utterly fascinating to see Dessi at work, the masterful, fascinating way that she does the testing. She a wonderful container for allowing me the space to release and really get to the core of some issues.e, and de-activate muscles that were stuck in the sympathetic/hypertonic state. She is wonderful talented with the soft tissue and massage work. Dessi is so generous and accomodating and charges amazingly affordable prices to me, bc of the insurance I have. I'm so grateful for her!
  • Vaiva T. Dec 15, 2016
    Pregnancy Massage
    Verified Review
    Very professional, caring, and simply amazing
    I was looking for prenatal massage therapist to help me with pregnancy pains, swelling and previous injuries. I did extensive research to find somebody really good because it was not just about me but also about my baby. Dessi has been simply an amazing massage therapist that is very attentive, really good at what she does, and I always left feeling amazing (for days). She is also very flexible with scheduling an appointment and has helped me out when I needed massage on short notice. On many occasions she spent more time than scheduled because she simply wanted to help me. My pregnancy has been really easy thanks to her. I now live an hour away and still continue coming to San Francisco just to see her. I have recommended her to many of my friends and family members who also left her sessions feeling amazing.
  • Carolina G. Nov 28, 2016
    Deep Tissue Massage
    Verified Review
    Great deep tissue massage!
    I had a wonderful massage with Dessi. She was very caring and very thoughtful about the pressure and the experience overall. Her deep tissue massage help me with water retention and I was able to relax as well. Overall great experience and fair price!
  • Heidy H. Nov 20, 2016
    Swedish Massage
    Verified Review
    Amazing experience with a very professional therapist
    This is by far the best Swedish massage I've had in the city. Dessi is very professional and made me feel super comfortable all the time. I'll definitely be back!
  • Karen T. Sep 27, 2016
    Deep Tissue Massage
    Verified Review
    Love it!
    Dessi is really knowledgeable and was so patient throughout! Would definitely recommend her to anyone!
  • Jess E. Sep 25, 2016
    Pregnancy Massage
    Verified Review
    Terrific
    Dessi is kind, thoughtful, skilled and knowledgeable. I felt very comfortable and taken care of
  • Stephani D. Sep 19, 2016
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Most Relaxing hour ever!
    Amazing and relaxing experience! Extremely professional responding to my thumbtack messages and in person. Wish I could have stayed longer!
  • Marika G. Sep 18, 2016
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Wonderful!
    Dessi was an amazing masseuse! Great experience.
  • Tongyun L. Sep 18, 2016
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Highly recommend
    Dessi is fantastic! She is so professional and and knowledge about human body. The studio is clean and relaxing. Highly recommend!
  • Sydney A. Sep 18, 2016
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Dessi
    Dessi was extremely thourough and professional. i left feeling very relaxed and satisfied. i highly recommend her! i will definitely be back.
  • Karen J. Sep 16, 2016
    Sports Massage
    Verified Review
    Thank you for such a relaxing experience.
    Dessi was great and managed to get years of knots out of my back. She went the extra mile to make sure that the products she used were safe for my special needs. I would highly recommend her. If I could have stayed on that table for another hour it would have made my day.
  • Jason K. Sep 16, 2016
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Great CMT for Pain Management!
    Dessi is amazing. Prompt in her responses to my Thumbtack request, courteous and professional when we met, and most of all is a great massage therapist. She did an excellent job in locating the pain areas for me and providing guidance with addressing long-term causes. Honestly I felt pretty rejuvenated after visiting her. Highly recommend!
  • Meagan S. Sep 12, 2016
    Swedish Massage
    Verified Review
    Great massage!
    Dessi was awesome! Very clean and relaxing studio; I will definitely be returning!
  • Sean P. Sep 11, 2016
    Sports Massage
    Verified Review
    A fantastic and wholistic sports massage
    Dessi provided a sports massage. Her focus on root-causing problems and whole body approach is appreciated. She works ART into the massage very effectively. She has designed a plan to help me to prepare for a 50 miler and I have already scheduled my next appointment.
  • Douglas T. Sep 8, 2016
    Sports Massage
    Verified Review
    A Very Positive Experience
    I went to see Dessi knowing nothing about neurokinesiology but found it to be an intruiging and (I now know) effective protocol. Dessi has a thoughtful and professional manner and I will be returning. Thank you!
  • Tom R. Sep 3, 2016
    Sports Massage
    Verified Review
    Satisfied beyond expectations
    Dessi took her time to learn my health history and tailored her treatment accordingly.I cant believe the relief I felt in my neck and shoulders after one session. She also ave me homework to be more aware of my posture and breathing.I am looking forward to my next visits.
  • Peter M. Aug 30, 2016
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Dessi listens well and addresses the particular problems described.
  • Mark V. Aug 25, 2016
    Deep Tissue Massage
    Verified Review
  • Kate B. Aug 23, 2016
    Pregnancy Massage
    Verified Review
    Dessi was a wonderful massage therapist. Very communicative, aware and strong.
  • Alexandra L. Aug 15, 2016
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Dessi was amazing at understanding my needs and identifying the most important areas to focus on. She answered all of my questions and was extremely accommodating and professional throughout our experience together. I will definitely be visiting her again!
  • Julia E. Aug 2, 2016
    Sports Massage
    Verified Review
    Dessi was amazing! Made me feel so much better after a big race. Thank you!!
  • George C. Jul 25, 2016
    Deep Tissue Massage
    Verified Review
    Dessi was fantastic. Most masseuses can't give the level of deep tissue pressure that I prefer which is very strong. Dessi's massage was perfect a great blend of pressure and stretching!
  • Jenny C. Nov 18, 2015
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Dessi is extremely professional, knowledgable about massage, and very friendly. I would highly recommend hiring her for a massage!
  • Helen L. Sep 29, 2015
    Sports Massage
    Verified Review
    I loved that Dessi spent time upfront to really understand what my recurring issues were (shin splints, etc.) and focused the treatment on helping improve that. She's also been great about checking in on messages and open to trying alternative treatments if our neuromuscular work isn't for me. Tons of expertise & very personable. Highly recommend Dessi to anyone!
  • Chris B. Sep 17, 2015
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    She was 150% there to work on issues I have misalignment etc, and she applied her great skills in sports/medical therapy. I experienced clear improvement after the first visit, and am now onto the 3rd visit.
  • Griff W. Jul 13, 2015
    Sports Massage
    Verified Review
    Incredibly knowledgeable of the human body. Far more effective than your average massage!
    Dessi I. Jul 15, 2015

    Thank you, Griff! Always a pleasure to work with athletes.

  • Brita L. Apr 9, 2015
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Dessi did amazing work during my hour massage. She addressed my needs right away and was understanding. Her massage space is ideal as it is welcoming yet quiet. She delivered one of the best massages I've ever received.
  • Jeffrey L. Mar 29, 2015
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Great massage; would definitely hire again.
  • Alysha S. Mar 26, 2015
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    I came to Dessi for a deep tissue massage and her work was amazing. She immediately understood all my tension points and has a thorough knowledge of how the body works and how things connect - she found pain points needing relief that I didn't even know I had. She was also extremely professional and did a full consultation of my walk to understand my specific needs before even starting the massage's time. I highly recommend her services!
  • Jeremy M. Mar 15, 2015
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    I am very grateful for finding Dessi, and was thoroughly impressed with her ability to read and test the body for the sources of misalignment. Dessi went through an impressive checklist, testing movement and function and the relationship between various groups and as she was reading me it clear she was comfortable speaking the language of the body. Her manipulations combined with the active participation she requires of the patient allowed her to effectively reduce my pain and it was clear every time I got up and walked around that I was integrating something useful. Was impressed by Dessi and will return!
  • Nick J. Feb 23, 2015
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Dessi was very responsive to messages, and it was easy to find a time to meet. After our hour appointment ran over an extra 45 minutes, she honored the original quote and didn't charge any extra. Very professional and helpful!
  • Katie T. Feb 9, 2015
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    I saw Dessi for a ninety minute massage at her massage studio on Fillmore. I was impressed by the care Dessie took in evaluating my needs and communicating with me during the massage. It was clear that Dessi really cares about using massage to help people, and she even followed up with me via email a few days later to see how my shoulder was feeling.
  • Deepa T. Jan 27, 2015
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    Dessi was great! On time, great and comfortable space, great massage.
  • N. S. Dec 21, 2014
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
  • Scott F. Dec 17, 2014
    Massage Therapy
    Verified Review
    What a healer! Walked in hunched over and walked out standing straight with a big smile, greater mobility, breathing and moving again! What a little miracle worker! Dessi brings a heartfelt and sincere approach to her practice. She is patient and very professional taking the time to learn what ails you, and practices what she preaches. She will treat you thoroughly until SHE is satisfied and you are no longer in pain before she decides to let you go, I can say after years of deep tissue, thai, chiro, etc. this was by far one of the more positive results I've experienced in body work! Highly recommended! Great value! Gracious service and support! See you again very soon ;-) Scott
  • Jamie S. Dec 15, 2014
    I saw Dessi after a week working on a film in San Fran that took a toll on my back. I'm a believer in massage therapy and have had some great massage work done. Her approach was the most unique and intuitive I've experienced and the best results I've ever had from a massage. Easily the best massage therapist I've been to. I can't wait to get back to San Fran for another appointment with her.
  • John W. Dec 9, 2014
    After a very successful session with Dessi, I definitely recommend her to anybody dealing with a chronic issue in their body that normal massage or PT has not been able to solve. She combines both a vast amount of knowledge of functional anatomy with amazing skill in figuring out where the issue is and how to resolve it. As a massage therapist myself, I've had work from dozens of people, and I can confidently say that Dessi is by far one of the best. Thank you, Dessi!!
  • Nevena D. Nov 30, 2014
    She's great! Very caring and always follows up and tells you what to do next. She is helping me with my scoliosis and neck problems, and she took me to one of her teachers to hear his opinion as well while taking notes for me. Can't recommend her enough!
  • Roumen G. Nov 20, 2014
    Dessi's individual approach is extremely effective - especially for those of us who have problems with pain. She spends a significant amount of time evaluating the source of the pain (oftentimes beyond the limit of the scheduled appointment), which in turn proves very beneficial during the procedure as she applies diverse suitable techniques in order to resolve the issues. Dessi is very knowledgeable and skillful in her craft and is at the top of my list of massage therapists, so I will definitely continue using her services in the future.

Q&A

What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
Pricing is on my website - always CONSISTENT for 60 minutes and additional increments of an hour.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
The objectives and SYMPTOMS of a client for each session drive the kind of work that we do and the technique we use. Before your session you will receive an email confirmation for your appointment and a reminder 24 hours prior. To approach your body in an informed way, I will ask about background to your injury and symptoms and whether you have had surgeries or broken bones. For clinical work, we spend ~20min before our session discussing HISTORY of INJURIES and medical interventions, as well as ASSESSING MOVEMENT.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have extensive training in ANATOMY, HUMAN MOVEMENT and NEUROLOGY through course work in neuro-kinesiology, active release techniques, human gait and human developmental positions. One of the best teachers is my own body - I use for my own maintenance the same approach my clients experience.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I have always had an interest in the body, through MOVEMENT like dance and through PHYSIOLOGY. I continue to read scientific research on physiology and anatomy. Nature's logic has always fascinated me and I've discovered again and again that the way to the body is through understanding it, not forcing it. As a client on the table, I realized that almost the sky is the limit when it comes to soft tissue techniques. Initially I considered chiropractic school but then decided to stay in the area where most problems and their SOLUTIONS lie - soft tissue.
What types of customers have you worked with?
A lot of CLINICAL cases with a variety of symptoms, from low back and neck pain, to scoliosis, to cerebral palsy. Every adult age group. A great amount of people who simply need to TUNE INTO and RECONNECT with their body.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
Complete clearing of LOW BACK symptoms - 3 sessions of clinical neuro-kinesiology. An Obstacles Race ATHLETE came in unable to lift her leg due to pain at the hip crease. She was unable to run or do bicycle while lying on her back. Within a month and a half, with virtually no training and after 5 sessions, she was in the next 2-day event in Hawaii PAIN-FREE. In the case of SCOLIOSIS the detective work with the body is particularly complex. We resolved the lower curve with 2 sessions, and currently working on the shoulder curve.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Review the provider's website - see if you are comfortable with the APPROACH and the services. Listen to your gut feeling when you enter the massage studio, during and after the session. Did you feel good, left more INFORMED, and are satisfied with the time spent, were your NEEDS addressed? Ask questions.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Ask the professional whether they have addressed a similar situation and, more importantly, whether the SOLUTION was PERMANENT or it regressed. Think through your history of injuries and medical interventions, introduce that background to the practitioner and see if their response is EDUCATED and confident.