Stephanie Whittier has been perfecting her self-styled ‘Integrative Bodywork’ for about 20 years now. Her focus on cellular memory and continuum movement for pain relief is essential therapy for her celebrity clients like Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode and legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz. Her unique productt spheres – short for tranquility spheres – are a direct extension of her healing work, reminding your body to breathe while you self-massage.
How do you describe your work? “Basically it combines 12 or 13 different styles of massage with an emphasis on body movement called continuum. I incorporate anything from Swedish to craniosacral therapy with continuing movement. I will move a person’s body into a position in a way I think will open them up, which is also how the t-spheres work.”
What three adjectives best describe you? “(laughs) It’s hard for me to talk about myself which is why I created a product. Innovative. Wow…I’m a little silly and I guess caring.”
Cats, dogs, birds … describe your pets? “I have two cats because I’m too lazy to walk dogs. One of them is a beautifully long haired maine coon – Ponette – who is a princess, very precious and the other one was abandoned. He’s all white. He’s a scaredy cat because he was beaten and left in a box. He’s called smudgy because he has two little grey smudges on his tail.”
Favorite season? “Fall.”
Name a city you’d love to visit. Why? “Toronto because it’s close enough and they say Canadian cities have a little bit of American and European Flair.”
What’s the best thing about being single? “Oh freedom. I have all the time in the world to put into my company and not feel guilty because I have to take care of my children or a husband. I have such respect for women who do it all. For me it would be the freedom.”
Describe your ideal “Girls’ Night Out.” “Tequila bar. There’s one in particular in New York and great conversation, people watching. Dancing would be great but unfortunately I don’t know of any place in New York that I would want to go to.”
What’s the nicest thing a friend (or friends) have done for you? “When my mother passed away, I had a whole month of having to travel back and forth to different services. My friends all got together and made sure my apartment was taken care of, beyond the point I even take care of it. One particular friend made sure it was clean and the laundry was taken care and the cats were taken care of. They also left little notes in my suitcase.”
What do you do for “Stephanie” time? “I love relaxing, if it’s not going to the beach or the park. I love people watching. I like wine bars and tequila bars. I do stretching and yoga and I like going to a friend’s house in the country and take long walks in the woods. Movies. I used to be an avid reader but now I spend so much time doing research on the computer that I would rather get outside. Living in the east village, I don’t own a TV. Sometimes I will just go out and people watch. I’m not a fancy girl. I like to go opposite of the crowd.”
What quality do you admire most in a man? “Good Sense of humor.”
What quality do you admire most in a woman? “Loyalty.”
Who are your real life heroes? “Do I only get one? The first one is my sister. She’s the one who helped me not be such a southern girl, and such a push over, and always think I have to be nice. She’s a genuine heart and creative and I would have never made it through life without her. There is my dear friend Gisela, who always supports me when things are going hard. There is my dear friend Eric Gast who is a world renowned music producer, who founded FM World Charities and he saw something in me and put me on his advisory board. He continues to amaze me with his vision and his complete and utter craziness and changing the way the world thinks.
What is your guilty pleasure? “It would probably be that tequila I keep talking about. Tequila and men.”
What is your biggest fear? “Success. Huge success. I’m not a fancy girl. I’ve lead a very simple life. I know from taking care of very successful people, everyone from Annie Leibovtiz to John Cusack and seeing what it takes to give up so much of themselves to give back to the world in the way they do.. There is no such thing as an overnight success and once you get there, it’s so hard to hold on.”
If you could change one thing in your past, what would it be? “Going to business school, I would have gone to business school. I wouldn’t have gone to nursing school like my mom and dad wanted me to. I would’ve gone to business school.”
Other than your own talents, what talent would you most like to have? “To be able to play a musical instrument. I can carry a tune. I did some acting and commercial modeling but in particular, I’d like to play a violin or the guitar, a string instrument.”
What is your motto? Or what words do you live by? “Ah, do I even have a motto? Be yourself at all costs. Not that I’ve always lived by that but as I get older, being myself is the best thing, not trying to be other than you are is very rewarding.”
t spheres are available online and in select retailers including Exhale Spas as of June 21st, 2010. CLICK HERE for more info.