Neuroscience, Russian Massage, and Remembering Zhenya Kurashova Wine: An Interview With Will Stewart

When Will Stewart, owner of 3-D Optimal Performance, asked to interview me, I was surprised and honored. Will recently began a series of webradio interviews with many of the "heavy hitters" in the field of manual and movement therapies and neuroscience. These are individuals who are bringing an understanding of what neuroscience knows about the brain and applying it to manual and movement therapies. Will has conducted some fascinating interviews with physical therapists, manual therapists, massage therapists, athletic trainers, occupational therapists, and even his piano instructor, all with an interest in understanding how the role of the brain and the central nervous systerm plays a part in their approach to their work.

The interview is lengthy - almost 90 minutes long - but we had a lot of fun. We talked about how I came to be a massage therapist. We explored my evolution as a massage therapist and how I met my Russian Massage teacher, Zhenya Kurashova Wine. We talked about how Russian Massage is very compatible with current pain science and neuroscience. We also discussed the current state of massage therapy and our mutual desire to encourage science literacy, research literacy, and critical thinking skills in our profession.

I was thrilled to have an opportunity to speak not just about my work and my approach, but to honor my teacher. Zhenya passed away this past June after a long illness and it is a great loss to the world of massage therapy.

If you'd like to hear the interview, it's called Russian Massage and Neuroscience: Interview w/Alice Sanvito. I'd also recommend exploring Will's other interviews, checking out his blog, or watcing his videos of workout sessions and "edgework."




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Submitted byWill Stewart (not verified)on Fri, 09/09/2011 - 8:33am

Wow! What a great write up, Alice. The pleasure was all mine with this interview. We did have a ton of fun!

When I first started reading what you had written about Russian Massage, I became very intrigued. The focus and intention with which it is applied is amazing and felt it had been something I was missing in my own massage therapy training. It was a great to sit and learn from you and even better, I applied it the next day with one of my athletes with great results. :)

Thank you for what you are doing with our "profession". As Frost said, "we have many miles to go before we sleep."



Submitted byJess (not verified)on Wed, 03/20/2013 - 3:00pm

Hi you know if anyone is continuing to teach Kurashova ReEd anymore? It's been year since I went through and would love a refresher, but might be outta luck I realize.

Hi Jess,

I'm actually one of Zhenya's sons and I'd be happy to help you get in touch with the person who was left in charge of her classes. I came across this page on a whim, and it's really great to see people remembering her for both the great person she was and the great work she did. E-mail me at and I'll pass on as much information to you as I can.

Submitted byCurious One (not verified)on Sun, 09/15/2013 - 5:55pm

It is sad to hear of her passing (albeit 2 years ago now). Many years ago I tried to work out a way to get a school in Houston to accomodate her for a course. No one that I knew had ever heard of her, and thought I was a bit off my rocker trying to create the space to make it happen. We spoke via e-mail a number of times and I've always wished I had been able to find a way to make it work out.

My condolences to her family and friends.