Pam Christenson outside Synergy Massage at 125 West 72nd Street

By Claudie Benjamin


When Massage Therapist Pam Christenson talks about the purpose and value of massage she says it ranges from providing specific pain relief, focusing on preventive care and creating a stress-free space for 60-90 minutes of self-care.

Most clients, she says, initially come to Synergy Massage at 125 West 72nd Street with a particular problem related to chronic pain or recovery from an injury. Treatment very often reveals related or completely different issues that have been long neglected.

Reflections from one loyal client highlight the enormous impact, a skillful experienced massage therapist like Pam has on her clients’ sense of well-being and general health. Laura Garner is an athlete who came to Pam with a hip and back issue.  She played Division I tennis in college and now enjoys cycling and running.  She walks everywhere.

Laura says. “Pam understands how everything in the body is connected and therefore can work therapeutically on the source and the area of pain via deep tissue massage.  She also suggests stretches to do at home to help and to prevent the pain issues.”

“Pam has helped me through back, hip, shoulder and neck pain as well as recoveries from two hip and two foot surgeries. She is also a very positive person.” Pam’s open, friendliness is a key asset in how she interacts with her clients. She knows a lot about communication, not only from twelve years in practice as a NY Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), but from an earlier period as a waitress, bartender and performer. Pam has a BFA in Theatre from the University of MN-Duluth, as well as an associate’s degree in Vocal Performance from Music Tech in MN; she was a professional actor and dancer for 10 years before changing careers. She graduated from NYC’s own Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences with an Associates of Occupational Studies.

Clinical Psychologist Talya Kook, says she has been committed to the value of massage for a long time, but it was only after finishing graduate school and becoming professionally active that she could afford a highly experienced massage therapist.  Having regular massages at Synergy has become an essential part of her self-care commitment.

Describing herself as “a West Side girl, Ellie Karanauskas, who lives at 86th Street and Riverside, has been going to Pam for massage once a month for ten years and greatly appreciates the benefits she’s received.”  Ellie says it’s for “general self-care,” but when there’s a problem, Pam addresses it.”

Initially, Pam planned for a career as a performer, but during the period when she was pursuing that goal while waitressing at the Hi-Life Bar & Grill, a turning point came that related to a friend who got a part on Broadway. “When the show closed, she was back to auditioning again.  There’s no other profession where hard work and determination are so uncertain of paying off,” she says. From Minneapolis, MN, Pam has the Mid-Western conviction that hard work absolutely should pay off.  As a consequence, she committed to changing professional direction and to become the best massage therapist she could be. She’s also had the enthusiastic support of her longtime boyfriend, S. Craig Zahler, a writer and director who signs every email as her: “#1 Pam fan.”

Because massage therapy is so physically demanding, she limits the number of hours she treats clients to 22 hours each week.  In order to serve more clients, she expanded her private practice (Pam Christenson Massage) to a small group practice; Synergy Massage Therapy in 2014 and selectively hires and trains other LMTs to be a part of the team. Some have moved on to create successful private practices of their own.

Currently, Synergy has a team of three LMTs available to provide both Western and Eastern styles of massage therapy. All appointments may be made online by clicking on the ‘schedule appointment’ button on their website:

Share This