Sea Change Hollistic Wellness Center

Meet The Team

Heather Simonson

Heather Simonson

Founder

LCSW, CST, CSE, ERYT, RPYT, RCYT

Heather Simonson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator and Sex Therapist and was voted as Long Island’s Best Sex Therapist.  Heather’s education and experience in both counseling and health education, combined with her knowledge of integrative therapeutic techniques enable her to employ a truly holistic perspective of healing.  She draws from both eastern and western practices in her powerful work with clients providing individual, couples and family counseling for people of all ages and abilities.

 

Heather helps her clients connect with their personal strengths and utilizes a holistic approach to bring the body, mind, and spirit into balance. Heather specializes in sexual and reproductive health, relationships and intimacy, parenting and pre/postnatal transition issues as well as mood disorders. She is also a Yoga Alliance Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT) receiving both her 200 and 500 level training as well as her 85-hour Children’s Yoga teacher certification from Always-At-Aum. Heather learned that she was pregnant with her son during her YTT which was the best gift she could have asked for. Due to her in-depth experience while pregnant and discovering the power yoga has on wellness during pregnancy, the quality of birthing and ability to parent she subsequently decided to further her work in reproductive health and earned an additional certification in prenatal yoga from the Integral Yoga Center. Birthing her children with the gift of yoga propelled her into making it part of her life’s work to share these tools with expecting parents. Heather then received certifications in fertility yoga and opened The Yoga Womb, a Yoga Alliance approved 85-hour Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, to provide teachers with the confidence and skills to teach both pre/postnatal yoga. Heather’s journey continued as a healer by becoming a Reiki Master and truly making it her mission to empower others to live the life they deserve and to embrace and connect with their bodies and themselves with pride.

Heather has a rich variety of professional experience that rounds out her clinical practice. She is a nationally known trainer and counselor in the areas of sexuality and youth development and the co-author of “EMPOWER NOW!” an innovative holistic workshop and journal article for empowerment in life skills and sexuality for youth. Heather facilitates sexual development and puberty education workshops throughout Long Island and as a parent herself, she is inspired to help other parents talk about these important topics. A nationally-known expert in the field of sexuality education and, Heather has created a comprehensive series of programs and trainings to give parents, as well as educators the skills to bolster their connection and enable them to talk openly and honestly about the tough stuff.

Heather is ready to help anyone that is committed to “sea-ing” change within themselves and finally get the life they have always dreamed of.

Ariane Amsz

DPT, Physical Therapist

Ariane Amsz, PT, DPT, was born and raised in New York City.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College in 1993 and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from New York University in 2004.

Ariane has extensive training and experience in orthopedics, geriatrics, neurology, and women’s health.  Since May 2007, Ariane has taken several courses in myofascial release (the John F. Barnes approach), which has since become her passion. Ariane is an expert myofascial release therapist. She is fluent in French, and German, and is proficient in Spanish and Italian.

Ariane is a National Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA certified), a certified Arvigo Maya Abdominal Therapist, and holds certifications in: Yoga / ISHTA (500 Hour/Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda), Mat Pilates, Reiki (Level II practitioner), and BodyTalk​.

Ariane Amsz Physical Therapist
Melissa Murphy Doula

Melissa Murphy

Melissa Murphy serves as the in-house doula at Sea Change. She trained with Latham Thomas at Mama Glow and looks forward to serving the community through childbirth education, labor, delivery, and postpartum. She believes childbirth should be an empowering experience and strives to assist mothers and partners to create a birth plan that is perfect for them. After giving birth to her daughter guided by midwives she learned how truly magical childbirth can be and hopes to enable more families to have positive birth experiences. Melissa offers free consultations to discuss the birth and postpartum doula offerings and can be reached at:

melissa@seachangehwc.com.

Carisa Montalvo

Carisa began her yoga practice after a back injury in 2009 left her with excruciating pain and little range of motion. Through yoga, she not only was able to heal from her injury but in many other ways as well. At a young age, she was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and has struggled with hormone fluctuations. She took a special interest in fertility and has worked in the lab at Reproductive Specialists of New York. She is a Biology Major and received a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell. Carisa began teaching hot yoga in 2014, she continued her practice and training in the Bikram series, vinyasa, Hatha, Christopher Harrison’s Anti Gravity and also teaches Paddle Board Yoga. She is passionate about healing through yoga and a plant-based lifestyle. Carisa is also a mom to two amazing children Donovan and Leilani.

Carisa Montalvo
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Gianna Zuffante

 

Gianna Zuffante is a 200hr Yoga Instructor. She has been practicing Yoga for over 4 years, specializing in Hatha and Vinyasa for the everyday woman. In her spare time, she is an actor and singer. Gianna is passionate about the Arts and is on the board of directors for Spark Creative Works Inc, giving opportunities to women in theater and entertainment. Gianna will be extending her yoga practice to specialize in pre and post-natal yoga as well as yoga for children and teens.

Gail Janicola 

 

Gail Janicola is affectionately referred to as “The Mommy Mentor”. She has been a pregnancy and birth professional for over 26 years, as an educator, coach, doula, and doula trainer for Long Island Doula Association.


She is the author of The Ultimate Birth Experience – How to Take Control and Choose the Birthing Options That Are Best For You and Your Baby.


Gail is also a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, and the founder of Moms On Top, an education and coaching resource for parents and parents-to-be. She is an expert on building communication and self-advocacy skills for the safest, most transformational, empowered births. Gail lives in New York, on Long Island, with her husband and Baci, her fur baby. She has 3 grown children who are the light of her life.

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Emily Raber

 

Emily began practicing yoga and meditation in late 2005 while going through some anxiety and health issues. Feeling an instant connection with the philosophy of yoga, she implemented a practice into her weekly schedule. Emily began studying Kripalu and Hatha styles of yoga, focusing on the mind-body connection and received her 200hr RYT certification in 2015. She continued with her training, attending a Karma yoga program with the Christina Phipps Foundation in early 2016, gaining a certification to teach patients living with or recovering from breast cancer.
 
As a Master Level Reiki healer, Emily focuses her classes on tuning into individual spiritual energies while connecting the mind and body through movement. In 2019 Emily also gained a certification in Functional Anatomy for Yoga Teachers and is currently working towards her Degree in Physical Therapy.
 
Emily is also currently beginning her journey to gain her 300 hour certification in Kripalu Yoga.

JoAnn LaGreca

Joann is a Certified Yoga Teacher with advanced training in yin yoga and trauma-informed practices. Joann is also a Long Island, NY native and is in recovery for over 6 years. Joann's mission is to empower and support other women to find their voice and spiritual center. She is also a holistic health & life coach and a licensed occupational therapist and uses her knowledge of the relationship between anatomy, physiology, and function to create accessible and purposeful asana practice. Joann's favorite part of teaching yoga is getting to share the sacred tools that have helped her heal and thrive with others and being part of the ripple effect of positive change and transformation.

JoAnn LaGreca
Sea Gypsy

Sea Gypsy

 

It is pretty simple, live in kindness, let your heart guide the way and walk that journey in grace, acceptance, and gratitude. We will all hit some rough waters, you can either panic and drown or respect your fears and doubts and find a way to ride through these waves with clarity and peace toward your own personal bliss. I made some choices that were not always the right ones but through this practice, philosophy and prayer I have been gifted a chance for a healthier and more fulfilling life and I just want to share it with others. I may not be able to change the world but maybe I could change someone else’s.
 
Daughter of a hippie, I have been practicing for almost 3 decades and once my two wonderful free-spirited kids were old enough I took the plunge to become an RYT-200 in 2019 to only find a deeper meaning into this practice beyond the asanas. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing this practice with others ever since.

Kelly Roan

Picture it... August 2005 36 weeks pregnant with my third baby and literally stroking out!
 

Who would have known 14 years later mid HOT FLASH just how screwed I was!! No traditional therapy to help with the crazy imbalance in my hormones! Nothing to help with the sudden and constant temperature changes not to mention the MOOD SWINGS… I was snappy and cranky and just plain miserable… ALL THE TIME. I was more worried about appearing “Normal” than actually learning about what I was going through and how to help myself actually feel "normal". I was the absolute worst version of me and my family was suffering!


I dug my OLD yoga mat out of my closet and walked into a class. It was absolutely amazing how being there on the mat being guided and concentrating on my breath completely calmed me down! I felt like a new person… well just like the person I always hoped I’d be!! I quickly made it a priority to be on my mat at least 3 - 4 a week.
Mentally I was in a good place… hormonal not so much!!!


The hot flashes and sleepless nights were killing me!!! I remember one night after getting into my third pair of pajamas and scouring the internet for some magic natural cure, desperation led me to make a PUBLIC cry for help on FACEBOOK!! I woke up to tons of messages from Mamas just like me either looking for the cure or offering me theirs. The “Hey Buddy… I got ya covered” message from my girl Meg was THE GAME CHANGER!!


Finally, a natural way to help me be me again! Not only was I finding relief, but my family was also too! We noticed our moods were better, we were getting a good night’s sleep and our overall health was improving. Even yoga was different for me, my practice got deeper and I realized that I wanted to share all that I had learned with all those mamas on Facebook, so I enrolled in a Yoga Teacher Training course.


I’ve continued on my journey of self-discovery and wellness earning my RYT- 200 as a yoga teacher, getting certified as a Reiki Practitioner and a holistic healer. I’ve enjoyed it all even the temperature changes thanks to Meg!

Kelly Roan
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Tanya Mashkoor

Social Work MA Intern

Life can be unexpected, and things can be ever-evolving.  What’s a better way to spend your time than to invest in yourself?  The great thing about seeing a therapist is it’s your choice of who will give you support in addressing your needs. 
 
Tanya Mashkoor is an aspiring psychotherapist that received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology & Sociology with honors at Queens College.  She is currently completing her second year of her Masters in Social Work with a Specialization in Families, Youth, and Transition to Adults at Stony Brook University.  Tanya has experience working with individuals and couples to manage their anxiety, stress, impulse control, and depression.   
 
Tanya uses various methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and solution-focused based therapy (SFBT).  SFBT can be an effective way of allowing you to explore what you feel to the best for you.  It’s the tool that allows one to help you explore your path.  The goal is to help you feel comfortable in promoting a healthy mind and thinking.  Let me help you in your path towards healing and wellness.

Teeny Beaudrie

Teeny is a diverse, well-rounded 200-Hr RYS Yoga Instructor with a focus on human anatomy during asana while encouraging instinctual and fluid movement. She draws her inspiration from the traditional teachings of Yoga with a focus on the Buddhist practices of Mindfulness and Meditation. In addition, Teeny incorporates elements from varied movement practices such as Dance, Aerial Arts, Flexibility, and Weight Training.

 

She strives to build and foster community and wellness in her classes by providing a safe space for fun and playfulness through music and movement. Her goals during practice are to encourage mindfulness, reduce anxiety through intentions, and to alleviate pain, and prevent injuries through correct alignment, verbal cues, and spatial bodily awareness. Her areas of specialty are Vinyasa, Prenatal, Geriatric (chair-focused for seniors), Hatha, Restorative, Gentle, and her own creation called YogaDance.

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Ciara Shea

J.D., Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner

Ciara Shea is a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Juris Doctor, the owner of ORA Nutrition & Wellness, and co-host of The Fiercely Holistic Podcast. 
 
As a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Ciara provides a holistic individualized approach to health. She teaches women how to fuel their bodies and shift their habits so they can achieve optimal health from pre-conception to motherhood. 

Jihan Thomas

 

Jihan Thomas has been a consultant and practitioner in the holistic wellness industry for over 25 years. A terrible illness in college coupled with watching one of her best friends pass away from cancer at a young age forced Jihan into rethinking what brings true wellness and purpose-filled living. This started her journey into holistic, positive living incorporating both ancient and modern techniques in nutrition, exercise, mindset, essential oils, and dedicated spiritual practice. Jihan is passionate about helping people reach new levels in all aspects of their overall wellness. She is the founder of the TriHarmony Oilers - a worldwide Crown Diamond network of essential oil and natural product enthusiasts - and Living Fierce Club - an online holistic lifestyle training platform that provides affordable wellness & mindset coaching in a thriving, supportive community.

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Grace DeBiccari

 

Grace DeBiccari is beyond thrilled to join the staff at Sea Change. She is a Reiki Master Practitioner who has a Masters in Speech Pathology. It was in her 17-year practice with her patients that she found overlapping importance in whole-body healing and mindful corrections in the body systems.


She offers both Private and Virtual Reiki Sessions in a safe, supportive space to allow for deep relaxation, peace, inner connection, renewed motivation, and healing. It is her belief that we can choose happiness no matter our external environment by clearing and balancing energy centers throughout the body and creating an environment of equilibrium and strength. Grace is also a seasoned Speech-Language Pathologist and provides training to improve your business skills, parent training, voice and diction techniques, transgender voice therapy and also baby and me language development classes.


In her spare time, Grace lives on her beloved Long Island with her loving husband and 3 precious children who renew her each day.

Linda Pajonas

 

Linda found yoga over twelve years ago after experiencing nagging back pain and headaches for which traditional medicine offered little relief. Soon after she started practicing, she discovered the many benefits of yoga beyond the asana practice. Linda is a 200 RYT, completing her training with Always at Aum in 2018, as well as a Reiki I practitioner, is certified in restorative yoga and currently working on completing her 300-hour training.

 

Linda is grateful for the healing yoga has provided in all aspects of her life and loves to share that with her students. She believes that yoga is for everybody and has a light hearted approach to teaching. Her goal is for all students to feel welcome in class.

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