Monday, July 15, 2024

Ten Questions with John Ludwig, Massage Therapist

John B. Ludwig, LMT/CMT (Photo: John Ludwig)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — “Ten Questions with” is a series that allows readers to get to know local business leaders, volunteers and community members in the Historic Triangle.

This week, meet John Ludwig.

What is your job title and description?
I’m a licensed massage therapist. Working in my home-based studio in Windsor Forest, I use various modalities of bodywork to help people deal with pain, recover from injuries, prepare for or recover from surgery and generally have a better quality of life day-to-day.
I specialize in John Barnes Myofascial Release (JFB-MFR), which focuses on the fascia/connective tissues of the body to create better mobility without pain. I also use various forms of energy work, such as reiki, when needed.
Or, in other words, I help people who are in physical pain feel better!
Who do you interact/work with regularly?
My clients are aged four to 88, plus horses. My human clients include military personnel, law enforcement officers, athletes, farmers, retirees, and anyone else who’s looking to feel better. I’m also part of the VA Community Care Network, which means I provide care to military veterans in the VA hospital system.
Now, with horses, they don’t come to my studio — I go to them! I’m trained to work on horses just as I do on people — from miniature ponies up to a 2,200-pound competitive hunter-jumper. Since horses are so big, I’m more likely to use an elbow than a thumb, in case they lean in when I hit a good spot.
How do you interact with the local community?
I host a monthly shamanic journey drum circle at the James City County Library. I first discovered shamanic journeying as a healing method years ago, when I had a couple of clients who relived past life experiences while I was working on them. I wanted more ways to be able to help them, which is why I started studying with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies.
Today, I find shamanic healing is a helpful adjunct to the bodywork I do. And, I’m passionate about teaching basic shamanic journeying methods to our local community. That’s why I’ve been leading this monthly circle since 2018.
I’ve also been mentoring other local bodyworkers for years — another way I get to express my love of teaching.
What is something about your job most people wouldn’t know about?
I was always the kid in high school that everyone would ask, “Would you rub my shoulders?” Apparently, I was good at it! Later, as a U.S. Marine stationed in Okinawa, Japan, I would use massage to help myself and martial arts training partners recover faster from intense workouts and injuries. People often think of massage as something for relaxation, and that’s great. But for me, the focus has always been therapeutic recovery and pain relief. Even when I was working as a massage therapist at a fancy spa in northern California wine country a few years back, I was the one who got called in if clients arrived in pain or with complex medical issues.
How do you define success? What is your most successful accomplishment to date?
I’m very proud of having helped someone with multiple sclerosis to have, in their words, “more better days, that last longer, more often.” I’ve heard similar feedback from my clients with fibromyalgia and Lyme disease.
It means so much to me to have been able to have such a positive impact on someone’s day-to-day living.
How long have you lived/worked in the Historic Triangle?
My wife and I moved to Williamsburg in 2017 for her career, and we’ve been here ever since.
What is your favorite part of being in the Historic Triangle?
Definitely not the mosquitos or gophers who invaded my front yard last year! But seriously, I really enjoy the beauty of the area, with eagles and osprey flying overhead and deer wandering through the backyard. My neighbors are lovely, and I enjoy walking my dog through my beautiful neighborhood every evening.
What do you do for downtime/to relax?
I enjoy volunteering with CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and as a Ham Radio operator with WAARC, the Williamsburg Area Amateur Radio Club (my call sign is K9JBL). I’ve also studied Japanese tea ceremony ever since I lived in Okinawa in the 1990s, and ikebana (flower arranging) ever since I was a teaching assistant at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana’s Japan House. I’ve always appreciated how those gentler arts complemented my study of karate and Japanese swordsmanship.
What is the next step in your journey?
Recently I’ve been connecting with mental health practitioners in the local community to support their clients as a trauma-informed bodyworker. There’s so much trauma in the world, and it means a lot to me that I can help my clients heal.
To learn more about Ludwig and his practice visit

Do you want to learn more about your community and the people who live and work in the Historic Triangle? We are looking for people with interesting jobs, super volunteers, or community leaders to showcase. Reach out to let us know if you (or someone you know) would like to be considered for Ten Questions.

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