Marcophiles: Couple’s daughter helps celebrities, from heroines to horses

CHRIS CURLE
The horse seems to be trying to tell Shiatsu massage expert Karen Gardner, "Neigh, a little to the left please." Daughter of Islanders Dave and Anne Gardner, Karen helps human and equine celebrities, in Florida and New England. Submitetd

The horse seems to be trying to tell Shiatsu massage expert Karen Gardner, "Neigh, a little to the left please." Daughter of Islanders Dave and Anne Gardner, Karen helps human and equine celebrities, in Florida and New England. Submitetd

Karen Gardner’s clients seem to love the services she provides to them, from A-list show biz celebrities to some of the most beautiful, rarest creatures among us.

Karen, whose parents, David and Anne Gardner, are long-time Marco Islanders, could fill a hard drive with her credentials, her, experience and the variety of things she does well. Where to start?

Karen is a Shiatsu massage therapist with a following including these talented performers:

n Oscar winning actress Marisa Tomei: “Karen’s work on me was healing and rejuvenating. She balanced me and helped me through some rigorous performances.”

n Misa Kuranaga, principal dancer, Boston Ballet: “I receive Shiatsu Therapy from Karen Gardner on a regular basis. It is the only body work therapy I prefer as it helps balance my body mind spirit. It is extremely beneficial to my daily and performance life.”

“I’m a licensed massage therapist for almost 20 years,” Karen notes, with clients including dancers at the Boston Conservatory, the Boston Ballet. Karen was a student there and now also is a professional singer, a contralto soloist in the King’s Chapel Choir.

Special horses also are among her prominent clients for Shiatsu massage.

“I’m an equine sports massage specialist, trained in doing that. I worked with Boston Police horses.”

Then she got interested in the Lipizzan stallions, those fabled white horses of history, which are stabled at a facility in Myakka City, FL in Manatee County.

“They are the dancers of the horse world. I use my special massage techniques on them, in Florida and when they tour New England in the summer.

We asked Karen about the major difference between handling huge horses and big time human dancers.

“When you think about it, horses are the biggest athletes. If they get tight muscles, they can pull a tendon or get a ligament problem, due to over tightening. So I can find those problems, fix their gait, help them feel better and not injure themselves, just like people.”

Can they tell you, their human, where it hurts?

“They kind of do. I watch and see where the muscles are tight or where something hurts and I work on it. Sometimes they’ll kind of move my hand like, ‘It’s a little over there’, or they’ll press into a spot if it feels good and push me up against the wall. Sometimes they’ll let me know if it hurts by swishing their tail like ‘let up a little bit’. If they really hate something, they’ll try to bite or kick. It doesn’t always feel good to them. But they tolerate a lot because they know you are trying to help them.”

For more information on the great Lipizzan stallions, visit www.hlipizzans.com.

And thanks to Dave and Anne Gardner for letting us “introduce” their talented daughter to more Marco Islanders.

Successful author Tom Williams is one of six authors with ties to Marco Island, appearing today, Tuesday, at the Sunshine Booksellers on South Collier. Chris Curle / Eagle Correspondent

Successful author Tom Williams is one of six authors with ties to Marco Island, appearing today, Tuesday, at the Sunshine Booksellers on South Collier. Chris Curle / Eagle Correspondent

Straight from the authors’ mouths, so to speak

If you’re reading this on Tuesday the 24th, you may want to hurry on over to Sunshine Booksellers at 77 South Collier Boulevard for the Florida Authors Event.

Six authors from around here will be in the store starting and 1 p.m. They are Karen Dowling, Fatima Heath, Christine Lemmon, Fred Lichtenberg, Scott Shook and Tom Williams.

The scribes will be available for one-on-one chat and will have their books available for purchase, autographed if you like.

The event is open to the public and free of charge.

“Sunshine believes in supporting its local authors, who sometimes struggle to get published,” says the Sunshine store manager, Joan Krzykowski.

Can you match the following book titles with their authors, listed above, who will be at the meet and greet?

“Sand in My Eyes,” “Massilon Memories,” “Lost and Found,” “Hunter’s World,” “One in Spirit” and “Mango Island.”

Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail chris@chriscurle.com.

Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: don@donfarmer.com.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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