The word somatic derives from the Greek word somatikos meaning "of the body." Ellen Heed defines herself as a Somatic Educator and healer, drawing from many disciplines to bring awareness, integration, and resolution to those seeking relief from the pain of immediate or past traumatic experiences. According to Ellen, the healer's contract doesn't end with the mere cessation of pain, but continues all the way into the full realization of human ecstatic potential and radiant health.

Ellen started dancing at the age of four and followed a fascination with movement, energy and structure into the present. She studied dance at California Institute of the Arts and performed, toured and taught dance throughout California with modern dance company Rodeo Ex Machina from 1979-1985.

While a student at CalArts Ellen was introduced to the teachings of Tibetan Buddhist mediation master Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. She was profoundly influenced by the integration of mindfulness, meditation, and art embodied by his teachings. Ellen has incorporated this meditative awareness into her own teaching style.

To heal knee and back pain, she began the study of yoga in 1994 with Ana Forrest. She completed Ana's Teacher Training in 1997, and repeated it in 1999. The study of yoga reconnected Ellen with her original reasons to dance, which gave her immediate personal access to ecstatic states. She appreciates Ana's profound understanding of human structure and asana sequencing, and has great respect for Ana's relentless dedication to healing as an art.

Concurrent with her study of yoga, Ellen became certified as a Shiatsu Specialist in 2000, which led to a profound study of functional anatomy and transformational bodywork with Dr. Vincent Medici, DC ND CMT. Ellen's apprenticeship with Dr. Medici proved to her that bodywork under particular circumstances is a unique catalyst for human potentiation, precipitating lasting changes in the human nervous system.

Receiving deep bodywork combined with the practice of yoga created profound changes in Ellen's own felt experience, as her capacity for moving energy through her meridians became tangible and palpable. As the process continues, she finds that it is pleasurable to feel the subtlest of body sensations, down to the microns-wide bandwidth of her own cranial rhythms

In 2002, Ellen began training in Visionary Cranialsacral Work with Hugh Milne, and is currently in the process of completing her certification at the Milne Institute. The permission for intuitive development provided by Hugh's approach, combined with rigorous anatomical instruction has been hugely inspiring in Ellen's private practice as a Craniosacral therapist.

Ellen initiated the Women's Sacred Anatomy Project in January 2006, with the intention of starting a fresh sexual revolution for the 21st Century. The first phase of the Project was created to focus on the primacy of female sexual experience by teaching detailed female sexual anatomy exclusively to women. During the second phase of the Project, Ellen joins her partner Bob Niemerow to teach couples the basics of sensual communication.

In 2007 Ellen completed certification by the State of California as a Sexological Bodyworker. She is aware that inadequate sex education results in a lack of confidence about the basics of safer sex practices, responsible touch, and effective communication skills about sexual boundaries. In her private practice she seeks to educate both men and women about the full extent of their erotic possibilities.

Ellen currently teaches Craniosacral Therapy at the Shiatsu Massage School of California in Santa Monica. She travels internationally to teach workshops about human anatomy, energetic potential, and sexual empowerment. She teaches Functional Anatomy for Yoga Teachers locally in LA, and worldwide for the Forrest Yoga Foundation Teacher Training. She enjoys her thriving private practice as a holistic life-style consultant. Services include bodywork, Craniosacral therapy, sex education, nutritional consultation, and yoga coaching. Ellen lives with her partner Bob and their two cats in Los Angeles.