Essence Ayurveda

Wholeness & Healing, Naturally

Headaches Concussions TMJ  
Back Pain Body Pain

Digestive Issues Chronic Health Conditions

Stress Anxiety 

Coming soon to Alexandria, Virginia

Susan just moved to Alexandria, VA. Online appointments for Ayurveda, yoga therapy, and distance Reiki are now available. In-person appointments will begin as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience. Please get in touch with any questions.

Experience Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy, Tibetan Cranial Therapy, Thai Massage, and Reiki with Susan Bernhardt. These complementary medicine modalities use natural methods to bring balance and wellness to body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Because these healing methods work with the body’s innate ability to heal, they can be beneficial for a wide variety of health conditions and at any stage in the healing process. Susan works with people seeking assistance with many health and wellness concerns, including headaches, migraines, concussions, TMJ dysfunction, back pain and other body pain, digestive issues, chronic health conditions, stress, anxiety, and more. Each of these healing arts can be used on its own, or Susan can integrate them as needed to create a customized plan specific for your needs. 

Susan offers free 15-minute consultations (phone, video, or in-person) to answer any questions and to explore how her services may align with your goals. Call or email for more information or to schedule an appointment, or make an appointment online at Schedule an Appointment.

Ayurveda & Yoga Therapy

Ayurveda is the traditional healing science of India. As a complete, holistic medical system, Ayurveda can be helpful with particular health conditions as well as prevention. With its focus on finding and addressing root causes, Ayurveda aims to truly restore health and not merely relieve symptoms, and can be especially beneficial for chronic conditions and digestive issues. 

Recommendations can be drawn from all facets of Ayurveda and classical yoga, such as diet and nutrition, daily routine and lifestyle, herbal supplements, yoga postures, cleansing practices (pancha karma and shat karma), breathing practices (pranayama), deep relaxation, meditation, yoga nidra, and marma (acupressure) therapy. 

Susan has been an Ayurveda Practitioner and Yoga Therapist since 2012. She is Board-Certified as an Ayurvedic Practitioner by the NAMACB (National Ayurvedic Medical Association Certification Board). She is a C-IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists ("IAYT") and is an RYT-500 with Yoga Alliance. Find out more about Susan's Ayurveda offerings here

If you'd like to watch a brief introduction to Ayurveda that Susan gave at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, click here.

Tibetan Cranial Therapy

Tibetan Cranial® therapy has a rich history that originated in the Himalayan highlands about 3,000 years ago. Tibetan Cranial work is a disciplined technique designed to realign and restore our innate capacity for self-healing. In addition to giving an overall sense of feeling better, Tibetan Cranial work can relieve many conditions, including headaches, migraines, back and neck pain, anxiety, head injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI), brain fog, TMJ dysfunction, stress-related conditions, depression, many nervous-system and neurological issues, and more.

 Tibetan Cranial therapy is not just physical. It integrates body, mind, and spirit, and can have profound effects on all of those aspects of our being. Susan is a Tibetan Cranial Teacher and has been a Practitioner since 2014. Please find out more here


Susan offers Reiki sessions and training. Reiki is an energy or biofield therapy from Japan. Traditionally, Reiki has been viewed as stimulating the recipient’s own natural healing systems and thus can work at the physical, energetic, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. Studies have indicated that it can help with stress, depression, anxiety, pain, and more. During a session, the Reiki practitioner typically uses very gentle touch on the recipient's body, although it also can be done without touch. 

Susan has been a Reiki Master Teacher since 2015. She has studied with three Reiki Masters in three different Reiki lineages. She draws from all of these lineages, as well as from her training and experience in other healing modalities, in her Reiki sessions with individuals and her Reiki training classes. Learn more here.

Thai Massage

Thai Massage is an ancient healing modality with strong roots in Ayurveda and yoga. It uses both pressure and stretching to alleviate back pain and other body pain, tightness in the muscles and other body tissues, and constriction in the flow of energy. Susan's Thai Massages are informed by her experience with Ayurveda, Yoga, Marma (Ayurvedic acupressure), and Reiki, resulting in a session that is customized to be therapeutic as well as relaxing. 

Susan has been providing Thai Massage since 2013. She is a graduate of the Denver Integrative Massage School and has undertaken additional study of Thai Massage at the Thai Institute of Healing Arts. You can learn more about Thai Massage here.

Wholeness & Healing, Naturally

The healing modalities that Susan offers all share in common recognizing each person as unique and viewing the whole of each person - body, mind, and spirit. Each modality also employs natural methods that work with and take advantage of the body's innate healing abilities. As a result, these practices all aim at truly restoring health and not merely relieving symptoms.  

Together, the healing arts that Susan practices allow her to offer holistic health and healing options for a wide range of goals. Susan has worked with people wanting assistance with digestion, anxiety, depression, stress, musculoskeletal and joint pain, chronic pain, low energy, management of chronic conditions such as autoimmune diseases and diabetes, migraines, headaches, concussions and other head injuries, insomnia, asthma, allergies, menstrual cycle issues, and many other conditions. With a broad range of tools at her disposal, Susan can tailor recommendations so that they are appropriate and workable for a particular person's circumstances.

Call or email for more information or to schedule an appointment, or make an appointment online at Schedule an Appointment.


Essence Ayurveda on Facebook
NAMA Board Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner

Cover photo by Susan Bernhardt