Irene began her journey as a massage therapist in 1974, certified from the the Los Angeles School of Massage. She is a member of the International Massage Association, Hospice Volunteer Association and the San Francisco Bay Area End of Life Coalition.
In 2001, Irene founded and currently directs Everflowing, an educational outreach program dedicated to teaching mindful touching, as an integral component to end of life care. Having introduced massage into hospice care on the West coast in 1982, Irene has worked with hundreds of persons in hospital, home, hospice, and skilled nursing environments.
As Director of the internationally acclaimed non-profit organization Service Through Touch (1982-1999), Irene established massage projects for persons with HIV/AIDS worldwide.
A respected author and educator, Irene teaches health care providers, and body workers tactile support skills for caring for ill and dying persons, and creates resource materials utilized by institutions worldwide.
Her written contributions include Providing Massage in Hospice Care, Touch Awareness In Caregiving, The Emotional Impact Of Working With The Dying, chapter four in Psycho immunity and the Healing Process by Jason Serinus and chapter nine in Aids The Ultimate Challenge by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross MD.
Irene’s work has been honored by the somatic and health care communities as an outstanding contribution to community well being. Irene’s awards for community service include For Those Who Care by KRON TV; Eight Who Matter awarded by the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals; two Cable Car awards for providing massage volunteers to hospitals for persons with Aids; and she was the first National AIDS Memorial Grove’s inductee for AIDS service.
Irene continues to hold a private massage practice in end of life care; she is on the faculty of The McKinnon Body Therapy Center in Oakland, California; teaches touch skills to volunteers for several San Francisco Bay Area hospice organizations, and consults in the development and implementation of hospice massage programs.
As a West Coast assistant for over 10 years to her teacher, the late pioneering thanatologist, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, Irene brings remarkable depth, wisdom, and therapeutic presence to her work.
Visit Irene’s website: http://www.everflowing.org/irenesmithbio.html