Shanti Center LLC
Healing Arts Workspace

About The Practitioner

Mary Burgess:

I bring a dozen years of experience as a doula, childbirth educator, student midwife, and now midwife. While I am one of the newer midwives in the Bellingham birth community, I have served many hundreds of mothers and families in many capacities. It is an incredible joy to participate in the birth of a baby, and an honor to witness the birth of a mother and family.
After receiving my academic training at the Midwives College of Utah, I continue on as faculty and sister circle mentor. Through the years, I apprenticed with many local midwives and teachers from around the world. Now, I offer my own unique blend of modern midwifery practices and ancient midwifery arts, including herbs, essential oils, homeopathy, and the option of an integrated childbirth class. A former audiologist, I also offer high-quality newborn hearing screenings.

I believe in and offer Informed Consent and Shared Decision Making, and truly enjoy witnessing a woman find her voice and step into her power as a mother.
I am thrilled to see you in my new office space in the Shanti Center for Bodywork & Wellness Practitioners, located at 700 DuPont Street, Bellingham. It's a little blue house on the corner of DuPont and C St, bathed in soft ocean breeze, near the downtown post office. Main entrance and Parking is in the rear of the building off C St. Here, I'm surrounded by amazing practitioners of healing work, in a peaceful setting.
I enjoy working with women and families of diverse backgrounds. I strive to provide compassionate, deeply nourishing, and culturally sensitive care. I have special interest in providing midwifery care to Latina women and migrant farm worker mothers and infants. In a program called Para la Madre, I see these mamas in their homes and provide them with written notes about each prenatal visit, so if they move, even suddenly, they have their medical records with them. My hope is that this will improve their overall care experience when they deliver their babies.

A highlight of my care includes my extra supportive postpartum care to help mothering and breastfeeding off to a good start, and enjoy incorporating cultural foods preferences that help build strong, healthy mothers and babies.

Another interest I hold is in the midwifery care and support of mothers who have previously experienced a difficult or distressing birth. I believe that pregnancy, birth and postpartum are portals for our deepest healing and provide opportunities for immense love. It is here that we gather our courage and remember the incredible strength of women. Birth is, by nature, a profound, extra-ordinary experience.

With my whole heart, I believe that midwives can be part of the necessary change toward vibrant, empowered and thriving mothers and babies. Peace on earth really does begin at birth.
My husband and I have raised our family in a little yellow house near Cornwall Park for nearly 20 years.


Melissa Setum:

I have been a holistic esthetician for over 10 years and I believe that healthy skin is achieved not only through the healing properties of clean, whole plant ingredients but also through balancing your body, mind and spirit.

The goal is not perfection, but being in harmony with your skin’s natural process, bringing forward your natural beauty and helping your skin return to a healthy, balanced state. Real beauty comes from a place of loving yourself fully and feeling great in your own skin. This is why I love to combine skin care with energy work, creating radiance from the inside out.

Skin is a living organism and is nourished and regenerated by whole plant ingredients that utilize nature’s intelligence to heal and balance. I believe in using only simple, pure and highly energetic products in my skin treatments, which will bring life and vitality back to your skin. This is not just a facial but a holistic treatment that will truly make your skin and spirit glow!


Elizabeth Ruff:

I believe when play, authenticity and vulnerability are shamelessly valued, our world will heal.

I have long devoted my life to reminding those around me of the healing powers of play and love. Before I focused on yoga and bodywork, I sought to better understand and seek connection with the natural world. To that end, I earned a Bachelors of Science in Natural Resources from Colorado State University and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. I have guided in the mountains of Alaska, massaged in Mexico, taught yoga Internationally and been driven by a deep sense of my personal mantra: I Effortlessly Direct my Playful Light with Wisdom.

In 2003 I completed my first massage and Reiki course at the Gate Key Institute of Mind-Body Therapy. I also completed my first yoga teacher training at Kalani on the Big Island of Hawaii. In Hawaii, I also finished trainings in Polarity Therapy and Thai massage. In the years since I have completed over 500 additional hours of yoga teacher trainings. In 2010 I brought all my previous experience and training to my studies with the SOMA Institute of Neuromuscular Integration. 

Today, I focus on a practice that helps people experience long lasting relief from pain and greater joy in life. I have a bodywork practice, teach yoga, lead seasonal wellness retreats, practice aromatherapy, and am co-founder of the Shanti Center LLC in Bellingham, Washington. Playtime finds me with my 5yr old son, 1yr old daughter and partner outside as much as possible, enjoying all the maritime & mountain beauty the Pacific Northwest has to offer.


Susanna Alongi, LMP

I want to live in a world where we are free to do what the wild calls to us. Where we are seen as our whole selves and given an open arena to play and to create what we love.

Since early childhood I have been drawn to the healing arts. I am proud to be a business owner. My private practice opened in 1999. I am a Licensed Massage Practitioner, Clinical Visceral Therapist, and Holistic Birth Doula.

As a Licensed Massage Practitioner, I work in the expansive, energy moving, field for healing my client's physical and energetic bodies. As a Clinical Visceral Therapist, I have a passion for creating movement, fluidity and to promote healing in abdominal organs, hips, pelvis and spine.

My Holistic Birth doula work challenges me to be diverse, fluid, and awake to the unique journey each family is taking. It is a deep honor to be invited as a trusting witness, support and nurturer of birth.

When I’m not being a business woman and a healer, you can find me enjoying and being wild with my friends and family, practicing yoga and ecstatic dance, relishing in authentic movement and playing in nature.

My latest collaborative dream in action, The Shanti Center a Workspace for Bodyworkers and Wellness Practitioners, opened August 1, 2016! It is a center that models work place rentals for those who want a private practice supported by an authentic community devoted to digging deep to provide the most outstanding service, and invites personal growth for private practice owners. 





Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
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