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Desiree T. Gambill, L.M.T/L.M.B.T

WABA Certified Watsu Practitioner

Ai Chi Instructor/Trainer

My mother was a nurse for many years while living up north (in New Jersey/Delaware/Pennsylvania). When she relocated to Tennessee (shortly after marrying my step father) she decided to attend Massage School and open her own Massage business in Mountain City. At the same time, I moved from Delaware to Colorado. I stayed in Colorado for almost 7 years working in the Business Industry and in Finance.  Consequently, after many years of working with the public I switched gears and decided to pursue a career in bodywork. In 2006 I left Colorado and moved to Tennessee to attend Massage School in Boone, NC. In 2007 I became a Licensed Massage Therapist and began helping my mother run her already established business "Serenity Therapeutic Massage".

I began my career working with more of the special populations such as work with the geriatric community, veterans, and those that were handicap. I also found a true passion for working with expectant moms as well as clients that were larger framed. As an individual who has personally struggled with weight my whole life I found a lot of enjoyment in providing comfort and care to those who were most responsive to the work. I expanded my skills by incorporating Hot Stones as well as Asian Cupping into my approach for deeper work.

My journey to Watsu

Both being advent creatures of the water my mother and I discussed building a pool to incorporate aquatic therapy into her practice in Mountain City. In 2010 we happened to see a video on you tube of Watsu while searching for aquatic bodywork examples and we were immediately hooked. Together my mother and I attended a Continuing Education class in Nashville that was only a 4 hour glimpse of the bodywork. Though it was a short class we knew at that moment this was what we were meant to do.

In 2010 my mother and I attended our first Watsu class in Wilkesboro, NC. It was a 16 hour course (Watsu Basic) followed by another 50 hours (Watsu I Completion). We instantly fell in love with Watsu and saw the incredible potential it had for our area. It was also her enthusiasm and support that guided me to Watsu and has helped encourage me to stay on the path ever since.

Continuing my journey

Due to my father’s health, my mother was unable to continue with the courses and I decided to pursue Watsu on my own. I went on to complete Watsu II in Wilkesboro, NC. In November of 2011 I flew to Florida to train with Watsu Practitioner and Watsu Instructor Minakshi. Minakshi who trained with the founder of Watsu (Harold Dull) continues to travel and teach classes alongside Harold to this day.  It was in Florida where I completed Water Dance I and Watsu III (Free Flow). After completing the remaining prerequisites I received my official Watsu Certification in December of 2011.

Minakshi has continued to be a driving force in my life. She has become an inspiration to me as she has to countless others. It is for that reason I lovingly refer to her as "Our Water Mother".

In 2017, Minakshi's island was hit by Hurricane Irma. She spent the next 2 years with her partner, Jim trying to rebuild from the devastation. In April of 2019, Jim passed from cancer. She is currently taking a break from teaching as she navigates thru a new life. A Go Fund Me page has been created. Please feel free to reach out to me to see how you can help!

Training in Japan

Since becoming a Certified Watsu Practitioner I have continued to take Watsu courses and study abroad. 

I have traveled as far as Okinawa, Japan to train

with Watsu Instructor Totos Ogasawara.

My love and passion for this incredible bodywork has been influenced by the amazing teachers and mentors in my life.

Now offering Watsu Therapy

I now offer Wastu Therapy exclusively at The Wellness Center in Johnson City, Tennessee.

The Wellness Center is located at: 200 Med Tech Parkway, Suite 200.

Call (423)291-1098 for more information.

Licenses and Certifications

It has become my passion to share both Massage and Watsu with as many people as possible.

In March of 2018 I received my license for North Carolina in addition to my Tennessee licensure.

I've been a member of the AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) since 2006 and I am currently CPR Certified.

In 2018, I also became a Certified Ai Chi Instructor

(**see the Ai Chi section for more info**)

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