Dr. Maureen Hughes, PhD, LMT, CTT, CATP
- Certified SomaVeda® Indigenous and Traditional Therapies Practitioner
- Lay-Minister NAIC
- Thai Yoga Instructor and Advanced Practitioner 1200+ hr
- Licensed Massage Therapist 600 hr
- Certified Yoga Instructor 200+ hr
- Reiki Master
- Doctor of Natural Medicine Candidate
- PhD Biology and Biomedical Sciences, Immunology (2003)
Why I Do What I Do
What I offer as a SomaVeda® Thai Yoga and Indigenous Therapist is much more than "just a job". It is a way of life. I love helping people, and have the ability to do so on all levels, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. When I was six years old my family asked me "Maureen, what do you want to be when you grow up?" I simply said, "I want to help people". Never would I have known how that would have manifested, because it required a very necessary 180 turn in my life, thought patterns, and way of being!
After being directed by my family into studying the things I needed to become an MD (because MDs were powerful and well respected), I went the Pre-Med route at Loyola University in Chicago. After realizing that the current medical system (granted this was 1995) is not about being personally connected to the patient, but listening for maybe 5 minutes and suggesting some drugs or surgery for their issues... well, I just knew that there was a better way. I worked hard and received in 2003 a PhD in Biology and Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis in Immunology from Washington University in St. Louis, which was the top school at the time for studying Immunology. Luckily, more and more physicians are also realizing this, and finding that physical hands on medicine, including massage and Reiki, are great adjuncts for those who have chronic illnesses and terminal illnesses such as cancer, and arthritis.
In 2015, I found SomaVeda® Traditional and Indigenous Therapies, which uses a strong emphasis of hands-on-healing in the form of Thai Yoga Therapy (also known as Thai Massage), EFT, and nutritional consultation. It is also blend of many types of Spiritual beliefs, but this is the main premise: We are of the Earth, and so that which is natural and of the Earth will be the best way to heal ourselves.
The foundation of the practice is COMPASSIONate acts of LOVING KINDNESS which lead to VICARIOUS JOY and a SENSE OF BOUNDLESS PEACE. Each year I have been practicing SomaVeda® Thai Yoga (both with clients and my students) I have become more centered, more understanding of the Self, and more knowledgable about humanity, and the human body. I feel better about myself, I feel better about my body, my life, how I spend my time, my relationships, and so much more. I am able to set boundaries with others and manifest the best in life!
It brings me joy to share this with you. I hope that you will join in on the journey.
WE can work together create our own SYSTEM of getting to the root cause of health, and ultimately, healing ourselves and this planet, while we can.
About Dr. Maureen Hughes
Dr. Maureen has been on the path since starting yoga classes in 1999. Much has happened in that time, walking on and off the path, and having the confidence to step away from a more traditional job and in finding what she likes to call "The Soul Self". There is always a reason to change for the better.
After hitting rock bottom personally, finding herself entrenched in the sciences but feeling completely out of integrity, she had the confidence to step into her Soul Purpose in early 2014. She does this by teaching and practicing SomaVeda® Thai Yoga and Integrative Therapies during one-one sessions or workshops, by teaching group yoga classes, and being an overall "Mover of Energy". Her goal to help others connect their mind and body, to help others FEEL again, to become EMBODIED, and finding that joy in life that everyone deserves.
Her background includes a PhD in Immunology from Washington University in St. Louis (2003), studying T-Cell Development. She was a scientific educator and salesperson for over 7 years with two California based biotech companies. Her teaching has embodied a naturally scientific approach. Over 15 years of self-exploration of the ancient principles of the chakras and Eastern Philosophy allows her to also take a psychological and energetic approach to guiding her clients through the practice. She most wants to help anybody interested in gaining balance (on all levels), relieving pain in the body and calamity in the mind, or those wanting to get to know their bodies better so they can live stronger, longer lives. We know that any form of Yoga has been shown to have many benefits, there are too many to mention that are very well established at this time.
Interested in Thai Yoga since 2004 after her first session, in 2013 it was time to take the risk and leave her financially lucrative position in biotechnology sales. After doing so... Dr. Maureen completed her 600-hr Massage Therapy Program at the Healing Arts Center in St. Louis, MO in July of 2015. She also completed a 1200-hr SomaVeda® Thai Yoga and Integrative Therapies Advanced Practitioner and Teacher Certificate program in March 2016. Dr. Maureen is most dedicated to practicing SomaVeda® Traditional and Indigenous Therapies, including SomaVeda ® Thai Yoga, the most effective and integrative form of hands-on-healing on this planet, and Sacred Nutritional Counseling to best serve the clients she encounters with compassionate care under her ministry.
You can learn to do what Dr. Maureen does, as she also offers a 200 hour SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Certification Program (Levels 1-6), allowing her to certify lay-ministerial practitioners as well as licensed massage therapists for National and Florida State continuing education units (NCBTMB CE Approved Provider #451300-10, FSBMT CE Provider #85-1918257). Please click here for more information.
Other information: Dr. Maureen started with an opportunity to teach yoga at St. Louis Community College Forest Park in 2002, and later she graduated her yoga teacher training in 2005 with a 200 hr certificate. Since then she has had thousands of hours of training and teaching. Until 2006, she taught yoga for community colleges, gyms, and hospital wellness programs. After a bit of a hiatus while working in biotechnology, in April 2014 she started teaching again, and has had a few classes running now for nearly 5 years. She has trained with world class instructors Erich Schiffmann, Judith Lasater, Ana Forrest, Tias Little, and the late Mr. Sha (Iyengar's Right Hand Man) in the Iyengar system in Pune, India.
Her life outside of teaching Hatha Yoga and Thai Yoga Therapy includes 9 years of working in research laboratories at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as 7 years in biotechnology sales which involved providing state-of-the-art molecular biology tools to researchers committed to discovery. Being trained as a classical molecular biologist has come in handy in these times of the growing need and use of genetic tests, including PCR based diagnostics (HIV, HPV, HCV, and more) and medical treatments which require the understanding of genetics as well as other applications of genetic engineering (both regarding medicine and our food supply). After a combined 18 years of being in the sciences, Dr. Maureen is available for discussions regarding how genetically modified organisms (GMOs), vaccines, epi-genetics, and how DNA really works.
Northwest Indiana was her home; indeed one of the most polluted places in the US at the time, she was born jaundiced (poor liver function), and grew up with severe asthma, allergies, and many lung infections. After many years of pushing (mentally, physically) through level after level of school, she started taking Aikido to learn some self-defense and have a form of exercise. Then, another friend convinced her to take a yoga class, which became a regular occurrence. The initial goal was to gain flexibility, but it wasn't until she discovered Pranayama (the control of breath) that she was able to breathe for the first time in her life, alleviate her chronic sinus infections, and then build a stronger immune system. She hasn’t taken OTC allergy medication since 2003!
Yoga was her main form of rehabilitation after extensive physical therapy when an untreated car-accident related injury in 2001 brought on a martial arts (aikido) related injury in 2002. She was told by her physical therapist “no more Aikido, but Yoga would be OK”. Rebuilding the core muscles was possible using Yoga poses and exercises, along with a lot of will-power. Little did she expect (at that time) that consistent yoga practice brings numerous other physical health benefits such as strength, agility, grace, endurance, and balance. Yoga also helped decrease her stress levels while a graduate student in the laboratory, helping with acceptance of not being able to control everything in the lab, or in life. Practicing SomaVeda® Thai Yoga has furthered that development as she now has the ability to help others while healing herself... continuing on her path of regaining full health as God intended.
Dr. Maureen cannot do anything halfway. Now she enjoys spending her time with her chosen life partner Dr. Matthew Flory, plotting to take over the world of health helping one person at a time on the mat, and many in yoga classes, dancing when it moves her, painting when the colors are ready to flow, making jewelry for self and loved ones, being a people connector to those who need to be connected, and helping people in all fields build their businesses.