Karen A. Brezinka

Karen Brezinka
Assistant Adjunct
Massage Therapy Programs


Special Interests

  • Cancer patients
  • Massage research
  • Self-care for the practitioner and student

I am an instructor in the Massage Therapy Program at Northwestern Health Sciences University, a supervising clinician at the University’s teaching clinics and a nationally certified massage therapist.

I have worked in a variety of settings in the past 20 years as a massage therapist, including working in my own business, in an integrative health care center, in collaboration with doctors of chiropractic and in hotels.

Since 2002, I have worked as a supervising clinician and teaching assistant in the relaxation courses for the Massage Therapy Program. I’ve also practiced as a massage therapist in two studies (headache and integrative low back pain studies) conducted at the Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies at Northwestern.

I have a special interest in using massage therapy to treat clients dealing with cancer. I help teach our cancer and massage courses and supervise students who take this course at Minnesota Oncology on the Abbott Hospital Northwestern campus. The course teaches students to safely and confidently adapt their massage techniques to work with clients with cancer as well as cancer survivors. Current research suggests that massage therapy can help reduce pain, anxiety and nausea in cancer patients.


  • Certificate in Massage Therapy, 1993
  • National Board Cert in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, 1997
  • CPR/AED certification, 2009
  • Bachelor of Arts - University of Minnesota, 1986
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