Thu, Apr 17, 2014



Meet Our Therapists

Meet Our Therapists

Jan Shaw, M.S., LMT

bi-1-janJan is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist specializing in John Barnes' Myofascial Release Therapy with Neuromuscular Therapy and Swedish massage techniques. She graduated from the South Carolina Massage Institute in 1999 and holds a Master of Science degree in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina. Jan has been an instructor of biomechanics at the South Carolina Massage Institute and has over 20 years experience in preventive and rehabilitative healthcare in both hospital and outpatient settings with emphasis in back injury rehabilitation.

Jan is the founder and co-owner of The Balance Institute.
SC License # 1935
Cell Phone: (803) 360-7895
Hours: M - Th, 9:00 am - 7:00 pm, Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, by appointment
Specialties: John Barnes' Myofascial Release Therapy

   Member: American Massage Therapy Association, American College of Lifestyle Medicine, American Society of Exercise Physiologists


Debra Gallup, LMT

Debra Gallup LMTDebra is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist with over 10 years experience in pre-natal, post partum and infant massage, reflexology, neuromuscular, Swedish, and hot stone techniques. Debra graduated from the Southeastern School of Neuromuscular and Massage Therapy and holds offices in the American Massage Therapy Association, the West Metro Chamber of Commerce, and the Columbia Rotary Club. In addition, Debra has instructed students for 12 years in Massage Therapy and Practice, Business, Ethics, and Functional Anatomy at the Southeastern School of Neuromuscular Massage.

Debra is a co-owner of The Balance Institute.
SC License # 1902
Cell phone: (803) 318-1664
Hours: M - F, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm  by appointment
Specialties: Neuromuscular Therapy
Pre-natal (pregnancy) massage
Post-partum massage
Infant massage
Hot Stone therapy
Swedish massage


Liana Marconyak, LMT, NSCA-CPT

Liana has practiced as a nationally certified, licensed massage therapist and certified personal trainer in South Florida since 2007 and moved to the midlands in 2012. She brings to The Balance Institute a strong background in therapeutic massage and weight loss programs for general public, perinatal women - pre-natal, post-partum, and infant massage. Her massage training includes Pre/Post natal & Infant massage from the International Association of Infant Massage, stretching, neuromuscular massage (Judy Delany method), Myofascial (Myofascial Treatment Center), Swedish, deep tissue, reflexology, aromatherapy, Bamboo heat rods, Graston, and Kinesio Taping techniques. Liana earned her Bachelors degree from the University of Central Florida and her massage therapy diploma from the American Institute of Massage Therapy. Liana is also a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, specializing in perinatal personal training through the Belly-n-Kicks program.

Liana is a co-owner of The Balance Institute.
SC License # 8270
Business name: Perinatal Fitness Therapy & LMT.CPT
Business Contact: (803) 386-7261
Hours: M-F 7am-7pm, Saturday 7am-1pm by appointment.
Specialties: Neuromuscular Massage
Pre/post Natal massage
Infant massage 

      Member: American Massage Therapy Association, International Association in Infant Massage, National Strength and Conditioning Association

Quips & Quotes

It's part of my health plan

I consider my regular massage a significant part of my health plan. --JD

You Need Downtime

Massage/bodywork therapies give you much needed "down-time", an opportunity to re-connect with yourself, who you are, where you've been, and where you're going.

Liana Helps with Pregnancy

“I signed up with Liana because I wanted to build muscle and stay in shape while staying safe for my baby. She's great to work with, and focuses on keeping me safe and hydrated while working on exercises that will help me (1) avoid strain or injury from the weight of the baby during later pregnancy, (2) hopefully have an easier delivery, and (3) get back into shape after delivery.”



Jan works with couch potatoes

"Jan Shaw, the personal trainer, is phenomenal at working with "couch potatos" like me who want to be more active, and people with just about any physical problems. She's wonderfully motivational without being at all like a drill sargeant..." BD.

Begin with a Swedish Massage

If you are a first-time client of massage/bodywork therapy, we suggest you begin with Swedish massage to experience the relaxing and safe benefits of massage treatment.  Swedish massage can lower blood pressure, improve blood and lymph flow, improve skin tone and appearance and—in our Center—has even caused weight loss.

The Balance Institute keeps you motivated

I was 62, diabetic, overweight, and with high blood pressure. As a former coach, myself, I wasn't sure I could find a trainer I was comfortable with and accepting of where I was. Jan understood my situation, was respectful and compassionate.  I've lowered my blood pressure, insuline dependence, and weight, and I'm sticking with it!    -LH

Getting Started- Your Weight

If you're starting a weight loss effort, do it sensibly. Increase your activity by 20% over what you're currently doing, and eat only the amount of food at each meal that you could fit in your cupped hands.

Impressive Knowledge

"I was truly impressed with how knowledgeable my massage therapist, Liana, was. She provided answers to an ongoing issue that my doctors have not been able to explain. I look forward to my next visit!"


Liana is Amazing!

“Liana was amazing! As a hair stylist I experience a great amount of upper body pain, she really worked my muscles and gave me relief. I can now lift my arms with no tears I would recommend her to anyone. I will definitely be back to maintain therapy.”

A. B.


Getting Started- Keep Going

So what if you fall off the wagon? If you forgot to brush your teeth yesterday, would you think you're a terrible person and never brush again? No! If you get off of your healthy routine, just get right back on it. Success is the culmination of repeated small successes.

A myofascial release therapy is...

Myofascial release therapy is a slow stretching of the body's most proliforative tissue. It works great for chronic pain and problems moving. When you can't get enough stretch by stretching your muscles, try myofascial release therapy. It also treats plantar fasciitis without exercise or lasers.

Health Issues: Muscle-Bound

Is it healthy to be muscle-bound? Not really. Muscle-bound people tend to have thick hearts, get short of breath with endurance activities, and have problems with range of motion in their joints. Overall health is better with a healthy balance of aerobic or cardiovascular activity and moderate strength training that works all muscle parts and allows the body to be flexible.

Loosing Power

"The less capable the body, the more narrow the world." Jan Shaw

Good people

The staff don't boast themselves. They provide great treatments and that speaks for itself. They're professional orgainization members, board members, and community activists. You won't hear them cuss, gossip, or put anybody down. I'm comfortable here. --JS

From 1 mph to hiking overseas

I'm a middle-aged woman and not athletic. A lot of trainers cater to younger and more able clients and roll their eyes when someone like me pops through the door. Not Jan. I can honestly say that I never dread going to my workouts. I started on the treadmill at 1 mph. In under six months she had me in shape to take a long-planned hiking trip overseas.--AK

My goals were to get motivated

My goals were to get motivated to start running again and work on my shoulder that was dislocated a few years ago. I've only been training with Jan a month but am already running several times a week on my own, and we're working on the shoulder with exercises I never thought of. Thank goodness she did the testing at the start of my program. It proved how high my blood pressure can get when I don't take my medicine regularly!


Getting Started- Exercise

How much exercise is enough for you to get and stay healthy? This varies by person. Start by checking with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to exercise. Then choose an activity that you like. Move intensely enough to get winded but still be able to carry on a conversation. Do this for 20 - 30 minutes most days of the week. Or, do this for ten minutes several times a day, most days of the week. This is a good and easy start to good health.

I had a terrible ankle break

I intended to go to The Balance Institute temporarily for just a couple of months after finishing my rehab for a badly broken ankle. I was looking for a trainer with credentials, experience, and a little older. I'm long past my planned two months and am amazed at what I can do with this ankle!  --AK

Therapy for Painful Conditions

Try massage/bodywork therapy for painful conditions such as shoulder tension, neck tension, muscle aches, joint tightness, back pain, knee pain, and foot pain.

Chronic back pain gone with myofascial release therapy

My back ached all the time. I have ankylosing spondolosis so I don't move well. Jan used the myofascial release therapy on my back. It took a while of sessions but I can feel warmth in my back again, that constant achiness is gone, I can move much better, and it's lasting. I recently travelled out of the country and never felt the first back ache.  -TO

Health Issues: Weights or Cardio?

Which is better? Heavy weights or cardiovascular workouts? From my trainer's perspective, I would choose cardio. Both heavy weights and cardio workouts cut fat, lower blood pressure and improve blood work; but heavy weights usually require close attention to protein intake, supplements and lots of time in the gym. In addition, heavy weights create thick hearts that are unhealthy and pump small amounts of blood per heartbeat. Cardio workouts produce more overall benefits and can be done anywhere. They build healthy and strong hearts that expand and pump more blood with each heartbeat.