Karen Senffner, MA, PT

Grew up: I grew up in Joliet, IL and went to school in Evanston and Chicago at Northwestern University and NU Medical School. I lived and worked in Chicago for about 12 years before moving out to California to become the executive director of the Zero Balancing Association in Santa Cruz.

How I came to hospice work: I worked as a Hospice volunteer in high school and found the work very meaningful and rewarding. When I came to Mission Hospice, I was so inspired by the people here. I love the integrity throughout our organization. I feel our employee policies reflect how valued we are to the organization and I feel very supported in giving the best care possible to my patients.

Joined Mission Hospice: September 2015

Mission Hospice in three words: Conscious – Compassionate – Connection

Passions and hobbies: I LOVE being a Girl Scout Troop leader and have had a group of 17 girls for the past 6 years. I love creating opportunities for them to be involved in arts, science, ecology, volunteering, animals, cooking… most recently, we travelled to Genentech Labs to meet with the researchers studying telomeres.

I love teaching and giving Zero Balancing, which is a method of working with the skeletal system through conscious touch to bring balance to a person.

I love hiking, white water rafting and canyoning, traveling with my husband and daughter, and singing in the Unitarian Universalist Choir. I love making art!

Reading: “The Telomere Effect” by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel, “Brain Maker” by David Perlmutter, and “How Not to Die” by Michael Gregor

Desert island albums: The Beatles, The Mamas & The Papas, Paul Simon, Phoebe Snow, Ray Charles, Squeeze, Beach Boys

Little known fact: Last month, while climbing up a waterfall in Costa Rica, I slipped on plant roots, fell backwards dropping five feet, and was hanging upside down on a rope, screaming like a pterodactyl. Getting back on that wall and finishing the climb up was one of the most physically challenging things I have done in my lifetime.

Favorite foods: I love Poke and Sashimi, and am cooking more plant-based meals.

Favorite movie: Harold and Maude

On my bucket list: Traveling to Africa, Australia, Latvia/Slovenia/Croatia, Finland/Sweden/Norway, and Sri Lanka

More about me: I received my Master’s Degree in Holistic Health and am devoted to learning about foods, exercise, body work, breathing techniques, and therapies that enhance life.