Author: Brian Keene

I am a Licensed Massage Therapist and Ace Certified Personal Training living and working in Denver, Colorado. I have worked with athletes of all levels in sport and recreation, at events and in-office, and have built SMART Bodywork® Fitness and Massage to be the place to go to feel better, faster! I believe that movement is medicine and if you need to know three key words to feel better, here they are: 1. movement 2. pressure 3. breath.

Top Tips For Forward Focused Daily Healthy Living


  1. Drink water.
  2. Eat your veggies, proteins and healthy fats.
  3. Minimize sweets, soda and alcohol intake. Soda water with lime is a great bar trick!
  4. Workout two 30 – 60 minute sessions per week.
  5. Try to walk or move for 20 – 60 minutes daily.
  6. Maintain a consistent sleep cycle.
  7. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth three times.
  8. Then, Close your eyes and perform the task again.
  9. Then, press firmly upward into your forehead hairline with your finger tips.
  10. Perform the task a couple more times like this, thinking through your goals for the day.
  11. Make breathing practice a DAILY priority!
  12. At the end of a work shift, make a little time to workout or move – even watching Tv or social media is fine. Don’t let “muscle atrophy” be mistaken for “tired”. One day or four days between a really good gym workout isn’t unusual, but 2 weeks is too long for everyone. Muscle atrophy can create compensation aches and pains complicating injury recovery, especially when dealing with workers comp situations.

Strength Training For Reducing Injury Providing Longevity In Sport

Strength Training Education for Longevity In Activity

Sport Longevity is essentially how long you can participate in a sport or activity you love. So many clients ask after a bodywork session,”How do I feel?” – What a Licensed Massage Therapist & ACE CPT will hear is: “What did you notice in my musculature that I could work on in my everyday life?”

1. Strength Training Is Great For Reducing Compensation Patterns and Reducing Injury Risk! Try strength training focused in the non-dominant movements. Start with this during your training program to increase your success rate. Also, in modifying your workout to support non-dominant movements and being more Full Body, you’ll likely be helping to alleviate some potential overuse injuries from your ‘daily grind’ of activities. This is huge when you consider how injuries tend to take longer in healing when there is less “connectivity” and “foundational strength” in the area of pain.

2. It Is Very Important To Strength Train For functionality and foundation! If you don’t have a foundation for stepping, walking, bending and reaching that is healthy, strong and safe, your movement (i.e. function) based on strength may create compensation pain points in the body and or injury. Movement is medicine and starts with the next step. Strength Training For Reducing Injury Providing Longevity In Sport

3. Strength Training for Longevity in Activity (Sport) Is Supposed To Be Fun. Know when you’re coming in to a SMART Bodywork® office you have a professional, friendly and listening ear to help you through strength training. Strength training can be tiring, especially when you’re new to it, and we get that. Your commitment when you come in is to push as hard as you can, to bring a positive happy spirit into the room and be willing to try. We like to have fun with our clients and ensure they have a safe and successful training session. Remember: You come to us so you FEEL BETTER FASTER and can take on the activities you 1. Need 2. Want 3. Dream of doing in life over the next few years!

4. Strength Training With A Licensed Massage Therapist & An ACE Certified Personal Trainer Offers A Safe Space, Judgement Free-Zone To Movement Becoming Your Means To Becoming Grounded, Centered and Strong. It’s hard to trust a place just on reviews and what the website says about the people. Here’s what I, Brian Keene, know about myself and why I got into Personal Training during the covid years.

I really hoped to make more impact in peoples lives through movement as medicine. While many believe in the term ‘healer’ as a Licensed manual therapist, my career desire is to be an educator to athletes of all ages, Middle, High School and College student-athletes to the Senior Games, Special Olympian and Paralympic athletes alike. To share the wisdom of my teachers bringing a DaVinci like method to movement and strength training, knowing every person is a unique human body that I have the privilege of sharing knowledge of CHANGE with. Imagine if your words get carried around in peoples muscles as they traverse the world. If you can be the SPARK to change the world, when can you start?

We always offer our welcoming office space in support of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC patients who need movement and bodywork to help experience physical pain relief, Chi energy re-set, mental clarity and emotional and work-life de-stress. We hope you’ll join SMART Bodywork® to feel better faster and find more balance, positivity, personal growth and maybe even take on some of those next challenges with the strength and courage and grace you have within! As an LCA Program (Love Courage Achievement) graduate, consider the possibilities to be forward focused, be willing to move through the muck and make your dreams come true!

Look forward to seeing you again soon!

Highest Regards,

Brian Keene, LMT, ACE CPT


A Protein Breakdown Blog from Registered Dietitian Kelly Hunt Harrington

One of the most common sports nutrition questions I get asked is, “How much protein do I need to eat?” So, without further ado…let’s Waste No Time and Get to the Numbers!

Protein Requirements for Athletes

Protein Needs for Sedentary and Non-Exercisers

At a bare minimum, the body needs 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day (0.4 g/lb/day). This means, if you weigh 150 pounds, you will need at least 60 grams of protein daily. If you are a physically active person, this amount doesn’t come close to meeting your protein needs! Vast research shows individuals engaged in regular exercise training require more dietary protein than sedentary individuals.

Protein Needs for Athletes and Physically Active Individuals

For athletes and physically active individuals, your protein recommendation ranges from
0.7 – 0.9 g/lb/day. This means, if you weigh 150 pounds, you will need at least 105-135 grams of protein daily. This amount is not only safe but may improve the body’s ability to adapt to exercise training. Protein helps repair and rebuild muscle after exercise. Pinpointing the amount of protein depends on many things such as the type of exercise, gender, and a person’s amount of lean body mass.

It is important to know what foods contain protein, and understand some basic numbers, such as one egg is 7 grams of protein. It is recommended to eat within about thirty minutes after waking up and eating 20-25 grams of protein. For all other meals, you do not need to bother counting grams, but it’s recommended to include protein, about the size of a deck of cards, at each meal. Can be bigger, but not smaller.

Protein from Plant-based sources vs. Animal sources

Protein is made of amino acids. There are 20 of them, nine which are called essential because your body cannot produce them and must get them from your diet. If a food contains all nine essential amino acids, it is considered a complete protein, and all animal proteins are a complete protein {ie: meat, eggs, dairy}. Only some plant foods contain all nine essential amino acids {ie: chia seeds, hemp seeds, and buckwheat}.

Most plant foods contain only some essential amino acids {ie: nuts, tofu, chickpeas}. The old school thought about plant protein was you had to combine various proteins at one meal to achieve the benefits of a complete protein. Now research shows you can simply enjoy a variety of plant proteins spread over the course of a day and the body is able to still form complete proteins it can utilize.

Supplemental Protein Powder

While it is possible for physically active people to eat their daily protein requirements through a healthy diet, supplemental protein in various forms is a practical, convenient way of ensuring adequate and quality protein intake for athletes.

Different types and quality of protein can affect amino acid availability following protein supplementation. The superiority of one protein type over another in terms of optimizing recovery and/or training adaptations remains to be completely proven; however, whey and casein protein are a reliable protein form and easier to get the BCAAs compared to protein from soy, hemp, rice, and pea). In an ideal world, I recommend using organic whey or casein protein, and even better if it comes from grass-fed cows.

Protein at Breakfast

Whether you exercise or not, it’s a must to eat a high-protein breakfast. Protein is crucial for stabilizing blood sugar levels first thing in the morning and providing sustained mid-morning energy. A higher protein breakfast is associated with reduced hunger later in the day because it decreases the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin. Adequate protein in the morning, compared with skipping breakfast, also increases the satiety hormone PYY, and often reduces cravings later in the day – particularly of high-fat foods.

It is recommended to eat 20-25 grams of protein at breakfast to start your day. It’s ok if breakfast looks like lunch or dinner as far as including chicken and meat.

Protein Timing is Critical

Timing is critical! Appropriately timed protein intake is essential for proper recovery, immune function, and the growth and maintenance of lean body mass.


Leading up to exercise, consumption of a carb + protein supplement may result in peak levels of protein synthesis. Glutathione is an amino acid that is of particular importance for reducing muscle breakdown during exercise.


For post-exercise nutrition, your optimal recovery window is within the first one hour following exercise, and both carbs and protein are important. The carbs are converted into glycogen and stored in the muscles to replenish what was lost. The protein helps move the glycogen into the muscle at a faster rate. This process is especially important if you have a shortened window of time between workouts, such as with “double days” or a PM workout and an AM workout the next day. If you’ve ever “bonked” or “hit a wall” during a workout, it’s because you ran out of glycogen. You either didn’t replenish enough after your last workout or you didn’t eat enough calories or carbs in your day.

If you are interested in weight loss, during post-exercise recovery is not the time to skimp on calories.

Post-Exercise Carb and Protein Recommendations

Here are the exact number if you’re interested in calculating optimal post-exercise carb and protein recommendations:

Optimal dosage of carbohydrate post-exercise: (8 – 10g carb/kg/day). Has been shown to stimulate muscle glycogen re-synthesis.

Add protein (0.2g – 0.5g protein/kg/day) to those carbohydrates post-exercise to further enhance glycogen re-synthesis.

*to convert pounds to kilograms (kg), take your body weight in pounds divided by 2.2, and that is your weight in kg.

Exercise and Branched Chain Amino Acids

Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are specific amino acids called branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s), and they have a handful of benefits on exercise. First, they promote muscle protein synthesis, which is the process of making muscle. Consuming BCAA’s after a workout, including a resistance workout, will increase muscle protein synthesis.

Second, BCAA’s may decrease muscle soreness after a workout. This soreness is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which develops 12 to 24 hours after exercise and can last up to 72 hours. The exact cause of DOMS is not clearly understood but is thought to be the result of tiny tears in the muscles after exercise. BCAA’s have been shown to decrease muscle damage, which may help with the length and severity of DOMS. Supplementing with BCAAs, especially before exercise, may speed up recovery time.

Third, BCAA’s may help reduce exercise-induced fatigue. How quickly you tire out depends on several factors, but your muscles use BCAAs during exercise, and when blood levels decline, this impacts the serotonin levels in your brain, which contributes to the development of fatigue during exercise

The best food sources include: beef, chicken breast, casein and whey protein powder, salmon, turkey breast, eggs, and parmesan cheese.

Protein and Injury or Illness

Being injured or sick increases your protein needs. If possible, eat more protein during these times. When sick, chicken broth is a good alternative if you can’t stomach whole food. Another option is mixing collagen powder into water and sipping that. Normally collagen powder is flavorless.

Protein and Aging

As people age, they need less food and often eat less protein. Inadequate protein can lead to loss of muscle and strength. The weakest one-third of older people are likely to die sooner than the strongest one-third. Make sure you, your parents, and grandparents stay active!!! If you can convince the older population to include strength training exercises on a consistent basis, even with light hand weights, this will provide so much benefit for aging more gracefully.

Summary: Consuming enough protein is critical for exercise performance, muscle building and recovery, recovering from illness and injury, and healthy aging. If you follow a vegan diet, be very discerning about how much protein you’re getting to ensure you eat enough to promote proper recovery.

If you’re interested in changing your life, and improving your nutrition and health, set up a free discovery call with Kelly.


Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist



This isn’t Massage. It IS SMART Bodywork®

Are you someone who thinks that human touch is only ‘sensual’ in nature? Let us help clear up some things.

First and foremost, human touch between a client and a therapist is a respectful, independent, neutral and free and clear space to express oneself,

Secondly, every human body has the capability to re-set its natural rhythm, even while wearing athletic clothes.

Also, Visceral Dynamics is a manipulation of the organs to help the whole bodies visceral connective tissues to re-integrate and stimulate blood flow for low back pain relief

If the organs have rigidity, they can’t perform their function optimally, causing dis-eases and/or dysfunction within everyday activity

When the human body experiences any sort of tension, imagine your worst stomach or period cramps, for instance, what do you do?

You grab, poke, move or prod around to get whatever is cramping to stop. When you’re coming to SMART Bodywork®, you have an education based

provider you can trust to help ease your organ tension, re-set your internal compartments and increase depth of breath, pain relief, balance, stability and mental clarity.

At the end of each session, you perform stretches that re-integrate the “missed connections” allowing you to feel more sturdy in your structural alignment.

This isn’t ‘Massage’. It IS SMART Bodywork®.


Wellness solutions for everybody returning from injury

Wellness solutions for everybody returning from injury

We are excited to provide a unique program with wellness solutions for every person imaginable. Whether you just like massage, you want a spa-like experience, you need great bodywork or you just need somewhere private to rejuvenate and escape from life, we have it all. In a covid-safe envionment, you can book 60 minute Hands-free Recovery sessions or a 2.5 hour treatment with us. The particular treatments we have created are updated for 2020 and come from years of work in another heat therapy spa setting, where clients see amazing results from the entire massage treatment.

Our wellness solutions for you may incorporate the following technologies and components.

HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna

HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna to help increase flush the lymphatic, cardiovascular and respiratory system, heat therapy that is a “weighted blanket sleeping bag that warms up – like you’re a burrito” said one client, Anselmo G., who enjoys the Sauna SportStretch Sauna massage treatment the most. The body benefits from the additional time in the Infrared Sauna, especially when each time comes with aromatherapy and a little scalp massage.

VBX Wellness machine

Dr. Dave’s office offers this great amenity for creating vibration and movement for the lower limbs. With connection from heel to hip, you can control how, where and how much this machine can circulate blood from your legs back to your heart.

NormaTec Compression Leg Sleeves

These leg sleeves may be worn on the table, SportStretch mat or in a comfy chair. If you are a student-athlete competing in high school or collegiate sports, these NormaTec compression leg sleeves will help alleviate many aches and pains in your feet, calves, knees, quads and hamstrings. You’ll want to buy yourself a pair, and you can. But, since you can’t get bodywork like this anywhere else, call ahead and schedule a treatment that includes the leg sleeves, booking at least 48 hours ahead, please.


SportStretch is a total package of benefits, combination of sports and thai-massage, PNF stretching, range of motion and momentum, stretch and massage unlike the others. This type of session is clothed in athletic attire. Combinations with 60 or 90 minute SportStretch sessions include Infrared Sauna and/or NormaTec Compression Leg Sleeves.

Neuro-muscular and myofascial structural massage alleviating tension throughout the body

Massage is a general term for someone to get a relaxing hands-on treatment. While we can perform that type of session, if the client desires, we also perform neuro-muscular and myofascial structural bodywork, aligning the muscles along the spinal column and alleviating any tensions that might be connected, literally from head to toe.

Cranial-sacral sessions

A fully clothed session, this is a non-invasive type of hands-on treatment where the client rests on the table and the therapist works along the structures of the cranium and sacrum, hips and incorporates aromatherapy and introducing breathing techniques for deep relaxation. This type of session is great for seniors who might be recovering or suffering through low back, hip or neck pains.

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February Valentine’s Couples Massage Specials

You Asked, We Offer For a Limited Time Only, Couples Massage Specials


From The Desk Of: Brian Keene, LMT

SMART Bodywork® Couples Massage Services through the month of February with Haley Bangert, LMT, and myself, Brian Keene, LMT, in-office. The couples massage special comes with flowers and chocolates. For JUST $300, this is an unbeatable deal if you need relaxation, bodywork and a safe-covid protocol environment to feel rejuvenated again while sharing the gift of love. A couples massage with us, flowers and chocolates will beat any other “spa” like package out there!

Additional options to add-on to the package are:

Option B: Add CBD topical, Champagne, and a $50 gift certificate to YaYa’s or Burnt Ends        $400

This Valentine’s Day, we strive to put you in the most relaxing and romantic opportunity, with flowers, chocolates, Champagne and CBD topical – so why not add a $50 gift certificate for your next 5-star meal at YaYa’s cuisine or dinner and bev’s at Burnt Ends restaurants on S. Colorado Blvd.

Option C: Add CBD topical, Champagne, and your choice of:

(Take out-ready to enjoy, Cook at home or Dine-in for 2) lobster & steak, salmon, or a $100 gift certificate


We are looking forward to providing all of our clients with a 5-star service for Valentine’s Day.

If you’re not getting SMART Bodywork® Massage Services, you might not be getting what you deserve!

Anonymous Author Not Brian Gives A Review

Hi friends,

I have a client who has been coming to me since August 2020 or so, when I started working at Shapiro Family Chiropractic office, 2121 S. Oneida St., suite #420, Denver, CO 80224. Since I have thought a lot about how I wanted to work in my own space, it is awesome to have this type of relationship with a client in such a short time of working within Dr. David Shapiro office. I feel we are very much inline with our work and I can not thank him enough for the opportunity of workspace for SMART Bodywork.

I asked this client for a review and she wrote this for me. While she chooses to be an anonymous author, my client should know I greatly appreciate her words and sentiment for my work.

Review for Brian Keene, LMT, of SMART Bodywork® Massage Services in Denver, CO CO #0021273 FL #MA94771

“I came to know Brian through Dr. David Shaprio’s chiropractic office. Brian has always provided an outstanding client service experience. From booking, to payment, to adhering to a high standard of safety protocols, Brian has helped me tremendously. He has helped me address many areas including releasing chronic tension, increasing body awareness, and gaining flexibility and mobility. Brian’s approach to massage therapy is nuanced, dynamic, and highly individualized. He uses many different techniques and styles to provide an extraordinary experience. He incorporates mindfulness techniques like aromatherapy along with sports medicine techniques like infrared saunas to provide a therapeutic massage beyond comparison. He is a gold star professional and someone I deeply admire and respect. My body, mind, and spirit all benefit from our sessions together.”

– Anonymous, Author Not Brian 01/05/2021

Infrared Sauna and SportStretch Client Testimonial

I must preface with this client testimonial is from Dr. David Shapiro, chiropractor from where my office is located. That said, this testimony is not fabricated or exaggerated by any means. This review came after not training for a while and after his “virtual” Denver Turkey Trot 2020 around Wash Park.

Infrared Sauna and SportStretch Client Testimonial

“My son and I were about to run a 4 mile turkey trot run. I hadn’t been running so didn’t feel very confident. I saw Brian the day before for a Athletic stretching session and infra red sauna. I ended up running 5 miles, I was able to keep up with my son and felt surprisingly good afterwards. Whether it’s to manage the stress of repetitive motion or to improve athletic performance, Brian does great work.” – Dr. David Shapiro

Three Quick Tips For Ultimate Client Relaxation

3 Tips To Achieving Massage Jello Sensation For Your Clients

The first thing is a relaxing environment. If you work in a spa environment, you share the team created environment. Keep the peace so you can have the best possible camaraderie among your fellow staffers. After all, they are some of your best referral sources!

For the 1,000s of massage solo-artists, focus on creating the function of your independent space as you see fit for your massage therapy skills and then the relaxing aspects will become settled. Once you have the environment you need to move forward in business, do it! Curate a few simple marketing materials and don’t look back.

The 2nd thing is breathing guidance with the client following along. Breathing is a tool best utilized in conjunction with aromatherapy. Guide the client in taking a deep breath in, focus on a full inhale through your nose, try to feel your breath go all the way to your feet and then make a very slow exhale back through your mouth. Utilizing some aromatherapy during the breathing guidance at the beginning of the session definitely go a long way to enhance the muscular release and overall stress relief at the end of the session.

The 3rd thing is pressure + movement. Massage therapists are able to tork, fulcrum and ax at a human body in order to help it alleviate muscular ailments.

One of the greatest things about SMART Bodywork® is that’s exactly what we do. With a combination of these tools, our pressure and movement combinations are highly specific to the area of body we are working on. This helps the client tension ease away with increased mobility and sometimes even makes them feel like Massage Jello feeling.

by Brian Keene LMT

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  • NPI #1649869108
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