Golden Teacher Wellness was founded in 2021 to enhance the lives of women by supporting them with comprehensive, holistic wellness services. We offer virtual and in-person nutrition and fitness coaching, doula birth and postpartum services, as well as individual wellness programs for their supporting partners. We also host community wellness initiatives centered around encouraging our clients to live their most fulfilled, active, and educated lives.
As an athlete and dancer, it was natural that Karissa followed a career path that allowed her to help others feel good moving their bodies. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology.
She's worked professionally in the health and wellness industry for over a decade as a holistic wellness coach, exercise specialist, and fitness director. Her clientele has spanned from professional athletes to cardiac rehab and joint replacement recovery. During her time managing the recreation program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and corporate wellness centers at NBCUniversal, Fox Corporation, and News Corporation, she has positively impacted the health of hundreds of individuals as well as mentored hundreds of fitness professionals. Her mentorship has also extended to her alma mater in the Penn State Health and Human Development undergraduate mentorship program since 2014 to ensure that there are plenty of well-molded professionals to serve future generations.
Karissa's mission is to create a solution for people to connect spiritually, improve mentally and physically, and achieve more than they ever dreamed possible. She believes in a comprehensive approach to wellness; seeking to teach people how to address their physical body, diet, habits, and spiritual practice.
Credentials & Training
B.S. Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University
ACSM Exercise Physiologist
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
FMS Level 1 & 2
Pre/Postnatal Performance Training Specialist (Level 2, Pronatal Fitness)
Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Coach
DONA Certified Birth Doula
ISCA Mat Pilates Level 1
TRX Suspension Training
Mad Dog Indoor Cycling Instructor
Zumba Fitness Instructor
AHA CPR/AED, First Aid
About Golden Teacher Wellness
Karissa spent the vast majority of her career hustling and bustling in leadership positions and fitness service roles in corporate and campus settings in Boston and New York City. She has always been passionate about inspiring wellness within as many individuals as possible. In the Spring of 2020, the pandemic brought her to her hometown (initially reluctantly) where she began seeing clients and teaching group fitness classes virtually to continue to serve as a wellness resource until things returned to “normal” (which we all know they did not!). Many blessings have come from the challenging pandemic years, but the most cherished being the blossoming of Golden Teacher Wellness.
It started as a handful of individuals looking for support with their fitness and wellness. She initially launched a wellness app “for fun”, so she could better integrate a comprehensive approach and improve the coaching experience for her clients. After asking herself what else she could do to support her clients, she realized the majority of them were pregnant or recently postpartum. This lead to Karissa diving head first into the birth world and women’s-centered wellness space. The more she learned, the more she realized how much the current healthcare system is lacking in resources and holistic guidance for women in all stages of their wellness journey.
After working closely with several prenatal clients on their physical fitness and preparation for birth, many would say, “I wish you could just attend my birth with me!”. Karissa knew this was the ultimate way to help her clients see this process through. A dear friend asked her how quickly she could become a doula, and less than a week later she was in training. As she began to work with more women as a doula, they opened up about their personal struggles with their monthly cycles, hormone struggles, and becoming pregnant or very recently postpartum.
The urgency for Karissa’s women’s-centered mission has been ignited by her personal health struggle with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), where she quickly learned that most doctors offered her no reasonable or holistic solution for assisting with root causes to heal her for the long term. She dedicated herself to healing her own mind and body, and soon realized this was a common struggle in the healthcare system across the board, but especially for the intricacies of female physiology.
Karissa now helps many women and families virtually and by traveling the country to support clients on their individual wellness and birth journeys. She educates and leads from the knowledge she’s acquired from helping hundreds of others on their path to wellness for over ten years in the industry.
Karissa's Birth Doula Journey
After working with so many amazing women in a coaching relationship preparing their physical fitness for the demands of birth and motherhood, and as their big due date quickly approached, my clients often said “Ugh I wish you could just be at my birth with me!” Well, sure enough after this happened time and time again, I quickly decided it was my duty to find a way to do just that. My support for my anxious, pregnant clients stopping right before the event itself felt so heart-wrenching at times! Needless to say, within a week I was in and out of a doula workshop and attending births as a doula. However, while I was in the DONA (Doulas of North America) workshop something truly off-putting happened.
Just like most workshops and training settings when in a group with new individuals, there are icebreakers and quick round-robin introductions. Who are you? Why are you becoming a birth doula? Have you ever attended a birth before? Of course, this question has come up before along my journey in the industry, especially when many clients, friends, and family press me regarding my very deep-seated passion for women’s wellness, especially with a specific fascination around birth not having any kids of my own or a personal life-altering birth experience. Truthfully, my answer has always been that the physiology and science of this natural and very spiritual process was so intriguing to me and that there are simply not enough resources available to women along this journey who truly want and need it. While that is more than one hundred percent true, I uncovered something even more interesting when it was my turn to introduce my why.
Out of my mouth came, “Hello, ladies! My name is Karissa Bollinger, and currently, I work with women primarily pre/postnatally in an effort to assist them physically with the demands of motherhood. We focus on building strength through resistance training and optimizing breathing strategies to prepare for the birth process and even in a therapeutic sense to manage week-to-week discomforts and pains that might pop up. I also assist them in recovering postpartum by working on reconnecting to their core and healing the physical body from the birth trauma. I just am so passionate about this demographic and want to better serve them which is why I am here! Oh, and yes I have attended a couple births, actually. I witnessed both of my brother's births when I was ten years old and sixteen years old. It was so traumatizing watching my mom be in agonizing pain, and all I can remember thinking is how I now never want to give birth myself even if having children are a part of life that I have always dreamt of.”
I remember thinking, "What on earth just came out of my mouth." This was the first time any of those words came out of my mouth or, for that matter, any of those thoughts or feelings surfaced in 20 years. Wow. Digging a little deeper and uncovering those pivotal moments in my, basically childhood, life, no one mentally prepared me to attend and witness my mom in that vulnerable space, or educated me on what exactly was happening. I watched the epidural go into my mom’s spine, they missed the first time and had to try again. I was ten years old! I could go on, but you get the picture. I am now aware that my deep passion and interest in women, the care women receive, and especially the birthing process is incredibly healing for me personally. My passion goes deeper than the incredibly intriguing science and physiology of womanhood and the birthing process. I want women to see birth as a process they have control over, are informed about, and are given the necessary resources they need to receive the best outcome possible. If they aren’t going to receive that from the healthcare system, then I am going to make myself that resource for them. Whether or not I decide that kids are a part of my own journey, I know that supporting other women is one of the most fulfilling, healing, and most abundant blessings I could ask for.