Gail Messier, 51, a massage therapist in private practice who specialized in recovery from trauma, including severe accidents, sexual abuse and cancer diagnosis, died Jan. 30 at Montgomery Hospice’s Casey House in Rockville.

She had breast cancer. Her life partner, Lauren R. Taylor, confirmed the death.

Ms. Messier graduated in 1993 from the Florida School of Massage and then was an instructor at the Potomac Massage Training Institute in Washington from 1995 to 1998.

From 2005 to 2011, she worked part time for Healingworks, a now-defunct nonprofit headquartered in Silver Spring. Healingworks sent her to military and veterans hospitals in the Washington area, where she provided treatment to soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as to their families and hospital staff members.

Gail Marie Messier was born in New Bedford, Mass., and raised mostly in Hopewell, N.J. She was a 1984 graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio. She then settled in the Washington area and did administrative work at organizations including the Whitman-Walker Clinic and Washington Office on Africa.

Since her cancer diagnosis in 2011, she competed in dragon boat racing on the Anacostia River with GoPink! DC, a team of breast cancer survivors.

She was a Takoma Park resident. Her hobbies included writing poetry.

Survivors include her partner of eight years, of Takoma Park.

— Adam Bernstein