Experience and Knowledge

Our experienced, caring instructors share their knowledge out of love for the profession, alongside their own thriving practices. Click on the name or "+ sign" to read more about each of our teachers.

Foundations of Touch

After receiving her first massage at 21, Alaya has been passionately devoted to conscious touch and embodiment for over 26 years now. Alaya has practiced professionally since 1987. A certified practitioner in Massage Therapy and Biodynamic Cranial Touch, she blends these two modalities, bringing conscious touch to her private session as well as her current workshops and classes.

Alaya is practitioner of Harbin Hot Springs of 20 years and currently working and living in Sebastopol CA, where she has a private practice at Sonoma County Healing Academy. Her offerings at SoCoHa include Smooth Sculpt Face and Body Rejuvenation Treatments, Aromatherapy and Integrative Bodywork. She is currently teaching Foundations of Touch for personal and practitioner development in her private workshops as well as teaching for the Harbin School of Massage.

"My work is an invitation is to become re-sensitized, to fully inhabit our body and discover the innate wisdom of our bodily sensations, emotions and mind. Allowing this embodiment to inform every single domain of life and opening to the possibility of each movement connecting us deeper within ourselves, and the world around us. Through the vehicle of guided meditation, embodied inquiry and touch we explore this potential”.

Alaya’s ardent desire for embodied living, blended with a deep curiosity as to the many ways Source expresses through us, inspires her ongoing evolution as a practitioner/teacher inspired by Continuum Movement, Kashmiri Shaivism, embodied meditation, aquatic bodywork, raw foods and spending time in nature.

Sacred Shapes, Aquanatomy

Alexander George is the originator of the Healing Dance. He is one of WABA's senior instructors; since 1991 he has led over 300 week long 50-hour intensives in Anatomy, Massage, Barefoot Shiatsu, Watsu, Healing Dance and WaterDance.

Alexander presently leads trainings in the US, Germany, Netherlands and Italy, teaching in English, German or Portuguese as required. His trainings are known for their humor, humanity and technical expertise.

Watsu® 1, Watsu® 2, Watsu® 3

Alexis Lee has been an Aquatic Bodyworker since 1996, working in Watsu®, Healing Dance®, Waterdance® and Jahara. Alexis has taught Watsu® since 2000 under the tutelage of Harold Dull, the founder of Watsu®.

Her passion for Watsu® stems from the heart-centered connection she feel with each person who floats in her arms. Alexis encourages Watsu® practitioners to come from a place of 'being', rather than 'doing', without agenda, thereby allowing each client's body to 'tell' them what it needs.

As a therapist, Alexis' experience in Shiatsu, Cranial Sacral, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Lomilomi and Yogassage therapies enhance her water work.

Massage Boosters

Andrew Yavelow, has been practicing and teaching bodywork for nearly 20 years. For the past decade, he has been one of Harbin’s leading therapists, both on land and in water. He has extensive training and experience in a multitude of modalities, and has taught Watsu and Fluidics (a modality of his own creation, and a WABA-certified land/water elective) at the School and elsewhere. He has many years of experience teaching bodywork to couples (a modality he created for Harbin), and self-care classes to professionals and non-professionals alike. He also particularly enjoys teaching one-on-one, mentoring motivated students and professionals on all aspects of touch, technique, presence, and practice.

In his teaching, Yavelow strives to make things simple, clear, and fun. He has a background in theater, so he tends to be entertaining, and a background in communications, so he’s good at breaking down complicated ideas and techniques into their component parts and principles, and making sure his students understand and embody them. He also has personally lived through 14 broken bones, 7 surgeries, and both emotional trauma and chronic pain -- and draws deeply on his personal experiences of healing in working with his clients and students.

Yavelow is author of the book Embodiment: Opening Your Body To Consciousness (available at AndrewYavelow.com), and is currently ruminating on his next book -- which, he hopes, will be very brief, and offer a practical resolution to everyone’s deepest issues.

Compassionate Communication

Dr Ann West is an author, teacher, speaker and healer, she has a rich spiritual background and has been working in the healing arts for over 20 years as a certified Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master, Spiritual Psychologist and Holotropic Breath-work facilitator. Ann has a strong background in media where she has spent the last 18 years broadcasting in radio and TV. Her extensive list of interviews ranges from President Bill Clinton, Deepak Chopra, James Redfield (Celestine Prophecy) and hundreds of the most acclaimed authors in the movement to higher consciousness and healing.

In her counseling work Dr Ann works with couples, individuals, teens and children. Her rich background includes training in Compassionate Communication, Pairs relationship counseling, Marital counseling, Spiritual & Tantric teachings, Debbie Ford Shadow work, Sacred Divorce, Ho'oponopono an ancient Hawaiian treatment for clearing deep unresolved issues.

Endorsements

"Ann West is committed to making a huge difference in the lives of those she touches and she succeeds admirably at it - through her writing, her radio show, and her presence"


-Jack Canfield - Founder of 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' series.

“Dr. Ann listens compassionately​, speaks intelligently, and has the amazing capacity to understand with her heart. She touches lives with her talent for deep communication, and her courage to explore all arenas of the Spirit, including the places in us where the ‘shadow’ resides. In this way she not only delivers teachings, but healing as well.”
- Kenny Logins (musician)

“Ann has found the courage to launch out beyond the familiar and fearlessly explore uncharted territory. The good news is that she has charted it for us that our lives may be easier for it. Her story will make you laugh, cry, and recognize the immediacy of your own spiritual quest.”
- Alan Cohen (author of I Had It All the Time)

Thai Massage

Bhaskar Banerji started his journey as a healer twenty years ago at the University of Michigan where he was introduced to Polarity Therapy - a form of energetic healing that involves the infusion and balancing of life force. In recent years he has studied Shiatsu, Swedish and Sports massage at the National Holistic Institute in Emeryville, CA, and Thai Yoga Bodywork with the Sunshine Network in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He received his Masters in Holistic Health Education from JFK University with an emphasis on Dream Studies and is currently pursuing a PhD in Mind Body Medicine at Saybrook University.

His vision involves helping people to recognize the integral role bodywork plays in self-care and the need for loving touch therapy for the maintenance of health and well-being.

Reflexology

Bill Anderson is a Certified Massage Therapist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Watsu Practitioner, and Reflexologist. He was introduced to body work through his grandmother who was an innovative physical therapist and alternative healer. In 1968 she gave him books on Reflexology by Eunice Ingam and Mildred Carter through which he taught himself. In 1985 Bill attended seminars and weekly sessions taught by Dwight Byers, Eunice Ingam’s nephew and others from his school. He began his teaching career in 2002 and has taught at many massage schools throughout California.

Trauma, Boundaries and the Body

Brad Kammer, MFT, LPCC, SEP, is a somatic psychotherapist, college psychology professor, and community health educator, specializing in stress, trauma and relationships. Brad’s professional focus is on the integration of the fields of somatic psychology and interpersonal neurobiology. Brad practices and teaches Somatic Experiencing and NeuroAffective Relational Model, both body-mind approaches for healing trauma.

In his private practice, he works with attachment and developmental issues that emerge in relationships and trauma. Brad has worked around the world with communities affected by natural disasters, war and other human-created crises. He currently trains helping professionals who work with those affected by trauma, as well as their own secondary trauma.

Brad lives on a small homestead in Mendocino County where he finds fulfillment with his family.

Watsu® 1, Watsu® 2, Watsu® 3, Watsu® 3 Adapted

Cameron West, CMT, APE, is credentialed in Adaptive Physical Education and is certified to teach all levels of Watsu® and Aquatic Integration™.

Trained in Neuro Structural Bodywork®, Shiatsu & Tai Chi, Cameron brings to her classes her creativity & passion for the "Balance" between the Eastern and Western practices and will inspire her students to discover the center of their own rhythm and breath.

Currently, Cameron travels to teach Watsu and Aquatic Integration and is the Director of the Aqua Zen Center in Fillmore, CA, where she teaches and has a private practice

Advanced Therapeutic Massage, Business, Ethics

Carlisle Douglas, MA, CMT, maintains a full-time massage therapy practice in Arcata, CA.

Primarily clinical in her approach to bodywork, she incorporates muscle energy techniques, positional release, myofascial release and deep tissue techniques in a Swedish style of massage to facilitate injury recover, chronic pain management and proactive health maintenance.

Carlisle applies her 20 years experience as an educator to creating a learning environment that is fun, comfortable and nurturing. Her courses facilitate the intellectual learning of massage theory, technique and anatomy while encouraging the application of intuition, creativity and personal style.

By focusing on concepts, as opposed to routines, students develop the skills to think independently about how the best address clients’ unique needs.

Color Therapy

Constance Hart, Founder of Conscious Colors®, is the Pioneer of the Color Aromas™ Therapy modality and products. In addition, she created the Color Spa™ treatment and Chakra Restorative Yoga™ program. Known as “The Color Therapy Expert,” Constance is in high demand as a Spokesperson on Color Therapy, Color Aromatherapy and Chakra Energy Healing.

Constance is also a Published Author, Speaker, and Teacher. She is a sought after writer for editorial content and her work has appeared in numerous magazines, as well as on radio and television. She has over 26 years teaching experience and trains/certifies students worldwide.

Currently, Constance maintains a private practice as an Intuitive Therapist utilizing what she calls the “Colors of Higher Consciousness”- Color, Sound, Aroma and Yoga Therapies. Her professional background includes work in business management and salon, spa, fitness, dance and yoga industries.

Constance is passionate about helping others experience how the awareness of Color in daily life can deeply assist in enjoying a better quality of life in bodymindspirit, while realizing one’s true potential.

Myofascial Release

David Goldeen's initial massage training took place at the renowned Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He came to realize that although massage therapy is a helpful tool for stress-reduction and mild pain relief, the benefits are only temporary. Massage techniques do little to alleviate the chronic pain conditions that he encounters within his clients.

When introduced to the John Barnes Approach to Myofascial Release, David recognized that the therapeutic techniques of MFR went far beyond massage and traditional physical therapies. MFR Therapy produces sustainable pain relief, promoting recovery from injuries, scar tissue and chronic holding patterns.

David has helped countless individuals out of chronic pain and onto a road of recovery.

Waterdance® 1

Davida Taurek has a diverse background in the creative arts and body-centered therapies. She is a certified instructor of Watsu®, Waterdance®, Motion Theater®, and the 5Rhythms®.

Davida is known for her delightful sense of humor, passion, and evocative devotional teaching style.

She serves as core faculty for the Open Floor School in CA and leads classes and workshops worldwide.

Ethics *

Diane Tegtmeier, MSW, NCBMTB, has explored integral healing for over 25 years as a therapist and instructor in social work, energy and aquatic bodywork.

In her ethics* and aquatic bodywork classes, Diane brings her warmth, humor and reverence to help students awaken to the healer within as they explore the healing process and the relationships that support it.

Her book, "Relationships that Heal" brings professional ethics down to earth with a natural model that embraces the science, heart and spirit of today’s integrative health practices.

 

*Diane is not scheduled to teach Ethics in 2015

Deep Tissue 1, Deep Tissue 2, Anatomy Bones & Muscles, Trigger Point

Ed began training at the National Holistic Institute in Emeryville, California and in 1994 received certification as a massage therapist and community educator. In 1995 he began working full time as a CMT.

Ed’s career has taken him into teaching at several institutions, including the National Holistic Institute; the Massage Therapy Institute in Davis, California; the Western Institute of Science and Health in Rohnert Park, California; and the School of Shiatsu and Massage, Middletown, California. He teaches massage and deep tissue intensives internationally, most recently in Nice, France in June of 2008. His topics include: all levels of deep tissue; Swedish; trigger points; anatomy, myofascial release; neuromuscular techniques; and body mechanics for the therapist.

Ed’s humorous teaching style incorporates a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning, and many handouts, including a comprehensive CD of teaching material and photos. Ed utilizes his deep understanding of human anatomy, modern massage techniques and body mechanics to also teach deep listening and undivided presence in communicating with the client and the client’s body. His aim is to help students cultivate in themselves a truly knowing touch, an educated intuition informed by anatomical expertise. Ed says, “Knowledge feeds intuition, so the more they know, the deeper will be their intuitive sense of the client’s body needs.”

Watsu® 1, Watsu® 2, Watsu® 3

Harold Dull, BA, MA, is the president of the Worldwide Aquatic Bodywork Association (WABA), and the creator of Watsu®, Tantsu®, Co-centering® and Watsu CQ®.

Harold has trained with the foremost Zen Shiatsu teacher in Japan, Shizuto Masunaga (author of “Zen Shiatsu”), and the two foremost teachers in America, Reuho Yamada and Wataru Ohashi.

The profundity and effectiveness of the bodywork forms he has created reflect his passionate practice and deep understanding of energy and the body; the creativity of these forms reflects his background as a poet in the San Francisco Renaissance.

His current book “Watsu: Freeing the Body in Water” is an eloquent testament to the power of both his writing and his bodywork.

Harold speaks several languages, which allows him to teach his work all over the world. He has been honored with the International Aquatics Award from the United States Water Fitness Association; honored at the National Aquatic Exercise Conference in Japan; and in 1998 received the Tsunami Spirit Award from the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute.

Watsu® is a registered service mark assigned to Harold Dull.

Watsu® 1*, Watsu® 2*, Healing Dance® 1, Healing Dance® 2, Healing Dance® Shape & Space*, Healing Dance® Above & Below, Resolving Fear and Trauma

Inika has been an aquatic body worker since 1996, working at Harbin Hot Springs as a Watsu®, WaterDance® and Healing Dance® Practitioner. Her classes are informed by her extensive work as a therapist and bring a grounded and practical aspect to her teaching. She has over 2800 hours of training and over 4500 hours teaching aquatic bodywork.

Inika has been teaching Watsu® and Healing Dance® since 1999. She brings grace to the water and conveys that grace to her students through her knowledge of movement and experience in yoga, tai chi, dance, meditation. Aquatic bodywork is her passion.

Craniosacral 3, Touch, Presence & Healing

Jim Gilkeson, BA, CMT, CST is a creative bodywork therapist, teacher of energy healing and the author of:
• "Energy Healing: A Pathway to Inner Growth"
• "A Pilgrim in Your Body: Energy Healing and Spiritual Process"

In his private practice, Jim combines subtle energy therapy with craniosacral work and therapeutic massage. His background in meditation and spiritual practice, and his love for experiential learning have made him keenly attentive to the developmental and initiatory dimensions of bodywork and energy healing. His teaching style is warm, personal and fun, reflecting his passion for inspiring students to find their unique qualities and callings, as well as for teaching solid principles and practices of energy healing.

Jim taught Craniosacral 1, 2 and 3 at the School of Shiatsu & Massage for over seven years and is back by student request to teach Craniosacral 3.

Anatomy Body Systems, Pathology

Rev. Julia Bystrova, CMT, MA has been working in the field of health, healing, and bodywork for over 20 years. She was originally trained in Eastern modalities, spiritual healing, and energy work. Later she developed a strong base in Western approaches with a primary focus on health science and deep tissue.

Today she offers a style of bodywork that combines both the Eastern and Western influences in a synergistic and powerful way. This bodywork she calls 'Deeper Healing.' Her approach is straightforward and grounded in the science of the body. Julia has been referred to as the 'healer's healer.'

Craniosacral 1, Craniosacral 2, Massage Intensive

Keesha Standley, a Massage and Cranio Sacral Balancing Therapist who has been teaching massage since 1997.

Keesha is a warm lovely human being whose understanding of bodywork and gentle approach make her a superb teacher for beginners as well as the experienced.

She lives in Sacramento where she teaches and maintains her own private practice.

Hot Stone Massage

Lea Wildflower’s Massage Practice and Teaching are based on intimacy with one’s self, connection with the healing power of Nature, and support of clients’ blueprint for wellness.

In her classes, she guides students to be self-aware so that their work can be potent yet effortless, using body mechanics to allow the easy natural flow of care from therapist to client. In her Hot Stone Massage Classes, Lea helps students harness the warm earthy healing energy of natural stones as a balm for emotional stress and also as a potent tool for deep tissue release and sports massage. She is a proponent of techniques which prevent injury and promote long healthy careers for massage therapists.

Through her 28 years of bodywork experience and continuing education, Lea strives to raise the bar of quality and skill for the practice of massage therapy and holistic healthcare. Self-care is at the core of all her work with both clients and students.

Marin County is where Lea lives and practices massage privately. She is currently developing self-care courses for Bodyworkers and people with Insomnia. Lea is a lover of daily yoga, communion with Nature, meditation and physical fitness. For Lea, being in the Healing Profession is a lifetime path of service that unfolds through personal development and continuing education. She is currently studying trauma resolution and pre and perinatal healing though the Polarity Therapy Paradigm with Ray Castellino.

Kinesiology, Anatomy Body Systems, Anatomy Bones and Muscles, Lomi Lomi, Wired to Love

Mark Olson, Ph.D. is passionate about exploring the human condition through the lens of Neuroscience and cultivating a compassionate, sustainability-focused, touch-positive culture.

Dr. Olson has an M.A. in Education and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, specializing in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuropsychology and Neuroanatomy from the University of Illinois where he studied memory, attention, and eye movements, while also examining environmental values and aesthetic preferences for outdoor landscapes.

He works as a massage and anatomy instructor, and he volunteers his time as both the vice-president of Kauai Path and the project manager for the Kauai Food Forest, which he co-designed. He is also an aquatic therapist, a certified permaculture instructor, and the former operations manager for a sustainability education bicycle tour company.

Dr. Olson integrates his knowledge in and passion for neuroscience, bodywork, and sustainability in courses (NeuroTreks) and blogs that thoughtfully explore personal and societal issues from a neuroscience perspective. Topics include sexuality and relationships, mindfulness and awareness, emotions and feelings, meaning and happiness, self and behavior, visual awareness and epistemology, neuroanatomy, patternicity, cognitive biases and politics, social permaculture, and others.

Dr. Olson offers engaging and information-rich workshops on the Neuroscience of Sexuality, Spirituality, and Sustainable Relationships that make recent research in neuroscience accessible and relevant to anyone.

Hot Stone Massage

Pam O'Dea, RMT is a Canadian Registered Massage Therapist who granted in 1991 from Sutherland-Chan's two-year massage program in Toronto.

She has been living in California since 1994 and specializes in a hedonistic blend of therapeutic and relaxation Swedish massage, Hot Stone, and Lomi Lomi massage.

Since 1999 she has been sharing her love of Hot Stone Massage with clients and teaching this powerful technique to therapists in San Francisco and Canada.

Pam founded the Touch Lifting Community (TLC) Program in San Francisco which gifts one teacher a week with complimentary massage.

MBLEX Test Prep

Dr. Rich has taught Anatomy - Physiology, Ergonomics, Clinical Practices, Rehabilitation, Fitness, Bodywork & Health Sciences for the past 25 years. He has practiced Deep Tissue Integrative Bodywork and Chiropractic for 22 years in California and Hawaii. He has a rich background in the science behind massage therapy.

I look forward to coaching you in preparation for the MBLEX and expanding your possibilities in practice.

Waterdance® 1, Waterdance® 2, Waterdance® 3, Presence of Being

Shantam Fluid Presence™ Founder, BFA, CMT, Master Hypnotherapist, Worldwide Aquatic Bodywork Association (WABA) certified and internationally renowned Aquatic Bodywork Therapist & Instructor has been practicing, teaching and furthering the development of warm-water therapy for two decades. Shantam sits on the Advisory Board of the non-profit organization WAVE Academy, which is dedicated to expanding the role of warm water therapy as a powerful tool in the healing and advancement of individuals, communities and the human condition.

Well known for creating the course Presence of Being™ and training WaterDance™ (WATA®) and Watsu® therapists worldwide, Shantam’s approach to water work is characterized by continuous communion with the breath and an extraordinary ability to connect profoundly with each client on a physical, energetic, emotional and spiritual level.

From a very young age, the water played an important and often mystical role in Shantam’s life. From swimming and Junior Lifeguards to surfing, swimming with wild dolphins and diving, she found that being in the water naturally evoked profound interconnectedness with nature and an enhanced sense of well-being. After learning Aquatic Bodywork and hearing people from all walks of life say, “WOW…I feel as if I’ve come home” she knew that beyond the obvious benefits of water work, her students and clients were accessing what they had always longed for inside of themselves. From that point on, she was on a quest to empower people to embody that realization and bring it into fruition in their lives, thus a holistic approach was born.

In 2002, Shantam was asked by her foremost spiritual teacher, Adyashanti, to teach in the Non-Dual tradition. She has since combined her rich background in the healing arts with spiritual teaching and mentoring. Shantam has subsequently created Fluid Presence™, a holistic approach to Self Realization integrating meditative inquiry, somatic exploration and embodiment practices which can be explored in the warm-water therapy environment or on land.

She exudes a kind, compassionate presence and a profuse love of supporting others in awakening and living a fulfilled life.

Clinical Ai Chi, Shiatsu Yoga, Shiatsu 1, Shiatsu 2, Shiatsu 3

Shinzo Fujimaki, MS, BS, Certified Shiatsu Instructor, has been teaching Shiatsu at the Harbin School of Healing Arts (formerly the School of Shiatsu and Massage) since 1992 and at several massage schools in Hawaii. He was born in Japan and learned the art of Shiatsu at an early age, massaging members of his family. He demonstrated a girt for healing, and thus his path of study and career.

Shinzo is also a longtime student of philosophy of Aikido into his Shiatsu practice, creating a rich and full healing experience within the context of massage. His continuing educational in Oriental medicine also includes the study of acupuncture and therapeutic herbs. Shinzo likes to describe himself as “all fire”, and his deep spirit and sizzling passion fills every class with meaning, power and humor.