Advisory Board

The Honorary Board of Advisors is comprised of trusted advisors who are experts in a variety of arenas, which relate to the operations and academic program of The Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy in Denver, Colorado. The Advisory Board functions as a decision-making entity with regard to policy.

MichaelMichael R. Ryman is the Chair of the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy Advisory Board, and constant devoted ally of the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy. He is the Director of Operations and insures that the facility is being utilized in a way that is in alignment with the overall integrity and intent of the facility, including but not limited to: safety, preservation, resource management, damage control, space usage, environmental and conservation considerations and basic functionality. He is instrumental in the organization and facilitation of all special events. Micheal is the go to advisor on a daily bases when unforeseen decision making is required and objective input is needed. He acts as the confidential sounding board for the Founder.

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Til LuchauTil Luchau is a lead instructor and the Director of Advanced-Trainings.com. As a Certified Advanced Rolfer®, Til is a faculty member and Coordinator of the Rolf Institute‘s Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration program, where he is the originator of Skillful Touch Bodywork (the Rolf Institute’s own training and practice modality). His regular Myofascial Techniques column appears in Massage & Bodywork magazine, and his articles have been published in peer-reviewed and technical journals in Australia, Canada, and the USA. Formerly a resident practitioner at the Esalen Institute, Chair of the Rolf Institute’s Teacher Training Committee, and Adjunct Faculty member of Naropa University‘s Somatic Psychology Department, he has trained thousands of practitioners in his popular courses at schools and centers in over a dozen countries on five continents. His private practice is based in the Boulder/Denver area, and includes Rolfing, supervision, and professional coaching with clients from around the world.

petes color pic-revPete Whitridge LMT is a licensed massage therapist in Florida and an approved provider for both the state of Florida and NCBTMB. He is the former Director of Education at the Florida School of Massage in Gainesville, FL.  He teaches “Myofascial Components of Pain” workshops throughout the Southeast, as well as Florida law and business building classes. His training as an EMT, a CPR instructor, and 30 years of teaching experience have given him many insights into the learning process. Pete incorporates visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learning aides to provide students with a well-rounded class. Students receive individual attention and everyone is encouraged to HAVE FUN! Pete has been active in the professional associations and completed a four-year term on the Florida Board of Massage Therapy, serving two years as Chairman. He received the Charles Canfield Award from the FSMTA in 2004 for Service to the Profession. He is a frequent presenter at state and national massage therapy and chiropractic conventions. Pete currently resides in Fort Pierce, Florida with his wife (and editor) Lee and their wiener dog Oscar.

ruthRuth Werner is an educator, writer, and retired massage therapist with a passionate interest in massage therapy research and the role of bodywork for people who struggle with health. Her groundbreaking textbook, A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology was first published in 1998, and is now in its 6th edition. She also writes a column for Massage and Bodywork magazine, serves on several national and international volunteer committees, and teaches continuing education workshops in research and pathology all over the world. Ruth was honored with the AMTA Council of Schools Teacher of the Year Award for 2005. She was also proud to serve as President of the Massage Therapy Foundation from 2010-2014, and she retains a seat as an MTF Trustee.

karenKaren Hobson MS, NCTM holds a BA in Philosophy from Virginia Commonwealth University and a MS in Higher Education with a concentration in Adult Teaching and Learning from Walden University. She became interested in massage therapy after receiving her first professional session. In 1999 she graduated from Hocking College’s Massage Therapy certificate program and was licensed the same year. After seven years of full-time practice, Karen began teaching in a Columbus, Ohio massage program. This quickly became a new passion, resulting in an eventual move back to her home state of Virginia, where she led the massage program at Fortis College in Norfolk, VA. Subsequently she has been program director for two other colleges, where she helped improve instructor-student relations as well as improving student outcomes. Karen has been interested in the humanistic approach to bodywork for many years and is the Executive Director at IPSB College in San Diego.

xerlanbiopicXerlan Deery LMT Graduated from Body Mind College, San Diego in 1987. She owned and administrated Massage Therapy Institute of Oklahoma, from 1992 until 2004. Xerlan has a very diverse skill set and has practiced in training rooms of collegiate athletic programs, with the Oncology Rehabilitation Department at Cancer Treatment Center, Tulsa. She currently maintains her private practice Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and invests some of her time teaching programmatically at The Institute for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork in Chadds Ford, PA and a variety of continuing education classes nationally with Anatriptic Alchemy. Most recently, her course Safe Harbor: A Comprehensive Introduction to Oncology Massage has been recognized and accepted as a foundational course by The Society for Oncology Massage. Xerlan created and implemented Community Education Classes for Hillcrest Centers for Women’s Health & Hillcrest Center for 55+ in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She also created and implemented a Sports Massage Program to provide rehab and therapy to Oklahoma State University athletes working with the Athletic Training Staff and Team Physicians from 1995 – 2012. Xerlan is very involved in the evolution of Massage and Bodywork in the health care setting and has created, implemented and/or consulted on 11 Hospital‐Based Massage Programs in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, New York and Hawaii.  Xerlan also provided equipment supplies; massage therapy services, and staff management support for the Massage Emergency Response Team at the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.

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brentjacksoBrent Jackson is the academic program manager for massage therapy at Central Carolina Technical College in Sumter, SC  and a recipient of the Miller Communications Excellence in Education Award. Mr. Jackson pioneered the first hospital-based, clinical practicum for massage therapy for the state of South Carolina incorporating three acute-care facilities and additional long-term care facilities which includes inpatient and outpatient massage training for students.  He has been a licensed massage therapist and educator for the past ten years. His education includes Bachelor of Science Degree in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale; Massage Therapy Certificate from South Carolina Massage & Esthetics Institute and a graduate of the Nuclear Propulsion Program from the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, Charleston, SC.    He is a veteran of the US Navy.  He has memberships in the following professional organizations:  American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), Society for Oncology Massage and  Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE). He is a current member on the National Teacher Training Curriculum Development Committee with AFMTE and the Massage Therapy Foundation Education Committee.  Mr. Jackson is also a continuing education provider for licensed massage therapists in addition to having a private-practice massage therapy business.

Annie LaCroix, BA, LMT Annie LaCroix is the founder of Columbia River Institute of Massage Therapy. Annie has designed a curriculum that is focused on an evidence-informed practice while still honoring the artistic nature of massage therapy. The school is intentionally small, tailoring the curriculum to the specific needs of each student in the program.
Annie is also heavily involved with the massage therapy industry from a legislative perspective. As past president of the Washington American Massage Therapy Association, Annie has been on the forefront of massage therapy as healthcare.

Annie is a professional and school member of Associated Bodyworkers & Massage Professionals and is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Functional Medicine.

J. Patrick Dorsey LMT took his first Zero Balancing (ZB) class in1996 and immediately fell in love with Zero Balancing. As a practicing massage therapist and former instructor of deep tissue massage therapy at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy, Pat found in ZB a way to take his work to a deeper level both literally and metaphorically with his clients. Following his passion for ZB, Pat delights in helping people discover the magic of working with structure and energy, simultaneously and consciously, and the resultant  transformational effects that can come about when people connect with and learn to access the stability, clarity, grounded spaciousness, wisdom and depth of their own core self through conscious, compassionate bodywork. Pat is a licensed massage therapist and the owner of Louisville Massage Therapy in Louisville, CO and has been practicing numerous forms of bodywork for close to twenty five years. Pat holds an Associate Degree from and is former instructor at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy. Pat is certified to teach ZB I, ZB II, Freely Moveable Joints, Introduction to Zero Balancing, and Review Days.

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