Berkana Faculty

Faculty of our Longmont Massage School

Jill Kristin Berkana LMT, BCTMB  Is the Senior Bodywork Instructor at the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy. She founded the Institute in 2011. She is the Massage School Director, the Academic Dean and provides strategic leadership for the Berkana Institute’s Academic Department. She has been elected to sit on the United States National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and will begin her 4 year term in January of 2016.  Jill is the Original Developer of the Berkana Institute’s Style of Bodywork, and designed the comprehensive curriculum. She is a chief advisor for all Berkana Institute’s operational, student and faculty affairs. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Industry leader. She enjoyed a thriving massage therapy practice since 1990, during which she has inspired and mentored many students and provided thousands of massage therapy treatments to a dedicated clientele, specializing in Normalization of Soft Tissue techniques (NST), Integrative Massage Therapy, Myo-fascial Release, and Neuro-Muscular Therapy. Jill Berkana is a U.S. National Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Approved Continuing Education Provider. She is the originator of Mindful Expressionism®. For more about Jill Click Here.

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Jade T. Nelson LMT teaches Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Sports Massage Therapy at the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy. He has been surrounded by the culture of holistic health and progressive thinking since he was born. Raised by his mother, a full time massage therapist, bodyworker and holistic health care practitioner, he cut his teeth on giving and receiving therapeutic touch. He is a passionate world traveler, and has lived in Belize and Costa Rica. Jade has been deeply involved in the love and study of music and graduated from the prestigious Denver School of the Arts. His Musical Focus was Classical Jazz Baritone and Bass Saxophone. He also plays the piano, guitar and ukulele. He is devoted to composing and recording his own music. Jade has been a Licensed Massage Therapist and Bodywork Artist for over 9 years and has a successful private practice in Denver Colorado. He specializes in a unique blend of Neuromuscular Therapy and the Berkana Method Mindful Expressionism®.

nw1Natalie Wade LMT Fascinated by the human body and strongly committed to the practice of movement, Natalie earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois in 2011. Her studies were heavily focused in therapeutic treatment, leading her to work and volunteer in various wellness settings and clinics. In the same year, Natalie graduated from the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy and earned a national certification in massage and bodywork. Her traveling nature and quest for deeper work brought her to Denver to study Mindful Expressionism™ at the Berkana Institute. The work Natalie brings to the table is heavily influenced by the arts, mindfulness, and movement science. It is no secret that Natalie is extremely passionate about her work and the people involved. Through conscious practice of unifying the mind, body, and soul, Natalie strives to teach others how to devote themselves to their own movement and wellness. Natalie is a Certified Mindful Expressionist®.

faculty-4John Yungclas LMT is a lifelong learner and educator who holds a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Santa Clara University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado at Denver. He has spent much of the past 15 years living and teaching in Germany, Singapore, and the Czech Republic. He finds balance in both mind and body through massage therapy, yoga, and mindful meditation. As a proud graduate of the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy, John believes that massage therapy is a profession that gives practitioners the opportunity to draw from their artistic, academic, and physical strengths. He also believes that having a strong foundation of self-knowledge, communication skills, ethics, and psychology gives a massage therapist the power to keep themselves and their clients safe and happy.  He teaches the complementary studies courses which include Personal and Professional Inventory, Communications Skills, Professional Ethics, and Psychology of Touch Introduction.

Ascentia Fox LMT, BCTMB  is a NCBTMB board certified massage therapist and bodyworker. She has been a Berkana Institute faculty member since the inception of the school in 2011. She teaches the Holistic Studies class, as well as the Craniosacral Fascial Release elective course. She has carried a life long passion for holistic, radiant health; graduating from the California Healing Arts College in 2006,  beginning her ongoing studies of Craniosacral Therapy with the Upledger Institute in 2007, holding successful private and cooperative practices with holistic wellness centers in Los Angeles, CA, Costa Rica, Minnesota, and Northern California where she currently lives. Ascentia is also a certified Vinyasa and Yin yoga instructor, Birth Doula, Flower Essence Practitioner, and Ordained Priestess. She views every body as a temple, each educational class or therapeutic session as a ritual, and is always honored to share sacred space.

Alfred Westlake LMT, BCTMB Alfred first began exploring healing arts through the study of martial arts. It was this exploration that led him to an interest in massage and ultimately to the Boulder School of Massage Therapy. After graduating with honors from BSMT he continued his study of internal martial arts and has taught students of all ages and ability levels. Focusing on neuromuscular and orthopedic methods and combining them with movement, Alfred loves facilitating clients in their path to greater health. One of the things that he likes the most is how each client develops into a unique collaboration providing new learning experiences to explore. In addition to his office practice Alfred has performed onsite services at businesses and events throughout Colorado.  Alfred has also been involved in legislative affairs and the grassroots organization of massage coalition in Colorado.Alfred has completed the Anatomy in Clay learning systems instructor training and has received advanced instruction in Myofascial Release, Orthopedic, and Sports Massage. He previously taught Tai Chi, Holistic Health and massage therapy curriculum development at Front Range Community College. Alfred is excited about sharing his passion for learning and helping others through massage and movement therapies.

Katrina-Shreve Katrina Shreve, LMT, CYT, TTMP Katrina’s love of nature and passion for healing began with Western Herbalism and led her to study Massage and Hydrotherapy at the Finger Lakes School of Massage in New York in 2002. Since then she has completed many certifications in Western and Eastern Bodywork, Energy work, and Complimentary Medicine, but her favorite accomplishment in all of her continued education is most definitely Thai Massage. Traditional Thai Massage is much more than just a bodywork modality, it is an ancient medical discipline that also encompasses our energetic anatomy as well as the entire holistic homeostasis of the body. Katrina found that Thai Medicine combined and simplified all of the individual Healing Arts methods she has been studying into one, humble and complete package. Her love of Thai Massage culminated in completing the Advanced Thai Massage training here in Colorado at the Thai Institute and she continues her studies in this fascinating field to this day. She recently achieved her 200 hour Yoga Teacher certification and looks forward to learning more about Ayurvedic Bodywork to compliment her Thai practice. She is so thrilled to share this passion of hers with the Intro to Thai Massage here at the Berkana Institute.

Brittanie R. Miller LMT Fascinated if not obsessed with holistic living, Brittanie has been traveling an accelerated and potent path of holistic health care education for the last several years, and is a devoted passionista of walking her talk. She is the Body Mechanics Instructor at the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy, and is completing her Mindful Expressionism Certification this summer with the method originator.  Brittanie specializes in encouraging the resolution of TMJ related complaints, addresses limiting core musculature dysfunction, and works with her clients to increase the freedom of movement inherent with Deep Lumbar (lower back) treatment. She also specializes in creating deep breathing patterns for her clients through breathing enhancement techniques. Whatever the client needs in their massage therapy and bodywork session, she can create on the spot.  Brittanie approaches bodywork with an artistic perspective while staying consistently grounded in the health sciences. She mindfully integrates various modalities, customizing treatments specifically for each client, with the goal to inspire natural healing and holistic balance for her client. As a Certified Yoga instructor, she offers one on one yoga sessions for her bodywork clients as an add on, but offers all of her clients yoga based self-care assignments they can take home to solidify the improved state they experienced while on the massage table.

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