The Experts

Our Advisors, Faculty and Administration

 

The Academic Dean/Mentor

Jill Kristin Berkana founded the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy in 2011.

Founder – Academic Dean – Mindful Expressionism® Originator –Instructor Trainer – Advocate and Ambassador for the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Profession - Expert Witness - Author

Ms. Berkana served as a Board Director for the United States National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) and was the Board Liaison for the NCBTMB Ethics and Standards Committee. She is the original creator of the Berkana Institute’s Style of Bodywork and designed the comprehensive curriculum. She is the Director of all Berkana Institute’s operational, student and faculty affairs and proprietor of the Allen House.

Ms. Berkana is a Licensed and Board-Certified Massage Therapist who enjoyed a massage therapy practice for three decades and provided thousands of massage therapy treatments to a dedicated clientele. She developed and specialized her integrative approach utilizing normalization of soft tissue techniques, myofascial technique, trigger point therapy, and Neuro-Muscular Therapy. 

She is a U.S. National Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Approved Continuing Education Provider. Her extensive and evolving career path in the massage therapy profession has led to the development and oversight of massage therapy programs for high-end spas and resorts, health clubs, chiropractic offices and educational ventures. Over the years, she has worked with a full spectrum of clients, including infants, adolescents, athletes, cancer thrivers, elderly clients, and familiar celebrities.

Early in her career, she created and launched a destination spa program for a resort in the jungles of Belize, where she provided massage, spa treatments, strength training, nutritional counseling, and guided tours. There she began her passionate exploration into the magic and wonder of plant medicine, of which she is a devoted proponent. 

In 2005 she founded the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy (CRSMT) and was the Acting Director, Academic Dean, and Senior Bodywork Instructor for the “Jungle Massage School” from its inception through the fall of 2011. She provides expert consultation for resorts and spas internationally.

Her passion extends to the integration of bodywork, nutrition, movement practices, and the resolution of trauma. She develops the Berkana Education Methodology around a holistic model of healthcare which is committed to building an ethical bridge between eastern/traditional and western/modern approaches to bodywork.  

In addition to enjoying long-term success in the massage therapy profession, Ms. Berkana also has extensive experience as an international entrepreneur and business professional.  She is the originator of the creative bodywork approach known as Mindful Expressionism®. She is a passionate advocate and ambassador for the massage therapy profession, 

and is excited about the future of this healing art. 

Her "iron fist in a velvet glove" teaching style has been described as a "no-holds-barred loving and somewhat aggressive approach which is simultaneously inspirational and intimidating, but will level you up, FAST".  She prides herself on retaining her autonomy at all costs as a leader of the profession and tells the truth, even when it's messy.

She has two radio shows, " radical self-care" and "renegade entrepreneurship," which air out of Seattle on Cafe Racer Radio. She is the proud mentor of hundreds of her graduates and is dedicated to their success long after graduation from the program. She currently resides in her home on the coast of Puget Sound south of Seattle and directs her team of vetted and trained instructors, administrators, and directors from her home office with her two dogs and cats and beloved partner.  She frequently travels to Longmont to support on-the-ground operations and teach and inspire her students at the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy. She is a certified expert witness for cases of misconduct in the massage therapy and bodywork profession and is a published author. 

Ms. Berkana has a moderate case of acquired savant syndrome from a car accident she was in over 25 years ago, where she sustained a traumatic brain injury. This condition completely informs her way of operating in the world. 

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”

— Leonardo da Vinci

 

Learn Our Vision + Philosophy

The Berkana Institute Board of Advisors

The Honorary Board of Advisors is comprised of trusted professional leaders who are experts in a variety of areas, which relate to the operations and academic program of The Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy

Francis Martin Burke

Ascentia Fox

Ruth Werner BCTMB

Til Luchau

Natalie Wade LMT

Faculty & Staff

The amazing faculty and staff or our exceptional, holistic, massage therapy school.

The Berkana Institute Faculty and Staff

Ascentia Fox

John Yungclas

Jennifer Munro 

Kim Rasmussen

Palynn Earven

Sephra Albert

Alicia Daniels

Alicia Daniels

Nichole Crockett

Allison Rissell


Nathalie Ceclilio

Meredith Vaughn

TAKE THE QUIZ

Is the Massage Therapy Profession a good fit for you?

Take the Massage Therapy Career Assessment to find out!
 

Take The Quiz

Why settle for less than excellence?  Apply Now