Berkana Faculty and Staff

The Amazing Faculty and Staff of our Exceptional, Holistic Massage Therapy School

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.

Natalie 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.

Todd Ackerman LMT is constantly in awe of the effect that massage can have on people’s lives, including his own. He received his Bachelors of Science in the Biological Sciences from the University of Georgia and his Certificate of Massage Therapy from the Boulder College of Massage Therapy, then continuing on with education in Myofascial Release as well as being certified in Neuromuscular Therapy American Version®. He currently maintains a private practice, often working with postural dysfunction, injury/surgery rehabilitation, overuse injuries, and chronic pain issues. His clientele ranges from professional athletes and computer geeks, to grandmothers. Using his problem-solving approach he helps to treat his clients through deep tissue and sports massage, ultimately to help them learn more about their own bodies. Helping his clients to reconnect the mind with the body, which ultimately improves health, focus, performance, and quality of life, is the chief focus of his practice. As an instructor, he finds it essential to be an approachable instructor, bringing a blend of critical thinking, creativity, humor, and compassion to the classroom. While the science aspect of the massage therapy education can be intimidating to some, with his experience teaching anatomy and kinesiology as well as the day-to-day ‘real world’ experience of educating his clients; he conveys this ‘difficult’ material in a way that can be understood at any level.

Alicia Daniels, LMT Alicia, a Virginia native, is passionate about health and fitness. She received her training and education from the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy. She loves to learn new modalities to further expand her talents in bodywork. Alicia is dedicated to delivering top quality service, consistency, and leaving her client’s in a state of relief and relaxation. Alicia received her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia. Her love for children put her on a path to also become a nanny. When Alicia isn’t working, you can find her in the gym or bowling alley. She lives an active lifestyle so she understands her client’s needs to find balance within their lives and body. Alicia is excited to share her passion for bodywork as the Deep Tissue and Myofascial Technique instructor. “My number one goal is to help others feel amazing through a fusion of mindful, therapeutic, and self-help techniques.I understand the body’s needs to relax, repair, and recharge.” From creativity to design, Alicia is a Body Architect ready to design a plan to help with your body’s needs!

Kelly Moulden LMT received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in 2010. Kelly worked as a nurse for the University of Colorado Hospital in the Cardiac IMCU and the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic, before focusing in clinical research for the School of Medicine. After working in healthcare and research for over 10 years, and inspired by her own health journey, she realized she wanted to transition to a field which promotes a holistic and integrative approach to health and wellness. Kelly graduated from the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy in July 2020.

Ashley Hixon LMT Ashley’s intrigue into the realm of bodywork took a formal initiation in 2007 when she began studying at Earthwalk School of Energy in Bellvue, WA. She graduated from their 560 hour Advanced Vibrational Medicine program in June 2009. This was an extensive training on the subtle energy system of the body. In November of 2009 she completed Richard Freeman’s 200 hour Teacher Training Intensive and settled back to her native home of Colorado. She has also studied in India and completed a 100hr Teacher Training with Maty Ezraty in 2015. In 2019 she founded The Ashtanga Collective, a yoga studio in Boulder, CO. In 2012 she graduated from Denver Integrative Massage School with a 600 hour training in Thai and Western massage modalities. The integration of her prior interests and trainings compliment her massage application and inform her approach. She currently has a private practice with two locations – Boulder and Nederland, CO. Ashley works with the concept that we are all governed to varying degrees by the unseen yet felt conditioning of our subconscious. The auto pilot that drives our behavior, posture, emotions, thoughts, breath, ultimately our nervous system, and our lives. This unconscious conditioning is what she invites to unravel through massage and bodywork. The busyness of our lives distracts us from our own bodies to such a degree that we often don’t realize how sore, stressed, or stagnant we’ve become. She believes taking the time to drop back towards our unique natural rhythm and create space for our nervous system to reset is crucial to an engaged life. Ashley currently lives in Nederland and is a lover of plants, tele skiing, yoga, backpacking, and the soothing sight of nature’s innate awe inspiring beauty.

Jennifer Grande LMT Center Director and Matriarch of Anahata in Longmont Colorado. After many years of professional experience in business administration and commercial insurance, she was inspired to begin a journey to heal her heart and learn more about holistic health after the sudden death of her husband in 2019.  After the tragic car accident that changed her life forever, she knew she had to find a way to heal herself.  She attended the illustrious and accelerated massage therapy program at the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy, earning her massage therapist license in 2020.  This formal education sparked a passion to learn as much about the many alternative and complementary somatic therapies as possible and reignited her inherent desire to connect more deeply with others. Jennifer specializes in relaxation, stress and anxiety reduction, as well as CranioSacral Therapy and deep tissue techniques. Her continuing education focuses on resources and training to expand her ability to work with clients whom are working through grief, trauma, PTSD and life experiences that are negatively impacting their health. Jennifer teaches Business Development and Board Preparation at the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy. 

Palynn Earven LMT’s passion for the human body & pursuit of alternative medicine began early on in life. Starting in high school studying anatomy & biology she then completed a degree focused on Integrative Therapeutic Practices from the Community College of Denver. She continued her studies at the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy, becoming a licensed massage therapist in 2016. Continuing education is the cornerstone of her practice, she has expanded her scope to include craniosacral, yoga, reiki, herbalism and sound therapy. Blending these modalities to create an individualized session tuned to the  specific needs of individual clients.

Rebecca Bertolio LMT Originally from Utah, Rebecca came to Colorado to pursue a career in massage therapy. She graduated with honors from the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy in 2018 and has had a thriving massage therapy practice in various locations along the front range. Rebecca supports the Institute with her organizational and preparatory skills to ensure that the classes run smoothly.