Massage Therapy Instructors
San Jose Massage School
- Aurora DonnellyInstructorAurora graduated with honors from NHI in 2011. Her love of massage began when she was a young athlete, where she developed a deep understanding of how the body works. Aurora volunteered as a teaching assistant at NHI while working in the spa industry, before becoming an instructor. Her experience as an NHI student also aided her in building a private practice. “Knowing that I play a part in guiding new massage therapists to enrich our industry with the skills they receive at NHI is the best gift I’m given as a teacher.”Conrad SantosInstructorConrad was first introduced to massage therapy in 1974, and soon after he was attending classes in Swedish and Energy Work. He has broadened his field to include Shiatsu and Deep Tissue Bodywork, to mention just a few. His belief is to look at the whole person and include a holistic approach of body, mind and spirit in his bodywork and teaching styles. He has taught at several schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, and says that National Holistic Institute, with its outstanding program, has the most solid, clear, and rewarding curriculum for those aspiring to be Massage Therapists. “I receive so much personal growth from teaching massage! You could say that I teach to learn.”Gena GarrenCampus Manager/InstructorNationally recognized as Therapist of the Year for Massage Envy, Gena has been practicing massage since 2006. An honors graduate of NHI, she also holds a BA in Psychology and has extensive experience in business management and corporate training. Additionally, Gena operates a thriving private practice with several professional athletes as clients. Gena feels her business background coupled with her experiences and education from NHI have allowed her the success she has achieved, while providing many tools she can bring to the classroom as an instructor. “My experiences at NHI as a student enriched my life in a way I did not think was possible. Being able to reciprocate this to students is quite an honor and a joy each day.”Gracia ArnoldInstructorAs a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist (NCTMB) with a background in Physical Therapy, Gracia naturally combines a scientific and intuitive awareness of the body. She specializes in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, myofascial work and advanced therapeutic techniques. As a massage professional (currently also working at Google), Gracia’s highly intuitive and skillful touch is infused with a sense of wholeness in a profound way. “I relish the opportunity to share my skills and knowledge with students on the path to being bodywork professionals.”Julie M. PorterInstructorJulie has been a registered nurse since 1991 and a massage therapist since 2006. She has a private practice in Campbell, continues to work at the hospital, and teaches at National Holistic Institute. She has been blessed to have two careers that she loves. “I love teaching massage because I love to watch and enable students to see the amazing power of massage in connecting the body, mind and soul. At NHI I am supported in this by NHI’s amazing commitment to its students to ensure that they will succeed.”Kristine TenBrinkInstructorKristine completed her training at Utah College of Massage Therapy in 1996. Prior to massage therapy school she attended Michigan State University and Oakland University, where her studies focused on Anatomy, Physiology, and Biology. She has worked with chiropractors, as well as in day spas, where she enjoyed combining modalities to offer customized sessions to her clients. Her favorite modalities include Trigger Point, Myofascial Release, Deep Tissue, Reflexology and Swedish. “I feel that by teaching at NHI I am contributing to the advancement of the holistic health care profession.”Lydia TilusInstructorLydia-Carlie Tilus is an NHI Core and ANMT graduate, Pre- and Peri- natal Massage, and a Reiki Master/Teacher. She has been practicing since early 2013. After attending the NHI Santa Ana campus, she moved to the Bay Area in that same year to attend the Advanced Neuromuscular Massage Therapy program on the NHI San Jose campus from which she graduated with Honors. She has a variety of experiences in the field of massage therapy; from working in a spa, a corporate fitness center, with a mobile massage company, professional and collegiate footballs teams, as well as international rugby teams, and lastly with the 2013 US Battle of Nations team in France. She enjoys languages, reading, writing, knitting, cooking, belly dancing, babies, and travel. "In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of the things not meant for you." – BuddhaMiyah BuchananInstructorMiyah graduated with honors from the Core Program at NHI Emeryville in 2008. As a student, Miyah was a teaching assistant and a tutor for visually-impaired students attending NHI, and she continued to TA for a year after her graduation. From 2010 through 2012, she studied Health Psychology and Human Biology at Bastyr University in Washington State, and is currently finishing her Psychology degree with Arizona State University Online. Miyah’s experience in the massage industry is in boutique spas and large health and sports centers such as The Spa at ProSports Club in Bellevue, WA, and Equinox in San Francisco. Miyah’s education at NHI and at Bastyr, combined with working in the field of massage, led her to a deep exploration of the mind/body connection. In her spare time you will find her engaged in all aspects of the performing arts, studying esoteric spiritual philosophy, practicing Raja Yoga, teaching herself Ayurveda, and learning about the medicine of indigenous cultures; specifically the Huna principles of Hawaii, the Curandero teachings of Central and South America, and Native American Herbalism. She also likes to cook, is amenable to temporarily relieving friends of their parental duties, and loves to travel when time and money permit. She has been to Hawaii several times, Belize, Honduras, Canada, all over the US, and hopes to travel in Peru, India, Thailand, and Europe soon. In addition to teaching at NHI, Miyah continues to maintain a small, private practice. “There is a mysterious quality about NHI that facilitates and fully supports the transformation of who you once were into the person you’re inspired to become. I am so happy to be a part of the great work that is done at NHI above and beyond providing a high-quality massage education.”Philip OkazakiStudent Life & Career Coordinator/InstructorPhilip graduated from NHI Emeryville in 2002 and began working as a therapist immediately afterwards. Philip has focused his practice within the health and fitness industry, working with the Western Athletic Club franchise and Club One Fitness. Additionally, he has had the opportunity to work with athletes of every level and currently works with NFL, NHL, and MLB professionals. He hopes this experience can be beneficial to prepare students for the realities of the massage/spa industry. “We have the privilege of working with the future of our industry. If we can create well-educated and passionate massage therapists, the effects will be phenomenal.”Stacy WalkerInstructorStacy Walker graduated with honors from NHI San Jose in 2013 and loved the culture so much she returned as a teaching assistant, and as a Massage Therapy Ambassador for NHI. Her love for massage started at an early age, massaging her family’s shoulders, but it became more evident that she had a talent when her manager at her previous job kept telling her that she was in the wrong profession. When she thought about where she wanted to work, her first place of interest was to work at a spa, however life took her to the fitness industry. She found a room for rent at a gym where she started her private practice and ended up losing 80 pounds! “I am so honored to help people find work they love as well as help them find their best versions of themselves, like I did.”
NHI’s San Jose massage instructors serve the entire south bay area including Santa Clara, Fremont, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and Mountain View.