Massage Therapy Instructors
San Francisco Massage School
- Gonzalo Figueroa LanderosSenior Campus Manager/InstructorAfter graduating from NHI in 2003, Gonzalo worked in high-end resort, hotel and day spas in the Napa Valley and San Francisco. He also worked in a holistic center where his focus was prenatal massage. Gonzalo now serves as the Senior Campus Manager for the San Francisco Campus . “We all possess the talent of massage; those of us that choose to refine it are fortunate and blessed. I love the diversity of the students at NHI. I’m constantly meeting amazingly wonderful people that inspire me to be the best massage therapist and the best teacher possible.”Grace De JongInstructorHailing from Minneapolis, Grace De Jong lived and worked in Chicago and Seoul before relocating to San Francisco in 2010 to enroll in the Core Program at NHI. Since graduating in 2011, she has enjoyed building successful practices at two busy health and wellness centers. Grace received her BA in Art History from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, trained at Watpo Thai Traditional Massage School in Salaya, Thailand, and is a Board Certified Massage Therapist. In her spare time she enjoys exploring all the Bay Area has to offer, spending time with friends and family, reading, dancing, and running. Being a teacher at NHI allows Grace to combine her passion for teaching with her love for the fulfilling and rewarding work of massage. “Students come to NHI from a variety of backgrounds but with one expressed purpose: to become skilled and professional massage therapists. It’s a privilege to help them see that goal to fruition.”Karen VardanegaInstructorKaren Vardanega graduated from Twin Lakes College of the Healing Arts in 1989 and with Honors from Boulder College of Massage Therapy in 1991. She has also completed a Herbal and Energy Medicine program, greatly enhancing her knowledge and skills. She has been working and teaching in Colorado, where she also was a Spa trainer for the Vitality Center. Karen is a passionate teacher who continues to learn and grow in the wellness field. She loves to ski, batik, and explore. NHI culture allows her to set up sacred space, which creates a safe and comfortable learning environment for her students.Tracey ThompsonInstructorTracey Thompson graduated from NHI Emeryville in June 1999 and has worked in both private practice and at spas in the Napa Valley. She was at the Spa at Silverado in Napa for almost 12 years before making the move to teaching. Tracey is also a certified CPR/First Aid instructor with the American Red Cross, and has a degree in Health Science which allows her to incorporate her knowledge of health education, safety, and first aid into her love of massage. She enjoys bringing all of this into the classroom to share with her students. Tracey still maintains a small private practice that allows her to focus on Swedish, Deep Tissue, and maternity massages, in addition to LaStone, Lomilomi, and sports massage. In her free time Tracey enjoys reading, traveling, cooking Italian food, and making gelato for friends and family.