Body Wisdom School Faculty

Over the course of well over two decades worth of hiring and training instructors, we have learned that even the most decorated resume of credentials and experience does not guarantee a good instructor.

Body Wisdom has always taken pride in finding the most talented and well versed experts anywhere in the US and even abroad to serve our students.

We can assure that all of our faculty members, many of who came up in our own ranks and underwent proprietary custom training here, have been hand selected and measure up to the scrutiny of a long list of teaching requirements, which we find equally important to titles and degrees. To give you an idea:

  • Self-driven pursuit of on-going study and professional development within the respective expertise and beyond
  • Example for professional standards and ethics
  • Passion to pass on knowledge and skills to others
  • True care for all student’s needs and learning goals
  • Ability to present information and technique effectively
  • Believe that all students deserve the best we can offer, plus equal treatment
  • Drive to see graduates and therapists excel and succeed in this profession
  • Organizational, communication, cooperation and interactive skills
  • Comprehension of the massage profession at large and its ongoing development, also within the market place

Today, we proudly present to you our strong faculty team, comprised of 28 fine human beings, qualified presenters, and truly devoted experts:

  • Adam B.

    Adam, a professional triathlete himself, not only holds an impressive record of competing in over thirty triathlons in as little as five years, including three-time Ultramarathon and seven-time Ironman finisher, and qualifying for the World Championships, he also trains and coaches other triathletes as well as school kids and young talent.

  • Allison D.

    Born and raised in Iowa, Allison grew up with horses and started at an early age to teach kids how to take care of, handle and work with horses; on their own farm and in summer camp. Later she studied Health and Fitness Management at Iowa State, where she also attained her Liberal Arts Degree. Her additional studies of dance and Nia Technique as well as massage therapy lead her to further teaching.

  • Annie P.

    Annie, originally from Chicagoland, studied the art of movement at the University of North Texas and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. She moved to Atlanta, GA as a performer and teacher and found a new home at the Atlanta School of Massage. It was at this time she began to engage in a deep appreciation for the connection between massage and movement. Her study of hands-on bodywork and the deciphering of common movement patterns proved to be the foundation for her practice.

  • Ariel G.

    An Iowa native, Ariel spent her formative years in New Mexico, Kentucky, and Indiana. She earned her Associate in Arts degree at Cottey College in Missouri, then transferred to Simpson College in Iowa to complete her music education major, as well as studying a semester abroad in London. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree.

  • Ashley G.

    Biology graduate and former Drake University softball recruit, Ashley, planned to pause her medical career track, which lead her to 10 successful years in the Beverage industry as manager, event organizer, and presenter.

  • Bridget R.

    Bridget has a great appreciation for life and finds inspiration in its subtle details, contributing to her unique awareness of the human body. She loves humans and the wonder of life as it unfolds: especially when watching her son grow up and discover the world; or as she serves her community offering specialized services.

  • Deann K.

    Iowa native, Deann started her career as a single raising mother with two toddlers pursuing a degree in computers and networking, followed by 17 years of working with x-ray equipment in hospital settings.

  • Dianna B.

    Dianna B, originally from Massachusetts, moved to the Midwest in 1996. She has owned her wellness center called “Mind Your Body” in McGregor, Iowa since 2003, where she’s also employed other massage therapists at given times.

  • Dr. Joe O.

    Listing Dr. Joe’s academic studies, degrees, certifications, awards, distinctions, work experience, community services, etc. would take a few long pages alone, which makes it hard to summarize his many talents, interests and abilities and still painting a complete picture as to who he is.

  • Dr. Sam O.

    Dr. Sam grew up just outside the small community of Carroll, Iowa. Being a middle child in a family of 9 children, he was a natural competitor and very active in any type of sport he could find. Throughout high school, he participated in basketball, football, and weight lifting and continued playing basketball into college. Two major sports injuries that required complete reconstructive knee surgery not only magnified his already strong interest in the human body and how it functioned, but it also instilled a compassion for others and the desire to help their performance.

  • Emily B.

    Emily grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, where she spent her first 30 plus years surrounded by a family with many health care professionals: predominantly nurses and a couple doctors. However, it was her chiropractic doctor who first awakened her interest in massage therapy. Unable to remedy her severe sciatica nerve impingement, he humbly referred Emily to a massage therapist, and she realized that modern medicine had its limitations.

  • Ethel M.

    Always cool and calm, Ethel radiates genuine happiness and kindness that is contagious to those around her. One seven siblings and with five lovely kids of her own, Ethel’s extended family makes for a sizable contribution to Iowa’s fine population.

  • Faith S.

    Massage Therapist, Musician, and Teacher, Faith Swanson graduated from Body Wisdom School with special focus on medical massage, utilizing a wide range of modalities from Orthopedic, over Myofascial, Deep Tissue, and Lymphatic Massage to Stretching and Aromatherapy. She is also a life coach and has experience in working with professional tri-athletes and runners. Faith currently practices within a chiropractic, wellness and spa setting.

  • Hattie P.

    While born in Iowa, Hattie grew up in a community with a large Hindu population in the town of Fair Field, which is also home to the Ayurvedic Institute. Her exposure to this ancient medical tradition, instilled a great curiosity in the healing arts in Hattie; and Body Wisdom provided just the diverse and cutting edge education she had looked for. Her first class of Shiatsu (Japanese Massage), was so exciting and convinced Hattie that she was truly meant to become a Massage Therapist.

  • James K.

    A dynamic personality blended with solid grounding, patience, a big heart and an unwavering passion to study, research and teach James is a powerhouse.

  • Jillian P.

    Home schooled on a rural southwestern Iowa family farm, Jillian graduated top of her class 2009 from ‘The French Culinary Institute’ in New York City before holding management positions in some of the city’s acclaimed restaurants.

  • Jolene D.

    Powerhouse Jolene D, is a wonderfully-Iowa straight shooter: down to earth, with a heart of gold, good common sense, and no bones about all things done right.

  • Leisa G.

    Originally from Iowa, Leisa G spent her first adult decade in California and many extended stays in foreign places like: Thailand, India, Nepal, Israel, Egypt, and European countries, including a short year in London. She enjoyed tracking the Himalayas, and exploring other cultures but also had to fight challenges such as surviving dengue fever in a Thai hospital.

  • Leslie C.

    When Leslie benefited greatly from massage sessions during an injury recovery, she recognized her calling as massage therapist. Initially she dreamed of massaging horses, but in realizing how incredible human bodies and their inhabitants are, she fell in love with humans. At age 20 Leslie was the youngest massage graduate of her class in Aurora, Colorado, where she had moved to after graduating high school in Des Moines.

  • Mandy L.

    WTender, feisty, and deep are words that may describe Mandy’s personality.

  • Matt J.

    BBody Wisdom graduate Matt J holds a degree in Kinesiology with emphasis on movement and exercise science. Originally from NE Iowa, Matt founded his successful Massage & Personal Trainer business in Des Moines.

  • Michelle D.

    Since a very young age, Michelle felt compassion and great enthusiasm for helping others. Even alongside motherhood and a demanding career in financial services, she has always found time for those in need. Her love and generosity isn’t just granted to her nearest and dearest; but takes special interest in senor citizens, hospice patients and their families, or children facing life-threatening illnesses, and it extends further to animal welfare, such as rescuing homeless dogs. Truth be told, Michelle’s amazing spirit, clarity and inner strength create an extremely sheltering, nurturing and dignifying presence.

  • Rhonda M.

    The fastest way to get to know Rhonda is to experience her touch. It instantly reveals her immense care, compassion and appreciation for others. She is loving, giving and kind; still learning not to forget herself along the way.

  • Sadie H.

    With the first decade plus of professional massage experience under her belt, Sadie enjoys a flourishing private practice, “Divine Current”, in a small town tucked in the bluffs of Guttenburg in Northeast Iowa. She is also a certified doula and hosts a local “Red Tent” in her community. A mother of two beautiful and vibrant children herself, Sadie has developed a very deep reverence for the female body and certainly the art of the human body systems.

  • Samantha M.

    A Body Wisdom graduate and thankful for what her teachers provided for her, Samantha relates well to students and loves to support them in unleashing their full potential. “We are all capable of so much more than we think”, she says.

  • Sarah H.

    A great lover of live music, animals, travels, and fresh mountain air, with a big heart for people, Sarah Hybels holds a degree in Sociology and Women’s Study from the University in Denver. As a Victim Advocate she served crime victims, women, and children affected by domestic violence. Her knowledge about health and natural living grew working at the Iowa Acupuncture Clinic, and alongside her massage therapy, and yoga teacher trainings, let alone self study in the decade plus since.

  • Shelby M.

    Raised on a farm with hard-working Amish traditions, and passed down herbal remedy practices, Shelby Miller grew up in the countryside next door to one of Iowa’s largest and Italian influenced wineries not far from Des Moines.

  • Susan B.

    Enthusiastic Susan Bakken is a lively ‘southern girl’ born and raised in Texas. Her husband brought her to his home state of Iowa, where she enjoyed raising their four boys, one of them another Body Wisdom graduate, who practices with her at Healistics, Susan’s own establishment.

  • Tabbatha M.

    Tabbatha, a Body Wisdom graduate, also holds a Liberal Arts Degree and studied Photography. She credits her grandmother, a strong and kind woman of faith who impacted her greatly, for much of her own strong qualities, including her empathy and nurturing personality, but also her organizational skills. An avid learner, Tabbatha stays focused on her passions and goals.