About Jill Kristin Berkana

Jill Kristin BerkanaJill Berkana founded the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy in 2011. She is the School Director, the Academic Dean and provides strategic leadership for the Berkana Institute’s Academic Department. She serves as a Board Director for the U.S. National Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Ms. Berkana is the Original Developer of the Berkana Institute’s Style of Bodywork, and designed the 675-hour curriculum. She is a Chief Advisor for all Berkana Institute’s operational, student and faculty affairs.

Ms. Berkana founded the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy (CRSMT) in 2005 and was the Acting Director, Academic Dean, and Senior Bodywork Instructor for the Jungle Massage School from its inception through the summer of 2011.

She is a Board Certified Massage Therapist, a Licensed Massage Therapist in the state of Colorado and has enjoyed a thriving massage therapy practice since 1990. She has inspired and mentored hundreds of students and provided thousands of massage therapy treatments to a dedicated clientele, specializing in Normalization of Soft Tissue techniques (NST), Integrative Massage Therapy, Myo-fascial Release, and Neuro-Muscular Therapy. Ms. Berkana is a U.S. National Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Approved Continuing Education Provider.

Early in her career, she worked with Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Personal Trainers and Osteopaths in a cooperative effort to facilitate health and healing by sharing the art of massage therapy. Her extensive and evolving career path in the massage therapy industry has led to the development and oversight of massage therapy programs for health clubs, chiropractic offices and educational ventures. 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. She has offered her services as a consultant to many resorts and spas internationally. Over the years, she has worked with a full spectrum of clients including infants, professional athletes, cancer survivors, adolescents, elderly clients and familiar celebrities.

Ms. Berkana is the originator of the creative bodywork modality known as “Mindful Expressionism“. Mindful Expressionism blends the therapist’s unique expression of bodywork as an art form, with the customization of treatments designed specifically to meet the client’s constantly changing needs. The therapist utilizes intuition, communication and mindfulness in order to understand and respond to the client’s feedback. Mindful Expressionism is a meditative form of artistic bodywork with no agenda, no assumption, or standardized recipe. Therapists draw on traditional, modern and invented techniques in order to provide powerfully effective treatment, while enhancing the holistic well-being of the client. With this approach, every massage can be a masterpiece, and as such, be deeply rewarding for the bodywork artists, as well as the client. Mindful Expressionism supports industry longevity for the therapist.

Ms. Berkana is passionate about the future of the art of massage therapy and is training apprentices to teach her modality and style in schools abroad and in the United States.

In addition to enjoying long-term success in the massage therapy industry, she also has extensive experience as a business professional and international entrepreneur.

2 thoughts on “About Jill Kristin Berkana”

  1. Stacy Lyon said:

    Greetings Jill,
    I have enjoyed your article very much. Your assessment is very accurate. I have been a practicing massage therapist for 5 years. I am starting to see more doctors of internal medicine hiring massage therapist. The doctors are only doing this now, because they see a growing trend, in the holistic field. They want to project to the public. That they too believe in the holistic field. The unethical ones underpay the massage therapist that they are looking to hire. I see a lot of good massage therapist deserting the field of massage. All because of those greedy few chose to exploit us. As a result, the public’s opinion of massage is that it is a luxury. Many don’t fully realize, that it is a medical profession, and worthy of respect.

  2. tellmomma said:

    There is an ongoing struggle to ‘adjust’ public opinion about massage. It seems it’s generally not respected for being a viable skillset.
    Asking for free services just reinforces that massage is a flippant, dare I say -serventile- service and not worthy of the proper payment. There is little understanding of the amount of education and devotion required to become a massage therapist.
    Yes! It is a luxury, it feels wonderful, its relaxing, but its also integral to wellness by assisting immune systems, recovery of muscle fatigue, counterbalancing stress and emotional issues. etc. etc. etc.

    I’m sure those who think it should be free would be quite indignant if their services were requested for free.

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