A passionate champion and advocate for high standards in the massage therapy profession, Jill Kristin Berkana founded the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy in 2011. She is the Institute’s Director, the Academic Dean and provides strategic leadership for the Berkana Institute’s Academic Department. She has served as a Board Director for the U.S. National Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), and was the Board Liaison for the Ethics an Standards Committee. Ms. Berkana is the Original Developer of the Berkana Institute’s Style of Bodywork, and designed the comprehensive and holistic curriculum. She is the Chief Advisor for all Berkana Institute operational, student and faculty affairs. She has 350+ successful apprentices trained in her methodology worldwide and her schools boast a 100% success rate on the US National Licensure and Board Exams.
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 and 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®“.
In addition to enjoying long-term success in the massage therapy industry, she also has extensive experience as a business professional and international entrepreneur.
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. She is a regular contributor to Massage Magazine, is a dedicated proponent of evidence based practice and participates as a Judge for the International Massage Association’s World Massage Championship. She is speaking as an expert panelist at the AFMTE Congress in the Summer of 2019.