Faculty – Lexington Healing Arts Academy

A passion for therapeutic healing, fitness, preventative wellness, and a holistic lifestyle are qualities embraced by the founders, the staff, and the educators at Lexington Healing Arts Academy.

We invest a great deal in the people that power our programs.  Experience, professionalism, and dedication to both the practice and the art of teaching are fundamental qualities in our faculty.  All instructors of hands-on courses and most teachers of applied sciences are employed as health care professionals in their respective fields.

Find out who won the American Massage Therapy Association’s 2018 Teacher of the Year >>

Meet our Educators:

Amy Ball
Amy is a Certified Personal Trainer (NASM), Weight Loss Specialist (NASM), Level 1 Triathlon Coach (USAT), Certified Strong Over 50 Trainer (SO-50), and Certified Group Instructor. With 20 years in the fitness industry, Amy has practical experience as well as education from the University of Kentucky and is a 2012 graduate of the Lexington Healing Arts Academy (LHAA). In addition to working as a personal trainer and coach, Amy is a faculty member teaching the Introduction to Personal training course.

Jim Benson
Jim is the owner of Snap Fitness – Veterans Park on the south end of Lexington. He is certified through the National Strength & Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and has been a personal trainer since 1999. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and a Master’s degree in Sports Management, both from the University of Kentucky. Aside from personal training, Jim has worked as a consultant for various fitness centers in development of personal training, management, and sales. Jim teaches Sports Specific Training, Special Populations Training, and Exam Preparation classes with our Personal Fitness Training Program.

Alison Blair
Alison is a graduate of the Lexington Healing Arts Academy 2001. She holds a BA in Biology from Columbia College, Magna Cum Laude. She works as a massage therapist in a physical therapy office and at LHAA. Alison currently teaches Anatomy & Physiology and Pathology with our Massage Therapy Training Program.

Debra Booker, E-RYT 200, RYT 500
Debra is co-owner of LHAA (with her husband Bill), Yoga Program Director, Yoga Center Director, and teaches in LHAA’s  Yoga Teacher Training Program.  Debra grew up in her family’s health food store and has always been interested in health and wellness, exercise and nutrition.  She discovered her love for movement and strength in high school, enjoying weight lifting, aerobics, kickboxing, dance and running.  Bill and Debra moved to Lexington from Boulder, CO and bought LHAA in 2003.  She discovered yoga while in Boulder and it deepened her understanding of the complete mind/body connection.  Yoga has brought her such transformation both physically, mentally, and spiritually,  and she is continually inspired to share this incredible practice with others.

Ann Boone
Ann E. Boone has been practicing massage therapy and bodywork since 1979. After many years of practice as a self taught therapist, Ann continued her education in a more traditional setting at Lexington Healing Arts Academy graduating in 2003. Her advanced trainings include: Neuromuscular/Trigger Point therapies, Lymph Drainage, visceral manipulation, Craniosacral therapy, Pre/post-natal and sports massage and Active Isolated Stretching. She is also co-chair of the AMTA-KY Sports massage team. Ann has over 3,500 hours experience in physical therapy settings (out patient orthopedic, acute care, sports medicine) as well as serving as team massage therapist to the University of Kentucky Men’s basketball team for 11 years. She has a private practice in Lexington currently teaches kinesiology and ethics at LHAA in the Massage Therapy Training Program.

Matt Branstetter
Matt Branstetter was a member of the first class to graduate from Lexington Healing Arts. He has been practicing massage professionally for 18 years and is an instructor of Massage Fundamentals. He also graduated from the first Yoga Teacher Training offered by LHAA and now teaches Yoga Philosophy and Meditation in this program. A long time student of meditation and the martial arts, Matt has taught classes in Yoga and Tai Chi at the college level and is a certified Qigong instructor through Rising Lotus Qigong. He has explored perspectives on the relationship between the body, healing and spirituality from a variety of cultures and is a professor of World Religions and Ethics at Midway University. Matt brings a passion for teaching and a love for the somatic arts to his various roles at LHAA.

Candace E. H. Brunk
Candy describes herself as a teacher at heart. She is a licensed massage therapist and a retired home-birth midwife. She began her teaching career as an Environmental Medicine Specialist with the U.S. Air Force in 1984. She launched a midwifery career in 1994 and enjoyed working with families throughout central Kentucky until retiring in September 2011. Candy taught nutrition, self-care breast-feeding and other topics for communities and individuals. She continues to offer formal classes for midwifery students in anatomy, physiology, prenatal/birth/postpartum care, newborn assessment, and a host of other topics. In 2007 Candy broadened her love of learning to include massage therapy. She graduated from the Kentucky Academy of Medical Massage in 2009. Candy teaches Career classes in our Massage Therapy Training Program.

Julia Buchanan
Julia completed her PhD and Master’s Degree at the University of Kentucky, where she focused on health promotion. She also graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Exercise Science. She is a Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine, as well as a Certified Health Education Specialist through NCHEC and is a Certified Health Coach. She has industry background in fitness/wellness program management and health behavior change. Julia teaches the Lifestyle Wellness Coaching course in the Personal Fitness Training Program.

Shane Burry
Shane began his fitness career in 2001. While enlisted in the US Army he became accomplished in group exercise instruction, preparing our nations soldiers for their demanding tasks. The military also presented him 3 awards for outstanding physical fitness achievements. After his enlistment, Shane began focusing on helping others through more personalized fitness training. Shane completed the Nationally accredited Personal Fitness Training Program at the Lexington Healing Arts Academy, graduating with perfect attendance and a 4.0 GPA. Shane is a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He has also earned a Arthritis Exercise Program Specialization from the Arthritis Foundation. He is also Certified for the Strong Over 50 Program. Shane has experience working with high level athletes and soldiers to seniors with arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. His specialty though, is working with clients that need various special considerations due to various chronic or acute physical conditions. Empowering them to know that there is always a way to improve the quality of their lives through fitness, is what keeps him motivated to give 100% to all his clients.

Chacidy Canty
Chacidy is originally from Dallas, TX and became interested in massage therapy when she was in high school. She saw something in this field that intrigued her to want to help people. Chacidy graduated from ATI College in 2010 earning her certificate in Massage Therapy. She received her bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 2013 from Georgetown College. She has worked in a variety of employment settings, and has gained a great deal of knowledge about deep tissue work and many spa services such as wraps, scrubs, and aromatherapy. Through teaching Chacidy hopes to continue to spread positive energy and keep respect for the human body at the forefront.

Joseph Cinquina
Joe is a licensed massage therapist and a graduate of the Lexington Healing Arts Academy. He has owned several companies, including Soular Massage Wellness Center where he is a therapist, and manages all the sales, marketing, and business networking. He is also involved with website design and community wellness education. Joe teaches the Career classes in our Massage Therapy Training Program.

Jill Cole
Jill Cole is a 1998 graduate of the Boulder College of Massage Therapy, in Boulder, Colorado, and currently practices massage at a physician based Medispa and at LHAA’s professional clinic. During her 10 years of practice, Jill has worked closely with physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, and personal trainers; assessing and treating soft tissue pain of their patients and clients. When not massaging or teaching, Jill can be seen competing in triathlons and riding her bike along the beautiful country roads around Lexington. Jill is the Director of Education.

Beth Connors-Manke
A back injury brought Beth to yoga in 2000; since then, her back has been the greatest teacher in her yoga practice. Yoga has allowed Beth to learn about the body’s own capacity for holistic healing through awareness, the breath, and proper alignment. Beth’s practice focuses on intellectual, intuitive, and spiritual understanding of body and mind. A 2009 graduate of Lexington Healing Arts Academy, Beth is now part of LHAA’s teaching team for the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program.

Brittany Fathergill
Brittany graduated from the Lexington Healing Arts Academy in 2005. She has been practicing with an emphasis on Cranio Sacral Therapy and    Reiki – levels one and two. She also includes Hot Stone Therapy among her another modalities. Brittany is the Assistant to the Director of Education.

Justin Gibson
Justin graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Kinesiology. Justin has been a practicing Personal Trainer for the past 4 years and has worked in a handful of settings, including a health club, a private personal training studio, and a medical fitness facility. He also is a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and is also an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. As a trainer, Justin believes in mastering the basics to get stronger and getting creative to burn calories. He has worked with a wide variety of clients including high school athletes, college professors, retirees, those with injuries or special
needs, and children. Justin is also a competitive SPF Powerlifter and avid writer and reader.

Caitlin Grainer, LMT
Caitlin is a 2006 graduate of the Lexington Healing Arts Academy Massage Therapy Program.  For the past nine years Caitlin has worked as a massage therapist in a variety of employment settings including chiropractic, spa, private practice and in a dedicated massage clinic.  Caitlin has assisted in several classes for Lexington Healing Arts over the last several years and is currently a lead instructor for Massage Fundamentals/Clinical Applications in our Massage Therapy Training Program.

Crystal Gregg
Crystal is a graduate of Lexington healing Arts Academy in 2007. She worked with a chiropractor for 3 years and developed a specialty for neck and low back pain. She currently works for Massage Envy where she has developed her skill in Deep Tissue and Sports massage.

Chuck Haehlen
Chuck is a 2007 graduate of Lexington Healing Arts Academy’s Massage Therapy program. After graduating he worked at LHAA as a graduate therapist and now works in the professional clinic. Chuck recently retired from the United States Postal Service after 37 years as a letter carrier in Wisconsin, Florida and Lexington. Chuck also works for imassage Inc. as a teaching assistant for Eric Stephenson, imassage Inc. conducts national level CE workshops including many AMTA State Conventions. Chuck is a teaching assistant for the Massage program.

Robyn Hardy
Robyn graduated from The Lexington Healing Arts Academy in 2001. Robyn has a part time private practice in Lexington. Her practice includes CranioSacral and Lomi modalities. She is the Clinical Education Director for the Massage program.

Lucy Hendricks
Lucy has been a Personal Trainer for the past 6 years and is a co-owner of Enhancing Life, a boutique personal training gym. Lucy was raised in an environment that encouraged curiosity and getting to the root cause of health issues. Her journey into personal training and coaching began in 2010 as a graduate of the Lexington Healing Arts Academy personal training program.

Lucy’s devotion to continuous improvement and education has led her to complete multiple courses and received certifications on biomechanics and human performance, restorative breathing and online personal training. She received certification in Massage Therapy from the Lexington Healing Arts Academy in 2016. Her specialty is teaching clients and students how to properly lift weights, how to get clients excited to learn how to breathe properly, and how to progress and regress exercises.

Her passionate desire to share the information she has learned has helped her overcome her fear of public speaking. For the last 4 years, Lucy has impacted thousands of people all over the country through speaking engagements, webinars, articles, podcasts, and in-person training.

Lenroy Jones
Lenroy Jones has over 25 years of experience at five different institutions, ranging from large public research universities to mid-size schools, and consults fortune 100 companies and nonprofit organization on recruitment of talent. His passion is helping individuals connect to their passion and purpose, and is one of the leading thinkers in career development and management in the nation. Lenroy understands the job search process in America’s New Economy. His presentation style in interactive and engaging.

Lenroy is the author of over 20 articles that cover every aspect of the job search and career management and reveals an innovative and unique approach to career management. His bottom-line is that he’s motivated to teach and coach you to employment of your choosing. He has a strong belief that “what you put into your job search is what you will get out of it”. He has offered his clients a life time commitment of listening and working with employers to secure talent. He has coached thousands and presented workshops on a local and national level.

He holds a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal and Public Communications from Central Michigan University. Lenroy currently serves as a Church Administrator with Consolidated Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where he is responsible for operations, personnel, and financials on a daily basis. He’s taught a number of courses on career development and management. Currently, Lenroy is on faculty with the Lexington Healing Arts Academy and teaches Professional and Career Development.

Bobbi Junod

Bobbi Junod was awarded 2018 Teacher of the Year by AMTA! She was hand-selected from over 1200 massage schools and thousands of instructors for “demonstrating exceptional teaching abilities and a commitment to high standards of education in massage therapy.”

Bobbi holds a Masters Degree in Vocational Education. She has eight years experience teaching horticulture in public schools in Ohio and Kentucky and has worked in the “green industry” as a landscape designer and garden center manager. Bobbi spent five years in Los Angeles, CA as part of the executive administrative team, primarily in human resources, for a traditional and alternative pharmacy. As a graduate of LHAA, and an educator, Bobbi brings a well rounded background to the students of LHAA. She teaches Thought Patterns for a Successful Career in our Massage Therapy program.

Annie Koempel
Annie has an educational background, as well as teaching and research experience, in diverse fields, including history, anthropology, and human nutrition. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, licensed in the State of Kentucky. She works full time for the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Program, as the project manager for the Community Engagement Core, which, among many things, seeks to improve the diet quality of Kentuckians. Her passions include Health at Every Size, sustainable food systems, and Intuitive Eating – she is currently in training to become a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, which she hopes to finish by December 2017. In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, knitting, and playing with her dog.

Jen Patterson
After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology – Exercise Science from the University of Kentucky, Jen graduated from the School of Massage Therapy and Structural Bodywork in 2002. Jen has worked in various settings as a massage therapist, including physical therapy, personal fitness and wellness centers, college-level sports teams and now currently maintains a private massage practice. She helped start and develop the AMTA Kentucky Sports Massage Team and is the current Co-Chair. Jen is certified in orthopedic massage through the Orthopedic Massage Education and Research Institute. Her other areas of training and specialty include Myofascial therapy, Neuromuscular therapy, Trigger Point therapy, Lymph Drainage therapy, Active Isolated Stretching and Kinesiotaping. Jen is very passionate about learning, teaching and sharing the art of massage therapy. One of her lifetime goals is to go to the Olympic Games as a team LMT. Aside from massage and teaching, Jen enjoys cycling and triathlons and spending time with her family and two boys. Jen teaches Massage Fundamentals and is a teaching assistant for Kinesiology.

Jeanne Robinson
Jeanne brings with her a lifetime of teaching advanced Sciences and Human Anatomy and Physiology in the public school system. Additionally, Jeanne has taught chemistry labs on the university level and has been active in professional development throughout the state of Kentucky. She has an undergraduate degree with majors in Biology and Chemistry from Georgetown College, a Master’s degree in Education and a Rank I in Chemistry Education. Jeanne teaches Anatomy & Physiology and Pathology in the Massage Therapy Training Program.

Teresa Rogers
Teresa has devoted more than 30 years to nursing and education. She began her career as a registered nurse in 1980. After 12 years clinical practice, Teresa began teaching Health Sciences. She completed her bachelor’s degree, with an emphasis in vocational education, at Moorehead State University and a master’s degree in special education at Campbellsville University. Teresa currently serves as a consultant for the Kentucky Department of Education. Additionally, Teresa is a Registered Yoga Teacher and is certified by both Yoga Alliance and the International
Association of Yoga Therapists. When a friend introduced her to yoga in 2008, she recognized the potential healing qualities the connection to mind,
body and breath could bring. She completed her 200- hour certification at Evansville Yoga Center and her 300-hour certification at the Yoga Teacher’s School of Excellence in Jackson, Tennessee. Teresa currently teaches at Falling Springs in Versailles, KY.

Rebecca Shepard-Smith
Rebecca is a dedicated, caring, and effective Professional with over twenty years of experience in the food service industry and earned a Bachelor’s Degree, from the University of Kentucky, in Dietetics. She also received her Associates Degree in Culinary Arts, and Baking & Pastry Arts from Sullivan University. Rebecca teaches the Exercise and Nutrition class in the Personal Fitness Training program.

Joyce Shirazi
Joyce was an instructor at LHAA when it was first founded in 1999. She received her massage training from the New Hampshire Institute for Therapeutic Arts. Joyce has advanced training in Reflexology and Neuromuscular massage. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with students. Joyce teaches Kinesiology with our Massage Therapy Training Program.

Katie Stewart
Katie, LMT RCST, has been a practitioner of Massage and Craniosacral therapy since her graduation from S.H.I. Integrated School of Medical Massage in 1998. She is licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio, the State of Kentucky and is Nationally Certified. Katie has worked in a clinic, a physical therapy office and been in private practice since 1999. She holds certificates in Pregnancy Massage and Biodynamic CranioSacral Therapy. Her other trainings include Muscle Energy Technique, Traditional Japanese Reiki, La Stone Therapy, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and Lymphatic Drainage. Katie teaches Massage Fundamentals.

Toni Tillotson
Toni is a 2009 graduate of the Lexington Healing Arts Academy (LHAA) and currently works as a Massage Therapist in the LHAA clinic. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Murray State University and also studied public health at the post-baccalaureate level at the University of Kentucky. Toni worked for 15 years as a Registered Nurse, specializing in home health and hospice care. More recently, she has worked for the Markey Cancer Control Program at the University of Kentucky, first as a cancer information specialist with the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service, and then as a Certified Tumor Registrar with the Kentucky Cancer Registry. Toni teaches Anatomy and Physiology and Pathology in our Massage program.

Lauren Ward
Since Lauren was a young child, she’s always wanted to be a helper. Even at a very early age, she would often rub her grandparents head, hands, and feet just to provide them comfort and relaxation from their aches & pains. Experiencing a significant amount of medical trauma in the Western medical approach,  she decided to seek alternative options for healing and balance. She began looking into more of a holistic approach, while expanding her knowledge through a variety of modalities and teachers. She believes that the body has its own Divine wisdom with how to heal ourselves, and if we can be still and present with what is, she believes  the body will guide us with exactly what we need to do, and how to go about bringing balance once again. Anything that helped her in her own healing process, she went and got more training in.

Lauren’s had the great fortune and honor to work with many of the founders of their modality and a variety of spiritual teachers. Including, Fritz Smith ( founder and creator of Zero Balancing),  Michael “Mukti” Buck ( founder of the Vedic conservatory), Bruno Chikly (founder of the Chikly Institute for lymphatic drainage), Marty Ryan (founder of love your guts seminars, for visceral manipulation and techniques), just to name a few. In addition to being exposed to a variety of acupuncturists, reflexologists, aromatherapists, movement teachers, and many other healthcare professionals, all of whom contributed to her learning process. She has studied intensively with all of the healing arts since 2002,  and has taught at Lexington Healing Arts Academy since 2003. Lauren brings a wealth of knowledge to meet any student’s needs. All of her experience has added to her practice and quality of touch exponentially.

In addition to her basic massage training, Lauren has also completed many Certification programs and holds other titles as well. Including being a Reiki Master Teacher, a Certified Vedic Thai Yoga Massage Teacher, a Certified Zero Balancer, Registered Yoga Teacher, and more.

Mariesha Watters
Mariesha brings a vast amount of experience both in teaching and in the practice of massage. She is a graduate of the Central Ohio School of Massage and is licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio, the State of Kentucky and is Nationally Certified. Mariesha previously taught basic fundamentals, ethics, hydrotherapy, pathology, business, pregnancy, specific treatments, and oversaw the clinic at a school in Ohio. She has worked as a therapist in a chiropractor’s office, is certified in sports massage and pregnancy, and has extensive training in Somatic Releases (myofascial, positional release, and trigger point). Mariesha teaches Massage Fundamentals and Kinesiology.

Lauren Weaver
Lauren knew there was something special about yoga since her college days, when she noticed the weight of her overloaded backpack felt much lighter after an hour on her yoga mat. In her personal practice, her yoga treats assorted ailments, counteracts the stresses of exercise, and brings motion to the body and stillness to the mind. She is excited to share yoga’s many benefits, and finds guiding others both an honor and a joy.