Learn more about our knowledgeable and experienced faculty members. 

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.

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.

Kim Alexander

Kim has been a massage therapist for 25 years and an educator for over 35 years. She holds a Rank 1 from Eastern Kentucky University, and a Bachelors degree in biology education/Masters degree in Comprehensive Science Education from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University.) She graduated from Lexington Healing Arts Academy in 2003. She is passionate about massage education and has taught in both Kentucky and Alabama training massage therapists for 14 years. She works with the University of Kentucky track team massage therapy team and is establishing her massage practice again following her recent move back to Kentucky. She is also involved with massage school accreditation through ABHES and COMTA as an evaluator. She spends most of her free time with family and at sporting events with her grandsons.

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 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-BooneAnn 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.

Shane Brakefield

Shayne is a proud graduate of Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences in NYC; he has been an LMT for 5 years. At Swedish Institute, Shayne was trained in Shiatsu, which is one of his favorite modalities to practice. Shayne is also a certified Ashiatsu practioner through Ashiatsu Deep Feet Bar Therapy, founded by Ruthie Hardee. After several years of his private practice, as well as working for Equinox Spa and Clay Spa in Manhattan, he decided to move back home to Lexington in the fall of 2014. Shayne has also received continuing education in myofascial release, trigger point therapy, cupping, tui na, guasha, positional release, lomi lomi, thai, and others. He looks forward to delving into CST, Anatomy trains, and visceral manipulation training in 2017 and 18. A classically trained actor, he is also a proud graduate of the full time Meisner program at William Esper Studio in NYC, where he received 2 years of Alexander Technique training from world renowned teacher, Judith Grodowitz. In addition, Shayne has been practicing many disciplines of yoga and meditation for the past 20 years. Shayne teaches and assists in Fundamentals of Massage 1 and movement classes at LHAA.

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.

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 Cinquina is a licensed and Board Certified massage therapist and a graduate of the Lexington Healing Arts Academy, where he has been a faculty member since 2010. He teaches Fundamentals of Massage 1 and 2, Career Development, and Thought Patterns For A Successful Career, and he also assists in Kinesiology. Joe is certified in Integrated Manual Therapy and Orthopedic Massage by James Waslaski’s Center For Pain Management, and he co-owns Soular Massage Pain Management with his wife, Cynthia. As a hot stone specialist, he teaches continuing education courses in hot stone massage at LHAA and has also taught deep tissue therapeutic massage for the KY chapter of the AMTA.

Aside from massage, Joe also has a second career as a professional freelance musician and church music director. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Composition and a Master’s Degree in Music Theory from the University of South Florida. He is the author of “The Practical Fundamentals of Music Theory.” Joe says one of his great passions is for teaching, whether it be massage or music.

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.

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.

Susan Gore, BS, LMT, DC

Dr. Gore has been serving in the healthcare industry for the last 22 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Texas A&M at Corpus Christi graduating with Honors and continued her education to include graduating from the Austin School of Massage Therapy, and in 2005 became a Doctor of Chiropractic receiving her doctorate from Texas Chiropractic College, again graduating with Honors and was the recipient of the Student Keeler Plaque.

Dr. Gore re-certifies every year with Activator Methods International in order to retain her Advanced Proficiency Rating as an Activator Chiropractor. She is also certified through TCC in clinical acupuncture and has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 1996. She has studied a variety of massage techniques. She has attended the Upledger Institute studying CranioSacral Therapy I & II, SomatoEmotional Release Therapy I & II, St. John’s Program of Neuromuscular Therapy I – V. She is also a Certified Natural Health Professional through Trinity School of Natural Health. She has studied Iridology, Western Herbology, Body Systems, Face Nail and Tongue. She has also studied and certified in Active Release Techniques – Spine. Prior to entering the health care profession, Dr. Gore was a teacher on the secondary level, teaching the sciences and coaching. She has also taught in the Peoples Republic of China with English Language Institute China and has studied Tuina at the Olympic Training Center in Beijing, China.

Dr. Gore has had a private massage practice since 1996 and had a private Chiropractic practice from 2006 until 2016 in the Houston area prior to moving to Lexington, Kentucky.

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.

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.

Bobbi Junod - AMTA's 2018 Teacher of the Year

Bobbi Junod was awarded 2018 Teacher of the Year by the American Massage Therapy Association! She was hand-selected from over 1200 massage schools and thousands of instructors.

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.

Kathy Lewallen

Kathy is a graduate of the Lexington Healing Arts Academy, 2005. From the University of Kentucky she holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and graduate studies in Textiles. She received her certificate in baking and pastry from The New School, and cake decorating from Peter Kumps New York Cooking School. She works as a massage therapist at LHAA with a focus on relaxing the mind and body through an integration of modalities including Swedish and CranioSacral therapies. She currently assists the fundamental class in Massage Therapy.

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.

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.

Dave Wilton

David Wilton is an NASM certified personal trainer and a KY licensed massage therapist. He holds certifications in Precision Nutrition, Kettelbell Athletics, Functional Movement Systems, Restorative Breathing, and Training for Warriors. Most of all David is a coach with a passion to produce results. He spends his time every day on the gym floor working with all types of people. 12 years in this field has taught him that the human body is more complicated than most want to realize, and you must respect where everyone is on their specific journey. Through comprehensive assessments of biomechanics and lifestyle David is able to create a plan that produces a sustainable long lasting result that his clients can enjoy for a lifetime.

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Lexington Healing Arts Academy
272 Southland Drive
Lexington, KY 40503

(859) 252-5656

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