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Author Biographies

Ernesto Ortiz, LMT, CST

Ernesto Ortiz, LMT, CST

Licensed as a Massage Therapist in the State of Florida since 1992, Mr. Ortiz is also accredited through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Ernesto is a 1989 graduate from Educating Hands in Miami Florida though his training began at an early age in Mexico with Curanderos and Shamans and has continued for many years with world renowned teachers in Transpersonal Psychology, Shamanism, Music Therapy, Bodywork and more. Ernesto continued his education by becoming certified in Neuromuscular Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy, Hot Stone Therapy, Integrative Breathwork, Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), Hypnotherapy and other medical style therapies. He is a Reiki Master and teacher and was also part of the teaching staff with the Upledger Institute. In 1994 he created Journey to the Heart and has taught and facilitated numerous workshops in the US, Canada and Australia.

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Jenny Baltazar, LMT, RYT

Jenny Baltazar, LMT, RYT

Jenny received her massage therapy training from the Swedish Institute in New York City in 1999. Upon graduating, she completed additional certification in prenatal and postpartum massage. She began her massage practice by specializing in the care of women, particularly in all stages of pregnancy and postpartum care. Jenny is also Certified in Pediatric Massage Therapy, Geriatric Massage, and is an Infant Massage Instructor. Jenny believes in the power of touch to help people of all ages relax, breathe, focus, and feel more balanced. She has a passion for studying aromatherapy. For many years, she has integrated aromatic oils into her private practice . Jenny teaches aromatherapy classes around the Hudson Valley, and is committed to teaching parents how to safely use essential oils with their children.

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Jimmy Gialelis, LMT, BCTMB

Jimmy Gialelis, LMT, BCTMB

Jimmy Gialelis, LMT, is a national board certified clinical practitioner passionate about clients actualizing maximum health gains. A member of the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame, he contributes to the Massage & Bodywork Licensure Exam as an exam item writer. He maintains a continuing education business, Advanced Massage Arts & Education, along with his private practice studio in Tempe, AZ.

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Jo Bakal, LMT, RMT, HWC, NFC

Jo Bakal, LMT, RMT, HWC, NFC

Jo is a licensed massage therapist in the state of Florida since July 2020. She plans to use her massage skills and knowledge to work with the elderly, cancer patients, equine and canine massage, and others who need healing. Originally from New York City and now a Florida resident, Jo is a well-rounded wellness practitioner whose goal is to help women 40+ become more energetic and lead healthier lives. In addition to massage, she is an IIN Certified Health & Wellness Coach, NTI Natural Foods Chef, and Reiki & Qigong Instructor. Additional certifications include PMP Project Manager, and CSM Scrum Master – both have influenced her ability as an effective wellness practitioner. She attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City and the Tyler School of Art in Rome as a visual artist. As a career woman, wife, and mother, she has transformed this creative energy into food alchemy, and is living her passion for facilitating wellness.

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Leslie DeMatteo, LMT, MS

Leslie DeMatteo, LMT, MS

Leslie L. DeMatteo, LMT, MS, has been an active massage therapist since 1998, after graduating from the Sarasota School of Massage Therapy in Sarasota, FL. There she completed the massage therapy program along with a certificate program in Nuad-Bo-Rarn: Traditional Massage of Thailand. Since then, she has completed continuing education in cranial-sacral fundamentals, cancer and mastectomy massage, reflexology, trigger point therapy and prenatal massage. She is also certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) and is a Professional Level member of Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP). Her work in massage therapy continuing education and teaching in a massage school ignited a passion for adult training and education, which led her to pursue her Bachelor's Degree in Adult Learning: Vocational Instruction, followed by her a Master's Degree in Adult Learning.

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Linda Fehrs, LMT

Linda Fehrs, LMT

Linda Fehrs, AAS, LMT is a freelance writer and massage therapy professional licensed by the New York State Department of Education. She is a professional member of the American Massage Therapy Association and the New York State Society of Medical Massage Therapists. Ms. Fehrs has actively practiced massage therapy in the Mid-Hudson Valley since 2002 with a focus on those with special needs, such as developmental and physical disabilities. She is a graduate of the Hudson Valley School of Massage Therapy as well as a former instructor at the school. Prior to becoming a massage therapist she was former managing editor of a weekly community newspaper and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Ms. Fehrs currently volunteers with the Red Cross, helping to educate others about emergency preparedness and disaster relief.

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Lydia Riedell, LMT

Lydia Riedell, LMT

Lydia Riedell, LMT is a licensed massage therapy professional trained at the Core Institute in Tallahassee and licensed in Florida since 1992. In concert with her practice of massage therapy, Lydia became a Reiki practitioner in the Usui System of Natural Healing and applied this energy based healing art as a volunteer with Big Bend Hospice and as a first responder with the Lake Lamonia Volunteer Fire Department. After becoming a Reiki Master in the Usui System, Lydia opened a massage establishment where she specialized in massage therapy for patients with TMJ, fibromyalgia, and sports injuries. Lydia currently practices Acutonics Sound Healing with tuning forks and crystals, and teaches Qigong fundamentals and Light Balancing techniques for health and vitality.

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Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM is a long time advocate of integrating perspectives on health. With a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester and a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches Institute, Nicole has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2000. She has gathered acupuncture licenses in the states of California and New York, is a certified specialist with the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, has earned diplomat status with the National Commission of Chinese and Oriental Medicine in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology and is a member of the Society for Integrative Oncology. In addition to her acupuncture practice that focuses on stress and pain relief, digestion, immunity and oncology, Nicole contributes to the integration of healthcare by writing articles for professional massage therapists and people living with liver disease.

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Shari Auth, DACM, L.A.c, LMT

Shari Auth, DACM, L.A.c, LMT

Shari Auth, DACM, L.A.c, LMT, is a well sought after holistic healthcare practitioner in New York City. Dr. Auth has studied the healing arts around the world. Shari's extensive accreditations include a license in acupuncture, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, master's degree in herbology, Board Certified Chinese Herbalist, licensed massage therapist, and guild certification in the Rolf Method of Structural Integration. Shari Auth is the founder of the Auth Method of Therapeutic Massage and has been a faculty member of the Swedish Institute in New York City.

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Yvonne Zipter, LMT, BCTMB

Yvonne Zipter, LMT, BCTMB

Yvonne completed her massage therapy training at the Cortiva Institute in Chicago in 2007. Following graduation, she earned certifications in prenatal and geriatric massage and became Board Certified with the NCBTMB in 2014. Early in her career, she worked primarily with amateur athletes—triathletes and runners, mostly—but now works mainly with issues related to disability. Yvonne has never gotten over the thrill of being able to help people feel better and loves exploring the many ways massage can improve our health.

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