Body Wisdom School Faculty

Over the course of well over two decades worth of hiring and training instructors, we have learned that even the most decorated resume of credentials and experience does not guarantee a good instructor.

Body Wisdom has always taken pride in finding the most talented and well versed experts anywhere in the US and even abroad to serve our students.

We can assure that all of our faculty members, many of who came up in our own ranks and underwent proprietary custom training here, have been hand selected and measure up to the scrutiny of a long list of teaching requirements, which we find equally important to titles and degrees. To give you an idea:

  • Self-driven pursuit of on-going study and professional development within the respective expertise and beyond
  • Example for professional standards and ethics
  • Passion to pass on knowledge and skills to others
  • True care for all student’s needs and learning goals
  • Ability to present information and technique effectively
  • Believe that all students deserve the best we can offer, plus equal treatment
  • Drive to see graduates and therapists excel and succeed in this profession
  • Organizational, communication, cooperation and interactive skills
  • Comprehension of the massage profession at large and its ongoing development, also within the market place

Today, we proudly present to you our strong faculty team, comprised of 28 fine human beings, qualified presenters, and truly devoted experts:

  • Adam B.

    Adam, a professional triathlete himself, not only holds an impressive record of competing in over thirty triathlons in as little as five years, including three-time Ultramarathon and seven-time Ironman finisher, and qualifying for the World Championships, he also trains and coaches other triathletes as well as school kids and young talent.

  • Allison D.

    Born and raised in Iowa, Allison grew up with horses and started at an early age to teach kids how to take care of, handle and work with horses; on their own farm and in summer camp. Later she studied Health and Fitness Management at Iowa State, where she also attained her Liberal Arts Degree. Her additional studies of dance and Nia Technique as well as massage therapy lead her to further teaching.

  • Annie P.

    Annie, originally from Chicagoland, studied the art of movement at the University of North Texas and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. She moved to Atlanta, GA as a performer and teacher and found a new home at the Atlanta School of Massage. It was at this time she began to engage in a deep appreciation for the connection between massage and movement. Her study of hands-on bodywork and the deciphering of common movement patterns proved to be the foundation for her practice.

  • April H.

    Born and raised in Central Iowa in a strong Christian household, April grew up the youngest of three girls, learning early on the value of quality work and an appreciation for knowledge.

  • Ariel G.

    An Iowa native, Ariel spent her formative years in New Mexico, Kentucky, and Indiana. She earned her Associate in Arts degree at Cottey College in Missouri, then transferred to Simpson College in Iowa to complete her music education major, as well as studying a semester abroad in London. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree.

  • Ashley G.

    Biology graduate and former Drake University softball recruit, Ashley, planned to pause her medical career track, which lead her to 10 successful years in the Beverage industry as manager, event organizer, and presenter.

  • Dianna B.

    Dianna B, originally from Massachusetts, moved to the Midwest in 1996. She has owned her wellness center called “Mind Your Body” in McGregor, Iowa since 2003, where she’s also employed other massage therapists at given times.

  • Dr. Joe O.

    Listing Dr. Joe’s academic studies, degrees, certifications, awards, distinctions, work experience, community services, etc. would take a few long pages alone, which makes it hard to summarize his many talents, interests and abilities and still painting a complete picture as to who he is.

  • Dr. Sam O.

    Dr. Sam grew up just outside the small community of Carroll, Iowa. Being a middle child in a family of 9 children, he was a natural competitor and very active in any type of sport he could find. Throughout high school, he participated in basketball, football, and weight lifting and continued playing basketball into college. Two major sports injuries that required complete reconstructive knee surgery not only magnified his already strong interest in the human body and how it functioned, but it also instilled a compassion for others and the desire to help their performance.

  • Emily N.

    Body Wisdom graduate, Emily, is a Grammy Award winning musician, athlete, animal lover, and artist. After her initial college scholarship and musical apprenticeship, her compassion for all living things and the belief in the power of healing through touch, eventually led Emily to become a professional massage & sound therapist in 2012.

  • Ethel M.

    Always cool and calm, Ethel radiates genuine happiness and kindness that is contagious to those around her. One seven siblings and with five lovely kids of her own, Ethel’s extended family makes for a sizable contribution to Iowa’s fine population.

  • Faith S.

    Massage Therapist, Musician, and Teacher, Faith Swanson graduated from Body Wisdom School with special focus on medical massage, utilizing a wide range of modalities from Orthopedic, over Myofascial, Deep Tissue, and Lymphatic Massage to Stretching and Aromatherapy. She is also a life coach and has experience in working with professional tri-athletes and runners. Faith currently practices within a chiropractic, wellness and spa setting.

  • Jennifer B.

    Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Jennifer is a passionate advocate for holistic well-being. As the second of four kids, she embraced a diverse range of interests, from sports and the arts to science. Pursuing her studies at Brigham Young University in Therapeutic Recreation, Jennifer's coursework focused on anatomy, human biology, psychology, and experiential design.

  • Jill V.

    Jill’s passion for all things tangible and intangible alike, began to flourish in her early childhood in West Des Moines with the loving support of her parents. Values of physical activity, fitness, travel and excitement were well balanced with a deep appreciation for knowledge, music, and faith.

  • Jillian P.

    Home schooled on a rural southwestern Iowa family farm, Jillian graduated top of her class 2009 from ‘The French Culinary Institute’ in New York City before holding management positions in some of the city’s acclaimed restaurants.

  • Katherine W.

    Meet Katherine, an Iowa native with an unyielding passion for birth and babies that has shaped her life's journey. Entranced by the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth, Katherine took her first steps into the world of birth work in 2015, finding her true calling as a labor doula, offering steadfast support to expectant mothers as they navigate the incredible journey of bringing new life into the world.

  • Katelyn K.

    Body Wisdom Graduate, Katelyn Kennebeck, holds a Liberal Arts Degree and has worked for a decade in key positions in Des Moines’ service industry before following her calling for wellness and becoming a licensed massage therapist.

  • Leslie C.

    When Leslie benefited greatly from massage sessions during an injury recovery, she recognized her calling as massage therapist. Initially she dreamed of massaging horses, but in realizing how incredible human bodies and their inhabitants are, she fell in love with humans. At age 20 Leslie was the youngest massage graduate of her class in Aurora, Colorado, where she had moved to after graduating high school in Des Moines.

  • Mandy L.

    WTender, feisty, and deep are words that may describe Mandy’s personality.

  • Matt J.

    Body Wisdom graduate Matt J holds a degree in Kinesiology with emphasis on movement and exercise science. Originally from NE Iowa, Matt founded his successful Massage & Personal Trainer business in Des Moines.

  • Paige F.

    Paige's healthcare journey started with a deep desire to aid others at age 16. Graduating high school a year early, she obtained certifications as a CNA, LPN, and RCMA. Despite these achievements, her quest for knowledge continued, amassing college credits with further degree aspirations.

  • Sadie H.

    With the first decade plus of professional massage experience under her belt, Sadie enjoys a flourishing private practice, “Divine Current”, in a small town tucked in the bluffs of Guttenburg in Northeast Iowa. She is also a certified doula and hosts a local “Red Tent” in her community. A mother of two beautiful and vibrant children herself, Sadie has developed a very deep reverence for the female body and certainly the art of the human body systems.

  • Samantha G.

    Meet Sammi, instructor, avid athlete, and visionary founder of Stoik Body Company. Her mission is to redefine the concept of movement and fitness through a unique fusion of exercise science, psychology, massage therapy, stretching, and coaching.

  • Samantha M.

    A Body Wisdom graduate and thankful for what her teachers provided for her, Samantha relates well to students and loves to support them in unleashing their full potential. “We are all capable of so much more than we think”, she says.

  • Sara N.

    Sara Nygaard grew up in rural Northwest Iowa and graduated high school with a class of 16, before earning her aviation degree at the University of Nebraska. Despite her dream to work for a commercial airline, she ended up working at a Des Moines insurance company for 16 years, before a big life change in 2016 lead her to pursue massage therapy. The profession had been on her mind for a long time and friends would even offer to pay her for her talent

  • Susan B.

    Enthusiastic Susan Bakken is a lively ‘southern girl’, born and raised in Texas. Her husband brought her to his home state of Iowa, where she enjoyed raising their four boys, one of them another Body Wisdom graduate, who practices with her at Healistics, Susan’s own establishment.

  • Tabbatha M.

    Tabbatha, a Body Wisdom graduate, also holds a Liberal Arts Degree and studied Photography. She credits her grandmother, a strong and kind woman of faith who impacted her greatly, for much of her own strong qualities, including her empathy and nurturing personality, but also her organizational skills. An avid learner, Tabbatha stays focused on her passions and goals.

  • Tiaira P.

    With roots in Michigan and NE Iowa, where she grew up, Tiaira’s passion has always been to help others. Even though her initial track was social work, life directed Tiaira through a number of career stations in the medical field, finance, legal affairs, management, and customer service, where she could do some good for others, but didn’t really feel fulfilled. Further search, led her to massage therapy, which she calls her ‘new passion’.