Instructors and Staff

Instructors
jan frus massage instructor in costa rica

Jan Frus

Jan is the Director of Education and Lead Instructor at CRSMT. She is a licensed massage therapist and registered nurse. She teaches western massage techniques and hydrotherapy classes, and is our Clinic Supervisor. She’s also a CRSMT alumna. She has always felt passionately about helping people, especially helping people with their healing journey. Jan first pursued this passion as an Emergency Room nurse. In that role she received specialized training including becoming a Trauma Nurse Specialist, teaching the Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course and training to become a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. After 15 years in the emergency room she was ready for a change but still wanted to help people. She has been receiving bodywork since the age of 11 and knows first hand the power it has to change someone’s life. She found CRSMT and fell in love with the school and Costa Rica. Jan is delighted to be back at the school, offering a unique perspective as someone who’s, “been there,” and knows what wonderful things happen you follow the school’s advice and, “trust the process!”

Kate Steffanich Headshot

Kate Steffanich, LMT

Kate is a certified and licensed massage therapist from Montana, and is a CRSMT Alum who has called Samara home for over 10 years. She has always been interested in the human body, attending Montana State University on an athletic scholarship and graduating with a degree in health promotion and pre-PT. She has been a TA for almost every class at CRSMT, and now teaches advanced Western Techniques and Craniosacral Therapy.

Kate feels that massage therapy and being able to work with and explore the connectedness of the body—between tissue, between systems, between the mind and body, between us and nature— is such a privilege. By impacting one part or one person, we are impacting the whole. It’s a beautiful thing!

Outside of the classroom, Kate enjoys surfing, reading, cooking, gardening, or hanging with her little girl, Evie.

victoria moutahir in costa rica

Victoria Moutahir

Victoria is a board certified, Rhode Island licensed massage therapist. She has been in practice since 1998 in Providence, RI and owns and operates 2 locations of Body Kneads, Inc. in Providence and East Greenwich.

Her teaching career began in 2004 and her education includes a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Science in Nutrition from Northeastern University. As an adjunct faculty in the CCRI Rehabilitative Health Department, she teaches courses in the Therapeutic Massage Program. She also coordinates and supervises the student massage clinic and teaches the Nutrition Basics course as well. Her broad spectrum of knowledge includes certifications in orthopedic and medical massage, myofascial release, manual lymphatic drainage, craniosacral therapy. She has also run businesses for over 20 years.

Victoria’s passion for education over the past decade has been fueled by the transformation of her  students through their willingness to challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zones to achieve their goals.

TJ Ford

T.J. Ford, MBE, LMT

T.J. is a massage therapist, Somatic Experiencing practitioner, educator, and death doula in New York City. After graduating from the Swedish Institute in New York over 25 years ago, she created a private practice focused on wellness and injury rehabilitation and taught both science and hands-on classes at Swedish for 7 years. In 2000 she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she taught for 10 years at East West College. Her private practice focused on orthopedic massage, rehabilitation, and trauma work. She also created and taught continuing education classes in orthopedic massage, trigger point therapy, craniosacral therapy, and ethics. A lifelong learner, she loves sharing her passion and excitement for anatomy, physiology, and pathology with her students through real-life experiences.

Thomas Dubois Headshot

Thomas J. Dubois LMT

Thomas J. Dubois was drawn to the field of massage as an exchange student in college in Nagpur, India.  During his time in India, Thomas learned to speak, read, and write Hindi, and was intrigued by the health benefits of regular massage, something that has been practiced routinely in India to treat a wide variety of health conditions for thousands of years. This experience led him to pursue massage therapy education.

After graduating from the Hudson Valley School of Massage Therapy in West Park, New York, Thomas specialized in orthopedic massage and the Active Isolated Stretching and Strengthening technique. In 2012 Thomas received permission from the founder of the AIS technique, Aaron L. Mattes, to teach it to other massage professionals as a continuing education course.

Thomas has a practice in Glenwood Springs Colorado he works with injuries, chronic pain and helping athletes improve physical performance. He also teaches Kinesiology and bodywork at the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy.

Sarah Shoen Massage Therapy Instructor

Sarah Shoen LMT

Sarah is a graduate of the Costa Rica School of Massage tTherapy, and is a full-time massage therapist in Newport, Rhode Island. She has owned and run her business, little bird wellbeing, since 2018. Sarah attended Rhode Island college and received a B.A. in Psychology and studied physical therapy at South College in Asheville, North Carolina prior to attending massage school. Sarah has returned to CRSMT, both as a teaching assistant and as an instructor. With over ten years of collective experience, Sarah has developed her own style and technique with bodywork, based on mindful awareness and intuition. She is enthusiastic about learning, creating, and observing human connection, as well as embracing the art of imperfection and full body acceptance. She is devoted to her work, clients, community, and students. She continues to develop the practice of mindfulness through manual therapy and meditation techniques. When Sarah isn’t at the shop or teaching at CRSMT she spends most of her time staring at the ocean, drinking too much coffee, camping, and reading.

Morgan Little Headshot

Morgan Little LMT

Morgan Little is a Licensed Massage Therapist with a Master’s Degree in Sport and Exercise Science. During her time as a collegiate and overseas professional athlete, she found interest in the human body and the process of recovery. Morgan attended CRSMT Massage Therapy Program, Asian Modalities, Yoga Teacher Training, and the Oncology Retreat. She has served as a Teacher Assistant for Asian Modalities, Kinesiology, Western Techniques, and Hydrotherapy. Having experience as the ‘body in need,’ the researcher, and the therapist, Morgan’s perspective is open and keeps expanding.

She has recently begun working with Elite Athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and Crossfit. She works as a privately hired therapist and attends tournaments, bowl games, and competitions. She specializes in Proactive Recovery, Body Alignment, and Injury. She also works with her younger volleyball athletes with injury prevention and mechanical alignment.

Morgan is passionate about sharing knowledge, teaching how we can better understand our bodies, and using tension to our advantage. She continues an in-depth study of Structural Integration, and Thai Massage, using her own muscular, nervous and fascial system as a continuous research model.

David Valentine at the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy

David Valentine LMT

David has spent over 10 years helping students really grasp new information, answering questions, and making the learning journey fun for students at massage schools in Sarasota, Florida. He brings his background as an entertainer, teacher, philosopher, and meditator to Costa Rica to teach the Anatomy course. As a raw food vegan, David has a passion for living a healthy, balanced, holistic lifestyle. He has also been helping people with their tight, stiff, and painful places as a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2001. David specializes in a unique rocking method of Myofascial Release Therapy.

Kat Parker massage teacher

Kat Parker

Kat is a licensed massage therapist, CRSMT alum, and Kinesiology enthusiast. She has been teaching in various capacities since 2001, and has worked with the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy and Yoga since 2014. She fell in love with the study of muscles and bones while a student in Costa Rica, fascinated with the complexities and intricacies of the human body and the marvelous way it all comes together. Kat has contributed her efforts and expertise to CRSMT in multiple roles including Clinic Supervisor, Operations Manager, Dean of Students, Teaching Assistant, and Instructor. She has a special knack for curriculum development and coordination, as well as a unique ability to facilitate the learning of kinesiology. In 2019 she moved back to the US to focus full time on her massage practice, and she is currently thriving at a busy massage studio in San Antonio, TX and developing continuing education classes that she hopes to offer in the coming years. Since discovering her passion for massage and massage education she has never looked back, taking every opportunity to learn and grow and to pass that curiosity on to her students.

dr renae rogers

Dr. Renae Rogers, ND, LAc, CMT

Dr. Renae graduated with Honors from the prestigious Boulder College of Massage Therapy (BCMT) (1140 hours) in 2006. Although she was more formally introduced to the holistic health and wellness arts at the age of 14, it was not until 2005 that Dr. Renae embarked on what became an eight-year-long period of continuous, formal education in the medical, health, and healing arts. She began with completing Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) training through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and graduated the following year from BCMT. After completing remaining prerequisite courses in the interim period, she began a 6-year dual-degree program at the National College of Natural Medicine (now: National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland, Oregon, the following fall. In 2013, she graduated with Highest Honors and a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine, Masters of Acupuncture (Classical Chinese Medicine), and Certificate of Advanced Studies in Classical Chinese Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Renae has taught in various capacities and roles for decades and continues to actively pursue her own continued training and development as well.

 

Dr. Renae has served as an active faculty member since first joining with CRSMT in early 2017 and is delighted to serve alongside the talented and passionate faculty and staff of CRSMT in the commitment to cultivating well-trained, compassionate massage therapists. In additional to clinical practice and other business pursuits, Dr. Renae teaches advanced-training seminars to other medical, health, and wellness professionals of all disciplines. She enjoys bringing her diverse experience into the CRSMT classroom with the aim of enriching the expressions of both the art and the science of massage therapy within each student.

Guest Instructors
whitney lowe orthopedic massage at the costa rica school of massage therapy

Whitney Lowe

Whitney Lowe has been a massage professional for over 30 years. Professionals and schools have used Lowe’s texts, Orthopedic Assessment in Massage Therapy and Orthopedic Massage: Theory and Technique for years. He is a contributing author to several books and his articles appear regularly in professional journals and magazines. You can catch him every other week in his popular podcast, The Thinking Practitioner, co-hosted with Til Luchau. In 1994, he founded the Orthopedic Massage Education & Research Institute, which is now the Academy of Clinical Massage, to provide massage therapists the advanced education they would need for treating orthopedic soft-tissue disorders. He currently directs the NCBTMB Clinical Rehabilitative Massage Specialty Certificate Program, which includes the profession’s most comprehensive online training program in science-based rehabilitative massage.

David Lauterstein

David Lauterstein

David Lauterstein is Co-director of Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in Austin, TX. He has taught Deep Massage: The Lauterstein Method, throughout England and the U.S. since 1982. He is one of the most highly respected educators in the massage therapy realm, was inducted in 2011 into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame, was awarded “Teacher of the Year” by AMTA in 2013 and the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education in 2014. He is the author of the three books, “Putting the Soul Back in the Body”, “The Deep Massage Book”, and “Life in the Bones” (recently published by Upledger Institute). He is also a faculty member of the Zero Balancing Health Association. In 2018 David began offering workshops in his method at the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy. His background prior to massage therapy was in philosophy and music composition. He is the composer of the massage CD, “Roots and Branches.”

Vickie Torrey- licensed massage and bodywork therapist

Vickie Torrey

Vickie Torrey, MBA, MHA, LMBT is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist with 26 years experience in therapeutic massage and over 26 years experience as a Counselor/Certified Social Worker. Ms. Torrey has previously served as Director of Education for the North Carolina Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), taught massage and movement for Omega Institute of Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York, and wrote for the Charlotte Post a monthly newspaper column entitled “Hands On Health,” that focused on massage, bodywork and mind-body psychology. In 2018, Vickie was nominated for the AARP Purpose Prize Award for her innovative work with caregivers. She teaches classes in Hot Stone, Intuitive, and Oncology Massage in Brazil, Costa Rica, and the US.

Shannon Gilmartin

Shannon Gilmartin

Shannon Gilmartin, CMT, will teach the cupping therapy workshop in Samara, Costa Rica. She is a licensed and nationally certified massage therapist (2002), certified vacuum therapies practitioner and educator (2008). In addition to her focus in massage cupping, she has over 15 years of experience in therapeutic bodywork, including: medical massage, myofascial release, neuromuscular, craniosacral, soft tissue injury rehabilitation, Thai massage and visceral manipulation. She has taught all over the United States and abroad, and she currently practices in Virginia Beach.

She has authored ‘The Guide to Modern Cupping Therapy: A Step-by-Step Source for Vacuum Therapies,” and has been published in Massage Today, Massage Magazine, and online interviews with ‘Bodywork Buddy.’

damien archambeau lymphatic drainage massage certification instructor

Damien Archambeau, LMT, MLD-C, MLD Instructor

Corporate Controller for TruMantra Education Group

Damien A. Archambeau is a BCTMB and LMT of 20 years who specializes in therapeutic massage and rehabilitative massage therapy. He will be teaching the manual lymphatic drainage massage certification continuing education course at the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy. Academically, he completed a degree in Applied Sciences with focus in Massage Therapy. Damien originally was introduced to the industry through his internationally accomplished grandfather, Masso- therapist, James Dispoto. Damien’s love of massage guided him to advance his knowledge in massage therapy to the next generation of massage therapists. Therefore, over the last 10 years, Damien ventured into the education sector of massage therapy as an educator and developed an advanced massage CE course called Myokinesio Therapy. Damien’s tenure and growth with the TruMantra Education Group saw him evolve into the role of the National Director of Career Services, and later into the position of the TruMantra Education’s Groups Corporate Controller. Additionally, Damien’s expertise as a business owner over the last 20 years enhances his role and performance as a Controller for the TruMantra Education Group. Damien chose to expand skills as a therapist in Manual Lymphatic Draining through the Academy of Lymphatic Studies and joined the team in 2021 as an instructor.

Dr Steve Capobianco Massage School in Costa Rica

Dr. Steven Capobianco, DC, DACRB

Steven Capobianco is the Sr. Director of Medical Education for Rocktape and has been a practicing chiropractor since 2003 with his main focus on helping his patients/clients move in a meaningful way. He has supplemented his traditional education with a diplomate in rehabilitation from the ACA Rehab Council as well as a certified strength and conditioning specialist from the NSCA and Performance Specialist from the NASM.

He is one of the co-founders of RockTape and lectures, globally, on topics related to kinesiology taping, IASTM modalities, myofascial cupping, compressional floss therapies, and movement/performance strategies. He is most proud of being a dad, husband, and dog/horse owner.

Administration
Tess

Tess McGrath

Tess is the Executive Director at CRSMT.  After graduating from Lehigh University, where she studied Accounting and Finance and was the captain of the women’s lacrosse team, Tess traveled extensively throughout the United States, New Zealand and Kenya for nearly a year and half. While in Kenya, she worked for a micro-finance organization helping to launch small businesses. Tess first came to Samara to work for Asociacion CREAR, a local non-profit organization, in June of 2012 as a continuation of her Master’s thesis work in Kenya. In December of 2012 she graduated from SUNY Albany with a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management and quickly returned to Samara to pick up where she left off.  In January of 2014 Tess joined the CRSMT team, excited and ready to put her unique set of skills to work. She is an integral part of the staff providing support to both instructors and students as they embark upon a new chapter of their lives. She also continues to work closely with CREAR as a board member. She is passionate about holistic living, traveling, and connecting with nature. In her free time she loves to go on adventures with her family and friends.

Bill Burden-4

Bill Burden

Bill is the Director of Marketing for CRSMT. He is the digital marketer, photographer, videographer, webmaster and all-around tech guy for CRSMT. Bill was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona. He has worked in management, sales, and marketing for over 15 years in the fields of hospitality, technology, and education. He is also a certified English teacher and holds a master’s degree in International Education from Framingham State University. He loves working in the area of educational tourism, and also provides consulting in the areas of design and digital marketing for local businesses and serves on the board of directors of the local non-profit, Asociación CREAR. Bill is passionate about adventures and spending time with friends and family.

javiera jimenez costa rica school of massage therapy

Javiera Jiménez

Javiera serves as Administrative Coordinator at CRSMT. She  was born and raised in Santiago, Chile where she worked in Marketing Research for 4 years before coming to Costa Rica for the first time in 2014. Javi fell in love with Playa Sámara, and decided to move here two years later. After living here and working in the hospitality industry for almost five years, she joined the CRSMT team. She is excited to work with similar minded people and use her organizational skills. In her free time, Javi loves travelling and surfing, but also staying home watching a good show or reading a book.

qiana martin host of a touch of costa rica podcast

Qiana Martin

Qiana Martin loves to tell a great story. She serves as the Host and Producer of A Touch of Costa Rica.

The TEDx speaker, soccer visionary and former Fila model draws upon her transformative experiences traveling the world playing soccer to help global brands speak to diverse audiences. From PayPal to Pizza Hut, Qiana has a track record for producing unique engagements that highlight overlooked voices, stories and perspectives.

It is with this same spirit that the A Touch of Costa Rica host and producer is on a mission to bring podcast listeners inspirational stories from the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy community and invite them to embark on their own adventures.

Staff
Juan

Juan Jimenez Perez

Juan is the Head of Maintenance and has been working with the school since we broke ground on construction over a decade ago. He is quite literally able to solve any type of maintenance issue and does it all with his characteristic humility and smile. Juan enjoys playing soccer, running, and listening to music, but his real passion is woodworking. You will see his crafts and creations all over campus!

Maria-Luisa

Maria Luisa Ruiz Jimenez

Maria Luisa is the Head of Housekeeping at CRSMT. She has worked with us for the past 6 years and is to be credited for the high-standard of beauty and cleanliness in our campus houses and classrooms. She is a brilliant multi-tasker, a dedicated employee, and an essential part of our team. Watch out for her towel origami, complete with fresh flowers from our gardens! In her free time Maria Luisa enjoys spending time with her family and watching TV.

Miriam

Miriam Diaz Rodriguez

Miriam is the Housekeeping Assistant on campus. She joined our team in 2013 and has since shown herself to be a valued member of the staff. She and Maria Luisa work side by side cleaning and maintaining the campus houses and classrooms and ensuring that we always have fresh linens for in-class practice and clinic practicum shifts. You will immediately notice her shy smile and her dedicated work ethic. Outside of work Miriam loves dancing and playing soccer on Sundays.

Marvin

Marvin Obregon Jimenez

Marvin joined the CRSMT staff in 2013 as the Maintenance Assistant. You will often see him tending the grounds, cleaning the pool, or assisting Juan, who happens to be his older brother, with one of the many projects they undertake on any given day. In addition to his work here on campus, Marvin also attends school in the evenings. He enjoys playing all kinds of sports, especially soccer, and spending time at the beach with friends.