“I love the teachers at SFSOM. They are SO knowledgeable and supportive. They gave me the skills and insight to confidently open my massage practice right out of school.”
Luna Jordan, graduate 2012
Our courses are taught by dedicated and expert instructors who are passionate about their work. Both staff and faculty support the learning process of our students on all levels. You will experience their commitment to your personal and professional growth. We have created a highly structured program with clear guidelines, within which there is flexibility to honor the personal process of each student. Our academic and bodywork hands-on finals are held to the highest standards by all faculty members, and we continuously evaluate and refine the curriculum to meet the growing needs of the profession.
Our highly qualified staff and instructors combine diverse interdisciplinary backgrounds and education, weaving a wide spectrum of beliefs and practices into the curriculum. At the same time, the faculty is unified in its embrace of the school’s vision and principles, both in theory and practice.
Lonnie Howard, MA
Lonnie has been the director of the school since 1985. She is a 1982 graduate of the Scherer Institute [SFSOM] and has her Master’s degree in Psychology from Antioch University. In 1983 she began working in the administration of the then named Dr. Jay Victor Scherer Academy of Natural Healing [SFSOM.] She was privileged to know and work with Dr. Jay Scherer until his death in 1990, and is committed to the legacy the Scherer/Santa Fe School of Massage has created over all these years. It is a great joy for her to participate in the co-creation of the massage programs at Santa Fe School of Massage, and she continues to delight in helping to nurture the blossoming of the students on all levels. Lonnie is also an avid birder and a poet.
Cathy Black, MA, Minister
Owner, Subtle Body, Healing Presence Intuitive Studies
Cathy began practicing massage in 1980 and completed her Master’s Degree in 2005 from Lesley University in Intuitive Healing and Facilitation. She was connected with the Scherer Institute [SFSOM] from 1991- 1998 when she created and taught the Healing Quality of Touch massage course. She has come back full circle to Santa Fe School of Massage as co-owner with her husband Keith, because she loves the school and knows the potential of massage training to positively change people’s lives. In addition to her function as an owner, Cathy brings a renewed inspiration to the field of healing touch through her work with intuition and consciousness. She shares her expertise with intuitive healing modalities in the Subtle Body course and through Healing Presence Intuitive Studies Advanced Trainings.
Keith Spear, BA
Keith brings his fresh perspectives from both the East and West Coasts to the Santa Fe School of Massage family. His expertise in cognitive therapies and brain development give him a unique approach to learning whether it is in the healing arts or teaching young people how to process information and read more effectively. Keith recognizes the importance of the right/left brain balance from the educational programs he administers with young people in his private practice. He also knows the value of massage and the healing arts from his own experience and because he’s married to Cathy! By combining his understanding of the learning process with his respect for healing and intuition, he provides a grounded focus with an expansive vision for the school.
Nora Davidson BA, LMT
Nora graduated from the Santa Fe School of Massage in March of 2017. She is proud to be the second member of her family to attend the school. Her mom was in the second graduating class of the Scherer Institute of Natural Healing (SFSOM) in 1981. After years of experiences and inspiration that led her to Santa Fe School of Massage, she is thrilled to now be working behind the scenes to help keep this beautiful school running smoothly. She loves getting to know the students as they undertake their very own personal journeys through this program. She is also grateful to be a practicing massage therapist in various locations around Santa Fe.
Mauro Rivera, LMT, RMTI #S-0396
Healing Quality of Touch and Nurturing Therapeutic Massage
Mauro Rivera graduated from the Scherer Institute [SFSOM] in 2006, and earned his RMTI in 2008. He is certified in Hot Stone Therapy, is a Level II Reiki Practitioner, and has completed Scherer’s 3 part Teacher Training Course. He worked as a Teaching Assistant in Healing Quality of Touch and Nurturing Therapeutic Massage since graduating, bringing his unique knowledge, humor, and touch to the students. He has also taught massage in Guadalajara, Mexico. It is Mauro’s intention to accomplish relaxation on all levels, body, mind, and spirit, and with the help of his Guides and Angels, he has seen great results with those who are open.
Cynthia “Bear” Sahlfeld, LPC, LMT RMTI #I-104
Ethics of Touch and the Therapeutic Relationship
Bear is happy to be teaching again at SFSOM. She has been a massage therapist for three decades. She maintains a private practice in both Massage Therapy and Psychotherapy in Santa Fe, NM. She studied Hakomi Bodycentered Psychotherapy with its originator, Ron Kurtz, and Hakomi informs all her work. Bear taught at Santa Fe School of Massage (formerly Scherer Institute of Natural Healing) for many years – such classes as: Nurturing Therapeutic Massage, Anatomy, Medical Massage. She is back again for Ethics and the Therapeutic Relationship. Bear brings a sense of humor, compassion, and a depth of knowledge and experience to all her teaching. Her classes are enjoyable and empowering for the students.
Kim Gibbs BA, LMT, RMTI #S-0446
Integrative Deep Tissue Bodywork, Chair Massage
After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa, Kim moved to Colorado where she worked as a network systems programmer and storage specialist for a large computer services company for 17 years. Kim received her massage certification in 2008 from the Santa Fe School of Massage (formerly the Scherer Institute of Natural Healing) in Santa Fe, NM. Kim maintains a private practice in which she provides integrated sessions including modalities of Reiki, Connective Tissue Bodywork, Deep Tissue, Swedish and Oncology massage. She also works at the acupuncture offices of Drs. Sandy and David Canzone and Emily Brough. Kim enjoys gardening, reading and printmaking.
Jackson Mathey, LMT #8132
Anatomy and Kinesiology
Jackson Mathey, LMT is a native of the high desert southwest. Before coming to the Santa Fe School of Massage he studied audio engineering at the College of Santa Fe. He loves figuring out how things work, learning and sharing knowledge. He has found a passion for teaching Anatomy because of the depth of connection it brings to one’s own self and others. His teaching style is engaging and interactive, and his classes, while rigorous and challenging, are also fun. Jackson is also an avid drummer, backpacker and fly fisherman.
Caitlin Nanfito, LMT, RMTI #S-0518
Caitlin graduated from Santa Fe School of Massage in 2011, and shortly after launched her business Heartwise Massage and Bodywork. Along with her work in private practice and at a high-end spa, she has also enjoyed working with incoming and current students as the Admission/Outreach Coordinator at SFSOM for a few years. She feels blessed to be able to bring her six years of experience as a small business owner, and utilize her degrees in Business Administration and Accounting to help bridge the worlds of business and bodywork as she joins the SFSOM staff as the Business instructor. Caitlin has a passion for sharing her heart-centered approach to life whether as a practitioner, teacher, or life-long learner.
Emilie Brough, DOM, LMT
Cancer and Massage
Emilie combines her 15 years as a practitioner and teacher of massage and herbal medicine into her acupuncture practice. She uses Oriental medicine, nutrition, massage, reflexology and hot rock therapy to focus on cancer care, acute and chronic pain management, and holistic wellness support. Emilie is an instructor at the Santa Fe School of Massage (Scherer Institute) , the Peregrine Institute of Oncology Massage and developed a student massage clinic at the Cancer Care Center at St. Vincent’s Hospital. In addition to her private practice in Santa Fe she is a DOM at UNM’s Integrative Medicine Clinic, the Center for Life.
Silvia Stenitzer, MA, LPCC# 0163051, LMT #0060
Silvia has been addressing the body-mind-soul connection in her private practice “Interactive Bodytherapy for the past 20 years. She has been teaching organic movement and Pilates in her own studio. Silvia holds a certificate in interpersonal neurobiology, somatics and action methods from Southwestern College. In her work, she embraces the whole person by including the psychological, mental and physical aspects of health and well-being.
Leonora Lorenzo, LCSW
Communication Skills and Trauma in the Body
Leonora has a Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) and is a 1991 graduate of the Somatic Therapy Institute in Santa Fe. For 21 years she has continued to augment her skills as a body-mind integrated therapist, studying multiple modalities including Orthobionomy, Crainio-Sacral Therapy, and Hakomi. Most recently, Leonora has immersed herself in the study of AEDP, Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy. In addition, Leonora is a trained mediator and uses the Non-Violent Communications (NVC) model in all her work. She has also been teacher and practitioner of Re-evalutaion Co-counseling for over 30 years. She loves words and knows the power of words, making communications and communicating a passionate interest, both personally and professionally.
Shanna Marsh-Martínez, MA, BCPP, RPE
Shanna is a teacher and private practitioner of mind/body/spirit health. She is devoted to supporting people in living wilder, fresher, and better. A former public school educator, she now brings her practical, passionate, and playful approach to all learning arenas.
Maruan Fakhuri, LMT,RMTI-I #0559
Maruan is originally from Munich, Germany. He is a German registered naturopath for Psychotherapy, with his master’s degree in Social Work. He has more than 15 years experience in bodywork with in-depth trainings in Shiatsu, PsychoDynamic Body and Energywork (Biodynamic, Gestalt and Postural Integration) and Breath Therapy by Herta Richter. He graduated from the European Shiatsu Institute which is rooted in the theory and practice of Masunaga Shiatsu (Zen Shiatsu) and where he was then invited to join the faculty. He has been a Shiatsu Teacher with the Institute since 2006 and continues to offer courses in Europe. In 2012 he became licensed as Massage Therapist in New Mexico, where he maintains a private practice of therapeutic bodywork and works at Bluelotus – Integrative Healing Arts clinic, Santa Fe. In 2014, he joined SFSOM, assisting and teaching in the Zen Shiatsu program.
Heidi Gates, LMT, RMTI #I-0455
Farice Rezabek, LMT, RMTI #S-0279
Farice came to massage after many years of computers, math and teaching in corporate, academic and non-profit realms. Farice is a life-long learner dedicated to helping others alongside herself. She graduated from the Scherer Institute (SFSOM) in 2001. In the following decade, she continued her growth through assisting classes, tutoring students, supervising student clinic, ‘massaging’ the office data and teaching Anatomy. Her after-school time was spent honing her art through her work at Santa Fe Massage, Bishop’s Lodge Shanah Spa and Encantado. Farice looks forward to bringing her skills, experience and enthusiasm to working with the healing power of water within and around us.
Stacia Shiffler MA, LMT, RMTI #S-0479, CMS-CHt
Stacia is originally from Alaska and lived in Minnesota, France, Oregon, and Guatemala before settling in New Mexico 13 years ago. She studied bodywork at the Scherer Institute of Natural Healing (SFSOM) in Santa Fe. Stacia specializes in Nurturing Therapeutic Massage, Deep Tissue Bodywork including Specific Injury Work, and Medical Support Hypnotherapy. Other personal interests include African dance, meditation, running, hiking, nordic skiing, and Non Violent Communication.
Kayla Lucky, LMT, RMTI #S-0565
Nurturing Therapeutic Massage, Integrative Deep Tissue Bodywork, and Clinic Supervisor
Kayla grew up in Southern Utah where she received her Bachelors degree in Psychology. She spent several years traveling and studying alternative healing such as yoga, meditation, reiki, altar of creation healing, herbalism, and intuitive guidance. While managing the Wellness Center at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Kayla found a deep appreciation and connection with bodywork. It was there in Upstate New York she heard about the Santa Fe School of Massage and decided to make the move to attend. Not long after getting her massage license, Kayla also became a Certified Neuromuscular Therapist. She currently sees clients in her own office, as well as working at some of the high end spas around Santa Fe. This work has made her more fulfilled and happier than ever. She is honored to be able to share her passion with new students.