Groundbreaking “old school” twist on an innovative and advanced approach to normalization of soft-tissue bodywork

Jill Kristin Berkana’s progressive Mindful Expressionism Certification Training has been approved by the NCBTMB for continuing education (#451960-12), and international advanced and adventurous bodyworkers are traveling to the heart of Denver, Colorado, to take part in the 250-hour, six-week-long intensive training.

The certification program is offered two times per year in the summer and in the fall. Berkana teaches the majority of the course, and spaces are limited to 20 participants. The program is divided into five 50-hour-long, anatomical region-specific segments. Qualified students may participate in the entire 250-hour certification course, or take part in the individual 50-hour segments. The training takes place at The Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy in the historically celebrated Wyman District. The institute operates out of the elegant Hugh D. McAllister Victorian Mansion. The institute also offers a 545-hour basic certification program in massage therapy.

Mindful Expressionism is the highly refined advanced bodywork that Berkana has been developing for the last 22 years. The technical and manipulative aspect of the work include a blend of re-structural and/or normalization of soft-tissue technique, neuromuscular therapy, trigger point therapy, myofascial release and traditional Eastern style bodywork, all delivered in a beautiful fluid, nonstatic package of creative and artistic flow. Music is a key element to the practice, and dance, yoga and martial arts are utilized as the movement foundation for the practitioners. The most significant elements of this practice are total mindfulness and the courage to connect and create what is needed for the client at any given moment; grounded in solid knowledge of professional ethics and anatomy.

Certified Mindful Expressionists must have acquired a great deal bodywork skill through practice, demonstrated knowledge of the human sciences and proven awareness of self. Practitioners learn to let go of agenda within a bodywork session, and allow the moment and the relationship between the client and the practitioner to determine how the treatment unfolds. There is a concentrated practice of “nonthinking,” and simply allowing.

The training is comprised mostly of bodywork. Students explore the anatomical structures intently through painting, drawing and clay building; and are encouraged to create and share their own techniques inspired by an in-depth understanding of the relationship between of the rules of bodywork engagement, and what comes intuitively and creatively from within. There is concentration on meditation, dance, movement, yoga and art.

Berkana is the founder and director of the Berkana Institute of Massage Therapy. She is an industry expert and massage therapy education pioneer. She has been active in the massage industry since 1990. She co-founded the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy (CRSMT) in 2005, and was its full-time director, academic dean and senior bodywork instructor. She has educated and granted diplomas to 180 world-class bodyworkers whom have gone on to have successful careers in the art of massage therapy, and who have met legislative licensing and certification requirements in more than 30 states and 13 countries.

Students must meet specific prerequisites in order to participate in this exclusive apprenticeship. Preparatory remedial tutoring is available as an alternative to meeting the requirements.

For more information, visit or call (877) 779-7726.