The diversity of our faculty offers the student a vast variety of approaches to touch communication. Our instructors collectively have over 409 years experience in the massage therapy field and over 264 years experience teaching massage therapy. Highly educated, the faculty collectively hold 19 Bachelor’s Degrees, 12 Master’s Degrees, 2 law Degrees and 3 Ph.D.’s. They present the student with a broad range of therapeutic methods from energy based to deep tissue, from a relaxation focus to specific clinical work and from eclectic to focused specialty practices. Faculty with an asterisk * following their name are graduates of Educating Hands School of Massage.
Core Faculty & Staff
IRIS BURMAN, Director, L.M.T., C.N.M.T.
Iris is a co-founder of Educating Hands and has been practicing Massage Therapy since 1976. She has attained certifications in Swedish Massage, Sports Massage, Milton’s psycho-physical Integration (Trager), Neuromuscular Therapy and has studied numerous other Modalities. Iris’s background includes Gestalt Therapy and Psychology.
Nestor Alvarez*, B.S., L.M.T.
Following his service in the US Air Force, Nestor attended Florida International University where he obtained his B.S. in Hospitality Management. He later attended Educating Hands and is a graduate of our program. Nestor has not only become a successful licensed massage therapist, but also teaches Kinesiology and Palpation and Hydrotherapy in both the English and Spanish programs.
DR. SARIANNA ELO* Ph.D., P.T., L.M.T., N.C.T.M.B.
A native of Helsinki, Finland, Sarianna graduated from Helsinki IV College for Health Care Professionals with a degree in Physical Therapy and Massage Therapy. She holds a B.S. in Professional Sciences with a major in Education from St. Joseph’s College of Maine, and a M.S. and Ph.D. with a major in Psychology from California Coast University.
Sandy Friedland* L.M.T.
Sandy obtained her B.S. in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Miami (1962). Her Approach is spiritual, holistic and eclectic with a special focus on energetic flow, vibratory frequency and dynamic balancing. She ‘plays’ using sound, light, oil, color, crystals, essences, magnets, intention, movement, verbalization and visualization. Her work and teachings explore the mystery of the ‘body’ and reflect her background in anthropology, philosophy, psychology Craniosacral Therapy, Polarity, Reflexology, and more. She is co-author of TouchAbilities®, our core massage text.
NATALIA GUIDA POMETTI, L.M.T.
Born and raised in Argentina, Natalia teaches TouchAbilities®, Hydrotherapy and Heliotherapy in our English & Spanish Programs. Natalia also supervises our Student Clinics. Natalias’s style is both holistic and practical, allowing her to provide some of the most nurturing and constructive advice .She has a thriving private practice in Miami.
CURTIS LISA*, L.M.T.
Curtis graduated from Educating Hands in 2003 and began shadowing Iris and other faculty to learn the skills needed to teach students the art of massage. He supervised the student clinic while holding the position of student adviser. His teaching emphasizes the use of good body mechanics and he focuses on teaching future massage therapists how to to be multi-dimensional in their business so they will be effective in building repeat clients. Curtis is also a certified massage therapist (CMT) in California.
TEBA ORUETA BLANCO*, B.A., L.M.T., YA-200
A native of Spain, and with a strong background in corporate marketing and development, Teba turned to holistic healing in 2005. She trained for 5 years in SE Asia and graduated from Educating Hands in 2011. Teba is also a Yoga Alliance Certified Instructor. Drawing from her technical and oriental training and experience training corporately for P&G and The Ritz-Carlton, Teba teaches classes, seminars and certification courses in Traditional Thai Massage, Thai on the Table, Foot Reflexology with essential oils, Herbal Hot Compress, Geothermal Therapy, and Touchabilities®.
LESLY DURAN, Esthetitian
A Miami native, Lesly studied Interior Design at Miami Dade College prior to entering the world of esthetics and becoming licensed in cosmetology and body wrapping. She is the head instructor of the skin-care program.
MÓNICA RESILLEZ ANCHÍA*, B.A., B.Sc., L.M.T.
Originally from NYC and with degrees in Theatrical Arts and Architecture, Monica graduated from Educating hands in 2010. She loves sharing her down to earth and fun personality, as well as her knowledge and experience in her Kinesiology, Palpation and Massage classes. Monica combines technical skills with a heightened energetic sensitivity, focusing her teaching style on the therapeutic as well as the holistic benefits of touch therapy.
DR. AMINE SARABIA*, L.M.T.
Brought up between New York and Colombia, Amine practiced as a Medical Doctor in Colombia for 20 years. She has been passionate about energy therapies since she began her career and has obtained diplomas in bio-energetic, homo-toxicologic and sintergetic medicine which she incorporated into her practice. Her passion for helping others led her to pursue massage and graduate from Educating Hands in 2011. Amine teaches Anatomy & Physiology.
DR. GILAD SCHAFMAN*, Msc.D., L.M.T.
Gilad Schafman is an experienced international teacher, educator and therapist since 1990. He comes with over 20 years of teaching experience and was Director of the Massage department at Medika College for complementary medicine in Cfar- Saba Israel. There he was in charge of the massage program and curriculum as well as being a lead teacher.
RICHARD SCHEKTER*, L.M.T., N.C.T.M.B.
Richard comes to Educating Hands with a background as a scientist – a Marine Biologist and Biological Oceanographer at the University of Miami. As a Licensed Massage Therapist, Richard maintains a private practice and is one of the core therapists at Educating Hands Professional Massage Therapy Clinic.
Alex Somoano*, L.M.T.
Alex holds a B.S. in Liberal Studies with concentrations in Biology, Health Sciences and Physical Sciences. A 1999 alumnus of Educating Alex has maintained a private therapeutic massage practice integrating NMT, Thai massage and Reflexology. In 2006 he began working with the Miami City Ballet. As a member fo the Educating Hands core faculty, Alex teaches Kinesiology, Touchabilities and Reflexology. He has also developed and taught Muscle Anatomy and Palpation as a CE class and currently teaches the 100hr Reflexology certification program.
JUHLIO-CESAR TAPIA*, L.M.T.
Juhlio holds a Master in Communication from the Inter-Cultural University of Utah and graduated in 2010 from Educating Hands. His specialities include Reflexology, neuro-musuclar therapy, reiki and color & sound therapies. Juhlio fell in love with Massage as an art-form and teaches TouchAbilities®, Ethics and Integration of Massage Techniques (Ética e integración de técnicas de masaje) .
Yessenia Campos, Skincare Specialist
Yessenia has 15+ years of experience managing and teaching skincare in both basic and paramedical skincare programs. Working in luxury high-end spas like The Ritz-Carlton and Acqualina Resort & Spa for most of her career, Yessenia has also taught paramedical esthetics at Kaiser Career College and is now a guest faculty member at Educating Hands. Her specialty lies in seamlessly merging the effectiveness of deep cleansing work with the luxury of spa rituals.
PAULA GARCIA DI NIRO*, L.M.T.
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Paula earned a Master’s Degree in Public Relations from Universidad Argentina de la Empresa. She taught English for over 12 years. Since graduating from Educating Hands in 2005, Paula has worked as a Licensed Massage Therapist maintaining a private practice mainly focused on Swedish Massageand Neuromuscular Therapy.
Nick Chitty*, L.M.T., C.N.M.T.
Nick was born and raised in England and trained as a scientist. He was a Biologist and Oceanographer. He graduated from Educating Hands in 1986. He specializes in evaluation and treatment for pain relief and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, using techniques refined and added to over the years. He teaches an introduction to Neuro Muscular Therapy as part of the curriculum for students at Educating Hands.
Christopher Crespo, EMT, FF/PMD
CPR and First Aid
Christopher Crespo has been a paramedic/fire fighter for over 13 years and has been teaching students CPR & First Aid Classes by The American Heart Association (AHA) for many years. He is also the Director of CPR PLUS INC, which has been in business for over 10 years.
David R. González, L.M.T., CSCS.
David R. Gonzalez has an extensive background in massage therapy and exercise sciences. He has been teaching massage, anatomy & physiology and fitness for the last 8 years in conjunction with running his private practice as a massage therapist and trainer for 15 years. He specializes in sports and the clinical aspect of massage.
Sharon Gossett*, L.M.T.
Originally from Virginia, Sharon studied Business at Miami Dade College and FSU in 1969 before starting her career in a large American corporation. Then at age 62, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist and graduated from Educating Hands in the 2013 garnet class.
Celia R. Maluf, L.M.T., N.C.T.M.B.
The Trager Method®
Celia is a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil and has been living in the US since 1982. She graduated in 1978 from Pontical Catholic University of Sao Paulo where she earned a degree in Pedagogy with a major in Special Education of the Hearing Impaired. She became a bodyworker to deepen her personal experience of healing completely from an automobile accident and attributes a large part of her healing to the Trager Method.
Angel Orozco*, L.M.T.
Originally from Venezuela, Angel graduated from Educating Hands in 1992 and went on to study at New York’s Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Angel has knowledge of traditional oriental medicine and acupuncture, and he is a holisitc health coach. He is the Immediate Past President of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association’s Miami-Dade Chapter.
Moshe Sussman*, J.D., L.M.T.
Moshe is an attorney who also practices and teaches massage. He graduated from Educating Hands and became an LMT in 2002. Since then he has studied Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Somato Emotional Release and Reiki levels 1-3. Moshe currently teaches Cranio-Sacral fundamentals, Introduction to Energy Therapies and law.
LORENA TASKER*, L.M.T.
Lorena was born and raised in Argentina and has a strong background as a Montessori School teacher and program Director. A 2011 graduate of Educating Hands with a passion for self development and energy healing, Lorena teaches TouchAbilities® in both our English and Spanish Programs.
Nationally Certied in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
Owner, Director and Administrator
Iris Burman, L.M.T., C.N.M.T.
Nadia Villegas*, L.M.T.
Feng Shui Manager
Director of Admissions
Philip Sherman B.A.
Receptionist & Clinic Assistant
Student Service Mentor
Maria T. Victoriano*, L.M.T.