Managing Partner

Rachel Hogancamp is the co-founder of Rasa Spa, in partnership with Cayuga Medical Center and Island Health and Fitness. A licensed massage therapist since 1994, Rachel has taught classes at the Finger Lakes School of Massage (FLSM) in most massage modalities, as well as in the areas of communication skills and business for massage therapists, while growing her own committed clientèle. An active member of her community, Rachel has focused her volunteer work on serving the needs of those with particular health challenges. To that end, Rachel has been a supporter of the AIDS Ride since its inception, as well as for the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes. An avid and accomplished photographer, and a supporter of the visual arts, everywhere you look at Rasa you will see the work of local artists.

When the opportunity came to open Rasa, Rachel was eager to create a full-service spa, dedicated to serving the whole person, and for the spa to be not simply a place of luxury, but a fully-integrated part of the health care offered in the entire Island Health complex. It is Rachel’s singular vision to communicate her passion for achieving whole body health to the greater Ithaca and nationwide spa communities, and her overreaching hope that the spa will be able to serve the needs of the widest possible array of people from our community who are all on the path to achieving their best health. She can be reached at:

Therapists & Service Providers

Brittany Angie (Licensed Massage Therapist) began her massage career in 1999, when she attended the Finger Lakes School of Massage in Ithaca. After practicing for several years in Rochester, NY, she began exploring the country, bringing her practice to Austin, TX, and then Portland, ME. Over the years she has worked in a variety of environments, including health care, chiropractic, spas, and with top acts in the performing arts industry. She is thrilled after 17 years, to be back where it all began. Brittany believes that in this modern world we no longer live as nature intended, and it has taken a toll on our bodies. Massage and bodywork should not be viewed as a luxury, but a necessary part of our lives. Specializing in deep muscles relief, relaxation, and stress relief, Brittany customizes every session to meet each clients individual needs. She is available Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at Rasa’s main location and Wednesdays at Community Corners.

Leah Arpadi (Senior Massage Therapist) intends to foster a holistic approach to healing that uses neuromuscular and deep tissue therapies to integrate the mind and body as they move toward seeking a natural, healthful equilibrium. She appreciates massage therapy as preemptive health care, as it encourages stress reduction and increases mind/body awareness. In this vein, she likes to incorporate full body flushes through traditional Swedish techniques with slower, more deeply focused work to address habituated patterns of tension. Leah is excited to collaboratively design a unique session for each client, building upon their interests and insights. Leah is available on Mondays and Fridays.

DJ Campos-Bard. LMT Rasa Spa

DJ Campos-Bard (Licensed Massage Therapist) graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2016 and is both nationally and state licensed. She knows that every body is unique, and therefore every session she does is unique. DJ’s favorite quote from Dr. Robert Stone is “Movement is Health, Fixation is Disease.” Her passion is to focus on joints and attachments to enhance and improve mobility and flexibility to promote a healthy body and mind. DJ has a background in human services and community organizing as an equity and inclusion education who advocates for individuals of marginalized communities. She also volunteers her time and skills whenever possible. DJ is available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Katie Barnes (Licensed Massage Therapist) moved to Ithaca in September 2010 to start massage school at FLSM. On the first day, she knew she had found her new love. She was in awe of the art of massage and fell in love with FLSM and the Ithaca area. Her interest in massage stems from two different people in her life: The first, her grandmother. Her feet were always cold and achy. She didn’t like for anyone to look at her feet, but would let Katie soak and massage them. The simple soak and rub drastically improved her circulation and they felt warm again. The second is her father, a Navy SEAL who lost his left leg in the Vietnam War. Katie watched him struggle with pain her entire life until her family figured out that an hour of massage leaves him pain-free for almost a week. Katie believes in a wide variety of modalities in her practice and is an excellent deep tissue practitioner. Her main focus is to center her sessions around each client’s needs. Katie is available at Rasa Saturday through Tuesday.

Avi Baumgold (Licensed Massage Therapist) is one of our most experienced massage therapists. Combining his passion for sustainability with a lifelong background in martial arts, dance, and yoga, he views massage and the healing arts as a way to sustain body, mind, and spirit; and to offer a sense of ease and self-awareness as tools for moving through the world. Avi specializes in connective tissue therapy, also referred to as deep tissue therapy. His primary areas of focus are the neck, shoulders, and hips. Avi’s continued training in shiatsu, biodynamic cranial sacral therapy, and connective tissue therapy creates an approach that blends those modalities with neuromuscular therapy and Swedish massage to understand everybody’s individual story; whether there is chronic pain or simply a need to reduce stress. He believes that our bodies hold the story of how we live, and that we are continually rewriting that story in our body’s tissue. His love of shiatsu and Eastern theory inspire him to bring balance to his sessions. Avi can be booked on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and by request.

Deanna Brodsky (Licensed Massage Therapist) has lived in Ithaca her whole life, but didn’t discover FLSM until 2015. Always in a state of learning and staying curious, she looks upon each client with fresh, new eyes. She customizes each session to the client’s long-term and short-term goals. Educating others on their own bodies is one of her ambitions in hopes of living in a world where people are walking tall and pain-free. Taking a holistic approach, this is where Eastern and Western medicine meet. Does the mind affect the body, or does the body affect the mind? To be safe, Deanna takes everything into consideration: emotions, energy, and of course the body. She has a more integrated massage, but absolutely loves the effectiveness of deep tissue, and with her patient approach, relaxation is inevitable. Deanna is currently on a leave of absence, returning this summer.

Julianne Brower (Licensed Massage Therapist) describes her work as integrative. Her motives are to improve the quality of life for each individual she works with, whether that means relieving them of chronic muscle pain, or stress that can manifest into pain. She is trained in many modalities, and uses a combination of techniques to address each individual problem. She enjoys doing deep, medical massage and working with injuries or pathologies to improve quality of life. Julianne is available on Sundays and Wednesdays at Rasa’s main location and is at the Cayuga Medical Center on Thursdays and Fridays.

Willow Brown (Licensed Massage Therapist) graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2013. He was introduced to massage and holistic medicine by his mother at an early age when she would practice on him. His style is influenced by Shiatsu, range of motion work, myofascial release, and Swedish modalities. Willow feels that massage is a great way to assist the body in blood circulation, relaxation of the mind, and restoration of the body’s connective tissues. He is interested in providing pain relief and opportunities to learn how to tune into the discomforts in the body. Willow is available by request.

Angie Carlin (Licensed Esthetician)

Angie Carlin (Licensed Esthetician) has been in the skincare and beauty industry since 2001 where she started working at a prestige makeup counter as a beauty advisor. She specialized in makeup and skin care for many years before deciding to follow her dream to become an Esthetician. In 2013 she graduated from The Continental School Of Beauty where she exceeded in many different aspects of esthetics. Specializing in skin care, makeup, airbrush tan and waxing she also cultivated in body treatments. She always enjoys bringing a sense of comfort and serenity to every client she has the opportunity to work with. Angie is available Saturday through Monday.

Meredith Carpenter (Director of Staff Development) specializes in deep tissue work. Her engaging, attentive massage addresses injuries, chronic pain, and habitual patterns of tension. She is adept and fluent in working with low back pain, postural difficulties, sciatica, neck and shoulder issues, TMJ dysfunction, and athletic injuries. She is a passionate educator and is devoted to helping clients learn about and how to care for their own bodies. Meredith has been practicing massage for over seven years and has additional training in Meridian Massage (acupressure), myofascial release in the neck and jaw, biodynamic cranial sacral therapy, and aromatherapy. Meredith is not taking new clients at this time.

Uriel Ezra Carpenter (Licensed Massage Therapist) views the body as a dynamic system of fluid patterns, not unlike the ocean’s waves and tides, or the eddies and swirls of moving water. He is interested in the most potent moments life has to offer, including conception, birth, death, and that singular thing referred to as “now.” His primary aim as a therapist is to offer his clients just one simple, small change for the better: a lasting change, one which will continually renew itself. Uriel practices Craniosacral therapy at Rasa, and has this to say about his work: My love for craniosacral therapy has grown from observing how well the cranial model recognizes the similarities between the human body, and the natural world; as well, I love that it acknowledges how deeply both nature and the body will heal in the presence of silence, stillness, and gratitude. Uriel is available by request.

Chanelle Corder (Licensed Esthetician) is a graduate of Continental School of Beauty. She has a passion for making people feel and look their best while educating them in proper personal care. Skincare is about more than beauty for Chanelle–It is also about the personal connections and relationships formed with clients while spending time with them. She finds that being an esthetician is rewarding and fulfilling by knowing she’s making a difference in someone’s day. Chanelle gives her best to every client and strives to ensure the client gets the most out of their service. In her spare time, Chanelle likes to take her dog Daisy to Buttermilk Falls, going on road trips, and spending time with her close friends and family. Chanelle is excited to be a part of the team at Rasa Spa. She is available Sunday through Tuesday.

Sarah Costonis, L. Ac., has been practicing massage and manual therapy since 1998, and acupuncture since 2005. She weaves a deeply nurturing space for her clients, expertly treating from the superficial fascia and lymph passageways down to the deep muscles, nerves, and brain. Sarah loves to unpack layer after layer of tension, leaving you floating out of the room, and creating a deep memory of relaxation that your body can return to as a new baseline. With acupuncture and craniosacral therapy treatments, Sarah can treat a range of physical and emotional disorders. She specializes in working with headaches and neck pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, women’s health, and immune system and digestive health.

Sarah graduated from the Sarasota School of Natural Healing Arts in 1998, received a BA cum laude in Religious Studies at Macalester College in 2000, and her Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine at East-West College in Sarasota, FL, in 2005. She studied craniosacral therapy extensively with the Upledger Institute and the Castellino Foundation; lymphatic drainage with Bruno Chikly at the CHI Institute; and neuro-muscular therapy and myofascial release with Center Point Therapy. She has also studied extensively with visionary teachers such as Ruben Orellana of Cusco, Peru, Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow) of the Picuris and Ute tribes in NM, and Randall Barolet, author of the crucial and elegant textbook, Foundations of Chinese Medicine: Formulas and Strategies.

She would love to bring her years of hands on experience and clinical training to benefit your health and well-being. Sarah is available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and by request.

Shimon Darwick (Senior Massage Therapist) has had his work described by long term clients as superb—playful, yet focused and deep. He combines his understanding of the body, technique, and mindfulness into sessions that both meet his clients’ needs and open a door to deeper awareness of body, mind, and heart. Shimon has studied and worked at the Omega Institute since the age of 15, learning a multitude of holistic practices for everyday living.  As faculty at Omega in New York and Blue Spirit in Costa Rica, he has facilitated his passions of mindful touch, yoga, laughter therapy, nutrition, and life coaching. He is excited to join the holistic healing team at Rasa and to serve the great Ithaca community. Shimon specializes in mindful deep tissue work that targets shoulder wear and tear, chronic neck pain, sciatica, the lower back, and the hamstrings. He brings awareness, focus, and playfulness to all of his individualized sessions. You can expect to breathe deeper and feel more expansive and grounded at the end of each of his session. Shimon is at Rasa on Sundays and Tuesdays, and at the Cayuga Medical Center on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Jessica Decker (Licensed Esthetician) graduated from FLSM in 2000 and went on to work as a medical massage therapist before making the transition to skincare exclusively. She was drawn to facial massage, skin sensitivities and allergies, and attending to the skin’s health. She attended Atelier Esthetique Institute of Esthetics in Manhattan to study skincare and offers a gentle and aware touch. Jessica is at Rasa on Tuesdays and the first Sunday of each month.

Janine Desmond, LMT Rasa Spa

Janine Desmond (Licensed Massage Therapist) has been living a holistic and healthful lifestyle well before she joined the field of therapeutic touch, and it has influenced her massage work. She believes in full body wellness, and honoring all levels of consciousness when seeking inner balance—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Her work is integrative, borrowing both from energetic modalities like Shiatsu and Polarity Therapy, as well as deep tissue and relaxation-based methods like Swedish, Myofascial Release and Kinesthetic Awareness. Janine completed her yoga teacher training in 2010, and graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2016. She utilizes much of this shared and complimentary knowledge in body awareness stretches and range of motion. Janine is available by request.

Jessie Dixon (Licensed Massage Therapist) has a medical approach with an eastern medicine emphasis. His focus uses energetic massage with a variety of modalities to fit every client’s needs for healing and relaxation. Jessie can incorporate deep tissue and neuromuscular tissue massage but also switch to energy palpation/polarity therapy and reflexology for a lighter touch.

Katherine Gabelmann (Senior Massage Therapist) graduated from the Sarasota School of Massage Therapy, and has been practicing massage for over 16 years. Katherine believes that massage plays an important role in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Her work experience includes 6 years in the medical massage field, where she worked in a thriving rehabilitation center alongside physical therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and osteopaths. Katherine then moved to Manhattan and transitioned to a luxury spa setting. She worked at the Trump International Hotel and Tower and the famous Waldorf-Astoria New York, where she had the pleasure of treating international business people, professional athletes, and celebrities. She then made a return to her upstate New York roots, choosing Ithaca to start her family. Katherine’s intention is to provide wellness with a combination of deep tissue and relaxation through therapeutic touch that is personalized to fit each client’s needs. She is available at Rasa on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and by request.

Erin Gardosh (Licensed Massage Therapist) graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy-Relgion in 2015. She then went on to attend the Finger Lakes School of Massage in hopes of bridging the gap between the mind and body. She wishes to promote a more holistic idea of wellness as she practices therapeutic massage through presence, compassion and gratitude. Erin enjoys incorporating Shiatsu, Connective Tissue Therapy, Kinesthetic Awareness and Reflexology within Swedish sessions. Erin is available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Brian Grafstein
Brian Grafstein (LMT) is an almuni of the Finger Lakes School of Massage.  Brian is a firm believer in creating a relaxing, healing environment fine tuned for each massage based upon the individual needs. Each session combines his communication skills with his knowledge of the body, technique, and mindfulness to meet the clients goals, along with helping them achieve a deeper connection to body and mind.
Brian enjoys a wide variety of massage modalities, practicing techniques from Swedish, Shiatsu, Deep Tissue, MyoFascial and Kinesthetic roots, as well as incorporating range of motion theory to facilitate healthy circulation throughout the massage and beyond.  Brian is also a certified Usui Reiki Master and has a deep connection with energy work.
Each session that Brian performs is created on a client to client basis according to their needs, melding together benefits of massage grounded in the medicinal realm as well as those of pure relaxation.  He has amassed a wealth of knowledge on common pathologies, including many that present in the form of sciatic pain, carpal pain, and many times neck, shoulder, and back pain. Receiving a massage from Brian is both deeply relaxing and healing for both the body and the mind. You can find Brian at Rasa by calling guest services and requesting a session with him.  His schedule is flexible and if you can’t find him on a good day for you he would be open to scheduling for a day that works for everyone.
Sarah Jones LMT Rasa Spa

Sarah Jones (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a true massage artist. She puts her whole mind and body into each and every massage. This is Sarah’s way of working to improve the bodies and lives of her fellow community members. Sarah is able to feel the body’s needs. She finds problem areas and is able to address them through numerous techniques such as connective tissue therapy, friction, and other modalities. She offers smooth, flowing massage, working the body’s muscles into a relaxed state and allowing clients to accept the deep relief they require to function properly and allow for greater movement and overall wellness. Sarah is able to assess the individual needs of each person, listening to what they have to say (as well as what their body has to say). Book a massage with Sarah for a truly amazing and personalized massage. She is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Rosemary Joseph (Licensed Massage Therapist) offers intuitive and supporting massage. Always willing to listen and change pressure and technique, your session will be as unique as you are. She specializes in an integrated form of massage which treats the body as a sensitive and ever changing energetic being. Movement and light tissue therapies coupled with deeper contacts will be tailored to your bodily goals. Offering both energy boosting and relaxing sessions, Rosemary is happy to work with her clients to deliver their perfect massage. She is available on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Christopher Keller (Licensed Massage Therapist) can be described as “a gentle spirit with strong convictions.” A 2011 graduate of FLSM, Christopher is also a certified Aromatherapy Consultant and has an additional certification in reflexology. He has also been studying craniosacral rhythms with the Upledger Institute since 2015.  Each session Christopher gives commands his undivided attention to establish trust and security, ensuring his clients the ability to relax and their body to be supported.

Christopher’s goal is to provide a safe and nurturing temple by addressing each individual’s needs, whether the session requires a more Swedish approach, faster circulatory inducing movements, or a more intentional and deeper focused session to unwind the patterns of tension. Some of his favorite modalities utilized are connective tissue therapy, trigger point therapy, neuromuscular therapy, reflexology, and Shiatsu. Reflexology is a great way to introduce touch to a person with body sensitivities that can affect the entire systemic patterns of a being. Some of Christopher’s specialties include frozen shoulder, any neck injuries—especially scalene and occipital ridge congestion—low back pain, and any sports related trauma. In addition to physical trauma, Christopher is well equipped to decipher and untangle some of the emotional traumas people encounter on the daily. Through bio energetic connection and deep Cranio rhythm palpation, together, you can elevate out of any somber mood. Christopher is currently available Monday through Thursday, and will soon be shifting to Wednesday through Sunday.

Rebecca Leach (Licensed Massage Therapist) is an artist whose kind heart brings forth her attentive presence, creating a session that is both thorough and centered on the needs of each individual. Her passion for interpersonal connection, health, movement, and the process of supporting one another led her to study massage at FLSM. Becca has her own intuitive approach to the art of massage, a three dimensional art form. She melts areas of tension, and uses gentle stretches and rhythmic movements to quiet the mind and lull the body into a deep state of relaxation. “Something marvelous happens when one allows themselves to be nurtured in a totally safe environment,” Becca says, “allowing the breath to be the guide towards peace and comfort.” Becca is available on Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays.

Heather Leary (Licensed Massage Therapist and Cosmetologist) has a background in Human Biology, Nutrition Science, and almost a decade of working in the skincare and beauty industry, then went on to become of graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage. She is in love with the human body both inside and out, and has carried this passion into her practice. Her training in deep modalities like neuromuscular and connective tissue therapies create a state of deep relaxation and pain relief, while her foundation in esthetics and anti-aging massage help to rejuvenate. Heather believes that there is beauty in helping those who wish to find comfort, refreshment and vibrancy, and is passionate about using her skills to create balance and joy. Heather is at Rasa Tuesday through Saturday.

Hannah Leseman

Hannah Leseman (Licensed Massage Therapist) enjoys a variety of massage modalities and uses a combination of Swedish, trigger point therapy, energy work, range of motion, and connective tissue therapy (deep tissue) often in her sessions as well as client education to promote healing and wellness in everyday life.

Ashley Lesh (Licensed Esthetician) has had an avid interest in skincare and make up artistry from an early age. After studying Violin performance and receiving her BA from SUNY Fredonia, she branched out and enrolled in the Continental School of Beauty’s esthetic program. There, she excelled in all aspects of esthetics especially skin care, airbrush tanning, and electrotherapy. An Ithaca native, ashley centers her skin care around health and wellness, and truly tries to educate every client about home care and product knowledge. Ashley thoroughly enjoys practicing esthetics and brings her passion for skin care to every client.  You can see Ashley at Rasa on Mondays and Thursdays.

Leana Love-Fabian attended the Continental school of Beauty in 2004 and has loved being an Aesthetician ever since.  Her love of skincare started long before when she was a little girl with face masks, bubble bath and makeup.  She promotes good skincare practices, not solely to benefit the look of your skin, but also for the fulfillment that caring for yourself brings. Leana brings her broad spectrum of knowledge and experience to each session and tailors the treatment towards the client’s desires and needs. Most of all she shares her love and warmth with the sincere intention to uplift and inspire. Leana is at Rasa on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Emily Melcher (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage. She has a BA from Hamilton College and is also a registered nurse. She has lived in Ithaca since 2002. Coming from the medical profession, Emily has a strong desire to help people to feel better. She feels that deep relaxation brought on by massage is the perfect place to start. Her massage technique combines Swedish strokes with connective tissue therapy and trigger point therapy. Emily loves to individualize her sessions to meet her clients’ needs. She is available by request.

Sarah Misson (Licensed Massage Therapist) completed her education at the Finger Lakes School of Massage before beginning her massage career. Sarah believes in providing massage that is customized to each client’s individual needs. She combines several modalities, including Swedish, Energy Work, and Shiatsu to promote the body’s natural relaxation response and restorative abilities. As an avid gardener, Sarah believes that taking time to nurture and promote the seeds of healing in yourself is the best way to grow a healthy body and soul. Sarah is available by request.

Stephanie Moore, LMT Rasa Spa

Stephanie Moore (Licensed Massage Therapist) graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2016. She had previously obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Clinical Health Studies from Ithaca College in 2014, but felt that physical therapy alone wasn’t attending to all of her patients’ issues. Stephanie deeply knows and respects the body, and felt that deep emotional issues and lack of touch could manifest into detrimental physical conditions. At massage school, she fell in love with the trade. Stephanie has an in-depth education of the body and all its systems, is experienced with multiple pathologies (most specifically soft tissue injuries), and is very knowledgeable about the shoulders, neck, knees, and lower and upper back. She’s been told she has good “listening hands” and is able to give a very thorough massage. Her main focus is around the client’s needs and she enjoys a wide variety of modalities, from swedish to shiatsu, deep tissue to medical massage, and is currently studying Integrated Energy Therapy and Reiki. Stephanie always aims to give the gift of a freshly rejuvenated mind and body, leaving you in a grounded, calm, collected state of being. She is available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Amy Nappi (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a graduate of Finger Lakes School of Massage.  In her practice, she specializes in Connective Tissue Therapy, Swedish, Trigger Point Therapy, Energy Work, and Sports Massage.  She is currently studying Craniosacral energy work.  Her goal as a Massage Therapist is to assist and invite clients to actively participate in their own health and wellness.  During her spare time she enjoys mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, and canoeing.  Amy is available Thursday through Saturday.

Eliza Newman (Licensed Massage Therapist) enjoys tailoring her sessions for specific therapy on areas of discomfort such as TMJ disorder, sciatic/hip issues, shoulder injuries, neck tension, and headaches. She approaches these issues using deep tissue work, repetitive strokes, and focused muscle attachment massage. She also appreciates working with clients who are looking more for relaxation, connection, awareness, and grounding, as in prenatal and stress-reduction massage. She has always loved the human body and enjoys meeting each person where they are in each moment. Eliza is available on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Marie Parks LMT Rasa Spa

Marie Parks (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage. After searching and experiencing different avenues to help people, she has found where she’s gifted, impacting many as a massage therapist. She is interested in not only how massage relieves pain and decreases stress, but its overall holistic effects to promoting good health. Her heart is to be a vessel for healing and desires her clients to find relief physically, mentally and emotionally as she customizes each session to the specific needs of the individual. Marie intuitively integrates massage modalities, such as deep tissue, trigger point therapy, and stretching along with Swedish, to stimulate the body to function at more optimum levels, minimizing pain, stress and discomfort. She believes the practice of bodywork can play a significant part in escorting people to a more peaceful state of being. Marie is available on Wednesdays.

Hannah Polanko-Baker LMT Rasa Spa

Hannah Polanko-Baker graduated from FLSM in 2016. Two years after blowing her knee out, a weekly connective tissue session on her hamstrings helped to aid and even shorten the long healing process. Since then, she couldn’t stop thinking about what a miracle it was and finally found her self wanting to help other athletes with holistic medicine. Hannah believes massage can help aid in preventing injuries, or assist in healing injuries that have already occurred–whether it’s stress and overused muscles, or even post-surgery. She loves to work with athletes and do specific, deep work involving Swedish massage, connective tissue therapy, and trigger point. As an avid CrossFitter, she believes that massage can be very beneficial to every day life. Hannah is available by request.

Sarah Raymond (Licensed Massage Therapist) has found inspiration for her work through each client she has had the privilege of meeting and working with through compassionate touch. Because of this, she has begun to focus her career in the direction of medical massage. She finds joy in giving each of her clients a unique and personal session based on the needs they feel in their body and mind. Having received continued education and certification in oncology massage, she can create a session that addresses the physical and emotional needs for those in chronic pain. She incorporates this training in sessions with all her clients, providing the utmost care when she uses her other massage techniques that include Swedish, trigger point work, KAM, connective tissue therapy, and shiatsu points. Sarah Raymond underwent an intensive oncology massage education program last month, and is eager to share her new knowledge with oncology patients who can benefit greatly from massage therapy. Sarah is an educated therapist who knows exactly what to ask oncology patients so that their needs are addressed appropriately during session, whether that means special consideration for skin irritation due to radiation, or simply great care in positioning the body comfortably. She offers a safe place for communication and physical and emotional release. Sarah received her oncology massage education from Tracy Walton and Associates in 2017, and is registered with the Society for Oncology Massage. Sarah is available Thursday through Sunday.

Sarah Scheiber (Licensed Waxing Specialist and Reiki Master) consciously works to affirm self understanding and self value. As a waxing specialist, Sarah’s work offers refined, cared for beauty. Likewise, her energy work cultivates a space to connect with your experiences and your authentic self. For Sarah, the intuition to define individual beauty through waxing and to care for energetic beauty are linked; this relationship guides Sarah’s compassionate hands to help clients radiate their grandest self actualization. Her attunement as a Reiki Master Teacher and ARCH practitioner, education in health and wellness, and her passion to co-create with clients make Sarah an able console to all wellness routines. She is at Rasa on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Alison Simone

Alison Simione (Licensed Massage Therapist) approaches her sessions with the intention to create a safe space for each client to feel nurtured and allow healing and a deep state of relaxation to begin. She especially enjoys addressing areas of restriction and pain, and helping the individual client find relief and increased mobility.  She is interested in the connection between how we spend our time, the foods we eat, and our overall health. As a dancer in her early years, Alison has had an interest in the body and natural healing from a young age. After graduating with a BFA in dance performance, she then gravitated toward yoga and bodywork. Alison graduated from FLSM in 2003. Since then has been practicing massage, raising a family in beautiful Ithaca, dedicating time to her personal yoga practice, and is a cofounder and dancer of a local yoga-dance performance group. Alison can be booked Thursdays and Fridays.

Amber Telfer (Licensed Massage Therapist) was born in upstate New York and raised in Lake Travis, Texas. In 2011, she came back to New York to attend the Finger Lakes School of Massage. There, she learned she was most interested in Swedish, Connective Tissue Therapy, Neuromuscular Therapy, Medical Massage, and Pregnancy Massage. Amber is best known for her effective, slow, deep work. While at school, she also attended an advanced workshop in deep tissue neck work that covered conditions like TMJ, whiplash, and migraines. Her heart lies in helping with pain and conditions that massage can truly aid in recovery. “Being active is very important,” says Amber. “I wish for all to be able to be active in the things they enjoy participating in without muscle tension or pain keeping them from doing so.” Amber is available Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Kim Vaughan (Licensed Massage Therapist) graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2009. She then moved to Arizona where she practiced massage at a chiropractor’s office, massage studio, and resort spa. Kim returned to Ithaca in 2011 and has been teaching at FLSM since 2013.  She believes that massage is about listening to the body, and she seeks to create sessions that are both therapeutic and deeply relaxing.  Kim is available by request.

Trisha Vendryes (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage.  She is grateful for the ability to provide the art of therapeutic massage to others supporting their physical and emotional well-being.  Every massage is performed with care, intention, and mindfulness, promoting a relaxation response in the body to facilitate healing from within.  The sessions are crafted according to the specific needs of each client.  She describes her work as integrative, combining different massage techniques including Deep Swedish, Myofascial Release, Energy Work, stretching, and movement. Trisha is at Rasa Thursday through Sunday.

Jessica Walczak, LMT Rasa Spa

 Jessica Walczak (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage and believes that safe, compassionate touch is of the utmost importance in achieving and maintaining a healthy mind-body connection. She is a very gentle, caring person, which translates into deeply relaxing and nurturing sessions for her clients. Long, slow, rhythmic strokes paired with inquisitive exploration of the deeper layers of muscle tension and stress will leave you feeling so pampered and renewed. Jessica loves to incorporate sound healing in her sessions by using Tibetan singing bowls, chimes, and peaceful meditative music. She also uses hot towels and soft eye pillows to create a truly customized experience based on each individual’s preferences. Jessica is available by request.

Dex White (Licensed Massage Therapist) graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Massage, has been working as a massage therapist since 2000, and is now an instructor at FLSM.  His sessions usually incorporate Swedish, connective tissue therapy, Reiki, and other energy work. Dex truly enjoys following his intuition and responding to his client’s needs in the moment and he places great importance on laughter and play. He can be booked on Tuesdays, and by request.

Edith Will (Licensed Massage Therapist) specializes in deep tissue massage and believes in restoring the natural balance that each body deserves. She was trained in massage at the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage and has been practicing since the day after graduation. Through her work, emphasis is placed on individuality and a holistic approach to wellbeing. She can be booked Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and by request.

Rose Zonetti (Licensed Massage Therapist) has always had a passion for holistic health, and her interest in bodywork as a mode of personal and community healing has deepened through her bodywork practice. Rose’s deeply affecting bodywork helps her clients find balance and ease through a combination of deep tissue, stretching, and Shiatsu techniques. She aims to facilitate healing and empower individuals to be agents of change for both themselves and those around them. Rose believes that promoting holistic health among individuals is key to promoting healthy communities. Rose is available by request.

Special Care Providers

Astrid Jirka (Yoga Instructor) is a certified advanced Hatha Yoga and Restorative Yoga teacher. She has been teaching since 2004 in many different venues, including wellness and fitness centers, yoga studios, and private settings. She teaches with a well-rounded focus on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels of the yoga practice in order to achieve positive health and well-being. The physical aspects include the goal of creating a balance between strength and flexibility an overall balanced and healthy lifestyle. Essential to this concept is deep awareness and control of the breath and the ability to look inward while remaining connected to the outside world. She is interested to assist people at any level who are looking to heal or enliven their bodies and lives through increased awareness and mobility.

Ilana Berman (Yoga Instructor) found a natural fit with yoga early on and explored many yoga traditions including Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram and Kundalini, before falling in love with the spirit of Kripalu yoga. Also a massage therapist at Rasa, Ilana believes strongly in the power of feeling good and brings to her classes an emphasis on kinestetic awareness and developing sensititvity to your bodies unique wisdom in order to find pleasure in each movement and breath. She uses a combination of the invigorating and surrendering aspects of yoga to help students receive the the therapeutic benefits of building strength and flexibility of both body and mind. In her classes you can expect an invitation to practice dynamic presence and compassionate self observation. She sees the yoga studio as a place of safety and freedom where we practice being our most empowered, excellent and awesome selves. Ilana received her Teacher Certification from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts, and holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Ithaca College and studied at the Finger Lakes School if Massage for her License in Massage Therapy.

Eleanor Liebson (Yoga Instructor) is a licensed Occupational Therapist, certified Yoga Therapist, Yoga Teacher, and certified Laughter Yoga Instructor. She brings 25 years of rehabilitative experience and ongoing continuing education to her yoga therapy practice. Eleanor has taught numerous specialty yoga classes for pregnancy, breast cancer survivors, Parkinsonism, arthritis, osteoporosis, senior chair yoga, special needs children’s yoga, and also provides one-on-one yoga therapy for persons with unique orthopedic and neurological conditions such as those with spinal issues, stroke, MS, CP, chronic pain, and emotional dysregulation. She incorporates stress management into her outpatient occupational therapy (OT) practice where she works for Cayuga Medical Center at the Brentwood PT clinic and has taught stress management workshops at TC3 and yoga in the Physical Therapy Department at Ithaca College.

Melinda Matzell Grannan (Yoga Instructor) is a Therapeutic Yoga Instructor, certified Sivananda Yoga teacher, and has been leading classes for more than 11 years. Her traditional Sivananda teaching continues to evolve, and integrates the influence of her course work and training with wonderful teachers such as Anodea Judith, Joseph Le Page, Erich Schiffmann, Paulie Zink, Paul Grilley and Leslie Kaminoff. Incorporating traditional breath work, mudras, chakras, and clear alignment cues, Melinda encourages self discovery and leads students to a greater sense of awareness about not just their physical bodies, but also about themselves. She believes a yoga practice can benefit the practitioner, their community, and the world, by guiding us to a place of deeper compassion and mindfulness.

Sara Worden (Yoga Instructor) is an Anusara Elements Teacher and a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance.
Sara enjoys working with students of all abilities who want to go deeper into the natural world through experiencing their own body, mind, and breath in relationship to the environment around them. She offers Restorative Yoga and seasonal Farmscape Yoga workshops which incorporate her passion for outdoor body-mind practices and agriculture!

Guest Services & Administration

Abigail Funk-Gifford  (Spa Director) strives to help create amazing experiences for all of Rasa’s clients and a great working environment for all of Rasa’s staff. Abby graduated from Ithaca College in 2004, decided to spend the summer in Ithaca, and never left. An athlete and sports junkie at heart, she spent more than eight years as a writer and editor at a local sports publishing company before arriving at Rasa. She has been to spas across the country and is pleased to say that Rasa’s massage therapists, estheticians, and guest services members are among the very best! She can be reached at:

Mariah Dahl is the marketing director at Rasa Spa. She is incredibly passionate about helping people find a deeper sense of health, well-being and connection to their bodies. Mariah has over 7 years of experience working in marketing around health & wellness. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies from University at Albany. She is also a native to upstate New York. When she is not working you will find her Stand Up Paddle board racing around the region or dreaming about warm days and more Stand Up Paddle boarding!

Wendy Houseworth (Social Media and Outreach Coordinator) is an Ithaca native. After some years living in Wilmington, NC; Boston, MA; New Zealand and Manhattan, she has happily declared Ithaca her home once again. Wendy received her massage certification in 2001 while living in Wilmington. After two years of operating a private practice she realized that her potential could be more fully met on the administrative, marketing and public relations side of the business. She began fulfilling this role for a spa/health club in Wilmington and continued practicing massage privately. After moving back to Ithaca, Wendy changed career directions and moved into restaurant/business management (Stella’s, Inlet Island Cafe, Serendipity Catering & Gimme! Coffee) and then found her way back into wellness, and Rasa. Over the years, she has acquired an eye for detail and organization, marketing, graphic design and management.