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:

Service Providers

Brian Alexander (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a 2018 graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage. He enjoys using his knowledge of kinesiology and an array of massage modalities to create a deeply therapeutic session that addresses his clients' needs. As an active person, Brian is passionate about learning how the body moves and functions. He believes good communication is foundational to everything we do, and welcomes feedback from his clients. Brian is available Friday through Sunday.

Leah Arpadi (Licensed 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 by request.

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 Sunday 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 by request.

Casey Beck (Licensed Massage Therapist) graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2004. Specializing in connective tissue therapy, Swedish massage, and pregnancy massage, her primary areas of interest are the neck, upper body, and hips. She loves exploring the mind-body connection through healing touch. Casey tailors each client’s session to their specific needs whether it is stress relief, pain management, or simply to relax. Her love of bodywork and her community is a constant inspiration to the heart-centered work that she brings to the massage table. Casey is available at our Watkins Glen location on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and by request at any location.

Britney Bennett (Licensed Massage Therapist) graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2016. She’s eager to be able to try new things, and bring different techniques to each session based on her clients’ needs. She is very grateful to be able connect to as many clients as she can get her hands on. Her compassion for others, along with her friendly smile, allows a warm and welcoming atmosphere for every massage. She loves what she does and does what she loves – how much better can it get? Britney is available by request.

Kaitlyn Bobik (Licensed Esthetician) found her love of skincare after a trip to the dermatologist in high school. After some research, and trial and error, she was able to successfully balance her own skin. Wanting to pass on the confidence boost that came with clear skin, she discovered the wide world of esthetics. Kaitlyn is a graduate of the Esthetics Program at GST BOCES. Her favorite part of being an esthetician goes beyond skincare. She enjoys creating bonds with her clients and making their day better. She is available Saturday through Wednesday.

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 Wednesdays at Rasa’s main location and is at the Cayuga Medical Center on Mondays and Tuesdays.

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 Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

Ciera Carhart (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a 2018 graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage. She fully believes that every body has a story to tell and wants to help tell that story better by providing deep relaxation with intuitive touch. Combining connective tissue and trigger point therapy with a foundation in deep Swedish, Ciera loves that every session is as unique as the individual she has the privilege to work with. Ciera is available on Thursdays, Saturdays, and by request.

Angie Carlin (Licensed Esthetician) is a graduate from the Continental School Of Beauty. Angie has made skincare her passion, and enjoys making everyone feel and look their best. With a wide range of expertise, from age corrective treatments to problem skin, Angie has the experience and knowledge to help everyone with any and all skincare concerns. It is her objective to fulfill your needs. Skincare is a top concern for most women and it is her priority to deliver results and make sure everyone leaves understanding the proper way to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize. Angie enjoys spending time with her two daughters while she is home and traveling to different areas of NY to capture special moments. It is her passion to build great relationships with her clients. She has worked in the skincare industry for 17 years and enjoys educating women about skincare and treatments for all skin types. Angie is available Wednesdays, and Saturday through Monday.

Sarah Costonis, L. Ac., has been practicing manual therapy since 1998, and acupuncture since 2005. She weaves a deeply nurturing space for her clients, 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, 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, Fridays, Sundays, and by request.

Shimon Darwick (Licensed 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 available every other Tuesday and by request.

Wendy Day LMT Rasa Spa

Wendy Day (Licensed Massage Therapist and Cosmetologist) came to Ithaca and graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2017 on a new path of #RESET. Having her own nails business for 23 years, she felt she needed a change of pace. Learning many new skills and talents through carpentry, cabinet making, fine furniture, and coal sculpting, Wendy ultimately realized she missed the human touch. From years of hands-on experience, she loves how intuitively she is able to find “the spots.” Clients are often surprised by her strength, yet her creative touch. Wendy guides her sessions guest by guest, to their individual needs and desires of that day. Pulling from her modality tool box of Swedish, Connective Tissue Therapy, Neuromuscular Therapy, Trigger Points, and her personal favorite – exploration – Wendy’s aim is to provide you with your own unique massage encounter. She is available Monday through Wednesday at the Cayuga Wellness Center location and on Sundays at the Watkins Glen location.

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, Thursdays, and the first Sunday of each month.

Theresa Delafield (Licensed Massage Therapist) brings her joy of “hands-on” healing to her clients. One of her greatest strengths is being able to create both a safe space and client self-awareness that allows you to truly heal during a session. She is able to help release new to very old patterns of tension, stress, and dysfunction. Theresa has studied many fields of natural healing before her own journey through the Finger Lakes School of Massage. There she not only worked but excelled while managing her own health and personal growth challenges. She emerged ready, able, and willing to share all she knows to help you grow into a healthier and more radiant human being. Theresa is currently available by request.

Phyllisa (Philly) DeSarno (Licensed Esthetician) was trained at Continental School in Rochester. She specializes in mature and aging skin. She has studied all types of health and wellness techniques starting at a young age and incorporates them while working with her clients. She has used only the most natural and pure products and loves that Rasa uses only organic product lines! Philly recently retired from a long career in economic development. But, since 2002 has practiced skincare as a sideline in her home studio. Philly is available at our Watkins Glen location on Fridays, 11 am to 3 pm, and 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. Jesse is available at the Cayuga Wellness Center location on Thursdays and Saturdays, and at the Watkins Glen location on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Viviani Drogalis (Licensed Massage Therapist) worked in retail for seven years before deciding to try a different career. She has always been passionate about providing service to people. When looking at career options, she never considered massage therapy until someone floated the idea to her. After touring the Finger Lakes School of Massage, she knew the environment and energy was for her. Vivi fell in love with massage, taking in the different modalities and learning to connect with clients on an energetic level. In a word, she believes massage is beautiful. Vivi can be booked by request.

Daniell Dubord (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage. Having taught yoga previously she has attained nearly 5 years of bodywork experience. Today, Daniell’s massage is inspired by movement, play, and knowledge of the human body. She practices methods from modalities such as Swedish, shiatsu, connective tissue therapy, range of motion, and energetic therapies. She is eager to continue helping others reach their fullest potential and self care goals.  With knowledge of the many functions of the body and muscle motions through yoga, a massage with Daniell is an integrative and creative full body and mind experience. Daniell is back after a leave of absence this summer! She is available at the Cayuga Wellness Center location on Sundays and in Watkins Glen on Thursdays and Fridays.

Diana Evensen (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a 2018 graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage and is excited to begin her professional career as a massage therapist at Rasa Spa. She has always been interested in helping and serving people, including previous work as a physical therapy aide and certified nursing assistant. Diana cannot wait to develop her own unique approach to massage therapy and provide the best care for her clients. Her favorite modalities are Connective Tissue Therapy, Swedish, and relaxation massage. She is always looking for something new to learn to add to her growing set of skills. Diana is available Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Wendy Field (Licensed Esthetician) comes from a background of years of nursing and education experience. She completed her esthetician training at GST BOCES in 2018. Wendy recognizes the importance of healthy skin for both beauty and well-being. She has always enjoyed the study of science and its effect on an overall healthy lifestyle. She applies her knowledge of science to the use and effects of ingredients and techniques when providing your personalized care. She can be booked at our Watkins Glen location on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Katherine Gabelmann (Licensed 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, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Shayna Grajo, Rasa Spa Ithaca NY
Shayna Grajo (LMT) Shayna Grajo is honored to serve the Rasa community and help maximize whole body health for her clients. She draws enthusiastically from a background in dance, yoga, and meditation to provide focused, supportive and uplifting sessions that meet clients where they are.  A 2017 graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage, Shayna enjoys shiatsu and Swedish modalities while incorporating stretches and range of motion. As with dance, she invites clients to relieve stress, melt tension, connect with balance and creativity, trust the body’s wisdom, and move with greater joy, freedom, and clarity. Shayna is available by request.

Terra Gustafson (Licensed Massage Therapist) graduated from Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2017. Upon graduating, she has gained experience from working as a full time bodyworker in a Chiropractic and Wellness center. Terra brings her caring nature, intuition and kindness into her work. She enjoys a number of modalities which include medical massage, Swedish, trigger point therapy, neuromuscular therapy. Terra loves to integrate whichever modalities best fit her clients’ needs. Each session is customized to alleviate tension, reduce stress, while detoxing and nourishing the body, as well as the mind. Terra’s favorite part about being a massage therapist is when she can assist in healing and natural pain relief, or even allowing for a session to leave the client feeling deeply relaxed. Terra is available at our Watkins Glen location on Saturdays.

Claire Hawthorne, LMT is deeply passionate about massage and takes pride in offering integrative, comforting, balanced, therapeutic care for each client’s body, mind, and spirit. Claire’s sessions are richly detailed, relaxing, deeply effective, and smooth- influenced by her training in deep Swedish, Trigger Point Therapy, myofascial release, reflexology, abdominal massage, shiatsu, range-of-motion, sports massage, therapeutic stretching, and reiki. Claire brings her kind, caring nature, communication skills, her knowledge and understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and pathologies, as well as her curiosity and her grounded presence to every precious moment of each session. Her practice of mindfulness, lifestyle, and optimistic attitude reflect her gratitude for the magnificent planet we all share and a resounding love for all of humanity. She’s very happy living in Ithaca, where massage therapy and holistic healthcare are among many celebrated aspects of our beautiful, flourishing culture. She is a proud alumni of the Finger Lakes School or Massage. Claire is available on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

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 at Rasa’s main location on Mondays and Wednesdays, and at Cayuga Medical Center on Thursdays and Fridays.

Meghan Kerr (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a 2011 graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage.  Meghan’s style is nurturing, intuitive, and client-focused. She tailors each session to the individual with the intention of providing deep relaxation and a space for the body’s innate healing ability to engage. Integrating structure and energy, Meghan’s sessions combine a variety of healing modalities to relieve areas of chronic pain and habitual tension. Meghan is currently on a leave of absence.

Cynthia King (Licensed Massage Therapist) uses an analytical approach to anatomy/physiology, combined with a passion for restoring the body’s innate intelligence. Each session she does is customized to alleviate stress, detox the body, nourish the body tissues, and create balanced energy flow. She has 14+ years of clinical experience as a licensed massage therapist and instructor and yoga teacher and the last 8 years as an Ayurveda Practitioner. In addition, Cynthia holds certifications in pre- and post-natal massage, myofascial techniques, Reiki, advanced Ayurveda body treatments, Pancha Karma (ayurveda cleanse) therapies, hot stone massage, and aromatic botanical medicine.

Britt Kline (Licensed Massage Therapist) graduated from the Finger Lakes School of Massage. With gratitude for the incredible education she was privileged to receive, she brings her full presence into each session. Integrating a variety of modalities, she is able to tailor sessions individually for each client. One of her favorite bodywork mottos is, “our issues are in our tissues.” This is the basis for her work—bridging gaps between body, mind, and spirit. Her love of anatomy and physiology and soothing touch are grounded in this idea. She believes that while we are walking histories of our experiences on this earth, massage can help us let go of what is no longer needed with ease, relaxation, and even joy. While Britt’s heartwork is in working with women who are healing from difficult experiences (including health issues, etc) and people grieving loss, she enjoys working with Every Person, All bodies, All backgrounds. Britt is available on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

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 Thursday through Saturday.

Leana Love-Fabian (Licensed Esthetician) attended Continental school of Beauty in 2004 and has loved being an esthetician 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 skin care 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 clients desires and needs. Most of all she shares her love and warmth with the sincere intention to uplift and inspire. Leana is available on Monday and Wednesday mornings.

Alexander Lusty (Licensed Massage Therapist) follows massage as a path to connection. Alexander utilizes a water color approach in technique during sessions to support clients in their connection to their body, health, and world. An alum of the Finger Lakes School of Massage, Alexander was inspired to pursue bodywork after experiencing the transformative vitality of massage and energy work firsthand. In his work, a range of therapies from Swedish Massage, Shiatsu, Connective Tissue Therapy, Energy work, Neuromuscular Therapy, and Medical Massage come together to support others uniquely. Away from sessions, Alexander is often found in nature, and enjoys continuing studies in health. He is currently available by request.

Owen Mann (Licensed Massage Therapist) Owen has an integrative approach to each massage that he does. He focuses on the client’s needs at the time of the session,breaking through the tension with a strong yet calm touch. Owen is a 2015 graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Massage. He is an emerging internationally known ceramic sculptor. Owen is available on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Sarah Marshall (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 of 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 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 also Manual Lymphatic Drainage certified. She is available by request.

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 on Tuesdays and by request.

Zachary Miller, Rasa Spa

Zackary Miller (Licensed Massage Therapist) Zack Miller moved to Ithaca to follow his dream of becoming a massage therapist. After graduating from The Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2017, he is interested in using each day to continue learning. Believing that massage is a great way to physically help others to feel more comfortable, Zack does his best work when communicating with clients about how day-to-day habits can affect the body. Massage is an extraordinarily effective way of both preventing and healing injuries. Zack believes having regular massage sessions is necessary to maintain a healthy and conscious lifestyle. He is an attentive therapist who welcomes in-the-moment feedback. He customizes every session to be within the needs of his clients. Zack is available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

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 currently out on maternity leave.

Kalika Osgood (Licensed Esthetician) graduated from the BOCES Esthetics program in Elmira, NY in 2018. She consistently exceeds client expectations while being recognized for a gentle, soothing touch. She is passionate about her new career, and excited to continue learning new products and techniques through continuing education while working at Rasa. Kalika is available on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at the Cayuga Wellness Center location and Thursdays at the Watkins Glen location.

Norie (Licensed Esthetician) has a passion for skincare and esthetics that has driven her to achieve many different certifications under her license as an Esthetician. She values knowledge and respects the physiology of the skin, and the chemistry of product ingredients and treatments. Her knowledge helps her in finding the best products and treatment options for your specific concerns. Norie also has a natural desire to nurture. Formerly a nurse assistant, care-giving is what Norie loves most about her career as an Esthetician. She deeply understands that clients often times come to her mentally stressed, physically exhausted and in need of both relaxation and recharge of energy. It is not uncommon her clients succumb to sleep while she cares for their skin under her skilled hands. Altogether, Norie's knowledge and soothing touch will bring you beautiful results and a calming sense of wellness. She is available at our Watkins Glen location Wednesday through Friday every week, as well as every other Saturday and Sunday.

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.

Deirdre Prince (Licensed Massage Therapist) is where she is meant to be in this present moment. All of her experiences have led her to this point and she is grateful to call herself a massage therapist at Rasa Spa. Deirdre originally wanted to be a nurse, helping people recover in a very western way. She collected knowledge and experiences and learned much about herself and the part she wanted to play in the world during her five years in college. There are many ways to treat the same injury yet hands-on healing work resonated most with her. Deirdre’s passion is to allow others to feel at ease in their bodies so that they are able to do the things they love to do without pain or suffering. In addition to being a massage therapist, Deirdre is a visual artist. The mediums she enjoy most are acrylic and watercolor paint to create images inspired by landscape and nature. Deirdre is available on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

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.

Lydia Rice (Licensed Massage Therapist) was trained in massage therapy at the Cortiva Institute in Hoboken, New Jersey, where she learned and honed her Swedish, deep tissue, myofascial, and orthopedic massage techniques working in the student clinic. Lydia went on to work in the spa at an Equinox gym in New York City, and also had her own business before arriving at Rasa Spa. She 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.

Piers Sharman, Rasa Spa
Piers Sharman(Licensed Massage) Piers was educated at both the Oregon School of Massage and FLSM. He likes to integrate Swedish, deep tissue and Shiatsu massage methods to help his clients relax, and to address some of the patterns of tension that people develop through habit and the demands of modern life. Piers believes that easing stress and allowing freedom of movement makes life better, and hopes to convince his clients of this through his work.  He works at Rasa’s main location on Sundays, and at the Community Corners location Monday through Friday.
Kendra Shaw Rasa Spa Ithaca NY
Kendra Shaw (Licensed Massage Therapist) graduated from Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2014. Her goal is to be able to connect individuals to their mind, body, and spirits through her touch. Although her sessions incorporate several different modalities to help clients reach their personal goals, she is passionate about using slow Swedish, Connective Tissue-like strokes to communicate with muscles more effectively. Kendra has a desire to continuously gain knowledge to add to her repertoire of healing skills. She is currently studying esthetics at BOCES and is expected to graduate in March of 2018. She is excited to add another professional skill that will help clients gain confidence while reaching their ultimate relaxation. Kendra is available every other Thursday.

Amy Stofenberg (Licensed Massage Therapist) moved to Ithaca in 2017 to pursue massage therapy in a place with abundant natural beauty. With a background in sustainability, photography, yoga, and gymnastics, she sees endless connections between the patterns of the natural world and our embodied experience. Amy strives to bring the peace, beauty, and intelligence of the natural world into the feeling of each massage session, leaving each client feeling vital, deeply relaxed, and free to move. Her technique is flowing, connective, and deeply effective, combining Swedish, Connective Tissue Therapy, Kinesthetic Awareness through Movement and more to creatively and thoughtfully meet the needs of each client. She is available Fridays and Sundays.

Leo Vazenios (Licensed Massage Therapist) is motivated in his bodywork to create a deep sense of relaxation while targeting deep muscular and connective tissue  through an amalgam of styles. He has been most influenced by the principles of Neuromuscular Massage Therapy, deep Swedish, Connective Tissue Therapy, and Shiatsu. He graduated from the School of Finger Lakes School of Massage in 2017. Leo can be booked on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

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 Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Jacinta Whitcome (Licensed Massage Therapist) is a calm, centered, and self-motivated graduate of Finger Lakes School of Massage. With empathy and sensitivity, she approaches the whole human understanding that bodily pain and dysfunction can be outcomes of, as much as, sources for emotional pain and dysfunction, be it stress, grief or any other negative emotion. Jacinta’s explorative and responsive approach is focused and integrates various massage modalities to coax a connection between body and mind. She strives to understand the needs of her clients as well as to warmly support each client in their path to wellness whether the goal is relaxation or pain management. Jacinta is currently on a leave of absence.

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.

Allegra Willet Rasa Spa Ithaca NY

Allegra Willet (Licensed Massage Therapist) enjoys integrating different modalities, including Swedish massage, trigger point therapy, deep tissue, range of motion, and connective tissue therapy. She finds passion in working deep therapeutic sessions as well as using a lighter approach so she will be happy to work with you to find your perfect pressure. Allegra is available Wednesday through Friday.

Yoga Instructors

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.

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.

Guest Services & Administration

Abigail Funk-Gifford 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 team members are among the very best! She can be reached at:

Wendy Houseworth 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.

Bio coming soon! She can be reached at: