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Our Therapists

Pamela Balanag

Pamela Balanag, born in St. Louis, Mo, has been a Santa Fe resident and massage therapist for the past 17 years. After her studies at the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts, she has worked at Ojo Caliente, The Life Healing Center and 10,000 Waves. Pamela has been at 10,000 Waves for the past thirteen years, and is still with them.

She has undertaken additional studies in Reiki III, at the Healing the Light Body School (4 Winds Society) and in Shamanism/Energy Medicine.

Pamela loves that she gets to work with people on such an individualized basis, "dancing outside of time, assisting in and witnessing transformation."

When not at work, Pamela enjoys being in nature, walking, gardening, camping and travel. She also loves the sanctuary of home, good movies, food, books, music, pets & people, yoga, movement arts and the fine arts.

Hans Bucher

Born in Borneo, Indonesia to American parents, Hans grew up on the east coast in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Exposed to natural healing modalities when he lived at Pacha Mama, a spiritual and ecological community in Costa Rica, Hans began by learning Reiki.

He moved to Santa Fe in 2003 to study massage therapy and polarity therapy at the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts. Working at Body Inc, Sunrise Springs, Buffalo Thunder Resort, and in private practice, Hans brought a sacred and skilled intuitiveness to his work as it grew and developed.

Today his work weaves specific trigger point therapy, deep tissue and flowing swedish massage to create a deeply relaxing experience. "I love tapping into the field of innate wholeness present prior to stress. Each technique I employ facilitates a natural unwinding of tension in one's muscles, fascia, and joints". His work is adaptive and nourishing.

In 2012 Hans graduated from nursing school with honors and plans to pursue a Bachelors of Science in Nursing in holistic nursing. Hans is also a prolific singer/songwriter who writes music about freedom, love, and rebirth.

Janis Amelia Gordon, DOM

Janis has lived in Santa Fe since 1974. Her interest in the face and skin began while she was working on her degree of Oriental Medicine. She began noticing the luminosity of the face after treatments of acupuncture, which led to further study with a Japanese acupuncturist. From there she went on to learn Japanese facial massage - the Art of Ko bi do. This method of massage invigorates the facial meridians that connect with the total body meridians. The client benefits from a whole-body effect, as if receiving a traditional massage.

Janis received her license from the Aveda Institute in Albuquerque, NM, and has been on the staff of Absolute Nirvana since its inception in 2005. She incorporates traditional facial knowledge with her ko bi do skills to create a truly unique offering. Janis enjoys working at Absolute Nirvana, both because of its small size and for the opportunity to work alongside its talented and experienced therapists. Janis' goal is for clients to leave with a face that is alive and glowing, while also feeling relaxed, refreshed and beautiful both inside and out.

Susan Hoffman

Susan came to Santa Fe from New York and has been practicing massage for the past 19 years. She received her training at the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in Albuquerque, NM and has done further training in Lomi Lomi, La Stone and foot reflexology. She also has a BS in Biology from the U. of New Mexico. In addition to a successful private practice, Susan has worked at the El Gancho Fitness Club and the Eldorado Acupuncture and Wellness Center. She joined Absolute Nirvana when the spa opened in July of 2005. Her specialties are deep tissue work and La Stone. For Susan, being a therapist gives her the opportunity to help people in a very deep and focused manner. She enjoys using her academic skills, knowing the muscles and their functions, with her intuitive abilities. Her outside interests include hiking, running, dancing, gardening and cooking.

Karin Holzscheiter

Karin comes to us all the way from Germany, though she has been a Santa Fe resident since 1985. She has been a massage therapist since 1992, with 18 years of private and spa service under her belt. Karin studied initially at the Rolf Institute and Guild for Structural Integration in Boulder, CO and has done additional studies in Structural Integration and Craniosacral Therapy. Her particular specialty is deep tissue. "What I like most about being a therapist is that I can positively affect the lives of my clients. Whether this happens by aiding in stress reduction, recovery from an injury or an illness, or simply by stimulating healing potentials - there is nothing more rewarding than helping a human being feel better and more relaxed through my work.

Her outside interests are being in nature, hiking, running and bicycling. She also loves studying nutrition and helping her husband in cancer research. Karin also enjoys photography and making jewelry.

Lauren Janson

Lauren has been a massage therapist for 27 years, having run her own health center, The Rising Moon Center for Healing in Pennsylvania and creating a successful private practice for 18 years. She has studied at Massage Acts and Science in Philadelphia as well as the Scherer Institute in Santa Fe. In addition, Lauren brings to Absolute Nirvana her specialized training in Thai Massage, La Stone Hot Stone and Reflexology. While adept in all modalities, her notable offerings are a Thai/Shiatsu combination treatment involving stretching and resistance training along with hot stone and deep tissue work. For Lauren, seeing results, being present with her client in the moment and seeing clients transform positively makes massage therapy a very rewarding career.

Lauren's spiritual practice makes its way into her life in many ways: "I love to gather and collect rocks for healing and to create quiet spaces of beauty with them as well." She also sings professionally with a band, and has sung swing music for the past 30 years. Lauren has worked at Absolute Nirvana since it's inception in July 2005.

Keith Murray

Formally from NYC, Keith trained at the Swedish Institute, Inc. He has been a Massage Therapist for the past 24 years, working at the Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa at the Reebok Sports Club/NY in New York City for thirteen of those years. He appeared on Live with Regis & Kathie Lee as part of their Aches and Pains week in 1996. Currently, Keith is the Team Massage Therapist for the U.S. Davis Cup Team as well as a Massage Therapist at the US Open Tennis Championships where he has been asked back every year since 1995. Keith had the honor of being chosen as the sole Team Therapist for the U.S. Men's and Women's Olympic Tennis Team in London, 2012. This year, Keith will once again be joining the U.S. Olympic Tennis Team as the sole Team Therapist in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in August. Top 6 and only individual nominee for best Massage Therapist in Santa Fe, 2016. His particular areas of concentration are in Sports Therapy, Deep Tissue, and Core Myofascial. His preferred modality is Deep Tissue and Sports Massage, and he enjoys the fact that his work helps to make people feel good. Along with being a Massage Therapist, Keith is also an accomplished artist.

Kelleen Theis

Kelleen moved to Santa Fe 20 years ago from the Virgin Islands, where she managed health food stores, raced bicycles, sailed and competed in running and swimming. She graduated from the New Mexico Academy of Massage and Healing Arts in 1992 and has been practicing massage for the past 18 years. Aside from a private practice, Kelleen spent ten years working at the El Gancho Health Club in Santa Fe before joining Absolute Nirvana when it opened in the summer of 2005. She is also in charge of training all of the spa's new therapists in the detailed and highly complex deluxe treatments.

Kelleen's extensive background in sports and natural healing arts gives her a broad basis for her approach to a thorough full body deep massage. Her emphasis is on lymph, joint, and muscle release techniques, bringing length and circulation to muscles to relieve joints, ligaments and tendons. Hers is a unique blend of strength and nurturing. Along with her continued interest in biking and swimming, she has been a long time student of yoga and pilates. She loves to garden, parent and create good food.

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