"Everyone at High Desert is gifted at what they do and they make a visit there so easy and pleasurable you can't wait for the next time."
-Jere Martin, Santa Fe, NM


Click here for Therapist Bios


Therapists by Modality



Since 1992, High Desert Healthcare & Massage has been committed to providing the highest quality bodywork in a relaxing and nurturing environment. Our priority is to offer outstanding treatments at an affordable rate, so our space is simple and peaceful, without the trappings of an expensive spa.

Each of the owners, Catherine Peck, Jill Gerber and Tracy Conrad, have loved doing bodywork for over 20 years. They are very particular about the independent contractors who join them, hiring only those who have great skill and excellent hands, and who also love their work. Most of our therapists have been with us for years and have thriving practices with a majority of repeat clients. We consider all of our therapists to be Master Level Therapists, and several of them are also instructors of massage, Rolfing ® or acupuncture.

As a group practice, we encourage our clients to try each of us in order to find multiple therapists who can meet their needs. With four treatment rooms and twenty therapists, we are big enough to provide a wide range of therapeutic modalities and treatment styles, yet small enough to give excellent individual, professional care. Simply put, we are all happy to be here doing what we love, and it shows in all aspects of the business.

We offer Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, Acupuncture, Rolfing ® Structural Integration, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Myofascial Release, Hot Stone Massage, Thai Yoga Massage, Shiatsu/Acupressure, Hands and Feet Reflexology Massage, Prenatal Massage, Reiki, and Lymph Drainage Therapy.

You don't have to choose just one...most of these therapies can be received individually, combined, or integrated into a Swedish massage, depending on your preference and needs.


What sets us apart from the rest...


  • Our therapists:

    • All have at least 2 years professional experience, with an average of 15 years in practice, and many have over 20 years experience
    • Graduated from accredited massage schools and complete continuing education classes every year
    • Are trained in Swedish massage and a wide variety of bodywork modalities
    • Have all been with us for years, some for the 16 years we've been in business
    • Have thriving practices with a majority of repeat business
    • Meet our high standards for professionalism and the exceptional quality of their work
    • Are licensed in the state of New Mexico
    • Are here because they love what they do!

  • Caring, friendly staff
  • Not a day spa, but a group massage and healthcare practice dedicated to helping our clients feel better
  • Large percentage of repeat clients who have been coming to us for years, some for the entire 19 years we've been in business
  • (As far as we know) best prices of any spa or group massage practice in Santa Fe
  • Conveniently located downtown, just a few blocks from the Santa Fe Plaza
  • Second location in the community of Eldorado, 20 minutes from downtown
  • In business since 1992
  • Locally- and women-owned


Therapist Bios


    Catherine Peck, co-owner




      Catherine Peck learned her first massage stroke at age nine from her father, who made it an honor to sit behind him in the car and "creeble" his neck and shoulders. A massage apprenticeship at a clinic in Denver twelve years later reaffirmed for Catherine that she had an intuitive affinity for massage. In 1985, a bodywork workshop rekindled the desire to connect with people through healing touch, and Catherine moved to Santa Fe to attend The New Mexico Academy of Massage and Advanced Healing Arts. After graduation, Catherine was invited to join the teaching staff there and was an instructor of massage and bodywork until the fall of 2005.

      Catherine is one of the original co-owners of High Desert Healthcare & Massage. She remains extremely grateful to have her practice there, and feels that it is a caring place full of fantastic people. Catherine's work integrates Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Myofascial Release and Hands and Feet Reflexology with a deep energetic component, creating an experience that is therapeutic, nurturing and relaxing. She is also trained in Prenatal Massage.

      Catherine says, "Doing massage asks me to listen, breathe, and be in attention with another person in the moment. Clients leave with a deeper connection to themselves, and their bodies usually feel better, too. I am so grateful to be doing this work."


    Jill Gerber, co-owner




      Jill Gerber went to massage school in 1987, at the age of 21, out of a desire to leave the world a better place, an intention that she believes massage has helped her to meet. She has been a full-time bodyworker since then and loves it as much now as she did at the beginning.

      In 1992, Jill founded High Desert Healthcare & Massage with four friends to provide a place for excellent therapists to offer bodywork in a peaceful, happy environment. She became certified as a practitioner of Rolfing® Structural Integration in 1996, an Advanced Rolfer® in 2002 and a Certified Rolf Movement Practitioner® in 2005. Her practice is currently half Rolfing and half massage, a balance she loves. People come for Rolfing® when they are ready for support in the next phase of their life, whether that means getting out of chronic pain, recovering from an injury, standing up straighter or moving out of a stagnant place in their life.

      Jill has also received training in Advanced Myofascial Techniques, Prenatal Massage, and Hands & Feet Reflexology. This, along with her Rolfing training, has given her tools to work with a myriad of conditions. She is currently an instructor for Advanced-Trainings.com.

      Articles by Jill Gerber: Rolfing ® for the Rest of Us, Why Get Massage? & Myofascial Release.


    Tracy Conrad, co-owner




      Tracy Conrad moved to Santa Fe in 1981 in order to attend St. John's College, and, after graduation, she made Santa Fe her home. She eventually went to massage school, completing her course of study in 1991, and then became one of the founding partners of High Desert Healthcare & Massage.

      Tracy became interested in acupuncture after being treated by Dr. Thomas Duckworth for asthma. The results were so impressive that she began a four-year apprenticeship with Dr. Duckworth in Japanese Kototama Medicine. She graduated in 1998 and obtained her state as well as national acupuncture license.

      Japanese Kototama Medicine is a style of Acupuncture that concentrates on finding the root cause of the dis-ease in the body and balancing the energy flow so that each person can achieve better health and mobility. In her treatments, Tracy utilizes sterile single-use needles which are planted super-superficially and are extremely small, about the diameter of a human hair. Tracy tends to use a single-needle technique, meaning that the patient never has more than one needle at a time anywhere in the body. This makes it easier to adjust the treatment to the patient's comfort level and ensures that the session uses the minimum of needles needed to balance the pulses.

      Tracy now concentrates exclusively on acupuncture, finding it effective for many conditions. She is continually fascinated by its depth and complexity.


    Amelia Free




      Amelia A. Free, MSW, LCSW, LMT, is the former Clinical Director of both the Family Therapy Team and The Trauma Team at Boston Medical Center. She has lectured nationally on the synthesis of body, mind and spirit in understanding the origins and treatment of stress and trauma on both the personal and cultural levels. She has also led workshops on women's spiritual autobiography, authentic movement and cultivating the nine sacred chakras of the Tao.

      Amelia holds 1000-hour certificates as both an Advanced Bodywork Therapist and Advanced Aquatic Bodywork Therapist from the School of Shiatsu and Massage in California, where she later became an Instructor of Pathology. Her many years of practice in the water influences her work on the table in assessing and working with the innate fluidity of the body and removing the blockages that impede our process toward our natural state of expressive freedom. She has been a student, practitioner and instructor of Taoist philosophy and martial arts/yoga for 22 years and brings to her bodywork a refined understanding of the movement of energy within the body and its practical application to daily life. She has studied Alexander Technique, authentic movement and the development of core body/spirit foundational elements as avenues for the expansion and expression of the authentic self. She has also been a formal, competitive athlete in many sports, including soccer, triathlons, and long-distance running and has extensive experience in injuries and rehabilitation related to multiple sports modalities.

      Amelia offers a deeply therapeutic, relaxing experience in a safe environment. She integrates techniques from Myofascial Release, therapeutic Swedish Massage and Clinical Sports Massage, Zen Shiatsu, Craniosacral Therapy, Taoist core body principles, dynamic movement assessment, aquatic bodywork modalities and an experienced understanding of the relationship between the internal and external self/environment in her work. She provides a great deal of educational/observational feedback and homework activities in sessions in order to support the client in becoming his or her own best consultant/therapist.


    Beth Budesheim




      Beth Budesheim has been a licensed massage therapist since 1999, and has a lifelong innate affinity, curiosity and love for all the healing arts.

      In her work, Beth gracefully blends various bodywork forms such as Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, Reflexology, Chinese Meridian work, Myofascial Release, Hot Stone Massage, Aromatherapy, Craniosacral Therapy and Energy Medicine, for a thorough yet relaxing massage. Each session is custom tailored to the unique needs, likes & dislikes you have expressed, as well as what she finds while listening deeply & respectfully to your body & whole being during the session.

      As if on an archeological exploration, Beth enjoys finding your tight spots, and to put it simply, making them feel better. She welcomes those seeking relief from over-stress, muscle tension, tight back & neck, low back/hip pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, etc., as well as those seeking prevention, pure relaxation, inner connection, chakra work or energy medicine.

      Beth is also an RN, long time yoga student, energy practitioner, intuitive & artist who works with painting as another vehicle for expression, intuitive connection and healing.


    Cathy Louisell




      Cathy Louisell first became interested in body/mind integration after receiving Rolfing treatments. A need to address her own physical pain and tightness ultimately led her to train as a massage therapist. She graduated from the Boulder School of Massage Therapy in 1981 and went on to study Cranial Sacral Therapy with Dr. Hugh Milne in 1987 at Esalen Institute. She has been studying Continuum Movement with Emilie Conrad since 1989, and has also studied Chi Nei Tsang (Chinese visceral manipulation) with Caryn Diel at White Cloud Institute, Gi Gong, Sound Frequency Theory and Therapy, Neurological research, and Energy Medicine as a regular part of her continuing education in the fields of bodywork, movement and consciousness.

      Cathy's understanding of a unified field influences all her work. To help her clients achieve spiritual, emotional & physical integration, she works with light, pulse and rhythm and the primary energies of the four elements (earth, including animals & plants, air, fire and water). Her work incorporates Swedish Massage, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Chi Nei Tsang, and Reflexology. She also practices Barefoot Shiatsu and Prenatal Massage.

      The ability to embrace and enjoy living in a physical body has been Cathy's passion. She loves developing her being through movement and bodywork. Nurturing people, and offering joy and ease is her pleasure.

      www.catherinelouisell.com


    Charlotte Cooke



      Charlotte Cooke fell in love with massage therapy while participating in a healing workshop at the Findhorn community in Scotland. She finished her 1000-hour massage training in 1986. Her modalities include Manual Lymphatic Drainage, Deep Tissue Massage, Swedish Massage, massage for elders, Prenatal Massage, and some Reiki, as well as Ortho-Bionomy. Charlotte is also a Naturopathic Doctor with a specialty in nutritional counseling and darkfield microscopy.


    Debra Kuszewski




      Debra Kuszewski's love of massage started 15 years ago when she walked into the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts to request a brochure of the school. She immediately resonated with everything about the school and enrolled soon thereafter. One can describe Debra's massage as a combination of therapeutic and nurturing/relaxing massage, allowing you to feel safe enough to sink deeply into your own personal inner space and create that deep healing your body needs.

      Debra brings to the table her presence and bag of tools to work with you to achieve your desired goals in your sessions. She has been trained in Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, Reflexology, basic Craniosacral Therapy, Thai massage, Shiatsu, Repetitive Use Injury Therapy, Aromatherapy, Hot Stone Massage, Sports Massage and Prenatal Massage. She continues to learn and grow with this field and is always surprised as to what is around the corner for her. Consider giving yourself the gift of massage. Debra would be deeply honored to work with you.



    Vasanta Irina Lidanova




      Vasanta Irina Lidanova, a licensed Doctor of Oriental Medicine in NM, received her Master's degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Santa Fe, NM. A yoga teacher since 1995, massage therapist since 1997, and an Ayurvedic practitioner and lifestyle consultant since 2003, she has studied Thai massage in Thailand and Switzerland, and yoga throughout the US and India. Vasanta shared her passion for yoga and Thai massage at her studio, Yogassage, in Tampa, FL. After completing program at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico with Dr. Lad, she went on to study aadvanced Ayurveda with Dr. Lad and other prominent teachers and doctors in Pune, India for five months. She practiced Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines at the Acupuncture Healing Center in Chapel Hill, NC. Vasanta recently moved back to Santa Fe and is enthusiastic to share her knowledge with everyone at High Desert Healthcare & Massage.



    Ellen Verkerke




      Ellen Verkerke graduated from Jay Scherer's Natural Healing Academy in 1988 and brings 23 years of dedication to the field of massage. She believes in massage as healthcare, incorporating Neuromuscular Therapy with Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage, Trager, Acupoints, Cranial Sacral Therapy and energy medicine techniques to customize each treatment she gives. She likes to combine direct deep muscle work with indirect or more subtle work for overall integration and relaxation. Milton Trager, one of Ellen's early instructors, made a lasting impression on her work, teaching her that it is by love, not force, that change occurs; it's about giving the body options for change. Ellen says, "I am constantly talking to the tissue with my hands about that."

      Ellen also practices Manual Lymph Drainage (Dr. Vodder style), a specific treatment that works with the lymphatic system for overall detoxification and boosting the immune system. MLD is great for those with allergies, chronic fatigue, and any chronic illnesses or edema issues. It is lighter yet very powerful work. This treatment is extremely relaxing and, with few exceptions, is beneficial for everyone whether or not they have a health condition.

      In addition to practicing massage therapy, Ellen has served as a medical advocate for those living with illness, has put in many hours with the elder population, and has worked hand-in-hand with local hospice groups.

      Currently Ellen is passionate about her Qigong studies (Qigong is a Chinese movement art for healing self and others) and teaches Qigong in Santa Fe.


    Ellie Gray




      Ellie Gray's interest in health and bodywork began in the late 70's, when she owned and managed a natural food store in California. After selling the store, she went on to study massage and holistic health at Heartwood Institute in Santa Cruz, CA. She completed the program 1980 and, soon after, relocated to Santa Fe, where she has been practicing ever since.

      Over the years, Ellie has studied other healing modalities, including Medical Massage, Foot Reflexology and Cranial Sacral Therapy, which she has incorporated into her practice.

      Ellie says, "I have been with High Desert Healthcare & Massage since they opened in 1992 and have thoroughly enjoyed working with the staff and clients through the years. My career in bodywork has brought me a lifetime of delight and satisfaction. I have a deep fascination with and appreciation for the human body, and it means so much to me to be able to help others feel more connected and comfortable in theirs. Our bodies are a precious gift. May yours always be blessed with the best of health!"


    Evelyn Clark




      Evelyn Clark offers her clients a blend of experience, knowledge and love of the work. You can relax under her hands with the confidence that you will enjoy your treatment and feel great as a result.

      Licensed by the State of New Mexico, Evelyn is also Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. She ran her own successful massage therapy center for 17 years in downtown Boston, MA, before moving to New Mexico in 1999.

      Evelyn has had extensive training throughout her career as a massage therapist. In her work, she synthesizes ancient, traditional and present-day scientific and intuitive knowledge to provide an effective and transforming therapeutic massage experience.

      "I've been Evelynized!"
      -L. G., Santa Fe, NM


    Greg Smith




      Greg Smith comes from a medical/scientific family, was a Biology major in college, and has always been fascinated with behavior and the mysteries of life. He began his bodywork career in 1999 when he studied Integrated Awareness®, first in a 3-year professional training program and then in years of advanced study. A desire to learn more about the physical body and how to manipulate the soft tissues led to enrolling in the Scherer Institute of Natural Healing (now Santa Fe School of Massage) and earning a degree in massage therapy.

      Greg is skilled at Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, Integrated Neuromuscular Therapy (Trigger Point Release),
      Hot Stone Massage
      , Reflexology and Presence in Healing.

      His interest is always in the entire person, even while doing focused work to address a specific muscle. Through his presence and the creation of a sacred environment, Greg provides his clients with the opportunity to truly relax and rejuvenate. His work can vary from lighter, flowing strokes to deep, specific work depending on the client's wish, yet all are delivered with the same sense of honoring the client and supporting their health and well-being.

      The mysteries of life and consciousness continue to interest Greg, and he enjoys helping others to heal and to become more aware of all aspects of themselves.

      "[Greg] has a gift and shares it beautifully with those lucky enough to have a session with him."
      -R. S., Santa Fe, NM


    Janis Diamond




      Janis Diamond received her first therapeutic massage in 1993 as part of a treatment to aid in recovery from chronic pain. Her experience was one of relief, relaxation and, most importantly, nurturance that she had never felt before. As she continued her treatments, it became apparent to her that massage was not only helping her to regain physical freedom from pain, but was a body-mind-spirit connection, providing a solution for mental and emotional stress.

      In 2001, Janis graduated from massage school in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has been working at High Desert Healthcare & Massage since 2002. She integrates Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, Reflexology, Hot Stone Massage, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Aromatherapy, Chakra/Energy balancing, Ayurvedic Marma energy work and Prenatal Massage into her sessions as appropriate. She also specializes in helping women who are recovering from abuse and addiction issues by recognizing and honoring these clients' need for nurturance, relaxation, healing, and modest yet comforting touch.

      Janis believes we are all blessed with natural gifts and that, combined with her training, compassion and the ability to listen to her clients through touch is the magic behind every modality she practices. She feels she has been able to administer therapeutic touch and massage as it was given to her during those years of her attempts to recover health and well being.

      Janis currently specialize in deep upper body massage using Myofascial Release and trigger point therapy work, helping her clients to walk away with a smile of relief.




    Jim Reid






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