Teachers

 

Nephyr Jacobsen

Photo of Nephyr Jacobsen

Nephyr Jacobsen is the director and founder of The Naga Center, and is preeminent in knowledge of traditional Thai medical arts with a passion for Thai bodywork and herbal medicine.  Nephyr has been a massage therapist since she was 21 years old (she was born in '69, so you can do the maths), and has been traveling to Thailand regularly since 1998 to study Thai bodywork, and the larger umbrella of traditional Thai medicine. She is a research maven, dedicated to finding authentic and in-depth information to pass on to her students.  Nephyr and her family lived in Thailand for two years while she researched and wrote “Thai Herbal Medicine: Traditional Recipes for Health and Harmony”, and "Seven Peppercorns: Traditional Thai Medical Theory for Bodyworkers".  Nephyr is the primary instructor at The Naga Center and writes all Naga Center class curriculum.  She has infinite gratitude to all of her teachers, and specifically to her primary Teacher, Tevijjo Yogi.

 
You can listen to an interview with Nephyr on Pamela Herrick’s lovely blog, Bamboo Thai Massage here. She gets a little excited at the end there about her online theory class, and wants it known that she didn’t mean to sound like a pushy salesperson, she was just really happy about how the class was going.


Frequent Guest Instructors

Tevijjo Yogi

Tevijjo Yogi has had the great fortune of studying the Buddha Dharma and traditional Thai medicine under very kind and knowledgeable teachers from the age of 13, when he first began his studies in the Theravada tradition of Buddhism while living in New York. Aspiring to devote himself to the Buddha Dharma in its entirety, he traveled to Asia where he received teachings in the Mahāyana and Vajrayāna traditions. Alongside his practice of the Buddha Dharma, Tevijjo Yogi is a serious practitioner of traditional medicine, reusi da ton, yoga and other methods from the Buddhist tradition. He has spent much of his time studying throughout south and southeast Asia, especially Thailand (where he has lived much of his life), Burma, India and Nepal, where he focused on Traditional Thai and Lanna medicine as well as Ayurveda and Yoga. Though he has completed medical training in Thai medicine in a formal degree curriculum, much of his medical education and yoga studies consisted of apprenticeships with experienced teachers and practitioners.

 
photo courtesy of sakyan.org

photo courtesy of sakyan.org

Photo of Jim Madras


Jim Madras

Jim Madras is a Thai massage therapist and a long time practitioner of Taijiquan and Qigong. He has studied extensively at The Naga Center and teaches workshops in cupping and scraping in Eugene Oregon where he also offers bodywork and qigong at Emerald Acupuncture Center. Jim is an extraordinary cupper whom The Naga Center is honored to have as an occasional guest instructor for more in-depth cupping instruction.

 
a gathering of Guild hands from around the world

a gathering of Guild hands from around the world

The Naga Center Teacher’s Guild is a small international affiliation of Thai medicine instructors who have been trained to offer certain Naga Center courses. Guild instructors adhere to specific lineage teachings, and share a commitment to studying, practicing, and teaching Thai healing arts as they have historically been practiced in Thailand.  We are unique in the western world of Thai medicine teachings in that we approach all aspects of the craft, including Thai massage, through the lens and within the context of traditional Thai medical theory as handed down through a Thai lineage.

Teachers in this group regularly offer Naga Center courses all over the United States, and in London. Additionally we are often available to travel abroad should someone wish to host a class in an area that we are not currently rooted.  Students who have studied with a Naga Center Guild instructor often have the opportunity to repeat any course already taken as an intern, with the same, or another Guild instructor for free or for heavily discounted rates. Additionally, students who have taken Naga Center foundational courses with any Guild instructor are able to take advanced Naga Center courses. All Naga Center Guild teachers have studied extensively with Nephyr Jacobsen.

You can find Naga Center classes taught by Guild teachers, as well as further information about all the teachers, at thaimassageteachers.com
 

Guild Teachers

 

Guild Teachers

Jessica Dafni,

Bath, Maine
Jessica Dafni, LMT & RYT, is an artisan Thai Massage Therapist and a yoga instructor practicing, teaching and writing about Thai Bodywork and Yoga in Southern Maine. Since 2008, she has been studying Traditional Thai Bodywork and Medicine, which brought her to the The Naga Center in 2010. Ever since, she has been a dedicated student, learning through in-person classes, online learning and a home-study with Nephyr in Thailand.

 

Jim Madras

Eugene, Oregon
Jim Madras is a Thai massage therapist and a long time practitioner of Taijiquan and Qigong. He has studied extensively at The Naga Center and teaches workshops in cupping and scraping in Eugene Oregon where he also offers bodywork and qigong at Emerald Acupuncture Center. Jim is an extraordinary cupper whom The Naga Center is honored to have as an occasional guest instructor for more in-depth cupping instruction.

 

 

Jennifer Vanderburg

Missoula, Montana
Jennifer has been a dedicated student of Thai Bodywork at The Naga Center ever since she completed a home stay study with Nephyr in Thailand in 2013, and has been a massage therapist for over 20 years.  She practices and teaches in Missoula, MT.

 
 
 
 

Deborah Hodges

Tuscon, Arizona
Deborah was one of Nephyr's first students, way back when she opened The Naga Center in 2005.  Deborah has traveled though Thailand with Nephyr, and studies regularly at The Naga Center.  She practices and teaches in Green Valley and Tucson Arizona.

 
 
 

Mary Elizabeth Sheehan

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
Mary Elizabeth practices and teaches in Fort Worth Texas.  She has a strong focus on truly treatment based bodywork and brings a lovely mixture of practicality and humor to her classes. Mary Elizabeth has a special affinity for working with medical issues, and has an extensive history with both yoga and bodywork.

 
 

Natasha de Grunwald

London, England
Natasha is the founder of the London Institute of Thai Yoga Massage.  She has been practicing Thai massage for over twenty years, and teaching since 2005.  Natasha has traveled the world in her pursuit of quality Thai bodywork training and holds a unique dedication to the study of anatomy, participating in yearly dissection courses. 
 

 

Damion Bond

Richmond, Virginia (and points beyond)
Damion is the founder of Woven Body Healing Arts in Richmond Virginia.  She is a long time Thai massage instructor who has studied extensively in Thailand and brings her love of dance, spirit, and anatomy to her work.  Damion has taught all over the U.S..

 
 
 
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