Our Team – Therapists and Aestheticians working with The Retreat
April TerlizziApril’s passion for massage therapy and bodywork began early in life through her grandmother’s influence and the desire to help family members and friends who were hurting. She enjoys connecting with her clients on a real level and discovering how she can help them achieve a better quality of life.
A graduate of The Medical Arts School in Raleigh, North Carolina — Massage and Bodywork Therapist NCLMBT #8887, April has five years experience in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point, and Sports Massage. Also, she holds special certifications in Low Back Pain, Lomi Lomi, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Pre-Natal Massage.
In 2011, April joined the opening team at The Retreat at Brightleaf. She has worked at Structure House for five years and previously employed as a personal trainer and nutritional coach. Her twelve years of strength and endurance training and lifestyle nutrition add depth to her ability to serve the whole person. April’s mission includes a commitment to achieving balance in health, wellness, and life. She believes one should seek a holistic approach to health and take ownership by doing one’s part. Living each day to the fullest and maintaining a positive outlook on life defines her philosophy in word and practice.
Since 1999, she has resided in North Carolina but considers Chicago, Illinois home. In her free time, she enjoys an active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy body, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.
August CutraraAugust has been a massage therapist for over ten years. He is a soft-tissue-specialist; working with his hands to manipulate soft-tissues of the body, facilitating change within its many systems. He works at a slow, smooth pace, rarely breaking contact and emphasizing the unity of flow from one technique or area of the body to another.
August focuses on helping patients reduce pain, increase range of motion, and recover from injuries and specializes in Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Sports Massage, Oncology Massage and Pre-natal Massage.
Restoring the body to health and helping people live more fully in their body is his passion and he has invested himself in the study of human movement. Since becoming a therapist, he has explored various forms of Martial art including Wing Chun and Taiji Quan, both of which have been instrumental in shaping how he understands the human body and the relationship between his hands and the clients on the table.
Caroline BrownCaroline is a graduate (summa cum laude) of the Medical Arts School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Upon graduation, she completed her Neuromuscular Therapy Certification and utilizes the in-depth knowledge and practical skills to serve her clients better. With a background in health and fitness, Caroline is also a Certified Yoga Instructor and uses her education to bring a relaxing, professional and therapeutic atmosphere to promote overall health and well-being for each client. Her goals are both mind and body oriented, and she is committed to providing her clients with a safe, restorative and tranquil experience. Carolina also began her career as an Aesthetician in 2017.
Jennifer is compassionate and has an approachable demeanor. Clients have described feeling relaxed and invigorated after her massage. It is important to her that each of her clients feel heard, and all specific issues concentrated on with a whole mind-body approach. She sees and understands the importance of mind and body connection and finds great joy in helping her clients to ease any discomfort.
After graduating from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with a BA in Communications and Media Studies, Jennifer began exercising her curiosity for the mind-body connection and began her study at The Medical Arts School in Raleigh. A year later Jennifer became a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist in 2013 and began work in Durham, NC. She utilizes her training to help relieve her clients of the impacts of stress, chronic pain, and repetitive use injuries. Jennifer has completed continuing education in hot stone and pre-natal massage.
When Jennifer isn’t talking about, thinking about or practicing bodywork, you might find her at a local coffee shop or on a hike around the triangle area, backpacking with her dogs. If she’s lucky, she might be traveling to the beaches or the mountains of NC, taking in new beautiful views. If all else fails, she’s probably home, curled up on her couch with a cup of hot tea and her iPad.
Jennifer would love to help you achieve your goals for better health and wellness.
Kiah WellsAfter working in landscaping, outdoor education, and as a musician, Kiah joined the massage therapy field following in the footsteps of his father. Growing up as an athlete with massage therapy in the family gave him a significant amount of trust and understanding in the benefits of therapeutic massage for both the mind and body. After attending Body Therapy Institute as his father did 20 years before, Kiah is trained in Myofascial, Swedish, and Hot Stone Massage. His focus is on Deep Tissue/Myofascial release, injury recovery, general therapeutic massage, and helping clients develop healthy self-care and mindfulness practices throughout their everyday lives.
Kiah enjoys all things outdoors from mountain biking to backpacking, and spends much of his free time in nature or playing music.
KT has been a Licensed Massage Therapist for 12 years. She graduated from massage school and went on to study the bodywork of Ortho-bionomy, which is a gentle, non-invasive, osteopathically-based form of body therapy. It is based on the principle that the body innately moves away from pain into comfort and ease. Though you may move through discomfort, it is not necessary to cause pain to release pain. Her biggest thrill is how the face and body change so dramatically over the course of a service – and to see someone’s relief.
Lauren DirgoAfter Lauren graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in Sustainable Development in 2010, she became interested in massage, body alignment, and biomechanics. Her husband had returned from a four-day cross-country drive with pain in his left leg. After going to many perplexed specialists, they learned that massage helped and after a few sessions he was pain-free. After this Lauren became so interested in the subject that she went to school to get her license for massage at Pitt Community College in Greenville, NC.
Lauren has training in Swedish, Medical, Trigger Point, Prenatal, Hot Stone Massage, and Reflexology. For her own enrichment, she enjoys the work of Katy Bowman with Nutritious Movement and Jill Miller with Yoga Tune Up Balls and would love to someday be trained and certified in both. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, gardening, and relaxing on the couch with her husband, three cats, and Australian Shepard.
LB WilkinsLB recently moved from Wilmington, NC where he lived for 11 years. After many years of working in gyms, he decided to go a different route and go into massage therapy. He graduated from Miller Motte College and has been practicing massage since 2011. After working Ironman and marathon events for 6 years, he decided that he wanted to focus his massage practice toward athletes and mobility. LB has deep tissue, sports, therapeutic, and Swedish massage experience.
Lee GalbreathLee escaped an extremely stressful job as a legal secretary in Chicago when she moved to Durham in 2007. Unwilling to resume her fast-paced career, Lee went back to school and graduated from the nationally respected Body Therapy Institute in Siler City, North Carolina. She has been a licensed massage therapist since 2008 with further training and certification in hot stone, fertility, and prenatal massage techniques.
Currently, Lee has found a good balance by working both as a legal secretary (part-time) and as a massage therapist at The Retreat. You might also see her make use of her degrees in vocal performance when she occasionally sings in local theatrical productions, primarily with The Durham Savoyards.
Lee’s goal as a massage therapist is to treat every client as a whole person worthy of care and respect. She puts great emphasis on working to meet each client’s needs and expectations, whether that be to relax simply with gentle, soothing strokes or to work on specific areas of concern using deeper, more therapeutic techniques.
Lori is certified with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. She is a graduate of the Medical Arts Massage School in Raleigh and is licensed in North Carolina since 2003. She has received training in massage methods such as Swedish, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point, Hot Stone Massage and Reflexology. Lori has completed training in Reiki, CranioSacral Therapy and is currently working toward her certification in Visceral Manipulation with The Barral Institute. She has provided chair massage for ten years in corporate settings, working to improve her clients understanding of their body while sitting at a desk daily. She has held certificates in GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® and has been fortunate to study with many master trainers since 2007. Teaching this movement has deepened her understanding of the body and how it moves. Lori also teaches educational workshops to couples and groups in massage and movement.
Megan Davenport Brandenburg
Megan specializes in a combination of Swedish and Myofascial Massage to create relaxing, therapeutic bodywork sessions tailored to each client’s needs. Massage therapy and the healing power of touch have been longtime passions for her. When her path brought her back to the Triangle, she found herself led to massage therapy school.
She is a graduate of the Body Therapy Institute in Silk Hope. In addition, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has found these two areas of study to pair well in somatic psychology, a field which emphasizes the connections between the state of mind and the state of the body. This mind-body connection is a central part of her focus in the practice of therapeutic massage.
A native of Washington, in eastern North Carolina, she now lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Rich, and their cat, Maceo. In addition to her love for massage therapy and holistic well-being, Megan enjoys cooking, playing tennis, and enjoying the abundance of live music the area has to offer.
Paula WaldAfter enjoying a long career as a copyeditor of scholarly books, Paula decided to become a massage therapist because of the powerful effects of massage that she experienced as a client. She saw that as touch releases physical restrictions, it can help unlock the potential for personal growth. “Until the body feels something different, it cannot act differently” (Deane Juhan). After completing the massage therapy diploma program at Body Therapy Institute in Siler City, NC, Paula began a lifelong exploration of her expression of massage. Her approach combines Swedish massage, myofascial release, passive stretching, and mindfulness to create a safe space for clients to listen to their bodies and embrace their capacity for self-healing. Besides practicing massage, Paula enjoys listening to music, baking pies, and spending quiet time with her husband and poodle.
Pascale FernandezPascale has over 30 years of experience in skincare, having studied and graduated in aesthetics in France, where she began her career.
She gives deep cleansing and relaxing facials so you can forget your daily stress. During your facial treatment, you will receive an Ayurvedic facial massage that will increase the glow of your skin.
She was featured in SELF magazine for eyebrow shaping and thinks that nothing frames the face better than meticulously waxed, tweezed or tinted brows.
Rich BrandenburgRich has been practicing massage since 2009 after graduating from the Body Therapy Institute in Siler City, NC. He enjoys providing result-based, client-centered massage therapy, specializing in deep tissue, prenatal, warm stone, reflexology, and sports. He believes that therapeutic bodywork contributes to a healthier, happier community. As an active member of the UNC community, his work also includes volunteer bodywork for the health and academic campuses.
Shannon HesterShannon is a North Carolina licensed massage and bodywork therapist with twelve years of experience. Born and raised here in Durham, he is a true native with deeply planted roots to the city. Shannon graduated with honors in 2006 from Miller-Motte College in Cary North Carolina. He practices a number of different massage modalities such as Swedish, pre-natal, warm stone, trigger point, sports, hydro and aroma therapies, spa therapy, and cupping have just been recently added to his resume. Shannon specializes in deep tissue, injury rehab, and deep assisted stretching.
Shannon is a firm believer that to feel better you must first move better and to do so, he enjoys sharing his gift of massage with his clientele. He believes that regularly scheduled maintenance is key to combating the repetitive stress or strain injuries that can occur on a daily basis.
Shelly DetersShelly has been a licensed aesthetician since 2006, graduating from Miller-Motte College. She recently moved from Wake Forest and is excited to live in and be a part of Durham’s diverse community. Shelly specializes in relaxation facials, waxing and loves to see the positive changes in her clients’ skin after a series of treatment facials. Shelly’s main goal when you see her is for you to leave with your skin looking refreshed and your mind & soul at peace.
Traci BairdTraci is a native of Durham and has been a practicing massage and bodywork therapist in the area since 2006. She graduated with honors from The Medical Arts Massage School in Raleigh. Traci is also a certified massage cupping therapist and has completed continuing education in warm stone, Indian Head Massage, and Lomi Lomi massage as well. She enjoys working with all types of clients, from those looking for relaxation to the client who seeks a more therapeutic approach.