Canyon Ranch Think Tank Participants

In September, 1989, a group of industry leaders were invited to attend a conference to explore some issues critical to the emerging bodywork professions. This is the original list of attendees and their biographies at that time that was included in the appendix of what came to be known as the Canyon Ranch Think Tank Report.

To read some thoughts about the historical import of this meeting, click here. You can also download a PDF of the full report.

Margaret Avery Margaret is owner and co-director of the Desert Institute of the Healing Arts in Tucson, Arizona. She has been a teacher of advanced massage techniques there since its inception in 1982.

Patricia J. Benjamin, Ph.D. Patricia is currently National Director of Education of the American Massage Therapy Association, and also serves as their National Historian. Since 1985 her articles on the history and philosophy of massage therapy have appeared in The Massage Therapy Journal. She has a massage therapy practice near Chicago, Illinois.

Iris Burman Iris is director of Educating Hands School of Massage, which offers classes and workshops in a variety of bodywork approaches. She is also owner of Educating Hands Bookstore in Miami, Florida.

Carol Carpenter Carol is owner and director of the National Holistic Institute near San Francisco, California. She also currently serves as Chair of the Council of Schools of the American Massage Therapy Association. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina with a B.A. degree in psychology.

Ray Castellino, D.C. Ray has been studying polarity therapy since 1971 with teachers such as Randolph Stone, Pierre Pannetier, and James Said. He was the founding vice- president and past president of the American Polarity Therapy Association, and presently serves as Legislative Chair for APTA. He teaches and practices in Santa Barbara, California.

Steve Eabry Steve offers a variety of bodywork styles in his private practice in San Luis Obispo, California. He is concerned about the evolving form of the bodywork profession.

Kathryn Hansman-Spice, M.S. Kathryn is the director of the Potomac Massage Training Institute in Washington, DC. She is active in developing seminars and training programs, and maintains a private practice in bodywork. She is currently vice-chair of the Council of Schools of the American Massage Therapy Association.

Joseph Heller Joseph spent ten years as an aerospace engineer with NASA before becoming involved in the human potential movement in 1970. He studied bio-energetics, gestalt, and psychosynthesis, and did workshops with Buckminster Fuller, John Lilly, Virginia Satir, and Brugh Joy. He studied with Ida Rolf in 1972 and became president of the Rolf Institute in 1975. His articles have been featured in a number of new age and health journals, and he has written a book called Bodywise. Joseph lives in Mt. Shasta, California.

Peggy Horan Peggy is a member of the massage and teaching staff at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. She is currently involved in the expansion and development of the Institute’s Massage School, Healthsprings Outreach Program, and Guest Exchange Program. She has been involved in the field of bodywork since 1969 as a massage practitioner and as a student of Trager, Shiatsu, Gestalt, dance, movement, and childbirth, and is a practicing direct energy midwife.

George Kousaleos George has a degree in clinical psychology from Harvard University. He has been a SOMA Bodywork Practitioner since 1978, and SOMA Instructor since 1984. He is a member of the Florida State Board of Massage, and Chairman of Continuing Education since 1986. George lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Mary McAlister Mary is president of the Shiatsu-Anma Practitioners Association and coordinator for the Southwest Regional Chapter of the newly formed American Association of Oriental Healing Arts. She teaches at the Shiatsu Massage School of California and practices at the Tao Healing Arts Center in Santa Monica, California.

David Palmer David is the publisher of The Bodywork Entrepreneur newsletter and former owner/director of The Amma Institute of Traditional Japanese Massage in San Francisco. In 1986 he coined the term on-site massage and has been instrumental in developing the market and training practitioners for chair massage. He developed the first special chair for on-site massage, the High-Touch Massage Chair, and founded On-Site Enterprises, which has trained over 1,000 practitioners in the techniques and marketing of seated massage.

Frances Tappan, Ed.D. Frances has been practicing, teaching, researching, and writing about massage for over thirty years. She was Associate Dean of the School of Physical Therapy (1959-1972), and retired as Associate Dean of the School of Allied Health Professions in 1975 from the University of Connecticut in Storrs. She is author of the book Healing Massage Techniques-Holistic, Classical and Emerging Methods (1988). Frances lives in Storrs, Connecticut.

4 Responses to Canyon Ranch Think Tank Participants

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  2. I like the description of the participants are in “present” time. It would be cool to do a follow up showing where they are now. I knew of the think tank but did not know the participants. See you in Vegas!

    • David says:

      Oddly enough, the first three (Margaret Avery, Pat Benjamin and Iris Burman) I just saw at the Alliance of Massage Therapy Educators conference in Tucson in June. They are all still educating away. Carol Carpenter has retired to Hawaii. I don’t have any contact with the next seven and the last person, Frances Tappen, has died.
      Does anyone else have any updates to share?

  3. Pingback: The Canyon Ranch Think Tank |

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