Jill Burynski

Jill has been working in the field of holistic health and alternative medicine since 1992. Her career began in bodywork in 1996 after receiving her level II Reiki certification. By 1998 she was a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist graduating from the Florida School of Massage in Gainesville, FL. In 2001 she received her certification as a Holistic Health Practitioner from Mueller College of Holistic Studies in San Diego, CA.

Jill, a longtime yoga practitioner, wanted to integrate the benefits of yoga with the effectiveness of massage and bodywork which led her to specialize in Thai Massage. In 2003, she took her first trip to Thailand to study at the Old Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai.

After this, Jill went on to become a spa trainer and consultant creating spa treatments and protocols to spas nationwide. She also completed two yoga teacher trainings in two states. These experiences helped her to realize her love of teaching.

In 2008, Jill returned to Thailand to continue her studies of Thai Massage and become a Thai Massage Teacher approved by the Thai Ministry of Education. In addition to being an approved provider of continuing education for the NCBTMB and the Florida Department of Health, Jill is also a massage and bodywork instructor for the State of North Carolina and a reviewer for Elsevier Massage Therapy Textbooks.

In 2009, Jill founded Living Sabai, a continuing education company for massage therapists. She teaches Thai massage CE trainings at numerous massage schools and has been a presenter at several massage conventions.

Jill continues to return to Thailand regularly to study with her teachers and bring massage therapists on study abroad trips for advanced training. Jill resides with her family in Asheville, NC.

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Jess Barnwell, Thai Massage Instructor

Jess Barnwell

Jess Barnwell (she/her/hers) is a Thai Instructor and an Advanced Practitioner from Asheville, NC. She has studied Thai Bodywork for the past ten years, beginning her journey with Living Sabai, then continued on to study in Thailand at ITM in Chiang Mai, OmSala, and with Thai Master Pischet Boonthumme and Aon Boonthaumme. Jess brings a calming energy to her classes, and provides a grounded atmosphere that allows time and space for technique and intention to soak in.

Thai Bodywork has helped facilitate true healing in her own body, as well as connect her to a community she holds dear. Because of this, she loves to share this work with others who may also be deeply impacted, and is passionate about furthering her student’s knowledge and experience in this ancient modality.

As bodyworkers we develop personal styles and rhythms. Jess leans toward a slow, deep, rhythmic approach to Thai. Incorporating deep sustained compressions, allowing the body and spirit to feel safe and unguarded, she guides the client through supported passive stretches, breath work, and a dance between giver and receiver. It is her belief that when we nurture ourselves and allow others to nurture us through healing, we can welcome our very best selves and walk the Earth in authenticity.

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Marijean Rue, Thai Massage CE Instructor

Marijean Rue

MariJean Rue is an NCBTMB approved Thai Massage Instructor. When she became a licensed therapist in 2010, Marijean was already wondering if she would be able to realize her dream of being a full-time massage therapist, due to an overuse injury of her elbow. A twist of fate—and a miscalculation of CE hours—led her to sign up for Living Saba’s three-day Foundations of Thai Massage course, and Marijean’s career and life changed forever. Not only did learning Thai body mechanics help heal the injury to her elbow, Marijean became so passionate about Thai Massage that she transformed her practice and studied to become an advanced practitioner and teacher with Living Sabai. She became a certified NCBTMB provider in 2017, traveled to Thailand in 2019, and is excited to explore new ways to share Thai Massage with other massage therapists in the future. NCBTMB provider # 45102-09

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Heather Rowell, Thai Massage Instructor

Heather Rowell

Graduating from the North Carolina School of Advanced Bodywork in 2016, Heather started her therapeutic journey by working in a holistic medicine office for a year, then transitioning into her own practice.  During this time, she took her first continuing education class right after graduating which was Jill Burynski’s Thai Massage for the Table.  Little did she know how much this one-day course would change her life.

The modality of Thai Massage sparked a serious interest and inspired her to complete each of Living Sabai’s CE classes, along with the Advanced Thai Massage Certification in 2017.  Heather then traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2019 with the Living Sabai Study Abroad Program. There she studied at International Training Massage School (ITM) and Omsala.  Returning in 2020 as an assistant tour guide for Living Sabai, she attended the Sunshine School in Chiang Mai to complete Abdominal Chi Massage Level 1 & 2.

After five years of study and apprenticeship with Living Sabai, Heather became a Thai Massage Instructor. She brings her passion for Thai Massage and Thai culture to all of her classes. When she is not teaching or practicing Thai Massage, you can find her spending time with her dogs, horses and family in Charlotte, NC.

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John Terribili Thai massage instructor

John Terribili

John Terribili is an Advanced Practitioner of Thai massage, after transitioning from a 25-year career in IT. He attended The Healing Arts and Massage School in Raleigh, NC in 2018, where he first experienced practicing Thai bodywork, and began training with Living Sabai shortly after obtaining licensure in 2020. From his first 3-Day Intensive class, he was fully hooked! John went on to take all of Living Sabai’s classes over the next two years and has been a Teacher’s Assistant for multiple classes. He participated in the Study Abroad program in Feb 2023 where he continued his studies at ITM, OmSala, and Boonthumme Thai Massage school, studying with Pichest Boonthumme and Aon Boonthumme.

John now has his own Thai bodywork practice and also works for a welcoming and inclusive spa in Durham, NC. His approach to Thai bodywork is slow and meditative, and he brings a calming energy to each of his sessions, often working with his clients to address trauma held within their bodies.

John is passionate about Thai bodywork and brings this same passion to the classroom. His approach to teaching is the same as his practice – calm and meditative. John resides in Durham, NC with his family and cute, but bossy dog.

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John Kowalski, Thai Massage Instructor

John Kowalski

John’s interest in holistic health was sparked while living in Albuquerque, NM in the 90s, where he graduated from the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in 1996. After several years working as the lead therapist for a corporate spa chain, John moved to an Ayurvedic spa in Asbury Park, NJ, where he is the educator for all new employees.

John began his Thai massage journey in 2015 through ITM-USA courses in New Jersey and Delaware. One of his teachers introduced him to Jill Burynski and he proceeded to take every class Living Sabai has to offer, including travelling to Thailand for the Study Abroad program where he trained at ITM and OmSala in Chiang Mai.

Through his fun-loving approach to teaching, John embodies the Sabai way of life and brings his passion for Thai bodywork and massage education to all his classes.

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