Healing Arts Center Practitioners

Mary Jo Ahern, LMP

Therapeutic and Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue and injury treatment, Craniosacral Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy, Reflexology, Lomi Lomi Massage

From my dance I bring a balanced and grounded touch to each session. Through my love of nature, I maintain a deep connection to spirit, health and healing. I treat the whole body, both intuitively and technically, creating a sacred space of nurturing and caring.

Working quietly, I combine focused Deep Tissue Massage, Craniosacral Therapy, Trigger Point therapy, and Foot Reflexology. For injuries or chronic pain, I use hot packs to aid in relaxation and demonstrate stretches and yoga poses to continue healing at home.

My commitment to the healing process has enabled me to see the larger picture of health and wellness. Working together my clients develop a greater vitality, prevent injury and leave with a sense of well-being.

I graduated from The Brian Utting School of Massage in 1990 and have been working at the Healing Arts Center ever since. My studies have been vast and varied and I tailor the session to the needs and changing rhythms of each client.

Tamary Baz, MSM, LM, CPM 

Licensed Midwife

I’m Tamary, a licensed midwife in Washington State. I live on Orcas Island and provide midwifery services to families of the San Juan Islands. I offer comprehensive prenatal care and postpartum care on the islands, and birth services off the islands at the Bellingham Birth Center, and other home settings.

As a licensed midwife, I pride myself in providing you and your partner with compassionate care, understanding, information and support prenatally, during the birthing process, and the first 6 weeks postpartum. Every pregnancy is different; our initial meeting will help me tailor a package to fit your needs.

I grew up in Israel. In 2008 while volunteering at an orphanage in rural Guatemala I was deeply moved by my experience of supporting young mothers who were struggling postpartum, and it was then that I resolved to become a midwife.

I trained as a doula with Dr. Michel Odent of London in 2010, and have since completed childbirth training through the Simkin Center, and graduated from Bastyr University with a Bachelors and Masters in Midwifery. Before moving to Orcas Island to start my own practice I worked as a staff midwife at Rainier Valley Community Clinic, a non-profit clinic in Seattle. During the past 7 years I’ve attended to families in the USA and Israel, and supported over 140 births in all settings: birth centers, homes, and hospitals.

I am a well-traveled, multilingual, and multicultural individual. Among other adventures I spent time volunteering at an orphanage in Guatemala, taught English to Tibetan refugees in India, and supported pregnant Sudanese refugee women in Israel through pregnancy and childbirth. I really enjoy spending time in nature, meditating, doing yoga, rock climbing, and improving my pottery skills.

To schedule a free initial consultation, or to learn more about my practice, please visit my website: islandlifemidwifery.com

Che Blaine, LICSW


Personal Counseling/Psychotherapy;Relationship and Family Counseling/Psychotherapy; Geriatric/Elder Care Consultation; Conflict Mediation; Dreamwork; Spiritual/Shamanic Journeying

The central goal that I have in meeting with my clients is to assist them in finding more happiness and freedom in their lives. The intention I have is to explore with you your desire to have a more healthy balance in the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical aspects of your life.

A central question that I keep in mind is:”How can I be helpful?”. I encourage my clients to make overall goals for our counseling relationship as well as for each appointment. When I meet with my clients, my hope is to create together an atmosphere of safety, respect and trust. My focus is to encourage my clients’ exploration of their own personal power, wisdom and resources for understanding, healing and happiness.

I provide child, individual, couple and family counseling/psychotherapy and also assist in resolving couple/family/organizational disputes as a conflict mediator. My work as a counselor began in Alaska in 1979 and I have practiced at the Healing Arts Center since 1995. I am licensed in Washington as an Independent Clinical Social Worker and have extensive experience and training in marriage and family therapy. Since 1985 I have provided mediation services and am a Designated Mediator in San Juan County. I have also offered hospice care giving and elder care as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

The therapeutic approaches I offer include: trauma recovery, mindfulness training, stress and anger management, grief work, cognitive/behavioral therapy, insight work, hypnotherapy, creative imagery, play therapy, Jungian dream work, substance abuse and sexual addiction recovery, family of origin, family systems, ritual/ceremony development and adventure-based education. My focus is to arrive at a creative balance of these approaches that best matches each client’s needs.

Since 1985 I have had the honor of studying with traditional Northwest Coast medicine people and have received training in shamanic healing and journeying and offer shamanic work when clients request it.

For more information, please visit Che’s website, Steppingstone-Counseling.com

Kristy Bredin, Integrative Herbalistkristybredin.png

Wellness consultations & education;      plant remedies of the Pacific Northwest

Kristy Bredin began her journey as an herbalist in 2009, when she completed a holistic health coach training through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and began a two-year apprenticeship with Robin Rose Bennett (in Susun Weed’s Wise Woman healing lineage). For the past 5 years Kristy has worked with Ryan Drum, wildcrafting medicinal herbs and cultivating an in-depth knowledge of traditional Western herbalism and local plants and seaweeds as foods and medicines. From 2013 to 2015 she ran a small business specializing in plant remedies of the Pacific Northwest, Mermaid Botanicals.

Kristy is currently participating in a year-long herbalist clinic with renowned clinical herbalist Chanchal Cabrera. She has worked on cases with Ryan Drum and in clinic with Matthew Wood and Margi Flint and recently completed a course with Paul Bergner on working with clients with auto-immune disease and chronic inflammation. Kristy is collaborating with Chanchal on her cases as she works toward certification as a Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild.

Kristy offers a holistic approach to healing that draws from a diverse repertoire of nourishing food and herbal therapies as well a lifestyle techniques to support physical, mental and emotional well being. She is well-versed in assessing and identifying patterns of imbalance and supporting clients in the process of transforming these patterns. Kristy empowers clients to become active participants in the healing process, working with them to make small, manageable changes that are easily integrated into their lives. She helps clients to navigate the complexities of their conditions—lab work, diagnoses, and using nutritional and herbal therapies in conjunction with Western medicine. Kristy encourages clients to take the lead in articulating and manifesting their wellness goals and to build a collaborative team of healers that can best support their unique needs.

With the first session, clients receive:

  • a personalized protocol of dietary, lifestyle, and herbal remedies designed for their unique wellness goals
  • educational materials on traditional and innovative uses of plant medicines and food-based healing
  • tea and tincture blends formulated specifically for their needs (herbs purchased separately)
  • and a 15-minute follow-up call to check in and fine-tune the protocol as needed.

Kristy offers in-house blends and special ordering of herbs and products from reputable herb companies. She provides additional support for clients interested in harvesting and making their own medicines as well.

In addition to her wellness consultations, Kristy offers in-depth herbalism study programs, community classes, and medicinal plant walks and medicine making for small groups. Please contact her for more information about her offerings.

Stephanie Brening, MA, NTP (Nutritional Therapist Practitioner)Stephanie.jpg

Nutritional Therapy; Holistic-Integrative work, complimentary to Western medicine

Stephanie is a Nutritional Therapist Practitioner, who trained at and is certified by the Nutritional Therapy Association. She helps people advance to a place of optimal health and vitality through the use of food. Her philosophy is that each person is a bio-individual. Stephanie uses a holistic approach when working with individuals, and helps examine details of their lives that can often lead to discovery of nutritional deficiencies and much more. Regaining balance within the systems of digestion and the body’s function are done by: identifying missing nutrients in a person’s diet, removing irritants, and looking further into why signs and symptoms may be present in individuals.

Stephanie is passionate about revitalizing each client’s health using techniques she has studied and experienced personally while revitalizing and healing herself from autoimmunity and chronic disorders. She has seen the powerful tools she has gained in her 10 years of formal and informal study benefit clients in many ways.

She provides nutritional education and suggests habits that can be implemented in an individual’s life, providing benefits now and for future generations. Stephanie hopes to pass on healing tools that are not taught in school. You can learn important nutritional information that was omitted from your basic nutritional education; but may be crucial to benefiting you, your friends, and your family’s health. Stephanie’s passion is to provide real learning about real food, and to help clients gain the ability to distinguish all the nutritional noise in society. She is comfortable working together with primary care physicians in getting people where they want to be; comfortable working with all ages and stages of a person’s life.

Stephanie currently sees individual clients one-on-one and holds workshops, practicing at the Healing Arts Center. Please contact her to join a workshop, meet with her individually, or just chat to inquire further. She really enjoys connecting with people and seeing how powerful and empowering nutrition can be.

To read more please visit nutrition-intuition.com.
Call 360-846-1601, or email Stephanie@nutrition-intuition.com

Christopher Evans, LMP

Massage Therapy

I came to understand the profound power of massage while I volunteered as a receptionist for the Healing Arts Center in 2002. The following year I went on to study massage therapy at The Desert Institute of Healing Arts in Tucson, Arizona. I graduated with over 1,000 hours of study in anatomy, physiology, practical and clinical massage. Returning to Orcas, I joined the Healing Arts Center in 2004, the same year my twin daughters were born, thus changing my life forever.

My massage is powerful, intuitive, deep and sensitive.  Some of my clients have described my massage as “deep tissue energy work,” “swimming with dolphins,” and “shamanic sports massage.” I work in a very present manner and always intend for your highest good and highest healing to come from the massage.

Between 2007 and 2010, I trained in the Anat Baniel Method (ABM), based upon the work of Moshe Feldenkrais. I have studied 800 hours in this dynamic system of brain reorganization through movement. The movement is designed to reeducate the way one uses their body, in order to make the impossible possible, the possible effortless, and the effortless elegant. It works directly with the nervous system in reorganizing the brain and building new neuro-pathways.  I offer group mat classes, as well as individual lessons. I have received additional certification to practice with children with special needs.  The ABM has excellent results in working with a variety of developmental disabilities, in teaching body awareness and awareness through movement.


Kimberly Giampietro, LMPkimmy

Massage Therapy

It all began October 8, 1985 on Capitol Hill in Seattle. From there it was a short trip to Orcas Island, my home since I was six months old. I graduated from Orcas Island High School in 2003, attended University of Washington for two years, traveled some and lived for a few years learning about Life.

Then, in the summer of 2009, it hit me. Port Townsend School of Massage, with my beloved class and teachers, gave me the knowledge, experience and support to jump right into working as a licensed massage practitioner in 2011. I opened Island Massage studio with friends, and we ran it fairly successfully for a year and learned a ton. I also began working at Doe Bay and Rosario Resorts as an independent contractor for massage. I was way busier than anticipated, and I continued at that pace until 2013 when I decided to focus on my private practice at Ama Tara Healing & Meditation Center. The center was founded by Stacy Romillah, who was my alternative medicine doctor and inspiration since I was young. Working beside her, along with other amazing practitioners, was simply perfect.

Then Life stretched and changed position, Ama Tara closed, I turned to the Healing Arts Center and was welcomed warmly. It is an honor to be a practitioner in a place I have known as a sanctuary all my Life.

The human body is capable of so many exquisite forms of expression. Dance, sports, art, gardening and music are some of my inspirations. With massage I can continue to discover the many patterns on many levels that allow our bodies to live and express fully. Acupressure, reflexology and kinesiology (science of movement) are a few of the patterns that I have some knowledge and experience with and much desire to learn more. My continuing education has led to certifications for Thai Yoga Massage and Orthopedic/Clinical Massage. In a session, my goal is to enhance balance within the musculoskeletal and energy systems of the body. I am very fortunate to be trusted with the opportunity to provide relief and assist in well-being.

Hugh M. Grant, LICSW, M.Div.

Psychotherapy and Spiritual DirectionHughGrant_(1_of_1)

With an attentive ear and compassionate heart, I seek to help my clients thrive, and to find peace and wholeness. This collaborative process begins with the identification of any areas where relief and growth are desired. I listen deeply to the stories that a person wants to share and mirror back what I perceive about the longings, wounds, gifts, and life experiences that I witness, so that together we can identify any obstacle-producing patterns and explore strategies to bring healing. Since I believe that the unconscious aspects of a person’s psyche often seek to assist in the healing process, I invite my clients to pay special attention to dreams, symbols, and numinous experiences that might be pointing the way forward. As a wilderness guide who offers psychospiritual retreats, I can also give suggestions for intentional walks and personal ceremonies in the natural world that can enhance the process of self-exploration and transformation.

My learning and experience come primarily from three interwoven threads of study and exploration, as a clinical social worker, Episcopal priest, and wilderness guide. I am especially curious about the interplay between soul and spirit and the ways a human being embodies these, with each person living out a unique story that is bound inextricably to a larger, timeless story.

I received a B.A. degree in economics from Davidson College in NC in 1988, a Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Divinity from the General Theological Seminary in New York. I practiced as a counselor in Atlanta for ten years, working for AIDS service organizations, a county mental health clinic, and in private practice before seeking theological training. After my seminary studies, I served for five years as an assisting priest in an urban parish. I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in Washington and an assisting priest at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. Since 2014, I have lived with my spouse Berto and dog Ava near Eastsound.

Anita portrait with scarf Anita L. Holladay, LMP

Therapeutic, Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage; Hot Stone Massage; Reflexology; Energy Work; Acupressure

I have been practicing bodywork since graduating from the Heartwood Institute in California in 1981.  Before coming to Orcas in 1992, I taught and practiced massage in Alaska and Seattle. The Healing Arts Center has been the home for my private practice since 1995, though I also worked, concurrently, for several years at Orcas Island spas.

I have training in therapeutic massage, acupressure, reflexology, hot stone massage, Polarity Therapy, and oncology massage, as well as spiritual/shamanic healing practices from Northwest Coast native teachers. For the past few years I have been updating my deep-tissue massage skills with renowned Seattle massage instructor Brian Utting.

The unique approach I bring to my bodywork, I believe, is a body-mind-spirit orientation. I am delighted to help clients free themselves of aches and pains, and can work quite deeply if so desired. I love to help clients integrate physical changes with a renewed sense of emotional well-being, and to assist the process of spiritual transformation for those who are seeking deeper levels of growth in consciousness. My work is usually accompanied by carefully chosen music, though you may choose silence, or just the sound of waves.

I am comfortable working with all ages, with pregnant and postpartum women, and with people experiencing serious illness, grief/trauma, or life transitions, as well as injuries and ordinary stress-related tensions and imbalances.

What clients say:

I came in here stressed and anxious; now I feel more relaxed than I remember feeling for a long, long time. – – N.S., computer programmer

I think that was the best massage I ever had––but I think that every time I see you! ––J.W., recovering from stroke

It felt like parts of me were being healed that were never addressed by the physical therapy after the accident. ––S.C., pianist

I get it. You work on a lot of levels at once. ––S.A., massage therapist

Do I really have to get up now? I could stay on your table forever. ––R.D., administrator/farmer, cancer survivor

My son was surprised by how strong your hands are––you really helped his aching back.–– P.S., receptionist

Michael Mitchell, LMPmichaelmitchelbiopic

Massage Therapy

Michael graduated from the Massage Institute of New England in 2001 and has been practicing massage full time ever since. Training in and working in both clinical and spa environments, Michael tries to tailor each massage to the individual client’s needs.

A list of studied modalities includes but is not limited to: Swedish, deep tissue, injury rehab, sports performance enhancement, myofascial release, therapeutic stretching regaining range of motion and several corrective modalities for structure. Often sessions are combinations of many techniques acquired over his career that have proved most effective on clients.

Michael views performing bodywork on a person as an honor and privilege and believes everyone can benefit from receiving massage. He tries to create an atmosphere in the studio where the client feels empowered to give feedback and take ownership of the bodywork session. He believes clients should always feel in charge of the work they receive.

A full-time resident of Orcas Island since 1995, Michael has two kids who grew up here and he is a proud member of his community and the Healing Arts Center.

Rena Patty

Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication

Rena is a lifelong resident of Orcas Island. A Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication, Rena is available through the Healing Arts Center for private coaching sessions, conflict mediation, professional meeting facilitation (for local non-profits or businesses), NVC workshops and NVC practice groups.

Rena is a graduate of the BayNVC Nonviolent Communication Leadership Program and has worked as an assistant trainer for the BayNVC Leadership Program.  Rena has also volunteered annually as an assistant trainer for NVC Family Camps and NVC and Diversity workshops.  Rena has been studying NVC since 1997 and leading NVC practice groups and NVC workshops since 2001.  Rena currently volunteers for The Freedom Project teaching Nonviolent Communication in the prisons in Washington state, is a dedicated social change activist, and has expertise in meeting facilitation.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is based on the principles of nonviolence – the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart.  NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical – are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. NVC also assumes that we all share the same basic human needs, and that each of our actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs.  People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deepening connection and conflict resolution.”  ~ Center for Nonviolent Communication website

Learn more: Center for Nonviolent Communication

The Freedom Project

BayNVC Leadership Program

NVC Family Camp

NVC and Diversity

Erin Quies Wild, LMP

Therapeutic Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Injury Treatment, Medical/Insurance Billing,  Maya Abdominal Therapy, Prenatal Massage, Herbal Medicines, Spiritual Healings/Ceremonies and Doula services

Erin studied pre-med in college and got her BS in environmental sciences. She  has always been fascinated by the human body and health. In 2007 she graduated from the Brian Utting School of Massage, which is known to have one of the most comprehensive and thorough massage therapy programs in the country. She combines this in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology with a deep reverence for the emotional and spiritual health of each person she works with. Erin weaves together specific, deep, technical skills with a nurturing and compassionate fluidity.

Erin provides a unique and holistic experience for her clients, combining deep tissue, Swedish, and Lomi-lomi massage with acupressure, breath awareness, guided relaxation, stretching, yoga postures, and take-home exercises.  She is especially passionate about helping people who are experiencing chronic or acute discomfort, recovering from injuries and surgeries or those who are going through challenging times in their lives.

In 2012, Erin traveled to Belize to complete a year-long study of traditional Maya Abdominal Therapy with Dr. Rosita Arvigo.  She is excited to offer this therapy which is extremely effective in treating many digestive and female reproductive ailments.

Erin is a a provider for several health insurance companies.  She  feels strongly about bringing therapeutic massage into mainstream health care as a complement to Western modern medicine, Eastern medicine, physical therapy and chiropractic work. She is passionate about preventative and complementary health care and is dedicated to helping each of her clients find their own unique path to well-being.

Erin is also a Birth Doula and a student of herbalism.  She facilitates Doula trainings, retreats and ceremonies for various rites of passages.

Erin moved to Orcas Island in 2004 and has fallen in love with the simple, yet dynamic island community. When she is not doing bodywork or facilitating healing, she spends time in nature, growing food and learning from the earth with her husband and their daughter.  She loves backpacking and camping, making herbal medicines, celebrating life with friends, practicing yoga, dancing, singing, and traveling.

See more at Erin’s website


 Therapeutic Massage

Revised bio and practice description coming soon.







Christa Smith, LMP

Therapeutic, Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Sports Injury Massage; Prenatal Massage; Reflexology

I enjoy providing nurturing and caring massage to my family and community and have been doing so for over 10 years now. I love that I always have my hands with me and that wherever I go I am able to share my work. I have traveled to many remote places and have so enjoyed seeing the wonder on people’s faces as I give them a hand massage or neck massage.  People light up whether it is a new friend or acquaintance, friends or family there is something that comes alive in people when they are able to experience a gentle and caring touch. I truly believe in the power of touch and the awareness that it brings to each person about their body, mind and spirit.  I create a warm, nurturing and safe place for clients to focus on the health and healing of their whole selves, whether it is an injury that needs treatment, relaxation to release stress or grounding with your inner self. My treatments involve both technical awareness of the muscles and a clear intuitive sense of how to help work with each individual person.

My treatments include therapeutic and deep tissue massage, foot reflexology, Therapeutic Touch, and facilitated stretching. I also use heat packs to help facilitate the relaxation process and aid in the treatment of injuries. I enjoy using a blend of these and more modalities to address the specific needs of each client. Through my massage my hope and intention is to help people look inside themselves a little more, let go a little more and love a lot more.  I look forward to working with you.


Ian Van Gelder, L.Ac.


I have been studying and practicing Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for over thirty years. I completed my initial training in Sydney, Australia at the New South Wales College of Natural Therapies. After graduating in 1982, I traveled to China where I did an intensive intern training in Nanjing at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, while, at the same time, continuing my studies at the Nanjing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

In 1985 I moved to Seattle, Washington. This move from Australia to Seattle seemed a natural fit, since I had grown up in the Pacific Northwest, just over the border in Vancouver, B.C. While I awaited the instigation of new acupuncture licensing regulations, I furthered my studies, primarily through the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Seattle. I passed my Washington state license examination in 1987, and a few months later, in March 1988, I moved to Orcas. Within a few weeks, I had established practices in Eastsound, at the Healing Arts Center, and in Friday Harbor. I have continued to serve islanders in those locations ever since!

My “style” of Acupuncture is somewhat eclectic, being influenced by my training in many of the diverse traditions and “schools” of Acupuncture, represented by some acclaimed teachers and practitioners of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. At the same time, I think I have managed to sharpen (bad pun!) my skills over the years by blending and incorporating the teachings I have received with my own clinical experience. There is, however, another side to being in the healing arts,which may be equally important. And so I strive to create a caring and compassionate relationship with my patients, which can be a significant aid in their healing process.

Clinical Availability: Healing Arts Center, Eastsound –– Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays

Also available in Friday Harbor, WA

Click here to view Ian’s website  

Mara Williams, RN, MSN, ANP-BC

 Mara WAdult Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified

With over 35 years as a healthcare provider, Mara is now a nationally Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner. Before attending the University of California at San Francisco Masters in Nursing program, Mara was a homecare and hospice RN. She earned her Master’s in 2005 and began working in Integrative Medicine as a Nurse Practitioner.

Having learned to use an extensive number of pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements, diet, herbal and homeopathic tinctures, as well as bioidentical hormones, Frequency Specific Microcurrent, and Therapeutic Touch, Mara has a ‘tool kit’ that can help almost any condition and improve quality of life.

Over the last several years, Mara developed an expertise in treating Tick-Borne Disease and Biotoxin illness. Using the best of Western and Eastern philosophies of medicine, the blend allows for a more complete picture of the problem and how to treat it. Mara focuses on restoring function in the body, strengthening the immune system, decreasing inappropriate inflammation, restoring detoxification pathways, balancing hormones, and healing the intestinal tract. This allows the body to reclaim the processes that have been hijacked by the infections. Without doing this recovery is less likely. Then, those who have been ill can begin treating and healing. These illnesses are too often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed leading to further disability and decline.

This became apparent to Mara when her daughter became bedridden with Chronic Lyme Disease after being misdiagnosed for over 20 years. (Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis were some of the diagnoses she was given.) Her daughter spent over 5 years bedridden. The longer these infections remain untreated, the longer it takes to recover, and damage to the tissues occurs over time.

As a result of caring for her daughter, Mara wrote a primer on Chronic Lyme Disease or Recurring Tick-Borne Disease, called Nature’s Dirty Needle. She also founded a 501(c)(3), Inanna House, which, when built, will be the first inpatient retreat center in the country focusing on these diseases.

If you have sought help from many providers, have been told your tests are all negative and that ‘it is all in your head’, Mara can help.

Mara now lives in Deer Harbor on Orcas Island with her husband. She is available at the Healing Arts Center in Eastsound on Mondays and Thursdays. You may book an appointment by calling the HAC, 360-376-4002, or reach Mara directly for more information as well as booking at 707-721-2328 or by email at info@marawilliams.net. Please visit her websites, marawilliams.net and inannahouse.org.