Dawn and Jason both grew up in the Callicoon area, and have always felt a strong connection to the people and the beautiful river valley. After 12 years of traveling the world, living in New York City and Portland Oregon, they're excited to take what they've learned from their extensive studies and share it with the local community.
Co-Owner, Yoga Instructor, Wellness Educator
The elevation of well-being starts with the foundations of good health. We live in a time of overstimulation and stress. Often, our body and mind awareness are the first to lose sight of. I thrive on helping to gently guide people back into their natural rhythms, so that healing and happiness are priority.
While teaching me how to move with grace and harmony through life, alternative medicine and mindfulness practices have allowed me to venture deep into the heart. I began experimenting with yoga and mindfulness practices at a young age. Since then, I’ve begun a journey inside of myself and around the world to try to gain a better understanding of my higher purpose.
My yoga classes are influenced by the spiritual teachings of many traditions: hatha, vinyasa, kundalini, bhakti, shamanism, yin, restorative yoga and more. Classes will encourage deep connection to breath, body, earth and heart. We explore mindful movements to nourish the body, guided meditation to find joy in stillness, and connection to breath to celebrate the present moment.
This incredible practice continues to inspire me everyday, and I humbly bow with deep gratitude to all of the teachers in my life. They have given me the courage to honor my truth, to shine my light, and to share my love of wellness and yoga with others.
Co-Owner, Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, Herbalist
I find inspiration from all aspects of holistic healing. In 2010, I received my degree in Massage Therapy from the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon. This laid a strong foundation in a therapeutic, western style of massage. This included deep tissue, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, sports massage, and injury & pain management.
Along with my knowledge of western massage, I have a deep appreciation and interest in eastern modalities and energetic healing. These studies includes yoga, qigong, traditional Thai massage, tuina, shiatsu, and Reiki.
I'm a graduate of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, where I received a Masters degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. As an acupuncturist and herbalist, I'm able to treat a variety of conditions: ranging from musculoskeletal pain, mental-emotional issues, digestive issues, women and men's health, addiction/recovery, and pediatrics. My patients can expect to find a balance of deep relaxation, while also receiving focused and detailed therapeutic work on areas of concern or pain.
These studies help support my commitment to practice truly holistic therapies- enhancing and uplifting physical, mental and emotional states, while contributing to an overall sense of well-being.
Jason is currently In-Network with The United Healthcare Insurance Plan for acupuncture.
Massage Therapist, Reiki Practitioner, Crystal Healer, Herbalist
Natalie O’Neil is a licensed massage therapist, certified holistic health coach, certified crystal healer, reiki practitioner, and herbalist. Her styles of healing include Neuromuscular Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy, Shiatsu, Myofasical Release, Swedish massage, Ayurvedic massage and Energy work tailored to meet individual healing needs. Her health journey started when she enrolled at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy in 2008 when her own health took a toll. Already having a strong background in anatomy and physiology, she fell deep into the rabbit hole of health and wellness. Natalie enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2014 to learn about nutrition and what creates a healthy diet. After Natalie had graduated from the herbal apprenticeship with Heartstone Herbal School in 2016, she developed a passion for herbal medicine, wildcrafting, and nature based living. Natalie is dedicated to helping others practice being their own authority on their health and life. By supporting the whole person, and teaching them to listen to their bodies, true healing can happen. Natalie is deeply grateful to be surrounded by such a wonderful community and honored to be a part of River Family Wellness.
Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, Homeopathic Practitioner
I grew up in these sweet hills, second child in a family of eight kids. Family snapshots often show me bouncing one of the babies on my hip or holding a pet, as nurturing came naturally. That nurturing inclination, plus a keen interest in health and a desire to work with my hands, found perfect expression when I studied massage therapy in 1986. Massage is such a basic and kind way of encouraging the body toward health. Not only did I love learning about anatomy and physiology in great detail, I was also introduced to the world of alternative healing which I’ve been exploring ever since. Homeopathy, which caught my attention soon after, remains the closest thing to magic that I know. Homeopathy can shift a person’s resonance at the deepest levels. Tiny white pills, highly diluted, touch inner dilemmas, freeing a person’s body and mind from expressing that conflict through physical symptoms and emotional strain. Yep, magic. Massage begins healing at the physical level, while homeopathy heals from the energetic level. My third offering, Japanese Acupuncture, addresses both elegantly. It treats our human selves as the microcosms of nature that we are. And acupuncture has so many awesome tools!
Nurture has grown into healing, and my wish for all, to paraphrase an aphorism from Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, is for the mind to be unfettered, the emotions fluid, and the body free enough for the spirit to hold unbounded sway within it; this is how we can dream big, and have the capacity to reach for those dreams.
My styles of massage include Integrated therapeutic massage, borrowing elements of Swedish Massage, Shiatsu, Neuromuscular Therapy, Tui-Na, Cranio-sacral Therapy and Reflexology, as needed. My therapeutic work is specific, but not deep tissue.
A local to the area, Megan graduated from Sullivan West before living in the Adirondacks and finally moving to the Finger Lakes region. There, she completed an apprenticeship at Heartstone Herbal School which deepened her love of plants and herbal medicine. This led her to pursue a career in holistic health by attending The Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture in Seneca Falls. She is a New York State licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist, who completed hundreds of hours of hands-on clinical training including work at the Canandaigua VA hospital. In 2018, she studied in China at the Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Huangzhou.
Megan uses a variety of holistic and Chinese medicine modalities such as acupuncture, herbs, cupping, gua sha, body work, and dietary therapy to aid each individual in reaching their health goals. She specializes in working with digestive disorders, women’s health, and chronic pain conditions.
Dr. Kathleen Burns-Brandt, DC
Dr. Kathleen Burns-Brandt was born and raised locally in Liberty. Dr. Burns found a passion for chiropractic in high school after learning how her own health was impacted by her first adjustment when she was 6 months old. Her mother saw that she was having difficulty rolling over, as well as, holding and turning her head. The pediatrician recommended seeing a specialist and warned that she might be behind her age group developmentally. After one chiropractic treatment her parents noticed an immediate change in her demeanor and she rolled over for the first time the following day.
Dr. Burns attended King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She then went on to receive her Doctorate of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY. While at NYCC she met her husband Dr. Thadeus Brandt. After gaining experience while working for other doctors and also owning their own practice in Scranton PA, Dr. Burns and Dr. Brandt returned to Sullivan County with their son Austin to settle down closer to family.
Dr. Burns sees a wide range of patient presentations and populations, but her own experience has driven her to work with women and children, as well as expectant mothers. Dr. Burns has immersed herself in related courses that focus on Women’s Health Issues, Pregnancy and Pediatric Nutrition, and Clinical Pediatrics and Chiropractic Care. She is a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is certified in Webster technique. Webster technique uses specific chiropractic adjustments to improve the neuro-biomechanical functioning of the pelvis. This technique can be administered to expectant mothers to facilitate optimal positioning of moms pelvis for the growing baby.
Dr. Thadeus (TJ) Brandt, DC
Dr. Thadeus Brandt is an experienced chiropractor who specializes working with athletes at his prior practice in Scranton, PA. In Scranton he partnered with the local running groups and clubs and provided care at the major races in the area including the Scranton Half and Full Marathons which are qualifiers for the Boston Marathon. Dr. Brandt has experience with all age groups of different fitness levels as well.
Dr. Thadeus Brandt grew up in Bloomsburg, PA, a rural community. He went to Wilkes University, where he majored in Biology and Minored in Chemistry while playing soccer and earning a captainship and all conference honors. He then attended New York Chiropractic College where he met his wife Dr. Kathleen Burns-Brandt. They have settled down in the area and started a family with their 1 year old son Austin.
Dr. Brandt became interested in chiropractic in High School. He sustained an injury while water skiing that caused compression fractures in his lower back. He had his first visit to the chiropractor to help him recover from the injury and get him back on the sports field faster. Chiropractic became and continues to be essential to him after that experience.
Rieki Practitioner, Yoga Instructor, Holistic Health & Wellness Coach
Kelsey’s healing journey began with an awakening that she was meant for much more than her conditioned beliefs so she made the personal commitment to create a lifestyle of well-being that transformed her health and life. By studying the principles and foundations of the Buddist and Vedic traditions and applying them to her life, she has found amazing healing guidance that has changed the way she lives, loves, interacts and serves the world. Kelsey became a certified yoga teacher of 200 hours by the 108 Lotus Yoga team in Milford, NY. There she learned the history of yoga, alignment, transition, self realization, and much more. She offers private and group lessons in a vinyasa style, designed with intelligent sequencing synced in mind, body and breath awareness leaving the entire self feeling rejuvenated and awakened. She is a Reiki Master certified by Michelle Lorenzo MA,LMT,Reiki Master,Psychic. Through her Reiki studies she learned the ways of the energetic systems and her own relationship she has with energy. Kelsey’s energy work is based on the principle that our well-being is a direct result of our internal state. Her goal is to hold a container for clients to dive into self discovery as she inspires and increases the possibilities of transformation through the ancient practices of Reiki for their personal development. She is also a Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, trained by The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, where she learned about nutrition and how it is different for everyone. She learned ways to connect diet and lifestyle so it serves each person individually, with the main focus being balance. Another area Kelsey has studied is the science of Ayurveda. She has the foundational knowledge of what causes dis-ease, the different body and mind types, cycles of nature, sense care and how it all relates to the imbalances we may experience in our lives.
Rosen Method and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner
Julia is a Certified Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioner, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Conscious Uncoupling Coach, and Rosen Method Movement Teacher. She has over 20 years of experience as a somatic bodyworker supporting people to grow and flourish through lifes challenges. In her Rosen Method/Somatic Experiencing sessions she uses heart centered presence and touch to calm your nervous system, while approaching with gentle curiosity the places in your body and mind where traumas and beliefs have been stored. As each layer of constriction peels away, you begin to transform from who you learned to be for survival, to who you truly are. In the Conscious Uncoupling Coaching journey she brings her many years of body awareness to midwife individuals thru the trauma of broken relationships.
Rebecca believes that anyone can practice yoga regardless of ability, size, flexibility, or age. By focusing on the breath and moving mindfully, we can all find comfort in our bodies and peace of mind.
When she was twelve, she was diagnosed with mild scoliosis, and the doctor recommended daily stretching. Rebecca’s grandmother gave her a book about yoga and she was hooked, practicing asanas and pranayama in the living room.
After years of practicing yoga off and on, Rebecca took the next step and traveled to Dharamsala, India in 2015. There she completed her first yoga teacher training at Siddhi Yoga. She began teaching in NYC at corporate offices, parks, rooftops, studios, community centers, and one-on-one private instruction. One memorable experience was teaching meditation at the Brooklyn Cat Cafe with assistance from feline friends.
Recently, she studied with Jivana Heyman at the Integral Yoga Institute in NYC and received a certification in teaching Accessible Yoga.
I have been a student of Yoga for more than 14 years, and a student of Ashtanga for nearly 9. In 2013 I completed teacher training with my teacher Ajay Kumar of Mysore, India, receiving his blessing to teach the Primary Series of Ashtanga Vinyasa. Each fall I travel back to India for several months to study with my teacher, and was re-certified in 2017, along with receiving a certificate in Pranayama with my teacher's teacher, BNS Iyengar. In January of 2020 I completed the Mudras & Bandhas course with Guruji BNS Iyengar.
I believe that Ashtanga, and Yoga as a whole, is for everyone. A method to bring us back to ourselves, to reveal our inner truths. It's a tool to help us better manage our mind and our emotions. It's a way to bring us back to health and wholeness, and I’m grateful to be able to share and teach to others, who are willing to learn, this incredible lineage and method that was shared and taught to me.
Yoga Instructor, Embodied Movement Specialist, Sound Meditation Guide, Intuitive Empowerment Coach, Reiki Practitioner
My partner, Shaun, and I recently moved to Hortonville. Being in nature full time has been one of the most positively impactful healing experiences of my life. We are so happy to be here, and I’m looking forward to getting to know more of the community, share my passions and gifts with you, and walk the road of life hand-in-hand, heart-to-heart.
Due to a need to combat mental and emotional health issues and a desire to maintain longevity of body, mind, and spirit, I began the deep dive of self exploration and watched as my life slowly expanded and evolved from the quantitative aesthetic of a 20 year professional dance career (ask away if you’re interested in the full spectrum of my experience) to a qualitative being-ness thanks to intense healing as well as studies, practices, and certifications in personal training (ACSM), holistic and intuitive health coaching (IIN and Stephanie Lyra Lin), yoga, reiki, meditation, and more.
I believe in constant growth and evolution, and am grateful for how each of these brought me a little closer to wholeness on my healing journey of love and acceptance. What I learned gave me a blueprint for how I show up in, and relate to, this world, others, and myself. It reconnected me to the home and knowledge within where I felt a duty to then share and guide others on this journey.
My goal now is to inject love into everything I do to help light this planet up with purpose and soul by helping guide as many who are willing back to heart-centered purpose and our truest divine nature where we are all students, teachers, and healers, unified in love.
www.amandamccormick.love | Instagram: @amandamccormick.love
Cecy Castro was first introduced to Yoga 18 years ago, but it wasn't until her last pregnancy with her daughter Gaia that she was able to break free from the innate dogma of her native DF Mèxico origins. She began to take her Yoga practice more seriously with her prenatal yoga classes and notice how much the routine was helping her body and mind. In 2018 she enrolled into her first 200hr. Yoga Teacher Training which catapulted her love and devotion towards the growth of her yoga practice. Cecy is now also certified in Yin Yoga and keeps expanding her knowledge and experience through teaching others as well as participating in extensive training alternatives. She loves her family, painting, poetry, hikes, animals and being around nature. She is motivated by a need to help others improve themselves and a desire to improve the world around her.
Yoga has ebbed and flowed through my routine for the last 6 years. This year during my teacher training with YogaFarm Ithaca, I felt the massive shift from yoga as a physical practice to the mind-body-soul connection that yoga nurtures. Yoga has heightened my awareness, helped to heal parts of me I didn't know needed healing and reminds me every day to live in the moment, the only place where life truly exists.
I find beauty in both the flow and stillness of Vinyasa yoga and hope to create space in my class for others to connect with their inner wisdom and radiance. I have a deep appreciation for the ancient roots of Yoga and acknowledge the lifetime of learning I have ahead of me.
My journey towards wellness has been slow and winding and I'm so excited for the direction it is going. I have a certificate in Holistic Nutrition and am currently studying to become a Functional Medicine Health Coach. I hope to share my knowledge and help others build healthy foundations on which they can thrive.
I strongly believe that wellness is within all of us. It isn't something to attain, but something to discover. I'm grateful to be part of such a lovely community and look forward to meeting everyone in it.
Pole Fitness Instructor
I started pole dancing in 2013 after years of curiosity and no access to training. The supportive tight knit community of the studio I found an hour and a half from home was like that of my former days spent playing sports in school, providing me with the long missing feeling of being on a team. With my training came some big changes to my overall health. The inactivity over the years exasperated my life long movement disorder, and dance gave me a means to drastically lessened the pain and tension in my muscles. This realization of how therapeutic it was for me sparked an interest in sharing the sport with others.
Pole also gave me the opportunity to let out my playfulness by encouraging theatricality as if I was playing the part of a character, a good mental and emotional escape from anything that might be causing stress in my life. I would arrive to class feeling heavy and leave feeling like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.
I began my teacher training in March of 2015 and completed the course in March of 2016. I received my certification from Dance Discoveries, an ACE, AFAA, PFA, and PDC approved program. Today, I continue my training in pole dance, constantly working to advance my own skills at the same studio I had fallen in love with years before and continuously seek to attend education workshops to improve my instruction.
Gong Meditation Facilitator, Licensed Psychotherapist and Counselor
Marc J. Switko has been exploring the far reaches of gong playing as a therapeutic, meditative, and performance modality for individuals and groups with solid results. He uses the gong and various other sound instruments in his public and private vibrational healing and meditation practice as a stand-alone treatment and in tandem with counseling and psychotherapy (when requested- He is a NYS Licensed Psychotherapist and Counselor). Utilizing gong music as an empowering, healing tool has opened new pathways of compassion and empathy for Marc and he is excited to be sharing these powerful sound waves with others. He participated in an intensive certification residency in Fall 2016, studying Gong for use in both healing and performing modalities with Master Don Conreaux, one of the five original Kundalini yoga teachers designated by Yogi Bhajan in 1969.