Our Team

Fernanda Santiago

LMBT, Certified Aromatherapist, Advanced Thai Massage Practitioner, Educator

Not accepting new appointments at this time.  Contact me for inquiries or hosting continuing education workshops (919)297-8445.

Born in the Island of Puerto Rico, Fernanda Santiago has always had a passion for wellness and helping people get healthy. Her great mother was a midwife, herbalist and an expert in using natural healing compounds. This knowledge of herbal medicine and natural healing has been passed down for generations. She has worked in a variety of settings such as Wellness Centers specializing in pain relief, sports medicine and alternative medicine.

She is the co-founder of the Apex Retreat®️ and owner of her own practice where the modo is Healing Feels Good®️ in Apex, NC. Why? Because the path to health is pleasant and will make you feel great all over!

She created a team of Licensed Health Professionals and together they are working toward changing the face of the medical world from sick care to wellness. They offer customized wellness solutions to help people live and feel well.

She says “When it comes to receiving optimal wellness, we have to take charge and be responsible for our own health. However, Sometimes we just don’t know where to get started.  I work with a great team of health and wellness professionals and together we work with you to take care of your body from the inside out.”  She teaches wellness and Aromatherapy workshops to the public as well as Massage Therapist and other Health Professionals to empower people to do self-care. She has spent the last decade studying and specializing in Thai Massage and has trained in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  She is the owner and founder of Apex Retreat which is a wellness center focusing on Thai Massage and Thai Healing Arts. Her passion for Thai Massage shines through in her teaching. She is a continuing education instructor for Apex Retreat Seminars.

Jason Atkins

LMBT, Certified Back Country Survival Instructor, Educator

(919) 448-6526

J W Atkins is a well-rounded Massage Therapist from Chapel Hill with over 10 yrs of experience. Jason was a behavior science modification specialist/combat field medic.  His military background only strengthens his character. Jason is gifted with a rare ability to put his clients at ease no matter how hectic life is. He believes in teaching his clients how to live a healthier lifestyle overall. He works with an eclectic mix of modalities, including Shiatsu, Swedish, Prenatal, and Deep Tissue. He is a continuing education instructor for Apex Retreat Seminars.

Dean Hebert

LMBT, Advanced Thai Massage Practitioner, Educator

(919) 400-1609

“The body knows what to do, you just need to let it.”

Dean has a versatile portfolio of a hard working man. He discovered his true calling in the wellness field. Dean has been a practicing LMBT for over 6 years and is one of the most sought after Massage Therapists in well known Spas in the Triangle Area.     Dean’s specialty and focus is on helping the body function and mobilize better to achieve optimal health. 

He specializes in Myofacial Release, Joint Mobilization, Table Thai Massage, and Deep Tissue work. He believes in teaching his clients how to live a healthier lifestyle overall. He is a continuing education instructor for Apex Retreat Seminars.

William Stephenson

LMBT, Myofascial Release Partitioner (John Barnes), ERYT

(919) 264-0990

Proud father, musician, yogi: William graduated from Body Therapy Institute in 2015 and has extensively studied with John F. Barnes in the realm of Myofascial Release and Unwinding. In treatment, the therapist tends to employ a therapeutic blend of Myofascial Release, Thai bodywork, and Craniosacral therapy. He has also been a certified yoga teacher since 2013 and teaches free yoga classes at Apex Retreat! “The work we do with our two hands seem to be the way we give back to a world which gives so freely. Our efforts here are to create community and collaboration. My studies and mission work have taught me to make a conscious attempt to give back to the world as much as we take.” He is a continuing education instructor for Apex Retreat Seminars.

Zara Russel


(919) 817-9422

My passion for healing has been my guiding light from the beginning. My mother was a LMBT and practiced bodywork while I was still in the womb and then massaged me as a baby during my my first year onward. These rhythms and foundations of holistic healing modalities lead me to discover that bodywork came both intuitively & naturally to me. By age 10, I was scheduling bodywork sessions to family members and friends of the family during gatherings. I fulfilled my dream in 2015 and graduated from Body Therapy Institute in Silk Hope NC where I learned Myofascial release, Swedish Massage, PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), hydrotherapy, Somatic Psychology and many other healing therapies.

Since then I have been training in new modalities including Thai Massage & Aromatherapy. Thai massage is an ancient and powerful method of healing that combines accupressure, deep compressions & passive yoga stretching to restore total balance for the body & mind. Receiving a that massage is like going to your massage therapist, acupuncturist, chiropractor, and then a yoga class; its truly a holistic experience. I am very grateful to have started my yoga teaching journey through completing a 200 hour teacher training early in 2018 and offer Yoga classes at Apex Retreat Center. I have co-lead a number of hands on wellness classes for caregiver’s of people living with dementia as well as provided massage therapy sessions to people living with dementia who often feel pain but have lost their ability to express.


My bodywork style blends a variety of modalities and I customize each session to meet the intentions of the client and create Natural Balance in the body. Furthermore, I can help you to incorporate self care into your personal life, starting with bodywork and including stretching, breath-work, natural remedies such as plants, baths, oils and teas, positive affirmations and new ways to look at old habits. Daily homework is the key to improve your quality of living, being, and feeling – and being kind to yourself above all else is the foundation of self-care and self-love.

I have learned that each body has the wisdom, knowledge and information to heal itself; it just needs a little encouragement. I can help you to create space in your body so that your body’s natural healing process emerges and balances you in the fascial matrix you live in. I am here to guide you as you learn to heal and thrive. Through connection to each other and connection to our mind, body and spirit we can all find our Natural Balance.

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