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meet the staff

At MPHC, our entire staff is dedicated to making each and every visit to our facility the best experience possible. Not only do we provide friendly, helpful service, we are also home to some of the most accomplished massage therapists and personal trainers in the city! Have a stressful day at work? Make an appointment with one of our licensed massage therapists and relax as they work out the kinks of the busy city life. Looking to lose a few extra pounds, or build up rock hard muscle? Schedule a customized personal training session with any of our certified personal trainers! They’ll use their experience to maximize your results.

Not sure who to go with? Below, you will find the personal bios of our staff of trainers and massage therapists. Find the person that fits your needs and make an appointment today!

licensed massage therapists

KRISTIN BERNHARDT, LMT – Massage Supervisor

Massage Therapy Manhattan Plaza Health Club | Kristin Bernhardt - Massage SupervisorKristin is a 1999 graduate of The Swedish Institute. Her specialty is a therapeutic, deep tissue, full-body massage using a variety of techniques from Swedish to myofascial with shiatsu elements & more. Continuing Ed. courses in medical massage have given her the ability to provide focused TMJ work and to include areas that are often overlooked, such as scalenes, SCM, pectoralis muscles & the abdomen. Kristin studied postural corrective techniques with Howard Mermelstein and is certified in pre & post natal massage. While working for 3 years at one of New York’s Elite 5-Star Spas, Kristin received advanced training in luxury spa techniques which she likes to incorporate into her sessions. She also gained 3 valuable years of oncology massage experience working at NYU’s Perlmutter Cancer Center and understands protocols for survivors in recovery.

Kristin is also certified in Rising Star, an energetic healing system similar to Reiki, that channels energy through the chakras. You may request a Rising Star for the last 10 minutes of any session at no additional charge.

Many of Kristin’s clients have discovered that regular massage (even once monthly) can be a wonderful aid to relax the mind and encourage balance in the body. Her background as an actor has taught her to take direction, so Kristin brings this to her work, tailoring sessions to your request. You may leave feeling relaxed, like a wet noodle, or lengthened and rejuvenated.

Member: ABMP, AEA & SAG-AFTRA. aka Kristin Chase aka “Magic Hands.”


Yesenia Ayala - Licensed Massage Therapist | Manhattan Plaza Health ClubYesenia specializes in injury management and prevention. She is a 2013 graduate of the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences, who has been working as a personal trainer for eight years, helping clients to obtain their goals and maintain motivation. She has a proven track record in retaining clients on a long-term basis with solid results. Yesenia has assisted with the Cardiac rehabilitation program at the 92 Street Y.

Passionate about the fitness and wellness industry and committed to improving the health
and wellbeing of individuals, Yesenia has a solid knowledge of anatomy, kinesiology and exercise physiology. She approaches her work with a high level of initiative, reliability, empathy and determination. Her mission is to provide a complete service combining both therapeutic massage and personal training. This two-phase service will help clients increase self awareness, reduce stress and restore proper biomechanics.

◄ SWEDISH (for relaxation and circulation)
◄ SPORTS (for maintenance and injury recovery)
◄ DEEP TISSUE and TRIGGER POINT (for tension release)
◄ MYOFASCIAL RELEASE (to lengthen tissues)
◄ PRE and POST NATAL (to nurture maternal health and well-being)
◄ STRETCHING (please bring a pair of shorts)

LMT-Licensed Massage Therapist AFAA-Athletic & Fitness Association of America


Manhattan Plaza Health Club | Sebastian Bernard Licensed Physical TherapistA massage therapist and body-worker since 1995, Sebastian is a graduate of Swedish Institute of Massage Therapy & Allied Health Institute as well as The Ohashiatsu Institute.

Therapeutic sessions may adapt and integrate Swedish massage techniques & Shiatsu (a century old Japanese tradition – literally translating to “finger pressure”) and the breathing, stretching, active and passive movements of Vital Movement Postures to relieve and correct body imbalances, stimulate the body’s inherent powers of recuperation, and restore and enhance well-being. Techniques may include deep tissue, myofascial, trigger point, shiatsu, sports & medical massage.

Practicing martial arts since 1984; Rank in Okinawan Goju Ryu, American Goju, and Shotokan Systems and a student of Hsing Yi and Tai Chi Chuan. In 1993, Sebastian began teachingTai Chi Chuan at the New York Health and Racquet Clubs, and he has taught Hatha Yoga and martial arts at New York University’s Coles Athletic Center since 1990. Sebastian completed Astanga Yoga teacher training with Manju Jois in 2002 and Teen Yoga teacher training with Karma Kids Yoga in 2015.

Daniel Blanco, LMT

Daniel Blanco Licensed Massage Therapist - Manhattan Plaza Health ClubDaniel is a graduate of the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences. He has also been a personal trainer for 14 years.

Daniel has a loyal following of clients who are passionate about him both as a massage therapist and as a personal trainer. A major injury he incurred while working as a trainer caused him to seek massage therapy to heal himself. After working with a number of talented healers to manage and recover from this, he added massage therapy to his repertoire of skills and tools to the great benefit of his clients. His specialty lies in assessing the client’s ailment and creating a pathway to recovery with a specific plan.

◄ SWEDISH (for relaxation and circulation)
◄ SPORTS (for maintenance and injury recovery)
◄ DEEP TISSUE and TRIGGER POINT (for tension release)
◄ MYOFASCIAL RELEASE (to lengthen tissues)


Tym Byers Licensed Massage Therapist - Manhattan Plaza Health ClubTym has an artistic and athletic approach to massage. He holds a BFA from NYU-Tisch School of the Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography and an Associates Degree in Occupational Health from the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences. He’s been a theater and dance teaching artist for Alvin Ailey Arts in Education since 2007. As a professional dancer, Tym understands how to manipulate the body and locate the source of discomfort and muscle soreness. And with his dance background, he seamlessly moves through the major muscle groups with a legato technique. His sessions relieve tension, improve circulation and increase relaxation. Tym specializes in Swedish, Deep Tissue & Sports massage. He also incorporates Eastern modalities such as Shiatsu and Thai massage into his sessions, as well as reflexology, trigger point and myofascial release techniques.


Manhattan Plaza Health Club | Lawrence May Licensed Physical TherapistI extend my warm greetings to the members and staff of MPHC!

Please allow me to introduce myself and the wellness services I provide to a wide range of clients. I am a licensed massage therapist in New York State with 20 years of experience in private practice, spa, gym and hotel settings.
The intent of my sessions is to support your wellness and health. Depending on your needs and preferences on any given day, I will incorporate a single modality or a combination of the following in our work together:

◄ SWEDISH (for relaxation and circulation)
◄ SPORTS (for maintenance and injury recovery)
◄ DEEP TISSUE and TRIGGER POINT (for tension release)
◄ MYOFASCIAL RELEASE (to lengthen tissues)
◄ REFLEXOLOGY (to stimulate healing zones on the feet and hands)
◄ PRE and POST NATAL (to nurture maternal health and well-being)
◄ CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY (for subtle release of held energetic patterns)
◄ SHIATSU (Japanese acupressure to enhance flow of life energy)
◄ REIKI (to channel healing energies)

I treat clients with respect and professionalism and look forward to working with you soon!

*LMT-Licensed Massage Therapist, RCST-Registered Craniosacral Therapist
ARCB-American Reflexology Certification Board


Trish is a NYS licensed massage therapist that can offer a gentle touch to quiet the mind, create a feeling of calmness and relieve muscle tension due to repetitive injuries, inactivity or the rigors we impose with daily life.

She has gained an appreciation of the human body and its need for healing through her twenty years of experience as a professional dancer. With this knowledge, she will bring equilibrium back into your life and allow you to perform at optimum levels. A graduate of the Swedish Institute School of Massage Therapy, Trish trained in myofascial, trigger point, shiatsu, sports massage, Swedish, reflexology and PNF techniques.

Her clients include cancer patients, marathon runners, Radio City Rockettes, B-way musicians / performers and countless others. She is a proud member of SAG, AFTRA, AEA, and AMTA. Trish believes by touching the body, we touch every event it has experienced. For a few brief moments we hold all of a client’s stories in our hands.


Cathy is a nationally certified LMT & a graduate of The Swedish Institute. Since she was a serious gymnast in Poland, from ages 7-17, Cathy has an affinity for athletes. She loves doing myofascial, deep tissue and medical massage, and she also holds a certification in Prenatal & Post Partum massage. In addition, Cathy has studied Reflexology Level 1 & some Craniosacral.
Cathy will evaluate your body’s needs and tailor a massage incorporating various modalities including shiatsu & trigger point, as needed. She may also offer some stretches or specific exercises to help with tension or imbalances. Member: AMTA


Rasalind has been working at St. Elizabeth Ann’s Health and Rehabilitation Center for the past seven years. She comes to MPHC as a graduate of Queens College with a double major- Business Management and Physical Education. She is also a graduate of the Swedish Institute with an extensive background in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and fitness instructor. Rasalind received her certification in MotherMassage * in Spring of 2009 for pregnancy, post-partum and labor support massage from Elaine Stillerman.

While working for St. Elizabeth Ann’s as a recreational fitness therapist and massage therapist, Rasalind has had the opportunity to deal with residents who have been inflicted with several different illnesses, such as stroke, traumatic brain injuries, arthritis etc. She feels rewarded to make a difference in their lives, helping them to increase or maintain range of motion and feel more comfortable, both mentally and physically through therapeutic touch. Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage with PNF stretching and Swedish Massage are Rasalind’s specialties.


◄ Traditional Swedish Massage ◄ Therapeutic Massage
◄ Deep Tissue Massage ◄ Tui Na Massage
◄ Neuromuscular Function ◄ Stretching Techniques
◄ Western & Eastern Approaches ◄ Traditional Chinese Medecine
◄ Substances, Organs, Channels ◄ Disorders & Diseases
◄ Injury/Surgery rehabilitation ◄ Chronic & Mental conditions

Able to incorporate various massage treatments like Swedish, Acupressure, Reflexology and so on to achieve the best results for a wide range of issues from post injury and surgery rehabilitation to chronic conditions. Dedicated to providing quality therapeutic massage and educating on overall health and wellness, as well as establishing and maintaining excellent client relationships.

certified personal trainer