Instructor Bios

Brian Utting, LMT

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Brian (license #MA 1011) founded the Brian Utting School of Massage (BUSM) in Seattle, WA in 1982 and was BUSM's Director, Director of Education, and a lead instructor there for 26 years. Brian developed and refined the curriculum at BUSM and taught many subjects, including anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, contraindications, business skills, communication skills, hydrotherapy, and a variety of massage techniques. His 1000-hour COMTA-accredited school was considered one of the best massage schools in the country.

Brian has been teaching massage CE nationally and internationally since 1990. He designs his CE classes and programs so that the students really get the material and can take it home and apply it in their practice, rather than just being exposed to it. He teaches with a rare blend of knowledge, passion, precision, humor, common sense, and depth. In 2009 Brian was awarded the AMTA's Robert N. Calvert Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2014, he was inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame.

De'Anna Dean, LMT


De'Anna (license #MA 20594) got her BS in Nutrition at Auburn University, and completed a dietetic internship at Bastyr University. She repeatedly found herself drawn to the healing aspects of touch, and completed her 1000-hour massage training at the Brian Utting School of Massage in 2004. De'Anna practiced massage privately and in clinical settings, eventually returning to BUSM, and later Cortiva, as an instructor. In 2013, she transitioned to full time teaching at Cortiva, where she is the education manager, and teaches myofascial massage, injury treatment, professional ethics, and communication skills. De'Anna enjoys working with individuals at all stages of life, and continually feels honored to assist others through the simple laying on of hands.

Tysan Dutta, LMT


Tysan Dutta (license #MA 60449559) is a graduate of the Cortiva Institute and the Euro Institute of Skincare. She also holds a Grand Diploma from the International Sommelier Guild, a BA from Vassar College and an MA from Antioch University. Tysan is certified in craniosacral therapy and has studied structural injury work, neuromuscular release, and myofascial massage. In her practice she works on location with the Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers, and at Yuan Spa in Bellevue. Tysan has always been fascinated by the profound therapeutic effect of skillful facial massage for stress, TMJ, migraines and myriad other issues. She believes that outstanding facial massage should be incorporated into more bodywork sessions, and that the facial and cranial area is just as important as, if not more important than, any other region of the body.

Steve Evanko, PhD, LMT


Stephen Evanko (license #MA 12182), Ph.D, is a Certified Advanced Rolfer® and has practiced in Seattle for 20 years. He received his PhD in 1993 from the University of New Mexico, where he studied the biological properties and biochemistry of connective tissues. When he first experienced Rolfing in 1995, he was so impressed with the profound results that he decided to make Rolfing his new career. Steve currently has a full-time Rolfing practice in Seattle and serves part-time as a staff scientist at The Benaroya Research Institute in Seattle, where he studies the biological properties of connective tissue cells and extracellular matrix. He has conducted biomechanical studies on tendons and fibrocartilage and the tissue response to cyclic compression, and has published several peer-reviewed papers. Steve teaches Neurofascial Manipulation at PNWSM.

Mike Hamm, LMT


Michael Hamm (license #MA 21821), LMT CCST, maintains a full-time bodywork practice focused on orthopedic injury and trauma recovery. He teaches anatomy, research literacy, and neurofascial bodywork in Seattle and around the US. Mike is a Trustee for the Massage Therapy Foundation and co-chair of the Foundation's Best Practices Committee. He believes that we're witnessing a powerful moment in the history of integrative medicine, and is trying to help bodyworkers take part in the conversation. When not practicing or teaching, Mike plays music in a Seattle band. To learn more about Mike's work, see

Tanya Hughes, LMT


Tanya Hughes is a Licensed Massage Therapist (license #MA 17537), certified in The Arvigo Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Massage, which focuses on skillful and heartfully informed bodywork. Her approach is solidly grounded in over a decade of study in soft tissue bodywork, anatomy & physiology, yoga, meditation, breathwork, and more. A believer in the healing power of consciousness through touch, Tanya focuses on inspiring increased body awareness and self-care as a pathway to optimal well-being. 

Benjamin Lee, LMT


Benjamin Lee (license #MA 21698) graduated from the Brian Utting School of Massage, where he also began teaching. He then taught for several years at the Cortiva Institute. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music (classical guitar), and loves to weave in a sense of artistry into his work. Benjamin also has certifications in Craniosacral therapy and Reflexology, with additional studies in injury treatment, fascial release, and neuromuscular and positional release techniques. Benjamin maintains a private practice in downtown Seattle. He is a self-proclaimed geek in all things bodywork, and he brings his genuine passion, knowledge, and fun into his teaching. His work is deeply informed by his own profound healing experiences through bodywork and movement therapies. He thinks exploring what it means to be an embodied human being is a kick in the pants, and he loves to dance and hike barefoot, and to feel the earth beneath his feet with all 33 joints in each foot.

Yasuo Mori, LMT

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The practice of authentic Shiatsu was handed down to Yasuo Mori by his mother in Nagasaki, Japan.  Over the years he has developed his own unique style of treatment by incorporating his understanding of Japanese folk medicine, macrobiotics, exercise and massage.  Yasuo is licensed in the state of Washington (license #MA 481) and has been a member of the AMTA since 1983.  He has taught Shiatsu extensively at numerous colleges, massage schools and private workshops across the Northwest.

Pat O’Rourke, LMT


Pat O’Rourke (license #MA 2029) has been an LMT since 1984 and taught at the Brian Utting School of Massage in Seattle for 20 years. Her focus is on structural work, injury assessment and treatment, craniosacral work, and resolving pain, trauma, and discomfort.

Pat trained and certified as a teacher with Ben Benjamin for injury assessment and treatment; studied muscle energy technique with Rich Phaigh for further understanding of neurological holding and spinal dysfunction; is certified in the biodynamic model of craniosacral work, which adds a component of treating the nervous system and trauma; and is certified in structural integration through Tom Myers's KMI program. Her many years of teaching cadaver anatomy helped to round out the technical specificity necessary to understand the physical puzzle of the body.

Josie Parkhurst, LMT


Josie Parkhurst (formerly Ives) is an LMT (license #MA 19544), insurance billing specialist, and business student who wants massage practitioners to get paid for every massage they do. Since graduating from the Brian Utting School of Massage in 2004, she has always been excited about being an insurance provider, and is skilled in both the administrative and clinical aspects of accepting insurance. She has been a practicing LMT since 2004, and now provides billing and consulting services to LMTs all over Washington State through her business, Empower Billing. She has taught billing classes for the AMTA in 2014 and 2015, and now offers her "Getting Paid" insurance billing classes on an ongoing basis through PNWSM. Josie is currently working toward a B.A. in Business Administration at the University of Washington, and is learning more ways to bring her business and organizational skills to the massage therapy profession every day.

Yulia Rylkova, LMT


Yulia studied Thai massage at the International Training School for Thai Massage in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and privately with several Thai teachers in Chiang Mai. She has taught Thai massage continuing education classes in Russia since 2007 and in Seattle since 2012. Yulia teaches introductory and advanced Thai techniques for the floor, as well as Table Thai techniques that can be easily integrated with other bodywork modalities. Yulia integrates her mastery of Thai massage with an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and myofascial lines, making her work more useful and accessible in everyday practice. Yulia is licensed in Washington (license #MA 60303936), and is NCBTMB-certified (provider #811343).

Matthew Sorlie, LMT


Matthew Sorlie (license #MA 12386) has been licensed to practice massage in Washington since 1999. He holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and Education from Hampshire College and received his massage education at the Brian Utting School of Massage. Combining his love of structure, function, and education, he has spent the last 20 years practicing bodywork, craniosacral therapy, and teaching at both the licensing program and continuing education levels. His current passion is exploring how to integrate bodywork and movement with what we know about the nervous system, using this to help his clients reduce the inputs that cause dysfunction and pain, and start functioning and moving more optimally.

Lavon Watson, LMT

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Lavon (Butch) Watson (license #MA 10917) is a graduate of the Brian Utting School of Massage and has practiced massage since October 1997. Before becoming a massage therapist, he served as a police officer for over twenty years, spending much of his career as an investigator or supervising the investigations unit with the Redmond Police Department.

Since 2008 Lavon has combined his background in law enforcement with his knowledge of professional bodywork to try and understand issues related to illicit massage and how it affects the massage profession as a whole. He has used that knowledge to push for changes that will better distinguish legitimate business models from those who use massage as a front for illegal activities, and he now teaches a one-of-a-kind ethics class to better inform therapists about these issues and help them become safer in their practices.