Rita Melissano, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Meditation, Reiki Training, Spiritual Retreats

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Rita R. Melissano, Ph.D. graduated from the University of Padua and was a Clinical Psychologist in Italy before coming to the United States. She has also received a doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT in 1990 and is currently practicing as such in both states of Illinois and Iowa. With almost 30 years of clinical experience, Dr. Melissano has worked with individuals, couples, families and groups of every socio-economic and ethnic background, spiritual belief, age and sexual orientation. She is a Clinical Member and an Approved Supervisor of AAMFT, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Melissano speaks Spanish, French, Italian, and English, some Mandarin Chinese and Modern Greek. She has traveled extensively and presented in international university settings and world congresses (e.g. China, India, Hungary, Norway, Ecuador). She has played multiple roles professionally as a speaker, workshop leader, educator (St. Ambrose University, University of Iowa) and a diversity trainer. As such, Dr. Melissano combines her theoretical and directly acquired knowledge of different cultures with her clinical experience and spiritual philosophy. Indeed, her spiritual philosophy permeates her entire professional work and personal life. Her knowledge and teachings of the diverse spiritual traditions and ancient healing practices have been an inspiration to her audiences. She is currently writing a book on the art of mindful and spiritual living. For almost 30 years of her life, she has engaged in a variety of meditation practices, as well as the practices of yoga and T’ai Chi. Dr. Melissano is a meditation teacher and also a certified Reiki Master-Teacher of the Usui Shiki Ryoho tradition and provides training in this field. When she was the executive director of Trinity Enrichment Center she created and organized two regional conferences on “Science and Spirituality” bringing awareness of holistic methodologies into health care practice to address body, mind, and spirit as one. She is often interviewed and consulted by local magazines and newspapers, and has been a frequent guest on live talk shows and local TV stations.

John Hawry, MA, MSN, BS, RN

T’ai Chi

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John Hawry began practicing T’ai Chi Chuan 25 years ago and has been teaching it for 18. He teaches both the short and long form of T’ai Chi Chuan as well as T’ai Chi for couples at the Satva Center. He began his career in Anthropology in 1974 at the age of 13 when he participated in his first archaeological dig in southern Illinois. He received his bachelors in Anthropology in 1983 from Illinois State University and his Masters in Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology at Black Hawk College for the last 19 years. He currently works as a registered nurse at Illini hospital and has recently received his Masters as Community Nurse Specialist from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is currently teaching in the nursing department at Black Hawk College.

Venerable Somnieng

Buddhist Education, Spiritual Retreats

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Somnieng became a novice monk in 1996 at the age of 16 and moved to Wat Damnak in 1997. He is called Venerable Somnieng in position as the Second Head Monk of Wat Damnak (Damnak Buddhist Temple) in Siem Reap Angkor, Cambodia since 2000. In 2005, he founded the Life and Hope Association (LHA) and continues to lead the Association as the Executive Director. In addition, he is head of the NGO Network in Siem Reap Province, deputy head of NGO advocacy network as well as a head of Social Service Network Against Child Labor and is a founding member of Siem Reap’s Rotary Club. 2002 to May 2005, he was a program manager of the Salvation Center Cambodia, where he worked on issues related to HIV/AIDS and as provincial monk core trainer on HIV/AIDS and drug prevention programs.

Dr. Harsha Mehta, M.D.

Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Ayurveda

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Harsha Mehta M.D. is a family physician practicing in Galesburg, IL for over 25 years. Prior to that she practiced for 3 years in Mumbai, India with her father and received training in Ayurvedic Medicine. She received training in Acupuncture starting in June of 2000, initially through the Academy of Pain affiliated with Stanford University; 2 years later through Helms Institute affiliated with UCLA and has been practicing acupuncture since late 2000. She received the Board Certification through the American Board of Medical Acupuncture in February 2006, and received training in Dr. Tung’s style as well. Dr. Mehta recently received training in Homeopathy through the CEDH this year and is incorporating homeopathy into her practice as well as Ayurveda. She has practiced Yoga for many years and trained in Kathak (North Indian) Style dancing and has had the good fortune to teach a few young children. She is also an avid gardener, painter and potter.

Dr. Shrikant Mehta, M.D.

Acupuncture, Homeopathy

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Shrikant Mehta M.D. has been a General Family Practitioner in the Galesburg area for the last 25 years. At present he is an active staff member in the Department of Family Practice at Cottage Hospital and also at OSF St. Mary Medical Center, both in Galesburg, IL. He received extensive Acupuncture training through the Stanford School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and also at St. Luke’s Hospital and Academy of Pain Research in 2000. He received additional training in acupuncture through the UCLA School of Medicine in 2003. He was certified by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture in February 2006 and is a member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncturists. He has been practicing acupuncture for over 8 years. Dr. Shrikant Mehta also received training in Homeopathy through CEDM and has incorporated it into his practice.

Gig Wisuporn

Thai Massage

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Gig began practicing Thai massage in 2000, beginning with facial massage using Artistry and Thai herbal treatments. Soon after she developed her speciality, foot massage. In 2002, Gig came to the U.S., practicing as a Thai masseuse in Augusta, Georgia. In 2004 she relocated to the Quad Cities, and currently manages “Crazy Wok” in Davenport, and “Tantra” in Muscatine. Gig offers her clients the deeply relaxing integrated practice of passive yoga, meditation, reflexology and acupressure as part of the Thai massage experience. She is certified in traditional Thai Massage (400 hours), foot massage (60 hours), herbal sauna and hot compress (100 hours) through the Udonthani School in Thailand. Gig’s family has practiced herbal healing for many generations. She offers traditional Thai massage exclusively through the Satva Center.