School History


Donda opened a holistic center named “Gentle Healing” where she and other professionals taught various modalities in the healing arts to the general public.


Donda began the venture of creating a 250 hour massage therapy program which she taught in her basement.


Donda expanded her program to a 520 hour massage therapy program and opened the Gentle Healing School of Massage. Donda expanded the business by opening a wellness spa – The Gentle Healing Wellness Spa – that offered a modest selection of services like hydrotherapy and skin care services along with massage therapy.


Due to continued growth, Donda purchased an 1853 Victorian farmhouse that became home to the Gentle Healing School of Massage and the Gentle Healing Wellness Spa.


Gentle Healing’s curriculum was enhanced to a 600 clock hour massage therapy program, giving its students a more detailed and thorough education. Donda set her plans into motion to expand the Gentle Healing School of Massage by developing a 5,500 square foot facility to be built on the Victorian property. This new facility was scheduled to be opened January/February of 2008.


In February, Gentle Healing’s 600 clock hour massage therapy program, became accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).


In the summer of 2008, after years of planning and development, We opened the Gentle Healing Educational Center on the Gentle Healing Grounds. This Center now houses the entire Massage School experience along with Continuing Education classes. The Center is 5500 square feet and like the Spa, offers a Victorian charm to the atmosphere. The Center also offers larger classrooms, an extensive library, school store, and plans are in place for a meditation labyrinth.


A 1,000 hour program was researched and developed which would allow graduates the eligibility to sit for the New York Licensing Exam and work in New York. The program was approved by the Department of Education in November and ACCSC in December and plans were made to offer the program in 2011..

Owner History

Donda Kraus Sternberg began massage school in 1987. Upon graduating in 1988, she began a full-time practice in massage therapy, and she continues to work as a massage therapist today.

Throughout her career, Donda received additional education pertaining to the healing arts in several areas, including: Advanced Medical Massage, Advanced Polarity, Master Teacher in Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Eastern and Western Meditation, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, and Stress Management Programs. Donda is also a certified Infant Massage Instructor.

Donda went on to study Gestalt Therapy and world religions, and attained her Masters in Spiritual Counseling.