Jill Ruttenberg, AmaTierra Co-Founder and Wellness Director


jill office amatierraLooking for the Best Wellness Retreats for Single Women? AmaTierra is here to help. AmaTierra is Costa Rica’s leading best wellness retreats center and specialize in providing the best wellness retreats for Single Women.

Jill Ruttenberg is a professional nutritionist, certified practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and professional clinical herbalist registered with the American Herbalist Guild. She is also an experienced massage therapist, energy healer and Hatha yoga instructor. The Wellness Center at AmaTierra is Jill’s living dream, the fruition of decades of training, practice and experience in natural medicine and the healing arts.

Jill has been a student and practitioner of holistic health practices for over 30 years, studying first under the tutelage of prominent holistic expert Joel Penner, OMD, and then receiving her Master Herbalist Certification from East-West School of Herbology in Santa Cruz, California in 2000. She completed further clinical practice with Dr. Michael Tierra, OMD to eventually gain professional status from the American Herbalist Guild (AHG), of which she is a professional member and former council member. Jill’s most recent learning adventure led her to China in 2016 to fulfill her dream of completing an advanced certification program led by doctors of Chinese medicine in China’s public city hospitals.

Jill is a colleague of Dr. Andrew Weil, and participated in weekly patient conferences at the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Medical Center before creating the Wellness Center at AmaTierra. She created AmaTierra Integrative Herbs to share her proprietary herbal tinctures with our guests and the global natural health community.

At AmaTierra, Jill uses nutritional counseling, Traditional Chinese Medicine assessment methods and herbal formulas, as well as western and rainforest herbal tinctures and supplements to help people manage health issues through natural and dietary means.

A massage therapist and energy healer for nearly 30 years, Jill has high standards for the massage practitioners who work at AmaTierra and she supervises the wellness services. Guests can be assured of professional treatment and safety with knowledgeable hands when they receive massages and body treatments at AmaTierra’s spa.

Yoga has been an integral part of Jill’s life for over 40 years and she has been teaching a gentle Hatha style yoga since 1999. AmaTierra employs other versatile, English-speaking yoga instructors who are adept at adjusting classes to suit the physical needs of our guests. Private yoga classes are also available. To learn more about Jill’s philosophy of yoga and to help you determine what is the best style of yoga for YOUR body, read this article.

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Psychotherapists & Horse Reflection Experts, Mark & Marsha Friedman


AmaTierra’s holistic approach to healing incorporates therapies for mind, body and soul. With the inclusion of professional psychotherapists Mark & Marsha Friedman to our wellness staff, we offer guests the opportunity to explore a new dimension of healing. Mark and Marsha, who have been married for 35 years, work together in creative, experiential and joyful ways to help clients create powerful and lasting change in their lives.

Mark and Marsha are available for group or private sessions with individuals, couples or families. They help people re-frame negative thinking and learn compassionate communication skills to deepen relationships and transform engrained patterns. The end result is a healthier self image and more joyful interactions with others. Guests feel comfortable in the presence of this nurturing couple, and much is accomplished in a very short time.

In addition to providing private sessions, the Friedmans also offer an Equine Experience with the horses at their picturesque ranch. People and horses come together for a unique, reflective experience to learn more about the deeper levels of one’s true self, and to manage life’s challenges in new and different ways.

Viviana Valverde, Certified Massage Therapist

Massage therapist Viviana is a native of nearby Puriscal, is married with two wonderful sons. She decided to become a massage therapist because “I love to help people with various physical problems and I like to improve the health and wellness of every person I touch.” Viviana is trained in some 20 modalities including sports massage, spa treatments, lymphatic massage and reflexology. Her cheerful attitude shows that she loves to enjoy every moment of her work and her life. In her free time, Viviana likes to walk, watch movies and spend time at the beach.

Randall Murillo, physical therapist

Randall Murillo is a physical therapist, graduate of Santa Paula University and currently enrolled in nursing school at the University of Costa Rica. We recommend Randall for our guests who experience back or neck discomfort or have recently been injured or rehabilitated. Sessions are generally 1.5 hours.

“​In the last years, I have dedicated myself to try to reduce the pain medication intake of my patients by applying alternative pain relieving techniques like ​therapies which use electro-current, massage, ​heat and taping.
I also ​help patients with exercise and stretching techniques and give advice ​for adaptations in training and ​sports.”