It seems a veil is lifting and our culture as a whole is beginning to see massage therapy in its true light. We as a society are deepening our respect and appreciation for the complementary therapies. I am grateful to have found my vehicle for serving the world via the broad, expansive conduit of the massage therapy profession.
I grew up in a family of doctors, nurses, teachers, and writers. Through these roles models I was influenced at an early age to live a life of compassion and caring.
My first introduction to a holistic and alternative health lifestyle was in 1979 when, while I was senior at the University of Texas, I worked at the precursor to Whole Foods Market, a small health food store called SaferWay. I began learning about the importance of caring for our bodies, minds and spirits.
In 1979 I graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. and a B.F.A. in Fine Arts with a major emphasis in photography. I pursued my dream in the professional photography world for a decade or so. I still work part-time as a professional photographer and enjoy it very much.
While working as a photographer, I often photographed Austin Area Holistic Health Association (AAHHA) events. It was through these events that I met many people who would influence me to follow a new career path in massage therapy.
In 1981 I remember receiving my first massage in a soft and gentle environment in the quaint Clarksville neighborhood in Austin. The experience was unforgettable and life changing. The massage planted a seed that propelled me into a lifelong career in massage therapy.
In 1982 I became seriously ill with respiratory and digestive distress and fatigue. It was during that period of illness that I took the opportunity to re-evaluate my life. I was drawn to seek and allow a different way of being to emerge.
The wellness center I chose to assist with the restoration of my health was owned by two chiropractors I had met when I was photographing an AAHHA event. With their help, I overcame the illness and was back on my feet in a matter of months.
One day in 1982 the chiropractors opened a new facility, the Family Wellness Resource Center. It was here that I began training to become a professional massage therapist. I gained a lot of valuable knowledge about anatomy, physiology, debilitating congenital issues and traumatic injuries related to accidents. I began my new career almost immediately.
Then in 1985 the State of Texas passed legislation requiring licensing for massage therapists. I was fortunate enough to be included in the first group of massage therapists to become licensed in Texas in 1986.
In 1999 I saw an opportunity to change course after nearly two decades of studying and practicing massage therapy. I obtained my certification as a massage therapy instructor and continuing education provider in order to teach continuing education classes for massage therapists. This change provided me with an opportunity to stay in the massage community in a different and more autonomous role. The first course I offered was Practice Building and Marketing for the Texas Association of Massage Therapists.
I created the Ariana Institute website with the help of an amazing webmaster who built the site to best serve the needs of my students and clients. Becoming embedded in the technological realm was one of the best career moves I have ever made. The convenience of having all course descriptions and treatments on the web allowed me to manage my time much better and to reach a worldwide audience.
2000 was a red-letter year for me. I completed the complex and lengthy process of preparation that culminated in my being granted the esteemed designation of Board Approved Continuing Education provider by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
Ten years after the state of Texas mandated hands-on Continuing Education (CE) credits for license renewal, online CE courses were approved. Being one of the first Licensed Massage Therapists in Texas and holding certification as a Continuing Education Provider and Massage Therapy Instructor, I knew destiny was telling me once again what I had to do. I was happy to begin offering online CE courses on January 1, 2009. For additional information about these courses, go to www.arianainstitute.com.
Since I am an approved CE provider through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Florida Board of Massage and many other state boards, massage therapists throughout the United States can avail themselves of my CE course offerings in person and online in order to satisfy their state-mandated and NCB-mandated renewal requirements as well as to broaden their repertoire and increase their marketability.
In May of 2010 I was delighted to be interviewed by an esteemed member of the massage community known as "The Massage Nerd," Ryan Hoyme, for his online Massage Nerd Show. Our topic was "Continuing Education for Massage Therapists." That 96-minute interview is available here.
From 2010 to 2012 I was fortunate to continue to deepen my knowledge base by attending advanced massage classes that included ethics, energy work, Peter Levine's "How the Body Releases Trauma," seminar, Compassionate Touch with Lisa Curran Parenteau and Cheryl Victor, Tracy Walton's oncology massage, Gil Hedley's anatomy course, NCB's ethics course, and two MD Anderson Hospital's Integrative Medicine Oncology Training courses taught by Sat Siri Sumler. I also served as an assistant in the 2012 oncology training at MD Anderson.
One very special pinnacle of my career was the receipt of the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame award in 2013. I honed my massage and bodywork skills, as well as my professional skills, to become one of the industry's many talented leaders. I am honored to be recognized by my colleagues in the massage community.
Looking back on my career as a nationally certified Massage Therapy Instructor and Licensed Massage Therapist, I attribute much of my success to being resilient in the face of obstacles, surrounding myself with supportive motivational peers, and keeping a positive perspective.
With that in mind, I leave you with a quote that I love to share at the end of my continuing education courses: "Remember to focus on the healing power of touch and the importance of its presence in our lives and in the lives of those we touch."
Ariana began practicing massage therapy 32 years ago and began teaching 14 years ago. She now teaches over 33 massage therapy continuing education courses, including an online massage therapy instructor's courses and courses on deep tissue massage, prenatal massage, and soothing trauma.
Ariana Vincent's credentials include: (1) Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor and Continuing Education Provider (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork), (2) Texas Certified Massage Therapy Instructor and Continuing Education Provider (Texas Department of State Health Services, Massage Therapy Division), (3) Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas (Texas Department of State Health Services, Massage Therapy Division), and (4) Board Certified Massage Therapist (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork).
Explore the Ariana Institute website to register for over 30 massage therapy continuing education classes or to expand your personal knowledge regarding massage techniques, mindfulness, self-care, stress reduction, meditation, practice building and marketing.