Linda Toomey, BAS, LMT, BCTMB
My journey with massage therapy began at an early age due to the influence of my loving great-grandmother from Berlin, Germany. What is considered holistic health living today was the normal way of life for her back then. Natural healthcare for her included gardening, herbs, healthy nutrition, daily exercise, chiropractic care, reflexology, and self-massage techniques. Great-grandmother would even collect the rainwater to wash her hair with it. Moreover, you would see her running around the house with a teaspoon of honey to remedy our ailments. I have memories of when Great-grandmother would self-massage her hands and arms while explaining to me how important this was for her self-care. This is when the ‘seeds’ of massage therapy benefits were planted in my heart.
Though it was years down the road, these ‘seeds’ eventually had an opportunity to grow and blossom in my life when I attended Finger Lakes School of Massage (FLSM) in Ithaca, New York. There were days at massage school when it seemed like a dream come true that I was actually being trained for a career in massage therapy. The FLSM motto, “A Journey Worth Taking,” has proven to be so true. Since FLSM graduation in 1998, I am still on this journey today.
In 1999, I became a licensed massage therapist in New York. In addition to the state license, it was important for me to achieve the National Certification through NCBTMB, as this credential represents a higher level of commitment, professionalism, and credibility. Furthermore, NCBTMB is a force for quality education within the industry. Education is a major asset when it comes to professional development and qualifications. With a goal to always continue my massage therapy education, I decided right from the start to be under the NCBTMB umbrella for continual guidance and support. Later when NCBTMB evolved into Board Certification, there was no doubt for me to achieve this professional credential that aligns massage therapy with other health professions. Another important factor at the beginning of my career was becoming a professional member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).
My mission statement has always been to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Moreover, I am passionate about health and service in the community. Optimal wellness, pain management, stress reduction, and quality of life are the focus of my practice. Teaching is at the core of my heart, and I have committed myself to gain quality education in preparation for becoming an instructor and writer in the profession. Throughout the years, knowledge and experience have been gained in a variety of modalities through NCBTMB continuing education. Among the highlights of my career include traveling to Thailand and China for professional studies in the profession.
As time went by, I witnessed the growth of holistic health care in our society. This caused me to develop a vision for integrating holistic wellness therapies into my massage therapy practice. I decided to evolve myself as a practitioner into a greater capacity to include additional holistic therapies, such as wellness consulting, aromatherapy, herbalism, iridology, and nutrition. This pursuit led me to study through the American College of Healthcare Sciences (Portland, OR). In 2016, I graduated with honors with an Associate Applied Science Degree in Complementary Alternative Medicine and Aromatherapy Specialization. I believe that the future for massage therapists may include integrating several holistic therapies into their practice for offering additional services for clients’ quality of life.
Most recently, I graduated from a degree program at Siena Heights University (SHU) partnered with NCBTMB. Through commitment and diligence, I achieved the Bachelor Applied Science (BAS) Degree in Massage Therapy and Professional Communication Minor — Summa Cum Laude Honors. Moreover, the doors have open for me to continue studies at SHU in the Graduate College for achieving the Master of Arts Degree in Higher Education Leadership. The education at SHU is comprehensive and adds another valuable dimension into my professional education and experience as a massage therapist. I am grateful to NCBTMB for making this opportunity possible for massage therapists who are seeking a degree in higher education within the profession. The BAS Degree in Massage Therapy positions me a step closer to my goal of becoming an approved provider of education in the profession.
There have been many opportunities to be proactive in the profession by serving in a variety of roles for NCBTMB and AMTA. Having served on many committees and projects, I have met amazing massage therapists from all over the country. Every massage therapist has a wonderful story to tell — this is truly a wonderful profession. The following list outlines my service to the massage profession as well as awards and honors that have been received.
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
2011 – Current NCBTMB Ethics & Standards Committee
2011 – Current Subject Matter Specialist: Item Writing / Review Committee
2013 NCBTMB Standard Setting Committee
American Massage Therapy Association
2012 – Current AMTA School Awards Operational Committee
2012 – 2014 AMTA House of Delegates Operations Committee
American Massage Therapy Association – New York Chapter
2015 – Current AMTA-NY Chapter Convention Committee Chair
2010 – Current AMTA-NY Chapter Convention Committee
2015 – 2017 Board of Directors: 3rd Vice President
2010 – 2017 Community Service Massage Team Volunteer & Team Leader
2010 – 2012 Office of Delegate
2010 – 2011 AMTA-NY Chapter Unit Identity Workgroup Chair
2009 – 2012 Southern Tier Unit Chair
Awards and Honors
December 2017 Summa Cum Laude Honors; Siena Heights University, Adrian, MI
April 2017 TEDDI Award; Camp Good Days & Special Times, Inc. Branchport, NY
February 2017 Delta Epsilon Tau International Honor Society; ACHS. Portland, OR
September 2014 AMTA National Outstanding Volunteer Group
School Awards Operational Committee; Denver, CO, Convention
April 2010 AMTA-NY Chapter Outstanding Unit; Lake Placid, NY, Convention
The future is bright for the profession of massage therapy. Having the opportunity to live and learn is one of mankind’s greatest privileges. In pursuit of education, we not only give ourselves a quality of life, but we also enrich the lives of people around us. NCBTMB has been at the helm to make the way for massage therapy education that will make all the difference in our careers and for the betterment of our communities. As I am currently preparing to launch a new business, ‘Sanctuary’ • Holistic Health & Wellness • Massage Therapeutics • Education, I am grateful to NCBTMB for being there with me all the way!