Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

Many of you already know I recently went to San Antonio, TX for a big training. I took what is formally called FasciAshi Fundamentals which is a big fancy phrase for more Ashiatsu barefoot massage training. What that means to you, I have new techniques to help you get out of pain!

It was a lot of very hard work, but I am so energized and proud to be bringing these new skills to my clients.

Enjoy the photo show!


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FasciAshi ashiatsu barefoot massage

So I’m going to be out of town for a few days this week getting my feet educated.

My feet are already pretty smart, but this is something new and I’m not one to shirk from a challenge. It’s new, but the same. It’s called FasciAshi. And even though I haven’t learned it yet, I’ve been talking to my Ashi sisters, the ones who created it and the ones who are a bit more unbiased, and I have to say that I am excited. If you’ve been in to see me lately you have probably heard all about it. If not, I would love to introduce you to this new style of Ashiatsu barefoot massage.

I’ll be home on the 23rd and  there are still appointments available for that week. Shoot me a text if you’re interested in trying out this new style of Ashi and I’ll get you on the schedule for after I return home.

If not, just stay tuned I’m sure I’ll have pictures and lots more to say about it when I get home!

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage Therapy is Decatur’s Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage Specialist!

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fireworks-768706_1920It’s New Year’s resolution time again. Maybe you’re one of the many who is making some changes this January. If so here are a few tips to keep a little perspective.
  1. Keep it simple. Drastic changes are harder to make than small ones.
  2. Start slow and build up steam. It takes a while to change habits, attitudes, muscles, etc.
  3. Be kind to yourself. Change is a process. If it were easy we’d just wake up and be different. It’s okay to fall off the wagon and begin again.
  4. Ask for help. If you get in over your head, ask a friend to help you evaluate your goals and gain a bit of perspective.
Good luck and let me know how it’s going for you!
Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage Therapy is Decatur’s Barefoot Massage Specialist!

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PuddlesAs I sit writing this morning, Hartselle Utilities is outside my house in the street with a backhoe digging up the pavement. What started out as a small wet spot in the pavement has grown into a substantial flow that has been watering the neighbor’s ditch and yard for a little over a week.

When I noticed it one morning and then again that afternoon I made a little note in my head to check the next day. It hadn’t dried so we put a call in to the utilities. It took them several days to get to it, all the while the problem was silently growing.

It put me in mind of how we deal with and what happens in our bodies. One day our shoulder has little catch, the next day it’s a little worse so we take something for it. Pretty soon we’re favoring it, using a muscle cream, and taking something a few times a day. Eventually we wind up at the doctor’s office for harder medicine and more invasive interventions.

But what if there was a way to avoid that whole chain of events? Oh, there’s always going to be pain in the body. We age, there’s only one way around that, but can regular maintenance slow it down? I think so. At least regular maintenance can help keep most of us from hurting as badly, as long or as often.

Bold claims!

But there is a bit of science to back it up. AMTA recently published this article on massage therapy’s role in pain management and the actual study they are referencing is published in Pain Medicine. Additionally, it’s long been known that the frequency of massage directly impacts the cumulative effects of massage. In English that means the more often you have massage the faster and more long-lasting the results.

So the next time you feel a little twinge, let that be your signal to check your schedule for your next massage. Don’t have a massage scheduled? Well then it’s time to call your massage therapist and get on his or her schedule! You’ll be doing your body and mind a great service. And while you’re there talk to them about an appropriate maintenance schedule.

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage is Decatur, Alabama’s Original Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapist!

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geranium-oil-infusionHarvest Moon Massage Therapy & Reflexology will be hosting a seminar on managing pain with essential oils on April 16th at 5 pm.

Please join us for this free education on using essential oils to manage pain. Anna Rickabaugh from Opelika Massage Therapy Center will be here to share her experience with essential oils and using them to manage pain.

Come learn the most effective oils to use to manage your pain!

Where: Decatur Healing Arts Center @ 1900 Flint Road, Decatur, AL
When: April 16th @ 5pm
Cost: FREE!
Please RSVP here!

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage Therapy is Decatur’s Wellness Destination!

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Alabama Massage Therapy LicenseThis question seems to be coming up more and more lately so I thought I would put together what I hope is a helpful guide to getting your massage license in the state of Alabama.

For Graduates of Alabama Massage Therapy Schools

For recent graduates the process is quite straightforward, you must receive your diploma or certificate, take and pass a national exam, purchase liability insurance, and then apply for a state license. Numerous documents proving your credentials will be required. Those are spelled out in the application itself.

Your instructors and administrators from massage school should be a great help in getting your application package ready.

For Massage Therapists Moving to Alabama

For massage therapists moving to Alabama who wish to become licensed the process may be a bit less straightforward, especially if you have been a therapist for a long time, the state you’re moving from doesn’t require licensure, and/or you never took a national examination.

If you currently hold a license in another state and you took the NCTM(B) or MBLEx exam and passed then you should request an application for a license, fill it out and submit it. Unless you have a significant difference in educational hours, I suspect your application will go through pretty easily. In the case of a large difference in educational hours, I recommend documenting all your continuing education along with associated hours to send with your application.

If you’re reading this article because you have been a therapist for a number of years, you don’t have a license from your current state, and/or you never took the NCTM(B) or MBLEx, let me put your mind at ease right away. It is possible and you probably won’t have to take the national exam to get your license here.

According to the Code of Alabama, Title 34. Professions and Businesses, Chapter 43. Massage Therapists, § 34-43-9. Application for license; educational requirements, paragraph b,

(b) Notwithstanding the requirements in subdivisions (1) and (2) of subsection (a), the board may license an applicant if the applicant is licensed or registered in another state, which, in the opinion of the board, has standards of practice or licensure that are equal to or stricter than the requirements imposed by this chapter.

So that’s good news! Yay! Take a deep breath and know you can do this.

Now let’s get down to the business of how to go about getting licensed if you are transferring from a state where you weren’t required the minimum educational hours, you didn’t have a license, or you’ve been a therapist for fifteen or twenty years and never took a national exam.

Here’s a jumping off point for getting started with this process:

  1. Request an application for an Alabama massage therapy license
  2. When it arrives, fill it out as best you can
  3. Provide as much of the required documentation as you can
  4. Include a copy of your liability insurance
  5. Include a copy of any licenses or registrations you hold in the state you are moving away from*
  6. Include a copy of your resume or a letter outlining your qualifications, work experience, and total number of hours of initial education and continuing education you have completed

*If you don’t have a license or registration because the state you’re moving from doesn’t require or provide it, I recommend doing a very thorough job of providing documentation on your initial education including hours required, years worked as a practicing massage therapist, and a list of all the continuing education including hours earned for each. A couple of references from massage school instructors and peers also would not hurt in this case. 

At this point you may be thinking I am making this sound easy in a somewhat terrifying sort of way. It is actually just a process. And while it seems like a lot all at once, by working through the process a step at a time and being organized, we can reduce a difficult, frustrating and, let’s face it, scary proposition to a somewhat less stressful situation.

So let’s all take a deep breath and get ready to work this process. More than likely it’s going to take several days (maybe weeks) to get all the documentation and information together to apply for your Alabama massage therapy license. Use the list above as a starting place and add to it as you think of specific documents you want to include in your application package. And then every day try to tick one thing off the list. Pretty soon your package will be ready to put in the mail and hopefully you haven’t pulled all your hair out.

After mailing your application, wait a few days then call the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy. They may or may not be able to confirm that your application has arrived. Regardless, have a conversation with the person answering the phone and anyone they may transfer you to about your application and what you are trying to do. They should be able to advise you on any further action you might need to take. Add any actions you need to take to your list. Write down that person’s name on your list so if you have to call again you can ask for this person and not have to start all over with someone new.

Expect for your application to be reviewed by the executive director of the board. Someone from the state board may call and ask clarifying questions. You may be asked to provide more information. If so, provide it. Then take a deep breath and get ready to wait. This part of the process could take a while.

I would advise you not to be afraid to call periodically (no more than weekly) to check on the progress of your application’s review process. So many people I talk to are afraid to call the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy and I don’t know why. They are actually all quite friendly and knowledgeable.

I hope this article has been helpful at relieving some of the anxiety involved in getting your Alabama massage therapy license. If you found this helpful or have more questions, let me know down there in the comments and I will do my best to find the answers.

Forms and requirements to apply for an Alabama massage therapy license can be found on the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy website.

***Please note that at the writing of this article 4/2016, there is a statement on the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy Requirements page that says,

The Massage Therapist License requirements are … and be certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

I have confirmed with a representative of the state board that certification (Board Certified) with NCBTMB is not a requirement. This is an unfortunate wording for their requirement to take and pass a national massage therapy examination. Their website is in the process of being updated to reflect that they will accept the MBLEx and delete the language associated with certification by the NCBTMB.

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage Therapy is Decatur’s Only Master Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapist!

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BrokenFingerI was recently approached by a client with this question about massage and broken bones. My initial reaction was, “No way!” But then with a little more thought and research I reasoned that while it would be nice (and much cheaper, less painful, easier, and great for business!) to rub away a break, massage therapy can indirectly help the healing process when bones have been broken.

How Massage Helps Broken Bones

Let’s talk about the healing process for a minute. It starts as we breathe oxygen into our lungs. Our lungs allow the oxygen to dissolve into our bloodstream. Blood then delivers the oxygen to our cells. After the cells have used up the oxygen, they spit out all the by-products of the healing process into the interstitial fluid between cells. The lymphatic system then sweeps them up and transports them through the lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes and eventually out through your eliminatory system. This is a gross oversimplification of the miracle of life, but you get the gist.

Applying the healing process to broken bones it would look something like this. Cells and all the things they make up, muscles, tendons, bones, etc., heal when they are bathed in oxygen. So in order to heal, blood (and oxygen) must reach cells in the area that has the fracture. That oxygen must get used up in order for healing to occur and the lymphatic system has to do its job taking out the trash to keep the area from swelling and squeezing out the possibility for fresh, oxygenated blood to enter. Thus, it only makes sense that the goal of massage therapy in respect to help heal broken bones is to promote and restore optimal blood and lymphatic flow to the area of injury.

What if you have a broken bone and you’re in a hard cast?

You might think massage therapy can’t help, but lymphatic drainage can help reduce swelling and decongest the region around the fracture even when you’re in a cast. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. Certified manual lymphatic drainage therapists are trained to ramp up the lymphatic system. And a busy lymphatic system reaches parts of the body that the therapist can’t touch thus reducing swelling, removing cellular debris and promoting healing. So even if you are in a cast, a massage therapist certified in manual lymphatic drainage can definitely help you along your healing journey.

After you’re out of the cast massage therapy can help in a more direct manner. Muscle atrophy, stiffness and sub-functioning joints can all benefit from an appropriately tailored massage. Delivering a good dose of blood and oxygen via massage and lymphatic drainage to the injured area will be one of the best things about breaking a bone (after the cast coming off, that is).

What you can do to help heal broken bones

  • Eat healthy, nutritious foods – This gives your body the nutrients and building blocks to make the needed repairs
  • Move as much as you can within the guidelines of your medical advice – Get your blood moving so your cells can do their jobs and get you fixed up, also movement helps combat stiffness and gets you going faster and easier after the more restricted healing period
  • Breathe deeply in a clean air environment – Give your blood plenty of good oxygen to deliver to those hard working cells
  • Meditate! – Since you’ve been forced to slow down physically, why not take some time to give your brain a break too?

What to watch out for

  • All massage therapists are not lymphatic drainage therapists. Find someone who is certified in manual lymphatic drainage. This is important.
  • Massage therapists claiming you don’t need to see a doctor for a suspected broken bone. Run/hobble away!
  • Any other ridiculous claims. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

And so now you know how massage can and can’t help when you’ve broken a bone.

Be well, my friends!

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage Therapy is a Certified Holistic Manual Lymph Drainage Therapist!

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