Adventures in Chair Massage

The Ariana Institute’s Advanced Massage Therapy Techniques Manual is part of a series of massage manuals that are designed to help deepen the knowledge of current massage therapists and introduce new massage therapists to the world of massage and bodywork. The Advanced Massage Therapy Techniques Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at, including:

  • Chair Massage
  • Sports Massage
  • CranioSacral Therapy
  • Deep Tissue Upper Body
  • Deep Tissue Lower Body
  • Addiction Recovery and Therapeutic Massage 

This manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of advanced therapy modalities and techniques beneficial for your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about chair massage featured in the Advanced Massage Therapy Techniques Manual.


Chair massage has taken me to some amazing places during the course of my career. I’ve offered chair massage in the grand ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel, where I massaged the ladies of the Texas State Legislature; in a quaint bed and breakfast in the Texas Hill Country where we offered chair massage in a room that was painted floor to ceiling in an Alice In Wonderland motif; and at a benefit for Latina mothers that was held in the garden at an amazing plant shop in East Austin, where I offered chair massage between the roses and the hibiscus flowers. I’ve also been part of chair massage teams in more traditional environments like high tech companies, schools, medical offices and wellness fairs. During some of my chair massage adventures, I’ve been a contract employee, and at other times I’ve been a team leader or organizer of the chair massage event. It’s been an interesting journey. It’s taken me to places that I normally not would go and has paved the way for me to meet people I would not normally meet.

I designed my first chair massage class after a good friend of mine contacted me and said that she wanted to give away her chair massage gig backstage at the Paramount Theatre for a group of musicians she really loved. She felt like she didn’t have the technical skills to offer chair massage, even though she was highly skilled in many other modalities. I could have easily taken over her chair gig; however, I wanted to empower her because she was such a wonderful person and a good friend. So I encouraged her to accept the chair massage opportunity. I made arrangements for her to get together with me and a group of other massage therapists who were skilled in the art of chair massage. We exchanged chair massage sessions with her and we wrote down a protocol for a chair massage session. We all offered to continue trading with her until her confidence level was high enough that she could feel comfortable offering chair massage for her favorite musical group at the concert. She went, she loved it and had a fabulous time. We all rejoiced in her success.

Not too long after that informal teaching experience, I began developing and designing a nationally approved chair massage continuing education course. I went online and purchased several Earthworks Portal Pro massage chairs so my students would not have to bring their own chairs to class. I created a course notebook that included information about techniques, protocols, anatomy, body mechanics and marketing. I created a chair massage video to accompany the online course. From the very beginning, the chair massage CE class has been, and continues to be, one of my most popular classes. I love facilitating students’ progress as they hone their skills and deepen their knowledge. When chair massage opportunities arise in the Austin area, I contact my star students first and let them know that they would be welcome to work with me, or work independently, as the job requires. Chair massage can be a wonderful door opener in terms of marketing and it can also be a fantastic income producing opportunity in its own right.

Ariana Vincent was awarded the 2015 CE Provider of the Year Award by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. She is CEO of the Ariana Institute and a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor whose classes are accepted throughout the United States. Ariana is also a Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Honoree and author of the Ariana Institute’s therapy manual series available on Amazon.

To read the foreword of the Advanced Massage Therapy Techniques Manual, visit
The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Chair Massage, Sports Massage, CranioSacral Therapy, Deep Tissue Upper and Lower Body, as well as Addiction Recovery and Therapeutic Massage CE courses can be accessed on the Ariana Institute’s YouTube Channel at
To order your copies of the Ariana Institute’s Advanced Massage Therapy Techniques Manual, visit
For additional information about the Ariana Institute and to register for online continuing education and MTI courses visit

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB
Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB


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