I am a massage instructor and instructor trainer who deeply enjoys engaging with professional massage therapists in educational environments. I am a certified massage educator with the AFMTE and a board approved continuing education provider with the NCTMB. My primary goal as an educator is to help massage therapists infuse focus and creativity into their practice by facilitating the discovery/rediscovery of their own innate talents and abilities.
I am fascinated by the processes of healing through mind-body connection. It was my first experiences with yoga in 1998 that sparked my curiosity and led me to a personal exploration of the healing path. The journey has taken me through massage school (2001) and into a career as a licensed massage therapist that has supported me through yoga teacher training, a university education and the beginnings of my teaching career.
I graduated from Blue Cliff School of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork in Gulfport, MS in 2001. I am a licensed massage therapist in the state of TN and a board certified massage therapist with the NCBTMB (2005). My first position as a licensed massage therapist was full-time in the resort spa environment where I was trained to complement my massages with a variety of hydrotherapy applications carried out in fully-equipped wet areas. I continue to personally enjoy and appreciate hydrotherapy as self-care to this day.
My earliest CE classes led me to complete Reiki Level 1 and Level 2 (2004 - 2005) with Mary McDaniel in Brentwood, TN and eventually become a Reiki Master/Teacher after training with Jane Abraham in Memphis, TN (2007). While I do not professionally practice energy work I do maintain a self-care practice of yoga, meditation and Pangu Qi Gong received from Master Ou Wen Wei (2016).
In 2008 I discovered my love for the practice and sharing of Thai massage. My first Thai massage teacher was Chuck Duff in Evanston, IL. followed by training with Tanya Sowards in Minneapolis, MN and Michael Buck in Delray Beach, Florida. I've continued my Thai healing arts training in the USA with Nephyr Jacobsen, Pierce Salguero, David Wells and Bob Haddad and in Thailand at the Sunshine School with Suriyan Punyafoo, Loi Kroh School Chiang Mai and with Therdchai Chumphoopong (Mac) and Pichest Boothumme. I am a Registered Thai Massage Therapist with the Thai Healing Alliance International (2019).
In 2012 I discovered that I also love the practice of ashiatsu barefoot bar therapy. I've completed the beginner, advanced and teacher training programs with Deep Feet instructor trainer Mary-Claire Fredette in Cincinnati, OH and founder Ruthie Hardee in Denver, CO (2013 - 2014).
In 2010 I left the day spa environment, started a private practice in Memphis, TN. I credit Thai massage, ashiatsu and my unwavering commitment to professionalism and professional growth for the continued success of my business.
I began a formal study of the mind and human behavior at the University of Memphis as an undergraduate majoring in psychology (2005). Somewhere along the way I became captivated by psycholinguistics, specifically language processing and how the language we use to talk about healing impacts the healing experiences we have (or don't have). I spent my last semester studying language at the University of Costa Rica and in 2010 graduated with a double major in psychology and Spanish. I immediately enrolled into graduate school and in 2012 completed a Master's Degree in English with an emphasis on teaching English as a second language, also from the University of Memphis.
I am a Certified Massage and Bodywork Educator (2019) with the Alliance for Massage and Bodywork Education and an Approved Continuing Education Provider with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (2009). I am a registered Thai Massage Instructor with the Thai Healing Alliance International (2019) and a 200hr kundalini yoga teacher under the guidance of Ravi Singh and Ana Brett (2014).
One of my first jobs before massage school was as a substitute teacher in the MS Gulf Coast public school system. From 2004 - 2013 I taught massage therapy school at Concorde Career College in Memphis, TN. I was involved with the creation and implementation of curriculum for every required course in the 735hr program. I have guided many massage students through the professional examination (NCTMB and MBlex) and state licensure application.
Hydrotherapy and Reiki energy attunements were some of the first CE courses that I taught after becoming an NCTMB Approved Provider. Thai massage and ashiatsu came next. I've written all curriculum for the Elevate Thai massage and ashiatsu beginner and advanced courses and certificate programs along with business, ethics and movement courses for massage therapists. I am also a teacher trainer and enjoy collaborating with other massage instructors on curriculum development projects. I also occasionally peer-review research articles for the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork related to Thai massage and Eastern healing arts.
“Ms Gaffney’s course motivated me to pursue Thai massage.”
- Andre’ J.