Maya Edwards came to massage therapy after an introduction during a high school cosmetology class. “I was really interested in how massage can play a part in healing the body. That’s when I decided to go to massage therapy school at Virginia College.”
As a licensed massage therapist since 2011, Maya enjoys catering to the needs of her clients.
“Each session is different, so being able to understand what they need versus what they want is what I’m most passionate about. I appreciate their gratitude for doing my job well.”
In her spare time, Maya attends cosmetology school at Lawson State Community College and is busy with her family: husband Amariah, son Amir, 4, and son Levi, 1. “I absolutely love being with my boys. Amariah is originally from St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, so we hope to travel there soon.” Maya also enjoys watching movies, particularly rom com and action films and eating American and Italian food.
Anne Lofton Kendrick
After graduating from Furman University with a degree in Spanish and a passion for languages, Anne Lofton Kendrick found herself at a crossroads. “I love languages and being able to make connections with people,” she explains. “But teaching wasn’t for me.”
Her Spanish fluency came with a lot of volunteer opportunities, but nothing that was considered a career. Then Anne Lofton remembered how she enjoyed massage and looked into the program at Birmingham School of Massage. “I fell in love with the practice and am still so passionate about it,” she says. “I love the hands-on nature of massage and seeing how much better people feel after their time with me. It’s wonderful to have a job where people are happy to see you and even happier after.”
A Mountain Brook native, Anne Lofton is a voracious reader, loves yoga and enjoys spending time with her two cats.
When Sha’ Doss talks about being a massage therapist, the excitement in her voice bubbles over. After a series of unfulfilling warehouse jobs, Sha’ knew it was time to return to school. A quick assessment sent her on a career path of therapeutic massage. “I knew I loved animals and I loved people, so massage seemed like the perfect fit,” she explains. “Since I received my license in 2012, I have continued to expand my knowledge on what I love to do.”
Known professionally as Doss, Sha’ enjoys deep tissue massage the most. “There’s nothing like getting down into those muscles and relieving that deep pain,” she says. “No one likes to hurt, so I start out with moderate pressure until the muscles begin to relax then I get into that deep tissue.” Sha’ also loves watching someone’s tension leaving their body. “That alone is a stress reliever for me,” she says. “Helping someone have a better day or sleeping at night is the part that is the most rewarding.”
In her spare time, Sha’ enjoys her bengal cat, Tabitha, being outside, exercising and being with family.
Aqua is a Birmingham Native and graduate of Virginia College in Massage Therapy!
Her favorite type of massage is a blend of deep tissue and relaxation massage. "I want the client to get the most out of it...results! What was bringing discomfort feels much much better."
Her "me" time is spent with family or on her own curling up to a murder mystery novel.
As a professional musician and teacher for more than 25 years, Robbie Jackson understands the importance of her fingers. Becoming a massage therapist gave her the ability to use her hands in a different, yet similar, way. “My goal is to provide every massage client with techniques that will specifically address each on’s needs,” she explains. “There is definitely a correlation between music and massage for me.”
Robbie has a bachelor’s degree in communications and music from UAB, graduated from the Massage Therapy Institute in Decatur, Ala., and is currently working on a Sports Massage Certification. Robbie uses many modalities, including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Pre-natal, Hot stone, Neuromuscular and Lymphatic Drainage.
In her spare time, Robbie enjoys fishing and playing the piano.
Ian Hull is a big fan of symmetry and paying close attention to detail. Whether it’s as a sushi chef where he creates and plates beautiful food or as a fire spinner, his favorite pastime, Ian loves to present things as perfection. “From the moment I saw someone spinning fire with poi—Kevlar balls on Kevlar rope that are dipped in kerosene and set on fire—I knew I wanted to learn how to do that,” Ian explains. “It’s artistic and exemplifies symmetry and perfection.”
Since graduating from the Birmingham School of Massage, Ian is thrilled to be working with his clients to help them feel better. “I have always been good with my hands and can feel how to make someone’s pain decrease,” he says. “Massage therapy is a way for me to help people—I get as much out of it as my clients.”
After he lost his previous employment during the pandemic, Marlon Ford took advantage of the opportunity he had and returned to school. “I’d been a massage enthusiast on the receiving side and completely believe in the power of touch communication,” he explains. “I have extensive experience in Healthcare Management, including physical therapy acute care, home health orthopedics and acute care rehab hospitals, so this was a natural fit for me.”
Because it was too late to begin the term at a Birmingham massage school, Marlon enrolled at USCI in Fort Collins, Colo. “I was able to do a lot online with local mentors and then finished up my clinical training in Colorado,” he says. “I spent six weeks there completing my final 200 hours of hands-on training under four very different instructors.” Although he still lives in his hometown of Barney, Ala., Marlon now practices in the Homewood office several days a week.
In his spare time, Marlon enjoys his family, especially his son and grandson, the outdoors and spending time on the water.
I enjoy the beginning, middle, & end of each massage! I like actively listening to the client before the massage, checking in through out the massage, & the results & the feedback after the massage.
I’m a also yoga instructor. I love one on one & group instruction. And I’m a birthing doula. So I enjoy helping with many different types of therapies. And on Sundays I host a radio show “Issa vibe show” on Smash Bros Radio.
Jevashia graduated from Birmingham School of Massage.
She enjoys most being able to help folks feel better by the end of their massage. She loves the blend of incorporating both Swedish & deep tissue massage; using deeeper work on problem areas, but being thorough throughout!
When she’s got free time, she loves being near water! She loves the beach, the lake, and rivers. She’s excited near water to hike or just rest and relax.
Eleanore graduated from The Southern Institute of Healing Arts in Temple, Arizona in 2006. She loves assisting her clients by allieviating their chronic pain and stress as well as heping them recover from injury. The tools of massage empower her to help her clients go out and live more healhy productive lives.
Her personal aims are to spend more time doing yoga and hiking, as well as to spend fun family time anywhere near a river!
Markita graduated from Gadsden State Community College in 2010 in massage therapy.
She loves being in the wellness industry because her goals always involve helping people. She gets the most joy in her work when seeing folks with chronic issues experience routine relief. "I can see my work helping these people from day to day."
When asked about what she does with her free time, she responds," I love begin with my kids most of all. I also love traveling anywhere and everywhere!"
Jessica Peterson has always enjoyed art, but her canvas came in the form of wedding cakes.
As a pastry artist for a dozen years, she expressed her creativity through icing. In the
background was the desire to do something medically related, so when she found massage
therapy, she finally knew she had found her purpose.
“I love what I do,” Jessica explains. “I enjoy helping people in chronic pain regain some
semblance of normal life.” A graduate of Birmingham School of Massage, she has been a
licensed massage therapist for five years.
In her spare time, Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband James and their daughters,
Ariel and Emory, playing video games, camping and participating in small groups at Church of
Ally Mann enjoys working with her hands—from drawing and painting to arts and crafts, she loves creating. She also uses her hands to heal as a massage therapist. As an athlete, Ally understands the benefits of massage and how it can overall impact the body. “Massage combines perfectly with my desire to work with athletes,” she says. “I love to make my clients feel better and to know that I did it using my hands.”
Because she has experience recovering from injuries herself, Ally knows firsthand how important massage can be for the recovery process. “I was in a car accident in 2015 and massage helped my injuries and allows me to be able to exercise,” she says. “I’ve witnessed what it has done for others as well as myself.”
Ally specializes in Classic Relaxation, Mellow Mama, Active Recovery, Knot So Painful Anymore and Hurts So Good massages and has been a licensed Massage Therapist since 2014. She is a graduate of Heritage College in Columbus, Ohio, and has lived in Alabama since 2018.
Massage Therapist Tyra Barganier began her career as a social worker, but the case load and impersonal nature of the work frustrated her. That led to a new calling and Tyra graduated from Birmingham School of Massage in 2021. “I’ve also been studying reiki—energy healing—for the last three years,” she explains. “During the massage, I pull positive energy and give it to my client so they will feel better and understand that I care about them.” Knowing she has made her clients feel relief, both mentally and physically, is her goal.
In her spare time, Tyra enjoys entertaining, crafting specialty cocktails, yoga and meditation. She also is an avid lover of nature, crystal mining and gardening, a hobby she picked up during 2020.
Jonathon graduated from Birmingham School of Massage.
When asked what types of massages he enjoys, he explains, “I enjoy Swedish massage that helps folks therapeutically relax. Absolutely. My favorite type of massage involves more neuromuscular trigger point work sensing more intuitively where pain is triggering from.”
When Jonathon is not working as an LMT at Birmingham Wellness, you might find him teaching yoga or coaching energy work at other wellness offices in Birmingham.
Melynda graduated from Atlanta School of Massage in 2005. She practiced massage in Georgia & Florida before establishing herself in Birmingham in 2010.
Melynda describes her passion for massage…“What I enjoy most is bringing a fresh perspective to each client. Whether the client has had little or much experience with massage, if I can bring something new that they see as valuable, that’s what excited me the most!”
Melynda also enjoys time with her family, going to new places and trying new food! “Bring on the Greek food. That’s my favorite. Feta, lamb, fish, hummus; I love it all.”
C. J. Wade
C.J. Wade has been literally dancing through life since she was a child—and it was this love for the arts that set her in motion to eventually become a licensed massage therapist. “I noticed that on stage artists were exceptional, but backstage they would be in a lot of pain, taping up ankles and wrapping wrists,” she says. “It touched my heart and I knew that I some point I would do something to help them.”
C.J. received an undergraduate degree in communication management and a master’s degree in social science education from UAB. She has been licensed since September 2018 and spends her free time choreographing various projects. “I love how massage can help people be a better version of themselves,” C.J. explains. “They have less stress, function better and have some time for themselves.”
Using her dance background, C.J. focuses on stretching and deep breathing with all her clients. “As a dancer, I am very aware of my body and how it moves,”she says. “I pay attention to my clients as well and enjoy watching them change over time.”
Kate graduated from Red Mountain Institute in 2000.
She has worked as an LMT at a chiropractic office and other masage establishments, and as a massage therapist instructor at Virginia College for 10 years! She’s passionate about creating a relaxation and therapy blended approach to each massage session.
Outside of the massage office, she enjoys hiking and cooking with her loved ones.
Brittany graduated in 2008 from Rising Spirit Institute of Natural Health, in Marietta, Ga…now a part of Gwinnett College.
She is certified to instruct & has certifications in Assisted Stretching, Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Neuromuscular Therapy, Pregnancy Massage, Reflexology, Sports Massage , TMJ Dysfunction treatment.
She has a passion to use healing touch with the intent to assist in the improvement of one’s overall wellbeing and their ability to perform physical tasks.
In my free time she gets massages and other self-care services. She enjoys spending time with my grandparents, as well as fishing, traveling & marathon training.
My favorite style of massage is a blend a trigger point and deep tissue. I find so much value talking a client through their intake form and devising ahort term pain solutions and a long term pain management plan. The goal being to alleviate acute pain initially and maintain a massage plan to help keep this afire pain from returning.
Ultimately I’m motivated to help my clients continue to do what they love to do.
When I have free time I enjoy working out, hiking, jiujitsu traveling, & reading Anime & Manga.
Brittany graduated from Virginia Collage in 2018 in massage therapy.
Her favorite 2 things about being a massage therapist are connecting routinely with consistant wellness clients and helping folks with chronic pain experience relief. "These two things brighten my day the most!
“With each client I am always trying to find that ballence between a clinical massage approach and a relaxation massage; so that a massage session is therapeautic and comfortable as much as possible.
Outside of my massage work, I enjoy spending time ourdoors with my kids. Paintball, hiking trails, really anything outside.”