Inspiring massage education and wellness for the body, mind, and spirit

About Ariana

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, BCTMB It seems a veil is lifting and our culture as a whole is beginning to see massage therapy in its true light. We as a society are deepening our respect and appreciation for the integrative model of healing. I am grateful to have found my vehicle for serving the world via the broad, expansive conduit of the massage therapy profession.

I grew up in a family of doctors, nurses, teachers, and writers. Through these roles models I was influenced at an early age to live a life of compassion and caring.

Since I am an approved CE provider through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage, the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration, the Florida Board of Massage and the majority of other state boards, massage therapists throughout the United States can avail themselves of the Ariana institute’s CE course offerings in person and online in order to satisfy their state-mandated and NCB-mandated renewal requirements as well as to broaden their repertoire and increase their marketability.

2013-2015 – A few very special pinnacles of my career were as the receipt of the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame award in 2013 as well as the 2015 Alliance for Massage Therapy Education CE Provider of the Year Award.

2010 – I was delighted to be interviewed by an esteemed member of the massage community known as “The Massage Nerd,” Ryan Hoyme, for his online Massage Nerd Show in May of 2010 Our topic was “Continuing Education for Massage Therapists.” That 96-minute interview is available here.

2009 – Ten years after the state of Texas mandated hands-on Continuing Education (CE) credits for license renewal, online CE courses were approved. I was happy to begin offering online CE courses on January 1, 2009.

2000 – I completed the complex and lengthy process of preparation that culminated in my being granted the esteemed designation of Board Approved Continuing Education provider by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. I also created the Ariana Institute website with the help of an amazing webmaster. Becoming embedded in the technological realm was one of the best career moves I have ever made. The convenience of having all course descriptions and treatments on the web allowed me to manage my time much better and to reach a worldwide audience.

1999 – I saw an opportunity in 1999 to change course after nearly two decades of studying and practicing massage therapy. I obtained my certification as a massage therapy instructor and continuing education provider.

1985 – 1986 – The State of Texas passed legislation in 1985 requiring licensing for massage therapists. I was fortunate enough to be included in the first group of massage therapists to become licensed in Texas in 1986.

1982 – I became seriously ill in 1982 with respiratory and digestive distress and fatigue. It was during that period of illness that I took the opportunity to re-evaluate my life. I was drawn to seek and allow a different way of being to emerge. The wellness center I chose to assist with the restoration of my health was owned by two chiropractors I met when I was photographing an AAHHA event. With their help, I overcame the illness and was back on my feet in a matter of months. One day in 1982 the chiropractors opened a new facility, the Family Wellness Resource Center. It was here that I began training to become a professional massage therapist. I gained valuable knowledge about anatomy, physiology, debilitating congenital issues and traumatic injuries related to accidents.

1981 – I remember receiving my first massage in 1981 in a soft and gentle environment in the quaint Clarksville neighborhood in Austin. The experience was unforgettable and life changing. The massage planted a seed that propelled me into a lifelong career in massage therapy.

1979 – My first introduction to a holistic and alternative health lifestyle was in 1979 when, while I was senior at the University of Texas. I worked at the precursor to Whole Foods Market, a small health food store called SaferWay. I began learning about the importance of caring for our bodies, minds and spirits. Later in 1979 I graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. and a B.F.A. in Fine Arts with a major emphasis in photography. I pursued my dream in the professional photography world for a decade or so. While working as a photographer, I often photographed Austin Area Holistic Health Association (AAHHA) events. It was through these events that I met many people who would influence me to follow a new career path in massage therapy.

Looking back on my career as a nationally certified Massage Therapy Instructor and Licensed Massage Therapist, I attribute much of my success to being resilient in the face of obstacles, surrounding myself with supportive motivational peers, and keeping a positive perspective.

With that in mind, I leave you with a quote that I love to share at the end of my continuing education courses: “Remember to focus on the healing power of touch and the importance of its presence in our lives and in the lives of those we touch.”

Ariana Vincent’s credentials include:

  • Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor and Continuing Education Provider (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork)
  • Texas Certified Massage Therapy Instructor and Continuing Education Provider (Texas Department of Licensing and Registration, Massage Therapy Division)
  • Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas (Texas Department of Licensing and Registration, Massage Therapy Division)
  • Board Certified Massage Therapist (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork)

Texas Licensed Massage Therapist Number: MT023951

Texas Continuing Education Provider Number: CE 0024

Texas Massage Therapy Massage Therapy Instructor Number: MI 01024

Florida State Board of Massage Therapy Instructor No: 85-1808492

National Certification Board Approved Provider Certification Number: 443427-00

National Certification Board Practitioner Certification Number: 302861-00


Wes Fletcher

Wes Fletcher

Operations and Marketing Director at Ariana Institute (2015 – present)

Wes is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s of Science in Digital Media Production. In his free time he enjoys hiking in the Greenbelt, camping, being crafty, reading, and honing his skills in natural and holistic healing practices. Wes aspires to open his own naturopathic and integrative healing clinic for holistically-inclined practitioners and patients.

Stephanie Friedersdorff

Stephanie Friedersdorff

Administrative Assistant (2018 – present)

Stephanie is a licensed massage therapist who graduated from the Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy. In her spare time she enjoys knitting, running, HTML/CSS learning, and reading a good fantasy novel. One day she hopes to obtain her PhD to help further educational resources for massage therapy and its many modalities.


Patrick King

Webmaster (2015 – present)

Patrick is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. He is an accomplished digital artist and designer, and has had his art displayed in galleries locally and internationally. His online portfolio can be seen on his website

Palak Agarwal

Palak Agarwal

Assistant Marketing Intern (2015)

Prior to joining the Ariana Institute, Palak graduated from Amity Global Business School in Mumbai, India, with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She also has a post-graduate degree in Marketing Management. She believes that whether a person is eighty or twenty, learning keeps people young.

Dolly Garcia

Dahlia “Dolly” Garcia

Website Design Intern (2015)

Dolly graduated with a Bachelor’s for Applied Art and Science degree from Texas State University in addition to working full time as a Pre Analytical Laboratory Supervisor at the Austin Diagnostic Clinic. Her internship project included updating and redesigning The Ariana Institute’s website. Her contributions to the ongoing success of the Ariana Institute are immeasurable.

Jason Bratcher

Jason Bratcher

Ariana Institute Educator and Sacred Lomi Bodywork Practitioner & Instructor (2015 – present)

Jason  brings over seventeen years of bodywork experience to the table. He graduated from the Lauterstein Conway School of Massage and subsequently discovered Lomi Lomi (the Hawaiian way to massage the body, mind and spirit). Jason sum up Lomi Lomi in two words: “transformational” and “beautiful.”

Michael Laird McIver

Michael Laird McIver

Ariana Institute Educator, Certified Advanced Rolfer and Massage Therapy Instructor (2014 – present)

Michael teaches structural integration, myofascial release and deep tissue massage techniques to licensed massage therapists. He has been a professional Rolfer since 1973 and received his Advanced Rolfing training from Dr. Ida Rolf in 1974. In spreading awareness of deep tissue bodywork and myofascial release, Michael has continued to promote a high standard of touch that is both clinically effective, mindful of the client, and honoring of the whole person.

Nicole Nelson

Nicole Nelson

Editorial Manager and Operations Director (2014 – 2015)

Nicole graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Rhetoric & Writing. She joined the Ariana Institute team after returning from an internship in the film industry in Los Angeles. She was a valuable asset on many levels, including extensive editing of the Ariana Institute’s series of massage manuals. In the future, Nicole hopes to form her own production company in order to create increased opportunities for the film industry.

Ashley Horton

Ashley Horton

Administrative Assistant (2013 – 2014)

Ashley was a brilliant and conscientious member of the Ariana Institute team. In addition to organizing complex travel plans, updating and maintaining student records and preparing financial spreadsheets, Ashley worked in collaboration with other Ariana Institute associates organizing and copy editing over 12,000 pages of the Ariana Institute’s series of massage manuals. She is a significant contributor to the ongoing success of the Ariana Institute.

Sean Patrick Harkins

Sean Patrick Harkins

Webmaster, Operations Manager, Technical Writer and Book Designer (2012 – 2014)

After graduating from the University of Texas in 2012 with a degree in Rhetoric & Writing, Sean began working for the Ariana Institute. He subsequently gained a professional certification in audio engineering and audio production from the Recording, Radio & Film Connection, based out of L.A. He then gained an additional professional certification from the University of Texas at Austin in Health Information Technology and Health Informatics. He currently supports a large physician network, working as an Applications Analyst, HIT Initiatives, for Altus Health and the Altus Accountable Care Entity (ACE), while working as a professional musician and audio engineer after hours. You can find his music here:

Sean P. Harkins’ ambient, electronic experimental album has been released!

You can listen and download for free here:

Zaara Raza

Zaara Raza

Administrative Assistant, Video Production Assistant and Photographer (2012)

Zaara distinguished herself through her ability to focus on the tasks at hand, come up with creative solutions, and see projects through to their successful completion. Her commitment and passion for her work was evident and her contributions to the ongoing success of the Ariana Institute are priceless. Zaara completed the University of Texas School of Nursing program and is currently working as a professional nurse in Austin.