About LauraAllenMT

After 20+ years as a chef and restaurant owner, I had a mid-life crisis and decided to become a massage therapist. I started practicing massage in 1999. I am a graduate of The Whole You School of Massage, where I remained as the administrator and faculty member for five years before opening my own business.

I am the owner of THERA-SSAGE, a clinic and educational facility in Rutherfordton, NC. We offer massage therapy, chiropractic, and nutritional counseling.

I’m Board Certified in Massage Therapy & Bodywork, and an Approved Provider of Continuing Education under the NCBTMB. I’m a member of both AMTA and ABMP, a past delegate to the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, and a founding member of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. From 2005-2011, I was a therapist member of the North Carolina Board of Massage & Bodywork Therapy.

I’m the author of the Plain & Simple Guide to Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (2nd ed, LWW, 2009), One Year to a Successful Massage Therapy Practice (LWW, 2008), and A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Business, (LWW, 2011). Another book is co-authored with Ryan Hoyme, otherwise known as The MassageNerd. We have collaborated on a volume for massage therapy instructors, Manual for Massage Therapy Educators, with a Special Section for School Owners and Administrators. It was released in July 2012. $1.00 from each copy is donated to the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education.

I have also written Nothin’ Fancy: Good Food and a Few Funny Stories, which contains about 80 of my favorite recipes from my restaurant days and home cooking, and indeed, some funny stories…I had to wait until some of those people passed away to tell them. It’s great to laugh while you’re cooking!

My latest book is The Days Still Left, which was published in 2013. It started out as a tribute to Nina McIntosh, who was a friend and mentor to me. Nina was the author of The Educated Heart, the first ethics book for massage therapists to focus specifically on roles and boundaries. Nina finished the third edition of the book while she was suffering from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The book includes Nina’s journal about her illness. I was almost finished with the book when I would up in the hospital with pneumonia, and had my own realization that I might die. It spurred me to call the funeral home from the hospital and tell them my wishes, and that was the catalyst for my including sections on how to get ready to die. We all need to take care of that in our moments of health and wellness instead of leaving our loved ones to try to deal with it in their own moments of grief. It’s a book I really am proud of. 10% of the profits are donated to the ALS Association.


I am available for consulting with individual practitioners, group practices, massage schools, and organizations.  I have assisted a number of new schools with their initial start-up, including creating custom syllabi, lesson plans, policies and procedures manuals, and the initial paperwork needed for school approval and/or accreditation.

I’m on the visiting faculty for the Obus School of Healing Therapies in Leixlip, Co Kildare, Ireland, and the Board of Advisors for the Asheville School of Massage & Yoga.

I’ve been blogging about the politics of massage since 2007. Regulation, legislation, the activities of the professional associations representing massage therapy…all of that is important to me and I try to stay informed about it, and to inform my readers (along with a healthy dose of my opinion about it.) I am also an advocate for the evidence-informed practice of massage therapy and promote research literacy. When any school or AMTA Chapter who contracts with me to present my class on Using Research to Market Your Massage Therapy Practice, and at least one other class, my fee for the Research class is donated to the Massage Therapy Foundation.

On a personal level, I’ve been married for 21 years to my soulmate, Champ Allen. We have one furry child, Smokey Bear the Chow, and we reside in the mountains of Western North Carolina. I’m a musician and songwriter, have made numerous appearances in person, on public radio, public television, and have appeared on several recordings, including my own CD recorded with Hogwild, By the Light of the Moon (1999). I currently play in two different bands, Ramblin’ Fever (classic country) and CUZ (classic rock). I enjoy jamming with my friends, reading, writing, traveling, cooking, studying all things Irish, and have a full-fledged addiction to the Internet.

Thank you so much for your support. I appreciate it.