November 16, 2021 | Spotlight

Spotlight: Alison M Branfoot Dinardi LMT, BCTMB

Please provide your full name, current location, and current job title.

Alison M Branfoot Dinardi, LMT, BCTMB, Rockville Maryland.

Provide one fun fact about you.

I am training my 6-month old puppy to be a Canine Good Citizen so I can take her with me to work and interact with my shut-in clients and those in residential communities.

What are your hobbies?

Acrylic pour painting, dancing at music festivals and gardening.

How did you discover the massage therapy profession? What motivated you to pursue massage therapy as a career?

When I came to the USA from England, I met a fellow nanny who was in Massage School.  I was one of her guinea pigs and decided that I too would be interested in working with people in this way as I have always had a fascination with human anatomy and biology.

How did you develop your passion?

I went to PMTI for my basic training and from there worked at a salon for about 6 months before I had to stop work during a twin pregnancy. I had 2 more children in the following 4 years and during that time I took on a few private clients in my home. In 2001 I went to Austria to study Vodder MLD and then worked for a plastic surgeon performing my MLD skills on post face lift and liposuction patients. In my private practice I started to use this gentle technique with my senior clients and I discovered I love working with seniors and have since built up a private practice where almost all my clients are over 80 years old.

How has your massage career evolved?

I have created a totally mobile practice where I provide massage to my senior clients using my table and, where they are less ambulatory, hospital beds and recliner chairs. I am licensed in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia although the bulk of my clients are within a 30-minute drive of my home office. It gives me great pleasure to provide relief for elderly bodies while listening to their stories when they are so inclined. For some of my independent clients in their own homes I am one of the few visitors they have and I am not averse to helping change a light bulb, unscrew a jar or help in some other way which they find invaluable.

When did you first become NCBTMB Certified?


Why did you elect to become NCBTMB Certified?

It was, and still is, a great way to show dedication to the profession and demonstrate a level of skill which clients can rely upon.

Why have you maintained your NCBTMB Certification all these years?

As above!

How has NCBTMB Certification elevated your career?  What doors did it open for you?

It has helped me establish my credentials as a well-trained and professional Massage therapist.

What would you say to a fellow massage therapist contemplating Board Certification?

I would encourage any massage therapist in training to take the Board Certification exam and keep up the certification. It will stand you in good stead for your whole career.

How has your practice and/or employment been affected by COVID-19?

Hugely! I have been out of work for the duration. Not only were massage therapists prohibited from working for a long spell in general but as most of my clients are in the most vulnerable populations, I needed to stay away to keep them healthy. Residential homes have been closed even to family and so I have not seen any of those clients at all.  With the vaccination program picking up I hope to be able to see some of my regular clients again soon.

If you are not working or unable to work during the pandemic, what are you doing during this time to prepare yourself for future work?

I signed up with an online CEU provider for unlimited classes for a year and am getting far more CEs than in any previous year!  I also took an online webinar training run by The NCCDP (National Council for Certified Dementia Practitioners) and have become certified in that field. I have been calling my clients to give them a friendly ear and have sent five rounds of homemade greeting cards during this time. I have even been able to help out delivering medications and food to some.

What would you suggest a fellow massage therapist do during this time to prepare for future success?

This is a great time to study for the Board Certification exam and there are so many opportunities to learn online in your newfound free time, however much you wish you could be working and seeing your clients. I certainly miss mine!

To apply for Board Certification, click here.

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