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Hinton salon owner broadens offerings with massage therapy certification

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LEWISBURG, WV (NEWS RELEASE) —  As a mother, business owner and massage therapy student, Hinton resident Megan Billups is a busy woman, and she’s excited about being able to bring a new service to her salon, Studio M.

“It’s about working smarter, not harder if it’s something that you really want to do,” Billups said.

She will complete her massage therapy certification at New River Community and Technical College’s Greenbrier Valley Campus in May, as part of the first graduating class of the program. Billups was also in the college’s first class of cosmetology graduates.

She had been interested in cosmetology as a child, but family members discouraged her because of the potential for long hours and the time on her feet. While she loved her job in a medical facility, she needed a change.

“I made a New Year’s resolution in 2012 to go for it, and I quit my job. I started out in a vocational program but then transferred to New River CTC because I could study cosmetology and earn an associate degree,” Billups explained.

When the college launched the massage therapy program in the fall, she enrolled to add to her credentials and her salon’s offerings.

“I’ve had a good experience in both the cosmetology and massage therapy programs,” Billups added. “The instructors are knowledgeable and supportive.”

The two-semester massage therapy program teaches anatomy and physiology, kinesiology and special types of massage including Swedish, Eastern, deep tissue, and sports massage and pathology. Students also learn to communicate clearly with clients and other members of health care teams, evaluate symptoms and manipulate muscles and other soft body tissue along with how to provide clients with guidance in self-care techniques.

“Megan was a wonderful student then and is a wonderful student now,” said Instructional Specialist for Cosmetology Lisa Carter. “She’s very dedicated.”

Not only is Billups a New River CTC graduate and current student, but she also employs two other cosmetology graduates at Studio M.

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