Rita Woods – ACE Educator

Rita Woods

Educator Info

  • Joined ACE in 2017


Bachelors of Science from Southern Illinois University in Workforce Education and Development with a specialty in vocational training and education.
Associates of Science from Florida State College in Medical Laboratory Technology.
Diploma in Massage Therapy from the Mandarin School of Chinese Medicine, Jacksonville, FL.

Work History:

Private Practice Medical Massage 2004-present.
I worked in my own office from 2004-2013 in Dahlonega, GA. In 2013 I moved to Asheville, NC and started working as an independent contractor at Hawk Ridge Therapeutic where I have successfully performed over 12,000 massages.

I received my certification as a Complete Decongestive Therapist (CDT) also known as a lymphedema therapist, from the Norton School of Lymphedema through a Duke University continuing education program.

I also specialize in vacutherapy, myofascial release and am a certified kinesiology taper. A large part of my practice clientele is physician referred.

Writer, Educator and Speaker:

I was a columnist for Massage Today Magazine from 2008-2012 and was the chief pathophysiology researcher for the textbook, Step by Step Massage Therapy Protocols for Common Conditions published by Lippincott in 2011. McGraw Hill Publishers hired me to peer review a national massage therapy study guide in 2007.
As a continuing education instructor at Florida State College, I served on the Deans Committee for new program development. I created the massage therapy program at Florida State College in Jacksonville, FL from conception to final approval by the State Board of Education. I was the only bodyworker invited to speak at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine in Las Vegas in 2005.

My company, Darien Lourde, Inc was a continuing education provider for massage from 2002-2012 which included 2 instructors who provided continuing education for Massage Envy in Arizona. Each year I continue to travel and teach through the massage therapy program at John A Logan College in Carterville, IL. I teach a variety of continuing education courses there including kinesiology taping, Vacutherapy, reflexology, medical massage and the Rejuvenating Facelift Massage technique.
In addition to my medical and massage experience, I taught emergency preparedness and basic firearms at the University of North Georgia from 2009-2012. This university was also known as the Military College of Georgia

Special Talents:

I have the ability to  transform complicated information into a presentable format that is understood by the general population. My teaching skills are superb. I have a passion for presenting information that is useful and practical.

Military History:

As a Naval Reservist from 1985 through 1993, I served in the medical corp including managing a blood bank in a 500 bed fleet hospital in the Middle East during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I am a combat veteran and have received numerous medals and awards throughout my military career.

Rita’s Upcoming Workshops

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Latest Articles by Rita Woods

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