Instructor Bio & Course Description

Course Descriptions

Using Movement & Stretching in Clinic & Sports: Lower Body – 8 CEs
Instructor: Hal Richardson, NCBTMB #1625
Upper & lower quads, hip flexors, glutes, piriformis, hamstrings, IT band, lower leg, and feet.
Demonstrations include precautions, anatomy, & movement review with plenty of hands-on practice. You will be shown proper positioning with intuitive, precise movements in prone, supine, & side-lying positions, as needed.

Using Movement & Stretching in Clinic & Sports: Upper Body – 8 CEs
Instructor: Hal Richardson, NCBTMB #1625
Neck, shoulder, upper & lower arm, pec major, and pec minor.
Demonstrations include precautions, anatomy, & movement review with plenty of hands-on practice. You will be shown proper positioning with intuitive, precise movements in prone, supine, and side-lying positions, as needed.

Hands & Body Mechanics

Instructor: LaDonna Ward, NCBTMB #1613
LaDonna has witnessed numerous careers cut short from the effects of therapists with inadequate knowledge of how to protect their hands and body.
Topics discussed in this class:

  • Table height
  • Using body weight
  • Lunging & sinking instead of pushing & straining
  • “Tools” to save the thumbs and fingers
  • How to use your center for power

We will be implementing those techniques using Swedish and deep tissue strokes.

Deep Tissue/Neuromuscular Therapy: Anterior & Posterior Shoulder
Instructor: LaDonna Ward, NCBTMB #1613
Topics discussed in this class:

  • Definition of neuromuscular therapy
  • Description of trigger point charts, especially concerning the shoulder girdle and its anatomy
  • Anatomy review of bony landmarks and muscles, including origin, insertion, and action
  • Common shoulder pain and the referred pain associated with possible issues and dysfunctions

There will be a demonstration of deep tissue techniques on the anterior and posterior shoulder and how to treat trigger points once found.
Attendees will practice techniques on one another.

Register Now!


Hal RichardsonNCBTMB #1625, is the owner and president of Athletic Performance Enrichment Specialists (APESquad) in Birmingham, Alabama. Throughout his career he has specialized in sports massage, which is accentuated by his experience as Massage Therapist (MT) on medical staff with USA Track & Field at international competitions including five world championships & two Olympic Games (London 2012, Rio 2016), as well as supporting USA National Swimming Team as MT on medical staff. Hal has also been a massage therapist for both University of Alabama (Track & Field) and Auburn University (Swimming) for 10 years, including Conference & National Championships, as well as serving other universities and athletic programs.

Hal graduated from Alabama School of Massage Therapy in March 1996. That same year, he trained with Aaron Mattes for the first time, and has since assisted Mr. Mattes numerous times, teaching Active Isolated Stretching & Advanced Active Isolated Stretching. He is also certified in kinesiology taping by Rocktape. Hal was one of the first 15 people worldwide to complete Holistic Therapist Training in Amino Neuro Frequency by Amino Academy founder, Dr. Mickel H-G Hoff in 2017.

In addition to his training and experience, Hal also served as a member of the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy from 2000-2009. He also spent 19 years as a nuclear electrician at Alabama Power Company in his previous life.

LaDonna Ward, LMT, CNMT, NCBTMB #1613, is a licensed massage therapist in Alabama. She is trained in the St. John theory of neuromuscular therapy, and has trained under neuromuscular educators such as Dr. Leon Chaitow, Judith Delany, Dr. Ben Benjamin, Jean Alland, Paul St. John and Janet Travell. LaDonna has been passing on a combination of the teachings from these amazing educators and knowledge from John Barnes for 26 years.

She was one of the first four graduates from the Alabama School of Massage Therapy in Birmingham in 1991. She joined their faculty with the very next class as a bodywork instructor. Teaching bodywork has been her passion, and it shows when she is in front of a classroom.

Along with Stephanie Poss Dobbins, LaDonna started the Birmingham School of Massage, Inc. in 1998. Together with long-time faculty member James Jones, they have been passing along their skills to more than a thousand massage therapists.  A portion of their program consists of 180 hours of deep tissue techniques and neuromuscular therapy.

Practicing in Birmingham and Cullman, LaDonna’s clientele mainly consists of chronic pain referrals. General practitioners, neurosurgeons, chiropractors and rehab centers have found referring this type of neuromuscular therapy has made a large difference in the recovery period from surgeries, injuries, fibromyalgia, and referred sensations such as tingling, numbness, dull aches, & sharp pains.

LaDonna first became a member of the American Massage Therapy Association in 1991. She has been a volunteer for the AMTA going on 19 years, and has volunteered in almost every capacity possible on the state level, serving on the board and committees. She was awarded the Alabama Meritorious Award in 2013. Since 2014 she has served on the national level, teaching and helping other chapters learn how to be leaders in their state. She now serves on the AMTA National Board of Directors.

Register Now!