Athena was founded in Bozeman, Montana by licensed massage therapists Nicole Kay and Amanda Martin. Over the course of their combined 33 years of professional experience, Nicole and Amanda became frustrated that colleagues living in the Northern Rockies had three inadequate options when it came to continuing education:
- travel far and wide to receive in-person instruction
- attend the few-and-far-between courses which rarely came to Montana
- settle for online courses, which fulfilled licensing requirements but provided few opportunities for professional growth
Wanting to provide high-quality instruction and professional development close to home, Nicole and Amanda set out on a path to bring massage therapy continuing education to Montana, and in 2018, Athena was born. Now, through the support of renowned instructors from across the US, manual therapists in Montana have access to courses across the state—from Missoula to Miles City and every major city in between.
Nicole Kay, Co-Owner
CSMS, LMT, MAT Specialist
Nicole Kay is a Licensed Massage Therapist in Montana and Washington, and a nationally certified Clinical Sports Massage Specialist. She received a BFA from the University of Washington as a student-athlete and began her manual therapy career in 1996 after graduating from Seattle’s Brenneke School of Massage. From there, she continued her education in graduate clinical sports massage and became a member of Washington State’s Sports Massage Team and the American Massage Therapy Association’s National Sports Massage Team. With a passion for sports medicine, she has worked with numerous amateur and professional athletes including members of the Seattle Sonics NBA team and the University of Washington’s collegiate programs. Currently, she supports student-athletes at Montana State University.
Giving back to the healthcare community has always been a focus of her work, and she has spent the last 22 years teaching Swedish Massage, kinesiology, anatomy/physiology, assessment, ethics, treatment-oriented techniques, and sports massage. At the legislative level, she was a member of Montana’s Bill Development Group Committee which wrote a bill to establish massage therapy licensure in Montana and was a member of the Government Relations Committee that helped pass the legislation in 2009. During this time, Nicole represented Montana at the American Massage Therapy Association Government Sessions.
Today, she is the owner of SOMA, Sports and Orthopedic Massage Associations in Bozeman, Montana and specializes in Swedish massage, neuromuscular techniques, myofascial release, lymphatic facilitation, and muscle activation techniques.