A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH has been issued for Austin, Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Houston, Lee, Madison, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker, Waller, and Washington Counties until 8pm. Severe thunderstorms are possible with large hail and strong, damaging winds being the main concern. A brief, isolated tornado threat cannot be ruled out, as well.
A College Station woman is using agape touch to rejuvenate the body and mind. Laura Ann Grymes is a massage therapist, but there is something that sets her apart from others. Grymes was born blind.
Her impairment though has not hindered her success.
"It's totally doable," Grymes said.
Numerous challenges could have kept the massage therapist from reaching for the stars, but they didn't.
Last spring Laura Ann signed up with Healing Handz Massage Academy in Bryan, and after five months of training and exams, she received her license in September.
"It was a challenge," Grymes said. "I had a lot of friends and my mom to encourage me and cheer me on along the way. I think in school probably the most challenging part were learning the anatomy and physiology."
Laura Ann had to use her hands to memorize the bones and muscles in the body.
"Their sense of touch is much more tuned in," Susan Hartzog, the director at Healing Handz Massage Academy said. "They're much more sensitive so I think they make excellent massage therapists."
Hartzog said Laura Ann was an ideal student.
"She is a very good massage therapist and that is not just because of her visual impairment, she is a very conscientious person," Hartzog said. "She is dedicated, she is courageous, she jumps in there and really puts her all into it."
It was at Healing Handz, Laura Ann learned to use her hands to heal.
"I think the blindness has helped me have a stronger more intuitive sense of touch," Grymes said.
She runs her business like any other, relying on technology. Her computer is voice activated, repeating what she types.
And whether it's during a client consultation or session, her hands let her see the world.
She is now encouraging others to do the same.
"It was overwhelming at first, but I would say anything that they want to do, to take that dream and go with it," Grymes said.
As she encourages others, Laura Ann continues to learn and grow, reaching dreams she will never be able to see, just feel.
Laura Ann graduated from Texas A&M in 1991 with a degree in elementary education.
Now, she offers various services including Swedish massage and deep tissue massage. You can reach Laura Ann at Agape Touch Therapy, 979-680-0022.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.