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45 Marketing Tips for Massage Therapists

Marketing your massage therapy practice requires an understanding of the value you provide, getting in front of the people who need your services, and letting them know about it. We have compiled a list of 45 marketing tips for massage therapists to help build your practice. The great thing about this list is that you can pick and choose the marketing tips that make the most sense for you. You certainly don’t have to do all of these but if you implement a few a month you will be set up for success. Over the next few weeks we will dive deeper into these tips to give you further insight on best practices to optimize your marketing strategy.

45 Marketing Tips for Massage Therapists


  1. Create a Mission Statement.
  2. Create a Massage Business Plan.
  3. Create policies and procedures that will support you and help you make better business decisions including a cancellation and no show policy.
  4. Create social media accounts for your massage therapy practice.
  5. Create a business card.
  6. Write a letter about what you do and send it to everyone you know and businesses around you.
  7. Offer discount packages.
  8. Create a rewards program.
  9. Create a vision of your ideal massage business.
  10. Create a vision of your ideal client
  11. Give presentations on stress, massage, or other health conditions.
  12. Purchase a domain name (NameCheap).
  13. Create a website (Use Fiverr, or 99 Designs).
  14. Use your website to educate your clients.
  15. Set up an online appointment system.
  16. Create a newsletter with a sign-up form on your website to collect people’s names and email addresses. (MailChimp)
  17. Send regular newsletters.
  18. Post to your social media pages for your massage therapy practice once a day.
  19. Find leaders in the massage therapy industry and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration.
  20. Create a short video explaining the solutions you provide and put it on your website via YouTube.
  21. Do a thorough client intake form so that you can provide the best solution for your clients.
  22. Practice gratitude.
  23. Practice self-care and get regular massages.
  24. Have pens made with your name, web address and phone number on them.
  25. Ask people to book an appointment before they leave.
  26. Provide a way to accept credit cards if you don’t already.
  27. Use gift certificates for various holidays – mother’s and father’s day, Christmas, Birthdays, Weddings, Graduations & Anniversaries.
  28. Send a follow-up postcard to people a few weeks after their session if they have not re-booked.
  29. Teach massage classes – infant massage, couples massage.
  30. Take continued education classes to expand your skills and the value you provide your clients.
  31. Do chair massages for weddings, conventions, and special meetings, athletic events.
  32. Create referral cards so that you can pass them along to clients to give to their friends and offer a free massage to clients who promote your services.
  33. Hire a receptionist.
  34. Provide a feedback form on your website.
  35. Sponsor an athletic team.
  36. Send your clients a review of their session and your treatment plan.
  37. Participate in an AMTA Volunteer Connections Event.
  38. Craft your elevator pitch.
  39. Create Facebook ads to target potential clients and build brand awareness.
  40. Talk about the benefits of massage therapy to people you meet.
  41. Purchase swag (water bottles, pens, key-chains) with your logo and give them away.
  42. Ask for your regular clients to give their feedback on Yelp and Facebook.
  43. Add client testimonials to your website.
  44. Become Mobile! Mobile Massage services are booming especially in busy metropolitan areas.
  45. Guest blog on popular health & wellness blogs and include your link back to your site.

What do you do to market your massage therapy practice? Which tips do you think you will start implementing first? Let us know! 

May 6, 2015   1 Comment

NHI Massage Therapy Instructor in the Spotlight: Kati Athey

At NHI, our instructors are passionate experts in the field of massage therapy. This week we are featuring Kati Athey, a massage therapy instructor at our Emeryville campus. Kati attended the Core Program at NHI Petaluma, and continued her education in the Neuromuscular Therapy Program at NHI Emeryville. She graduated in 2011 and has worked in various settings, including a sports chiropractic office in San Francisco, a casual day spa, and as a corporate massage therapist. Learn more about Kati’s background and why she is such a great asset to the NHI team!

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Q: How did you become interested in Massage Therapy?
A: I was a gymnast since I was a little kid and always had a fascination with the structure and function of the body. As a coach I applied that fascination to help athletes achieve their goals. In my early 20’s I had a medical issue happen, that to this day still remains a mystery. Many things happened, but the most noticeable was that my muscles atrophied and spasmed. I lost the ability to walk for a short time. During that time I instinctually massaged my legs. That helped bring blood back to the tissue and make the vital neural connections that later allowed me to walk again. Through that experience, I realized JUST how powerful massage therapy was… and I wanted to do it and share it with the world.

Q: What is your background in Massage Therapy?
A: I Graduated from NHI in 2011 from the Petaluma campus then did the ANMT program in Emeryville. I have also tutored and been a TA at the San Francisco Campus. I have worked in a spa, corporate, and Chiropractic setting. I now, do private practice and donate my time to help spread positive touch for those that aren’t able to afford massage therapy.

Q: What made you decide to become a Massage Therapy Instructor?
A: Since I was a student I knew I wanted to come back and be an instructor. I love and believe in NHI’s Learning Model. Traditional schooling doesn’t work for everyone. We embrace different learning styles and we teach the material how the students learn.

Q: What do you love most about working at NHI?
A: Can I say everything? I have worked in so many different environments and there is something so special about NHI. The culture embraces everyone that walks through the door, the staff are warm and supportive and embrace the mission of helping people have work they love!

Q: What inspires you as an educator?
A: Students. Hands down. We all have different life experiences and when students share them in class everyone learns. Being able to have a group of complete strangers on day one, to guide them and watch them grow and learn from each other is the icing on the cake for me.

Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I have a family that includes 2 adorable girls that keep me very busy. When I am not at NHI, I am with them- playing at the park, exploring, reading and giggling, My 2 year old tries to do massage and she has helped me make salt scrubs for clients.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: Right now- “ I have no special talent, I am just passionately curious.” –Albert Einstein


April 27, 2015   No Comments

AMTA’s Annual Conference Spa Track Review by NHI’s Student Life & Career Coordinator, Chamara Pittman

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It’s not often that my friend world and professional world collide, but since indulging in Spa Life for the last three years, I have found my soul sisters. Our love for all things related to sugar scrubs, Vichy Showers, massage and saunas led us to decide on a sisters’ weekend disguised as the AMTA California Annual Conference in San Jose last month. AMTA offered two tracks: a medical track and Spa track. Perfect. Almost.

We encountered a few bumps in the road and timing didn’t allow us to do all we wanted at the conference. Miyah and I opted to do just the panels (Medical and Spa) while Debra jumped all the way into the Jacuzzi taking the spa life demo class and attending the spa life panel. The spa class was taught by Angie Dubis. Her focus was to help students increase revenue within their own private massage practice. So she taught a spa treatment that could be practiced anywhere. The tools needed were a massage table, sheets, wet hot towels, thermal blanket and Biotone Micro Buff Body Polish. She ran out of protocol sheets, but here’s essentially what she did:

1. She placed a thermal blanket underneath the cotton sheet on the table and then began the client supine

2. Next, she used the Biotone body polish and worked it in to the client beginning with the feet and worked up using circular motions. For demo purposes she only did the legs.

3. Once she reached the thigh she suggested incorporating lymphatic draining techniques using fan feathered strokes.

4. Once the body polish had been applied to all areas of the body in this position she then wrapped the client with the thermal blanket, cotton sheet, and top cover blanket.

5. After wrapping with the top cover blanket the client looked like a seal. At that point she began doing stretches with the client. Our demo client was quite flexible and so Dubis was able to stretch the client’s legs over their head.

6. Next, the body was unwrapped in sections and hot steamy towels were used to wipe off the product. She suggested heating them up in a crockpot for your office or take them on the go and heat them up again at the client’s home.

7. Lastly, a balm was used to massage the client, in this case body butter.

I must say the education at National Holistic Institute definitely prepares you for spa life. The procedure was very similar to the class and procedures taught at NHI during the spa segment. During one of our breaks after lunch, we all sat around at the pool at the hotel listening to Debra’s description of the class, and we of course couldn’t help but launch into our own brainstorming session. So here are some tips we came up with to make this work for mobile

1. The use of an insulated bag or a thermos for mobile massage to keep towels hot and avoid having to use client’s appliances. The towels lost heat during the demo, but you need HOT towels. They help melt the sugar and well…they just feel amazing after a scrub.

2. We all agreed that the total wrap is too messy for inside the home. In our own private practices we all scrub and wipe as we go or work it out with a client to take a shower after the product has been applied. Hint: Have the client use maybe an old sheet for the application, wrap them in the sheet when done and send them to the shower. While they are showering place new, clean sheets on for massage.

3. Lastly, Debra suggested they just come see her in the wet room where she works…sorry Debra you can’t steal my clients. But Miyah and I are overdue; we may come see you.

The panel discussion involved several spa owners and massage trainers for larger chain spas. It seems as though spa professionals constantly have to defend themselves and I don’t think that this panel was any different. Spas are designed specifically to help clients gently transition into deeper structural or therapeutic work without pain or fear. There are reasons for those jacuzzis, saunas, wetrooms, soothing music and lemon and cucumber water – they help clients with what they suffer from most- STRESS. The panel spent plenty of time on this topic. One subject I had hoped to hear more about was what spas are doing about trying to find certified therapists. At this point there are more jobs than available therapists and it was more than apparent based on the fact that they all made a plug for therapists to apply. While the subject of pay was glossed over, regional mangers from Massage Envy as well as Burke Williams both stressed their ongoing efforts to provide therapists with ongoing massage training, employee incentives beyond pay and an opportunity to grow with their companies.

While the Spa Life segment did not present anything new for us, it did allow us to reconnect with colleagues in the industry. It caused us to think about ways we can better serve our clients with the services we offer. It made us appreciate all that our NHI education has given us. And more importantly, it brought us closer together. It’s great to have work you love and love the folks you work with.

April 13, 2015   No Comments

NHI Student, Barry Crane’s Review of the Core 900 Hour Massage Therapy Program

I am Barry Crane. I am a certified massage therapist and am graduating from the NHI 900 Hour Core Program in April of this year. I became interested in massage when a friend invited me to join his Burning Man camp that provided therapeutic massage. I went and discovered that I had a gift for massage. I also discovered how happy it made people – and in turn how that made me happy too. From then on I was hooked! Prior to becoming a massage therapist I had many other careers. I was a furniture designer and maker, an aviation research psychologist and a computer interface designer – which I still currently do at Yahoo.

Burning Man

What has been your favorite class so far?
I don’t know that I have a favorite class. I just love the 900 hour program overall. There is so much material covered and we learn so much across many subjects and modalities. If I had to pick something, I would say myofascial therapy. It is focused work on particular problem areas that shows quick results.

What do you love the most about NHI?
The people! The faculty, my classmates – all are wonderful people to go on this journey with. The faculty is comprised of talented, knowledgeable and compassionate professionals who love the massage profession and are passionate about teaching and helping students develop into successful massage therapists and professionals. My classmates are from widely varied backgrounds all dedicated to learning and doing work that is deeply satisfying. This creates a safe, nurturing environment to learn and grow as a massage therapist.

What has been the hardest class so far – and what was challenging about it?
The hardest classes have been the Eastern modality classes like Shiatsu and Jin Shin. They challenge my Western science way of thinking and encourage me to see the body differently – as more of an energy system than this solid collection of mechanical parts. Once I saw the powerful results of these modalities, I was better able to think and perceive the body in that way.

Overall what’s your impression of NHI’s Core 900-Hour Program?
It is a wonderful program with great breadth and depth of subject matter. I feel it has help me grow into a skilled, knowledgeable and compassionate massage therapist.

Would you recommend NHI to someone interested in massage – if so why?
I highly recommend NHI to anyone interested in becoming a massage therapist. NHI provides an excellent and comprehensive curriculum taught by knowledgeable and passionate teachers who love what they do and really care about their students and their success.

March 31, 2015   3 Comments

Massage Therapy Represses Asthma

by William Mathis 

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Asthma almost killed me when I was five. I woke up scared and unable to breathe – which also raised my parents’ stress level dramatically. Several ER visits later, they knew something had to change.

My asthma led us to Dr. Weiner’s office. His prescription was my first introduction to the medical capacity of massage: along with drugs and allergy shots, he recommended my parents do percussion (aka “tapotement”) to help break up my lung congestion and help me breathe better. I liked the percussion massage because it felt good and helped me relax, while my asthma medicines made me feel anxious and edgy. It was a powerful early lesson about the therapeutic potential of massage.

Asthma is a serious issue, and nearly twenty million people suffer moderate to severe disability as a result. The causes are varied, but generally thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors that create chronic inflammation of the bronchi. When these airways constrict, the exchange of life-giving gases is restricted.

Since every one of the body’s trillions of cells needs to absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide, asthma can seriously affect the body’s homeostatic balance. In addition to difficulty breathing, this can result in a variety of other health problems, including fatigue, anxiety, decreased mental clarity, and chronic muscle tension. Fortunately, massage therapy can help, with important ramifications for self care and health education as well.

One major factor that exacerbates asthma symptoms is stress. Breathing difficulty creates anxiety, and anxiety can make for labored breathing – the very definition of “vicious cycle”. Many asthma sufferers can relate to that panicky, breathless feeling that sent five-year old me to the ER. Some people will have anxiety attacks and/or hyperventilate. Relaxation-oriented massage modalities stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and trigger the body’s relaxation response, which helps the airways and breathing muscles to relax as well. Studies even show that teaching mothers to massage asthmatic children reduces the child’s symptoms as well as the mother’s stress!

Like all movement in the body, breathing is a function of muscle contraction. The major breathing muscle is the respiratory diaphragm, but it gets important assistance from a variety of other muscles, including the intercostals, scalenes, and quadratus lumborum. This means that, in addition to strain in the chest and torso, asthma can contribute to chronic muscle tension in the neck and low back – which can in turn lead to everything from chronic headaches to poor posture.

Stress relief, decreasing muscle tension, and restoring postural balance – major indications for massage therapy that can seriously benefit asthma sufferers. But that’s just the beginning! Since our scope of practice entitles us to do health education, consider teaching your asthmatic clients how to consciously breathe from the abdomen, and show them acupressure for stress relief and better breathing (Li 20, LU 1, PC 6 and CV 17 are personal favorites). And if you experience asthma symptoms, then make these personal habits as well.

Breath is Life… and we have tools to help the world breathe a little easier!

March 16, 2015   1 Comment

7 Science Backed Ways to Feel Happier


Happiness is one of the most positive emotions we can experience and it is also the key to a fulfilled, healthy life. Happiness is hard to define since it varies from person to person but some experts define happiness as “a combination of life satisfaction and having more positive emotion than negative emotions,” while others view it as consisting of three parts: feeling good, living a good life, and feeling part of a larger purpose.

While some factors that affect happiness might be outside of our control such as genetic or life circumstances, there are always actions we can take to amp up our own good feelings. You can introduce some or all of these practices into your life to help you feel happier.

1. Find a new hobby
A hobby is mentally stimulating and will challenge you to learn a new skill, which can lead to greater happiness. Gaining a new expertise will create feelings of accomplishment and self-confidence. Need help thinking of a new hobby that interests you? Here is a list of 100 hobbies.

2. Turn up the Tunes
Music is a powerful tool – studies have shown a good beat can ease anxiety, lower stress and even boost heart health. Over on reddit, users are sharing their go-to songs for cheering up.

3. Practice Self-Care
Not taking care of yourself is a surefire way to end up unhappy, burnt out or ill. Try treating yourself to regular actions that improve your overall, long-term health and happiness. You can start by getting daily exercise, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep.

4. Start Journaling
When you document your positive experiences that you feel grateful for, you’re likely to feel happier and more satisfied with life. Journaling can also help you have a better connection with your values, emotions, goals, provide mental clarity, help you track your overall development, and facilitate personal growth.

5. Practice Yoga
Yoga is an excellent way to boost your mood and beat anxiety. In fact, one study suggests yoga may be more effective at boosting mood than other methods of exercise. Plus, practicing yoga can also help slash stress and improve immunity.  A 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine examined the anxiety levels and moods of people who practiced yoga for an hour three times a week. Yoga practice is associated with increased levels of GABA, an amino acid and neurotransmitter that may help reduce anxiety, according to Chris Streeter, a neurologist, a psychiatrist, and the lead author of the study.

6. Load up on Nutrients
When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, eating well is crucial, especially since the nutrients you consume improve your mental health as much as your physical well-being. Research finds that happiness and mental well-being are highest among people who eat a good amount of fruit and vegetables per day.

7. Meditate
There are tons of health benefits associated with meditating. Research shows that eight weeks of daily meditation can lead to greater happiness. Looking to get started? Try incorporating any of these 10 meditation strategies into your daily life.

March 13, 2015   1 Comment

4 Ways Teens Can Benefit from Massage Therapy

Adults are not the only ones who can benefit from massage therapy. In between childhood and adulthood, teens experience massive changes on both a physiological and psychological level. While teenagers should continue to get routine physical exams by a physician and maintain an active lifestyle, massage therapy can be a valuable component to a teen’s overall health and wellness. Below are four issues that often occur during teenage years that massage has been shown to help:
1. Athletic Injuries 
High school sports are often very demanding and since high schoolers are still growing they tend to be injured in different ways. Some of the most common injuries among young athletes include sprains, strains, growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries and heat-related illness. Girls are most likely to experience athletic injuries in gymnastics while boys are most likely to experience athletic injuries while playing football, soccer, and basketball.  Given that teen athletes can be more vulnerable to injury and overuse than adults, it makes sense to offer them the same opportunity for healing and pain relief.

2. Stress
Massage is a wonderful stress-buster for teenagers. Oftentimes when we think about stress we think it’s just an adult condition; however, teens experience a myriad of different stressors. Some of the stressors teens deal with include the following:
  • Dating
  • Tests and homework
  • Too-high expectations
  • Relationships
  • Money problems
  • Family problems
  • Employment
TRI researcher Maria Hernandes-Reif, Ph.D., says that one of the consistent findings in studies of the benefits of massage therapy is a reduction in stress and the stress hormone levels. “There is a relationship between stress and the immune system. If stress hormones are chronically elevated, the hormone cortisol will destroy the healthy immune cells that fight viruses and tumors and keep the immune system healthy. If you can reverse that, you not only reduce stress but also reduce stress hormones, allowing the immune system to bounce back and do its job, which is to heal the body and keep it healthy.

3. PMS and Menstrual Pain

As a teenager menstrual discomfort can be difficult to cope with. Massage therapy is known to be one of the best ways by which cramps can be kept under control or stopped completely. Girls can also benefit from learning self-massage techniques to use when experiencing menstrual cramps on a day-to-day basis.

4. Poor Body Image & Eating Disorders
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 3% of American teens suffer from an eating disorder, and the majority of them go untreated. Depression, social pressures regarding appearance, and participation in sports where leanness is valued such as gymnastics, ballet, diving, and wrestling are all associated with the development of eating disorders.
Studies done at the Touch Research Institute with women who struggled with either anorexia nervosa or bulimia showed that regular massage decreased anxiety level, increased levels of the feel-good hormone dopamine, and reduced depression. Participants in the study also showed better scores on the Eating Disorder Inventory, indicating better body awareness. While counseling is critical in treating people with eating disorders massage therapy can be a powerful adjunct to other forms of treatment.

Do you know a teen who could use a massage?
Book an appointment at our student ran clinic – we have seven California locations with affordable prices so that teenagers in in our communities can make massage a regular part of their healthy lifestyle.

March 2, 2015   2 Comments

12 Self-Care Tips for Massage Therapists

As a massage therapist taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your clients. Your work is demanding, so having a good self-care regimen in place is a necessity. Placing a priority on self-care helps you center yourself and reduce stress.  Your commitment to self-care is an indication that you recognize balance in your life.  A regular program of self-care can reduce high blood pressure, improve digestion, promote healthy sleep and improve your memory. We’ve compiled a list of self care tips that you can start using today.

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1.Stay Hydrated

The human body is made up of over seventy percent water. So understandably, drinking plenty of fluids to maintain and replenish water levels is vital for muscle function, joint and brain protection, immune health, digestion, and even your mood. If you need help improving your daily water intake  download Waterlogged – this free app will remind you when to need to drink more water

2. Get Regular Massages
Practice what you preach! You know all of the benefits of getting a good massage so reap the benefits yourself by booking regular appointments.

3. Practice Meditation
Spend 15 minutes a day meditating to restore your calm and inner peace. Meditating benefits your emotional well-being and your overall health.

4. Take Quiet Breaks
Leave adequate time in between clients to take a quiet break. Go for a short walk, eat a healthy snack, listen to soothing music – this will help you feel refreshed and ready for the next client.

5. Don’t Overbook Appointments 

Overbooking appointments often leads to stress, tiredness, and bad yelp reviews from your clients. Be sure to leave spaces in your schedule and don’t overwork yourself.

6. Practice Good Hygiene

Maintaining good hygiene is critical for massage therapists – it shows a sense of professionalism and keeps your clients happy.

7. Take Vacations
Give yourself some well deserved R&R every once in a while. A relaxing vacation will rejuvenate your mind and body.

8. Physical Exercise
Regular exercise is essential to massage therapists who must maintain strength, flexibility, and good health to perform their job. If running doesn’t excite you then try a trendy fitness class such as CrossFit, SoulCycle, The Bar Method, Piloxing or Trampoline Cardio.


9. Spend Time with Friends + Family
Enjoy quality time maintaining positive relationships with your friends and family. According to a study from Brigham Young University having many strong social ties can help you live a longer, healthier life.

10. Eat Healthy

Give your body necessary nutrients it needs to keep you energized, healthy, and strong. If you need help coming up with healthy meals subscribe to Plated. This online service delivers fresh, local ingredients to your doorstep. It saves you the time it usually takes to find healthy recipes and ingredients by providing all the necessities for a gourmet meal. All you need is about 30 minutes to make it.

11. Practice Proper Body Mechanics
The term body mechanics is used to describe the optimal alignment of our body for free-flowing movement. Ease and efficiency of movement will protect massage therapists from unnecessary stress and pain.

12. Manage Your Time
Massage therapy is a demanding profession. Taking care of yourself is essential to not only your health but also the longevity of your career. Part of a good self-care program is learning time management skills so you don’t get burned out or injured.


What self-care tip can you add to this list?

February 21, 2015   1 Comment

Join our Twitter Chat Discussing Continuing Education for Massage Therapists

Are you interested in continuing your massage therapy education?

Do you need help finding out when you should start taking continuing education classes, where to find them and what you should look for in choosing quality professional development?

Double Tap if..

Our special guests and experts in the massage therapy field, Bard Williams, Ed.D, CMT – Owner of Silicon Valley Massage Therapy Group and Riya Suising, CMT – Owner of Silicon Valley Renewal will be answering these questions and more in our Twitter Chat discussing continuing education this Thursday at 6 p.m PST. Follow us at @nhi_massage and use #NHIChat to join in on the discussion.

Learn More about our Special Guests:

bard-williams Bard Williams, Ed.D, CMT | Owner of Silicon Valley Massage Therapy Group

I graduated from the San Jose, CA campus of NHI in 2011 and became a California Certified Massage Therapist shortly thereafter. While in the final months of school, I joined with several NHI classmates and formed the Silicon Valley Massage Therapy Group, a massage therapy center with a team of skilled, certified massage therapists who focus on creating real and positive change in our client’s body, mind and spirit. Our practice has grown to more than 10 therapists and more than 500 clients serving the entire Bay Area. We do sporting events, participate in continuing education classes and have grown to be a family.


Riya Suising, CMT| Owner of Silicon Valley Renewal

I completed my massage education at NHI so I could have a formal, professional, certified and licensed background in doing massage. After graduation I have continued working at some of these spas and clinics as well as started my own mobile massage business, Silicon Valley Body Renewal, which is still growing steadily through outstanding customer reviews. Besides working as a massage therapist, I am also serving as an officer with AMTA to improve the massage industry by preparing continuing education workshops for the thousands of AMTA massage therapists in California.

Continue Your Education at NHI

At NHI we offer CEUs for chiropractors & chiropractic assistants, nurses, acupuncturists, personal & athletic trainers, physical therapists & physical therapist assistants. Pursuing advanced massage education through NHI is a great choice for those looking for new tools to advance their careers and provide deeper, richer benefits to their clients or patients.

In addition to CEUs we also offer our 450-hour Advanced Neuromusuclar Therapy Program. These massage therapy classes are specifically for those who have already completed one or more massage therapy programs, and for NHI graduates of the Core 900-hour Massage Therapy Program. The five modules are comprised of massage therapist classes that focus on the Shoulder & Thoracic region, the Head & Neck combined with a Cadaver Lab, the Lumbar-Pelvic region, the Lower Extremities combined with a Cadaver Lab, and the Upper Extremities.

Our advanced massage therapy program will allow you to confidently evaluate and differentiate between myofascial pain and dysfunction as opposed to injury.  Advanced techniques allow you to increase the value you provide for your clients.

Want more info about Continuing Education?
Give one of our friendly admissions representatives a call: 800.315.3552. 

February 13, 2015   No Comments

What to Eat Before & After a Workout

Ready to hit the gym? Fuel up the right way by eating these foods before and after your next workout for your best sweat session yet.


Before: Greek Yogurt & Trail Mix

The next time you are preparing for a long run opt for greek yogurt which is easy on your stomach, and when paired with trail mix can give you the boost your body needs. Be sure to choose a mix that is mostly nut and dried fruit based with a small amount of chocolate. The healthy sugar from the dried fruit will provide you with a quick energy boost while seeds and nuts will keep your insulin levels from dropping mid-workout. Since seeds and nuts are high in fat, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way. Eating too many can make you start feeling sluggish.


After: Salmon with Sweet Potato

Salmon is packed with protein and bioactive peptides, small protein molecules that play a role in inflammation reduction, helping to regulate insulin levels and give you joint support. Sweet potatoes offer complex carbs as well as help to restore glycogen levels – which get depleted after a workout.


Before: Whole Wheat Toast with Sliced Banana and Cinnamon

Whole-wheat toast with fruit gives you both types of carbs with the bonus of being super easy to digest. Complex carbs will keep you going, while the fruit adds an extra kick of energy. Bananas are perfect for raising potassium levels, which drop when you sweat a lot. For an added bonus add a dash of cinnamon to help stabilize blood sugar and improve brain function.


After: Grilled Chicken with Steamed Vegetables

Your body is in recovery mode after a good workout, so you will  need a nutrient dense dish. The lean protein and carbohydrates in chicken will fill you up without feeling overly bloated. Add some steamed veggies with olive oil for a nutritious meal.


Before: Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit

Oatmeal is a great pre-workout snack because it sticks with you throughout your workout by gradually releasing sugar into your bloodstream. Combining fruit to your bowl will help increase the fluid content of your snack, keeping you hydrated.


After: Veggie Omelet with Avocado

As you know eggs are a great source of protein and they help aid in muscle recovery and growth. Cook up a veggie-packed omelet and garnish with a few slices of avocado for fiber and monounsaturated fats. Similar to olive oil, avocados can help your body better absorb fat soluble nutrients that your veggies have like vitamins A,D,E and K. These vitamins are stocked with antioxidants and are the best boost for your body.


What’s your favorite food to eat before & after working out?

February 9, 2015   1 Comment

3 Powerful Tips to Increase Word-of-Mouth Referrals

The most powerful form of marketing is word-of-mouth referrals. This is true regardless of the size of your company or marketing budget.  As a massage therapist, when you generate referrals, your clients become your sales force. A recent Neilsen study revealed that 92% of consumers trust referrals from family and friends more than any other type of advertising. We’ve compiled 3 surefire tips to increase your word-of-mouth referrals to expand your client base.


Tip #1: Share Your Story
Whether you’ve always wanted to be a massage therapist since you first started thinking about a career, or you’ve been going to a massage therapist yourself to improve your health, or you’re a fifth generation massage therapist in your family – share that founding story with your clients! They will appreciate you taking the time to tell them that heartfelt underpinning of your business. Your clients will share your engaging and inspirational story with their friends, colleagues, and family members.

Tip #2: Create A Memorable Experience
Your goal should be to create a memorable experience for your clients that is worth bragging about! You want them leaving feeling refreshed, relaxed, reenergized and ready to rebook. To make this happen make every appointment professional and individualized. Don’t allow any interruptions or distractions, look at your clients in the eyes when you great them, and give each client your undivided attention. Don’t be distracted on what’s happening on the other side of the door while you are in a session with a client. You’re receptionist will handle the phone calls and walk-ins while you are with a client. Be sure to not overbook so that you don’t have many clients waiting for their appointments.

Create a welcoming and relaxing environment for your clients by making your waiting room appealing and comfortable. Offer organic teas, free bottles of water, have current wellness magazines on hand, play soothing music, and have the calming aroma of vanilla.

Tip #3: Show Your Gratitude
Let your clients know that you appreciate them. You can do this verbally, in writing, or with gifts. When they fill out the form upon their first visit you’ve captured their birthdate. Send them a card with a coupon or a gift card enclosed. Send each client hand written thank you notes after their first visit.

You are building long-term relationships with your clients and not simply looking to have them come to you for one massage therapy session. Make them feel welcome and appreciated so that they will look forward to coming back. Everyone wants to feel like the most important person at some point. Make each client feel that they are the most important and favorite client of yours!

“People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

What strategies do you use to increase word of mouth referrals?

February 2, 2015   No Comments

The Importance of Continuing Education for Massage Therapists

By: Dr. Jeff Rockwell

We often think of “learning” in very narrow terms: it’s what we do in school, and once we’ve got our massage license, the learning phase is over and it’s time to work.

I get that; I really do. You have taken many classes and put in many hours into your education. You may be tired or need a break from the stress that sometimes comes with learning new things. You want to make some money.

But life-long learning is like a nutrient that our mind requires. It’s about exploration, growth and personal enrichment. It keeps us alive, fresh and primed for a great life.

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Learning Adds Depth to Your Life

For me, the primary reason to keep learning new things—much of which I do through continuing education classes– is because I enjoy it. It’s not quite the same enjoyment that I get from watching a movie, and there are always frustrating moments in learning anything new. But I’m happier in the long run. I stay current in my field, I get to learn from inspiring teachers, and I nurture a successful career and life. As they say, “Earners are learners,” and “readers are leaders.”

If you take the time to consciously learn new ways of helping your clients, you’ll find that you live life more deeply. Instead of chasing quick entertainment that fails to satisfy, you’ll enjoy the pure pleasure of those “aha!” moments when something that’s been mystifying you finally clicks. The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to make connections between pieces of knowledge – and the more creative and effective you’ll become in your hands-on work. Gandhi wrote, “May your hands be a sign of reverence and gratitude to the human condition.” For that to be so, life-long learning is necessary. Thankfully, there are many excellent CEU providers available to meet these needs, beginning with National Holistic Institute’s very own 450-Hour Neuromuscular Therapy program.

Learning Prevents You from Getting Bored

Learning new massage techniques through continuing education classes keeps you from growing bored with your work. Granted, as a massage therapist you hopefully have work you love, but without a regular “diet” of new information and techniques, your enthusiasm can wane and your work suffer. When is the best time to drink water? Right—before you get thirsty. When you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. When is the best time to register for a continuing class? Correct—before you grow bored or uninspired.

Learning Puts You on the Fast Track to Success

Another reason to continue with life-long learning is because that’s simply what successful people do. If you settle back and decide that you’ve learned everything you need to know about running a business, about succeeding in your practice or about staying motivated and on-purpose, you’ll lose out to competitors who have a passion for learning.

My friend and mentor Cynthia Ribeiro, the developer of NHI’s Neuromuscular Therapy program likes to tell people, “I never graduated.” That may seem surprising, to say the least, to hear someone who teaches a to admit that they never graduated. Until you realize that what she means is that she made a conscious choice to never stop reading, studying and taking continuing education classes. Nearly thirty years into her career, Cynthia is an acknowledged master in the massage therapy profession, and she is still taking classes. Albert Einstein wrote, “Learning should begin at birth and end only at death.” Cynthia would agree. Massage therapists, what will you study next, and when?


January 26, 2015   8 Comments

Are Your Eating Habits Affecting Your Sleep?

Did you know that your daytime eating habits can make a huge difference in the quality of your nighttime sleep? There are four ways that your eating habits can affect your “sleep hygiene” both negatively and positively.

We’ve compiled helpful insights on the timing of meals, the amount you should eat as well as a list of foods that both help you sleep and foods you should avoid to secure a good night’s sleep.

1. Eating and Drinking Hours Before Sleep

You might have known that as a rule of thumb you should not eat three hours before sleeping but do you know why?

Our digestive systems rest between 7pm and 5am as a part of our natural biorhythm and eating during this time reduces the effectiveness of digestion, which can lead to digestion problems.

Eating a large meal before bed will make your digestive organs work overtime and will require other parts of your body to be active in order to digest the food properly. People often believe that a large meal combined with alcohol consumption will aid sleep but this is not true.


2. Drinking Caffeine and Alcohol 

Coffee contains caffeine, which is a nervous system stimulant and will keep you up at night if you drink it too close to bedtime. Avoiding caffeine four to six hours before bedtime will help ensure a better nights rest.

Alcohol consumption also results in poor sleep as well. While alcohol may make you fall asleep after, it reduces REM sleep in the long-term creating a more restless night. If you are lacking efficient sleep, try to stay away from alcoholic beverages up to three hours before bedtime.

3. Food that will Increase Sleep Quality

It is particularly important to watch what you consume in the hours leading up to bedtime. Some bedtime snacks will actually help promote sleep. The natural sedative, tryptophan, is an amino acid component that is a necessary ingredient for the body to make serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel tired.

This list of food will help you get more efficient sleep:

  • Cherries
  • Milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Almonds
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Bananas
  • Turkey
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Hummus

4. Food that will keep you Tossing and Turning

Alternatively, there are foods that you should avoid before bedtime. Below is a list of food you should stay away from late at night:

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Chicken
  • Spicy Foods
  • Processed or smoked meats
  • Aged Cheese

Try following these tips and experimenting with your diet if you have difficulties getting to sleep or you are consistently waking up not feeling refreshed.

January 20, 2015   2 Comments

Massage Therapy Ambassador, Riya Suising, Recaps her Experience at the AMTA National Convention

As a member and officer of the AMTA-CA Silicon Valley Unit, I get to participate in many AMTA events and workshops throughout the year.  This year I attended the AMTA National Convention for my first time.

I attended the AMTA-CA Chapter Conference for the past 3 years in Northern and Southern California where I was able to meet 100-150 of the most involved and enthusiastic massage therapist and industry colleagues.  The National Convention was very different.  Imagine a grand ballroom with over 2000 energetic massage therapists from around the country.  We had about 20-30 attendees from California, including NHI Massage Therapy Ambassadors Bard Williams, Nicole Rancatore and NHI President Tim Veitzer, as well as most of the AMTA-CA chapter board members.


Dr. Oz spoke on the importance of massage therapy for healthcare.  In addition Dr. Oz showed data from the medical field of how we can offer suggestions to our clients to improve cardiac health, reduce stress, and most importantly, how to overcome the fear of making change, the basic but powerful way to a better life.

The convention included nearly four full days of continuing education, special events, an extensive vendor expo, and numerous hours of networking and celebrations day and night with peers from every state.

Here is the full  schedule of classes I attended at the convention:

  • Dimensional Massage for the Hand, Wrist, Elbow, and Radioulnar Joints by Nancy Dail taught us techniques to engage the muscles and joints from various angles and with multiple types of stretching.
  • Talking to Your Clients About Skin Cancer taught us to recognize the basic symptoms of possible skin cancer on our clients, and how to communicate with clients properly.
  • A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Malpractice by Jennifer Flynn and Lynn Pierce of HPSO (the liability insurance company for AMTA), reminded us of our ethical responsibilities for our clients and practice and showed us several case studies where HPSO defended therapists in lawsuits and the amounts they settled for.


  • Lifting Your Clients out of Pain by Deborah Kimmet taught us new ways to use wedges to help restore balance to clients who may have pelvic asymmetries that may cause pain throughout the body.
  • Paranasal Sinus Drainage by Sandy Grover Mason taught us new techniques for facial massage and lymphatic drainage in the head and neck.
  • From the Heart: Massage and Cardiovascular Health by Tracey Conway, Emmy-award winning actress and comedienne of KING-TV’s Almost Live!, shared in the closing keynote her experience of surviving a heart attack after collapsing a heart attack after taping one of her episodes.


The convention provided a total of 26 Continuing Education hours for me, more than half of my requirement for my AMTA Professional and NCBTMB certification periods.  Most of the classes were directly applicable to my massage work, with lots of hands-on practice, and other useful guidance for my private practice.

I was able to  network and meet many other famous names such as Andrew Biel (author of Trail Guide), Ruth Werner (author of the Pathology textbook), Cynthia Ribeiro, Carole Osborne, Jeff Forman, Til Luchau, Tina Allen, CG Funk, Bruce Baltz, Taya Countryman, and many others.

There were also many fun activities too throughout the week such as an optional night at Coors Field for a game between the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks, a First Timer Lunch, and a lavish closing night Gala dinner.


This was a great conference, not just for taking classes and loading up on our Continuing Education Units, but like other AMTA events, a great opportunity to meet other massage therapists, educators, and industry professionals.



  Riya Suising
NHI Massage Therapy Ambassador
NHI Group 37 Alumnus
AMTA-CA Silicon Valley Unit, VP-Education


Are you a massage therapist looking to get a leg up in your career? Our Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program will train you to evaluate and differentiate between myofascial pain or dysfunction, as opposed to injury, and to employ effective techniques to address these issues with significant results for your clients.

January 12, 2015   No Comments

A Massage Therapists Guide to Nailing an Interview


Landing your first massage job is a major accomplishment that you’ve been dreaming about since you stepped in the doors at NHI. You’ve spent 108 hours in the supervised student massage clinics getting real life experience, you’ve passed the Kinesiology East test, and now you’re ready to get paid, but before that happens you have to nail your interview. We have compiled a list of tips that will prepare you for the big day, and our Massage Therapy Ambassador, Angela Kingshill, weighs in with some insider interview tips that you definitely don’t want to miss!

Before The Interview

1. Research the company.
2. Update your resume.
3. Dress appropriately and avoid oversized or layered jewelry.
4. Wear natural makeup and keep your hair simple and out of your face.
5. On the way to your interview, listen to your favorite pump up song to boost your energy and confidence. (It sounds silly but it actually works!)
6. Turn off your phone and spit out the gum.
7. Arrive on time (and not too early, 10 minutes is usually best).
8. Be prepared to answer the following questions:

     “What does massage mean to you?”

     “How has being a massage therapist changed your life?”

     “What do you want to get out of this job?”

     “What is your personal vision for yourself in the profession?”

     “How do you take care of yourself?”

     “What is your favorite modality? Why?”

     “Why do you want to work here?”

     “What do you think is the future of the massage profession?”

     “Do you do any volunteer work in massage?”

     “What are your plans for continuing education?”
     “What is the toughest part of being a massage therapist?”

     “What type of clients are you most effective with?”

     “What goals have you set for yourself and how are you planning on achieving them?”

9. Prepare a few questions of your own, such as the following:

How do they get clients? What marketing/ advertising will they be doing?

 “Will they supply the table, linens, lotions, music, stereo, and other accessories or will you?

“Where will they get referrals from? What people are they networking with?

During The Interview

1. Be nice to everyone in and around the building. You never know who works at the company or who will be interviewing you.
2. Give them a solid, confident handshake.
3. Smile. You want to be approachable and it will ease your nerves.
4. Be polite and energetic.
5. Maintain good posture.
6. Do NOT interrupt the person who is interviewing you.
7. Remember to ask your questions at the end of the interview.
8. Do NOT ask about money during the first interview.
9. At the end of the interview, ask when a decision is going to be made and when it is appropriate for you to follow up.
10. On your way out, be sure to graciously thank them for taking the time to meet with you.

After The Interview

1. The second you walk out of the interview write a hand-written thank you note and pop it in the mail that same day. Yes, as in snail mail. It may seem old-fashioned, but this is an often-overlooked gesture that is greatly appreciated and highly noted by potential employers.
2. Follow up if you haven’t heard back by the date specified during the interview. Do not follow up before that date.
3. Do NOT tweet, Facebook post, or blog about your interview. We all know that the first thing a prospective employer does after an interview is Google the interviewee.

One of our Massage Therapy Ambassadors, Angela Kingshill, who now works independently and at a chiropractic office gives us some of her insider tips on nailing an interview. “When interviewing with a chiropractor impress them with your MFT skills and body holding pattern recognitions.” Here is an example, “I can them that a person may have an issue in their hands and forearms just by the way they hold their hands and arms.” Or.. “When my client is laying supine on my table I can tell if they are having hip, ankle or knee issues by the way their feet rest.”

Now your turn – What do you do to nail an interview? Give us your insider tips!

December 22, 2014   No Comments

15 Gift Ideas for a Massage Therapy Student

The holidays are right around the corner and with online retailers such as Etsy and Zazzle it’s easier than ever to find the perfect gift for a massage therapy student! We’ve compiled a list of 15 items that will be sure to make any massage therapy student smile.

1. Crocheted Massage Oil/Lotion Holster
Price: $18


2. Spiral Healing Hand, Handmade Clay Ornament
Price: $8

3.Personalized Coffee Mug: Massage Therapist
Price: $18

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 11.01.12 AM



4. Handmade Massage Business Card Holder
Price: $20

5. Massage Therapist Jacket 
Price: $56



6. Hot Cold Therapy Packs for Head, Neck and Feet
Price: $36


7. I’m a Massage Therapist – What’s your Super Power T-Shirt
Price: $18


8. Massage Therapy Gift Card to NHI’s Massage Therapy Clinic
Price: Prices Vary


9. Massage In Session Please Do Not Disturb Wood Vinyl Sign
Price: $18


10. Aromatherapy Essential Oil Kit, 100% Pure Essential Oils Set
Price: $57


11. Massage Therapist License Plate Frame
Price $17


12. Yoga Eye Pillow – Leaves, Lavender or Camomile & Organic Flaxseeds Relaxation Meditation 
Price: $18



13. Personalized World’s Greatest Massage Therapist Keychain with charms
Price: $7



14. Of Course I’m Awesome I’m A Massage Therapist Hoodie
Price: $19


15. Personalized World’s Greatest Massage Therapist Keychain with charms
Price: $7

What gift ideas do you have for the massage therapy student in your life?

December 18, 2014   No Comments

National Holistic Institute’s Massage Therapy Foundation Fundraiser Clinic

You may know that the Massage Therapy Foundation advances the massage therapy profession by supporting scientific research but did you know they also provide Community Service Grants, Student Case Report Contests, and Practitioner Case Report Contests – Pretty cool, right?

Through their Community Service Grants they have been able to provide massage therapy to survivors of torture and trauma, survivors of human trafficking, veterans, and they have helped incorporate massage as a part of rehabilitation for paralyzed patients. 

At NHI, our massage therapy students and instructors are supporting the Massage Therapy Foundation by giving massages in our student clinics and donating all of the proceeds to the Massage Therapy Foundation. Our students and staff are happy to find a way to give back and show our appreciation for everything the Massage Therapy Foundation has done for the massage therapy profession.

The Massage Therapy Foundation is very important to NHI, in fact NHI’s President, Tim Veitzer serves on the Executive Advisory Committee of the foundation. “The Massage Therapy Foundation continues to do such great work that is integral to the advancement of our beloved field of massage therapy. All of us at NHI are thrilled to continue our partnership and once again give back to the foundation through our clinic fundraising events at each of our seven campuses,” said Veitzer.


A big thank you to this group of NHI Students and Instructors who donated massages for the Massage Therapy Foundation

You can contribute to our efforts in supporting the Massage therapy Foundation by getting a massage at one of our student massage clinics on the following dates :

  • December 9th at NHI Sacramento
  • December 11th at NHI San Francisco
  • December 15th at NHI Santa Ana
  • December 18th at NHI San Jose, and Petaluma

You can easily book an appointment to get a massage here!


NHI Student, Torriano meeting with his first client of the day.

The Massage Therapy Foundations commitment to promoting scientific research and evidence-informed practice has helped foster the public acceptance of the benefits of massage therapy.


NHI Faculty Instructor, Melissa Wheeler donating massage to NHI’s V.P of Education, Linda Rikli.

Last year NHI raised approximately $6,000 for the Massage Therapy Foundation! Check out our cool video to learn more about our efforts in supporting the Massage Therapy Foundation.

December 15, 2014   1 Comment

6 Tips to Rejuvenate Your Massage Practice in 2015

With the new year quickly approaching, you’re probably thinking about what you can do to take your massage practice to the next level in 2015!  NHI’s massage therapy instructor, Dr. Jeff Rockwell, provides some great tips to rejuvenate your private practice.

1. Improve Your Social Media Presence
Optimizing your social media presence is critical for any business looking to standout in their field, and this absolutely stands true for massage therapists.  Determine which social media platforms are most important for you to get your message out there to your potential clients.  There are different ways to boost your social media presence.  You can ask your clients to review you on Yelp or you can respond to your Yelp reviews, post pictures of your private practice on Instagram or participate in Twitter Chats about the massage therapy profession.


2. Start Blogging on a Weekly Basis
As an expert in massage therapy, you understand the body in ways that your clients might not. Use your blog as a platform to help your clients understand their bodies better while also teaching them more about the benefits of massage. Blogging regularly helps to position you as a resource for clients to learn from you which helps you build better customer relationships.  Your blog can also help drive traffic to your website, increase search engine optimization, and position you as a leader in the industry.


3. Host Lectures and Workshops
Lectures and workshops are great opportunities for self-expression on topics of interest to you and are also great occasions for you to collaborate with other outside experts. Consider conducting or sponsoring an evening lecture.  Here are some possible topics:

-training tips and sports injuries
-growing “better”—not just older
-aromatherapy for the seasons
-the difference between health and wellness
-how to thrive because of your stress, and other important topics.

If your interests lean toward working with post-whiplashed clients or work-related health problems, put a program together for local business groups, legal associations and other people who could influence the lives of prospective clients. Public speaking is simply the least expensive way to share your story, improve your communication skills, increase your self-confidence and attract high quality clients.

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4. Send Birthday Cards to Clients
Your clients are most likely to naturally think about their health and taking care of themselves on their birthday. Be sure to remind active and inactive clients to reward their body, mind and spirit by scheduling a massage therapy appointment with you.

5. Send a New Year’s Resolution Letter
The start of a new year is another key time your clients are most likely to think about their health. In fact, health clubs and workout gyms get 80% of their annual business in January following New Year’s resolution time. Remind your inactive clients of the importance of a massage therapy “checkup” before they start a slimming and toning program so they don’t put unnecessary wear and tear on pre-symptomatic, malfunctioning muscles and joints. It’s a natural fit.

6. Send Bi-Weekly Newsletters to Your Clients
Newsletters are a proven way to keep in touch with active and inactive clients, spur referrals and stimulate reactivations. Commit to sending your clients a bi-weekly newsletter. You can include your latest blog post, testimonials, pictures of your practice, links to your social media platforms and special offers.

Pro Tip: Remember those Research and Development classes you took when you were in school? Be on the lookout for abstracts of the latest research affirming some aspect of massage therapy. Send an email announcing the latest findings and what they mean to a typical client.

The above techniques can all work together to project a positive image of your practice while providing additional value to your clients. The key to following these suggestions is to create an implementation calendar so everything is scheduled in advance.

What do you plan to do in 2015 to rejuvenate your practice?


December 11, 2014   2 Comments

10 Ways to Fight Holiday Stress

With the last minute gift shopping, the overwhelmingly large crowds, and back-to-back diet busting holiday parties – we understand how easy it is to not feel so wonderful during the holidays. In fact, a survey by the American Psychological Association found that more women than men feel stressed during the holidays and have a harder time relaxing and enjoying the season – which really defeats the whole point. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to help you dodge the seasonal blues and stay happy, healthy, and energized.

1. Boost your mood with sunlight
Sunlight stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin and also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which impacts millions of Americans each year – Between 60% and 90% of people with SAD are women.

Winter Sun

2. Get a massage
Stress relief is one of the first benefits that comes to mind when thinking of massage therapy. It’s also a key component for anyone trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Clinical studies show that even a singe half hour session can significantly lower your heart rate, cortisol levels and insulin levels — all of which explains why massage therapy and stress relief go hand-in-hand.


3. Take a whiff of citrus
Researchers studying depression have found that certain citrus fragrances, such as grapefruit, boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood.


4. Take a walk
Going for a walk in the park could actually shift your brain into a calmer state, according to recent research. A UK study found that walking through green spaces can put the brain into a meditative state. The act is found to trigger “involuntary attention,”meaning that it holds attention while also allowing for reflection. Try following a walking meditation practice in one of your favorite parks to enjoy the health benefits of moderate physical activity while also quieting the mind and increasing awareness.


5. Squeeze here
In traditional Chinese medicine, the fleshy place between your index finger and thumb is called the hoku point. Applying firm pressure there for only 30 seconds can reduce stress and tension in your upper body.


6. Laugh out Loud 
Laughing like crazy reduces stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. It also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.


7. Forget perfection
Don’t obsess over making everything perfect. It’s okay if your house is a little cluttered or dinner is on the table a few minutes late. Focus your energy on enjoying the people in your life. Don’t sweat the small stuff and your holiday will be much more enjoyable.


8. Go tech-free
Did you know that constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts keep us in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to bursts of adrenaline? Not only is this exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels, especially in women. Holiday get-togethers are the perfect time to turn off your gadgets and spend time with friends and family without worry.


9. Make time to exercise
Working out may be the last thing you want to do when you are stressed out, but going for a run or hitting the gym can actually make you feel better. Research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.


10. Don’t over schedule
If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your holiday agenda, don’t over schedule your time and take on more than you can manage. Remember: It’s OK to slow down a bit.


What do you do to reduce holiday stress?

December 8, 2014   1 Comment

Give the Gift of Massage this Holiday

It’s that time of year again when you probably start stressing out about finding the perfect gift for your significant other, relatives, children, friends, and anyone else that you’re planning on spreading the holiday cheer to! We know that lugging around big packages can be a hassle and finding a versatile gift that is sure to be a crowd pleaser is not always easy. That’s why we recommend giving the gift of massage this holiday.


Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift to bring to your holiday gift exchange or you’re participating as a secret Santa, giving a massage gift certificate demonstrates an investment in caring and health.

At NHI, we offer our Holiday Gift Card Sale to make the gift of massage an affordable option. Buy 5 gift cards, get 1 additional gift card free! Buy 10 gift cards, get 3 additional gift cards free!

To get more information about this offer contact your local NHI campus. We have seven California locations including: Emeryville, San Francisco, Sacramento, Petaluma, San Jose, Orange County, and Studio City.



December 1, 2014   No Comments

NHI Students Provide Massage to the UCLA Football Team

At NHI, many of us are cheering on the UCLA Football team as they work to defeat Stanford University this Friday! Behind the scenes NHI students are providing sports massage to help the UCLA Bruins reach their full potential on the field. We have interviewed one of our graduates, John Paulsen, who is working with the athletes to get the inside scoop on what it’s like being a sports massage therapist. Keep reading to find out if sports massage would be a good fit for you!


Q: How did you become interested in sports massage?
A: I became interested in sports massage because I’ve always loved sports and I was very active as a child and throughout high school. It wasn’t until college that I considered a career path that could keep me involved in sports and working with athletes. 

Q: What makes working with athletes different from working with other clients?
A: These athletes are different from other clients because they’re very in tune with their body and they train hard. Their musculature is dense and defined and quite visible which makes it easy to locate and tends to respond positively to soft tissue manipulation. I’ve always had a vague understanding of the origin and insertion of the major muscle groups, but after the extensive anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology classes at NHI, I know exactly what muscle I’m feeling tension in and all of that muscle’s actions. This knowledge maximizes the effectiveness my bodywork.


Q: How do you build rapport with the athletes?
A: I build rapport with the athletes by talking to them how I would talk to a friend. I asked them questions like “how are you feeling today?” and I give them feedback on their answers. I tell them what they should expect for the bodywork session and ask them if that is okay and does that meet their expectation’s. I make sure that I address their specific issues first and to their satisfaction. I will check-in with them periodically during the session regarding pressure and comfortability. After the session, I like to offer a brief summary of what I felt during the bodywork and compare with them on what they felt. Those brief interaction before, during and after all help to build rapport. Working with them multiple times is also helpful.

Q: What has been your biggest takeaway working with the UCLA Football team?
A: My biggest Takeaway of working with the UCLA football team has been the confidence to know that I can work with an elite athlete and effectively make a difference in how they are feeling. It’s amazingly rewarding when the athlete gets up off of the table and shows a genuine appreciation for your work.


Q: What was the most challenging part about the experience for you?
A: The most challenging part about this experience for me has been the general size of some of these athletes. Many of them are twice my size and can handle a lot of pressure. It has definitely been a learning experience for me to give effective pressure with proper body mechanics and without hurting myself. This is an area where I can thank the NHI instructors for their dedication to making body mechanics a priority each and every day. This information will give longevity to my career as a therapist.

Q: Are there specific traits that helped you be successful while working with the team?
A: I would have to say that what helped me the most with working with the UCLA football team has been the extensive curriculum of massage modalities that NHI has taught me. I typically use almost all of the modalities that I have learned in each of my sessions. From Swedish, deep tissue and sports massage to shiatsu, MFT and Thai massage… I use it all. Each modality that I learned in the 900 hour core program is a tool and I’ve got to say that my toolbox of moves and techniques feels pretty good right now.

Q: What advice would you offer other massage therapists looking to specialize in sports massage?
A: If I had to advise another massage therapist who is just starting out and looking to specialize in sports massage, I would stress the importance of choosing the right education and training. For me, the 900 hour core program at NHI was the best choice. Not only was the education thorough and the experience enjoyable, but the closeness to all of the instructors and the sense of family that I felt had a positive affect on me and made me feel good about myself everyday. For a therapist who already has training, the Neuromuscular Therapy Program will give you the edge that you need, especially in the sports realm. This month at NHI, I will be taking advantage of the monthly NMT Sampler – the sampler classes cover great information, are good for CEUs and most importantly continue to add to my toolbox of moves and techniques, while increasing my confidence in my ability as a massage therapist and health educator.

If sports massage sounds like something you would be interested in then schedule a time to visit a campus. During your visit you will get a personal tour of our campus while learning more about our program and a career path in sports massage.


November 24, 2014   No Comments

NHI Expert Panel Discussion

At NHI, our massage therapy ambassadors have a unique opportunity to ask questions and learn from a panel of massage therapy experts. This month’s panel at our Emeryville campus included Teacher/Mentors Julie True, Frankie Menzel, Sabrinia Italia, Curriculum Coordinator, Sharlene Philips and NHI’s Training Manager, Melissa Wheeler. The discussion was so in-depth that those who participated got the full benefits of attending the panel but we wanted to share a few highlights with everyone. 


Massage Therapy Ambassador, Felicia Cursi, asked: Can I live on a private practice as my only source of income? Is that realistic?

Melissa: Yes, it is absolutely possible to support yourself with a private practice. I supported myself for five years with my private practice before I started teaching at NHI. What I recommend is that you get a position as a massage therapist while you build a small private practice – this way you are getting an income while working up to having a successful private practice. 

Sharlene: With my private practice what I did first was decide what I would like my schedule to be like, since I am a mother and wife it was important for me to have flexibility. I would allow my clients to schedule appointments for up to three months in advance. I would not allow my clients to book past three months but I would put them on a waiting list. With this set up I was able to feel financially secure. You have to decide for yourself what would make you feel financially secure then base your practice around that. 

Julie: What I love about massage therapy is that you don’t have to stick to one schedule and you can get income from clients you have regularly or corporate gigs. What I liked to do was have something that I relied on for income such as my corporate gig where I provided massage at Google and have my classes at NHI where I taught massage then if I had free time I would take clients. I liked that I could take a month off if I wanted to and not take any clients then they would always be there for me next month. It’s really cool because I moved from San Francisco to the East Bay and my clients still followed me! The same thing will happen to you – your clients will follow you. 


Massage Therapy Ambassador, Keiko Hamano, asked: A private practice is similar to the nature of a startup; do you need to have Facebook, Twitter, Google +, a website, and a blog? 

Julie: The most important thing is to have a website with online booking. My close friend saves up to 4 hours a week with online booking. For me I had enough clients with my private practice that I didn’t need more clients so it worked out that I didn’t need to use social media. 

Sharlene: Don’t lose sight of the power of word of mouth! First work on gaining that client base and then let it expand. What I liked to do to gain more clients was to offer them a free massage if they referred three new people to me. I found that referral based promotions worked great!

Massage Therapy Ambassador, Cat Gardere, asked: Am I devaluing my work by giving specials?

Julie: I’ve found that if you offer a deal someone will take the deal and they may not become a regular client but they will refer other people who can afford you. The person who got your deal will end up telling coworkers, friends and family members about their experience. Another thing I’ve done is run specials when I want to get more practice. I would send an email out telling my clients that I would like to introduce them to Thai massage so I offered them specials. Doing this helped give me practice while getting paid and it introduced my clients to a new modality of massage. During tax season I would send out an email that said It’s Tax Season – Who has tension in their shoulders? I would offer a special and then get extra practice massaging shoulders. 

Melissa: Be judicial about offering deals. You only need to give deals about one time a year. Instead of offering deals what I like to do is offer a free massage to someone in related professions such as chiropractors, yoga instructors, personal trainers, Pilates instructors or spin class instructors. They will spread the word fast about you and will single handedly build your private practice. Since the holidays are coming up this is a great time to sell massage gift certificates just make sure you add time frames.


Massage Therapy Ambassador, Cat Gardere, asked: Were the majority of your clients requesting specific modalities? If you wanted to specialize in a certain modality should you do it?

Sabrina: If you have something that you want to specialize in go for it! There will always be people out there who want what you are specializing in. Don’t dabble in anything that you want to specialize in because the more you know the more you will be able to help and educate your clients and the more you can market yourself. 

Massage Therapy Ambassador, Bobbi Knowlesasked: What do you think about continuing education?

Melissa: Continuing education is vital! I have thousands of hours of continuing education. From continuing education classes I was able to learn more about the body in a new way. I was able to slow down and apply what I learned to my clients. 

The panel also offered the massage therapy ambassadors insight to networking, marketing yourself, and what it means to take care of yourself as a massage therapist. 

Networking tips from the panel: 

Frankie: When I was a student at NHI, I knew immediately that I wanted to work at the school so what I did to help make that happen was introduce myself to key people that I knew could make that happened. It’s important to identify who you need to rub elbows with and introduce yourself to people. If people don’t know you then you have to approach them and let them know who you are. Join LinkedIn groups for massage therapists and don’t wait to start networking. 

Tips on marketing yourself from the panel: 

Sharlene: Start marketing yourself before you graduate. You can start taking clients and offering them Swedish massage. Just be honest with your clients and let them know that you are a student. Use every opportunity you have to tell people what you do and why you do it. If you are in line at the grocery and you see someone rubbing their neck use that opportunity to share with that person that you are a massage therapist. 

Tips on taking care of yourself as a massage therapist: 

Melissa: In order to be a successful massage therapist you must take care of yourself. The more massage you get the more clients you will get. Once your private practice starts taking off and you are able to afford massage therapy regularly get it! You must practice what you preach. You can’t tell your clients to get massage if you don’t. You can come to the massage clinics here or you can partner with another massage therapist to trade, but take care of yourself. Plan meals, get exercise and don’t over-book! No one wants a sleep deprived massage therapist. You must take care of yourself. 

NHI Massage Therapy Ambassadors -Felicia, Keiko, Patrick & Cat

Our Massage Therapy Ambassadors are an elite group of NHI alumni volunteers who are committed to supporting the integrity and positive growth of the Massage Therapy profession. If you want to join this special community, obtain leadership experience and professional exposure though Massage Therapy networking events, actives, and training then Apply now!

November 17, 2014   1 Comment

5 Science Backed Benefits of Meditation

For thousands of years, meditators have claimed many benefits for their practice. Now scientists are finding evidence supporting many of these claims. Regularly taking 10 to 20 minutes to unwind and focus on yourself is one of the greatest secrets to longevity. Meditation can help with stress reduction, better sleep, lower blood pressure, improved immunity, and improved cardiovascular function. It’s also going to make you feel better overall because you are disconnecting for all the stimulation of life.

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Start experiencing these 5 benefits of meditation:

  1. Reduce Stress
    Meditation for stress soothes our nervous system. While stress activates the “fight or flight” part of our nervous system, mindfulness meditation activates the “rest and digest” part of our nervous system, helping with stress management. Our heart rate slows, our respiration slows and our blood pressure drops. This is often called the “relaxation response”. While chronic activation of the fight or flight response can be extremely damaging to the body, the relaxation response is restorative, so meditation benefits our well being.
  2. Reduce Anxiety
    A study conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School taught mindfulness to a group of people with clinical levels of anxiety and found that 90% experienced significant reductions in anxiety and depression too. (3)
  3. Boost Your Creativity
    In 2012, scientists from the University of Groningen and North Dakota State University tested the theory that mindfulness affects awareness and the filtering out of other mental processes during creative tasks. Studying a larger number of volunteers, the researchers found that mindfulness practice predicted and improved “insight” problem-solving, which is “seeing” and solving problems in a novel way. This study was the first of its kind to document a direct link between mindfulness and creativity. (1) 
  4. Improved Focus
    Neuroscientists have also found that after 11 hours of meditation, practitioners had structural changes in the part of the brain involved in monitoring our focus and self-control. Researchers have found that, compared with the people who didn’t meditate, ‘those trained in meditation stayed on tasks longer and made fewer task switches’. (2)
  5. Improved Relationships
    One of the many proven benefits of regular mindfulness meditation is that it improves relationships. You see yourself, your world and the people in your world in a new light. One US study of married couples found that increased mindfulness through meditation improved marital quality. It positively influenced the identification and communication of emotions, as well as regulating the expression of anger. (4)


  1. Ostafin, B. & Kassman, K. (2012). Stepping out of history: Mindfulness improves insight problem solving. Consciousness and Cognition. 21, 2. 1031 -1036
  2. Tang, Y., Lu Q, Geng, X., Stein, E. A., Yang, Y., & Posner, M. (2010). Short-term meditation induces white matter changes in the anterior cingulate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107, 35. 15649-15652
  3. Kabat-Zinn, J. Massion, A. O., Kristeller, J., Peterson, L. G., Fletcher, K,. Pbert, L., Lenderking, W. & Stantorelli, S. (1992). Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry 149. 936-943.
  4. Waches, K. & Cordova, J. (2007). Mindful Relating: Exploring Mindfulness and Emotion Repertoires in Intimate Relationships. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 33, 4. 464 – 481.

May 11, 2015   No Comments

6 New Years Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Best Year Yet

With the new year just around the corner you’re probably thinking about what new years resolutions you plan on setting to keep you healthy and happy in 2015. This year, pick one of these worthy resolutions, and stick with it. Here’s to your health!

1. Stay in touch
If you feel like old friends have fallen by the wayside make 2015 the year you reconnect with them. Research suggests that people with strong social ties live longer than those who don’t. With social media platforms and Skype it’s never been easier to stay in touch – or rejuvenate your relationship with friends and family.

2. Volunteer
We tend to think our own bliss relies on bettering ourselves, but our happiness also increases when we help others, says Peter Kanaris, PhD, coordinator of public education for the New York State Psychological Association.

There is a direct connection between your health and happiness. A 2010 study found that people with positive emotions were about 20% less likely than their gloomier peers to have a heart attack or develop heart disease. Other research suggests that positive emotions can make people more resilient and resourceful.


3. Stress less
Having stress is an inevitable part of life but chronic stress can increase your risk of insomnia, depression, obesity, heart disease, and more. Long work hours, little sleep, no exercise, poor diet, and not spending time with family and friends can all contribute to stress. Make 2015 the year you stress less by hitting the gym, getting frequent massages, eating healthy and making an effort to connect with friends + family.

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4. Travel
Break away from your daily routine by traveling somewhere you’ve always wanted to see. Traveling makes you feel rejuvenated and replenished. “It gets you out of your typical scenery, and the effects are revitalizing. It’s another form of new discovery and learning and great for the body and soul,” Kanaris says.


5. Go back to school
Heading back to school can help revamp your career, introduce you to new friends, and even boost your brainpower. At NHI, we offer classes throughout the year so you don’t have to wait to start! In as little as eight months you can have a rewarding career as a massage therapist.

By going back to school you are gaining a sense of accomplishment by gaining new knowledge, and you are out there meeting new people and creating possibilities that were never there before.

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5. Get more sleep
You probably already know that a good night’s sleep can do wonders for your mood and appearance but sleep is more beneficial to your health than you might think.

A lack of sleep can put you at risk for Heart disease, Heart attack, Heart failure, High blood pressure, stroke and Diabetes. It can also age your skin, make you forgetful, make you gain weight, and impair your judgment.


What New Years Resolution do you have set for 2015? 

December 29, 2014   No Comments