Category — continuing education
NHI Graduate Frankie Menzel won the 2012 NHI/Biofreeze AMTA Convention Scholarship. Read about his achievement here in Massage Magazine. Below is Frankie’s take on what the award meant to him.
This is the second year that NHI and Biofreeze have teamed up to offer the Melissa Wheeler Scholarship, which sends a student or graduate from NHI to the AMTA National Convention. The scholarship was created last year when the AMTA was recognizing our very own Melissa Wheeler as Teacher of the Year! The scholarship is open to any student or grad from any of the seven NHI campuses, where only one is chosen. I had to apply.
My name is Frankie, and I recently graduated from the Advanced Program in July from the Emeryville campus. My experience with attending NHI has been full, and I have loved every minute of it. I found myself in an atmosphere that was so conducive to learning, with an amazing support system. The campus, staff and students alike, radiated such positive energy, that it propelled me forward day after day, giving me a feeling of accomplishment. I craved more.
NHI has been so supportive in and out of the classroom. I am very grateful that I have been given many opportunities, and I made sure that I was not going to limit myself. I took every one that was put in my path.
This was the second year that I applied for the scholarship. I obviously did not receive it last year, but the way I saw it, I had nothing to lose. I applied again this year, again throwing my chances up into the universe to see what would manifest. Little did I know the feelings and emotions that I would soon be experiencing.
I was in a parking lot when my cell phone rang. Melissa Wheeler was on the other end. “Frankie…..” she said. I could tell from the tone of her voice that the news was good. I was excited beyond belief, and in total shock. I have NO idea what the next 20 minutes of our conversation included, all I remember is that my face hurt from the smile that was smeared on my face from one ear to the next….I felt as though I had won the lottery. I was going to the AMTA National Convention!
December 20, 2012 1 Comment
The following articles are a true testament to what research means to the massage profession. 10 years ago, much of what I learned in school has changed and it is all due to research; mainly the work done by the Massage Therapy Foundation and its members. NHI‘s own Melissa Wheeler and Beth McNeill have volunteered their time working with the MTF. This work helped to shape our current Research and Development classes that give students the tools to educate themselves and find the answers they need to work with clients in any type of situation.
The information in these articles also gives credence to our work. It shows that what we do has positive physical effects. When therapists use techniques they learn in NHI’s sports massage series, myofascial therapy series, or deep tissue series it is important to be able to explain and bring up evidence of how what we do works. Massage therapy has grown to be an increasingly integral field in alternative medicine, with more and more people realizing the medical benefits of massage on top of its perk of relaxation.
For more information on research based massage and the Massage Therapy Foundation, visit their freshly redesigned website at http://www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/
March 7, 2012 No Comments
Experiencing the 2011 AMTA National Convention | Guest Post: NHI/Biofreeze Scholarship Winner Lya Daggett
This year, National Holistic Institute and Biofreeze awarded their very first AMTA Convention Scholarship to Lya Daggett, a senior student at the NHI Sacramento campus. This scholarship honors Melissa Wheeler, the 2010 AMTA/Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year and NHI faculty member, and pays all registration and travel expenses for an NHI senior or graduate to attend the American Massage Therapy Association National Convention. Read on as Lya shares some amazing insights into the knowledge shared at the convention. Her summaries will make you feel like you were there getting some free CE massage classes!
Day 1: Wednesday Night, Oct 18th
Upon my arrival, I rode the MAX light rail from the airport through Portland. Entering the Double Tree, there was a large light up sign on the high wall that greeted the AMTA convention attendees. There was a definite buzz in the lobby with all the small scattered groups of people with matching event lanyards and backpacks. I wanted to be an identifiable part of this group, so I checked into my room, grabbed my jacket and headed out towards the Convention Center. The convention goers were everywhere as I made my way down the streets. Just in time, I got my lanyard, backpack, and bright pink ribbon identifying me as a newbie.
When I got back to the hotel, up to the 14th floor, there was a party going on next door to my room. I was certain that it was an AMTA gathering of some sort. Curiosity got the best of me and so I walked slowly down the hall and casually glanced at the open double doors of the room. The gathering was filled with well dressed MTs who were carrying on like they were at a holiday party/family reunion. As I went back to my room and prepared for bed, I enjoyed the laughter coming through the wall.
Day 2: Thursday, Oct 19th
First thing in the morning I could already hear chatting and laughter in the hallway. Breakfast was at a local café hosted by the California Chapter AMTA. I met up with NHI grad and TA Cheri Keene and walked over to the café. We were greeted into the warm and cozy space by Melissa Colburn, the California Chapter President. NHI teacher Patrick Keehan joined us in line. Here is also where I met Melissa Wheeler and Joe Bob Smith for the first time. I knew instantly that I was in good hands. We huddled around a small table and took a couple photos while we waited for our breakfast. There were at least three NHI Alumni from years past seated around the room who would eventually come say hello to Melissa W. As I sat back in my chair trying to take it all in, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in an exclusive club, sitting at the cool kids table. After a lovely speech by Melissa C., we walked to the Convention Center.
The Opening Session & Awards Presentations were about to begin. The room was filled with many different kinds of people from all over the United States. At that moment I knew that I was a part of something fabulous. The diversity was remarkable. Some MTs had grouped themselves together by State Chapter and many were wearing matching t-shirts. The AMTA President spoke with a genuine smile as though she was greeting all her favorite friends from college. The Keynote Speaker, Kevin Carroll, was incredibly inspiring. Hearing his story gave me the feeling that if I worked hard, I could truly accomplish anything that I put my heart into. The awards were fun to watch. People were getting awards for many different things including how long they had been a part of the AMTA. I can’t imagine what some of the people who have been massaging for thirty-plus years must have had to endure without the current support we now have for Massage Therapy.
Following the Opening Session, Massage Envy sponsored a beautiful lunch for “First-timers.” It was fun sitting at the large round table hearing where the other therapists travelled from. I made quick work of my delicious red quinoa so that I could excuse myself from the table and head to the exhibits.
I began moving through the isles of exhibits a little overwhelmed by all there was to look at. The first place that I stopped at was the Trail Guide to the Body booth. Here I met Andrew Biel who dressed just like someone who would have rock climbed skeletons in his text book. He was very approachable and easygoing. At the booth I learned about some online study resources for students and gained even more of an appreciation for the text that NHI had chosen to use in its program. It was in the Exhibit Hall that I met NHI ANMT creator and incoming 2012 AMTA President Cynthia Ribeiro and received the best hug I’ve had in a long time. I felt her genuine warmth as she urged me to call her if I needed anything. Next, Melissa W. introduced me to Lynda Solien-Wolfe and the other fabulous people of Biofreeze. It is doubtful that they realize how much I appreciate their generosity in funding the scholarship and what an incredible difference they have made in the start of my professional life. After pictures, I wandered around taking in all the excitement and then realized that it was class time.
The classes that I took were led by people who were all very motivational. Some of the classes were very organic without much of an outline, using group discussion to propel it through to different topics.
Transition from Clients to Patients
Elizabeth McIntyre presented this class on different aspects of clinical settings. She starts by suggesting that new MTs spend two to three years working before pursuing work in Health Care settings. Also suggested is to get HIPAA certification. She explained that the Clinical environment is a conservative one. No shorts, cover tattoos, no visible body piercings, hair pulled back, no perfume/aftershave lotion, closed shoes, no sandals and wear security badge at all times. Some of the things that she suggests one going into a healthcare facility to work, be aware of are the special precautions when working with certain groups of people. Also, know about and protect yourself from the different infections that you would be exposed to.
After my first class I met a couple of women from New Hampshire. When they found out that I was a first-timer, they insisted that I join them for a quick trip to the House of Delegates Meeting. During the short time that we were observing, the delegates were expressing opinions on the issue of Fibromyalgia. It was interesting to see how many people were involved in the decision making process of the AMTA.
Smart Marketing with Social Media
This fun and dynamic speaker, Felicia Brown, defined marketing as anything that touches the client and makes them want to (or not to) do business with you or your company. Social media marketing was described as marketing on the web. She suggests using social media to build a relationship with people who want to feel connected. Because it is easy for many of us to lose track of time when online, have a plan before getting on the computer. Set a boundary for time and social media, for example 20 minutes a night. Find out what social media sites your potential clients use. Felicia states her top social media sites as being Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Make each of your sites a little unique and exciting. Facebook is a great way to increase communication with clients. You can thank them for “liking” your page. Always remember HIPAA rules and never write any persons personal information. Felicia also warns against ever putting anything out on the internet that you don’t want the world to see. On Yelp you can create a company profile and ask clients to post on it. Monitor it regularly to make sure that you are aware of any issues that may arise. Use YouTube to link videos to your website or Facebook. Twitter can be used for microblogging, announcing specials and events. She outlines tasks that could help business. Create content by: regular updates, sharing quotes and links, posting videos and pictures. Create and encourage conversations by: writing a blog, participating in groups, asking and answering questions. Create an expert image and persona by: sharing resources about industry, highlighting the services offered, explaining benefits of various modalities. Create connections by: inviting people to connect/become friends, making recommendations, commenting on others’ status or links. Create opportunities for people to take action: links to your website and blog, information about upcoming specials, request reviews. Increase professional knowledge and confidence: watch YouTube videos (www.youtube.com/massagenerd), like or fellow industry experts (www.facebook.com/smartspamarketing), reading and commenting on blogs.
Day 3: Friday, Oct 20th
Five Fast Tracks to Filling Your Practice
In this class taught by Mr. Stephenson, we learned about five things to consider when wanting to better your practice. At the beginning of the class the presenter shared some striking statistics. A Massage Therapists’ career expectancy is 6.3 years. There are 60,000 people a year in MT school. 50,000 people a year exit the massage profession.
1] Make your clients highly satisfied as opposed to simply satisfied. Highly satisfied clients are two times likely to return and three times likely to recommend to a friend.
2] Communication, 80% is non-verbal. Have good intent and an open heart when speaking to a client. Know if you are talking to a feeler or thinker and adjust your language to match them. When getting feedback during a session, don’t ask “How’s the pressure?” Do ask “would you like more pressure?” or “would you like less pressure?” Mirror back what you heard the client say. Pay attention to what the client wants when beginning a session and repeat it back to them. Communicate very clearly what the agreement is so that the expectations of the client are met.
3] The Sacred Three: Give a warm welcome. Find out why they are there, and then deliver. Invite them to return.
4] Media research. Research so that you can educate your client at timely stages off the interaction.
5] Treatment Planning. Make an educated guess on how many sessions it would take to improve a problem area, and then give the client the opportunity to agree to the timeline and pay for the sessions.
The final point that I took away from the class was to make a BHAG – Big Harry Audacious Goal.
Setting and Managing Boundaries
Kirk Nelson begins by listing some different types of boundaries for Massage Therapy. Physical, emotional, professional, sexual, and social. Some common boundary myths include that if I set boundaries, I’m being selfish. Boundaries are a sign of disobedience. If I begin setting boundaries, I will be hurt by others. If I set boundaries, I will hurt others. Boundaries mean that I am angry. Boundaries cause feelings of guilt. Boundaries are permanent and I’m afraid of burning my bridges. Nelson describes Ten Laws of Boundaries.
1] Law of Sowing and Reaping: Understanding cause and effect.
2] Law of Responsibility: Being responsible “to” others, and not “for” others.
3] Law of Power: Honoring the power of change vs. the power of acceptance.
4] Law of Respect: Respecting the boundaries of others earns respect for our own.
5] Law of Motivation: Acting from a place of love instead of fear.
6] Law of Evaluation: Recognizing the difference between “hurt” and “harm”.
7] Law of Proactivity: Moving from showing what you hate to what you love.
8] Law of Envy: Focusing on the boundaries of others.
9] Law of Activity: Creating positive boundaries requires us to be active.
10] Law of Exposure: Communicating your boundaries openly.
After my classes for the day, I was invited to a Massage Envy gathering back at the hotel. There was food presented in the middle of the room and tables of people arranged around it. Here is where I met authors Ruth Werner and Whitney Lowe and the CEO of Biofreeze, Marshall Dahneke, all very inspiring people. As I looked around, Joe Bob identified the other massage professionals in the room. After Massage Envy VP GC Funk gave a speech, as tradition, Joe Bob was invited to the microphone to sing a couple songs. This was an extremely entertaining experience as the crowd cheered and the backup singers gave it their all. I had the opportunity to speak with a few Massage Envy employees who raved about how much they enjoyed working for the company. I took this as a sign to look into possible Massage Envy employment.
Day 4: Saturday, Oct 21st
Navigating the Complex World of Health Care Integration
This was a panel discussion lead by a Massage Therapist, Naturopathic Doctor, Physical Therapist and Medical Doctor. The Power Point presentation is available on the AMTA website under the 2011 National Convention Speaker Handouts, and is definitely worth taking the time to go through and think about. The panel discussed a lot of different ways that MTs are and aren’t a part of integrated health care. The advice that stuck with me was to reframe our professional image as Massage Therapists and “claim what’s ours”. To me, I took it as an invitation to push in creating the kind of work environment I want. If I want to be a respected member of a health care team, then I have to create in myself a respectable, knowledgeable Massage Therapist.
Massage Therapists like to dance. I had heard this a few times in Portland, but didn’t truly understand until the Dinner Dance. I took my sister, Amber, who lives in Portland as my date. A huge conference room beautifully decorated for a semi formal dinner was filled with the people that I had seen throughout the last few days. In the middle of the elegantly arranged dining tables laid a stack of Styrofoam airplanes in honor of next year’s convention to be held North Carolina, birthplace of manned flight. As soon as the band began to play, the tables emptied and the dance floor was overflowing with people dancing like they didn’t have a care in the world. As they danced, a constant flow of fifteen or so Styrofoam airplanes soared over the dance floor. In the back of the room a line began to form at the photo booth. People were decorating themselves with big hats, wigs, giant sunglasses, and boas for their turn in front of the camera. As Lynda and Joe Bob were cuttin’ it up on the dance floor, and Melissa was giving relationship advice to my sister, I again acknowledged the appreciation I had for the whole experience. Not only had I learned things in classes that would help me build a strong career, but I also realized that I am part of an incredible group of individuals and have a choice as to what extent I can be involved in growing and moving the Massage Therapy profession forward. I look forward to my experiences at the 2012 AMTA National Convention.
NHI Senior Student, Sacramento Campus
December 8, 2011 9 Comments
How many times in life do you get a dress rehearsal before you have to do the real thing? They say life is about diving in head first, taking a leap of faith and just doing it. That may work for some people but it doesn’t work for everyone. After all, you wouldn’t buy a car without getting a feel for how it handles and seeing yourself in the driver’s seat, would you?
We want to help you make the best decision when it comes to choosing the right school and the right career path. We want you to have the chance to experience NHI before you decide become a student.
You keep hearing that it is an amazing journey from beginning to end and the testimonials give you a sense of how this program impacts a student’s life, but what is it really like to be a student at NHI? After all, going to school is a big commitment and an investment in your future. Well, what if you could attend a class for the day with no commitment? Could you imagine yourself as a massage therapist?
Well, this is your turn to experience it. We are giving you the opportunity to observe and participate in a class at a campus near you. We know you will love what you see. After all, we want to help you have work you love.
There are many ways to find out when the next Class Observation will be!
-Tell our Admissions Team that you are interested in learning more about classes at NHI!
-Like our NHI Facebook Page and your campus Facebook Page to receive invites in your news feed!
-Keep an eye on our Campus Events Calendar!
October 19, 2011 No Comments
Over the weekend of August 20th, National Holistic Institute’s own Julie Porter and Esko Homsi assisted new AMTA President Elect Cynthia Ribeiro with a class on shoulder rehabilitation and massage at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center in Prescott Arizona.
The event was an AMTA sponsored, 10 hour, continuing education class offered to the AMTA’s Arizona chapter members. The class consisted of trigger point work, several muscles involved with shoulder anatomy, assessment, and ample bodywork time.
Cynthia shined, as usual, commanding instant respect upon a room of 80 or so members. She was very animated going over a broad range of information in a matter of hours. Julie and Esko were there assisting with both body mechanics and clearing up questions on the comprehensive knowledge for students needing some more clarity on the information.
“A lot of the students had a plethora of knowledge reflected in their work this weekend, but at the same time it made me realize how advantageous our program is to most programs around the country. The overall quality of work from body mechanics, to understanding the anatomy, to application of techniques is really put into a complete picture for the students here at NHI. It’s clear that they receive a more complete puzzle than some throughout the country.” ~Esko
“Cynthia, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your expert teaching this weekend in Prescott. You are the most fun and well versed instructor I have ever had. Even though you had to go quickly to cover the information you had two excellent assistants to help answer my questions and to help the two day class go smoothly.” ~AMTA member
Though the workshop was an AMTA event, the Advanced Program and NHI was well represented, by both Cynthia and her assistants. Overall, it was a huge success and will lead to more opportunities for NHI to appear at national massage therapy events for NHI in the years to come.
September 8, 2011 No Comments
National Holistic Institute and Biofreeze proudly announce that Lya Daggett, a senior student at the NHI Sacramento campus, has won the 2011 NHI/Biofreeze AMTA Convention Scholarship, honoring 2010 AMTA/Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year and NHI staffer Melissa Wheeler.
Lya will receive complimentary registration, airfare, and hotel for the 2011 American Massage Therapy Association National Convention in Portland, Oregon, this October compliments of NHI and generous underwriting from Biofreeze. While at the convention, Lya will attend numerous continuing education classes as well as special events as a representative and honoree of NHI and Biofreeze.
Many inspirational and compelling applicants submitted essays and letters of recommendation. The scholarship committee expressed desire to send them all. However, with above 95% attendance, over 3.8 GPA, a creatively written essay, and two glowing letters of recommendation, Lya demonstrated herself as a standout student and massage therapist.
In her scholarship essay she writes, “The dream of Massage Therapist has been with me since I was a child.” Lya is especially excited about attending the AMTA National Convention for the first time. “Attending the AMTA National Convention will enrich my massage career in many ways that I know, and many more that I won’t realize until I’m back in Sacramento sharing what I learned with my NHI student family.”
Lya plans to bring as much of the convention experience back with her for those who cannot make the trip by “providing written and verbal information/discussion to my classmates as well as some hands on demonstration. I would also be delighted to lead a discussion group for any interested students.” Lya graduates as a professional Massage Therapist and Health Educator with 720 hours of training from NHI this November. Her training has also enabled her to become certified by the California Massage Therapy Council.
The NHI/Biofreeze AMTA Convention Scholarship is open to seniors and graduates of all 6 NHI campuses and was the brainchild of NHI veteran teacher Melissa Wheeler. After being named the 2010 AMTA/Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year, Melissa envisioned a way others could experience the same sort of inspiration provided to her by attending massage conventions throughout her career. She knew many students and graduates beginning their careers did not have the means to attend and, thus, the idea of a scholarship was born. With a multi-year financial commitment from Biofreeze, NHI and Melissa Wheeler hope this annual scholarship will help Lya Dagget and other future massage therapists have work they love!
August 24, 2011 No Comments
Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program (ANMT) at the National Holistic Institute (NHI) Massage Therapy School ‘Wows’ Students and Employers
Our 400 hour Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program has been growing rapidly since Cynthia Ribeiro (AMTA President-Elect) formulated the curriculum with NHI from her own popular Advanced Neuromuscular courses. The program builds on the skills and knowledge that students who completed a comprehensive massage therapy program have already aquired. This extra education puts graduates ahead of the competition and prepares them to be confident and knowledgeable in massage positions that require a deeper understanding of the science and anatomy behind massage therapy.
Hear from our graduates and instructors as they give you their personal perspective on how the program can open doors
Graduates of the Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program will be able to evaluate and differentiate between myofascial pain or dysfunction, as opposed to injury, and to employ effective techniques to address these issues with significant client results. They will be able to work as Massage Therapists in Pain Management settings such as Hospitals, Doctors’ offices, Physical Therapists’ offices, Rehabilitation Centers, in high-end spas and resorts, with sports teams and Sports Medicine settings, and as private practitioners with independent or referral-based clients.
To learn more about the program or contact an Admissions Representative,
Call (800) 315-3552
August 3, 2011 No Comments
A Different Kind of Bedtime Story | Encourage Healthy Growth and Development Through Pediatric Massage Therapy
Pediatric Massage Master Teacher Tina Allen rolled into NHI’s San Jose campus recently to talk about the value of massage for infants and children. Allen, the founder of Liddle Kidz Foundation travels North America with her husband and young son in a customized tour bus giving workshops and presentations about the benefits of touch therapy for the youngest among us. Although massage is often still seen by the general public as an annual luxury or first aid for a sore back after a weeketnd of cleaning up the yard, it can also support healthy, well children in the normal process of growth and development, as well little ones who are struggling with complex medical conditions. And Tina Allen should know: She managed the United States’ first comprehensive pediatric massage program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and recently consulted on the development of a comprehensive pediatric massage therapy program at The Mayo Clinic.
A fun way Tina shared of introducing massage to children is through massage stories. Using a combination of light strokes such as hand glides, palm circles, finger taps, and cupping, she guided the group of 30+ San Jose students, staff, and faculty through a familiar story: the change of weather from a bright sunny day to one with lots of snow. It even included a guest appearance by a pair of cats on the top of a chimney! Ms. Allen encouraged NHI students to develop their own massage stories and to try them out on the children in their lives. Whether it’s a massage story about making a pizza, planting a garden or taking a swim in the ocean, it’s Tina Allen’s conviction that children who have a positive experience with healthy touch early on in their lives will grow up to be peaceful leaders in the world. Tina feels so strongly about this vision that she organizes, trains, and leads volunteers on trips to orphanages abroad. Previous sites included Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand, with Ghana slated for later this year. She is also a certified trainer of Peaceful Touch.
June 10, 2011 1 Comment
Are you a National Holistic Institute student or graduate interested in acquiring more clients? Are you a full-time massage therapy practitioner with little or no money to spend on advertising but need more massage clients? Do you have a limited amount of time for marketing and want to invest your energy in activities that have the highest potential return?
If so, consider, you should attending Holistic Buzz Camp, a four-hour interactive workshop designed to provide you with highly effective yet free or inexpensive word of mouth marketing tools and techniques to grow your massage therapy practice. This event will be offered on 4/28/11 at NHI Emeryville and 5/21/11 NHI Studio City. You will learn how to: [Read more →]
April 13, 2011 No Comments
Health and well being are some of our most valuable resources. Without them it is difficult to enjoy life, to be productive and to flourish as individuals and communities. Yet often self care takes the back burner as we prioritize everything else in our busy lives.
National Holistic Institute, Petaluma Campus is offering a free monthly Community Education night. Our goal is to contribute positively to this wonderful community we work in, and to offer a respite from this busy hectic world we live in. Come and join us to learn about: [Read more →]
April 6, 2011 No Comments
Getting Involved! Take Advantage of These Massage Therapy Opportunities: Professional Massage Associations, Continuing Massage Therapy Education, and Local Massage Events
Being a massage therapist can look like a solitary profession at first glance – one therapist, often her own boss, working with one client at a time. But look again and you see vast networks linking therapist to therapist, creating the rich tapestry we call our profession.
What’s wrong with simply working alone? Isn’t that what being your own boss means? [Read more →]
January 19, 2011 No Comments