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A Peek Into The 2012 AMTA National Convention

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!

Read On For Pictures and Frankie’s Diary of the Event! ☟

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December 20, 2012   1 Comment

Melissa Wheeler Named AMTA Teacher of the Year: Article Featured in Massage Magazine

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Wrapping up 2010 with a streak of good news, we are excited to share the success story of NHI’s long-time teacher and Training Coordinator, Melissa Wheeler. Melissa was just featured in Massage Magazine for being named the American Massage Therapy Association 2010 Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year.  In addition to congratulating Melissa for her dedication to massage therapy education, we would like to thank her for her continued support of all of the teachers, so many graduates and the current students at the National Holistic Institute.

wheeler “I will never forget walking into the doors of the National Holistic Institute and feeling the professional, fun buzz” says Melissa remembering her first experiences as a perspective NHI student . ”I knew instinctively that NHI was the place for me.  I loved every minute of my education at NHI and had so much respect for the teachers who gave their all to us students.  It is hard to believe that I became one of those teachers that people looked up to – truly, this award is as much for all the teachers and students from NHI as it is for me.  I did not get here alone.”

Here’s to Melissa and anybody else that thought they’d never make it to where they are today!  Individuals like her are making a positive change in the field of massage therapy, and we look forward to our graduates following her example. We hope you and your loved ones enjoy the coming holidays and that we all continue to support each other in everything that we do.

You can read more about Melissa’s achievement in Massage Magazine’s article here.

December 22, 2010   No Comments

NHI Mourns Jim Charlesworth

Jim Charlesworth (right) responds to the 1989 earthquake.

Jim Charlesworth (right) responds to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The massage therapist who created what is believed to be the first team of massage therapists to provide massage to emergency-response workers has died from cancer, age 53.

In 1989, massage therapist James “Jim” Charlesworth was an admissions counselor for the National Holistic Institute in Emeryville, California, when the Loma Prieta Earthquake hit.

“Across the street from NHI was the horrible highway collapse,” read an obituary posted on the website of Emergency Response Massage International. “He mobilized a massage team and worked with many volunteers giving 8,000 massages to relief workers to ease those providing rescue efforts. The mayor of San Francisco [Read more →]

June 24, 2010   2 Comments

Pink Slip Massage Therapy Relief Act (PSMTRA)

The National Holistic Institute (NHI) in Encino is launching the Pink Slip Massage Therapy Relief Act (PSMTRA) which will provide one free 50-minute massage to any unemployed person who has a pink slip or other verification of unemployment issued within the last 90 days. Eligible individuals must book online at Encino Clinic. Appointments will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis the following dates only: April 17 & 24 and May 8 & 15.

The PSMRTA continues NHI‘s long-standing tradition of offering free massage therapy to people in need. In response to the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, NHI began the Massage Emergency Response Team (MERT) that is now used nationally to organize volunteer massage therapy on rescue and recovery workers at disaster sites. 

The latest California unemployment rate (2/09) was 10.5%, tying Rhode Island for the fifth highest rate in the country. Rising unemployment has dramatically increased stress levels for the jobless and their families. Massage therapy has been proven to relieve stress, relax muscles, increase joint mobility, lower blood pressure and boost productivity. In fact, according to the American Massage Therapy Association, 36 percent of Americans got a massage to relieve stress in 2008.

Massage Magazine online recognized the PSMTRA as their top news story today!

Click Here for the Full Article on

April 16, 2009   No Comments

Infant Massage

“Infants who received massage therapy compared to those who were rocked experienced greater daily weight gain; more organized sleep/wake behaviors; less fussiness; improved sociability and soothability; improved interaction behaviors; and lower cortisol and norepinephrine and increased serotonin levels.”  This is according to a study led by Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami.

Our school has long supported infant massage and it’s with great pride that we’ve watched one of our own become a leading expert in this field.  Since graduating from Touch Therapy Institute (before it became National Holistic Institute), Suzanne P. Reese has traveled the world first learning about infant massage and then becoming one of it’s most esteemed champions.  She has published both a book (Baby Massage) and a CD (Talk to Me), created a series of videos for, and was featured in People magazine for her work with the orphans of Chernobyl.  Just this week, Suzanne wrote an article for Massage Magazine online about the benefits of infant massage for infants, families, and society.

Suzanne will be at our Encino campus this Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (September 18-21) teaching the Infant Massage Educator Certification course.  Students are trained to teach parents and caregivers how to massage their own infants.  For many hands-on practitioners, this offers a non-hands-on opportunity to expand their practice and possibly compliment their existing pre- and peri-natal care.  It is an ideal way to follow through with parents and caregivers who have sought out massage services for themselves.  The class is open to everyone and, as of this writing, there are only 4 spaces left.  Email Denise at to register.

For more information on Suzanne P. Reese, check out

September 16, 2008   No Comments

Massage at the Olympics

Happy 1st week!  By coincidence, this blog began one week ago on the same lucky day as the Olympics in Beijing – 08/08/08.  But then, many would say there are no coincidences.  Massage and sports have a long, beneficial history together.  In fact, some of our graduates have massaged at Olympics past, but I haven’t heard if any are in China currently.  Still, if you’d like to hear about what it’s like to be at the Olympics from a massage therapist’s point-of-view, Massage Magazine has a blog on that subject going now.  Click here to read all about it.


August 15, 2008   No Comments