If you hadn’t heard yet, April was National Autism Awareness month. Currently, we are in a trend of a growing number of children being diagnosed with developmental disorders which include Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), pervasive development disorder (PDD), and nonverbal learning disorder (NLD).
These disorders used to be rare. In the 1980s, the diagnosis rate was 1 in 5000. Today, we are at 1 in 110. With this rising rate, it is becoming more common for us to know at least one person in our life that either has Autism or is the parent of an Autistic child.
Tina Allen, founder of Liddle Kidz™, Pediatric Massage Master Teacher, and Massage Therapist says, “Many autistic children have sensory malfunction and dysfunction of the tactile system making them averse to certain sights, sounds, smells or touch. Given that autistic children have been reported to be opposed to physical contact, it is interesting that many massage therapists, and parents, are finding great success in the use of massage therapy with autistic children.”
She also states, “Research has found that these children show less autistic behavior, are more social and attentive after receiving massage therapy. This safe, nurturing touch and regular sensory integration is beneficial in reducing inattentiveness, touch aversion and withdrawal.”
The Liddle Kidz™ foundation offers Massage Therapists NCBTMB-Approved Training on Massage for children with Autism. These courses review what Autism is, what type of therapies are currently used, how to communicate, educating tools to help empower the parents, as well as hands-on practice time.
With this rising rate becoming as common as other pathologies, it is important that Massage Therapists become educated and prepared for this potential application to their practice. It very well could change the life of a family in a very positive way.
To introduce children to therapeutic touch, Tina suggests combining storytelling with touch to make the experience very positive for the child. Read our blog post, A Different Kind of Bedtime Story to find out how!
For more information on LiddleKidz™ and class schedules visit: http://www.liddlekidz.com/autism-massage-training.html
National Holistic Institute Sacramento Instructor
April 30, 2012 No Comments
Nicole Vandehurst has been a member of the AMTA since 2004 and was recently elected President of the Redwood Empire Unit. She brings a rich background of experience as a massage therapist along with a dedication to education and advancement of the field. In addition to her new role as President of the Redwood Empire AMTA Chapter, Nicole continues to provide her skill and passion for massage to our students as instructor at National Holistic Institute.
During the interview, Nicole candidly shared her views on professional massage therapy organizations, her hopes for her chapter in the coming year and her excitement about the legislative changes happening in the field of massage therapy.
Why did you become an AMTA member?
I want to be a member of an organization that stands for professionalism in this field. I believe it enhances my standing as a massage therapist.
What benefits are there to joining a professional organization?
AMTA membership offers many benefits to massage therapists: It provides a sense of community and support, networking opportunities, continuing education, insurance, and up to date information on what is happening in the field – from current research to updates on legislative changes, both locally and nationally. I particularly like that it is a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of the entire field of Massage Therapy. I love the newsletters and magazines and always find inspiration in the articles for my practice and my teaching.
Why choose AMTA?
There are a couple of good choices for Massage Therapists wanting to be part of a professional organization and some therapists like to join more then one. I chose AMTA because of the local chapters. It is so valuable to have that community support and dialogue. Also, AMTA has the ability to bring nationally recognized leaders in the field to the local chapters. I am a life long student of Massage Therapy and I appreciate all the education opportunities AMTA offers. I hope I never stop learning!
There are many changes happening in the field right now, especially in California. AMTA helps me stay current with what the newest trends are and with what is happening in our local legislation. It is an exciting time to be a massage therapist, but the rapid changes can sometimes be confusing too. AMTA helps us know what is going on without feeling overwhelmed. Their website gives information on how to get involved . As a massage therapist with a busy practice and a teaching career, I find the website one of the easiest ways to stay informed.
Another great thing about the website is that you can see a national calendar of events as well as your local calendar. So if I am traveling and want to find out what is happening in the area I am visiting, or if I want to locate a particular teacher, I have all the information I need in one place.
What goals do you hope to accomplish as chapter president?
I hope to increase local membership and chapter involvement. I want to be a thriving and connected community. I see us all working together to increase public awareness of the value of massage therapy. Education and networking will support successful Massage Therapists and they in turn will be supporting community wellness and health.
How do your roles of AMTA chapter president and instructor at NHI intertwine?
NHI has always stood for the highest standards of professionalism and education, and so does AMTA. They fit together like hand and glove.
April 19, 2012 1 Comment
Waking up before dawn isn’t always the easiest thing to do… but when it’s for a Sports Team Event like the Oakland Running Festival, you can be sure that the day ahead will be full of excitement.
Some National Holistic Institute students were so eager that they beat the instructors to the site. While dark clouds filled the sky, the students’ spirits remained bright. As we began setting up the tent prepared for the team, we knew there wasn’t going to be enough room. The Emeryville campus and Sabrina Italia even came prepared with two additional tents – still, there were at least 8 tables that were left to brave the elements.
Before the event began, Curtis Hisao led our crew in a briefing to lay out our expectations for the day and of course… took some group pictures! One of the Emeryville Team, one of the San Jose Team and the all inclusive team picture. (You can see the sun trying its best to come out to greet us)
Over 9,000 people participated in the Running Festival this year and as the students can attest, the runners came in tsunami-sized waves to the massage tent. First the 5K and 10K runners were treated to the bodywork… then after a 45 minute pause in the action, the Half and Full Marathoners came crashing down on the massage tent. With support from Dr. Jessica Greaux and InnerSport Chiropractic, the team completed over 450 complimentary massage sessions, including one special session for a national spokes…gecko???
The NHI Team enjoyed their 3rd year supporting the efforts of The Oakland Running Festival and with the continued growth of the event, it appears to have a bright and exciting future ahead.
March 28, 2012 1 Comment
Springtime is just around the corner, and with it comes the natural inclination for a fresh, clean start! While this year’s lack-of-a-winter in most of California is an exception, generally spring means an end to the cold, dark part of the year and a rebirth of new life and activity.
This means it’s also a natural time for cleansing… on all different levels. Cleaning the house is a no-brainer, and probably needs little explanation or description. But we also live in our bodies (well, some of us, anyway!), and the body collects the physiological, energetic, and emotional equivalent of cobwebs, dust-balls, and cluttered closets as well!
So how can we give our bodies a good spring cleaning? Here’s a few of my favorite ways:
Up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, the ‘Old Timers’ have an interesting spring ritual. After eating little but pork and potatoes all winter, they would understandably feel a little sluggish come springtime. Some of the first wild plants that push up thru the spring snow are burdock and nettles, which are known in herbal lore for their power to cleanse the blood.
The old-timey mountain folk would make a nutritious and purifying tea from these plants to flush out the toxins their bodies had accumulated over the winter. Burdock, nettles, and other “spring cleaners” grow in California – but it’s probably a good idea to seek some qualified instruction before harvesting or preparing wild plants. Or just pick up an herbal tea from your local health food store’s herb department!
In addition to wild plants, another passion of mine is yoga, and a great cure for the winter blahs is movement. I’m particularly fond of the classic sequence of Hatha Yoga postures known as the Sun Salutation. This flowing sequence of forward folds, back bends, and hip openers is renowned for its stimulatory effects, especially its ability to improve the flow of lymph. Now, if you don’t already know, the lymphatic system is closely connected to our immune system and anything that helps the lymph flow generally helps our immune system function better. Just in time for when that spring pollen fires up the allergies!
Finally, let me suggest that you GET A MASSAGE! Most styles of massage help lymph and blood flow more efficiently, and some styles (like lymphatic massage!) are intended specifically to help support the body’s natural cleansing, detoxing, and immune functions. Of course, almost all massage feels great, lifts the mood, increases the energy, and can help relieve the stiffness that follows the inactivity of winter.
So, whatever method works for you, let me wish you a happy spring cleaning!
To schedule a massage at one of our California locations: http://nhi.edu/massage_clinic/index.html
March 19, 2012 No Comments
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
With the first rains of the season in the Bay Area recently, we started getting a little chilly! And what better way to fight off the winter blues than a steamy Thai Herbal Compress Massage! NHI Instructors Kristine TenBrink and Darlene Campo recently led a special lab for Group 30 Seniors in Luk Pra Kob (as the modality is known in Thailand). Both teachers have had extensive, but slightly different experience working with the compresses: Kristine was trained in Thaiyurveda while working at the exclusive Preston Wynne Spa in Saratoga, while Darlene studied Thai Herbalism at Spirit Winds School of Thai Massage in Nevada City and recently attended a lecture given by Ajahn Supamas Kananurak at the Second Annual Traditional Thai Medicine & Massage Symposium organized by the Thai Institute of Healing Arts in Arlington, Virginia.
Students used authentic, handmade herbal compresses from Thailand which were purchased at Bua Thai Wellness Center in San Mateo. Each cotton muslin sachet contained indigenous Thai herbs such as Siamese ginger, tamarind leaves, lemongrass, and kaffir lime peel, along with generous portions of camphor, borneol, sea salt, and turmeric. (Note: For more information about the healing properties of Thai herbs, please see A Thai Herbal: Traditional Recipes for Health and Harmony by Dr. Pierce Salguero.)
The poultices were placed in a vegetable steamer to heat, which released the aromatherapy and medicinal properties of the herbs. After testing the bundles on their forearm to ensure that they weren’t too hot for the client, the students addressed the Sen lines (energy pathways) of the back, softening the musculature, and encouraging the free flow of energy. The combination of moist heat and compression was not only therapeutic, but also highly relaxing for the client. Even Kristine and Darlene left the lab happy and calm from just being in the room with the herbs all morning!
To learn more about NHI’s curriculum including both Eastern and Western modalities, check out Our Curriculum Page.
February 15, 2012 2 Comments
This week’s blog post is brought to you courtesy of Johnathan Levy, NHI student and author of The Book of Sun Chaser: Life As Eye See It. For many, NHI is not only a place to learn about massage therapy, but also a place to grow as an individual. A lot of our students take advantage of the flexibility of being a massage therapist by pursuing their passions alongside massage and healing. Reggie Wright for example, continues along his path of being a musician as well as a massage therapist, the two constantly feeding and supplementing each other.
Johnathan has taken the opportunity to learn from the holistic and connective power of massage therapy and has included many snippets of advice, inspiration and wisdom that anyone, including his fellow massage therapists, could benefit from.
The Book of Sun Chaser: Life As Eye See It, is a collection of profoundly simplistic, divinely appointed, life inspired wisdoms, insights, and knowledge transcribed with an intention and purpose to motivate, encourage, challenge, question, inspire, illuminate and help. As I mention in my book, all that I have ever gone through, experienced, learned, been privy to, etc. I share in the most genuine and sincere hope that it can help another. Topics incorporated in The Book of Sun Chaser, include the concepts of Natural versus Super-Natural, Reacting versus Responding, Balance, Harmony, Energy, Self – Fulfillment, and a host of other topics designed to improve quality of life physically and metaphysically.
The concept of Natural versus Super-Natural refers to living a life of mediocrity, never truly pushing oneself, settling versus living a life of striving for excellence in everything that you make yourself available to. Reacting versus Responding refers to acting rashly and hastily off of emotion versus thinking before you act, speak, and or do, acting off an intelligent decision. Balance, in life, in all aspects: mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, resulting in increased Harmony in your life. Also, being aware of your Energy and the Energy of your environment, whether it is positive and uplifting or negative and detrimental. And Self-Fulfillment, truly taking the time out to discover who you are and what makes you happy and fulfilled.
All of the mentioned principles and topics are all vital towards becoming a better human being. And by becoming a better human being, you will become better at what you apply yourself to. A specific example of this being Massage Therapy. These principles, which mirror principles and knowledge shared at the National Holistic Institute of Massage Therapy, allow me as a Massage Therapist to be more grounded and in a state of peace; providing me greater control over my intention, awareness, understanding of various modalities, ailments, energy (Chi), emotional state, etc. Producing a more enjoyable and therapeutic session for my clients as well as myself.
Massage Therapy has directly improved my life experiences by allowing me to gain more knowledge of the human body, how it works, and how I can impact it. Thus increasing my ability to improve my quality of life, my ability to deliver aid, and heal in another form. As well as being an excellent networking tool. The world of Massage Therapy has exposed me to a more diverse and expanded segment of society. Another real life benefit of Massage Therapy is that it allows me to have greater control over my schedule and life. I am able to have the option now of when I want to “work” or devote time to other endeavors. Massage Therapy has in essence removed the constrictions, allowing me greater flexibility. This greater flexibility encourages and provides a platform for greater personal fulfillment.
February 6, 2012 4 Comments
At NHI we pride ourselves in making Anatomy fun and easy to learn for everyone. We are fortunate enough to have a great collaborative relationship with the publishers of our Anatomy book we use, Trail Guide to the Body. The staff at Trail Guide to the Body is happy to train our faculty on any new learning tools and advances in the field of Anatomy. The Trail Guide is such a user friendly book, and now we have a companion Student Workbook and on-line tools for students and teachers alike. Learning anatomy has never been easier and more rewarding! And it is so much fun to learn about our own bodies work and then the bodies of our future massage clients!
Rhoni Hirst from Trail Guide to the Body recently wrote a warm email to NHI’s President and Vice President, sharing her regard for the devotion that our mentors showed toward the curriculum.
“Hi Mason and Tim,
I am not sure if you are aware but I have been holding some short trainings with your instructors regarding the complimentary online tools we offer for the Trail Guide to the Body text. We have 3 trainings completed and we have 3 more to go.
I spoke with Melissa this morning about how impressed I am with your crew and thought I would share this with you as well. Melissa has expressed how beneficial the trainings have been for the instructors and I told her how inspirational they have been for me… [I am amazed by] the focus, interest and enthusiasm I hear and feel from your instructors. It is very obvious to me that your instructors feel connected and know that they are a part of something bigger than just the classes they teach individually. There is also no doubt that this is filtering directly into your students as well.
I am sure it is not easy to keep such a big program so well connected but I have to tell you that, whatever you are doing over there, is working! Kudos to all of you!”
We feel honored to hear such wonderful words and would like to thank Rhoni for doing such a wonderful job bringing us up to speed on the latest Anatomy learning tools. We’d also like to congratulate all of our mentors who were in the training sessions with Rhoni for showing their NHI spirit. Here’s to many years ahead working with the Trail Guide to the Body and to making Anatomy accessible for everyone!
~National Holistic Institute
January 23, 2012 2 Comments
Love massages? Love holidays? How awesome would a massage holiday be?
The State Assembly has declared January 12, 2012, “California Massage Therapy Awareness Day!”
Just over two years ago, state-recognized certification began through the California Massage Therapy Council. With over 27,000 CAMTC-certified massage professionals to date, the California State Assembly is recognizing the strength of the massage therapy profession by naming a whole day in our honor.
California Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, Vice Chairman of the Assembly Business & Professions Committee, is arranging the resolution (Assemblymembers Hayashi, Ma and Butler signed/co-authored). He will present a framed copy of the resolution to Melissa Colburn, California Chapter President of the American Massage Therapy Association, and Patricia Rusert Gillette, AMTA-CA Greater Sacramento Area Unit President, on the Floor of the Assembly on Thursday, January 12th, during Assembly Session.
Professional members of the AMTA-CA chapter from the area who are CAMTC-certified will be providing complimentary chair massages to the public. John Lambert, an NHI teacher and graduate, will be among them.
National Holistic Institute is proud to take part and see our profession officially honored by the State of California!
January 12, 2012 No Comments
This week, we bring you a post from a few of our graduates – Gathering all they have learned at NHI, the San Jose campus alumni opened the Silicon Valley Massage Therapy Group, LLC. Their doors opened to the public in November of 2011 and they are on their way to a thriving new business. Their mission? “Exceptional body work, Exceptional results”… and we know they mean what they say. Without further ado, please allow us to introduce NHI grad Bard Williams of SV Massage Therapy Group:
“NHI isn’t just a place to get a world-class education as a massage therapist – it’s also an incubator for new entrepreneurs. As graduates we all have our dreams of how we might use our new skills – maybe a thriving private practice, working in an elegant spa, or following a sports team. There are lots of options! As a marketing exec and “serial entrepreneur”, I’ve always liked the challenge of building a business from the ground up. A massage practice has lots of moving parts and the process seemed nearly impossible at the beginning and I quickly realized that several heads were way better than one. I didn’t have to look far – two other really talented therapists were sitting right next to me in class! So, on 11/1/11, three NHI-San Jose students, Mayke Weiber, Javier Nikaido and I, launched the Silicon Valley Massage Therapy Group.
So, it’s official. We’re a “Silicon Valley startup” with big dreams. We quickly expanded the team to include fellow NHI student Sharon Lee whose amazing skills, positive energy and administrative talents helped us stay grounded and organized. We found an amazing location and worked through the process of licensing and getting the space ready. Then, as we each became CAMTC certified, we picked up more NHI students and alumni as therapists or to help with reception work. All of us continue to learn about the business of massage therapy. Luckily, we’ve got the support of classmates, our NHI instructors, friends, family and a whole bunch of people who appreciate our skills.
Now we’re all focused on attracting clients and building the practice. It’s so good to put into action the things we learned at NHI – from business and marketing to great bodywork, we all feel very prepared to move ahead with our dreams of a successful practice. We invite you to book a session with us online at www.svmassagetherapy.com or give us a call at (408) 260–CALM (2256), or contact us about employment opportunities at email@example.com. Mention this blog post and we’ll give you a nice discount.”
January 9, 2012 No Comments
We are aware of the tremendous benefits that regular massage can provide for our clients, such as improved circulation, increased joint mobility, and reduction in pain, body tension and anxiety.
These benefits we provide with our caring touch to our clients transform us as well. When we talk about doing work we love and how it can transform ourselves as practitioners, what do we mean?
I recall a friend I met in massage school who was suffering from M.E., (Myalgic Encephalitis) an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, following a viral infection. An Ayurvedic physician had prescribed massage as part of his therapy – here’s the surprise; the prescription was not for receiving, but rather giving massage. In “Ancient Indian Massage” Harish Johari writes about massage as a beneficial practice for wrestlers. He recommends giving at least two massages and receiving one massage daily for strength and flexibility.
Tiffany Field, PhD of the Touch Research Institute in Florida has thoroughly researched the effect of massage therapy in a wide and varied range of situations. She has documented the benefits massage can bring to aggressive adolescents, children and teens with ADHD, those suffering with Anorexia Nervosa, Alzheimer’s, hypertension…. the list goes on. One study however has intriguing results. Field compares a group of elderly retired volunteers who received massage, with another group who provided massage to infants. The group who massaged the infants showed less anxiety and depression, as well as lower levels of stress hormones.
The touch receptors in our skin do not differentiate between touching and being touched. I felt this just today when I was performing abdominal work on my client and found myself in the same meditative and relaxed state of mind that she was in during the massage. I call this “dropping in” with my client, or as Milton Trager called it “hook-up”. The movement of our bodies can be a meditation, whether we are practicing Swedish massage, Shiatsu, Thai or Deep Tissue. The rhythm and flow creates a harmony within our own body as well as our client’s.
It is true that not all of our client’s may have soft and tender musculature, like the infants in the study… some indeed may resemble an old walnut tree more than a newborn, and require a little more physical effort on the part of the therapist… but nevertheless, massage facilitates a deep human connection.
Many are the days when I have begun my day tired, grumpy, distracted by some small irritation… my allergies, a disagreement with a friend, or a worry about something. Half way through my second client, I realize that I am relieved of preoccupation with myself, and instead focused on providing a positive experience for another human being.
At the end of my day, I may be tired, but also satisfied…and my work gives me a compelling reason to eat well, rest well and take care of my body, so I can continue to have the incredible privilege of being in the present moment, together with my client… where we both can be renewed.
~Julie McGuinness and Jen Fogarty
What do you do to maximize the health benefits of being a massage therapist? How do you feel after giving a massage? Let us know in the comments below, or give us a shoutout @nhi_massage on Twitter, or post on our Facebook wall!
January 4, 2012 No Comments
12 Great Resolutions You Shouldn’t Make On New Years Day – Why You Broke Last Year’s Self-Help Promise
New Years Resolutions
We all make them….and we all break them.
In United States at least 80% of people make New Year’s resolutions related to health and fitness. Perhaps you belong to that group. Most of us start on January 1st with good intentions, high hopes and enthusiasm. What better way to start a new chapter in life than to sign up for a gym membership, yoga, dance, or Zoomba classes, just to mention few! We also commit to new healthy ways of eating – no more sugar, no more fats, no more alcohol, no more this and no more that.
We imagine feeling wonderful and looking great. We know what will get us there. We’re sure we can do it… But by February, the enthusiasm starts to fade and after a few more months most people forget their promises to themselves and return to their old ways.
So how do we stick to a plan that works?
The kind of resolutions that we tend to stick with are the less drastic ones. Make small changes from your regular routine and take baby steps. Make only one small change a month and by the end of 2012 you will have 12 new healthy habits!
January: Get a massage! If you’re going to make changes this year, why not start with an easy one? Plus, you need to de-stress after the busy holiday season. And regular massages are an excellent first step on the road to better health. Studies have shown that massage can relieve stress, reduce tension, ease pain, increase circulation, improve movement, and even promote weight loss! Keeping your resolution of a massage a month is easy at an affordable student massage clinic like the one at National Holistic Institute.
February: Take a few extra steps whenever possible. Park at the far end of the parking lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk around the block at lunch time. As you start to do more you will naturally want to do more. Exercise will no longer be a “have to” and will become a “get to”.
March: Drink more water. Ideally aim for 8 glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated can lift your mood and give you more energy. All your organs and systems will function better. And as an added bonus, it also makes your skin look better!
April: Make it a daily practice to think of at least one thing you are grateful for. Gratitude is a shortcut to happiness!
May: It’s Spring! Take time to notice flowers as you take that walk around the block that you started in February.
June: You are half way there. Take a minute to reflect on the changes you have made so far this year and take inventory of how you are feeling. It really wasn’t hard and the next six changes won’t be either.
This month add five minutes of quiet time to your daily schedule. Take a few deep breaths and just do nothing for five minutes – you might be amazed at how refreshed you feel.
July: Add a little stretching to your daily routine. Touch your toes, roll your neck, and reach for the sky. Keep it simple; every little bit counts.
August: Fresh fruits and vegetables abound in the summer. Add a salad to your menu once a day. Fruit salad for breakfast? Yum! A large green salad for lunch? Yum! No cooking over a hot stove? Yes!
September: Remove refined sugars from your diet. If you have sweet tooth opt for fresh fruit or treats made with stevia, honey or agave syrup in stead of refined white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. This is easy when you use your August resolution of natural fruit as a sweet when you crave it!
October: Practice weekly random acts of kindness
November: Time to clean out a closet and make way for the new. Find at least three items which you no longer use and recycle or donate them.
December: Switch to whole grain products rather the highly processed ones.
There are many simple things we can do to greatly improve the quality of our lives. Follow the monthly plan above, creating a lasting habit out of each small change, or create your own resolution calendar:
Instead of butter try using avocado, this unique fruit is loaded with minerals and vitamins especially vitamin E. It has healthy fats and protein that will satisfy you for hours and keep your hunger at bay. Eat large salads with your lunch and dinner. Skip the bread basket at the restaurant. Next time you go to grocery store, make sure to check the label ingredients. Choose cereals that are low in sugar.
Practice yoga or Pilates, or join a walking group. Spend less time in front of the TV and more time at the gym. Remember that texting does not count as exercise; you really should be working your larger muscle groups.
Skip your morning coffee house stop and start a vacation fund instead.
Health and fitness are especially important for massage therapists. Our work is physical and can be demanding on the body. Taking good care of ourselves is part of the job. As we become more fit we become stronger and more aware of our body mechanics. We are then able to do more work with less of a possibility of an injury. Sense of well being and balance infuse not only our bodies but also our minds. Suddenly we are enjoying our work much more. With the improvement of mental agility we uphold boundaries with our clients with ease. At the end of the day we feel energized instead of drained. Clients will know the difference…they are presented with a therapist who is grounded, patient and full of poise. We are role models for our clients; as they see the spark in our eyes and our healthy glow they are encouraged to make positive changes for themselves.
If you have very limited time in your schedule, incorporate physical activities throughout the day. Use the stairs instead of elevators or escalators. When you are watching TV or have a couple of free minutes at work stand with your knees slightly bent, bring your arms out to the side and do arm circles. Doing this few times a day for several minutes will increase blood circulation and build strength. When you start any fitness program start slowly and build to where you want to be. Most people get discouraged because they start with a plan that is too difficult for their fitness level. Gradual progress will give you a sense of accomplishment and ease the body into more strenuous activities. You should feel great after a workout not sore for days; “No pain no gain” is a fallacy!
Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. Stay present in the moment. It does not matter if you forgot about your New Year’s resolutions…today is another day. If you missed a workout or made a wrong food choice, do not dwell on it. Continue with your healthy plan the rest of the day and the damage will be minimal. After all, if you ran a red light you wouldn’t continue to do so for the rest of the day.
Focus on all the little things you can do today. It is best not to wait for big dates like New Year, Monday, first of the month…you have the power to make change right now.
Make everyday of the New Year your personal health and fitness day!
December 16, 2011 1 Comment
Through the past month and the Thanksgiving holiday, most people take the time to reflect on what they are thankful for. Usually the common answers to the question are family, friends, and health. As for me, I am thankful for Massage Therapy – and for many reasons.
The demand for Massage Therapists has increased – giving more and more people a chance for employment in this economy. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Massage Therapy employment is expected to raise 19% by 2018 which is faster than the average percentage for all occupations.
Slowly, yet surely, the benefits of Massage Therapy are touching the lives of all Americans. As of right now, 18% of adult Americans have had a massage at least once in the last year. There is a rise in massage students who have expressed interest with low income families as their target market once they graduate. This interest will help the benefits of massage therapy be more accessible to the entire population.
As time passes, more studies with massage therapy used as complimentary medicine emerge with factual and reliable evidence. There are many doctors that will recommend massage for their patients to help with a variety of symptoms. Especially as a way to manage stress and pain. This has led to an average of 1.5 direct referrals from health care professionals per therapist per month.
Massage Therapy is bringing joy into the world one session at a time and one job at a time. Whether you receive massage or give massage, there is a high calling to this field. And for this, I am thankful.
For more massage therapy statistics: www.amtamassage.org
To learn about NHI’s Massage Therapy Program: www.nhi.edu
NHI Sacramento Instructor
December 7, 2011 No Comments
Before sunrise on a crisp San Francisco morning, 109 students representing all six campuses of the National Holistic Institute were busy setting up the massage tent with 80 massage tables at the Finish Line Village at the Nike Women’s Marathon.
This year marked the eighth year for the event that draws over 22,000 runners from around the world to the half and full marathon. The course is filled with steep climbs and beautiful views of the city and the Bay. The finishers of the race are rewarded with Tiffany necklaces and post-race massages. Kaiser Permanente, a major sponsor of the Nike Women’s Marathon, contracted The NHI Sports Team to provide these post-race massages.
By 9:00, the massage tables are littered with runners and student therapists working to relax and stretch strained muscles. When the last runner was escorted off of her massage table at 2:15, the NHI Sports Team had performed collectively over 1700 massages.
The students were joined by seven instructors from the various campus, Beth McNeill (SJ), Kristine TenBrink (SJ), Curtis Hisao (SJ), Mark Nielson (PE/EM), Lucas Nevarez (SAC), Phil Okazaki (SJ), and Gabriel Posner (SF/EM) and 15 Teaching Assistants who supported the students by coaching bodywork, issuing and managing breaks and injuries. The San Jose Campus Student Services and Career Life Coordinator, Chris Pavao acted as Master of Ceremonies directing the line and finding open massage tables for the athletes. The average wait time was a mere 15 minutes.
The NHI Sports Massage Team prepped for this event by holding sports-specific training sessions where students learned about the marathon, athlete training plans, common injuries and massage techniques. While it was a mild morning in the city, the team was equipped with skills to combat thermal injuries.
The student therapists had fun, worked hard and finished the day with a sense of accomplishment. They each provided at least 15 massages through out the day, more clients than they see in a regular week. Emily Luckett from On Board, who is the event planner for the Nike Women’s Marathon, “Thanks for all of your hard work, NHI! Everything seemed to be managed very smoothly. We appreciate your efforts!”
In response from the post-event report given by NHI Staff lead, Beth McNeill, Curshanda Woods from Kaiser Permanente had this to say, “Thank you, NHI. Great job, Beth! Everything looked great.” The NHI Sports Massage Team ended the day taking a group picture and a group WHOOSH! Kudos to NHI and to the students participating in the Sports Team.
November 3, 2011 1 Comment
At NHI, we try, whenever possible, to practice what we preach and live lives with awareness around activities that promote a healthy lifestyle and overall well-being. With the speed of the lives many of us lead these days, the opportunities to really slow down to “smell the roses” and take notice of “one’s self” seem to be fewer and fewer.
This past summer, the Students and Staff at the NHI SF Campus were encouraged to make time to do this through participating in some fun organized activities on and off campus as part of the NHI Summer of Wellness. It was a great success and was brought to a close with a 5-mile hike, yoga and meditation in Muir Woods.
Here’s a glimpse into the experiences of those who participated:
Izabela: ”As a child I always loved the great outdoors! Poland is a country of unusual natural beauty. It has majestic mountains, fantastic sea coast, and countless hidden lakes not to mention Bialowieza Forest- the largest remaining part of the immense primeval forest that once covered the European Plain. There is a connection between Bialowieza and Muir Woods.
Even though those forests look different they bring up similar feelings of peace and awe. Awe of something so beautiful and ancient that once was abundant and then was almost lost. When you are there, you forget about your daily life, you reconnect with your roots and become transformed. It was a true pleasure to share this experience with my NHI community. Thank you to all who came and made it a day to remember forever!”
Kamaljit: “A 7 mile hike through the lovely redwoods, yoga at the half way mark, meditating in a clearing with the sun warming us, feeling blissfully tired at the end and knowing I’d sleep great that night – my idea of heaven. That was the hike through Muir woods, with the good company and the near perfect weather, I couldn’t have hoped for a nicer way to spend my Saturday morning.”
Joan: “We were very lucky because at the start of the day everything was fogged in, but as we ascended into the trees and up the mountain the sky cleared and blue appeared. We enjoyed sharing stories along the way and after the first third of the hike Izabela, the instructor who organized the event, lead us in some group meditation and stretches among the trees. Before we starting our decent back down to the park entrance everyone stopped and pulled out food to satisfy our hungry appetites.
NHI has a great community spirit and organizes wonderful events for the students to participate in outside of the classroom. This was an amazing day and a wonderful experience to meet and talk to fellow students.”
Laura: “The Muir Woods hike was so much fun! It was beautiful and peaceful and it made my body feel great! Thank you for being such a great leader, Izabela! I am so very local, and yet I don’t usually get to do hikes like that; 4 hours and all those stairs. Thanks for all the motivation and inspiration!”
October 27, 2011 1 Comment
Haven’t you heard?? Wellness is in!!! You read about it, see it practiced by others, talk about it, and you may even dream about it (“Someday I’ll….”). So, how does one get past the “I’m-too-busy” or “I-don’t-have-time” syndrome and actually put “wellness” into action?
At the National Holistic Institute SF Campus, this past summer was designated “The Summer of Wellness,” a fun, interactive campus experience designed to bring about greater personal awareness and ownership of realistic, healthier habits.
Everyday at NHI, some level of inspiration is brewing, simply through the daily exchanges of a typical day on campus. Izabela Rapacz (NHI teacher/mentor) has been known to have inspired more than a few at NHI with her passion for making physical activity enjoyable and attainable, so her idea to integrate one thing that we feel we all do so naturally, “inspiring others,” with some healthy fun couldn’t have been more openly received.
July’s focus was Physical Fitness, August’s-Nutrition, and September’s will be Mindfulness. With three weekly announced “tips of the week” and one specific exercise/physical movement encouraged be performed at the drop of a weekly “code word” (frog, circles, etc.) it’s safe to say that there’s been greater awareness around this topic. The inspiration kicked in as students were asked to share their personal new practices at the end of the month.
National Holistic Institute Students in SF have shared the following:
- “I carry around a bag of nutritious snacks prepared for easy snacking (sugar snap peas, carrots, nuts, seaweed, trail mix, etc). The ‘crunch’ is so gratifying!”
- “I go to bed 30 minutes to one hour earlier. Since I’ve been doing this, I feel more deeply rested and can focus better.”
- “I contract abdominals while in traffic, sitting at a desk, or while waiting in line. It’s amazing how my body feels stronger when I engage my core.”
- “When I crave a soda, I just read the Nutrition Facts on the side panel; I quickly choose an alternate. Easy.
- “I dance, and dance and dance— especially when no one’s looking!”
The buzz of wellness is certainly alive at the NHI San Francisco Campus. While simply talking about wellness is “cake” (and we do like cake), using a fun, simple, gradual approach to practicing wellness has proven to be as “easy as pie!” (Pie is good)!
October 27, 2011 1 Comment
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
At first, it may seem counter-intuitive to teach your clients self-massage techniques that they can do without the therapist there to assist them. You might be scared that they will become satisfied with the techniques that they can practice themselves. Any great massage therapist understands that their mission is to create the greatest change and sense of wellbeing in their patients and this in turn will keep them coming back.
Self-Massage techniques can not possibly provide the same benefits as a full massage session, but they are a great way for clients to relieve temporary headaches, stress and pain, and for them to maintain a holistic sense of well-being. After all, graduates of National Holistic Institute are not only massage therapists, but also health educators!
If you or someone you know is struggling with headaches, sinus allergies, or stress and tension throughout the body, here are some simple self-massage techniques from AMTA presiden-elect and NHI Advanced Program Instructor, Cynthia Ribiero that will provide fast acting relief until that next massage is booked…
During all of the following techniques, apply light to moderate pressure to avoid aggravating any issue. You should feel a “good” pain; if it hurts too much, back off.
For temporal headaches: Press four fingers against the temporal muscle and move them back and forth, up and down or in a circular motion.
For frontal and sinus headaches: Put three fingers of each hand above the eyebrow line and press left to right, to the hairline, without gliding.
For tension headaches, tired eyes and sinuses: Press your thumbs up against the underside of the brow bone in the eye socket.
For stress and tension throughout the body (if you have time for only one exercise, this is the one to do): Using your three middle fingers arranged in a triangle, apply pressure just above the bridge of your nose, known as the “third eye.”
For sinus headaches and allergies: With your index and middle fingers, press along, above and below your cheekbones.
For more on Cynthia’s endless log of massage therapy knowlege, check out our post about her work formulating the Massage Therapy Book of Knowlege (MTBOK) here.
October 6, 2011 No Comments
Aromatherapy is defined as a form of alternative medicine using various essential oils to alter a person’s mind, health, and cognitive mood. But, how exactly does it work?
Sit back in your chair and picture a few fond childhood memories. Maybe it’s baking some treats with a sibling or playing in the grass with old friends or running through a cornstalk maze during a crisp fall day. Imagine the details of each sense – particularly – your sense of smell.
Fast forward to today. What do you feel when you smell something like those baked treats, or the grass, or that familiar fall day smell that you know so well each year? Comfort. Happiness. Nostalgia. Peace. Your mood is altered. The presence of stress is cancelled out by this smell-induced reaction.
Our sense of smell is called the Olfactory sense. Our Olfactory sense is intertwined by something called the Limbic System which supports smell, long-term memories, behavior, and emotions. There are special neurons that are meant to pick up different scents and translate them to the brain which in turn reacts with different parts of our body to create the proper response.
In Aromatherapy we work with essential oils. They are derived from various organic and natural materials and on a cellular level they are incredibly complex. Lavender is the most common essential oil in our modern day. When inhaled, it can create a response of relaxation, calmness, and reduced stress. These are just some of the benefits of Lavender.
Starting today, I would recommend carrying around a small bottle of Lavender oil. Whenever you are stuck in line, stuck in traffic, feeling down at work, or feeling stressed with the kids, just pull it out and smell your way through the day. With your lavender in hand, relax and breathe deeply (see our “Breathe” blog post to learn how this alone can help with stress reduction). Take a note on how you feel after a day…a week…a month.
Ultimately, we all know we need to take care of ourselves. This is a simple and quick way that we can do this. It is one step closer to a calmer, more peaceful “You”. If aromatherapy is your first step towards a healthier, happier “You” then I consider this article a complete success.
September 29, 2011 No Comments
Reflecting long-standing traditions in American education, September is the classic time to go back to school. With classes starting throughout the year at National Holistic Institute, it is never to late to take the next step with your education.
As a long-term teacher at NHI, I have had the experience of watching many, many people re-adjust to being back in an educational environment.
For some students, their last school experience might have been very recent, but for others there might have been years, even decades, since they were a full-time student.
Sometimes the transition is easy, and of course sometimes it is more difficult – but nearly always worth it!
I wanted to understand the factors that might spur someone to set the familiar patterns of their life aside to seek the personal growth, financial success, and emotional satisfaction that learning a new skill set can engender. So I asked around a bit, and here’s some of what I found:
“Show me the money!”
For many, the incentive to re-engage their educational process is based on a financial decision – they need to be able to make money, and fast. As my massage teacher pointed out, you can be in and then out of massage school in less than a year, and in terms of overhead, setting up a massage business is cheaper than running a hotdog stand!
“I hate my boss!”
One massage therapist I know decided to begin her training when she found herself with a young child, and she saw massage therapy as one of the quickest routes to successful self-employment. Another therapist of my acquaintance was retiring from a previous career in his fifties, and knew his pension would only carry him so far. Massage offered him a way to build on his work as a personal trainer and educate his clients about how to take better care of their bodies.
“I want to make a difference!”
Of course, for many people, pursuing an education in massage therapy and health education is about following a dream, or connecting with a career that fuels their passion for life. Massage can be a financially lucrative job, for sure – and the chance to get paid well while helping others feel better really feels better than that previous, less emotionally satisfying career.
Having been out of school for a while, some of my older students sometimes express a worry that they won’t be able to adjust or keep up. And some of my younger students – many straight out of high school – worry about being able to stay focused while their not-in-school friends goof around. Both of these types of students find their worries quickly alleviated. The NHI curriculum emphasizes hands-on skills, AVK (Audio/Visual/Kinesthetic) learning, and a highly structured environment. This combines with our robust Student Services Department in the form of Labs, Tutors, and Mentors focusing on individual learning styles to provide a solid foundation so that all students, young or old, fresh out of high school or returning after years away, can enjoy coming Back to School.
To find out if National Holistic Institute is the experience you are looking for, go to www.nhi.edu and click “Contact” in the top right. You can talk to one of our friendly admissions representatives, take a tour of the campus and even sit in on one of our classes with no pressure!
September 23, 2011 No Comments