by Heidi Sue Roth, CMT Instructor, NHI
The saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” As massage therapists, I believe this message goes one step deeper.
Massage can be a busy reality: techniques to learn and practice, paperwork to complete, marketing tasks, and perhaps laundry on top of clients combine into a significant workload. Therapists or students may loose track of what brought us to this industry. Today I encourage you to take a moment and tune into the incredible privilege of providing therapeutic touch. Touch truly is a basic human need. From a parent’s hand soothing a fussy baby to a comforting hug from a loved one on a difficult day, we are built to give and receive physical contact.
Popular activities such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other technologies increase access while reducing in-person contact. Massage increases human contact in our high-tech, low-touch society. Each person who chooses to be on the table for a massage, as a student, in student clinic, spa, or private practice offers an amazing privilege. For a short period time both parties get to connect and interact in a basic human way. Healing, inspiration, and support happen during each connection – and these interactions can have a lasting effect. As a practicing therapist and instructor, these moments keep me in the field year after year.
Likewise, I want to inspire students to create this experience for themselves and others. The saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” As massage therapists, I believe this reality goes one step deeper. Clients don’t care how many techniques you know until they experience your care and acceptance in the moment. A brilliant stroke or movement applied without heart creates less impact and benefit. Incorporating your acceptance and care into each touch changes work from routine to essential. It also feeds the best in us as humans and a culture.
National Holistic Institute aims to create a safe space for students to become comfortable providing therapeutic massage while learning all of the techniques and skills necessary to find work they’ll love. For more about NHI, visit us at www.nhi.edu
How has massage therapy changed or influenced your life? Tell us in the comments or post your story to facebook by clicking the icons below!
July 15, 2013 9 Comments
One number reflects our mission more than any other. That number is our placement rate, and this year topped even last year’s incredible benchmark!
The placement rate shows the percentage of our alumni who have successfully gained or improved their employment status as a direct result of their education at National Holistic Institute. We must carefully track our graduates’ employment to remain nationally accredited and state approved. ACCET, the organization which accredits us on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education, stipulates a placement rate of 70%. NHI handily beat that standard with an overall placement rate for 2012 of 86%!!
When compared to other vocational schools, massage or not, 86% greatly exceeds expectations, especially in an economy still deep in recovery with a limited job market. For those unfamiliar with placement rates, you may wonder, “why not 100%?” Well, life happens to people, even our students. Some relocate, pursue additional education, choose to remain in their current jobs a while longer, get pregnant, suffer illness, tend to family obligations, deploy in the military, and so on.
For massage therapy in particular, a number of students come to school for personal growth or to pursue massage as a pastime on which to practice on family and friends only, never intending to work. For all those considerations, ACCET sets the standard at 70% and NHI managed to high jump over it with 86%!
Everyone at NHI has the same mission to “help people have work they love.” So, achieving this incredible placement rate is a team effort. Of course, we have amazing alumni who came to NHI wanting to learn, desiring to change their careers, and followed up on their dreams upon graduation. Our placement rate is only as good as our graduates! But we hold one group most accountable for helping and tracking our students as they find work – our Student Life & Career Coordinators.
All seven campuses have an SLCC (known to us as “slick”) who often meets prospective students before they enroll, gets to know them from orientation on, guides them through externship and career launch, and ultimately helps them find work they love. This dedicated team, led by their fearless Placement Manager Emily Devenny, deserves our standing ovation.
“2012 was a year of new and exciting job opportunities for our NHI graduates. Many employers reached out directly to our local campuses to meet, interview and hire new Massage Therapists in industries ranging from Spa, to Sports and Fitness, Healthcare, and Corporate On-site,” reports Emily.
Phil Okazaki, the SLCC who led San Jose to 90.5% placement, adds, “I feel the Externship Program helps prepare students for their future job search; and in many cases, helps them get their foot in the door. In fact, with Externship Sites like the San Jose Sabercats and Stanford University Athletics, our students receive experiences that many would find difficult to obtain.”
To work as a massage therapist, one must obtain legal certification. SLCC’s help students with that certification during the course. San Francisco SLCC Alison Trujillo points out, “It is wonderful to see so many students CAMTC certified by the time they graduate. This means they are motivated and ready to work in the field right away!”
“With the knowledge and ability they obtain from our curriculum and the confidence they acquire through our externship and clinic programs,” says Emeryville SLCC Sara Ahmadi, “they are well supplied with all the tools they need for a successful job search before graduation.”
Interested in a career in massage therapy? Our SLCC’s look forward to helping YOU have work you love!
Contact the NHI team today: www.nhi.edu
June 17, 2013 No Comments
When you love the work you do, it feels strange when someone gives you an award for it – the equivalent of having your cake and eating it too! The latest occurrence of this happened recently when Massage Envy Spa awarded its Excellence in Education to all seven campuses of the National Holistic Institute.
NHI is always humbled and appreciative when people within the massage profession recognize our work. Massage Envy Spa operates around 900 franchised locations nationwide, employing over 20,000 massage therapists. Because they hire therapists from practically every massage school in the country, they are uniquely positioned to know which massage schools consistently perform better than others. The criteria they considered:
- Educational program and curriculum
- Level of student and graduate support
- Involvement with the industry, regionally and nationally
- Performance metrics such as completion numbers, placement numbers and graduate feedback/satisfaction
- Other outstanding achievements and/or recognition from accrediting agencies, industry associations, etc.
This was the first year Massage Envy Spa presented this award, making it even more special. Joe Bob Smith, Strategic Development Manager, accepted the award on NHI’s behalf in a ceremony with the five other honorees at the Massage Envy Spa 2013 Annual Franchise Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. At least one NHI graduate and several of the California franchisees with whom we work attended the AFC as well.
NHI has numerous graduates employed by Massage Envy Spas throughout California. We share this award with them as they are the ones who truly represent excellence in the work they do every day!
June 11, 2013 No Comments
-written by Tiahna Skye
I remember reading this quote in the forward of Barbara Brennan’s book many years ago. It struck me deeply and is something I still think about. As Massage Therapists we work with connective tissue all the time. We focus on breaking up adhesions, aligning muscle fiber, unwinding the fascia from one point of trauma out though all the related structures in the body. We are effective at reducing pain, bettering posture, increasing range of movement and generally improving overall well being. We are connective tissue specialists.
What would happen if we worked just as conscientiously towards having a positive impact on the connective tissue of universe as well? That might sound like a grandiose aspiration, but really it is quite simple. Each and every time we place our hands on another’s body we have the opportunity to impact their physical tissue, but also their energetic tissue. At NHI we have often say, “Energy follows intention”. When giving a massage we can focus on all connective tissue, physical and universal. We can touch all that we touch with compassion.
Perhaps that seems like quite a challenge. Maybe I have never met this client before and will never see them again. Maybe they have bad body odor, or came to me in a foul temper. Maybe I am tired at the end of a long day and not really present or in the mood to give another massage. And yet, how many times have we all experienced that we feel better at the end of a session, uplifted and energized? That is the beauty of practicing love. In order to offer it to another, we must first fill ourselves with love; we are aligning our own physical and energetic systems and receiving all the same benefits our clients do. Suddenly our tiredness evaporates, our mood lifts and our work becomes a thrilling and fulfilling adventure.
Love is not really complicated. It does not have to mean romance, obligation or vulnerability. Love is simply an energetic frequency. It is the essential energy we are born into. It is what gives us life. It is yet another word for Chi, Prana, Ki and mana. In physics there are theories about resonance and entrainment. Simply put, they state that energy will align to the highest frequency present. Have you ever wondered why it is so easy to love a baby? The reason is that babies give us unconditional love. As that is the highest life frequency, we resonate with it and in turn experience unconditional love.
Our clients too are ready, willing and able to align with this frequency. Offering love through our touch increases the effectiveness of our work exponentially. When we touch a client with love, we create safety and an invitation to heal. Often there are underlying emotional or psychological aspects to physical tension. When we work with the whole person and not just the musculo-skeletal system, we release the underlying patterns that create and hold tension in the body. When we touch with love, our clients receive the work more easily, there is no resistance, and we can achieve much greater depth and connection with much less effort. In short, we become much more effective at what we do.
All it takes is attention and intention. Before you begin a session take a moment to adjust your own attitude: take a deep breath, be present, practice acceptance – of yourself and your client, hold them in positive regard, and wish for what takes place during the session to be for their highest good. Just like that you have aligned your own energy with the frequency of love that is for your highest good as well.
It is so easy to get lost in the world of techniques. There is always more to learn and more skills to develop, but the effectiveness of all technique is dependent on how it is delivered. A “simple” Swedish massage can be a profound experience when it is performed with love. The most sophisticated technique can pale if it is performed mechanically without love. The most important thing to remember is that it is not what we do but how we do it. Quality of touch is the most powerful tool in our repertoire.
With loving touch we can enhance a massage session, increase our own well being, and maybe even straighten the connective tissue of the universe. We can make a contribution with our lives that will change the world one massage at a time.
June 3, 2013 No Comments
-written by Sabrina Italia, NHI Instructor.
Ever wondered why you feel great for a few days after your massage only to find your aches and pains resurface just as they were before the massage?? Most people believe that massage alone can reverse muscle and fascial patterns. In many ways it can, and does short term.
However, sometimes mechanical massage alone isn’t enough to allow a person to release tension and anxiety. When working out a plan with your Massage Therapist, including different modalties may create extended benefits and maybe even permanent reversal of postural deviations or tissue and muscle “stuckness”. In both our Core and Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy programs, NHI teaches students numerous modalities and how to alter the perpetuating factors that can keep clients in pain if unaddressed.
Last week I taught a class to group 18 on the Emeryville campus. In this class we talk about emotional effects on our muscles and joints. Have you ever walked up to a friend and without even saying anything noticed something’s “wrong” just because of their body language? Often times our first response is a hand on the shoulder or back to show support. Sometimes just that initial touch can begin to help someone feel better. In this class we apply “Compassionate Touch” which is simply addressing tense areas with quiet hands (hands that remain still, or mostly still). We find these areas by visually assessing a client’s body to see if they seem to be holding any tension in their body.
I did a demonstration of “Compassionate Touch” on Richard. We observed that he seemed to be keeping his arms tight against his body, enough to make his left shoulder rise up and his chin was slightly tilted up in a potentially defensive manner. (Before)
After the “Compassionate Touch” was applied, we did see a change in how he held himself, and noticed that his shoulder and chin did drop down into a more relaxed state. While the results were minimal, the long term effect could be very beneficial. (After)
Because we prepped the body by getting rid of that initial layer of tension, it’s likely that the benefits of the massage will go farther.
There are many modalities that “prep” the body for mechanical massage. Either way massage is a great and effective tool in stress reduction and is great at helping restore range of motion in joints and tissue.
Research; choose a well-trained, certified massage therapist and get the most out of your massage!
May 28, 2013 1 Comment
Staff Day lives on! Even though National Holistic Institute’s All Staff Day 2013 occurred a month ago, the memories live on in our minds, our new initiatives, and – where else? – the internet.
The San Jose campus presentation, or at least a portion of it, has found a life of its own on the internet. Inspired by the wildly popular web craze, the San Jose staff inserted their version of the Harlem Shake into their campus video. The unexpected presentation detour left the Staff Day audience rolling in the aisles. San Jose’s Harlem Shake found its way to YouTube where the public could witness the goofier side of NHI.
(The above clip is taken from the full video, which can be found here)
NHI’s motto is “helping people have work they love.” Of course this applies to us helping our students thrive in the massage therapy profession, but that starts with everyone who works at NHI loving the work they have. So, while we take our mission seriously, we make sure to have fun with what we do every day. Having fun makes the work seem…well…less like work, improves the learning environment, and produces silliness like the Harlem Shake.
As part of NHI’s All Staff Day, each campus puts together a 10-minute presentation. Some are videos (like San Jose this year), others are live skits, and some we’re still trying to figure out. These presentations highlight the events and staff of the past year for other campuses to see while showing the interconnectedness of NHI. Always from the heart, they often use humor to make a point and laugh about our workplace foibles (CampusVue, anyone?).
Santa Ana celebrated being the newest of the seven campuses by linking to the others through the Seven Chakras of NHI. A rather unkempt fairy made all of StudioCity’s wishes come true. San Francisco showed that they beat to a different drum with a musical interlude. Petaluma stirred the pot with some NHI stew, while Sacramento grew to new heights. And Emeryville took a trip to outer space, where they apparently forgot to bring back Al.
We already look forward to next year’s Staff Day when we can reflect on the upcoming year’s events that have yet to happen. Until then, enjoy the Shake!
Do you have a memorable experience from your company’s staff day? Tell us about it in the comments below!
May 14, 2013 No Comments
National Holistic Institute Staff Anniversaries (Staff Day Post 2 of 3)
Brandy & Monica belted out The Boy is Mine, Bruce Willis saved the world from an imminent asteroid in Armageddon, and Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to the NBA Championship one last time. It was 1998, the year National Holistic Institute founder Carol Carpenter hired a recent college graduate named Jennifer as an admissions representative.
At this year’s NHI All Staff Day, Jennifer Jhanda celebrated 15 years with NHI! In that time, she has gotten married, had a beautiful daughter, and worked her way up the ranks to her current position as Vice President of Admissions. Starting out, the phone and snail mail were an admissions rep’s primary tools. Now, Jennifer oversees a complex network of emails, texts, and Google metrics (Google also began their world domination in 1998). The one thing that hasn’t changed in 15 years is her mission to help people find work they love by matching aspiring massage therapists to the school of their dreams, NHI.
Fast forward five years. The Lord of the Rings found Oscar gold, audiences found Nemo, and NHI found new ownership. 2003 brought a lot new to NHI. After 24 years, founder Carol Carpenter passed along the NHI torch to Mason Myers and Tim Veitzer. This year’s All Staff Day saw Mason celebrating 10 years with NHI! (Tim fully joined a bit later, so he’ll get his turn next year.) Mason commemorated the occasion by thanking all the staff who took a chance and risked the journey with him. And what a journey it’s been! Among many milestones in the last decade, NHI expanded from 1 campus to 7 and added the Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy (or ANMT) program.
Mason had good company up on the NHI stage as four other staff members celebrated 10 years as well. Linda Rikli, Vice President of Education, has commandeered an ever-growing and changing department. She has coordinated the expansion of our core curriculum from 720 to 900 hours, overseen the development of our 450-hour Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy program, and become our unofficial (and perhaps unwilling) tech guru as the one in charge of upgrading our school software system.
Linda’s journey could not have been as successful, robust, or certainly as funny without her partner in crime and office neighbor, our Dean of Students Ron Peat, also celebrating a tenth of a century here at NHI. Under Ron, the student services department has grown to offer more with dedicated staff at every campus. He even accomplished the awe-inspiring feat of increasing an already stupendous completion rate as well. And he keeps us laughing! (Did I mention he has a son named Kevin?)
1,350 hours of NHI education requires copious pages of teacher documents, PowerPoint slides, and over 1,000 pages of student handouts. Keeping all of this together is one woman, Ron’s office neighbor and our Curriculum Coordinator Sharlene Philip. A teacher before her current role, Sharlene also celebrates 10 years at NHI! She shares this milestone with fellow teacher Esko Homsi.
An accomplished teacher in our core program for many years, Esko became one of our first instructors to teach the Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy program a few years back.Mostly, though, he is known throughout NHI for his annual toast at the company holiday party. We love you, man!
Time flies when you’re having fun. It seems like yesterday that Barack Obama was first elected President; Batman, Iron Man, and Indiana Jones were battling for the box office; and Tiger Woods was still winning the U.S. Open. But in reality that was five years ago – 2008, in fact, when four more staffers joined NHI.
Celebrating 5 years teaching at NHI are Darlene Campo and Patrick Keehan! Demonstrating the diverse backgrounds our teaching staff brings to NHI, Darlene (a clown college graduate) makes learning fun for students every day, while Patrick lets his lomilomi (Hawaiian massage) training guide him. Patrick shared the seven principles of lomilomi at our Staff Day and we felt it worthwhile to share here (http://www.sacredlomi.com/articles-lomi/principles-of-huna/).
Rounding out the 10 anniversaries we applauded at this year’s Staff Day are the two Lupitas, both observing 5 years with NHI. Lupita Laney always greets prospective students with a smile as one of our admissions reps and Lupita Ruiz went from punching the telephone keypad as our receptionist to hitting the calculator buttons as one of our financial aid analysts.
We thank these 10 people as both our co-workers and friends. They join good company. Almost half of the employees at NHI have been here over 5 years and 1 in 5 have been here 10 years or more. That puts the employee average at roughly 7 years, which means a lot of combined massage education experience for our students.
Still, they’ve got a ways to go to beat our 20 years and counting veterans who still clock in. Jim, Melissa, and Pat, keep showing us all how it’s done!
April 11, 2013 No Comments
The guy in the tie stood out. He cautiously peered through the Berkeley fog at the hundred or so people surrounding him. Unsure of the rules, but willing to play, he gamely followed their every choreographed move.
Embrace tiger. Combine heaven and earth. Give from your center. Gather what you need.
As Marianna gently voiced each command, the crowd echoed in unison with the appropriate movement. These words, these motions have been repeated again and again throughout the classrooms of National Holistic Institute since tai chi master Al Huang gifted them so many years ago. And, as the man in the tie discovered, every Staff Day begins with them.
Dr. Scott Fitzgibbon has worked in almost all aspects of vocational education. He now shares his wisdom as a noted speaker with schools across the country. But even with many miles and schools behind him, this was the first time he had found himself in the midst of an entire staff performing tai chi all together. They welcomed this somewhat overdressed stranger as one of their own.
Starting the day in a different way turned out to fit Dr. Fitzgibbon’s presentation perfectly. As part of a larger conversation, he talked about how people, to achieve what they truly want, must change their habits, get out of the routine, and look at life differently. Just as Dr. Fitzgibbon pushed us to re-evaluate how we did things, we surely shook him out of his patterns a bit too.
A related topic revolved around defining our own beliefs. This topic particularly hit home with the crowd because, for the last year beginning with Staff Day 2012, the staff of NHI has engaged in various exercises to define what exactly NHI believes. This day would reveal the results of the quest for those beliefs.
To arrive at this destination, all staff submitted what they believed NHI stood for. Working as both individuals and teams, the list of potential beliefs grew to the hundreds. Then, given time of reflection and process of elimination, the staff helped whittle those beliefs down to their core. With much pride and honor, here they are:
NHI Believes In…
• Positive Energy Flowing
• Building Confidence, Creating Opportunity
• Empty Cups and Full Journeys
• Telling the Truth with Compassion
• Providing Safe Space
• Teamwork Making the Dream Work
• Sustainability Through Kaizen
• Creativity and Consistency
• Every body Having a Story
• Embracing Tiger
As these beliefs began to define themselves, the question arose, “What exactly do we do with them?” Much as the beliefs themselves came from the staff, so did suggestions for their display. Ultimately, our curriculum coordinator Sharlene Philip had the winning concept. She incorporated the beliefs into the “fingers” of the NHI logo. Now these beliefs can hang at all seven NHI campuses as a daily reminder of who we are and what we stand for.
All Staff Day is a tradition that convenes every employee of all seven NHI campuses together in Northern California for two days of business, self development, connection, and celebration – mostly lots of happy tears and joyous laughter!
Stay tuned for more Staff Day inspirations in our next posts…
April 5, 2013 3 Comments
by Tiahna Skye
Regulating massage therapy in Petaluma is rife with questions and issues, and demands the serious attention it has been given… and more.
What should we be regulating? What are the possible unintended results? Will legitimate massage therapists be adversely impacted while attempting to restrict prostitution? And how do we oversee the healthy growth of massage therapy as the next advancement in collaborative health care?
I am concerned that the goal of establishing quality controls, educational requirements, and best practice standards is getting lost in a “power struggle” while the dialogue between law enforcement, the community, and massage therapists deteriorates.
Many currently practicing massage therapists want a more lenient local regulation that would create a “grandfather clause”, separate from the new State permit requirements set forth by the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC). A clause of this nature would allow these working massage therapists to continue practicing in town without the need for additional education. The argument has been made that those with less than 100 hours of massage specific education have historically provided good care, and should not be subject to additional burdensome requirements.
CAMTC was founded by massage therapists to regulate our own field. The requirements set forth were agreed upon by a large and diverse group of massage, law enforcement, and other health care professionals seeking to define standards of expertise in the interest of public health and safety. Additionally, the hope was that these efforts would further the recognition of massage therapy as a legitimate and valuable health service.
The reality is that even if Petaluma chooses to adopt CAMTC requirements, California still has one of the lowest requirements of any state in the country. Massage therapy has become part of the medical field, and as such, there needs to be definition of the training, practices and ethics of the field. The public has a right to know that the therapy they seek for pain relief or injury rehabilitation is going to be performed by a skilled therapist with in-depth knowledge of applicable techniques, benefits and contraindications.
While I appreciate the City of Petaluma is striving to support the ongoing success of local businesses, I think it is important to also consider the profession in terms of emerging national standards and changing regulatory landscape.
No one opinion or constituency comes out the sole “winner” in this current version of the ordinance. I do believe however, that it addresses the issues well. For example, dictating a specific, professional dress code is unnecessary for lawful massage therapy businesses. Having been a massage therapist for 35 years, I have seen the field change and gain public recognition as a legitimate health service. It is a bit disheartening that we still must deal with any misperceptions as being entangled with the adult entertainment industry.
Nevertheless, I think it is important to remember, as we consider this ordinance, that the city and law enforcement are responding to valid issues of prostitution, and did not create this unfortunate circumstance. While I personally find denigrating the need for a dress code stipulating such things as opaque clothing, I recognize the need to take such measures is a result of the fact that illegal businesses use massage as a front for prostitution.
There are some who feel burdened by the need to meet the hourly educational requirements of the CAMTC certification. I know without a doubt that there are many current massage therapists who do perform a wonderful massage with only 100 or 150 hours of training. I was able to start my own career with 120 hours of training. That said, it is also a fact that at this time the public has no means of distinguishing between those who provide massage designed purely for relaxation, from those who practice therapeutic, issue-related massage techniques.
Regardless of training and experience, we all fall under one heading, Massage Therapist. Because of that I feel strongly that it is important to establish minimum education requirements that ensure public health and safety. As an educator in the field, I am committed to elevating the standing of our profession. To that end, National Holistic Institute offers support in the provision of free continuing education courses to help local practicing massage therapists achieve their permitting requirements, and hopefully alleviate some of the sense of burden they might feel.
I wish that I could say that as a community we had reached consensus about this ordinance. Unfortunately we did not arrive at that destination. My hope is that despite our differing views, we can rise above our individual wants and agree to the steps necessary to further our profession and support our local law enforcement in having the tools they need to ensure the safety of our entire community.
In the end, I think we all want the same things.
We would like to offer legitimate massage therapy services that provide support for the health and well being of those we serve. We would like to live and work in a community that is safe and free from crime. We would like to stand as professionals in the field of massage therapy and be recognized as legitimate and respectable. We would like the freedom to earn a livelihood through the means of our talents and skills. And, we would like to have a sense of belonging and meaningful contribution in the community in which we live and work. I think the city’s proposed ordinance meets those goals and I am in favor of approving it.
~ written by Tiahna Skye, Petaluma campus manager of the National Holistic Institute, a massage therapy school with locations in Emeryville, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose and Southern California. For more information about NHI, visit us at www.nhi.edu
What are your thoughts on the topic? Let us know in the comments below!
February 14, 2013 No Comments
January 17th marked a significant holiday for many of the students and Instructors at NHI. It was National Thank Your Mentor Day and anyone who has attended massage therapy school at NHI knows just how important and significant the role of Mentors are, both in and outside of the classroom. National Holistic Institute‘s mentor program pairs each student with a teacher who is also a professional in the massage field to become their point person if they have any questions about the class material, need a little extra push, or just need some guidance on how to become a successful therapist and bodyworker.
We were excited to see that many of our current Mentors actually went through the program before they began teaching under the mentorship of some of our other long-standing Mentor/Instructors – Check out the longest image we’ve ever blogged – a screenshot of some of our graduate comments:
If you haven’t had a chance to thank your mentor yet, you’re in luck! The holiday continues through the end of January. If you’ll see a mentor you’ve appreciated, tell them why you appreciate them – or if you prefer, go ahead and click here to add your 2 cents to the Facebook comments!
If you’re on Facebook and want to keep up with National Holistic Institute, you can Like our page at: facebook.com/NHImassageschool
(After you click “Like”, make sure to hover of the like button and click on “Get Notification” so you don’t miss out on our updates!)
If you’d like to get to know some of the instructors at your local NHI campus, you can start here: nhi.edu/about/people/instructors.html
NHI would like to thank ALL of the Staff and Mentors who allow us to continue bringing in some of the best massage therapy students in the country and who never cease to fulfill their mission of “Helping People Have Work They Love!”
January 22, 2013 No Comments
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 No Comments
This year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers broke records with more online sales than ever before. Many massage therapists are quick to cash in on the craze and offer packages and gift cards through websites and social media as well as grassroots methods. Most therapists know that it is a good idea to sell gift certificates or gift cards, but what some may fail to realize is that this sudden windfall of incoming money can be spent and gone and they still have a ton of massages to do. Here are a few guidelines I have used to be gift card smart.
- Keep your gift card money separate from your monthly earnings. Think of it as a savings plan that you will only pull from when someone redeems their gift card. This can keep you from spending all of the money at once, and if you put the money in an interest bearing account you can make even more from the sale.
- Gift cards cannot expire in California. You may print a use by date on the card, but legally you must honor the purchase. Make sure you get the name, phone numbers, and email addresses of who is buying the gift and who may be receiving the gift. This way you can give them a reminder call if the gift is not redeemed or you can send future notification of any specials you may be offering.
- Be firm with your refund policy. If you do not refund gift card purchases, make sure your clients are aware of it. Your service does have value and someone coming in and just trying to trade it in for cash does not work for your business. You may want to remind this person of the benefits of massage and that whoever bought it for them really thought that they can benefit from the service. If they do not want to get a massage maybe they can give it to someone who can use it.
- Keep a log or spreadsheet of who bought what gift cards and for whom it was purchased with all of the contact information. This makes things easy to know who bought it, who has used it, and how to get in touch with them. It can come in handy if someone has lost a gift or even worse had it stolen. Make sure you have a clear policy on how you want to handle lost or stolen gift cards, and then stick with your policy.
Consumers spent more than $23 billion on gift cards last year. While many big-box store gift cards are considered somewhat impersonal, a massage gift card can be a unique and thoughtful gift – consider offering card packages like 2 cards for couples massage or buy 5 get 1 free. For example, our National Holistic Institute student clinic offers various levels of discounts on gift cards during the holiday season. Think of creative ways to allow your gift cards to bring you brand new clients. Make them easy to order and don’t be scared to let it be known that you have them available in any way possible!
I hope these tips and guidelines have been helpful to you. If you have any other tips for massage therapy gift cards, feel free to tell us in the comments! Remember, gift cards are great during the holiday season and all year long. They can greatly benefit your business if you have the proper policies and tracking in place. May you all have the best Holiday season and Happiest of New Years!
~ John Lambert, CMT
Instructor, National Holistic Institute Sacramento
December 11, 2012 No Comments
Prior to my entrance into the world of massage I had the privilege of traveling to some pretty interesting places. High on my list are my many visits to Egypt and Peru. The focus of my visits was to gain some perspective on the people who inhabited these places in ancient times. An underlying theme was to see what, if anything, these ancient cultures have to show or teach us today.
While my general outlook was esoteric, I couldn’t help but notice the attention these ancient people gave to the health and care of the body.
Both cultures have given us marvels which, with all of man’s current technology we are unable to truly grasp either how’s or why’s. For instance, “Who built the pyramids?” is one of the most frequently asked questions when dealing the ancient wonders and cultures of the world.
While we can read quite a lot about the ancient Incan culture, very little is truly understood about the people who gave us lasting, mysterious structures including Machu Picchu, ancient cities and pyramids. Why are the most advanced building techniques evidenced in the oldest structures? These are questions that drive many modern explorers to go to great lengths for answers.
There are many things we don’t know about either of these cultures. There are many things, however, that we do know.
Ancient Egyptians are widely believed to be the first to organize the use of essential oils. And in the Nile Delta some of the oldest known families remain faithful to these ancient arts. Specific application of these oils can be found both on walls in tombs and temples as well as on ancient papyri. On the walls of temples as well as tombs that I visited are many depictions of massage, including reflexology given to the ruling class and soldiers.
When I first visited Peru I was struck by the almost overwhelming “mothering” energy. Many shaman and others refer to Peru as the womb or the naval of the earth. The Shaman I visited with shared some of their verbal history of massage and other bodywork as an essential part of the traditions handed down for thousands of years.
So, “Why is this important,” you might ask? Well, there are structures and teachings that come to us from these ancient people that we are just beginning to understand today. There are likewise many that are beyond our ability to comprehend. Their intelligence may well have greatly exceeded our own. Their teachings show us much about the true nature of humanity, where we come from and where we may be headed. In the midst of all of this we find massage, surviving for many thousands of years on the walls of some of the oldest structures on earth.
What we do for humanity as well as for the individuals with whom we work as massage therapists has its roots in some of the most advanced teachings from antiquity. That is a very powerful thought to carry with you into your next massage session, whether as a therapist or as a client.
~David A. Bloomer
National Holistic Institute
November 8, 2012 No Comments
Sunday, October 14th marked the 9th Annual Nike Women’s Marathon. The world famous event was held in San Francisco and was host to 25,000 runners and walkers. With the San Francisco hills, Golden Gate Park, fog coming in through the bay, and choice ocean views, this was easily one of the most scenic marathons in California. However the beautiful scenes came at a high price… by that I mean the hills, and hills and more hills that San Francisco has to offer.
With the punishment the athletes had put their bodies through, it was clear that sports massage was the right remedy for their tired, aching muscles. The main goal of a post event Sports Massage is to help the athletes’ bodies cool down, calm their nervous system and assist with their recovery time. We had many runners walk out of the tent feeling much better than when they staggered in.
The massage tent was sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, and part of the wellness / recovery village. The National Holistic Institute showed up in force with over 80 massage stations, 115 team members and 6 campuses represented. Collectively we worked on over 1400 athletes and made a difference in their post race experience. Athletes loved the massage, and they were very grateful; plus the students / staff of NHI had a great experience. All in all it was a successful event.
Massage has come a long way in being integrated within athletic communities. We now see massage therapy on athletes in colleges, professional teams, the Olympics and special events such as the Nike Women’s Marathon. We as an industry have much more integration to work towards. I await the day where every athlete – from professional to weekend warrior makes massage a part of their recovery regimen. Like the old saying goes “work hard, play hard”…and to that I add treat your body right!
Written by Lucas Nevarez,
Instructor at NHI Sacramento
For more information about sports massage, check out http://www.nhi.edu/massage_school/sports_massage.html
October 30, 2012 No Comments
“The Norma”, as the award is affectionately called, is named after Norma Ford who passed away from ovarian cancer several years ago. She was a longtime California financial aid trainer, California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools board member, and original inductee into the CAPPS Stars Hall of Fame. Near the end of her struggle, she spoke about how wonderful it would be for CAPPS to find a way to recognize outstanding Financial Aid administrators, whom Norma believed are a critical yet often overlooked part of schools.
This year was the third year of awarding the Norma Ford Award. The criterion are simple but tough. The winner must be nominated by third parties who have concluded that he or she has gone far beyond the normal requirements of the job and is considered in the institution as a great help to other staff and students in completing their work or their programs.
We are excited to announce that our colleague at the National Holistic Institute, Pat Troxel, is the 2012 winner! Pat has been with us for over 21 years and over 12 years as the Director of Financial Aid. During her early years in financial aid, she took many classes and workshops taught by Norma Ford herself to learn the ins and outs of financial aid. She is known for her care for students, diligence to detail, and her direct communication style to keep us all on our toes. She is quick with a quip that keeps us all laughing. Most importantly, she is a steady, reliable hand to keep the school operating well.
Quote from Jason Daniels: “Over the years, Pat has taught me so much about what it means to work in financial aid and administer the program with the proper level of integrity. Her mentorship has been invaluable in my career and I truly wouldn’t be whre I am today without her.”
We are so proud of Pat’s accomplishment and welcome your stories and thoughts for Pat in the comments below!
To learn more about NHI’s financial aid program, visit http://nhi.edu/massage_school/tuition.html
October 23, 2012 1 Comment
Growing up we always knew when Summertime was officially coming to an end. We could feel it in the weather, the change in the leaves, and when our parents would take us back-to-school shopping for clothes and supplies. None of us are the same, so we probably all reacted differently to going back to school. Some of us were excited to start a new school year, learn new things, meeting our teacher and classmates. Then there were those of us who didn’t feel that way, because going back to school meant going to bed early, waking up early, taking tests, reading and group projects, yikes. But at that time we were young and we had to go to school. No ifs, ands or buts about it.
Well, most of us aren’t in elementary school anymore, and as adults, if we choose to go back to school, we get to decide what we study. So find out what you’re passionate about, start looking into it, find the right school for you, and get educated. There is no better time than the present to take initiative and make an investment in your future.
As an admissions counselor at National Holistic Institute, a school of massage therapy, I have the pleasure of meeting people right from the beginning, while they are researching schools and finding out what kind of education they want. I enjoy listening to the different reasons why people are looking into massage therapy. Whether they have always enjoyed giving massage to family and friends, or simply know that they want to help heal people, they are going to be a part of a respected profession and a growing industry.
Speaking of the industry, let’s take a look at the facts, because whether we are good at math or not, we all like to see numbers when it comes to the job outlook. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that employment for massage therapists is expected to grow by 20% from 2010-2020. This is faster than the average for all occupations! And it’s only going to increase as more and more people become aware the of many health benefits of massage therapy.
So whether you are eighteen and looking to take the next step in your adult life, thirty something searching for a new, exciting career, or someone seeking the opportunity to learn a highly in demand skill, then massage therapy may just be your thing! Just know that you are not alone in this journey, we will be there to support you from the moment you take your first tour, massage your first client, pass your final exams, and even as a graduate. We’re just awesome like that because we know you’re important and making a difference in the world.
So what will your next endeavor be as the new season approaches? What are your goals, your aspirations? Do you want a rewarding career helping people? If so, pick up the phone and give us a call. We’ll be more than happy to show you how you can have work you will love for the rest of your life.
National Holistic Institute
October 3, 2012 1 Comment
“Love Is Possible”
Meredith J. McMurray
My name is Meredith McMurray. I am 24 years old. I served four years in the United States Marine Corps. I joined when I was 18 years old with the intentions to educate myself about life, people, and the world that I live in. I didn’t feel a calling for myself to go into college because at that time, I had no passion to obtain any particular degree. I didn’t know any other person who had joined the military, so my curiosity propelled me. I love a challenge, so I chose the Marine Corps. I knew it would be difficult. In my mind, I knew that it is the difficult things in life that make us stronger and more defined as people. I made this decision on a whim because somehow I knew it would be right for me. So I kissed my parents and my dog goodbye and left for boot camp.
My experience taught me many things, how to be respectful, how to be on time, how to do the right thing even when everyone else is doing the wrong thing. I learned how to condition my body to achieve its highest capability and I learned how to take care of and defend people, including myself. The most important thing I can say that I learned being a United States Marine is that without discipline one cannot achieve any goal. Discipline is the basic ground work for successfully overcoming any forward moving, self improving challenge. This is a principle that I choose to take with me throughout the rest of my life.
Looking back, I am able to see value in my struggles. At that present time, I was not. I deployed twice, seven months in Iraq and seven months floating around on an air craft carrier. On top that, being a female in the Marine Corps is guaranteed to bring about constant traumatic experiences on both subtle and extreme levels.
During the four years I spent on active duty, I would sit and dream about the life I would create as soon as my contract was over. I dreamed of going back to college for a higher level of education. I dreamed of rescuing animals by fostering and volunteering at animal shelters and any other volunteer work I could find. I dreamed of helping people and living in a world where people feel accepted for being who they are. I dreamed of creating a safe environment for myself where I could heal from all the past wounds that had been created. I dreamed about traveling the world serving, teaching, and building in third world countries and experiencing as much variety and culture as this world has to offer. Most importantly, I dreamed about being genuinely happy again.
My transition began with music. My favorite at the time was Jason Mraz, a singer/song writer who is notorious for his infectious upbeat tunes and inspirational, positive, love based lyrics. I remember in my lowest moments, I would crawl into my bed, put on my head phones, squeezing them tight to my ears, and play his music loud with the intent to literally brainwash myself with that positivity. Something in the music was healing me and ultimately leading me on a divine path to my destiny.
In August of 2010, I had returned from my last deployment. My contract was about to end and I was finally beginning the process of transitioning out of the Marine Corps. One particular weekend, my mother had come to visit me. My mother, my friend and I decided to go to a nearby café for some breakfast. We ordered food and then sat down at a table. Ten, maybe fifteen minutes later, Jason Mraz walks in the door. No joke. I was so shocked! I thought, “Of all people in the world that could walk in that door right now…” Then I thought, “If I leave here without shaking that man’s hand, I’m never going to forgive myself.” So I got up and asked if I could shake his hand. He was very nice and obliged me. I even got a chance to take a photo with him! A woman nearby had noticed how excited I was to have met Jason Mraz. Once I sat back down, she passed me a note. It was information about an upcoming concert featuring two musicians I had never heard of before and a secret appearance made by Jason Mraz! I was so excited!
Needless to say, I did attend that concert. I met all the musicians there and was able to tap into an amazing community of local musicians who all have love and positive, healing messages in their music. This marked the beginning of my transformation from feeling lost, out of control, disconnected, wounded, victimized, into becoming whole, healed, connected, in control, and loved! It began with music. Music then lead me to positive thoughts, changing my speech towards myself and others by saying positive affirmations. Positive thoughts lead me to healthy eating, slowly changing my diet, and understanding the value of having a good organic vegan meal. Healthy food lead me to yoga, I began actively practicing both Kundalini and Hatha yoga three to four times a week and there I began to understand the concept of real healing. It was there that I learned that healing is not something that just happens on its own. It is work and the person that is wounded must have a strong will to do what is necessary to let go of whatever is standing in the way of them and being healed.
Being profoundly grateful that I had found yoga, six months after taking my first yoga class, I enrolled in Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training. I am happy to announce I will be graduating as a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher this coming weekend. About half way through my teacher training, I decided that I wanted to be a well rounded healer. I started by becoming a Reiki practitioner, but I knew that massage therapy was going to take more of a primary role in my professional life. So I searched around for the best massage therapy school in my area. I went and toured a few different campuses. None of them seemed to be right for me until I found the National Holistic Institute in Studio City, CA. At this school, the campus is in a great location, 15 minutes away from my home, the staff is very friendly and accommodating, the curriculum is all encompassing. They even hold a ten minute meditation every single morning before class. It was then that I knew this was where I was supposed to be. A few days after checking out the school, I enrolled. Now, I am more than half way through their 720 hour program with plans to join their extended Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program after graduating from the standard course.
Right now, I look at life as a time to collect as many different tools (healing modalities) as I can to place into my tool kit. I would love to travel to different places to learn different healing techniques used around the world. When I read about Lomi Lomi and heard some of my instructors at NHI speak about it, I knew that I am definitely interested in going to Hawaii to learn about Lomi Lomi in an authentic way.
Long term, I will never forget where I came from. Remembering all the men and women I served with in the Marine Corps, I know that there is a big need for healing modalities to be provided to our troops. My intention is to one day go back and provide a wide variety of healing modalities and education to our troops, not as a way to support war, but to reach out and support the individuals who are sacrificing so much to be of service to our blessed country. I remember all too well how it was to feel trapped, angry, unloved, and unable to express myself. I would love to be able to go back with the tools of education and the strength of wisdom to give our service members some hope and the truth that they don’t have to suffer forever.
The message that I have to give to the world through my work is this: Healing is possible. Inner peace is possible. Love is possible.
Goals for My Future
1. Complete the National Holistic Institute’s Advanced Neuromuscular Program. In this program I will be educated more in depth about the human body and how massage therapeutic techniques can help heal people who are suffering from chronic pain. This course offers education on neuromuscular therapy, advanced deep tissue, orthopedic massage, myofacial therapy, injury prevention and rehabilitation, tools to re-invigorate my business and set myself up for a long career as a massage therapist.
2. Provide a wide variety of healing modalities to the troops. Having served four years as an active duty Marine, I know firsthand how it means to have so much responsibility, sacrifice, suffer, and not feel like there is any time or opportunity for healing to take place. My goal is to return to a military base and provide physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing and education for the troops. If I can make a difference in at least one life, it will all have been worth it.
3. Adopt an orphan child. Last year I went on a trip back packing around Asia. I saw and experienced a wide variety of things. One of which was an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Before I got there, I picked up 50 kg of rice and a Cambodian hula hoop to donate to the children. They were so delighted to meet me! I was overwhelmed with compassion for these children. The lady working there informed me that their orphanage was over its maximum capacity. Then I began researching and found that there is an estimated 210 million orphan children in the world today. It was then that I realized my calling in life. When I am older, and financially stable enough, I will adopt an orphan child. I believe strongly in being the change I wish to see in this world and one of those changes I’d like to see is every child having a warm, loving home to live in.
September 28, 2012 5 Comments
Good food, good wine, good music, good people… GREAT massage!
National Holistic Institute’s On Site Massage Team was proud to join forces with Taste of Petaluma fundraiser for Cinnabar Theater, a treasure of theatrical delights for 40 years, and one of the highlights of living in Sonoma County.
Local residents and guests embarked on a culinary journey to Petaluma’s finest restaurants, wineries, breweries and food purveyors, galleries and shops. This year they found respite from all their gastronomic indulgences in the hands of the Petaluma Campus On Site Massage Team.
The team performed hundreds of massages to the accompaniment of local musicians while aromas of delicious foods wafted by. Students delighted in meeting more of their community and building their client base, while at the same time seeing the delighted expressions of those who were just learning about our fabulous low fee student clinic.
The event was a wonderful celebration of community, arts, massage, and holistic living.
Cheers, Taste of Petaluma!
September 17, 2012 4 Comments
Leading AMTA and the massage therapy profession, Cynthia has noticed a disconnect between the massage therapy profession and the public’s perception of our field. Many people are unaware of the benefits of massage and of the availability of certified and licensed therapists throughout the country. AMTA members have volunteered to join Cynthia in the “AMTA Massage Therapy Tour”
“Our mission here at NHI is to ‘help people have work they love.’ Similarly in my role as President of the American Massage Therapy Association, my job is to help our member massage therapists succeed in their careers. In doing so, I’m proud to announce a new initiative by the AMTA – our Consumer Awareness Program. This program will run advertising campaigns nationally to drive more business to AMTA massage therapists. One really neat aspect of the campaign will be a tour around the country with the AMTA van. I had fun riding in (note: they wouldn’t let me drive!) the van back in Chicago. Check out the photos and video here and look for the AMTA Awareness Campaign coming soon!” ~Cynthia Ribeiro
September 4, 2012 No Comments
National Holistic Institute was named Massage School of the Year last night during the Industry Awards Ceremony at the 2012 World Massage Festival in Las Vegas. Joe Bob Smith, NHI’s Strategic Development Manager, accepted on behalf of the numerous staff, students, and graduates who have worked for 33 years to make NHI what it is today. The award was presented by noted international massage teacher James Waslaski.
Other industry awards handed out included the Association of the Year which went to ABMP. Brian Halterman, a graduate of NHI and ABMP’s Education Program Coordinator, accepted. Longtime friend and supporter of NHI, Lynda Solien-Wolfe of Biofreeze received the first Bonnie Prudden Meritorious Award for her volunteering and service to the massage profession.
Lynda told Joe Bob that it was actually an encounter with James Charlesworth, NHI graduate and former staff member, in the mid-90′s that led her on a path of volunteering. Coincidentally, James Charlesworth was posthumously inducted into the Massage Hall of Fame at a World Massage Festival ceremony held Sunday night. Jim was most known for creating the Massage Emergency Response Team (MERT). During the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, Jim desperately wanted to help. So, he did what he knew best – massage. Jim and many of the students and staff of NHI worked tirelessly to massage relief workers and victims of the earthquake. Jim’s legacy has lived on at NHI where, for over 20 years, students and staff continue to offer help in times of need.
But Jim had an even bigger vision and took MERT to the American Massage Therapy Association where it became a national program. Cynthia Ribeiro, NHI’s curriculum supervisor and AMTA President, became teary-eyed when recalling Jim’s sense of giving. Cynthia volunteered with Jim at the AMTA several years before she joined NHI. She’s proud that both AMTA and NHI have continued to fulfill Jim’s dream.
While at the World Massage Festival, Joe Bob was honored to participate in an industry panel for aspiring massage therapists. Panelist shared personal stories of how they came to be where they are in the profession and included Angie Patrick of Massage Warehouse, AMTA-Nevada President David Otto, WMF Educator of the Year Michael McGillicuddy, massage blogger Laura Allen, Lynda Solien-Wolfe, James Waslaski, Massagenerd.com’s Ryam Hoyme, author Cherie Sohnen-Moe, nationally known instructor David Kent, and American Massage Conference founder Scott Dartnall.
August 21, 2012 11 Comments