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Hands for Humanity Massage | Taking Care of Yourself is Taking Care of Your Community

This week’s blog post highlights a unique business founded and run by graduates of National Holistic Institute.

Hands for Humanity Massage is a local, Midtown massage business that cycles funds back into local non-profits in the Sacramento area. They provide the opportunity to receive a massage and support a local non-profit at the same time by giving 10% of your massage cost back to a non-profit of your choice.

Jenna Maggard, founder and owner of Hands for Humanity Massage, has created a business model that not only helps to heal individuals, but the larger community as well.

Jenna’s co-founder and fellow NHI graduate Chene Watson, both graduated from the Sacramento campus and live in Midtown. They have a passion for massage but they love their community as well and take pride in being a local, Midtown Sacramento massage business. This being the main reason for why they are focusing on being part of events that take place in Midtown area. They have collaborated on two Second Saturdays with an art event called Art Bazaar; set up chair massage sessions at Insight Coffee Roasters for their “Cappy Hour” every Thursday; set up a chair massage event at The Art Complex, and another chair massage event at a CD release party at The Guild Theater of Oak Park, Sacramento.

“My education at NHI is the reason I am able to create this dream into a reality. NHI provides an in-depth education of several massage modalities, kinesiology, anatomy, pathology, physiology, and business. My mentor and all the staff at NHI have also provided incredible support, during school and after graduation. All the staff has played a role in developing the massage therapist I am today. I can’t thank each and every one of them enough for the tools, the patience, the love, the time they have made available for me, and the encouragement.” -Jenna Maggard

Hands for Humanity Massage invites you to learn more about them or to book an in-home/office/on-location massage. You can visit them at or just call Jenna Maggard at (707) 631-1366 or Chene Watson at (916) 396-1701.

July 30, 2012   No Comments

National Holistic Institute named Massage Therapy School of the Year by the World Massage Festival

National Holistic Institute has been named 2012 Massage Therapy School of the Year at the World Massage Festival to be held in Las Vegas, August 19-22, 2012! 

“Today, NHI is one of the most respected and largest schools of massage therapy in the world. Their history and network of relationships in the field continue to help graduates have success and help keep their fingers on the pulse of the dynamic field of massage therapy.” – Massage Magazine

When you go to work every day and you love what you do, it’s surprising and humbling to receive recognition for it.  That’s how all of us at NHI felt when we heard that the World Massage Festival had chosen us as the Massage Therapy School of the Year.  For several years, this well-established festival has been home to the Massage Hall of Fame, complete with a who’s who of massage profession inductees.  To now be permanently acknowledged alongside those industry luminaries is an incomparable privilege.  For all the staff and students who have and will come through the NHI doors over the decades, we look forward to accepting this honor on their behalf.

More than three decades of hard work and commitment to the massage field has led to this recognition. Carol Carpenter, founder of NHI, had a vision of what massage education could be. Carol built a school whose roots still feed and support the organization today.  The foundation she built was made of knowledge, professionalism, and a deep dedication to excellence. In 2003, Carol Carpenter retired and Mason Myers and Tim Veitzer stepped in and continue to lead in the tradition of excellence.

Tim and Mason have grown NHI to be a statewide massage school with six (soon to be seven) thriving campuses. Today NHI offers the most current state of the art education available in massage therapy. Over the years, we have continued to refine our curriculum in order stay current with the growth of the massage industry and ensure that our graduates are ready to be successful in any area of the massage field they choose.

Our graduates work in a wide variety of industry specialization including the allied medical professions, spa industry, private practice, sports and fitness. Today the possibilities are virtually endless. The massage industry has grown tremendously and more and more job opportunities open up every day. It is a very exciting time to be a massage therapist!

NHI is growing along with the field. In addition to a foundational education in massage therapy, NHI now offers a 400-hour Advanced Neuromuscular Massage Therapy Program for massage therapists wishing to specialize in therapeutic massage. We also have robust sport massage and professional on-site teams that provide massage at events and locations around the state. We have had as many as 120 massage therapists gathered together to offer massage to the runners of the Nike Women’s Marathon, and participate in many more events year round.

We are proud of our growth and achievements, but our biggest accomplishment is our students. They go out into the field and bring professional, positive and healing touch to so many. We are proud to know that we have sent thousands of massage professionals into the field, and they in turn have enriched the lives of thousands and thousands more whom they’ve touched. Our graduates have helped those suffering from long-term and sometimes debilitating pain, supported women as they go through pregnancy and childbirth, provided comfort and care to those who need it,  helped professional athletes improve their performance, and generally have helped to decrease the stress levels of all with whom they come in contact.  You might even say our graduates are changing the world one touch at a time.
Massage Magazine National Holistic Institute World Massage Festival

To read Massage Magazine’s article about the prestigious award bestowed on NHI, click the following link.

January 31, 2012   3 Comments

Extending Thankfulness Through the Year With Massage Therapy

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:

To learn about NHI’s Massage Therapy Program:

~Amy Atkins
NHI Sacramento Instructor

December 7, 2011   No Comments

National Holistic Institute at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco

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 calm before the storm

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

Your Test Drive for Massage School | NHI Class Observation

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

National Holistic Institute and Biofreeze Announce Winner of the 2011 AMTA Convention Scholarship

National Holistic Institute and Biofreeze proudly announce that Lya Daggett, a senior student at the NHI Sacramento campus, has won the 2011 NHI/Biofreeze AMTA Convention Scholarship, honoring 2010 AMTA/Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year and NHI staffer Melissa Wheeler.


Lya will receive complimentary registration, airfare, and hotel for the 2011 American Massage Therapy Association National Convention in Portland, Oregon, this October compliments of NHI and generous underwriting from Biofreeze. While at the convention, Lya will attend numerous continuing education classes as well as special events as a representative and honoree of NHI and Biofreeze.

Many inspirational and compelling applicants submitted essays and letters of recommendation. The scholarship committee expressed desire to send them all. However, with above 95% attendance, over 3.8 GPA, a creatively written essay, and two glowing letters of recommendation, Lya demonstrated herself as a standout student and massage therapist.

In her scholarship essay she writes, “The dream of Massage Therapist has been with me since I was a child.” Lya is especially excited about attending the AMTA National Convention for the first time. “Attending the AMTA National Convention will enrich my massage career in many ways that I know, and many more that I won’t realize until I’m back in Sacramento sharing what I learned with my NHI student family.”

Lya plans to bring as much of the convention experience back with her for those who cannot make the trip by “providing written and verbal information/discussion to my classmates as well as some hands on demonstration. I would also be delighted to lead a discussion group for any interested students.” Lya graduates as a professional Massage Therapist and Health Educator with 720 hours of training from NHI this November. Her training has also enabled her to become certified by the California Massage Therapy Council.

The NHI/Biofreeze AMTA Convention Scholarship is open to seniors and graduates of all 6 NHI campuses and was the brainchild of NHI veteran teacher Melissa Wheeler. After being named the 2010 AMTA/Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year, Melissa envisioned a way others could experience the same sort of inspiration provided to her by attending massage conventions throughout her career. She knew many students and graduates beginning their careers did not have the means to attend and, thus, the idea of a scholarship was born. With a multi-year financial commitment from Biofreeze, NHI and Melissa Wheeler hope this annual scholarship will help Lya Dagget and other future massage therapists have work they love!

August 24, 2011   No Comments

Massage Students Experience a Special Graduation at the National Holistic Institute of Sacramento

On July 19th the National Holistic Institute’s Sacramento Campus held a very special and unique graduation ceremony. I say this, not just because there were only 2 graduates or because their heartfelt speeches brought some to tears and many almost to tears (I was one of these folks); This was Sacramento’s very first graduation!

Karla Jiminez and Dynasty Castro, the first two NHI Sacramento graduates

Sacramento had the benefit of having Dynasty Castro and Karla Jimenez as the 1st senior group. Transferring to the new Sacramento Campus from NHI Petaluma after their junior segment, they led the juniors in their new group of massage therapists with spirit and professionalism. They served as great role models for the rest of the student body.

As they accepted their diplomas, they shared their thoughts and feelings of their education and time at NHI.  I can assert we were struck by much of what they said. Their experience was profound, their words were passionate. I know many students and graduates can relate to their statements and sentiments: (to paraphrase) This place feels like a true community – They learned many lessons along the way – NHI helped them develop an amazing skill, and now they can love their work.

I want to end this post with an excerpt from a poem, read at the ceremony by Klayna Snider – Campus Manager

Remember what is most important;
It’s not having everything go right,
It’s facing whatever goes wrong.
It’s not being without fear,
It’s having the determination to go on in spite of it
- Vicky M Worsham.

We wish them well in their new careers! The Massage Therapy community just gained 2 great body-workers.

-Lucas Nevarez
Teacher / Mentor – Sacramento Campus

July 27, 2011   No Comments

Achieving Energy, Health and Presence | Yoga and Self Care for Massage Therapists

Take a deep breath.  Relaxed, open body.  Peaceful, calm mind.  Less tension, more ease.  Energized yet focused.  This is what clients of massage therapy leave with after they get off your table.  This is why we love the work that we do.  Then why should we, the massage therapists, feel less like these descriptions after a long day of giving massage?

How do we provide this for ourselves?  How can we get some of this everyday?  It is important for us to practice proper body mechanics and make sure we receive massage as well, but one answer has been around for over two thousand years.  Yoga!

There are at least as many different types of yoga as there are massage modalities.  And, like with massage modalities, different styles of yoga have similar benefits which directly improve your ability to provide high quality massage therapy for the length of your career.  Self care is of utmost importance if you want to help your clients- both by maintaining your ability to give massage and also in your aptitude to be an example of health in your client’s lives.  Yoga and Body Mechanics

Yoga Inversion

Yoga: Inversion Pose from

Yoga focuses on developing strength and flexibility by moving mindfully through a series of poses, called asanas, which serve to not only keep our body resilient but also to develop a deeper awareness of our movements.  This translates into your massage therapy practice as an increased stamina of maintaining good posture and practicing optimal body mechanics.

Yoga and Joint Health

An occpuational concern for some massage therapists is repetitive stress injuries from overuse of thumbs, hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders.  How can we provide relief of pain for others when we ourselves are afflicted?  Yoga works to counteract the stresses by building balanced strength in the muscles which support these joints and maintaining flexibility of tendons and joint structures.  Yoga may also work to break up adhesion within our tissues and improve joint lubrication.  Yoga moves our blood, giving renewed oxygen and nutrients to these areas, and also warms our fascia which can free the body to develop more functional movement patterns.  In a way, yoga may be like giving yourself a massage. 

Yoga and Presence

All forms of yoga emphasize breath and a meditative quality.  It focuses and calms the mind through slowing our breath, and slowing our thoughts.  This allows us the mental and energetic space to be present during the massage.  Being present helps you deliver quality massage sessions, whereas scattered and poor quality massage sessions can result when our minds are elsewhere; when our energy is scattered.  Not only does the mindfulness from yoga help you to be a more effective massage therapist, it also gives you practice in allowing the stresses of your practice to naturally fall away as you leave your office for the day.  This kind of presence in turn gives you the space that you need to fully recharge.

Yoga Om

Yoga: Om illustration, by Chris Macivor, from the book The Key Muscles of Yoga

July 7, 2011   No Comments

It’s Official! The New National Holistic Institute Sacramento Campus Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

We want to share with you what a thrilling evening we had here in Sacramento last night! We had over 72 guests at our Open House/Ribbon Cutting event which included the Sacramento Metro Chamber of CommerceSo many contributed to this very special joyful event to make it a huge success! Our students from group 70 gave samples of chair massage (we had all 4 chairs set up and they were working non-stop), we had floor Shiatsu massage, our shining star senior, Dynasty Castro gave Hot Stone aromatherapy hand and arm massage, Lucas manned our science table and we gave away loads of door prizes! The entire Sacramento team threw themselves into this making it a spectacular event in their own unique ways and with their wonderful beaming selves, and the entire campus looked beautiful.   And check out the AMAZING cake made by Amy Atkins! 

We look forward to watching our new campus grow and become connected with the rest of the National Holistic Institute community!  We also recently began our student massage clinic and had a wonderful first weekend – John Lambert and Lucas Nevarez have done a great job working with our wonderful students!  If you are in the Sacramento area and you need some more incentive to get down to the clinic, you can get $5 off your first massage just by liking our Sacramento Facebook Page!

May 9, 2011   No Comments

Sacramento Bee Features New National Holistic Institute Campus as Part of Largest California Massage School

Photo by Manny Crisostomo of the Sacramento Bee

As a positive energy fills the air surrounding NHI’s brand new campus in Sacramento, CA, the Sacramento Bee and the Press Democrat both put the massage therapy profession into a new perspective.  The Bee article covers the growing demand for massage in the state’s capitol even through a rough economy.  Steve Pierce of Massage Envy Spas told the Bee,

“I’ll tell you how things are. If  NHI Sacramento had 20 or 30 massage therapists ready to graduate, I’d hire them all right now,”

Check out the article here:  

The Press Democrat featured a similar story:

“The industry’s growth has been prompted by several factors, she said, including a greater acceptance by medical professionals of the value of massage therapy and new state certification standards.”

Check out the article here:  

Despite a growing industry, we feel it is more important than ever for every massage therapist to be interconnected and get the best education possible.  With a focus on community and personal development, NHI staff and mentors strive to give each individual student the tools that they need to succeed.

March 2, 2011   No Comments

National Holistic Institute Expands to Sacramento: California’s Capital to Become Home of Newest NHI School of Massage Therapy

The National Holistic Institute (NHI) is excited to announce its expansion with the addition of a fifth location in Northern California. Classes are scheduled to begin at the new Sacramento campus in Spring 2011 with 150 students expected by 2012.  You can read details about NHI’s expansion in the San Francisco Business Times or the Sacramento Business Journal.                                                          SF Business Times

Sacramento Business Journal





NHI has been exclusively focused on teaching massage therapy since 1979. NHI is expanding in terms of geography and curriculum as the massage therapy industry evolves. For instance, demand is increasing for [Read more →]

December 16, 2010   No Comments