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May 8, 2019

Teacher Appreciation Week: Q & A With NHI Dean of Faculty Renee Lucchini


NHI Dean of Faculty Renee Lucchini has been in the field of massage since 1993. As a student at National Holistic Institute, she felt she had found a perfect fit, “When I walked through the door at NHI I felt like Dorothy coming home to Kansas! I had tried so many other crazy jobs (Land of Oz) that didn’t fit. Finding a career that filled my heart and served others was a dream come true.”

She enjoyed her experience at National Holistic Institute so much that she continued on to be a Teacher Assistant, and a core Teacher for seven years; then she put her skills into supporting the Faculty.

In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, we sat down with Renee to discuss why so many NHI students stick around to become teachers, what she appreciates most about NHI’s teaching staff, changes she’s seen in the massage therapy industry over the past 26 years and much more!


NHI: As you know, about 50% of NHI’s education and management teams are alumni. Why do you think so many graduates want to come back to teach or lead at NHI?


Renee: I believe graduates come back to teach at NHI to give back and share what they have learned. For many massage teachers, there is a desire to share what we experienced as a student, and then share what we learned in supporting ourselves in this profession.

Helping others is part of the profession, that’s why we love massage.

NHI is a very unique environment where teachers and staff support each other. I have heard from other instructors at other schools where they are solo, no curricular, educational or classroom assistance is given.

I also believe it’s the mission statement “Helping people Having work they Love” we come here as students as we desire this, we come back as teachers to share how it actually changed our lives.

As some of us move into manager roles we take on what we feel will support our staff so they can be fully present with the students.


What type of additional training do NHI Teachers receive in order to help them support the success of the students?


When new teachers arrive we do our best to immerse them in the culture of NHI. In some ways, a new teacher is taking on a learner role with a different focus.

We have special training for new teachers, however, it is in observing other teachers that help shape how each individual wants to teach.

Everyone teaches a little differently, and it’s all great. Students need the information to be available in different forms.


What are some simple ways that a student can express their appreciation for their teachers/mentors?


Appreciation can come in different ways. When students share with a teacher an honest and specific detail about what the teacher did that opened new ideas or new experiences to them it can be extremely rewarding. Basically, showing gratitude for something learned or an idea that opened up your mind in a new way.

I also hear that good food is ALWAYS appreciated


As the Dean of Faculty, what is it that you appreciate most about NHI’s teaching staff?


I really admire and respect all the teachers’ dedication to the students. It takes daily courage to step into that role and deal with so many other people in the midst of changing or improving their lives.

Helping others learn and experience what it is to really have work you love,

reminding and holding a vision of what each individual student really wants, and encouraging them to take the steps they need to fulfill their dreams.


After 26+ years in this field, what are some of the most exciting developments that you see in the industry?


It has been exciting to see all the different generations using massage, from baby boomers to Gen X, everyone is finding new reasons to experience massage.

One of the biggest changes I have seen is in the demand for Massage Therapists in the spa and resort industry. This has given Massage Therapists many different opportunities and also helped to educate those going to spas and resorts as they are realizing they can have a massage anytime.

And even the evolving tech industry has shown us getting a massage now is as simple as clicking on an App from your phone and someone will come to you at your convenience. What was once was a vacation treat they can now get at home. It’s easier than ever to get the massage you need when you need it!

Learn more about NHI and becoming a massage therapist by chatting with an admissions representative today! Fill out the form to get more information.