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Mar 29, 2021

“Losing my job and starting school at NHI saved my life.” – Leslie Beauvais, NHI Studio City Grad

NHI Encino (now Studio City) Graduate, Leslie Beauvais

Losing my job and starting school at NHI saved my life.

That sounds like a bold statement. Let me explain.

During the summer of 2010, I finalized my divorce, I lost my job and I moved into a friend’s house to save money. When I lost my job, I spent a day brainstorming about what I wanted to do next. I needed a career that could not be stopped by a failing economy. I needed something that everyone wanted at any time of the year. I thought about what all of my friends said every time I started to rub their shoulders when they were tired or stressed. They would say, “You should do this for a living!”

I googled Massage Schools in my area. National Holistic Institute was the first school that came up. I called the number and they said I could come by their Encino (now Studio City) campus and sit in on a class to see what they do and talk to an admissions representative afterwards. I was hooked.

I also found out that NHI’s massage school was one of the only schools I could attend and actually keep receiving my unemployment benefit checks until I graduated!

I moved in with my friend Jaynee and started school at NHI in the month of September 2010!

All was going well, and I was in the accelerated program so I was set to graduate the following Summer! And I loved the teachers. All of them were so helpful. The school even had us do a test that showed us how best we would learn (visual, kinesthetic, or auditory learners). We were being set up to learn in the best way for us as individuals! And I loved what I was learning. The first time I put hands on a fellow student on my table in class I started to cry. This was definitely what I was supposed to be doing.

“Get your training at NHI! They will help you pass your exam and give you a foundation that will not fail you! Massage is the best Career you will ever have. I love taking pain away from people everyday! NHI not only saved my life, but they helped me have work that I love!”

It was time for Christmas break and then we would take our exam and then move on to the Eastern Massage Segment. I was pretty excited to have time off with friends and time off to study! It was my first day off in almost 4 months since my transition and boy, I needed it! My life was about to change again.

On December 11, 2010, I had a Hemorrhagic Stroke in my brain’s communication center. I remember feeling dizzy and thinking I should sit down & put my head between my legs so I wouldn’t faint. As I did, I had what was THE WORST headache I ever had in my life! In fact, I wondered if I was having my first Migraine. Holding onto my head all I could do was scream and moan and then I started throwing up! Then this peace came over me as I lay on the floor in my own vomit and I knew God was taking care of me and I thought I went to sleep.

If I hadn’t lost my job, I wouldn’t have gone to massage school and I wouldn’t have moved in with Jaynee and I would have been living alone in my apartment when I had my brain aneurysm that caused my stroke and there would have been no one there to call 911. I would now be dead or severely disabled.

After rehab, I contacted NHI to tell them that I would like to continue after I recovered. They informed me that they would love to have me back. I didn’t want to lose my chance to graduate so, I decided to return.

I was really terrified. As a result of the aneurysm, I had short term memory loss. By the time someone acknowledged my raised hand in class I would forget what my question was. I talked to my mentor and we devised a plan. I would record the classes and at night I would listen and write notes along with my questions and get them answered by Marianna, my teacher and mentor, the next day.

It was like pulling teeth, but I graduated in 2011 with a 3.75 GPA! And the Core Program helped me heal from my short-term memory loss and ultimately my brain and body regained all function by the time I graduated. My doctors were very impressed. NHI trained me and provided me with the tools that I use every day. That is a priceless gift.

Since then, I have worked for two Massage Envy’s, and an Elements Massage. When the pandemic hit and I got furloughed, I started working for Be Hive of Healing with Dr. Habib Sadeghi who integrates Eastern and Western treatment modalities in treating his patients. I am able to support the Doctor by doing Lymphatic Massage and Reflexology to help his patients heal. I get paid what I am worth, have a 401K, and am a part of an incredible healing staff whom I love. The Pandemic actually helped me find the perfect job for me. I was forced to leave the spa that I was working for and look for a massage job working for a doctor’s office. Ultimately getting that job helped my husband and I buy a condo during the pandemic! Unbelievable!

NHI not only saved my life, but they helped me have work that I love! Thank you, National Holistic Institute.

– Leslie Beauvais

Connect with Leslie by visiting her website,

Want to learn more about how YOU can become a massage therapist with National Holistic Institute? Complete this form to connect with an admissions representative today.