forward back
Jul 26, 2023

NHI Sacramento Grad Zulma Portillo Martinez Found Chronic Pain Relief and a Profession in Massage Therapy

Zulma Portillo Martinez | NHI Sacramento Graduate

Zulma Portillo Martinez | NHI Sacramento Graduate

Since 1979, countless NHI graduates have pursued a career in massage therapy because of their eye-opening experience as a massage therapy client. Zulma Portillo Martinez, a graduate of our Core Massage Therapy Program from the Sacramento Campus is a perfect example. Zulma encountered several obstacles such as chronic pain, insecurity due to language and age, in order to have work she loves. Learn more about Zulma and her amazing journey below.

NOTE |  Click here to read Zulma’s story as she originally shared it with us, in Spanish.

The Massage Therapist Helped Me With My Pain and My Profession

I was injured at work before I enrolled at NHI. I lost my job and the doctor told me that the pain was already chronic and that I had to get used to it. I used crutches or a cane to walk, I could not stand for more than two hours at work. My doctor sent me to take some massage therapy sessions and it was there that I discovered that massage is a miracle for people to return to their normal life without pain. As it was in my case; that is where I made the decision to pursue this career.

The massage therapist would sometimes use a stool for her to rest her legs while still working.  I told her I love your job; you help others, you sit down if you get tired and you make money. I asked her where she learned her career and she referred me to NHI. The massage therapist not only helped me with my pain to enjoy a normal life but also taught me that my professional life could also change completely for the better. I am grateful.

I was Very Scared and Insecure Because of the Language

The first day I was very scared and insecure because of the language; my first language is Spanish and I didn’t know English. I didn’t know how to communicate with the other students and I was afraid of making mistakes and being made fun of. But I remember the first one who approached me was Senorita Penny and I felt like her energy enveloped me in a world of security.

The other teachers are also super awesome and very kind; they have so much love. The teachers and classmates began to help me with so much patience and gave me so many tools that I felt like the first day of Kindergarten.

Every Day I Discovered Something New and Interesting

Without knowing anything, there was a big mountain ahead; but always with faith in God and the teachers who gave me so much confidence. Always with patience and kindness, you end up crying when you graduate because of the great family you meet at NHI. Every day I always woke up every morning focused on the new opportunity that life was showing me.

Every day I discovered something new and interesting. What I loved and miss so much are Miss Penny’s stretching and meditation exercises, and the reflective stories before class began. Amy, Aubrey, Jonna, Justin, Raquel and Shawn are all such a blessing in my life. They brought my confidence back. Thank you.

There is no Age Limit for Pursuing a Career

NHI has changed my personal life completely. I have met people who are generous, kind, educated and have goals in their lives. That has helped me in my life because today I can see that whatever you set your mind to and pursue it can be done.

I learned that my children have so much stress at school and that as parents we must help them to pursue that dream. But with patience and focus to encourage them to study. To teach them that if I can do it when I grow up, they can do it too. I learned that there is no age limit for pursuing a career; that you just have to set your mind to it and say “I can do it too! You are human and if another person can do it, you can do it too.

It has helped me open doors to make my own business doing what I love most. Helping people with a painful condition to have a pain free life, help with stress and aging. I learned how to improve my posture (body mechanics) so that I don’t hurt myself again. Thank you Penny.

I am not Afraid to Talk to People Even if They Speak Another Language

I have more self-confidence. I am not afraid to talk to people even if they speak another language; I learned to communicate in English. I have met many interesting people and I feel that it was not my life that changed but my whole world. Today I know how to talk to others and how to interview for a job, how to express myself and help hurting people improve their daily lives.

Today with only three hours of work a day I make three times more than my previous salary. I depend on my own account and have more time to take care of my children and family.

You will Learn to Become Free and Find Yourself

I invite all the people who think that their life is already stagnant, either because of an injury or a condition or because of age. I encourage you to study, focus on your goal and make this decision that has been the best decision in my life. It can be the same for you, today I don’t need crutches or a cane to support me.

Today I am the one who helps you to let go of any obstacles. Sometimes it is only fear, insecurity and old age that lives in the mind. At NHI you will learn to become free and find your own self-confidence. Thank you NHI and all your staff for changing and improving my life; you are a blessing in my life and for those who enter the campus.

Get the details on how to pursue a career in massage therapy with National Holistic Institute. Complete this form to connect with an admissions representative today.