The Top 5 Health Benefits of Regular Massage Therapy

Photo of shoulder massageOctober 19-25th is "Massage Therapy Awareness Week." The health experts at National University of Health Sciences want you to know the top five health benefits of adding regular massage therapy to your health and wellness strategy.

Massage therapy from a licensed practitioner can:

  • Lower stress
    The long-term effects of stress can take emotional and physical tolls. Massage therapy may relieve stress and conditions associated with it, such as tension headaches.
  • Increase immune function
    Medical research
    indicates that massage therapy can help boost immune system strength by increasing the activity level of the body's natural "killer T cells," which fight off viruses.
  • Boost mental health and wellness
    Research suggests
    that symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression (all associated with mental health) may be directly affected with massage therapy.
  • Manage pain
    Pain can negatively affect a person's quality of life and impede recovery from illness or injury. Recent findings highlight the role of massage in pain management.
  • Improve physical fitness
    Elite and recreational athletes alike can benefit from massage therapy-massage can reduce muscle tension, improve exercise performance and prevent injuries.

(source - American Massage Therapy Association)

If you've never tried a massage for yourself, it's a great first step to exploring a career as a massage therapist.  If you live in the Chicago area, why not schedule a massage session at our NUHS Whole Health Center in Lombard? You can even schedule a meeting with one of our admissions counselors prior to your massage, so you can visit our campus and learn more about our massage therapy certification program.

Massage for Severely Ill Children

National University grad Karen Selph ('03) was recently featured on a local television news segment on bringing the benefits of massage therapy to severely ill children. Karen works as a massage therapist at Maryville's Children's Healthcare Center in Chicago.

Screenshot of video featuring Karen Selph

Karen is just one of our grads who are taking advantage of new applications for massage in an integrative medicine environment.

Massage Therapists Partnering with Chiropractic Physicians

2014-08-11_massageOne fantastic career opportunity for massage therapists is to work for a chiropractic physician. DCs (doctors of chiropractic) love to offer patients the option of massage therapy as a beneficial addition to their treatment plan. Having a part-time massage therapist on-site as part of their practice makes this easy and financially rewarding for the DC as well as for the massage therapist.

The "Massage Book" blog has a great article called "How to Partner with a Chiropractor". Many National University massage graduates choose this option as either the focus of their career, or as a part-time option in addition to a small practice of their own. Here are more recommendations from an MT who works in a chiropractic office.

If you want to work with DCs or other medical professionals, there are many advantages in choosing National University for your massage therapy education:

  • You'll be studying on a campus that also has students in chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and oriental medicine degree programs. 
  • In addition to seasoned massage professionals, many of your instructors will also be chiropractic physicians.
  • You'll serve your clinical internship in our integrative medical clinic, working alongside students and clinicians from our various medical specialties.
  • You'll often treat clients who are patients of our clinic, and get accustomed to working with treatment recommendations prepared by chiropractic physicians.

Preparing you to work in partnership with other medical professionals is just one way National University gives you a career advantage in massage therapy.

Instructors Learn How to Train More Effective Massage Therapists

Massage therapy is a field where person-to-person contact is essential, but it isn't limited to the massage itself. That contact happens from the minute the client phones for their first appointment, when the therapist greets them at their session, and how a therapist handles client questions throughout and after the massage. Good communication skills are paramount to creating a positive massage experience for the client and ultimately a successful career for the therapist.

That's why National University is proud that several of its staff and faculty recently attended courses on building communication skills in massage students. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP) sponsored the workshop as part of its "Instructor on the Front Lines" program.

2014-07-07_mtstaff
NUHS instructors: (Back Row L-R) Joan Spencer, Krista Soli Foster,
Jennifer Dexheimer, Candy Washington, Dr. Nicole Brod,
(kneeling) Dr. Patricia Coe, Dr. Heather Wisniewski

"We explored topics such as communication styles, avoiding communication blockers, and the importance of developing active communication skills," says NUHS instructor Candy Washington. "For example, some students are so accustomed to texting as their main communication vehicle, they might forget the importance of making eye contact with their clients."

"I really enjoyed the workshop on teaching methods where we learned about story-telling and role-playing in the massage classroom," Candy adds. "I can't wait to try role-playing in my next class!"

"Teaching our students to be better communicators will help them forge better relationships both with future clients and other health care providers, potentially building better inter-referral networks. Better communication training is a great investment we can bring back to our classrooms."

Learn more about the advantages NUHS offers to its massage students at our upcoming massage therapy information night.

Massage Info Night Unites Graduates with Incoming Students

Admissions Staff - Deb CascioLast night's Massage Therapy Information Night highlighted a visit from our alumnus, Peg Ortega. Peg treated the guests to an interactive demonstration of several massage techniques used by therapists. Each guest followed Peg's lead and performed the techniques on their own arms. This was a great way for future students to experience the sensations and benefits of just a few of the techniques they will be learning in the future.

Another alumnus, Matt Clemente, took our guests on a tour to see one of our 30 cadavers. Since we teach our anatomy and physiology on cadavers, it's important for future students to have that initial experience. Looking at a muscle on a human being as opposed to a textbook gives our students an advantage like no other. This is just one of the reasons our graduates excel when taking their National Board exams and are sought after therapists. 

Using the cadaver, Matt pointed out how successful massage can be in treating afflictions such as carpel tunnel syndrome and frozen shoulders. By trying a less intrusive option, some clients realize relief and can avoid surgery.

Dr. Randy Swenson, vice president for academic services, finished the evening with an overview of the curriculum. He pointed out the importance of learning anatomy as a foundation, a variety of techniques to make a well-rounded therapist, and the business elements National includes in its program to produce a confident professional.

It was a great event! The next scheduled Information Night is July 16th. Reservations are accepted online or by calling 630-889-6566.