Welcome to our new
Touchpoints blog series on key points to look for when
choosing the right massage therapy school. This month's topic is
To earn your certification or degree in massage therapy, you'll
need to practice your massage skills on real people while you are
still in school. Your state licensing board will also require proof
that you've completed a certain number of actual massage hours
Where, how and on whom you practice your required massage hours
can vary greatly from school to school. Here is what to look
A school that assures you receive a large number and wide
variety of different clients (meaning clients of different ages,
backgrounds and health histories) will give you the broadest base
of experience and prepare you for the real world. At National
University, you'll be interning in our on-campus
integrative medical clinic, which draws from the local
community, the college campus, as well as referrals from our
chiropractic, naturopathic, acupuncture and oriental medicine
Working in a school spa or center that only provides massage can
provide an adequate number of clients, but the actual experience
you'll gain may be limited.
You'll be better prepared for a wider variety of career
opportunities if you give massage in a clinical or medical setting
where you are part of an integrated health care team.
First, you'll be more likely to see clients with actual medical
conditions who have massage therapy prescribed as part of a
treatment plan. This provides important experience in applying your
therapeutic skills. Secondly, you'll work alongside doctors and
health professionals from other specialties. That means you'll have
practice in learning how to communicate with them effectively.
Once again, National University's on-site integrative medical
clinic provides an ideal internship setting where massage
therapists can gain confidence in working with clients who are
referred by medical clinicians. You'll learn to prepare SOAP notes
(an acronym for subjective, objective, assessment, and plan) for
your client's file and medical charts, in a way that is responsive
to their physician's requests.
Additionally, many of National University's massage faculty and
clinic supervisors are also practicing primary care physicians.
Your supervisor will not only be a massage expert, but will be able
to show you what a medical doctor will expect from you.
National University's clinic provides an internship experience
that better prepares you for new career options opening in
hospitals, chiropractic practices, integrative medical clinics,
hospice care, wellness centers, and more.
Why not come for our next massage
therapy information night and see our clinic for yourself. We
think you'll agree, it's an exciting environment for aspiring
health care professionals like you!
Holidays can be fun, but they can be busy and stressful as well.
With family obligations, financial demands, and a full schedule of
activities, many people experience tension or even depression this
time of year.
That's why taking advantage of a professional massage is a great
self-care tool during the holidays. Massage has been shown to lower
blood pressure, reduce pain and tension, and can be a great way to
It may seem impossible to find the time for a massage in between
your holiday shopping, cooking and social commitments, so here are
In addition to taking care of yourself, giving the gift of
massage to others during the holidays is a great idea. Think of
those you know who would enjoy feeling pampered, or who are
interested in health and wellness, or who would appreciate the
stress reduction of a professional massage. A massage gift
certificate is often a creative, unexpected and welcome
For those in the Chicago area, National
University's Whole Health Center in Lombard offers massage gift
certificates year-round. Your friends and loved ones will enjoy a
relaxing therapeutic massage in one of our comfortable massage
therapy suites. (Hint: Massage gift certificates are also great
for workplace gift exchanges, raffle prizes and thank you
Recent findings from the Touch Research Institutes of the
University of Miami School of Medicine show marked improvement in
those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis after massage
Specifically, after moderate pressure massage therapy, those
with rheumatoid arthritis had less pain, greater grip strength and
improved range of motion in their upper limbs. (Read a summary of this latest research.)
In fact, the Arthritis Foundation has great things to say about
massage therapy as a pain relief option for those living with
arthritis. Research has shown that massage can lower the body's
production of the stress hormone cortisol, and boost production of
serotonin, which, in turn, can improve mood. Additionally, massage
can lower production of the neurotransmitter substance P, often
linked to pain, improving sleep as a result. (Read the three-page report on massage therapy and
When you train as a massage therapist in a clinical environment,
you'll have more exposure to clients seeking massage for medical
conditions, such as arthritis. A key advantage in earning your massage therapy
certification at National University of Health Sciences is its
internship in the on-campus integrative medical clinic. Here, you
will not only practice massage geared toward relaxation and
wellness, but also have the chance to work with clients referred by
physicians from a variety of medical specialties. Your massage will
be part of an over all treatment plan managed by the client's
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