Archive for tag: faculty

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.

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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.

NUHS Grads Featured in News Segment on Healing Power of Touch

Two NUHS massage therapy grads, Janet Ziegler ('09) and Dorothy Topounova ('09), were featured in a recent news segment on the healing power of touch.

Here is a link to the full article on "The Science of Touch," while below is the news segment from WGN's Living Healthy Chicago.

The best news is that Janet Zeigler also teaches in the massage therapy program at NUHS, offering a class on healing touch for special populations, including massage therapy in hospice settings.

Bringing massage therapy to wider populations, such as those in hospice or suffering from dementia, is just one way our grads are defining the future of integrated health care.

An NUHS Student's Research in Massage

NUHS has a strong culture of supporting research by its faculty, graduate students, and students in its massage therapy program. The field of massage welcomes new research and case studies that track the benefits and applications of massage for various health conditions.

One massage student, Lauren Camer, did research at NUHS that culminated in a poster that she presented at a national conference after she graduated. She presented her poster at the 2013 American Massage Therapy Association National Convention in Fort Worth, Texas in September. Her topic was "Massage Therapy for Balance and Proprioceptive Deficits in a Juvenile: A Case Report."

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Lauren Cramer presents her research at the AMTA National Convention

The poster was based on the case of a boy with balance problems who received ten 30-minute manual massage therapy treatments over the course of five weeks. The therapist performed balance assessments on the boy before, during and after the massage therapy sessions. Lauren's case study on the boy showed that massage provided a positive and lasting impact.

While working on her research project, Lauren appreciated mentorship from her clinical supervisor, Dr. Patricia Coe, as well as her co-author, NUHS clinical research coordinator, Jen Dexheimer.

"They were always available to answer questions, and helped me with the preliminary work I needed to do to get my research proposal approved by the university," says Lauren. 

Now that she has graduated from NUHS, Lauren Camer is currently a licensed massage therapist in Illinois. She has a mobile massage service in addition to providing corporate chair massages and working in a chiropractic physician's office part-time.

Leading Experts Make Better Massage Teachers

National University is proud of its many of its faculty members who are published in nationwide magazines and professional journals. This includes our faculty who are experts in massage therapy. For example, this November, you'll find our massage therapy clinic supervisor, Dr. Patricia Coe, quoted in O: The Oprah Magazine

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Also, one of National's research professors, Dr. Jerrilyn Cambron, wrote an article on the topic of vetting good massage research for the November/December issue of Massage & Bodywork magazine. Dr. Cambron knows a great deal about massage research, as she is the current president-elect of the Massage Therapy Foundation and a co-founder of MassageNet.org.

Learn more about our massage therapy programs so that you, too, can come learn with the experts!