At National University,
students in the massage
therapy program not only learn how to take care of future
clients, they also learn how to take care of themselves. Toward
this goal, the required curriculum includes a participation class
featuring Qi Gong.
Qi Gong is a Chinese system of breathing exercises, body
postures and movements, combined with mental concentration and
meditation. The techniques are used to maintain good health and
control the flow of vital energy, or "qi".
Students in the class learn Qi Gong relaxation techniques so
that they can recharge their own energy and maintain wellness
throughout their career. "I teach the MT students specific
techniques to keep their hands healthy, how to manage emotions,
keep themselves well," says John Robertson who owns Seven Stars
Martial Arts and has been teaching Tai Chi and Qi Gong at NUHS
"I tell my students that
Tai Chi and Qi Gong are the 401k plan for your health. It is what
you do today that allows you to have health and wellness in your
later years," says Robertson.
Massage therapists must maintain a level of fitness without
injury to continue thriving in this physically demanding
profession. It can also be very easy for a therapist to find
him or herself so invested in taking care of others, that they
forget to take good care of themselves. That's why it's
critical for massage therapists to develop self-care regimens such
as yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi - and even remembering to get a massage
You'll find John
Robertson and his MT students doing Qi Gong outside when the
weather is nice. Robertson also teaches at several local park
districts, assisted living centers and in Alzheimer's and dementia
outpatient care programs.
"I think its awesome that self-care is a requirement at National
University," says Robertson, who also teaches Taichi in the acupuncture and oriental medicine degree
programs. "It's part of the old physician's code 'heal thyself.' If
you're not well, then you're not able to work to the best of your
ability, or give your client the finest care."
Nothing is more important to your massage education than the
people who you will learn from. When you compare massage schools,
it's important to take a look at the faculty and their
For example, how many instructors are there at the school? Some
massage programs get by with only 3 or 4 instructors. However, a
small instruction staff can't provide the breadth of experience and
mentorship that is available with a larger staff. Learning from
more instructors allows you to benefit from a wider pool of
knowledge, more client case histories, and the ability to observe a
wider range of business and practice styles.
Secondly, examine the education and qualifications of the
faculty. For example, at National University, you'll study
health sciences under primary care physicians with advanced
degrees. That means you'll learn pathology from a doctor who has
actually managed patients with many of the diseases and conditions
you'll learn about. You'll study anatomy from a physician who
dissected cadavers in the same medical school lab you'll be
In the on-campus integrative medical clinic at National
University, you'll intern under clinicians with DC or ND
credentials. This can help you learn how to better manage clients
with medical conditions. Additionally, you'll learn how to better
interact with physicians, and understand what they will expect from
you in the future when they refer their patients to you for
Third, see if the school's faculty is active in the profession
outside of the school. Professionals who are passionate about
what they do are usually also actively involved in organizations
supporting that profession. The faculty at National University is a
great example: The
assistant dean of the program, Dr. Randy Swenson, is the former
chair of the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation. One of
the university's research professors, Dr. Jerilyn Cambron, is
president of the
Massage Therapy Foundation, and she and another colleague
a practice-based research network.
When you join the massage
therapy program at National University, you'll be studying
under a strong
faculty that is committed to seeing you succeed. A little
research in comparing schools will give you confidence that you are
putting your education in good hands.
Current statistics show that the field of massage therapy
continues to expand, offering solid career benefits for those
seeking a rewarding career in health care.
In addition to private massage practices and spa settings,
you'll now find massage therapists on cruise ships, in corporate
wellness centers, at your local mall, employed by sports teams and
fitness centers. Even more exciting is that massage therapy is now
part of integrative care in leading hospitals such as the
Mayo Clinic, in hospice care, in a variety of integrative care
clinics, wellness centers and physicians' practices.
Today, Americans not only seek massage for relaxation, they
increasingly look to it for therapeutic treatment of medical
conditions. That's because research studies prove it can
effectively help treat a wide variety of health issues such as high
blood pressure, fibromyalgia, and low back pain.
What is most exciting about massage therapy, is that the career
field is relatively easy to enter. You'll need a high school
diploma or GED, and attend approximately one year of evening
classes at National University of Health Sciences. You'll then
qualify to take state licensing exams. Once you're a certified MT,
you'll enjoy flexible work hours, a wide variety of employment
settings to choose from, good pay, and the satisfaction that comes
with helping people in their health and wellness goals.
National University to explore more about a career in massage
therapy and whether it may be just the opportunity you've been
It's important for massage therapists to have an understanding
of how the body works, and what structures and organ systems can be
affected though massage therapy. For that reason, in addition to
learning massage technique, one of your required course
requirements in most massage schools will be human
That's why a good question to ask when you are comparing massage
schools is, "How will I study anatomy?"
Most massage schools will use anatomy textbooks,
illustrations, posters, or models to teach their students about
structures and systems within the human body. But did you
know that there is one massage school where massage students study
anatomy on real human cadavers in a graduate medical school
gross anatomy laboratory?
That's right! At National
University, our massage students spend each anatomy class
viewing the actual muscles, tendons, and bones that they will be
working on when they massage their clients. They study in the same
lab as medical students, with guidance from graduate level
Waugh raves about the
anatomy lab experience at National University: "I never tire of
studying the body. It is extraordinary! It's also fascinating to be
able to see so many different bodies and the different nuances.
Each body is created so differently, it's truly amazing. There's
just no way to get this education in anatomy from a
"There's nothing like it," says
Emily Davies. "You can get in there and actually see the
muscles and the bones. It's something that you can't get from a
book. I know it will make me a better massage therapist."
At best, some other massage schools might take a one-day field
trip to an anatomy laboratory. National University massage students
are in the lab for anatomy classes on a regular basis.
Outside the laboratory,
National University students also have access to
The Anatomage Table in the campus learning resource center.
Featured on PBS and TED Talks,
this life-size 3-D interactive table is today's most
technologically advanced digital visualization system for anatomy
education. There are less than 100 tables in the US, and only 300
in the world.
If you're worried you might be squeamish around real cadavers,
you can see what studying in a real anatomy lab is like before you
go to school. A visit to the anatomy lab is part of National
therapy information night. Most students find it's not scary at
all, but rather exciting and life-changing.
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!
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• Why Choose NUHS for Massage Therapy?
• Leading Experts Make Better Massage Teachers
• Meet MT Program Graduate Ecktor
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