Dr. Cambron is President-Elect of Massage Therapy Foundation

Dr.CambronDr. Jerrilyn Cambron, professor at National University, has been elected "president elect" for the Massage Therapy Foundation. Her position will begin in March of 2013, and she will serve her two-year term as president from 2014 - 2016.

Dr. Cambron was previously elected to the Foundation's board of trustees in 2010, and became a vice president of the organization in 2012.

The focus of the Foundation is to "advance the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education, and community service."
Dr. Cambron says, "These three tenets of research, education, and community service are exactly what I stand for as well, so as a massage therapist, the Foundation was a natural match for me. "

"The Massage Therapy Foundation's work is very exciting," says Dr. Cambron. "We have an international massage therapy research conference coming up, and also an online open-source journal that is indexed in PubMed. The Foundation gives out funding for research and community service projects, and is starting a webinar series on how to write case reports. In fact, we have a case-report contest for both students and practitioners." says Dr. Cambron.

Dr. Cambron serves on the faculty of National University's Research Department and in addition to her doctor of chiropractic degree, holds both a master's degree in public health and PhD from the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She is also a licensed massage therapist and founder of MassageNet, a practice-based research network for massage therapists.

NUHS MT Students Show Outstanding Performance on Boards

Here in Illinois, as in most other states, every massage therapist needs to take standardized board examinations for licensure. According to an official report from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, massage therapy students from National University of Health Sciences performed exceptionally well on the most recent exams.

In fact, NUHS' school pass rate during the last national board exam was 92.86 percent! Compare that to the Illinois pass rate average of 70.59 and the national pass rate average of 74.75 for the same time period.

"A high pass rate such as this, shows that our students are well prepared, and comfortable in the knowledge and skills they will need as professional massage therapists," says Dr. Randy Swenson, Dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences at National University.

For every single test period since 2009, on every single topic tested, National University MT grads outperformed state and national averages. Take a look at the full results.

Such pass rates are a good barometer for choosing a massage school. National University's massage therapy certification and degree programs prepare students for success on both board exams and for a full range of rewarding career options in massage therapy.


Aromatherapy and Massage

When a client arrives at a massage appointment, it's relaxing for them to be greeted by soft music, a comfortably warm room and low lighting. It helps them know that this is a nurturing environment. What about relaxing through the sense of smell? Certain smells can take us back to our childhood, or to a favorite memory of a walk in the woods, or to an imaginary garden. The right aroma can completely change how we feel, and even help us relax. 

"A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people's moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain'slimbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it's sometimes called the "emotional brain," smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously."-- from "How Smell Works" by Sarah Dowdy

That's part of what aromatherapy is all about.  

Aromatherapy uses the volatile essential oils in plants, either by diffusing them in the air, or by adding them to a neutral and fragrance-free massage oil and applying them directly on the client's skin.

The fragrance of aromatherapy oils is very unlike commercial fragrances. There are no chemicals or propellants. Some oils smell earthy or woody, others have a medicinal quality to their odor. Various oils can be mixed to combine their healing and soothing properties, creating unique scents that are indescribably wonderful. 

While some massage therapists use essential oils to help create a calm and relaxing environment for their clients, others use specific oils as a therapeutic tool that can address a client's individual needs. For example, do you wish you had more energy? Perhaps oil of rosemary or grapefruit will give you the pick-me-up you need.  Are you depressed? How about the uplifting scent of mandarin orange or pine? There is even an International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy that explores emerging research on how the chemical properties in essential oils can address specific health conditions. 

Here at National University, students can take an elective course that gives an introduction to aromatherapy. Once a massage therapist is certified, there are many continuing education courses in aromatherapy offered by the American Massage Therapy Association and other professional massage organizations. 

Next time you plan to receive a massage, ask if you can try aromatherapy.  It may open up a whole new world for you. Who "nose?"

Massage for Seniors

Since baby boomers will be the largest population group seeking health care over the next few decades, it's important for today's massage therapist to understand how massage can help seniors, and what special needs they may have. Unlike years past, today's seniors may be more familiar with massage and more open to seeking massage for pain and stress relief.


However, bringing the benefits of massage to seniors requires special consideration: For example, certain stretching and joint mobility exercises are not advised for older adults. An older person might have difficulty with osteoarthritis as well as decreased flexibility. Changes in older clients' skin will require you to reduce your pressure during a massage.

In National University's massage therapy programs, you'll explore how to address the needs of special populations like senior citizens. That way you'll be ready to work with the largest group of US health care consumers!

In the meantime, the American Massage Therapy Association has two excellent articles about massage therapy that discuss the special considerations of seniors:

Sports Massage

When you choose a career in massage therapy, a world of possibilities is open to you. Massage therapists work in all sorts of interesting places--even the Olympics! Here's an article from a massage therapist who will be traveling to the 2012 London Olympic Games. She explains the steps that led her to this opportunity, and also what's involved in becoming an expert in sports massage. 

» Where Do You Work? Working in Sports Massage