Dennette grew up in central Pennsylvania, but after high school attended Goshen College in northern Indiana. Part of her college program included a trimester abroad in China. After her graduation, she and her husband went to China from 1987-89 via their church's mission board and lived there again from 1992-98. They returned to China in 2003 to adopt their first and only child.
It was through her many journeys to China that Dennette discovered her interest in natural healing and traditional medicine. She had several amazing experiences with native Qi Gong healers, studying Tai Chi, and was even able to cure personal health issues through Chinese herbal medicine.
On their return to the United States, her husband eventually became an ordained minister and now leads a congregation in Lombard. "When I was younger, I never imagined being a minister's wife," says Dennette.
Since moving to Lombard, Dennette has combined her teaching skills with the experiences she learned abroad. She designed a curriculum integrating English language teaching with relationship building, peace building and values clarification for the organization she had worked with in China. She also worked with World Relief in DuPage County, teaching English to refugees and immigrants.
True to her interest in natural health, Dennette also trained in Reiki healing, and became actively involved in "Doxa Soma," named after the Greek root words for "to give praise with the body." "Doxa Soma practice is like a cousin of yoga," says Dennette. "The whole idea is to integrate stretching and breathing with prayer and worship."
Because of her busy life as a parent and her active church life, Dennette chose to study massage therapy with a reduced class load. "One selling point in choosing NUHS is that they were able to accommodate my half-time schedule."
Dennette's favorite aspect of National's massage therapy program is the faculty. "The professors are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The people who teach here are also working in the field, so they bring real stories of real people and real experiences to class."
"I also like the way the curriculum is designed. It keeps cycling through the information as you go deeper. There is plenty of repetition and application, and it provides a safe place to learn and make mistakes. It really fits my learning style."
In the future, Dennette hopes to practice massage with others who are interested in integrating different approaches like Doxa Soma, Qi Gong or Reiki along with massage. She hopes someday to develop her healing and teaching work into some form of ministry.
Dennette's story is a great example of how the adventure of learning and giving to others never ends. If you're ready to move forward with your own life adventure, NUHS' program in massage therapy can be a great way to explore natural health care, and open new doors for you!