Archive for tag: clinic

Comparing Massage Schools: Internship Experience

Massage ImageWelcome to our new Touchpoints blog series on key points to look for when choosing the right massage therapy school. This month's topic is "Internship Experience."

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 under supervision.

Where, how and on whom you practice your required massage hours can vary greatly from school to school. Here is what to look for:

  • Will you complete your hours massaging a wide variety of clients, or will you just be working on fellow students, friends, family or people from only one demographic or age group?

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 clinicians.

  • Will you gain experience in a medical environment? or will you work in a school spa or massage center?

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 are a Time to Both Give and Receive Massage!

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 de-stress. 


It may seem impossible to find the time for a massage in between your holiday shopping, cooking and social commitments, so here are some tips: 

  • Book your massage in advance, as this time of year can be busy for massage therapists, clinics and spas too.
  • Ideally, try to plan your massage for a day and time where you can relax afterwards with low-key activities. 
  • If an hour seems too much to squeeze into your busy pre-holiday schedule, how about a half-hour massage? Or even a quick stop at the chair massage station in your local mall?

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 surprise.

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 gifts.)

Research on Massage and Rheumatoid Arthritis

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 therapy.

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 arthritis.)

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 physician.