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.
NUHS instructors: (Back Row L-R) Joan Spencer, Krista Soli
Jennifer Dexheimer, Candy Washington, Dr. Nicole
(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
"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.
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
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
It was a great event! The next scheduled Information Night is
July 16th. Reservations are
accepted online or by calling 630-889-6566.
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.
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
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."
Lauren Cramer presents her research at the AMTA National
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
"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.
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.
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
Learn more about our massage therapy programs so
that you, too, can come learn with the experts!
• Why Choose NUHS for Massage Therapy?
• Leading Experts Make Better Massage Teachers
• Meet MT Program Graduate Ecktor
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.