Archive for tag: students

Massage Therapy Student's Experience at NUHS

In this video, you'll hear why Cassandra Ennsmann feels National University's program offers the best career preparation in massage therapy. Internship experience in our on-campus integrative medical clinic is a big reason.

Watch more videos from students, faculty, and alumni of the massage therapy program.

Students Evaluate the Massage Program

The Massage Therapy Advisory Board met recently and I was lucky enough to be in attendance. One of the functions of this group is to review evaluations filled out by our students at the end of each trimester. Through this process, they acknowledge the successes within the program and make suggestions for improvements down the road. Dr. Randy Swenson chairs this board and takes the students' responses very seriously. One of the reasons that National University students have a 91% pass rate on their national board exams is because their feedback and suggestions are used to improve the program and better their experience.

Favorite Classes

The results of the most recent evaluations completed by first trimester students showed that they gave the highest kudos to the fundamentals class. In this course, new students are taught a full body one hour massage. Second trimester students indicated that the chair massage and sports massage courses were their favorites. Third trimester students overwhelmingly gave a high five to the orthopedic and assessment course which they felt gave them invaluable working knowledge of multiple syndromes which might throw them off in future practice.

Students identified the chair massage course as a favorite.

Open to Suggestions

In addition to evaluating the program, current students are also asked to comment on the university as a whole. One area where students thought we needed improvement was to have the campus store open a little later so that they can stop in before classes (which start at 6:00 p.m.). I am happy to report that this request is in the works.

It was also suggested that the CPR course be included in the basic curriculum since it is required that students have this training before their clinical rotation starts. Because many of our students come to us with CPR already under their belt, the Advisory Board didn't think it would be fair to put it in as a required course at this time.

Watching the group in action is just delightful. They have enthusiasm for the work we accomplish here and a true passion for touch therapy. They are the guardians of our program and knowing who they are and how they operate I am reassured that the massage therapy program is in very good hands.

For Students: Advice from a Pro

DuplerMeet Laura Dupler from National University of Health Sciences. She teaches ethics for First Trimester students and a portion of the business classes for other First and Third Trimester students. She also teaches an elective class in myofascial release.

Laura is a previous graduate of the NUHS massage program. "I was almost 42 when I came here to prepare for a second career. I had been an office manager, bookkeeper and staff accountant in the corporate world. Not only was my old career stressful, it wasn't what I really wanted to do and I didn't feel happy about going to a job just to pay the bills."

She heard about the field of massage therapy and decided to attend an information night at NUHS. "When I went to the information night, I knew that if I could get through the gross anatomy portion of the orientation, then I could do the rest."

"As much as I dreaded it, the anatomy lab was one of the best advantages to the program. It's an entirely different thing for somebody to show you a muscle in a book versus seeing it on real bodies - how it looks, how it moves. It is an incredible tool."

"I picked National because they had the 'nuts and bolts' program that I wanted, and I had researched pass rates on the national board exams. I wanted to know I was going to one of the best."

After graduating in 2006, Laura went on to work as a massage therapist and chiropractic assistant in a chiropractic physician's office. She initially started teaching just a few nights per week in the business courses at NUHS, drawing from her background in office management. "One of the jobs I held previously was for a high end hiring firm. I know what employers are seeking in terms of resumés and curriculum vitae, so I could share a lot with students who would be interviewing for jobs when they left." Laura is also a member of the University's massage therapy advisory board.

Laura's advice to her students and to those considering a career in massage is this: "Don't look at any educational program as an automatic ticket to making tons of money. It takes a certain amount of work and salesmanship when you graduate to become a successful MT. Just because you graduate from one of the best schools in your field doesn't give you an automatic pass to making the money you feel you want to make. It takes hard work to build a practice and to get clients in the door. You can't sit back and let it happen, you have to go after it! One of my instructors here said to us, 'You might be the best therapist in the entire world, but nobody knows it if you don't tell them.'

"One of my favorite sayings that I really live by is this: 'Stop asking what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and then do that. Because what the world needs is more people to come alive!'"

Blending Naturopathic Medicine and Massage

Sarah -GerencherEarning a certificate in massage therapy is certainly a gateway to a great career. However, did you know that future physicians can also add massage therapy to their credentials in order to broaden their future medical practice?

Meet Sarah Gerencher, who is enrolled in National University of Health Sciences' Massage Therapy Certification Program, while at the same time earning her doctor of naturopathic medicine degree at National.

Originally from Joliet, Illinois, Sarah always loved science. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. After college, Sarah spent time working as a laboratory technician, making slides for pathologists, but she soon tired of spending all of her time with microscopes. She decided to enroll in National's naturopathic medicine program to become a naturopathic physician.

While a student at National, Sarah took advantage of health care at the on-campus clinic. "I received quite a few massages here at the clinic, which is what first got me interested in learning massage. I remember my first trimester in the ND program; I had a bad headache and a massage made it disappear. It seemed like a good idea to study another modality that would help people and make them feel better," says Sarah. Only a few trimesters into her graduate program, Sarah also enrolled in National's MT program.

Some of Sarah's advanced science classes from her naturopathic medicine curriculum transferred into the massage program. This allows Sarah to take a lighter load. Yet Sarah is still quite busy completing a full-time ND schedule during the day, coupled with MT classes at night.

"I really like the classes and the faculty in the massage program," says Sarah. "I especially like the yoga class, as it gives you time to relax and focus on yourself. I like the fact that NUHS gives you tools to take care of yourself while you're learning to take care of others."

"My favorite teacher is Dr. Patricia Coe, a chiropractic physician and massage therapist and the clinical supervisor for the massage program," says Sarah. "She knows what she's doing and is very straightforward and compassionate."

Even though Sarah was already studying to be a physician, she had not yet reached the clinical portion of her studies. Her clinical internship in massage started several trimesters before her ND internship and served as her introduction to the clinic. "I was nervous about seeing massage clients for the first time. I thought it was going to be very intimidating, but it wasn't that bad after I got into the swing of it." In fact, Sarah's sure that working through the jitters of seeing her first massage clients, will help her when she starts her ND clinical internship next year.

In the future, Sarah sees herself combining her expertise in massage and naturopathic medicine and travelling out west to practice.

In the meantime, Sarah has advice for those considering massage therapy as a career: "Do research on what type of massage you would like to learn. Different schools vary in what they actually teach. A lot of schools don't have an anatomy lab with real dissected cadavers. That's what's cool about National. Also, our professors here are very accessible and the class size is small."


A Salute to the Graduates

Deb -lrgA quote recently caught my eye from a book by Marianne Williamson and it says, "It is not time to wait for angels, but to actively become them."

With each passing day that I spend as an employee of the university, I become more aware of how lucky I am to share my day with the dedicated and passionate students who grace our halls. There's a certain air of deep caring that embodies National's interns - one that beckons us to seek their advice and care. You, graduates, have been blessed with that gift and came to National to complement it with the proper education. 

Your graduation ceremony will be steeped in tradition and overflowing with emotion. The baton will be passed and you will rise to the challenge. Those of us who have watched you grow are blessed to be able to witness the end of this small journey in your lives. We share your overwhelming excitement as you walk out into the world full of many different possibilities - a world just aching for your care.

You are the angels of the health care field and whether you picture yourselves donned with wings or draped in a red cape, you will change lives just as you changed your own when you chose to muster the courage and conviction to pursue the profession of a care giver.

I am honored to walk among angels every day at National and I wish you a lifetime of rewards.

And, as Charlie would say, "Good luck angels".