Get a massage without paying for one

August 13, 2008 5:26:34 PM PDT
We all love massages, but how can you give a really good one? Melissa Wheeler, massage therapist and faculty training coordinator at the National Holistic Institute in Emeryville, has some advice.

Tips for giving a good massage:

  1. Use your whole body while giving a massage. Many people tire themselves out giving massages since they only use their fingers. In contrast, it's much easier to give a good massage when position yourself correctly behind the person and get your whole body involved including forearms and elbows.
  2. Focus on the moment. It important not to get distracted while providing a massage. Concentrate on what you're doing and the reaction you get from the person getting the massage. Ask for and react to feedback.
  3. Go slow. A good massage is usually a slow and methodical with smooth transitions - not rushed and frantic.
Melissa Wheeler's tips for finding a good massage therapist:
  1. Ask trusted sources for referrals. Friends and families are a good place to start. Doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and personal trainers can also be a great source of information.
  2. Make sure to inquire about the professional training of a massage therapist you're considering. Unlike many states that has uniform educational requirements for massage therapists, California does not. Some counties require 100 hours of training while others require over 500 hours of training. All NHI graduates go through 720 hours of training making them some of the most qualified massage therapists in the state. It's a good idea to seek a massage therapist with at least 500 hours of training which is the national standard minimum for massage training.
  3. Check out the American Massage Therapy Association's website By using the AMTA website to find a massage therapist, you'll be sure that a well trained person will be working on your body. Website: www.amtamassage.org
Why Choose A Career in Massage Therapy?
  • According to the 2008-09 Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment for massage therapists is expected to increase 20% from 2006-2016 (see attached PDF which has a breakdown for the projected numbers which much is faster than the average compared to other occupations.
  • The report says that "massage therapy's growing acceptance as a medical tool, particularly by the medical provider and insurance industries, will have the greatest impact on new job growth."
  • Also, "demand for massage therapy is presently greatest among young adults"?.but that demand will grow as the population ages.
  • According to Salary.com, the median base salary for a massage therapist is from $50 to $56K in the Bay Area depending upon specific location (a nice return on investment for a 720 hour classroom program that costs about $13K at NHI and doesn't require a college degree as a prerequisite)
Melissa Wheeler Biography
In 1989, Melissa decided to leave life as an office worker behind to pursue a new career in making people feel better and enrolled as a student at NHI. A massage therapist since 1990 and instructor since 1991, Melissa is an avid and curious student and teacher of massage. She is a strong believer in continuing education for teachers and has taken advanced massage therapy related classes all over the nation. She is the faculty training coordinator at the National Holistic Institute and teaches a variety of continuing education classes for massage therapists and yoga instructors. She also maintains a private practice in Berkeley, California.

Having worked as a massage therapist in a physical therapy clinic and at the University of California in Berkeley (Sports Center), Melissa's background includes rehabilitative style massage, sports massage and extensive training in anatomy. She is a nationally-certified massage therapist (NCTMB), a member of the Education Committee of the Massage Therapy Foundation, and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association.

About National Holistic Institute (NHI)
NHI was founded in 1979 and is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). The school has four campuses in the Bay Area (San Francisco, San Jose, Emeryville, and Petaluma) and another in Southern California (Encino). NHI offers a comprehensive, world-class 720 hour program that prepares its graduates for a successful and flexible career in massage therapy.

National Holistic Institute
1-800-315-3552
5900 Hollis Street, Suite Q
Emeryville, California 94608
www.nhi.edu
Open House, Wednesday, August 20
5:30 - 8 p.m.


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