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Category Archives for: Self Care for Massage Therapists

Meditation

December 28, 2016 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

The Ariana Institute’s Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual is part of a series of massage manuals that are designed to help deepen the knowledge of current massage therapists and introduce new massage therapists to the world of massage and bodywork.

The Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/, including:

  • Self Care and Body Mechanics
  • Stretching and Breathing
  • Meditation as a Therapeutic Tool
  • Mindfulness in a Therapeutic Setting

Self Care_BookCoverPreviewThis manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of self care modalities beneficial for yourself and your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about meditation featured in the Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual.

MEDITATION

Meditation has been my saving grace. It has afforded me the opportunity to focus inward, deeply rejuvenate, gain valuable insights, heighten my well-being, and expand the depth with which I can connect inwardly and with those around me.

I initially came to meditation through music. I had a friend in college who was a musician and he invited me to go with him when he performed for a meditation group near my home. The group focused on the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan, a prominent spiritual teacher from India, as well as teachings from Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, the Native American traditions, Hinduism, and many other religions. I immediately felt drawn to the sweet energy of this group and began participating in meditative activities, which included studying and paying homage to these religions. We would light a candle for each of the world’s religions and read scripture from the respective holy books. Having grown up in a small Methodist church in San Antonio, this was a true awakening for me. I loved studying and honoring scriptures from many religious and spiritual traditions around the world as much as I loved the dance, the breathing practices, the retreats, the focus on sound, the sense of community, and the heart of the meditations. It was a calming and restorative focus for me during a time when I had just graduated from college and was trying to find my way in the world. Although I’ve moved on from the old boyfriend and the group, I still stay in touch with many friends from this group and count them among my life-long friends.

In a more traditional academic setting, I gained another very powerful experience that deepened my connection with the meditative path when I studied transpersonal counseling at John F. Kennedy University in California in the mid-80s. Several of the courses I took propelled me into a deeper study of meditation and the positive effect of meditation on the body, mind and spirit.

As my life has progressed, and the meditation groups ceased to be as active as they had been in previous decades, I utilized more adaptive options for myself. More recently, I’ve attended Ecstatic Chant workshops at the Omega Institute in upstate New York where luminaries in the spiritual community came together to chant and sing and enjoy fellowship. Those events were quite transforming and profound.

While meditation can often be a solitary practice, it is always a pleasure to connect and reconnect with kindred spirits on the spiritual path who are interested in meditation, contemplation, and taking time out of their busy schedules to rest and reflect and find that indwelling place of peace. The synergist energy that is created when people meditate or pray together can be quite profound and transforming. While I know that meditation is not for everyone, it has been a valuable calming and centering tool for me. I respect and appreciate whatever vehicle people may use to bring themselves to a point of stillness in their lives so they can restore themselves to balance and peace.

Being a meditator has helped me tremendously as a massage therapist and as a massage educator. Incorporating meditation techniques into my personal and professional life has brought about a sense of peace and tranquility where there used to be chaos and unrest. It helps me to perpetuate a calm atmosphere when assessing a new client who has a serious health issue and I feel more relaxed preparing to teach a complex subject to a large group of students. Meditation is a wonderful form of self care. When thinking of my clients, students and colleagues during a meditative session, I always envision them in a serene environment surrounded by a loving energy. Mediation not only helps us set our hearts at ease, but concurrently raises the consciousness of humanity. As Hazrat Inayat Khan said, “Peace comes when the self is in harmony with the rhythm of the heart.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – ARIANA VINCENT, LMT, MTI, BCTMB

Ariana Vincent was awarded the 2015 CE Provider of the Year Award by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. She is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor whose classes are accepted throughout the United States. Ariana is also a Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Honoree and author of the Ariana Institute’s therapy manual series available on Amazon. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

To read the foreword of the Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/the-ariana-institutes-self-care-for-massage-therapists-manual-and-ce-courses/.  

The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Self Care and Body Mechanics, Stretching and Breathing, Meditation as a Therapeutic Tool and Mindfulness in a Therapeutic Setting CE courses can be accessed on the Ariana Institute’s YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/ArianaInstitute.  

To order your copies of the Ariana Institute’s Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual, visit www.amazon.com/author/arianavincent.  

For additional information about the Ariana Institute and to register for online continuing education and MTI courses visit www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/.   

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB

 

Exploring the Path of a Massage Therapy Instructor

December 20, 2016 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

 

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Choosing Your Path

There are myriad ways you can configure your career as an MTI. You can work part-time or full-time, you can use your experiences as an MTI as a stepping-stone to another career, you can focus on being an MTI as a second career, you can blend teaching with your current vibrant massage therapy practice, or you can supplement your retirement income by becoming an MTI. There are opportunities to work as an independent massage therapy instructor, like I do, you can work as an instructor at an established massage therapy school, and/or you can work for a nationwide company that provides massage therapy classes throughout the U.S.

Once you have been approved as an MTI and you have your MTI license and any other licenses and certifications you may need in order to teach, focus on setting goals for each of the massage therapy courses you wish to teach. Then choose the content and format that will make each course work for you and your students. If you choose a career as an independent MTI, you can utilize the information you gain in your MTI course to begin designing the content of your course notebook and structure. Remember to avoid using other people’s copyrighted material without permission and acknowledgment. If you choose to work as a MTI in a massage school environment, the school administrators will typically provide course notebooks and supporting media for the classroom. You should also think about how you will use technology in the classroom. Practice teaching your newly designed massage course to colleagues and friends and ask for feedback. It is not only an excellent idea to practice teaching, it is a NCBTMB requirement, as stated on their website, “Before submitting an application to NCBTMB for approval, you must have taught the course at least one time within the last year to a group of five or more participants. You must provide the participants with an evaluation requesting feedback on the course, instruction and material.” You could even videotape yourself practice teaching so you can study the pros and cons of your teaching style. An additional way to learn to teach would be to partner with another instructor during the beginning of your career or to serve as an assistant in a classroom.

Teach what you truly love and what you are qualified to teach. Think about how good it feels to have a positive influence in the lives of those around you. Create a structure for your classes in an environment that participants will enjoy. Utilize the information and resources presented in your MTI course material to create the ideal classroom environment. Make sure the classroom is well lit, properly ventilated, clean, comfortable, and that there are appropriate restroom facilities. Decide whether or not you are going to provide massage tables. Make sure to have a balanced percentage of hands-on experiential training and cognitive information. My preferred balance is 80% experiential and 20% cognitive.

Once you have developed your course material, if you are an independent MTI,, focus on setting prices, registering participants, and preparing rosters and certificates of attendance. Set up a spreadsheet to track your income and expenses on a daily basis so you can carefully monitor your progress. It is also important to remember that the first three to five years of any business, including massage therapy education, are building years as you lay the foundation for your ongoing success. Keep the appropriate tax records for the IRS. Also maintain  student records, rosters and course evaluations for NCBTMB and your state massage board. Please be sure to comply with all of your state board rules and regulations.

Develop marketing strategies by taking some marketing classes, reading books that offer tips for successful marketing and utilizing the services of mentors and consultants. The Ariana Institute’s MTI course includes information on marketing your courses as an independent MTI; however, not all MTI courses provide this component in their curriculum. Next, determine what marketing techniques work best for your business and budget. Think of ways to develop compelling descriptive titles for your courses to capture the attention of your students. Believe that you can be successful and surround yourself with competent people who support you in achieving your goals and dreams.

We will next explore ways of finding and creating opportunities to advance your career as an MTI.

Opportunities For Massage Instructors

Search engines come in handy for researching opportunities for massage therapy instructors. If you want to work at a massage school, simply search the name of the city where you want to teach and then enter “massage school” and find out the name of the director of the school and contact that person to see if there are any positions available for MTIs. You could also offer to teach one-time continuing education classes in your area of specialty as well as seeing about becoming a part of the part-time or full-time faculty. Create a proposal for the CE classes you want to teach at the schools and submit it to the school administrators along with your resume and cover letter. Go to events and CE classes at the schools where you are interested in teaching so that you become known in their environment.

If you are interested in teaching for a national massage company that hires instructors, you could do some online research for names and contact information and then follow-up to see if they are hiring.  You could take some courses offered by that company and talk to the instructor to see what his or her teaching experiences with that company have been like.

Another approach to utilizing your MTI certification would be to establish yourself as an independent MTI and CE provider. Design and develop your own course curriculum and market your class to the local community. Once you have achieved your desired level of success, consider expanding your market.

You can develop name recognition by offering to teach classes for local massage groups, such as massage Meetups and local AMTA chapters. On a larger scale, you can submit proposals for state and national conventions, for example, AMTA national conventions and The World Massage Festival.

Consider writing a book on the massage technique that you want to teach. This can help you market yourself as an educator. This can be done for every course, or bundle of courses that you offer.

In today’s technological world, another good marketing avenue is to create instructional videos for your courses and (1) publish them on the web, (2) send them to prospective students, (3) place them on your website, (4) include the URLs for these videos in the books that you publish, and (5) include the URLs in your course notebooks.

Resources for Advanced Information

The Ariana Institute’s Massage Therapy Instructor Course

http://www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/#mti

ABMP Instructor Resource Programs

http://www.abmp.com/instructors/ http://www.abmp.com/instructors/instructor_development.php

AFMTE’s Educational Resources for Massage Therapy Teachers

http://www.afmte.org/teacher-education-resources/

AFMTE’s National Teacher Education Standards Project (NTESP)

http://www.afmte.org/education/tesp-core-competencies/

Coursera Instructional Methods in Health Professions Education

https://www.coursera.org/course/instructmethodshpe

Educational Training Solutions

http://www.educationtrainingsolutions.com/about-us/

ELAP (Entry Level Analysis Project)

http://www.elapmassage.org/

Florida Board of Massage Therapy Education Programs Page

http://floridasmassagetherapy.gov/education-and-training-programs/

NCBTMB Information for Continuing Education Providers

http://www.ncbtmb.org/continuing-education-providers/continuing-education-providers#general

NCBTMB New York Approved CE Sponsor

http://www.ncbtmb.org/continuing-education-providers/ncbtmb-approved-new-york-ce-sponsor

Now that we have explored many options on the MTI path, I’ll leave you with a few thoughts and insights. One of the most important things you can do is to impart the knowledge and wisdom that you have gained over the years. Teaching can be a rewarding and enriching process that benefits the teacher, the student and the recipients of massage. Take time to look inside and see what you can do to let your light shine and manifest your dreams into reality. As Nelson Mandela shared so eloquently, What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

The information above includes excerpts for an article “Positive Influence: Become a Massage Therapy Instructor,” by Ariana Vincent, originally published in the June 2015 issue of MASSAGE Magazine.

Visit the Ariana Instiute’s website to learn about opportunities and courses for future Massage Therapy Instructors at http://www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/#mti!

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Mindfulness

April 18, 2016 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

The Ariana Institute’s Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual is part of a series of massage manuals that are designed to help deepen the knowledge of current massage therapists and introduce new massage therapists to the world of massage and bodywork.

The Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/, including:

  • Self Care and Body Mechanics
  • Stretching and Breathing
  • Meditation as a Therapeutic Tool
  • Mindfulness in a Therapeutic Setting

Self Care_BookCoverPreviewThis manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of self care modalities beneficial for yourself and your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about mindfulness featured in the Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual.

MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness came into my life as a focus when I began studying the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, scholar and author. I was introduced to his work by my friend, Paméla Overeyender. The primary focus of his teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment and through this focus we can help develop inner peace and worldwide peace. In the 60s, he taught Comparative Religion at Princeton University and Buddhism at Columbia University. He and his group of devotees at the Plum Village monasteries have set up Mindfulness Practice Centers throughout the world. His writings on mindfulness and his devotion to working for world peace have influenced me and encouraged me to become a more mindful person focused on present time awareness.

I have also been influenced by Dr. Dean Ornish, a physician, president and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, who is most well known for the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program he created to prevent and reverse chronic diseases with lifestyle changes and Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The attention to mindfulness in regards to a person’s overall health has been steadily increasing in the medical community with the work that these two continue to produce. I have deep admiration and respect for the good work both of these physicians are doing in the mindfulness community on a national and international level.

I am happy to see how helpful practicing mindfulness has been to me throughout my career as a massage therapist and massage therapy educator. The practice of mindfulness has helped me be more focused in every moment and has led me to a deep sense of inner peace and calm. I feel that I am better able to be more empathetic and understanding in relationships with my clients and students as a result of studying mindfulness based techniques and incorporating them into my personal and professional life. What I’ve noticed the most about practicing mindfulness is that it helps me to live life more fully in the present moment and be more actively conscious of the world around me. Practicing mindfulness has enhanced my sensitivity in the present moment while reducing the effects of unnecessary worry that occurs when I take myself out of present-time awareness.

To quote the yoga master, Swami Satchidananda, You can’t control the waves, but you can learn how to surf.Mindfulness can give you tools to learn to surf amid the inevitable waves that come with life incarnate in human form.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – ARIANA VINCENT, LMT, MTI, BCTMB

Ariana Vincent was awarded the 2015 CE Provider of the Year Award by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. She is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor whose classes are accepted throughout the United States. Ariana is also a Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Honoree and author of the Ariana Institute’s therapy manual series available on Amazon.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

To read the foreword of the Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/the-ariana-institutes-self-care-for-massage-therapists-manual-and-ce-courses/.  

The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Self Care and Body Mechanics, Stretching and Breathing, Meditation as a Therapeutic Tool and Mindfulness in a Therapeutic Setting CE courses can be accessed on the Ariana Institute’s YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/ArianaInstitute.  

To order your copies of the Ariana Institute’s Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual, visit www.amazon.com/author/arianavincent.  

For additional information about the Ariana Institute and to register for online continuing education and MTI courses visit www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/.   

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB

 

Stretching and Breathing

February 15, 2016 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

The Ariana Institute’s Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual is part of a series of massage manuals that are designed to help deepen the knowledge of current massage therapists and introduce new massage therapists to the world of massage and bodywork.

The Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/, including:

  • Self Care and Body Mechanics
  • Stretching and Breathing
  • Meditation as a Therapeutic Tool
  • Mindfulness in a Therapeutic Setting

Self Care_BookCoverPreviewThis manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of self care modalities beneficial for yourself and your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about stretching and breathing featured in the Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual.

STRETCHING AND BREATHING

My first experience with formal stretching and breathing exercises began in 1979 when I joined a lovely meditation group in south Austin and started practicing yoga with my friend Riki Dunn at the YWCA. This experience helped me learn about the importance of stretching and breathing exercises as I became aware of the effects of proper breathing and regular stretching to help alleviate stress, physical discomfort, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Throughout the years since then, I’ve incorporated different programs of breathing and stretching into my life. Now, one of my favorite activities during the week is going to Hatha yoga on Sunday afternoons at the Hills Fitness Center with a fabulous instructor, Manu Verma. I always feel deeply transformed by the experience of practicing yoga with him. His classes take me on a journey of breath, movement, sound and meditation.

Restorative yoga is another form of stretching and breathing that I find deeply relaxing and centering. It is the centering of your breath and body – aligning the physical and mental by practicing stillness or gentle movement for extended periods of time. I usually do this once a month during the new moon, although I know I could benefit from doing it more often.

In addition to yogic practices and stretching activities, I have participated in Somatic Experiencing sessions with Miriam Klotz, a psychotherapist who trained with Dr. Peter A. Levine, a psychologist and biophysicist who founded the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute. During these body-oriented sessions, Miriam incorporated a variety of Somatic Experiencing techniques to help relieve and resolve the symptoms of stress by focusing on my perceived body sensations (or somatic experiences). This helped release stored emotions and facilitate the healing process. Breath and imagery were integral parts of this therapy. Calming and centering techniques were learned that became a part of my self care outside of the therapist’s office.

My personal experience with stretching, breathing and self care has proven to be very beneficial to me personally and professionally. It has increased my empathy for those who are suffering and it has given me strength and more appropriate tools to help people through traumatic situations and physical discomfort. As for myself, a focus on self care has given me a firm foundation from which to live in a balanced and sensible way while taking time to have fun, be open to love, and enjoy life to its fullest.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – ARIANA VINCENT, LMT, MTI, BCTMB

Ariana Vincent was awarded the 2015 CE Provider of the Year Award by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. She is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor whose classes are accepted throughout the United States. Ariana is also a Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Honoree and author of the Ariana Institute’s therapy manual series available on Amazon. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

To read the foreword of the Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/the-ariana-institutes-self-care-for-massage-therapists-manual-and-ce-courses/.  

The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Self Care and Body Mechanics, Stretching and Breathing, Meditation as a Therapeutic Tool and Mindfulness in a Therapeutic Setting CE courses can be accessed on the Ariana Institute’s YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/ArianaInstitute.  

To order your copies of the Ariana Institute’s Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual, visit www.amazon.com/author/arianavincent.  

For additional information about the Ariana Institute and to register for online continuing education and MTI courses visit www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/.   

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB

 

Self Care for Massage Therapists

November 16, 2015 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

The Ariana Institute’s Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual is part of a series of massage manuals that are designed to help deepen the knowledge of current massage therapists and introduce new massage therapists to the world of massage and bodywork.

The Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/, including:

  • Self Care and Body Mechanics
  • Stretching and Breathing
  • Meditation as a Therapeutic Tool
  • Mindfulness in a Therapeutic Setting

Self Care_BookCoverPreviewThis manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of self care modalities beneficial for yourself and your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about self care for massage therapists featured in the Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual.

SELF CARE FOR MASSAGE THERAPISTS

My focus on self care has been an ongoing evolution throughout the course of my massage therapy career. I am constantly seeking ways to make work easier for myself by focusing on using good body mechanics, implementing basic self care techniques, and setting and maintaining healthy boundaries.

Prior to becoming a full-time educator and author, I worked as a massage therapist in high-volume medical offices and quick-paced spa environments while maintaining my own massage therapy practice. During the lean years, I frequently had two or three jobs just to keep my head above water economically, so I found it of tantamount importance to practice good self care in order to maintain a life in balance especially during times of intensity.

The more I learned about effective body mechanics and preventative measures, the better I felt at the end of the day. I could see many highly skilled practitioners leaving the massage profession as they blew their thumbs, injured their wrists or hurt their backs. I am grateful for the ever-evolving focus on self care and good body mechanics in many of the core curriculum and advanced classes for massage therapists. Thanks in great part to the excellent instruction I’ve received in self care and body mechanics, here I am at the other end of my career, in the golden years, still standing upright when called for and able to bend like a willow in the wind when the moment calls for it.

What I’ve noticed is that the massage therapists who practice good self care throughout the course of their careers are much less likely to feel depleted at the end of a session, the end of a day, or the end of their careers. By staying physically fit and emotionally healthy, utilizing good body mechanics, and practicing self care techniques on a consistent basis, massage therapists can enjoy a long and successful career and serve as good role models for those in the community who have yet to embrace their own formula for self care and well being. As Rebecca Gordon said, “Each positive thought, every vibrant attitude, all purposeful activities water the seeds for success along your path. Pay attention to these and feed them appropriately. Then maintain their beautiful growth through conscious self-care.”

I am grateful for the reminders I have in place for drawing myself back to my center. The reminders signal me to nurture myself while nurturing others and to set and maintain healthy boundaries. I don’t know where I’d be today if I didn’t have some tools in my tool belt for returning to a peaceful center through good self care techniques. It took a conscious effort to set up my life in a way that I could work in a healthcare environment without completely depleting myself. Creating the Self Care For Massage Therapists Manual has been a good additional reminder for me on the importance of loving ourselves and caring for ourselves with as much reverence as we care for others.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – ARIANA VINCENT, LMT, MTI, BCTMB

Ariana Vincent was awarded the 2015 CE Provider of the Year Award by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. She is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor whose classes are accepted throughout the United States. Ariana is also a Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Honoree and author of the Ariana Institute’s therapy manual series available on Amazon

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

To read the foreword of the Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/the-ariana-institutes-self-care-for-massage-therapists-manual-and-ce-courses/.  

The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Self Care and Body Mechanics, Stretching and Breathing, Meditation as a Therapeutic Tool and Mindfulness in a Therapeutic Setting CE courses can be accessed on the Ariana Institute’s YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/ArianaInstitute.  

To order your copies of the Ariana Institute’s Self Care for the Massage Therapist Manual, visit www.amazon.com/author/arianavincent.  

For additional information about the Ariana Institute and to register for online continuing education and MTI courses visit www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/.   

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB