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Category Archives for: Spa Techniques

Healing with Aromatherapy Massage

January 04, 2017 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

What Is Aromatherapy?aroma-906137_1280

Aromatherapy is the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences to balance, harmonize, and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit. It is a natural therapy using various essential oils gathered from certain fragrant plants that have the ability to aid us both physically and psychologically.

Essential oils are potent, volatile essences found in different parts of the plant such as the flowers, twigs, leaves and bark, or in the rind of fruit. For example, in roses the oil is in the flowers, in basil it is in the leaves and in sandalwood it is in the wood. These fragrances can be used either alone or in combinations to create desired effects.

 

How Aromatherapy Essential Oils Work

For hundreds of years essential oils, derived from roots, herbs, and flowers have been used to enhance emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being.

Essential oils have an immediate impact on our sense of smell, also known as olfaction. When essential oils are inhaled, olfactory receptor cells are stimulated and the impulse is transmitted to the emotional center of the brain, or limbic system.

The limbic system is connected to areas of the brain linked to breathing and blood circulation, memory, and the endocrine glands that regulate hormone levels in the body. The properties of the oil, its fragrance, and its effects determine how these systems are stimulated and which neurotransmitters and feel-good, happy-hormones are released.

Aromatherapy massage is a gentle massage using essential oils that can be softening, healing, nourishing, and rejuvenating to the skin. The general benefits of massage combined with the healing benefits of certain essential oils can be very dynamic. When used in massage, essential oils are not only inhaled, but also absorbed through the skin. The oils penetrate the tissues and find their way into the bloodstream where they are transported to the organs and other systems of the body, including the nervous system. Essential oils have differing rates of absorption, varying from 20 minutes to 2 hours, so it is probably best not to bathe or shower directly following a massage to ensure maximum penetration and effectiveness of the oils.

Here are some of the general benefits of using utilizing essential oils in a massage therapy practice – remember that each essential oil carries its own unique benefits.

Physical Benefits

-Relaxes or stimulates the recipient                                           -Eases muscular aches and pains while improving muscle tone

-Relieves minor discomforts                                                        -Calms or stimulates the nervous system (depending on the oil)

-Diminishes tension headaches                                                  -Stimulates respiratory system

-Assists in reducing nerve entrapment and congestion         -Stimulates the immune system, strengthening resistance to disease 

-Improves circulation and lymphatic drainage, and helps to eliminate toxins from the body

Mental and Emotional Benefits

-Creates a feeling of well-being                                                    –Reduces levels of anxiety

-Calms or enhances mental activity and relaxation                 -Satisfies the need for caring and nurturing touch

-Increases awareness of the mind-body connection               –Releases endorphins, the brain’s natural opiates, which encourages a feeling of well-being 

Lavender Aromatherapy Benefits

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Lavender is considered the most useful of all essential oils. Known to aid in the relief of headaches, insomnia, tension, and stress, lavender has therapeutic properties that have been well chronicled around the world. The essential oil of lavender is widely used for various illnesses and medical problems.

The flowery fragrance of lavender makes it the most versatile and useful essential oil. Essential oil of lavender is used in aromatherapy practices to get rid of depression, fight tiredness and enhance relaxation. A drop of lavender oil used in an aromatherapy diffuser is reputed to help relieve headaches, decrease body pain and help with insomnia. Lavender is found to increase the emotion of happiness through its calming and sedating effects.

 

 

Eucalyptus Aromatherapy Benefits

eucalyptus-771994_1280The benefits of eucalyptus essential oil can be attributed to its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial and stimulating properties. The numerous benefits of eucalyptus oils include the fact that it aids in the reduction of mucous deposition and helps with a variety of breathing and respiratory issues such as asthma, bronchitis, nasal congestion, and sinusitis.

Since eucalyptus essential oil is analgesic and anti-inflammatory, it is also useful in relieving muscles from stiffness, aches, pains, and even nerve pain. Alternatively, eucalyptus can be used as a stimulant to remove mental exhaustion, stress, and sluggishness.

 

Clary Sage Aromatherapy Benefits

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Clary Sage essential oil is known to be powerful for clearing and uplifting to the body, mind, and spirit. As a potent mood enhancer and antidepressant, Clary Sage balances hormones within the body to soothe nervous tension and anxiety. It is used to boost self esteem, confidence, and mental strength to lighten the mood and clearing negative energy from a healing session.

Clary Sage is also useful in the treatment of spasms and related ailments like muscle cramps, respiratory system cramps, muscle stress, menstrual cramps, spasmodic coughs, stomachaches, headaches and migraines. This is done by relaxing nerve impulses to reduce the occurrence of uncontrollable spasms while being soothing to the skin.

Clary Sage kills bacteria and fungi, curbs the growth of bacterial infections, and protects against new infections with anti-bacterial properties. Clary Sage can be used to clear energy and disinfect the air within a healing session.

Incorporating Aromatherapy into Your Practice

aromatherapy-1

Aromatherapy is a great healing modality to incorporate into your massage practice and expand the services you provide for your clients. Depending on the desired affect, essential oils can be added to carrier oils to be used as massage oils in your sessions. Here are a few some carrier oils that can be infused with aromatherapy essential oils:

Almond oil                                        -Avocado oil

-Apricot oil                                         -Coconut oil

-Grape seed oil                                  -Jojoba oil

-Olive oil                                             -Sesame seed oil

There are many other mediums for using of essential oils for aromatherapy, such as:

-Body lotion or oil                            -Chest rub

-Compress                                         –Conditioner

-Facial mist                                        –Facial oil

-Full bath                                           –Foot bath

-Humidifier                                       –Room spray

 

Indications for Aromatherapy

Keep in mind that each unique essential oil is believed to possess its own indications and contraindications. General Indications for an Aromatherapy Session vary with the aromatherapy selected for use with:

  • Stress and tension
  • Muscular tension
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

 

Contraindications for Aromatherapy

  • Infants, young children, and people with skin allergies may want to approach aromatherapy gingerly
  • A person suffering from a migraine may not tolerate aromatherapy fragrances well. Check with your client prior to offering aromatherapy.
  • Aromatherapy is not intended as a substitute for proper medical advice. Advise your clients to consult their physicians or health care professionals if they are pregnant or elderly or if they have any chronic or recurring conditions. Honor your scope of practice and refer your client to a qualified health care practitioner as indicated by your code of ethics.
  • Essential oils are potent, so exercise great care in blending and use. With the exception of lavender, never apply essential oils directly to the skin—instead, mix the recommended amount in a base oil or lotion. Test all oils for sensitivity, and advise your clients to consult their physicians or health care practitioners before using essential oils as indicated.

Inspirations and insights for this blog post were derived from the Techniques in the Spa World Massage Therapy Manual. For more information about aromatherapy continuing education please visit the Ariana Institute for Wellness Education or check out the Aromatic Medicine Blog for Ariana’s personal story and experiences in the realm of aromatherapy.

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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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Aromatic Medicine

March 21, 2016 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

The Ariana Institute’s Techniques in the Spa World 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 Techniques in the Spa World Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/, including:

  • Aromatherapy for Massage and Bodywork
  • Ayurvedic Massage
  • Couples Massage
  • Hot and Cold Stone Massage
  • Spa Techniques: Exfoliations and Body Wraps

Techniques in the Spa World_BookCoverPreview_08-19-15

This manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of spa techniques and modalities beneficial for your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about aromatherapy featured in the Techniques in the Spa World Manual.

AROMATIC MEDICINE

My informal introduction to aromatherapy was when I visited my grandmother in Kansas City as a child. She had beautiful, expansive gardens in her backyard filled with an abundance of fragrant flowers and plants. I especially remember the scents from the variety of roses that infused my little six-year-old heart with joy. The wonderful experience of playing in the fragrance of grandmother’s garden with my cousins set the stage for my lifelong love of aromas and their therapeutic benefits.

As my attraction towards pleasant aromas persisted, I began my formal training in aromatherapy while attending massage school, I continued in my private practice as I proceeded to expand my knowledge of aromatherapy’s therapeutic effects. I loved collecting aromatherapy products while I practiced and studied, especially my favorite essential oils: rose, lemongrass, sandalwood, tangerine, bergamot, and eucalyptus. I have tested a variety of brands to find the perfect fit for my practice. Clients have even brought essential oils to me as gifts: sandalwood from Mysore, India, and rose oil from Bulgaria and France. It was a delightful experience assessing and collecting essential oils from various parts of the world.

Mixing the essential oils is another aspect that I love about aromatherapy. Having multiple oils offered during the course of a session can elevate the experience for the client.  For example, rose essential oil on the face, lemongrass on the body, and sandalwood on the feet as the feet were wrapped in warm, moist towels can all be performed in one session and provide different types of relief.

Over the years one of my best resources for enhancing my knowledge about essential oils has been Melissa Gonzales, a seasoned massage therapist. She also owns Morning Star Trading Company, a source of quality massage and aromatherapy supplies, located in Austin, Texas. Melissa has provided me with a wealth of information regarding the best brands of aromatherapy essential oils, the benefits of various oils, the proportion of dilution of the oils with a carrier oil, and the storage and shelf life of oils. Morning Star Trading Company also carried a vast library of aromatherapy reference books that proved to be valuable resources as I continued to educate myself in the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy.

Pursuing my interest in this particular practice became an immense asset as I advanced in my profession.  Every spa that I worked in since the beginning of my career thirty years ago offered aromatherapy for its clients. It seemed that the bigger the spa, the more expansive the aromatherapy menu. Most of the spas focused on offering lavender, peppermint, ylang ylang, orange, and eucalyptus. The aromatherapy essential oils were typically included with a carrier oil or lotion during a massage therapy session, or added to a body wrap or exfoliation during special treatments. Some spas even had signature brands and blends that we used and were sold to clients who wanted to take some of the spa experience home with them. One spa had an aromatherapy diffuser in the reception area so when clients arrived, they would experience a distinctive fragrance that they could associate with that particular environment. Spas were an environment that afforded me the opportunity to continue exploring this medium while practicing aromatherapy professionally outside of school or independent study.

When I made the decision to begin offering aromatherapy continuing education courses for massage therapists, I did more extensive research in order to design and develop my course curriculum. I spent over twenty years gathering information about the benefits and uses of aromatherapy essential oils. I have researched, analyzed, practiced and  experienced aromatherapy; so it was a happy day when I began offering hands-on and online CE courses in aromatherapy for massage therapists. My years of studying and experiencing the efficacy of aromatherapy essential oils were fruitful in myriad ways, and the Ariana Institute’s Aromatherapy continuing education course has become one of the most popular CE courses in our repertoire.

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 Techniques in the Spa World Manual, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/the-ariana-institute-proudly-presents-techniques-in-the-spa-world-second-edition/.  

The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Aromatherapy, Ayurvedic Massage, Couples Massage, Hot and Cold Stone Massage, as well as other Spa Technique 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 Techniques in the Spa World 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

My First Couples Massage

February 01, 2016 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

The Ariana Institute’s Techniques in the Spa World 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 Techniques in the Spa World Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/, including:

  • Aromatherapy for Massage and Bodywork
  • Ayurvedic Massage
  • Couples Massage
  • Hot and Cold Stone Massage
  • Spa Techniques: Exfoliations and Body Wraps

Techniques in the Spa World - Cover Photo This manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of spa techniques and modalities beneficial for your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about couples massage featured in the Techniques in the Spa World Manual.

MY FIRST COUPLES MASSAGE

In 1999 I offered my first couples massage workshop. The workshop was hosted in my beautiful studio, Emerald Valley Massage, in Wimberley, the heart of the Texas hill country southwest of Austin. It was an honor and a pleasure to offer couples an opportunity to experience a massage exchange training in which they could learn to support one another through loving, receptive touch.

The couples workshop was filled with friends, relatives, life partners; and others who were interested in personal growth, marriage enrichment, and deepening relationships. The only thing my participants needed was a willingness to let go and enjoy some quiet time with someone they cared about.

I preceded the experiential portion of the workshop with information regarding centering, breath, music, and the healing power of touch. Then, in a warm and supportive atmosphere, modestly draped couples were offered the opportunity to explore ways to nurture their bodies and souls. I demonstrated specific hands-on massage techniques with step-by-step, easy to follow instructions, and then I guided the couples through a sequence of massage protocols.

I presented a variety of techniques focusing primarily on traditional Swedish relaxation massage combined with aromatherapy, facial acupressure, hand and foot reflexology, CranioSacral therapy for the face and neck, scalp massage, Reiki, and manual lymphatic drainage for the face and neck.

A comprehensive workshop notebook was provided for each participant to keep and use as a reference for massage at home. It included a written protocol, a checklist of supplies, advice for centering oneself, illustrations of the muscles and pressure points that are the focus of couples massage, and a list of benefits of couples massage.

It was an honor to offer this couples massage workshop to participants ranging from newlyweds to those in their golden years of marriage. The feedback that I received from the participants was glowing.  One follow-up conversation with a retired couple particularly warmed my heart. They mentioned that they began exchanging massage sessions every Friday night after participating in my couples massage workshop. Their comments encouraged me to continuing offering couples classes to people who were interested in empowering themselves by learning techniques that were effective, soothing and nurturing.

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 Techniques in the Spa World Manual, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/the-ariana-institute-proudly-presents-techniques-in-the-spa-world-second-edition/.  

The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Aromatherapy, Ayurvedic Massage, Couples Massage, Hot and Cold Stone Massage, as well as other Spa Technique 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 Techniques in the Spa World 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

 

Fire and Ice Stone Therapy

January 04, 2016 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

The Ariana Institute’s Techniques in the Spa World 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 Techniques in the Spa World Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/, including:

  • Aromatherapy for Massage and Bodywork
  • Ayurvedic Massage
  • Couples Massage
  • Hot and Cold Stone Massage
  • Spa Techniques: Exfoliations and Body Wraps

Techniques in the Spa World_BookCoverPreview_08-19-15 This manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of spa techniques and modalities beneficial for your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about hot and cold stone massage featured in the Techniques in the Spa World Manual.

FIRE AND ICE STONE THERAPY

My first experience with hot stones was in the mid 90s when I worked as a massage therapist at Barton Creek Resort and Country Club in Austin, Texas. The resort offered hot stone therapy as one of its treatments. At first I thought it was just another passing fad, so I resisted immersing myself in that world. I was wrong; hot stone therapy has turned out to be one of the most popular modalities offered in the massage profession today.

During my time at Barton Creek, I could see that this was a viable and effective modality that was here to stay, so I began researching hot stone classes and I inquired with my colleagues who were offering hot stone therapy.

One of my dear friends who worked at the Lake Austin Spa Resort offered to give me my first hot stone session. It was unforgettable. The kinesthetic experience of the gentle pressure from the smooth hot stones on my body was transforming. I am grateful that my massage therapist was an experienced and talented hot stone practitioner who incorporated a smooth, rhythmic flow with a knowing intelligence regarding pressure, depth, and stone placement. I will be forever thankful to her for opening up the doors to this incredible modality.

Once I experienced a session, I was definitely hooked on stone therapy. Soon after I registered for a hot and cold stone class offered by LaStone Therapy. Participating in that class was an amazing experience. Our instructor was intelligent and knowledgeable and she obviously loved the stones as much as I did. We saw demonstrations, heard testimonials, and exchanged several sessions with our colleagues over the course of the classroom experience. I purchased my first set of hot and cold stones from them that very week! I was off to a new and unique adventure.

After I offered practice sessions and felt comfortable with gauging the temperature and pressure of the stone work, I proceeded to refine my timing so I could offer a session professionally. I looked at the ritual of offering hot and cold stone therapy as a dance and a challenge. Happily, not too much time passed before I had the temperature, timing, rhythm, pressure, and cleaning down pat.

Shortly following this process, I began offering hot stone therapy at Barton Creek Resort, as well as offering hot and cold stone therapy in my private practice. It was a remarkable turning point in my massage therapy career. I felt happy to have mastered a modality that I loved and enjoyed giving as well as receiving. The soothing, nurturing warmth of the basalt stones coupled with the brisk coolness of the marble stones creates a delightful contrast that, among other things, enchanted me from the very beginning about this modality. I love the unique and unforgettable tactile sensation in a stone session that affects both the giver and the receiver.

When I left Barton Creek Resort, I continued offering hot and cold stone in my private practice, and subsequently at The Crossing Wellness Spa and the Hyatt Lost Pines’ Spa Django. Taking the time and initiative to learn a new modality served me well in terms of personal pride and also in terms of increasing my economic prosperity.

Further on in my career, offering continuing education classes in hot and cold stone therapy through The Ariana Institute became an additional milestone for me. I went to a local landscaping company and sorted through their basalt stones, one-by-one, to find the perfect stone sets for my students. I ordered specially sculpted marble stones from La Polar Stones for use in class. I found the most appropriate and affordable warmers and nets for the toe stones. I figured out how many warmers I could have in a classroom without blowing a fuse. I created a comprehensive course notebook. I also designed and developed a video for my students to refer to outside of class and for my online students to use in their remote studies.

The hands-on classes went smoothly and were very well received and the online hot and cold stone class is one of The Ariana Institute’s most popular classes.

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 Techniques in the Spa World Manual, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/blog/the-ariana-institute-proudly-presents-techniques-in-the-spa-world-second-edition/.  

The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Aromatherapy, Ayurvedic Massage, Couples Massage, Hot and Cold Stone Massage, as well as other Spa Technique 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 Techniques in the Spa World 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

 

My Ayurvedic Massage Journey

November 09, 2015 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

The Ariana Institute’s Techniques in the Spa World 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 Techniques in the Spa World Manual features topics that are also available as NCBTMB approved online CE courses through the Ariana Institute at www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/, including:

  • Aromatherapy for Massage and Bodywork
  • Ayurvedic Massage
  • Couples Massage
  • Hot and Cold Stone Massage
  • Spa Techniques: Exfoliations and Body Wraps

Techniques in the Spa World_BookCoverPreview_08-19-15This manual incorporates detailed protocols, photos, links to online videos, marketing strategies, personal stories, and resources to encourage a comprehensive understanding of spa techniques and modalities beneficial for your massage practice.

Here’s a personal story about ayurvedic massage featured in the Techniques in the Spa World Manual.

MY AYURVEDIC MASSAGE JOURNEY

My first Ayurvedic experience was in the late 70s at Murietta Hot Springs in Southern California. I attended a workshop taught by Dr. Vasant Lad, executive director of the Ayurvedic Institute; Dr. David Frawley, one of the foremost scholars of Ayurveda and Vedic Science; Donald van Howten, an Ayurvedic practitioner and certified massage therapy instructor; and other stellar members of the Ayurvedic community.

During the workshop, we focused on the principles of Ayurvedic healing, components to an Ayurvedic lifestyle, nutrition according to the Ayurvedic principles, and Ayurvedic massage techniques. I was profoundly influenced by the beauty and truth of the Ayurvedic principles. They provide guidelines for bodywork, diet, behavior, ideal life routines; and the proper use of our senses to help each individual maintain a balanced integration of our body, mind, and spirit. The experience of studying with such luminaries in the Ayurvedic community was transforming and set my course on a path of further study. I continued to research Ayurvedic techniques for bodyworkers and read texts on Ayurveda written by Dr. Vasant Lad and by Dr. Deepak Chopra.

I later trained at Mecca Spa in Austin in the art of offering Shirodhara, an Ayurvedic treatment that involves the warm and consistent flow of aromatic, herbalized oils on the forehead. The word “Shirodhara” is derived from the Sanskrit “shiro,” meaning “head,” and “dhara,” meaning “to flow.” The oils flow over the scalp and through the hair, creating a relaxing and harmonizing feeling throughout the entire body. I loved offering this treatment and always looked forward to sharing this meditative experience with my clients at Mecca.

The next opportunity I had to return to the Ayurvedic world was at The Crossing Wellness Spa, a world-class facility in far northwest Austin, Texas, situated on the edge of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. The destination spa served the local community as well as guests with 70 guest rooms on the property. The spa featured eleven treatment rooms adjacent to the property’s saline infinity pool that overlooked the serene and scenic Texas hill country landscape.

It was at The Crossings that I trained in Ayurvedic techniques with Mark Nasrallah, another of the leading Ayurvedic experts in the U.S. Before becoming the spa director at The Crossings, Mark set up several Panchakarma clinics across the country.  I was also fortunate to receive Ayurvedic technique training from David Washburn, a very gifted massage therapy instructor and senior massage therapist at The Crossings who had been practicing massage therapy since 1992 and had participated in over 1,300 hours of basic and advanced massage training.

I was very grateful that Mark Nasrallah and David Washburn took time from their busy schedules at the spa to offer me training in a variety of Ayurvedic techniques on top of what I acquired at Murietta Hot Springs and Mecca. Here, I learned the fundamentals of dosha analysis, an Ayurvedic assessment of particular patterns of energy that help determine which treatments would best serve a particular client. I also learned advanced Shirodhara techniques that helped me better serve the specific needs of a client of which I’ve learned to better assess.  In addition to the dosha analysis and the advanced Shirodhara training, I was taught Ayurvedic hand and foot massage that can be performed independently of the Shirodhara practice. All in all, it was an amazing educational experience that offered profoundly relaxing and balancing results for my clients.

Later I was able to incorporate many of the Ayurvedic treatments that I’d learned over the years in my private practice and I began offering an NCBTMB approved Ayurvedic massage continuing education course through The Ariana Institute.

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 Techniques in the Spa World Manual, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/the-ariana-institute-proudly-presents-techniques-in-the-spa-world-second-edition/.  

The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Aromatherapy, Ayurvedic Massage, Couples Massage, Hot and Cold Stone Massage, as well as other Spa Technique 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 Techniques in the Spa World 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

The Ariana Institute Proudly Presents Techniques in the Spa World, 2nd Edition

July 13, 2015 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

The Ariana Institute for Wellness Education is incredibly excited to present a new edition of the Ariana Institute’s Techniques in the Spa World Manual. This manual is part of a series of massage manuals that are designed to help deepen the knowledge and understanding of current massage therapists and introduce new, upcoming massage therapists to the world of massage and bodywork.

This series has been over 16 years in the making and is a monumental achievement for the Ariana Institute. The Techniques in the Spa World Manual, Second Edition covers a variety of topics related to the history, preparation and administration of spa massage modalities, including:

* Aromatherapy for Massage and Bodywork

* Ayurvedic Massage

* Couples Massage

* Hot and Cold Stone Massage

* Spa Techniques-Exfoliation and Body Wraps

The Spa World Manual incorporates detailed protocol descriptions, high definition instructional photos, links to the Ariana Institute’s online instructional videos demonstrating spa techniques, marketing and practice building strategies, and resources for advanced learning to encourage a comprehensive understanding of massage modalities that can be offered in a spa environment.

Spa Techniques BookCoverPreview

This manual is perfect for spa professionals, spa owners, and massage therapy students as a source of deep study to further cultivate and expand their practices. It is also valuable for people who are interested in visiting spas and learning more about services offered.

The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Spa Techniques CE course can be accessed on the Ariana Institute’s YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfKtHabQXBo.

Thank you for sharing our excitement in these new developments for the Ariana Institute – we look forward to continue sharing our passion and knowledge with you.

 

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

Ariana Vincent is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor whose classes are accepted throughout the United States. She was awarded the 2015 CE Provider of the Year Award by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. Ariana is a Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Honoree and the author of 7 massage manuals available on Amazon.

Here is the foreword for the Ariana Institute’s Techniques in the Spa World Manual, Second Edition by Carol Holguin, MC, CMT.

When Ariana asked me to write the foreword for this manual, I was thrilled!  

I first met Ariana eight years ago, when I interviewed her for a massage therapist position at Spa Django at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines. As a massage therapist myself, I am very particular when it comes to hiring therapists. Ariana surpassed every expectation I had of the ideal practitioner. She was highly skilled in numerous modalities and confident in her ability to provide excellent service in a timely manner. Her presence was calm and welcoming, and she understood the challenges of working in a busy spa. And when I felt her massage, wow! I hired her that day and we enjoyed working together for several months before I transferred to another of Hyatt’s resort spa properties.  

In addition to our time at Spa Django, I have also had the opportunity of utilizing Ariana’s educational resources. I contacted the Ariana Institute a few years ago, as I was a spa director looking for a way to offer relevant training to my therapists that would fulfill their required continuing education hours. The Spa World and Body Wraps course was the answer to that call.

One of the challenges facing both therapists and spa management is the therapists’ time away from work to fulfill on-going training for licensure. Another is encouraging self-care and proper body mechanics to keep massage therapists healthy.  The Spa World and Body Wraps course, and the Ariana Institute’s other courses meet licensing requirements for continuing education and can be completed online, allowing the therapist to continue to work while furthering his/her training. Her section on self-care is especially helpful. Ariana also offers on-location training, for hands-on skill development.  

For the massage therapist outside of the classroom, Techniques in the Spa World offers detailed guidelines to expand your skill set with spa-specific techniques. She includes treatment protocols, resources to enhance your study, and links to videos of many of the treatments. The material is both comprehensive and well organized. This manual will prepare you for employment within a spa, or can enhance your knowledge and technique if you are already employed in a spa environment.  If you are in private practice, it allows you to confidently offer spa treatments to your clients.

Techniques in the Spa World, along with the Ariana Institute’s Spa World and Body Wraps course, reflect Ariana’s extensive knowledge and experience, both in the spa environment and in massage and bodywork. These are invaluable tools for spa directors and spa management personnel, especially for those not trained in the service end of spa offerings.  Ariana offers detailed descriptions, step-by-step protocols, benefits and contraindications, and links to her beautiful high definition videos. It gives a comprehensive understanding of the service provider perspective. This manual is a great resource for the spa management library, while the course offers a mindful, organized, and comprehensive journey. Enjoy!

To order your copies of the Ariana Institute’s Techniques in the Spa World Manual visit www.amazon.com/author/arianavincent.

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

Ariana Institute’s Welcoming Blog

January 23, 2010 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

Welcome to Ariana Vincent’s Blog for Ariana Institute!

Ariana Vincent directs the Ariana Institute in Austin, Texas, which offers continuing professional development for massage therapists. Ariana is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Massage Therapy Instructor who has practiced massage therapy and bodywork for thirty years. Her highest aspiration, personally and professionally, is to facilitate the integration of mind, body and spirit, and to ultimately allow a state of balance to effortlessly and peacefully become an integral part of everyday life.

In future blogs, you might expect to receive information regarding the topics listed below as well as additional topics related to massage therapy, health, stress-reduction, wellness and complimentary alternative medicine.

Ariana is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Continuing Education Provider (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork). She is an approved continuing education provider in Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and many other states. Ariana has been a Massage Therapy Instructor and a Continuing Education Provider for eleven years. She has been a licensed massage therapist for thirty years. As a Certified Massage Therapy Instructor and Continuing Education Provider, Ariana offers a wide variety of seminars and workshops.

Continuing education classes for Licensed Massage Therapists include:

  • Deep Tissue Therapy
  • Facial Massage and Scalp Massage
  • Aromatherapy
  • Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage
  • Practice Building in a Therapeutic Setting
  • Spa Techniques and Body Wraps
  • Self Care and Body Mechanics for Massage Therapists
  • Basic Principles of Pain Management
  • Chair Massage
  • Couples Massage
  • Ethics (including NCBTMB ethics)
  • Headache and Allergy Relief
  • Hot and Cold Stone Therapy
  • Lymphatic Massage for the Face and Neck
  • Meditation As a Therapeutic Tool
  • Mindfulness – Enhance Your Skills in a Therapeutic Setting
  • Neck, Hand and Foot Massage
  • Soothing Trauma – The Mind–Body Connection
  • Prenatal Massage
  • Reiki Levels One, Two, and Three
  • Stretching and Breathing – Body–Mind Integration
  • Reflexology

Continuing education classes for Texas Licensed Professional Counselors include:

  • Practice Building in a Therapeutic Setting
  • Basic Principles of Pain Management
  • Meditation As a Therapeutic Tool
  • Mindfulness – Enhance Your Skills in a Therapeutic Setting
  • Stretching and Breathing – Body–Mind Integration
  • Soothing Trauma – The Mind–Body Connection
  • Reiki Levels One, Two, and Three

Ariana excels at a wide variety of therapeutic massage modalities including Deep Tissue Massage, Swedish Massage, Reflexology, Reiki, Prenatal Massage, Facial Massage, and CranioSacral Therapy.

She has professional affiliations with The American Massage Therapy Association; The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork; The Texas Department of State Health Services, Massage Therapy Division; The Texas Association of Massage Therapists; and the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals.

Her credentials include Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor and Continuing Education Provider (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork); Texas Certified Massage Therapy Instructor and Continuing Education Provider (Texas Department of State Health Services, Massage Therapy Division); Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas (Texas Department of State Health Services, Massage Therapy Division); Nationally Certified Massage Therapist (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork); and Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia approved Continuing Education Provider.

Texas DSHS Licensed Massage Therapist Number: MT023951

Texas DSHS Continuing Education Provider Number: CE 0024

Texas DSHS Massage Therapy Instructor Number: MI 01024

Florida State Board of Massage Therapy Instructor No: 85-1808492

National Certification Board Approved Provider Number: 443427-00

National Certification Board Practitioner Number: 302861-00

You are invited to schedule continuing education classes and massage therapy appointments with Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Instructor.

Please visit www.arianainstitute.com for additional information and registration for classes.

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB