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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

 

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

 

The Ariana Institute’s Self Care for Massage Therapists Manual and CE Courses

August 06, 2015 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

The Ariana Institute for Wellness Education offers an outstanding resource for those interested in self-care for massage therapists, featuring topics that include Body Mechanics, Stretching and Breathing, Meditation as a Therapeutic Tool, and Mindfulness in a Therapeutic Setting.

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

This manual incorporates detailed protocol descriptions, high definition instructional photos, links to the Ariana Institute’s online instructional videos demonstrating a wide variety of techniques, marketing and practice building strategies, and resources for advanced learning to encourage a comprehensive understanding of self care modalities that are beneficial in a massage practice.

The Ariana Institute’s therapy manual series has been over 16 years in the making and is a monumental achievement for the Ariana Institute.  The Self Care for Massage Therapists Manual is a perfect source of deep study for massage therapists and those seeking to expand their understanding and further cultivate their practices!

Self Care_BookCoverPreview

Here is the foreword to the Ariana Institute’s Self Care for Massage Therapists Manual by Paméla Overeynder, Biodynamic CranioSacral Therapist.

Self care is as elusive as the white unicorn in today’s super-connected, super-busy world. Even those of us who know better, don’t always practice because it simply isn’t valued in our culture – lip service maybe, but no real commitment. That’s what makes the massage and bodywork community unique and attractive to the super-stressed, busy bees of the world. They somehow are drawn to massage without quite knowing the secret ingredient – love! And what could be important than for the massage therapist to love herself or himself and pass loving touch on to others. The Ariana Institute’s Self Care for Massage Therapists Manual is a generous and comprehensive guidebook to the many ways loving self care can be practiced.

Like so many people, my first massage was a spiritual experience of falling deeply into myself.  For the first time in my life I experienced an awakened body and a sense of wholeness. I felt like I had been in a deep meditative state that, no doubt, the very gifted therapist had produced with her presence. I knew immediately that I wanted to help others come home to their bodies. I was in my early thirties and ready for a career change. I completed massage school in 1989 and gradually started to practice. It never occurred to me in the early days that my body would some day “refuse” to do this work that I loved so much. But that’s exactly what happened. As I got busier and placed more demands on my body, I had various issues, including a frozen shoulder, that I was able to work through with a lot of massage and physical therapy.

When I started getting tendonitis in my right elbow, I kept working, resulting in repetitive use injury. Receiving massage didn’t help anymore. I kept telling myself I would work through it like I did with the shoulder issue. Fear for my livelihood kept me working long after it was clear that I was harming my body. Amazing what fear can do.

Finally, one night my body simply said NO! And I knew my massage career was over, done, finished. Not a good scenario for the bank account. Fortunately for me, I found Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and enrolled in the two-year foundation training and made a very happy transition to work I love even more. Life unfolds in mysterious ways. I have no regrets about doing massage as long as I did or retraining in CranioSacral therapy, but what if?

What if I had a copy of Ariana’s Self Care for Massage Therapists Manual as a resource throughout my career? I probably would have extended my massage career by faithfully following the self care credo Ariana so beautifully articulates. Understanding how the body works is essential to prevent injuries. The exercises gathered together in the section on stretching would have served me very well.

Fundamentally self care is about honoring and respecting the body/mind that is the vehicle for realizing our life’s purpose. A big part of the life journey is realizing our wholeness and ultimately our oneness with all of creation. A weak and unhealthy body makes this realization much more difficult. As professionals in the field of health care and bodywork, therapist self care is essential, not only for the therapist, but also for the client because the therapist is modeling health for the client. All the work we do to take good care of ourselves benefits our clients and indeed everyone in our sphere of influence. As we uncover our unique, brilliant selves that are whole and complete, we can become a support and encouragement for others to do the same.

What I love and appreciate about Ariana’s manual is the way her spiritual intentions shine through. This is true of everything she does personally and professionally. The usual self care books for massage therapists focus more on body mechanics, stretching and maybe breathing exercises. Self Care for Massage Therapists is a comprehensive resource guide covering the basics of body mechanics, stretching and breath work in great detail. The sections on stretching, meditation, and mindfulness practice bring together some of the best writing available today by experts in their field on these topics.

And wonderfully, the manual is filled with exercises to expand awareness and consciousness. In fact, what makes this manual unique and so very valuable is its inclusiveness and support of the whole being – body, mind and spirit. A therapist who takes care of his or her body/mind, who meditates and practices mindfulness in life and in work has so much more to offer clients.

As practitioners, we don’t just bring our technical skills to work. We bring our whole beings, always a work in progress. Though subtle, our atmosphere or the attunement we radiate has a profound effect on the work we do. If we are calm, centered, relaxed, the client’s body knows and responds. If we are present, focused and mindful of our own bodies as we work, the client’s body knows. If we are breathing well as we work we can help the client bring awareness to the breath. If we are eating well, sleeping well, stretching well, exercising well, getting bodywork, taking time for ourselves, we bring a healthy, happy body to work and the client’s body knows. If we can learn to say no when the body needs down time, and set appropriate boundaries with clients, and communicate clearly, this is self care and the client’s body knows. What we are describing is an expanded vision of what it means to have a healthy lifestyle, to take care of self.

Everything we do to enhance our skills and our Being supports and enhances the experience our clients will have during a session. Self care is a continuous process because self-realization is never finished. Along the way we may discover that all this self care work isn’t about self-improvement. It’s about love and respect and a willingness to keep growing, to expand into the fullness of who we always were and are. And this doesn’t happen without the full range of self care practices so carefully and lovingly gathered together in this one place, this one manual. Self care is exactly what it says, care for the self – body, mind and soul. It turns out what’s good for me also benefits my clients. We are all so connected.

This manual is not only beneficial for massage therapists but for anyone and everyone. It is a spiritual guidebook chock full of resources and practices. Even advanced practitioners will find much here to enhance and support themselves personally and professionally.

What a joy to review the Ariana Institute’s Self Care for Massage Therapists Manual. Its comprehensive approach to self care is a most valuable contribution to the massage therapy literature, an encouragement for the professional practitioner to be a whole and healthy human being.

The Ariana Institute’s video introduction to the Body Mechanics, Stretching and Breathing, Meditation as a Therapeutic Tool, and Mindfulness in a Therapeutic Setting CE courses can be accessed below or 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 Massage Therapists Manual visit www.amazon.com/author/arianavincent.

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

Ariana