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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