Pilates, running, biking or lifting with a personal trainer may give you the physique you are after, but they will not strengthen your mind. Learning a new language or skill, playing brain or memory games and even meditation may help you strengthen your mind. But, how will you keep the scale in check? What good is having a strong body if your mind is weak?
A drastic transformation occurs in a woman’s body during pregnancy. High levels of hormones cause ligaments around the pelvis to relax to allow for easier labor and delivery. As the ligaments relax and stretch and a woman begins to carry extra weight, she can begin to experience low back pain and even sciatica. So, what can a pregnant woman do to ease her pain?
How has Soma helped your career?
I really need to credit the instructors at Soma for providing a solid knowledge base. Understanding the anatomy and physiology has been essential, but developing communication skills has been invaluable. Soma helped me to understand the efficacy of massage therapy, and its role in pain and stress management.
After graduation, the staff at Soma has always helped me whenever I needed them. They’ve been quick to respond to all my questions. I value and appreciate that type of attention.
Before embarking on a career as a massage therapist (and later as a massage teacher) I thought massage therapists all behaved a certain way. I imagined they were all meditative, sandal-wearing, chilled out, wheat grass drinking, mindful, Ghandi-quoting Chia seed enthusiasts who sat around discussing their favorite chanting monk CDs.
Upon leaving Soma Aline initially began practicing at a fitness center in the Chicago loop and at a chiropractic office. In 2010, she opened her own massage therapy business U Be Well 2 located at Clybourn and Racine and has continued to practice with the chiropractor as her business grows.
I asked Aline about what she felt the main advantage of going to Soma has been and she told me the following, “The name Soma is well known and getting the Master Program has been very beneficial to me. People have been very impressed with the fact that I initially graduated from a 750 hour program and that I followed that up with an additional 300 hours of training in the Master Program. The techniques learned in courses such as Oriental Medicine and Ayurveda Head Massage in the Master Program have been a great addition to my client offerings.
What helps you get going in the morning? A morning cup-o-joe? I take mine with cream and nothing else. What about adding in some butter? You might be asking yourself why would anyone want to add butter to their coffee? Well, it is the latest trend in coffee drinking, but Tibetans have been drinking yak butter in their tea for years! Millions are now following this latest coffee drinking trend and say that they have energy that lasts for hours. That would be great, right? Continue reading
Dr. Nina Cherie Franklin, best known as Nina Cherie, PhD, is a proud graduate of The Soma Institute, Class of 2004. She is a researcher, educator, and advocate for lifestyle medicine with over 15 years of experience in the fields of health, fitness, and nutrition. Dr. Franklin’s blog entitled “You, Your Body & Your Health” is a primary means by which she shares her expert perspective on a diverse range of issues pertaining to personal health and physical wellness. Through her blog and other media channels, Dr. Franklin has published over 500 articles, expert blogs, and videos.
As a clinical massage therapist, health and wellness expert, and research scientist I’ve always sought to understand the real mechanism(s) behind the therapeutic actions of massage therapy. Simple proclamations of its benefits have never worked for me, even during my tenure as a student at The Soma Institute. Continue reading
Statistics show that around 350,000 to 500,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It is more common in women and Caucasians and is usually diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 to 50.
The symptoms of MS can vary person to person but the common symptoms tend to be weakness, spasticity, balance problems, vision loss, numbness, tremors and fatigue. People that have MS may have times where they experience symptoms daily and then they may go into remission and have little to no symptoms at all. Continue reading
A severe, throbbing head, nausea, vomiting, extreme sensitivity to light and sound are just a few of the signs/symptoms that migraine sufferers can experience. Some migraines creep up with no warning. Others will give a days notice that they are on their way. According to the American Migraine Foundation, about 12% of the population suffers from migraines. Migraine sufferers are more at risk for developing anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and fatigue. Continue reading
Massage therapy, according to a recent study published in “Applied Nursing Research”, resulted in decreased anxiety and lessened fatigue among 40 oncology patients undergoing chemotherapy. The study found that back massage significantly reduced anxiety and acute fatigue. Continue reading
According to the AMTA 2011 Massage Profession Research Report, consumers of massage therapy are looking for pain relief, stress reduction and relaxation, and massage for medical and health reasons.
In fact, 86% of Americans agree that massage can be beneficial for health and wellness, including pain relief; 40% of Americans are getting massage to relieve their stress; and over 39 million American adults (16% of the population) discussed massage therapy with their doctors or health care providers.
It’s almost that time again!
I know it’s only mid-December but it’s never too early to start thinking about new resolutions for 2014. Each December I start thinking about things I need to improve upon or things I want to learn to do or get better at. Most years my resolutions don’t make it past February but each year I am hopeful they will. Why is it that the majority of us don’t seem to keep our resolutions? Could it be that our resolutions are too ambitious or that we are a little low on willpower?
What’s not to love about the holiday season- family, gift giving, food, STRESS?! As much as I love the holiday season, I’m always overwhelmed and stressed by the end of it all (does this sound like you?).
Each year I try my best to be organized and run ahead of schedule but all my planning never seems to pay off. This year I am resolved to go with the flow and worry less about getting everything done so that I can actually enjoy the holidays. Continue reading
The Today Show has launched a series called “Feeling Better Head to Toe”. On October 21, 2013 the series focused on back pain and the segment was entitled “Back pain making you miserable? Feel better with exercise, rest”. The show stated that 80% of Americans will experience a back problem at least once in their lives, and more than 25 million Americans between the ages of 25 and 64 frequently have back pain. Continue reading
We know that the baby boomers make up a huge portion of our population and as the years keep passing by, the baby boomers are aging. According to the National Institute on Aging, in 2020 one in five Americans will be over 65 years of age. If you haven’t had additional training in geriatric massage, it is something you should strongly consider. As the geriatric population grows, so could your massage practice. Continue reading
On occasion, I am out and about and forget my refillable water bottle which forces me to buy bottled water. The last time this happened I noticed that my choices for water have grown far more expansive than I realized. I was familiar with the flavored waters, seltzer waters and water packed with special vitamins, but I wasn’t as familiar with coconut water, which seems to be the latest craze. Continue reading
New Leaf is exactly that for Owner and Lead Therapist Beth Mingledorff. After a 20+ year career in the entertainment lighting industry, Beth realized that the prolonged stress of a fast-paced, demanding work environment had taken an unacceptable toll on her personal life and relationships. It was clear that she needed a change that would bring her back in touch with her compassionate and nurturing nature, long suppressed by the need to “get the job done”. It didn’t take long to decide that massage therapy was the ideal path for her.
Aromatherapy healing uses fragrances emitted by essential oils (natural oils without chemicals or artificial ingredients) that get inhaled through our nose and cause the limbic system region of our brain to be stimulated. The limbic system controls our emotions, mood and is linked to memory. Continue reading
I don’t know about you, but my cell phone plays a big role in my life.
It sounds crazy but my phone is like my own personal assistant. I use it to communicate, bank, read books, find recipes, check the weather and find out what’s happening in the world. Does this sound like you? If it does, why not let your phone help you lose weight and get fit? Continue reading
You are probably aware that the United States has an obesity epidemic. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (2009), obesity rates for adults and children have more than doubled since the 1970s and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the direct and indirect medical costs of obesity in the United States, in 2008, were $147 billion. Continue reading
According to the Global Burden of Disease, 2010, low back pain is the single leading cause of disability in the United States. It is the second most common reason for seeing a doctor in the United States, following coughs and respiratory infections. And 8 out of 10 people will have low back pain at some point in their life. Continue reading
You have probably read about the negative affects that chemical pesticides and hormones can have on your health and how eating organically is better for your health. For those of you who are on a budget, you have probably wondered how you can eat organically without going over your grocery budget. When you decide to make the switch to organic food, you don’t have to buy everything organic all at once. Here is a list of the top 12 foods to buy organic, these are sometimes referred to as “The Dirty Dozen”: Continue reading
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long term sleep disorders and an additional 20 million report sleeping problems occasionally. Stress and anxiety are two big reasons Americans are missing out on sleep. Continue reading
As reported in the Chicago Tribune on June 4, 2013, college graduates are turning to certificate and diploma programs that offer “career in a year” with robust hiring outlooks. And, massage therapy falls into that category.
Massage Therapy continues to grow as more Americans turn to massage therapy to assist with medical conditions and stress management. Massage Therapy is a well paying career that offers job flexibility. Massage Therapy continues to evolve as the Americans focus more on overall health & wellness.
Many Americans feel stress coming at them from every direction. Money, work, job stability, and home life are just some of the many stressors Americans cited as causing their never ending battle with stress, according to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in American 2010 Survey. The survey also showed that American’s are dealing with stress in unhealthy ways and that the stress parents are feeling is starting to trickle down to their children. We as a nation are overwhelmed by stress. We must get our stress under control by changing our lifestyles and behaviors. Continue reading
How has Soma helped your career?
Soma has helped my career by being a well recognized and respected name in the massage world. When an employer sees the Soma Institute on a resume they know that they are looking at a quality applicant.
How has Soma helped your career?
Soma helped my career by giving me the training that I needed to put me in a position to succeed. The teachers and staff support that I received kept me encouraged even when I had a rough period. They were always there to push me forward and be there when I needed them.
An Interview with Soma Graduate, Heather Rudin:
“Coming to Soma was a happy accident for me. I was severely underemployed and about to confront student loans from my undergrad degree that I couldn’t afford. A friend of mine at the time told me she had enrolled in massage school, and before I knew it I was enrolled too–and starting in two weeks! The experience created an incredible transformation in my life. She realized massage wasn’t for her, left the school, and we lost contact. I stayed at Soma and loved all of it. There’s a tremendous amount of information to learn, and at times it was difficult, but extremely rewarding. As a graduate, Soma has taught me a clinical skill set that I can take to any environment and that has acted as a key to massage positions in chiropractic and rehab environments. Soma has also taught me a higher level of professionalism, and that’s something that shows every time I go on an interview or introduce myself to a potential new client.
From Soma Graduate, Shelbi Fowler:
Upon entering Soma’s core program for clinical massage therapy, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had always had a curiosity about massage therapy and was in the right time and place in my life to just go for it. During my education at Soma I really got an understanding for all that massage therapy could do, and all that I could do. I realized that massage was not just a way to make people feel good, but that massage therapists were healers in every sense of the word. The knowledge Soma has given me is an amazing foundation to build upon. I realized how much I knew and how much I wanted to learn more. Being able to physically change someone has been a blessing and given me a purpose in life. I could not imagine a more satisfying career than being a massage therapist.
How has Soma helped your career?
The Soma Institute has helped my career by providing me with a wide range of knowledge as a student massage therapist. Having touched upon a plethora of subject matter throughout the curriculum it allowed me to better understand which path in particular I would prefer to pursue within the world of massage therapy. There are countless approaches to massage, as everything in life is subjective, and knowing which one supports your strengths will provide longevity in this quite literally physical career. What Soma did was ‘open the door,’ and left me with the freedom to choose how far I would like to take it.
How has Soma helped your career?
Soma has helped me by giving me the foundational knowledge of massage necessary to succeed as a massage therapist. I still have so much to learn through continuing education, but Soma’s purpose was to help me launch my career as a massage therapist, and in that they have succeeded! In talking with my colleagues who were educated elsewhere, I quickly realized that the level of detail taught in palpation, anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology far outweighs others. Additionally, the externship experience at Northwestern is something very unique to Soma.
How has Soma helped your career?
Soma gave me all the tools I needed in order to get my career started. Not only did I learn the basic principles of massage, but thanks to all my classmates and helpful staff, I was able to learn from everyone’s experience and thus create my own.
From Soma Graduate, Jennifer Guyton:
“Soma has helped me in my career by providing me with several treatment modalities and teaching me how to integrate them to match the needs of the client. I have the knowledge to apply my skills and make a difference in the lives of so many. No matter where I work or whom I work for, I will be prepared to not just do my job, but help improve the lives of others. I have enjoyed quite a few things about my new career, but one joy is introducing new clients to the alternative treatment benefits of clinical massage therapy. It’s amazing how many people have not experienced the power of healing touch.
“Being a massage therapist for Professional Poker Players is a tough but rewarding career. Had it not been for the top education and relationships built during my time at The Soma Institute, this venture would have been very difficult for me. One must have complete confidence in their massage capabilities in order to stand strong in a room full of poker players that are trained to read people and their body language. Soma has given this to me and I am reaping the rewards.
How has Soma helped your career?
Soma has helped my career in many ways, starting with confidence. Before actually starting school, hearing things like “Going to Soma will make you stand out to employers” or “People will see Soma on your resume and already know that you are a step ahead of most therapists” was a bit intimidating. But now that I have been through it all, it is so true. I am able to not only provide a thorough, therapeutic massage, but I can educate my client as to why I’m doing what I’m doing. Client education is very important!
How has Soma helped your career?
Soma helped me finally pursue something I’ve waited entirely too long to do. I really liked the fact that there was always someone there to answer any questions I had. I feel confident in the education I received from Soma and absolutely loved the clinical aspect of the program. I think that in itself makes me stand out from other massage therapists.
The following is a success story from Soma graduate, Gabriela Salaiza:
“Soma has helped my career by giving me the confidence to progress in the massage field while knowing that I had the proper training to do so. The Soma Institute has helped me to become a true professional massage therapist, by giving me all the tools that I need to grow my career. Soma has allowed me to stand out from the rest.
How has Soma helped your career?
“Soma has helped my career by giving me the tools and resources that a successful therapist needs to grow their career and really stand out from the rest. Because of all the clinical knowledge taught at Soma, Being a Soma Graduate gave me the skills that I needed to fully understand the human body. Taking classes like anatomy palpation, kinesiology and focusing on the clinical aspects of massage gave me the confidence to be able to apply in any and every field of massage not just spas, including hospitals, alongside chiropractors and other clinical environments. It was up to me to decide where I was going to take my career because I was not limited. The opportunities are endless by going to a clinical massage therapy school like Soma.
How has Soma helped your career?
Soma gave me a nice “palette” to work with. I can choose from the “colors” of myofascial release, trigger point therapy, sports massage, etc. I know how to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, how to calm a muscle cramp, and how to treat whiplash. I can perform a relaxation massage and also ease pain. I like the flexibility that my education has given me. I don’t have to perform “paint by number” massages.
Soma has helped my career by giving me the confidence to do well in the field and know that I had the proper training to do so. Having the confidence in my work is what I found to be the most helpful since I started in the field, and has gotten me where I am now. The Career Services Office offered me the contact at The Canyon Ranch Spa Club, at The Venitian/Palazzo inLas Vegas. It is one of the top rated Spas here and as far as I know in the country at its many locations. It’s very intimidating to work in such an environment, but I am so blessed to have gotten the opportunity. Since Canyon Ranch knew that I came from Soma, I believe it helped tremendously in getting me the job I have now and for my future success as a therapist.
Stephani Savary is in the 2011 February Day program, and she has an average grade percentage of 100% at The Soma Institute. This is her success story!
“I am currently 19 years old. I have always paid extra attention to my grades, because I like to look back and say, “I tried my hardest,” and if I get a grade that I am not proud of, I at least know I tried, and I move on. I was the same way in high school. I graduated in 2009 from Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, IL. I never cared about being in the top ten of my class or anything like that. I just needed to know that I always tried my hardest and worked hard, because if I do that, I’m proud of whatever grades I get. Through my hard work, I became part of the National Honor’s Society in high school. I received a Presidential Award for outstanding grades, and I also received a medal for outstanding performance in choir.”
Lindsay has been working at one of the higher profile spas in Illinois for the last few years and has thrived there. She recently became the second most requested therapist at her location.
I asked Lindsay about what she thought Soma had done to help her career and she said, “Soma put me way above standards as a clinical massage therapist. The industry I work in is more focused on just the relaxing aspect of a massage, but I can show my clients just how important massage really is for the body. It is more than just “relaxing”, it is improving the performance of a body through every day life. Pains that people thought they would have to suffer through, whether it be a little back ache or an injury that’s been prolonged due to fascial adhesions or whatever the case may be, we as massage therapists- especially with the clinical knowledge gained through the Soma Institute- have the chance to truly make a huge difference in someone’s life by helping relieve pain.
Kevin has worked primarily in a chiropractic setting since leaving Soma and this has been an excellent forum in his pursuit of treating clients with clinical issues. He had one client visit the office suffering from ‘trigger thumb’ caused by the repetitive stress of working on computers for long periods of time. She had, in the past, taken cortisone shots for the problem. Kevin looked it up on the internet and found that a massage protocol existed which helped treat this condition. After a few weeks of treatment the client found that the pain was subsiding and Kevin hopes that over time he can help to keep the pain from recurring as often.
After graduating from Soma, Barbara had a lot go on in her life that made her transition into massage take an interesting turn. She moved to Australia and got married and is now working as what is called a Remedial Massage Therapist for the Bodimind Center in North Hobart,Tasmania. She says that she loves the experience there. We, at Soma are proud of Barbara’s efforts and her quest to take the Soma brand of Clinical Massage Therapy across the world!!
When she first graduated from Soma, Tarra was treating private clients only and did some travelling back and forth toLos AngelesandNew Yorkworking primarily within the entertainment and sports industry. Soma’s training in Kinesiology along with the Clinical Training she received helped her understand the body’s movement and how to develop a treatment plan that would help athletes function more efficiently and overcome their injuries. Last year she started working at the Elysian hotel inChicagoas well as taking care of her private clients and has really enjoyed the atmosphere at their spa.
Since leaving Soma, Kimberly has worked in a Massage Clinic setting and at this time has also built her Private Practice to the point where she is starting to become very comfortable. At the clinic and also with her private clients, there is one particular issue that has come up time and time again. Kimberly finds that many of the clients she treats that are driving a lot have an issue with pain in their lower back and into their glutes. Initially the clients were telling her that they thought that it was a sciatica issue but Kimberly was able to figure out that it was in fact, an issue with the piriformis muscle. After treating this she was able to successfully develop a treatment plan which took care of the pain and assisted the client in getting back to their day-to-day activity. This is only one example of the many ways Kimberly has been able to utilize her clinical training.
Initially, after graduating from Soma Sarah’s career was a winding road but once she was hired by Sona Bella Salon and Spa it really started to take off. Her skills and knowledge grew along with her practice because even though Sona Bella was a spa setting they gave her the flexibility to tailor her treatments according to each client’s individual needs rather than just pulling treatments from a fixed menu. While the downturn in the economy did take a toll on her practice, her clients had already begun to show improvement in their condition. They began to look at Sarah as not just a massage therapist but a clinical practitioner. In their viewpoint her treatments went from being a luxury to an integral part of the recovery process.
Having been involved in the Dental Hygiene profession for many years before going to Soma Kierah was anxious to work at her own practice after graduating from Soma. Kierah started her business endeavor as a massage therapist renting space at a Yoga/Pilates studio where she was sole proprietor of her own space. Unfortunately that studio closed its doors in September of 2010. Shortly after its closing, Kierah was approached by the owner of The Massage Therapy Center. She quickly resumed her practice at that location in November of 2010 and loves being her own boss. Kierah’s business is called Body Smiles Massage Therapy and her website is www.bodysmilesmt.com. She says that she has not looked back since finishing at Soma and continues looking forward to a bright future touching the lives of every person she comes into contact with.
Andrew and Ruta Green, another Soma graduate opened EVOLVE SPA in New Buffalo, Michigan shortly after graduating and they have already started looking for other graduates as they feel that this should be a very busy summer season in 2011.
A former dancer, Maureen was working in the fitness industry teaching Aerobics and Aquacise and had a private practice in the suburbs long before state licensing was introduced in Illinois. She could have been licensed using the Grandfather clause offered but wanted a more solid education and Soma was her hands-down choice. She found Cari Schoonover and Mike Hovi to be her most influential instructors because Cari stressed “Caring for the whole person” and Hovi, the technical aspects. Maureen feels that those two parts go hand in glove. Finishing the core program in 2007, Maureen joined the Master Program in 2010 and found that, “The Master classes were amazing.”
I first asked Ruta what she thought Soma had done for her and she told me the following, “My education at Soma gave me the ability to be self-employed and self-sufficient. Shortly after my graduation from the program in August, I began looking for a space to open my own business. By November 13, 2011, I was seeing my own clients in my own business, Evolve Spa. I chose New Buffalo, Michigan a summer and weekend tourist destination as an ideal place for a new spa with the emphasis on clinical massage therapy, holistic therapies and energy work.
After leaving Soma, Bruce worked at a number of places including spas and chiropractors. He also worked at the McCormick Center doing corporate chair massage. He finally found his niche setting up his own business at Oak Street Beach offering massage to the public during the summer months. He has been featured on location television and in magazine articles as well as the Chicago Tribune.
Since leaving Soma, Corinne has always looked to work in a clinical setting as that was why she chose Soma. Recently having moved to Columbia, Missouri she worked with Massage Envy for about a year and a half eventually being promoted to Clinic Manager. She is now working with Cherry Hill Massage, a massage clinic in Columbia, and has found this to be the perfect environment. Through her contact with the owner of the clinic, who is also a massage therapist, she is now working with the University of Missouri as the Clinical Massage Therapist for their Women’s Swim Team and will accompany them to competitions all over the United States.
After her externship at Kindred Hospital, Amy yearned to work with special population clients again. It’s something that she felt extremely passionate about and that she knew she would excel at. Many patients only experience the touch of metal instruments and needles, never a compassionate touch and Amy was delighted to have been given an opportunity to volunteer at a local hospital doing therapeutic massage. If it weren’t for Soma exposing her to Kindred Hospital she feels that her passion for working with special populations might never have been awoken. She has always had a pure intention to help others and finds that this is the perfect way for her to express herself. She also finds working in a Chiropractic office to be very fulfilling as she enjoys being part of the treatment plan development while also being able to help the doctor achieve his goals with his patients. She has always felt very comfortable in the healthcare and wellness field. Amy has found Massage therapy to be perfect for her, as has allowed her to work in bodywork and also in a clinical setting.
Rebecca began her career working at a chiropractic office and while at school was working at therapeutic pre-school. At the center Rebecca has been able to integrate her clinical massage training in order to benefit the children. She took continuing education courses with the Liddle Kidz Foundation in pediatric and infant massage and became an infant massage instructor. In 2010 she joined Liddle Kidz in an outreach trip to Vietnam where they visited a number of child care centers and taught their caregivers infant and pediatric techniques to help them assist children with special needs. The scope of pathologies treated included Autism, Cerebral Palsy, neurological disorders caused by Agent Orange exposure and Down’s syndrome. This was a great experience for Rebecca as she knows that she was not only able to help these children while on the trip but knows that the caregivers they taught will be able to continue to help them long afterwards.
I asked Ingrid what she felt her education at Soma had done for her and she said, “Apart from Soma giving me an excellent education in clinical massage therapy, my experience there has been a stepping stone in furthering my education within the alternative medicine field. I have recently received a Masters in Oriental Medicine from the SouthwestAcupunctureCollege.”
Immediately after graduating from Soma, Nina began a Master’s in Movement Sciences program at U.I.C. majoring in applied exercise physiology.She also established a business, Complete Health Solutions, L3C which is a health and wellness consulting firm specializing in exercise prescription and programming, nutrition and weight management as well as clinical and therapeutic massage. Nina also does a lot of health and wellness seminars. In the fall of 2010 she was awarded a $30,000 research grant from the Massage Therapy Foundation. The topic being studied is the “Efficacy of Massage Therapy in Attenuating Vascular Dysfunction after Exertion-Induced Muscle Injury”. Continue reading