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Soma Massage Blog

New Year, New You

By Joan Hannant, Founder & CEO of The Soma Institute
It’s a tale as old as time. With every new year comes the promises we make to ourselves and our families about how we’re going to do things differently this year - how we’re going to be better. But, according to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is said to be about 80 percent. That’s not news to many of us who have set resolutions and failed to stick with it.

But, over many years in the Health & Wellness industry, I’ve learned that a person’s motivation plays a far bigger role in flipping the page to something “new” in a new year than the desired endgame. What is your “why?” If you start there, you’ll be set up well.

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Veterans Day

By Joan Hannant, Founder & CEO of The Soma Institute


Veterans Day is a special time in this country. It’s a day we all come together to honor and thank our military veterans. At Soma, we’ve had the honor of working closely with veterans for many years. One of the most noble things I’ve observed is the continuing desire they have to serve others. When I ask these students what appealed to them about clinical massage therapy, I get different answers, but almost every single time the students circle back to a desire to find a career where they are serving others - making someone else's life better.

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The Powerful Desire to Help People Feel Better

By Joan Hannant, Founder & CEO of The Soma Institute

The health and wellness field attracts a certain kind of person. For years, we’ve been hearing one theme from new students and applicants. It’s a simple desire, but a very powerful one. Our students want to help people feel better. Whether they’re interested in massage therapy or becoming a certified health and wellness coach, they all have this one thing in common. It’s what draws them in, what motivates them and, ultimately, what makes them great at their jobs.

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Massage Gets Back to Business

By Joan Hannant, Founder & CEO of The Soma Institute

One of the cruel ironies of 2020 is that when people are stressed or tense, they need massage more than ever. Clearly, this has been a stressful year. Add to that all the people who are working remotely and bent over odd workstations or composing spreadsheets while sitting on a couch and you get a long list of physical problems that massage is great at addressing. But, due to COVID-19 and government mandates, for months massages either weren’t available or didn’t feel like a safe choice.

Now that the massage industry is opening back up, it’s not a surprise to be hearing from so many Soma graduates about demand for massages being high. We recently reached out to a few employers and Soma graduates to get their thoughts on “getting back to work,” new safety procedures and how the pivot to online communication has changed our industry for the better.
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Penny Chelios Realizes a Dream

By Joan Hannant, Founder & CEO of The Soma Institute

In the midst of today’s challenges, it’s hard to take any time to sit back and reflect. The future occupies us. I know I’m often busy thinking ahead to things like how I can continue providing the best education possible for our students or how to make sure I’m reaching prospective students who could thrive with a Soma education. Life moves quickly. But, I’ve learned over the years how important it is to make time to step back and take a look at where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. For me, those moments inevitably bring me to thoughts of the amazing successes of our students. Many of our graduates have become the first in their family to own and operate their own business. We’ve helped countless Veterans launch successful careers. Many of our students have overcome tremendous obstacles in the supportive environment at Soma and gone on to successful careers. These are dreams realized - dreams launched at Soma - and it’s a powerful thing to think about. It drives me and guides me every day.
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