Brian McKinney

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Happy, Healthy, and Whole: Hotchickpea Holistic Health and Lifestyle Coaching

Posted by Brian McKinney on 4/10/15 3:46 AM

By Jenna Zizzo

After a shocking and heart-wrenching break up, Tory Dube knew she needed to find methods for self-soothing. She felt that the only way to heal her wounded heart was to try meditation. However, instead of reading a meditation book or downloading the latest meditation app on her smart phone, Tory decided to embark on a nine day meditation retreat in the Bahamas.

While on her retreat, she heard a doctor by the name of Joe Dispenza share about the science behind quantam physics and positive psychology. Once she heard about positive psychology, Tory was immediately enamored and knew it was something she wanted to pursue.

The moment she returned to her home in New York City she rushed to the computer and searched for psychology programs. She found Southwest Institute of Healing Arts’ (SWIHA) Online Associates of Mind Body Transformational Psychology program, and within a month’s time she was enrolled.

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Topics: Great Graduates, Blog

Helping Others Achieve their Best Self, One Facial at a Time

Posted by Brian McKinney on 4/3/15 6:07 AM

Linda Binette’s education at Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA) brought more gifts to her life than she could have ever imagined. From the moment Linda toured the SWINA campus, she was confident it was the school for her. As a branch of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, she knew that SWINA would provide her with the holistic education she was looking for.

“I was interested in healing arts – treating the whole person: mind, body and spirit,” says Linda. “When I took my tour of the school, I was so impressed by the great energy I felt, the friendliness and professionalism of the staff, and the beautiful facility! I knew in my heart that I didn’t need to look anywhere else!”

So Linda began her Natural Aesthetics program at SWINA. In addition to hands-on aesthetics training, such as skin care, makeup and waxing, spa technologies and even holistic theory and business courses, Linda learned how to be centered and present in all that she does. One of the most important skills she gained was how to really listen to what her clients are saying, or NOT saying. “It is so fulfilling to know that I am in tune with my client’s goals, and that the client trusts me to lead them in the process,” Linda explains.

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Topics: SWINA, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Great Graduates, Blog, Massage, Massage Therapy, SWIHA

A Bigger Life to Live with Heart

Posted by Brian McKinney on 3/27/15 3:12 AM

For years, Ruth Davis says, she coasted through her life, working in a day job in the field of computer training, taking vacations to the beach, and creating artwork to sell. However, in 2007, Ruth was forced to slow down. She underwent emergency open heart surgery to remove a benign tumor in her left atrium, and from that day on, her life has never been the same, nor did she want it to be!

Recovery from the surgery was a process, as with any major surgery. The biggest worry Ruth had was, would she ever be creative again? “I had to find new ways to tap into my creative self,” she writes in her blog.

“I really wanted to do more of my ‘real work,’ even though I didn’t know what that was.”

Ruth realized she needed to find other ways to tap into her creativity. Like others, Ruth ‘found’ her way Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) and on some level it wasn’t all that accidental. After enrolling in the 100 hour Life Coaching program Ruth quickly came to the BIG realization of how much BIGGER everything really is, herself included. When asked to explain, Ruth passionately confides, “I realized how much my spirituality IS my work, and my gift to the world is share ME with my clients.”

Once Ruth completed her 100 hours of Life Coaching in 2009, she got to work. She created her business, Spark the Heart, and almost immediately began seeing clients. Her focus with Spark the Heart is to help women over 50 discover and feel good about who they are and what they really want to do with their lives. Offering what she calls “one-on-one, laser focused coaching,” Ruth helps clients realize how they can make changes in their lives and start living more of what makes them feel good.

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Topics: Blog

SWIHA Great Graduate Helps Raise Awareness through Upcoming NeoTribal Event

Posted by Brian McKinney on 3/16/15 10:07 AM

Graduates from Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) do BIG things in the world. They have launched successful holistic wellness businesses, created non-profits to help those in need, and even hold events to raise awareness within their community.

One such graduate and event is Nicole Duran. Nicole began her healing journey as a SWIHA student in late 2000, mostly studying Reiki. Once she completed her studies at SWIHA, she was able to bring her Reiki healing energy to community events and share it with children and youth.

Currently, Nicole is involved with an upcoming event called Neotribal the Gathering. Neotribal has been in collaboration for only about three months, and this will be the first major event for the group. The event will be held March 20th to March 22nd at Estrella Mountain Regional Park in Goodyear, Arizona.

Nicole has worked in the field of behavioral health for 12 years, specifically working with teens and youth. This work instilled a passion within her for working with and helping people of all ages who could benefit from advocacy. "I believe in spreading awareness through action and love to bring people together with the healing arts to honor our culture and roots," Nicole shared. "This event is about service and healing."

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Topics: Great Graduates, Blog, Reiki

Seeking Serenity in the Southwest

Posted by Brian McKinney on 3/13/15 4:25 AM

Kiera Stroup always wanted to move to Arizona. A native New Yorker, Kiera earned her Bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College and then began a corporate I.T. career that lasted 27 years and took her to Connecticut, California, and finally Memphis, Tennessee. It was at the University of Memphis where she earned her MBA. However, Kiera still longed to live in the Grand Canyon State. In 2013, Kiera’s corporate I.T. career came to an unexpected end when the company she worked for eliminated her position. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Kiera took it as a sign and headed for the Valley of the Sun to fearlessly pursue her dream.

Since Kiera had a longtime interest in skincare, she felt that a career change to the field of natural beauty would be a good fit for her. She found Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) and called to inquire about aesthetics programs. Based on Kiera’s other interest in massage, her Admission Coach suggested SWIHA’s 1000-hour Massage program, which would allow her to become dually licensed in massage and aesthetics. This specific program is unique, in that, students have the opportunity to complete part of their program at Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA), SWIHA’s branch campus where the natural aesthetics programs and courses are held, located two miles south of the main campus in Tempe, Arizona.

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Topics: SWINA, Great Graduates, Blog, Massage, Massage Therapy

From Small Business Owner to Spa Director: Great Graduate Jorinda Nardone

Posted by Brian McKinney on 3/6/15 12:04 AM

While Jorinda Nardone currently holds the title of Spa Director of the 40,000 square foot Green Valley Ranch Spa in Las Vegas, the road to this level of success was paved with hard work, long hours and dedication. A 2001 graduate of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts’ (SWIHA) Massage Program, Jorinda came to SWIHA for what she thought was a career change, however, during her program she began to notice a transformation within herself, and heal old wounds in the process. Taking a look at herself and her healing process led Jorinda on a completely different path than the one she originally intended to take.

Once graduated, and armed with an array of knowledge and her massage license, Jorinda went to work launching her business. She opened her first business, Lemongrass Massage Therapy, and quickly started to see clients. Jorinda jumped at the chance to open her own business, because not only was it the perfect way to use her education in a loving and profitable way, it was also a great opportunity for her own personal growth.

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Great Graduates, Blog, Massage, Massage Therapy, SWIHA

Plans Change ~ Go with What Allows you to Live in Joy!

Posted by Brian McKinney on 2/27/15 3:55 AM

“We all have the inborn ability to heal, to maintain, and to grow.”

This is the premise of Suzie Emiliozzi’s business, Living Joy LLC. Suzie launched Living Joy shortly after graduating from the online Associates of Mind-Body Transformational Psychology Degree program at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). Since then, she has helped hundreds of clients change, heal, and discover themselves.

Let’s start at the beginning…

Years ago, Suzie was diagnosed with a terrible case of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Even with medical care, her condition was debilitating. Everyday tasks such as brushing her teeth, walking, or getting in and out of the bathtub were nearly impossible. Eventually Suzie was introduced to a form of energy healing called BodyTalk™. This holistic healing modality addresses the whole person: emotional, physical and environmental. Due to additional emotional and situational issues Suzie was experiencing at the time, BodyTalk™ was successful in her path to healing; she experienced immediate and profound changes within her body.

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Topics: Blog

A Fresh Start to Health and Nutrition

Posted by Brian McKinney on 2/20/15 4:19 AM

After 18 years of working in the mortgage industry, Casey Grant was stressed, and sick of feeling stressed. She disliked her job because that’s what it felt like – a job. She didn’t enjoy what she was doing, and wanted to find a way to create a good income doing work she loved. Casey’s lifelong passion for health and nutrition sounded like a way out of the mortgage industry...the question was, how?

Casey began to research schools for nutrition education, and Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) immediately resonated with her. Although she lives in Chandler, Arizona, a town close where the main campus of SWIHA is located, Casey decided to enroll in the SWIHA’s online Holistic Wellness Practitioner program because it was convenient for her busy lifestyle, and allowed her to still be available for her family.


The entrepreneurial attitude and atmosphere of SWIHA is what appealed most to Casey. “SWIHA’s mission is to inspire and support people in opening their own businesses, if that is truly their dream. The college is committed to the success of their graduates,” Casey explains. “All my instructors encouraged me to go after my dreams and goals, and they guided and inspired me from an entrepreneurial point of view.”

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Weight Loss, Blog, Holisitc Nutrition, SWIHA, Nutrition, Hypnotherapy

All Aspects of the Art of Health

Posted by Brian McKinney on 2/13/15 12:00 AM

The ‘earth’ without art is just ‘eh’ . . .

. . . according to Holistic Wellness Practitioner Heather Krompacky, who works in the town of Talkeetna, Alaska, at the base of North America’s tallest mountain, the magnificent Denali.

Imagine . . .

. . . entering a room for a holistic session with a new practitioner, someone you have never worked with before. There are colorful candles burning, the light is low due to the salt lamps placed strategically around the room. Soft music is playing and a lovely, aromatic fragrance is wafting through the air. You begin your session with your practitioner; maybe you experience hypnotherapy, nutritional coaching, or aromatherapy, all as an aspect of a holistic life coaching session with a competent and caring practitioner. You feel a sense of comfort due to the open and honest space from which the ‘Change Artist Extraordinaire’, as the practitioner is known, works. At the end of the session, you are offered a soul-coaching card, to provide continued insight and affirmation.

Wow! Mind-heart-soul expanding, right!

Yes, the above is a small example of what a session would be like with Heather Krompacky, owner of Sunshine Wellness, a dual business -- part wellness center, part organic health food store. The wellness center is housed above Sunshine Organics, her organic health food store, located at the confluence of three Alaskan rivers, the Susitna, Chulitna and Talkeetna.

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Topics: Great Graduates, Life Coaching, Blog, Nutrition, Hypnotherapy

A Journey from Pain to Empowerment

Posted by Brian McKinney on 2/6/15 2:20 AM

Like many massage therapists and massage enthusiasts, Ronna Everhart found massage after decades of discomfort and chronic pain. At 12 years old, she chipped her tailbone in an accident. “I broke my bum!” she exclaims with a laugh. Although she is full of laughter and smiles now, most of her life consisted of pain and discomfort. Between the ages of 19 to 24, Ronna gave birth to three children, which really did a number on her low back. She became dependent on over the counter medicine, such as Ibuprofen daily, to alleviate her pain, yet it wasn’t enough. Chiropractors, and even the occasional glass or two of wine, to relax the muscles proved futile as well.

By the age of 30, Ronna had tried almost everything to help her pain: TENS units, decompression, pain clinics, physical therapy, pain creams, shots…the list goes on!

After 32 years of dealing with the after effects of her tail bone injury, which caused chronic arthritis due to the persistent low back pain, Ronna’s life started to become negatively affected in all areas: mind, body and soul. Her finances were suffering from the out of pocket chiropractic costs, in addition to other health related expenses. She reached a point where she was “fed up with doctors, once and for all!”

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Blog, Massage, Massage Therapy, SWIHA

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