SWIHA Blog

How Medical Massage Therapist, Renae Valdes-Seago, Transforms Lives with the Healing Power of Touch

Posted by Jade Marvin on 8/4/22 4:00 PM

Before SWIHA I had the privilege and blessing of being a full-time wife and mom of four amazing children. We owned a mortgage company that my husband ran. My husband of 15 years passed away unexpectedly after a 25+ year struggle with chronic pain which led to opioid addiction. This rocked our world and my children and I lost everything. The depths and darkness of addiction ran deep and his passing uncovered a painful spiral of a brilliant man.” said Renae Valdes-Seago. She continues, “I found myself lost, undereducated, underemployed and urgently needing to figure out how to provide for my family. I didn’t find SWIHA, my angel grandmother led me to this institution for my own healing and to rediscover the gifts I was born with. I felt guided to choose medical massage because of the world I existed in loving a man who hurt constantly and searched tirelessly for respite from pain.”

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, spirituality, Massage Therapy, SWIHA, entrepreneur, Holistic Healing, Holistic wellness, Arizona, Tempe, Licensed Massage Therapist, medical massage, Shamanic Reiki, Arizona Massage School

Mindset over Matter: How Jami Papenberg Followed Her Heart & Light

Posted by Jade Marvin on 5/12/22 4:00 PM

I had settled into a comfort zone before SWIHA. Back in 2008, I decided I wanted to become a massage therapist, and I wanted to get out of the Midwest and start my life over in Arizona. I bought a plane ticket and scheduled a tour of SWIHA, then met a guy who wanted me to stay in the Midwest. I took the trip, toured the school, and really liked it, yet I let that guy talk me into staying and going to massage school in St. Louis, closer to home. We divorced in 2018 -- turns out living someone else's dream doesn't lead to much happiness. Over the years I've become passionate about mental health, from healing from the traumatic birth of my son in 2011 to navigating divorce, and seeing how my massage clients could gain so much more healing if they worked on their emotional health as much as they worked on their physical health. I had my eye on life coaching, and what popped up on my first Google search was SWIHA! Things came full circle, and I took it as a sign.”

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Life Coaching, Great Graduate, SWIHA, entrepreneur, Holistic Healing, Hypnotherapy, Arizona, coaching, Tempe, mysticism, massage therapist, Holistic Healer, integrative healing arts practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist, LMT, IHAP, Books, Published Author, Podcast, Universal Laws

Why 2022 is the Best Time to Seek a Career as a Massage Therapist

Posted by Jade Marvin on 2/3/22 4:00 PM

More than ever people need to be touched. Physically and emotionally, the soul needs to be touched through understanding, meeting people where they are at, and holding them in a space where they can come into a place of calm homeostasis and healing. There has never been a better time to seek an education in massage and the healing arts than now because we have been isolated for so long that we now understand how connection and human interaction is such an important part of the human psyche.”  - Joel Hamilton, SWIHA Associate Dean of On-Campus Education

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Topics: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Massage Therapy, SWIHA, Holistic Healing, massage, Arizona, Licensed Massage Therapist, Our Success Center, Career Statistics, Gainful Employment, Healing Modalities, Arizona Board of Massage Therapists, Arizona Massage School

Three Reasons You Should Consider Becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist

Posted by Taylor Jablonowski on 6/17/19 3:00 PM

Healing arts are more popular than ever, and one of the most accessible (and versatile) modalities is Massage Therapy. In addition to being a relaxing spa experience, it is now widely used in medical settings for pain management, stress reduction, and in conjunction with traditional treatments. Sessions can be both preventative and restorative, which means that no one doesn’t need a massage!

Southwest Institute of Healing Arts began as a humble massage school in Arizona. In honor of those roots, we’ll look at three reasons you’ll absolutely love a career in Massage Therapy:

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Topics: Massage, Massage School, Massage program, massage therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, Master Massage Practitioner

No Such Thing as Death: Stephanie Gangi on the Accident—and the Healer—That Changed Her Life

Posted by Staff on 5/31/18 2:00 PM

Spiritual awakenings don’t come easily. Just ask Stephanie Gangi, who in 2010 found herself facing exactly the kind of trauma that is so often the hallmark of emergence from a metaphysical slumber…

After a three-way car accident left her with a severe heart arrhythmia, anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. Stephanie was determined to eliminate the source of the emotional and physical chaos within her life. Although she had long been fascinated with the inner workings of the mind and the way that it dictates human behavior—even graduating in 2012 with bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Arizona State University—she felt that an intellectual approach was simply not comprehensive enough to resolve her distress.

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Topics: myofascial, Massage Therapy, Myotherapy, energy healing, Licensed Massage Therapist, cranial Sacral, intuitive guidance

LaRie Hope: Learning the “Universal Language” of Polarity

Posted by Tim Barber on 11/3/17 2:53 PM

LaRie Hope has toured with bands, worked in freak shows and haunted houses, and been a body piercer and hairstylist… yet her biggest and boldest career move is happening right now, as she sets up shop in Arizona to offer her services as a Licensed Massage Therapist, energy worker, and self-described “Life Doula.”

While a doula is traditionally a person who is trained to assist a woman during childbirth and to provide support to the family after the baby is born, LaRie has given the profession her own personal twist by providing much needed help to families with or without children. She assists families plan and prepare healthy meals, provides childcare to individuals who need to work or be in class, and offers general emotional and mental encouragement by holding space for her clients. “If you need it, most likely I can help you with it,” LaRie says. “My nickname since high school has always been ‘mom,’ which is accurate because I have always been a mom to everyone when they need support.”

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Topics: Life Coaching, Massage Therapy, Polarity, Reiki, Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, Thai Massage, cranial Sacral, Seated Massage

Top 5 Ways a Career as a Licensed Massage Therapist Can Help You Create a Life You Love

Posted by Suzie McLaughlin on 10/16/17 2:00 PM

As a licensed massage therapist, I can’t imagine why more people don’t choose the career of massage. According to a very reliable source*, the massage industry has boomed in the last ten years, doubling its yearly revenue from $6 billion to over $12 billion since 2005. Yet, while this is true, skilled massage therapists are still hard to find. I often hear from those who work in the SWIHA Success Center that there are many more listings for massage therapists positions than graduates actively seeking those positions. 

With this in mind, let's consider the top five ways a career as a licensed massage therapist can help you create a life you love:

#5 - You get to create own schedule!

One of the reasons I became a licensed massage therapist is because I needed a career that had flexibility so I could be more present for my son. I now have the luxury of creating my own business and setting my own schedule. This is not to say that being an entrepreneur hasn’t been challenging; however, I have found that all my hard work and determination has made the experience worth it. Having more time with your family or being able to shuffle things around in your schedule to better suit your needs is certainly more appealing than a 9 to 5 job! When you own your own business, you get to call the shots.

 

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Topics: Blog, Massage Therapy, SWIHA, holistic health care, Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage, Healing touch, Licensed Massage Therapist

Sabrina Hargrave: Connecting to the Intuitive Mind Through Cranial Unwinding

Posted by Tim Barber on 10/6/17 2:00 PM

Alaska native Sabrina Hargrave had been working in finance for most of her life. She has spent fifteen years climbing corporate ladders, moving from position to position, increasing her salary… yet not her happiness. Stressful jobs had left her feeling disconnected from herself, and although she had meaningful bonds with other people, she didn’t feel like she was following her purpose. She was living a life created by belief systems that had been embedded in her since a very young age. Talking about that corporate grind, Sabrina shares, “We’re taught that these are the types of jobs that you can do that you will be successful and make money at, yet often our hearts are over there with these more passionate, creative jobs. I was a very creative person when I was younger, and I shut it all down to follow the route of ‘this is where you’ll be happy because you will make the most money.’ I pushed really hard and was good at it, yet felt like something was missing.”

Often, the only way Sabrina could find some respite from the stress of her job was by receiving a massage. However, after being injured during a deep tissue massage, Sabrina found herself afraid to get another massage and risk being injured again. “I was so upset because previously, massage had been the only thing that could really get me to relax and calm down. Then a friend suggested cranial unwinding, and I never looked back. It worked perfectly for me,” she says.

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Topics: aromatherapy, myofascial, cranial unwinding, Myotherapy, Reiki, Cranial, Massage Practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist, medical massage, trigger point, swedish massage

New Perspectives: How Licensed Massage Therapist Tim Barber Turned Pain into Perseverance

Posted by Fox Emm on 8/25/17 12:53 PM

It has been a long road to get to where Tim Barber is today. By his account, that amounts to somewhere around 2,300 miles and 15 years since the graduate of SWIHA’s 1000-hour Master Massage Practitioner and 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program first realized that he wanted to become a Licensed Massage Therapist.

Tim spent most of his life in New York. No, not that New York. “Everyone always assumes I mean New York City when I tell them where I am from, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” he laughs. Born and raised in the Central New York region, most of his life was spent surrounded by forests and water— not skyscrapers. Houses were often a half-mile to a mile apart. The town he grew up in was so small that there wasn’t even a four-way stop in it. His graduating class consisted of about 60 people. A trip to the mall would take about 45 minutes of driving to get there. The nightlife in his town consisted of crickets and lightning bugs. No, it definitely was not THAT New York.

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Topics: Polarity, Reflexology, Yoga Teacher Training, Hypnotherapy, Licensed Massage, yoga, Acupressure, Cranial, deep-tissue-massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Master Massage Practitioner, Thai Massage, cranial Sacral, back pain

Top 5 Ways a Career as a Licensed Massage Therapist Can Help You Create a Life You Love

Posted by Suzie McLaughlin on 5/23/16 9:02 AM

As a licensed massage therapist, I can’t imagine why more people don’t choose the career of massage. According to a very reliable source*, the massage industry has boomed in the last ten years, doubling its yearly revenue from $6 billion to over $12 billion since 2005. Yet, while this is true, skilled massage therapists are still hard to find. I often hear from those who work in the SWIHA Success Center that there are many more listings for massage therapists positions than graduates actively seeking those positions. 

With this in mind, let's consider the top five ways a career as a licensed massage therapist can help you create a life you love:

#5 - You get to create own schedule!

One of the reasons I became a licensed massage therapist is because I needed a career that had flexibility so I could be more present for my son. I now have the luxury of creating my own business and setting my own schedule. This is not to say that being an entrepreneur hasn’t been challenging; however, I have found that all my hard work and determination has made the experience worth it. Having more time with your family or being able to shuffle things around in your schedule to better suit your needs is certainly more appealing than a 9 to 5 job! When you own your own business, you get to call the shots.

 

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Topics: Blog, Massage Therapy, SWIHA, holistic health care, Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage, Healing touch, Licensed Massage Therapist

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