Graduation Slideshow

As promised, here's a few photo slideshow from our recent massage therapy graduation. Enjoy!

If you can't see the video, click here.

In addition, here's a poem that was written read at the ceremony by Wayne Suitor, 710 evening massage therapy graduate:

A Toast to Class 710EM
We have learned things for the tip of your toes
To the tip of your nose
And even the bowl of your tummy.
We know things to make you feel good,
And things to make you feel yummy.

We know things that lift your spirits
And give your emotions a fit.
We know some things that are really cool.
And some that are just freaky...stuff.

We know that C is not just for cookie
And that is okay with me.
Sharon, it's not the letter A, B, D or F
It is the letter C.

My name is Larry Wayne,
And it might be sin,
But turn out the lights, the party's over,
And let the money making begin!

Thanks to all who attended graduation. It was definitely a special time!


Following Feng Shui

Now that the chill of winter is upon us, we're all spending more time indoors. And with Valentine's Day just around the corner, now is the time to make sure that your bedroom is aligned perfectly for rest, relaxation and health. By following some basic principles of feng shui (pronounced "fung shway"), you can ensure that your home is harmonious with a warm energy flow.

According to Yoga Journal, you should couple all of your items to encourage an equal relationship. For examples, the bed should have bedside tables and lamps on each side. Add a little red in your decor to spark romance, and shy away from fountains or paintings of seascapes as water symbols encourage tears. 

Overall, take a close look at your room and remove any unnatural items, distractions or clutter. All of these things—like bills, TVS, etc.—discourage rest and intimacy.

For the full article, click here.

Photo by www.butkaj.com on Flickr.


Aromatherapy's Benefits

Over the last few years, it seems as though more and more people are talking about aromatherapy. From aromatic lotions sold in consumer stores to spas and massage therapists offering the service, it definitely seems to be growing in popularity. While there's little scientific research to back the treatment, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests that aromatherapy can ease nausea, promote relaxation, help with digestive issues and boost the immune system.

Although it's becoming more common in the U.S., aromatherapy isn't new by any means. The Chinese, Indians and Egyptians have used essential oils for thousands of years. Aromatherapy experts caution though that care should be taken in choosing a practitioner or when using the oils yourself. For example, some oils can cause an allergic reaction or increase sensitivity to the sun.

For more about aromatherapy, click here to read a full article by the Asbury Park Press.

Photo by Eggybird on Flickr.


Massage Increases in Popularity

A few weeks ago we heard from some of the biggest holistic health experts in the country who said that alternative medicine isn't that "alternative" any more. Now, there's more proof to back that notion up. According to recent research from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, complementary medicine—including massage—is on the rise. 

Today, more than 38 percent of adults are now using some form of complementary and alternative medicine, and massage's popularity has grown from 5 percent of adults to 8.3 percent, which represents an increase of about 8 million. Talk about good news for our industry!

To read more of the study's findings, click here.

Photo by roland on Flickr.


Congratulations Graduates!

This weekend, MTTI-WellSpring's Kansas City campus is holding a total of three graduations. On Friday night, four fitness training and wellness students graduated, and today more than 30 massage therapy students earned their diplomas. A big congratulations to them all for their hard work and success. We know that they'll all go on to improve the well-being and health of others.

We've taken lots of photos at all three of the graduations, so look for those to be posted in the coming weeks!

Photo by CarbonNYC on Flickr.


A Fresh Coat of Paint

If you've been at MTTI-WellSpring's Kansas City campus recently, you may have noticed a few changes. A group of staff members recently got together to spruce up the student lounge, including adding some new paint, lighting and a new rug. Because the students spend so much time in the lounge studying between classes, we thought it was the least we could do. Below are some photos from the painting extravaganza.

Jennifer Morales, Andrea Farquharson and Kristen Enss

Kristen Enss and David Enss

Jennifer Morales and Don Farquharson

And don't be surprised if you see more photos like this. We have plans to paint a few more walls of the student lounge and possibly other areas of the school, so stay tuned!


'Alternative Medicine' Isn't As Alternative as You Might Think

Last Friday, natural health experts Deepak Chopra, Dean Ornish, Rustum Roy and Andrew Weil penned an opinion letter in The Wall Street Journal titled "'Alternative' Medicine is Mainstream." MTTI-WellSpring's Don Farquharson recently brought the article to my attention and, as the executive director of a school that provides education to natural health and wellness practitioners, he couldn't be more thrilled that integrative medicine approaches such as plant-based diets, yoga, meditation, etc., are getting the attention that they deserve.

The article stresses the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle, citing that heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer and obesity account for three-quarters of health-care costs but are largely preventable and even reversible by eating right, exercising regularly and managing stress levels. The article also cites a number of recent studies that prove how important lifestyle choices are and urges President-Elect Obama to make integrative medicine an integral of his health plan as soon as possible. To read the full article, click here.

What do you think? Should traditional medicine and alternative medicine be more integrated?

Photo courtesy of longtrekhome on Flickr.


Take the Challenge

Up for a challenge? Discovery Health might have you covered. Their free National Body Challenge is a comprehensive fitness and weight-loss program that provides the tools and inspiration to get in shape. Signing up for the challenge includes a free 30-day pass to Bally Total Fitness, access to customizable meals and fitness plans, more than 1,000 healthy recipes and more. Talk about a deal!

To go along with the challenge, Discovery Health is airing a five-part competition series that tracks the weight-loss journey of two competing teams, each consisting of three severely overweight individuals. Led by health and fitness expert Dr. Lydie Hazan, along with fitness trainers, a nutrition consultant and a therapist, the participants are put on comprehensive diet and exercise plans and have six months to trade in a lifetime of bad habits for a healthy new way of living. The series began airing on Monday but runs through tomorrow night, so check it out! If you can't watch this week, there's lots of footage online here, too.

Do challenges and TV shows like this get you motivated? Let us know in the comments below!


Could Meditation Help Children with ADHD?

It's a small study, but it's an interesting one.

Recent research in the journal Current Issues in Education shows that the twice-daily practice of transcendental meditation in school may improve attention and reduce stress, anxiety and impulsive behavior in children diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A group of 10 children between the ages 11 and 14 and diagnosed with ADHD were the subjects of the pilot study. All of the students were attending a school for those with learning disabilities.

Because there was no control group, researchers compared teacher reports and students' self-assessments and performance on a wide range of cognitive tests and surveys before and after three months of twice-daily 10-minute sessions of transcendental meditation. Unlike other forms of meditation that may be more complex and require sustained focus, transcendental meditation focuses on a single sound to quiet the mind and was chosen for the study because of its simplicity.

For more on the study read this piece in the Los Angeles Times. What are you thoughts on the research? Should transcendental meditation be used more often to treat anxiety disorders? Should more schools look at offering meditation programs? As always, feel free to comment below!

Photo by Kanzeon Zen Center on Flickr.


Diets that Work—They Exist!

Confused by all of the weight-loss information out there? From diet pills to exercise infomercials, it seems that everyone has the answer to losing weight for only three low-low payments of $19.95, doesn't it? Not to mention the number of diets out there. While we all know that the best way to lose weight is through hard work—eating right and regular exercise—it's hard to change your life without a plan. And, for many, diets outline that plan with guidelines and structure.

Not all diets are created equal though. Fad diets like the Cabbage Soup Diet only give you about 1,000 calories a day, which is way below even the lowest recommended amount, and doesn't provide adequate vitamins and minerals. Then there's the popular Hollywood diet that just has you drink juice. Fad diets like these are not sustainable in the long term, and most people end up quickly gaining back any weight lost.

However, some diets can stand the test of time. Health Magazine recently listed 10 diets that nutritionists say really work, are safe and encourage lasting change. Some have been around for years, and others are new. 

Health Magazine's Top 10 Diets
1.The Structure House Weight Loss Plan (Fireside)
2. The Step Diet (Workman Publishing)
3. Weight Watchers
4. The EatingWell Diet (The Countryman Press)
5. The Volumetrics Eating Plan (Harper Collins)
6. The Best Life Diet (Simon & Schuster)
7. The Solution (Collins)
8. You: On a Diet (Free Press)
9. The Sonoma Diet (Meredith Books)
10. The Spectrum (Ballantine)

To read the full article, which includes details on all of the diets, click here. Have you tried any of these diets before? Do you plan to? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo by
malias on Flickr.


Stay on Track All Month Long

Using the New Year as a spring board for getting healthier? While we already shared ways to set your resolutions up for success, MSNBC recently created a month of fitness tips. There are some really good ones on there from stop making excuses to be mindful to rewarding your hard work with a prize. I encourage you to check it out. While most of us are usually full of vigor and are super motivated to reach our goals the first week of the New Year, that tends to wane towards the end of January, so use these tips all month to stay on track! 

Check out the January jump start calendar here.

Photo by clspeace on Flickr.