Written by Olivia Jordan, Career Services Coordinator
Rachel Handley is a graduate from the Massage Therapy program at Centura College’s Virginia Beach campus. Although Rachel faced an array of obstacles while completing her training, she was determined to persevere and finish, despite her circumstances.
Rachel expressed that during her time at Centura she learned the lesson of listening to her needs. “My time at Centura College taught me a lot,” Handley stated. “However, the most important lesson I learned was to simply slow down, listen, enjoy, and be patient. Slow down and listen to my body, listen to my mind, listen to my emotions, and listen to my spirit. Slow down and enjoy the moment, enjoy my family, and enjoy my food. Slow down and be patient for the right moment to come and let what I desire to be drawn to me.”
Rachel has now successfully completed her massage therapy program and launched her own business, Knots Untwisted. With her experiences at Centura College to guide her, she is now capable of withstanding the unexpected difficulties one can have in owning their own business. “I am living my dream right now and enjoying every second of it,” stated Handley.
We are so proud of Rachel’s success and wish her all the best in her massage therapy career!
Centura College Graduate Spotlight – Carissa Chalsma
By Lisa Pinson, Massage Therapy Coordinator, Centura College Newport News
Carissa Chalsma began her Massage Therapy career at Centura College in Newport News on October 17, 2017 and c ompleted her coursework on June 18, 2018. She was a diligent and engaged student, which resulted in her achieving a 4.0 grade in her coursework.
Currently, she is employed with Williamsburg Neck and Back Chiropractic in Williamsburg, Virginia as a Massage Therapist. Through her work there she uses a variety of trigger point, orthopedic, myofascial, and stretching techniques that are designed to treat injuries, ease muscle tension, reduce muscle spasm and pain. Her favorite work focuses on sports/trigger point and neuromuscular massage techniques that enable clients to regain and maintain healthy well-moving bodies.
Carissa has a passion for helping people through hands on healing. She intends to pair her Massage Therapy diploma with a degree in Physical Therapy that she is currently pursuing at Old Dominion University.
In her free time, Carissa spends most of her time furthering her education in the healing arts. She is dedicated to her craft and excels at it. She also enjoys her family, friends, and boyfriend and loves to travel when she has time.
Even as busy as she is, Carissa still comes back here to Centura to assist other students who are about to graduate. She serves as a Licensed Massage Therapist during clinicals and gives constructive feedback. She is a true mentor.
Carissa is one of our best and brightest. She is a true success story!
The Chesapeake campus of Centura College will be showcasing its massage therapy program for individuals interested in pursuing a career in the health and wellness field. The event will offer interactive demonstrations of a variety of massage techniques.
By Brian Stauss
Centura College will be showcasing its massage therapy program on Wednesday, October 11, at its campus located at 932 Ventures Way, Chesapeake, VA. The demo begins at 6 p.m. and will continue until 8 p.m.
The event will feature hands-on demonstrations of reflexology, chair massage, deep tissue massage and aromatherapy. This interactive event is designed to provide participants with a real-world view of what it would be like to work in the massage therapy career field.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals considering a career in the health and wellness field,” says Shawnte Peterson, Massage Therapy Program Coordinator at Centura College’s Chesapeake campus. “I can’t think of a better way to see if a career is right for you than by getting a hands-on preview into your field of interest.”
Participants are also invited to take a tour of the campus’s training facilities and to meet with admissions staff about the benefits of career-focused training provided at Centura College.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Chesapeake campus at (757) 549-2121.
About Centura College
Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, legal studies and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.
By Shawnte’ Peterson, Massage Therapist Coordinator at Centura College’s Chesapeake Campus
Edited by Jul DeGeus & Esperanza Poquiz
A massage therapist’s work often involves lifting clients’ body parts, repetitive postures and forceful pressure that could lead to injury or ailments. To help prevent damage, massage therapists should remember to care for their body, as it is the main tool of their trade. Here at Centura College, we encourage our students and staff to care for themselves and listen to the advice we give clientele. This self-care means nurturing your body by fueling it with nutrients to keep it energized and carefully listening to our body when it establishes its limits.
The American Massage Therapy Association describes self-care as, “an indication that you recognize the importance of balance in your life. Placing a priority on self-care helps you center yourself and reduce stress.” Practicing self-care can extend the longevity of a massage therapist’s career. By learning techniques to keep hands and wrists healthy, a massage therapist benefits by working smarter and not harder through body awareness. Massage therapist can find tips, such as the ones listed below, useful in everyday life and at work as a means to avoid burning-out and injury:
Centura College Chesapeake Campus’ Massage Therapy students practicing yoga.
Stretching– A massage therapist should know better than anyone that “warming up” before putting your body through intense activity helps prevent strains. Massage therapists can develop the best stretch routine by consulting with their doctor.
Massages– Whether it’s a self-massage or a massage from a coworker, massage therapists should get them often, especially since therapist have a great understanding of massage benefits including stress relief, pain management and improving sleep cycles.
Proper Diet and Nutrition- Regardless of profession, everyone should have a diet tailored to the improvement or balance of their health. By visiting a dietitian or doctor, massage therapist can create a meal plan full of the nutrients they need.
Body Detoxes– Preforming a body detox can boost a healthy mindset. Massage therapists that detox can experience sharpened thoughts, improved breathing and a surge in energy.
Exercising– To preform optimally, massage therapists should exercise regularly. Exercising strengthens therapists’ body, from the hands to the core.
Yoga and Meditation- With similar positive body strengthening effects to exercising and stretching, yoga also includes the revitalizing element of meditation to put the mind in a positive state. Starting the day with a positive energy will allow for therapists to transmit this energy to the people they interact with.
Because massage therapist’s jobs are labor intensive, they need to move to keep their muscles and joints healthy. Keeping this in mind, massage therapist will have a long positive career, which will ensuring the happiness of their clientele and themselves.
By Jul DeGeus
Myofascial massages focus on the fascial system. The fascia is sort of like glue for your body; a head to toe web of tissues that binds your muscles, bones, nerves, veins, etc. together. Massage therapists first determine the area of the fascia system that needs to be massaged through an examination of your body. Next, via pressure and movement, the therapists specifically targets that area with techniques used to release the tension of the fascia. Issues myofascial massages work best for include: back pain, chronic pain, headaches, scoliosis, fibromyalgia and neurological dysfunction.
Deep Tissue Massages
Ever had a “knot” in your back? Deep tissue massages allow massage therapists to focus on specific areas that bother you. Often, the source of the tension is located in the deeper layers of the muscles; hence the name ‘deep tissue.’ Massage therapist apply firm pressure paired with slow motions to loosen the muscles and connective tissues, or fasica. Deep tissue massages benefit those suffering from things like arthritis inflammation, tendinitis or injury related pain.
Shiatsu, which translated means ‘finger pressure,’ is a technique that originated in Japan. The body has a chart of meridians; streams of energy and life force that run throughout the body, supporting its wellness and balance. Massage therapists use the meridians, as well as acupuncture pressure points, to navigate what areas to massage in order to promote the positive flow of energy throughout the body to relieve pain or stress. Shiatsu is recommended if you wish to build up disease defense, mental positivity or pain relief.
If you are pregnant, you want to make sure that when you visit your massage therapist, they are trained in prenatal massage. While the purpose of the massage is the same as a normal massage- relaxation or help to relieve discomfort- the technique used is much different. The body goes through many changes during pregnancy and the therapist studies the changes to ensure you get the most of your massage. Not to mention, there is a special table that allows expectant mothers to lie on their stomach without putting pressure on the fetus.
Sports massages are split into three different treatments; pre-game, post-game and injury. Pre-game sports massages allow therapists to loosen the muscles and promote the flow of blood for the athlete, that way their muscles are not tense at the beginning of their event. Post-game massages relax the stress of player and their muscles, speeding up the time of their recovery. This time, instead of advancing blood flow, the massage encourages the body to cleanse out toxins and waste.
If you’ve ever played spots, you know there is always the risk of an injury; it could be something as minor as a slight sprained ankle or as gruesome as a broken bone. If you did, unfortunately, obtain a sports injury, a sports massage could speed up healing process. It also could ensure the condition in which is heals is the best quality for your body and future activities.
Massage Therapy Jobs: How to Get One!
The good news for massage therapy jobs is that the field is growing. From 2012 to 2022, employment in massage therapy is projected to grow 23%. This is faster than average for all other occupations and creates new opportunities for newly-certified massage therapists.
However, securing one of these jobs is still very competitive. The American Massage Therapy Association estimates that there are 300,000 to 340,000 massage therapists in the United States, including students. Getting one of these new jobs will depend on job seekers securing the right qualifications, understanding the market, and knowing the best match for their circumstances.
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