Beat the Heat with Cooling Massage Products from the East West College Store

There’s more than high-quality education at our massage school. Portland, OR massage therapists can also purchase high-quality massage products at the East West Campus Store. The East West Campus store is the regional source for all things massage therapy, including massage products to beat the heat. As Portland bakes under the hot summer sun, massage therapists can offer clients delightfully cool variations on massage oil, gel, and lotion. Cooling eye masks and therapy packs offer another way to tame the summer heat.

While cool products are naturally appealing in the hot months, cold therapy—or “cryotherapy”—is effective all year long. Think ice packs, ice baths, and cold packs. This approach is nothing new; Egyptians were using cold to minimize inflammation more than 4,000 years ago. Hippocrates wrote about using cold to treat painful swelling in 400 BCE. And in 1050 CE, Anglo-Saxon monks started using cold to combat pain. Read on to discover cooling products to incorporate in your next massage. Portland, OR therapists can find these items on the shelves of the East West Campus Store.

Cooling Massage Products at the East West Campus Store

Biofreeze Gel, Roll-On, and Spray
For 25 years, therapists have trusted Biofreeze as a trusted topical analgesic. It uses menthol to naturally soothe minor joint and muscle pain. This delightful cold therapy product penetrates quickly. As graduates of a COMTA-accredited school of massage, Portland’s East West College alums appreciate that Biofreeze researches its products. The science behind this reliable product has to do with how the body communicates pain. The menthol in Biofreeze binds with the skin’s temperature receptors, overriding pain signals. We carry both Biofreeze and Biofreeze Professional products, which are exclusive to healthcare professionals. These products are paraben-free, with a vanishing scent. We carry Biofreeze Gel, Biofreeze Professional Roll-On, and Biofreeze Professional Continuous Spray.


Eye-ssential Mask by Thera-Pearl
The Eye-ssential mask features pliable gel pearls that allow the mask to conform to the body, even when frozen. This unique eye mask may be used for both hot and cold therapy. The pack changes color to indicate readiness! To heat, microwave for 10-15 seconds, until pack is white in color. For cold therapy, freeze for at least two hours, until the pack turns purple. Use the cold mask for sinus headaches, nasal congestion, and dry, puffy eyes. Light-sensitive clients will adore this pack while supine.

eye mask

Sombra Cool Therapy Pain Relieving Gel
Sombra is another cooling massage product for relieving joint and muscle pain associated with bruises, strains, and sprains. Therapists value the efficacy of this product, as well as its refreshing citrus aroma. It contains no artificial colors, fragrances, or alcohol. Sombra is animal-free and made in the USA. Don’t worry about staining clothes or sheets with Sombra—it absorbs quickly. Finally, Sombra offers excellent glide for point therapy. It is great for inflammation and post-workout pain relief. Many massage therapists use Sombra Cool Therapy Pain Relieving Gel for sports massage clients. Laura Boozer, LMT, Owner of N-Touch Therapeutic Massage, says “Sombra pain relieving gels provide multi-sport athletes long lasting relief from muscle fatigue and soreness.”


Soft Comfort CorPak by Core Productscorpak
The Soft Comfort CorPack may be used hot or cold. Its exterior is a blend of synthetic fibers and organic plant materials that are frost-free when frozen, so no towel is required. This product is long-lasting, yet eco-friendly. It is filled with non-toxic, bio-degradable materials. For cold use, freeze the CorPack for at least 1 hour, or simply store in the freezer. To heat: microwave for 30 seconds on high, and then additional increments of ten seconds until preferred temperature is achieved. Knead the pack after heating. This tri-sectional pack is perfect for draping over clients’ shoulders; a third section covers the back of the neck.



Keep your massage practice fresh by incorporating seasonal products. Clients will feel pampered by your thoughtful product choices. Boost client loyalty today—visit the East West Campus Store for all your massage therapy needs. Our Portland massage products store is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 6:30pm. It is located on NE Oregon Street, between Fifth and Sixth street, directly off the trolley line. For questions about current products and prices, please call us at 503-233-6500.

Expressions of Gratitude: What East West College Teachers & Students are Thankful for This Holiday Season

Just before Thanksgiving, we wandered the massage school, asking students and instructors what they were thankful for about our Oregon school of massage therapy training. Here’s what fills our teachers, staff, and students with gratitude:

Belief in Bodywork in a Safe and Productive Learning Environment
“Without a doubt I am most thankful for [East West College owners] Edie Moll & David Slawson. These two people do so much that none of us are even aware of in order to provide each and every one of us with so many opportunities. Their belief in bodywork, their support to make this institution as high caliber as it is, their efforts to create a safe and productive learning environment, make not just our lives better but nearly everyone that we all come in contact with. Without these two people, none of us get to do any of what we do and I really think…. gratitude is the attitude. Words are only a mere expression of the daily thanks I give for them and all that they do.”

~ Jonathan Primack, EWC instructor

Amazing Experience, Gifted Teachers

“East West was an amazing experience with gifted teachers! I sometimes miss going to school there 10 years later! Warm, welcoming, compassionate and intelligent is the energy present within East West!”
~ Erica Johansen, LMT

East West Saved my Life
“Going to East West saved my life, helped me realize my passion for healing and introduced me to a group of incredible people that I am so grateful to call my friends. Thanks, guys.”
~ Rue Kahan, LMT

Flexible Staff
“I am grateful for the flexibility of the staff at East West College. They are able to work with me on my needs.”
~ Luna T., EWC student

Passionate Hearts and Souls in a Learning Community
“In regards to the faculty/education department, I am grateful for the community that ‘lives’ within the school. I am grateful for the heart and soul each person brings to their work, and compassion they show to students and their dedication to being their unique selves.”
~ Linda Hunt, EWC Instructor

Helpful, Sympathetic Staff that’s Ready to Help Students
“I came here from Anthem after they closed. I’m grateful for how helpful the college and staff have been. They’ve all been super sympathetic and ready to help us. So I’m super grateful to be here, to be able to continue my education and become an LMT.”
~ Nicole W., EWC student

Easy to Talk to Staff
“I am grateful for Fara, the Dean of Students. She is easy to talk to, easy to approach.”
~ Chance H., EWC student

Faculty Honored to Work with Students
“I am grateful for the privilege of being with students during this time of their journey, to witness their courage and devotion to serving humanity.  I am honored to be with fellow faculty who also serve the massage community by nurturing our up and coming therapists.” ~ Debbie Anne Taylor, EWC Instructor

Inspiring Coworkers, Dedicated Students
“I am grateful for my inspiring coworkers and our dedicated students, all of whom are working hard to make the world a better place through massage therapy!”

~ Sarah Davis, EWC instructor

Visionary, Supportive, Amazing Management
“I am especially thankful for [Director of Education] Erika’s vision and support, Becky’s amazing management, all of my experienced, knowledgeable, and supportive colleagues–both faculty and staff–and the many students who teach me new things each term!”
~ Sheila Resari, EWC instructor

Kind, Helpful Instructors and Administrators
“I am grateful for the helpfulness and kindness of all the instructors and administrators. They know your name too!”
~ Lu V., EWC student

“I am grateful that nobody here wants you to fail.”
~ Shantel T., EWC student

The bottom line is this: Teachers, students, and staff on the East West College campus feel grateful to be a part of our school.

Introducing the East West College Staff: Meet Cindy Boyum, Clinic Manager

Dozens of incredible individuals make up our Oregon school of massage. Each member of our staff has a unique story of how they found massage as a career. Today we’re kicking off a new series of staff profiles highlighting the talented people behind East West College. We begin with Cindy Boyum, our massage clinic manager and a talented LMT in her own right.

Ask Cindy to describe her career in one word, and she comes up with love. Ask her to add three more, and she tacks on calm, healing and giving. Altogether, those four words have guided Cindy’s journey into the world of massage.

As a PSU student working toward an undergraduate degree in micromolecular biology, Cindy found herself drawn toward careers in healing. Her family had always encouraged her to become a doctor, but Cindy hesitated on choosing that track, knowing that life as a medical doctor is stressful. Moreover, Western medicine’s focus on time efficiency with patients didn’t appeal to her. (It’s not unusual for doctors to see each patient for fifteen minutes or less.) Cindy did consider becoming a nurse, but was dissuaded after seeing how stressed out her mother-in-law was after a lifetime in nursing.

At the time, she was making her way through school, working as a credit union teller. Being a highly organized, analytical person, the work with numbers suited her. But she was still looking for an entry into a healing career. She researched becoming a physician’s assistant, but found that it required too many hours in a hospital. While researching careers online, she stumbled across massage school as an option. As she describes it, the idea to become an LMT “came out of the blue.”

Cindy had previously received massage while healing from a car accident. She was drawn to the calm environment of massage; by this point she had realized that she didn’t want to work in an atmosphere where she felt stressed out. Although her family all expected her to become a doctor, she followed her heart and Googled “massage school Portland Oregon.” East West College was the first result, so Cindy set up a visit as a prospective student.

One of our admissions representatives, Rann, met with Cindy, and they clicked immediately. As Rann provided a tour of our campus, Cindy admired the beauty and calm milieu. She signed up for classes right away, and soon met with Danielle, an East West College financial aid representative. Again, Cindy was impressed with how East West does things. She explains, “I’d been to universities. Financial aid, I totally get all that stuff. Being able to work one-on-one in admissions, as well as one-on-one in financial aid, that was very unusual in a university.”

Cindy selected our 15-month program, and completed it while continuing to work at a credit union. Being a science major, the rigorous content of our program was enjoyable for her. After graduation, she opened her own massage space in August of 2012, providing mainly Thai massage. Cindy enjoyed this modality as it allowed her to use her whole body, not just her hands. Eventually, Cindy rented out her massage space to focus on finishing her undergraduate degree at PSU.

In March of 2013, Rann contacted Cindy about the possibility of working in admissions at East West College. Given Cindy’s work history and experience with the East West curriculum, Rann thought it would be a great fit. Once her schedule at PSU settled down, Cindy began working in admissions in July of 2013. After a week of working in the admissions department, David, our owner, suggested that Cindy would be excellent at running the campus store as well as our massage clinic. Today she manages the massage clinic, having transferred her store duties to Kathy, our current store manager.

Like many of the people who work at East West College, Cindy maintains her massage therapist license, and continues to provide massage on the weekends as an alumna, through our massage clinic.

Stay tuned for future stories on the staff stories behind East West College.

From Thailand to Portland: Meet East West College Student Abbey M.

East West College attracts students from around the globe. No matter what their homeland, they share a common goal: Earning a massage therapy license with the state of Oregon. Today we’re introducing first year East West College student Abbey Mark, who chose to come to our school all the way from Phuket, Thailand.

The Road to East West College of the Healing Arts

Abbey’s journey to our Oregon massage school has been winding. Growing up between Japan and Thailand, Abbey always knew that she wanted to help heal people. While attending an international high school, Abbey was also engaged in her own independent studies: Learning from local Thai massage therapists near her mom’s home in Thailand. In this informal teaching arrangement, Abbey would receive a massage, and the therapist would explain what she was doing. Soon, Abbey began practicing Thai massage on friends and family.

A problem emerged: Abbey discovered she was “energetically sensitive.” She found herself taking on the pain, negative energy, and other emotions of those she massaged. For a while, she took a break with massage and turned her attention in a new direction. “I’ve always been the type of person that likes helping people,” Abbey explains, “So I went to Bangkok to become a personal trainer.”

While she was working as a trainer in Bangkok, one of her clients introduced her to Reiki. Abbey credits Reiki for teaching her “detachment” from her massage clients. Prior to that, she recalls, “I was kind of scared, because, well, what if I’m massaging a client, and all of their pains and injuries are reflected onto by body? So I didn’t massage for a while. But then with Reiki, I learned separation.”

As her gap year after high school came to a close, Abbey began researching college options. Oregon was a natural area of focus, since her family had long sustained close friendships in the Portland area. Indeed, Abbey’s family came to visit Portland annually. That’s one reason Abbey didn’t research, say, massage schools in Indiana—she knew she would benefit from the support network her family had cultivated in the Beaver State. With the Rose City in mind, Abbey turned her attention to Portland massage programs.

Choosing East West College

Abbey tells the next part of her story this way: “We were looking into colleges in Oregon. My Dad said, ‘I know one of the best [massage] colleges throughout the states (East West College) is in Oregon.’” Moreover, Abbey’s family friend who has been a practicing Portland massage therapist for the past twenty-six years attended East West College. “She was actually our connection to the school,” Abbey explains. “East West sounded like a good fit to where I was in my life at that time, having had the Reiki background, and also opening a new chapter in a different place, halfway around the world.”

Life as an East West College Massage Student: Support on All Sides
It’s not easy to be so far from home. But Abbey has found the support she needs to thrive as an East West College Student. “Having the family friends around has made it easier,” explains Abbey. “Also, my classmates are really supportive. They’re like, ‘We’re all going to make it through Kines (Kinesiology). We’re all going to make it through term two.’ So we have our little study groups, and the study groups are very comfortable, very supportive of each other. Like if somebody doesn’t know the answer, we’re not scowling at each other. Of course, when I have my personal time, I do miss home. But that’s part of growing and learning. If I were to stay in my comfort zone, I don’t think I would learn as much.”

Beyond the supportive student body at East West College, Abbey finds the school very helpful, explaining, “The school supports me in the sense where they’re very enthusiastic and they’re very motivating. They’re non-judgmental, at all. And if you don’t understand something, they’re always coming up with different ways to show you what they mean. The teachers have a variety ways of saying things and showing things, and that helps, because some students are visual, and others aren’t. The teachers teach to all the different learning styles. Having the hands-on teaching has really helped me, because you get a feel for it, and you get to see the teacher demonstrating.”

Abbey is happy to be learning at East West College, where our well-rounded massage program teaches the science of massage, massage techniques, “therapeutic relations, the business of massage… It gives me a better understanding of how I can start my own practice, and how I can help people to the fullest,” says Abbey.

What’s Abbey’s next step? After she graduates from East West College, she envisions opening her own practice where she will provide Reiki, Thai massage, Shiatsu, and other styles of massage. With a massage license, her strong vision, and her dedication as a student, it’s a good bet that Abbey will realize her dreams.