How to Become a Massage Therapist

Do you dream of a job in a peaceful environment where your work makes a real difference in the lives of others? Do you enjoy working with your hands? Can you connect with people and put them at ease while still maintaining a professional demeanor? If so, massage therapy may be right for you! Read on to learn how to become a massage therapist in Oregon. Figuring out that you want to become a massage therapist is the first step. Next, you must apply to accredited massage schools in your preferred area, and with the academic programs you desire. Following acceptance into a program, you must complete the classes and hands-on clinical work required by your state. Each state has unique requirements for massage therapist licensure. The last step is to pass state licensure test. Below, we cover these steps in more detail. An Eagle Eye’s View of How to Become a Massage Therapist Take our Massage Career Readiness Quiz. This is the beginning of your self-inquiry about massage therapy. We also recommend that you speak with family and friends, read online articles about becoming a massage therapist, and thoroughly educate yourself on the pros and cons of this healing…  Read More »

Senior Massage: Why and How

senior getting a massage

Massage careers come many shapes and sizes, but all massage therapists have one thing in common: compassion. Therapists are healers first and foremost, and an empathetic heart is a prerequisite for this kind of work. In our youth-centric culture it is easy to overlook seniors, a population that definitely needs massage. After a lifetime of work, many seniors are better able to afford massage. Portland therapists who choose to work with seniors will find this work to be enriching personally and professionally. Let’s take a look at the many benefits of massage for seniors. Later, we’ll look at a couple things you can do to cater your massage practice to a more mature population. Benefits of Massage for Seniors Improved circulation and flexibility through massage are major benefits for seniors who receive massage. Moreover, massage can help soothe the symptoms of many geriatric chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and COPD, according to Ann Caitlin, OTR, LMT, occupational and massage therapist in eldercare. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways that massage therapy can benefit seniors. Alleviate Chronic Pain. As the American Massage Therapy Association highlights, massage therapy has been shown to successfully treat chronic pain, particularly…  Read More »

Top 5 Benefits of Regular Massage & How to Make Massages Happen

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Many people schedule a massage only when something is wrong—they’ve tweaked a muscle, a certain body part won’t relax, or they’re feeling especially stressed. However, science is discovering more and more benefits to regularly receiving massage—even when nothing’s really “wrong.” According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), 87% of people see massage as beneficial for overall health and wellness. Research supports this belief. Let’s examine health benefits of regularly receiving massages. Top 5 Benefits of Regular Massage 1. Massage Boosts Immunity. By stimulating the lymphatic system, a good massage can increase the presence of white blood cells throughout the body. 2. Massage Improves Detox. The lymphatic system also assists with detoxification. Unlike the heart, the lymphatic system has no pump; only muscular movements can allow it to flush out waste. Massage also increases lymphatic detoxification. 3. Massage Lowers Stress. Massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, activating the body’s “Rest and Digest” state. This counteracts the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the “Fight, Flight, or Freeze” stress state. Lowered blood pressure, decreased anxiety, and lowered depression are additional stress-related benefits of massage. 4. Massage Alleviates Muscle Pain. According to the AMTA’s survey, 29% of respondents have used massage…  Read More »

Cammie Toloui

Cammie Toloui

Will you please introduce yourself? I’m Cammie Toloui. I’ve been a photographer for most of my life, doing work for publications and shooting weddings, family portraits and events. Around the time I was turning 40, I decided I needed a change and I chose to study massage. I graduated from East West from the 801-hour program in 2010 and immediately started working in the clinic at school and did that (in addition to starting my own practice) for about a year. I rented a room with one of my former classmates and built up my business for about 2 years and then my life changed radically! My son went off to college and I went on a trip to England to do some street photography, which is when I met the man who eventually became my husband. So I moved to a small town in southeast England and had to figure out how to start my business up again in a foreign country. What drew you to massage therapy? When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do besides photography, I took a class designed for women of a certain age who were thinking of re-entering the…  Read More »

Spring Allergies: How Massage Can Help

Springtime: It brings beautiful flowers, sunny days, and, for many, allergies. If you experience itchiness, stuffiness, and general brain-fogginess this time of year, consider adding massage to your allergy-fighting game plan. Read on to learn how regular massage helps offset allergic inflammation. We’ll also touch on how four types of massage (facial massage, craniosacral massage, acupressure, and reflexology) can help reduce allergy symptoms. Finally, we’ll list massage resources for fighting allergic reactions. How Allergies Work: Overactive Inflammation Whatever your allergy symptoms, one thing’s certain: They are all related to inflammation. Think of the immune system as the body’s defensive army. Some of its troops are tasked with detecting invaders, such as toxins. In the case of springtime allergies, pollen or grass clippings are inappropriately flagged as dangerous, so the immunity army kicks into gear to kick out these “invaders.” Step one: release histamines, blood-borne triggers that activate various immunity responses in the body. All allergy symptoms are ultimately the immune system’s misguided attempts to kick out invaders. Medications called antihistamines attempt to quiet allergy symptoms by blocking the effects of histamines. Antihistamines block the receptors where histamines attach to cells, thus preventing histamines from carrying out their job of triggering…  Read More »

Celebrate Global Massage Makes Me Happy Day

In celebration of this day, East West College will be offering 50% off future student massage appointments booked on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018. In support of Global Massage Makes Me Happy Day on March 20th, 2018, East West College of the Healing Arts will be offering a special promotion for their massage clinic. Future student massages booked on the day of March 20th will be 50% off – regularly $30, now just $15! The Massage Makes Me Happy Initiative of the Global Wellness Institute aims to celebrate the healing powers of massage therapy and promote its benefits through research and education, advocacy and global awareness. This offer is limited to one student massage per customer and cannot be combined with other discounts. Available appointments for this offer are between April 11th and June 18th only. To book an appointment call 503-233-6500 during the hours of 9:00am and 6:30pm on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 and speak to an East West College representative. Enjoy your massage!

East West College Celebrates Global Massage Makes Me Happy Day Through Donation

MMH logo

The world will celebrate the positive impact of massage therapy on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018. The Massage Makes Me Happy Initiative, in partnership with the Global Wellness Institute, aims to celebrate the healing powers of massage therapy and promote its benefits through research, education, advocacy and global awareness. March 20th is also recognized by the United Nations as the International Day of Happiness. One of the ways East West College will be celebrating this day is by donating a massage table to Raphael House, a domestic violence agency dedicated to ending intimate partner violence for good. Sarah Stivers, a licensed massage therapist in Portland, volunteers her services at Raphael House. She had been working with a broken massage chair for some time and we are happy to donate this table to this worthy organization. Celebrate Massage Makes Me Happy Day by thanking your massage therapist, sharing your story of massage with others or simply by booking a massage for yourself. Raphael House has been proudly serving individuals and families of all backgrounds, cultures, ages, abilities, gender identities, and sexual orientations since 1977. Want to donate or volunteer at Raphael House too? They are accepting donations Thursday, April 5th from 11am to 1pm at SE Uplift located at 3534 SE Main Street, Portland. For additional…  Read More »

Massage Modalities: Neuromuscular Therapy

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Neuromuscular Therapy: A Basic Definition NMT practitioners use deep tissue massage techniques such as digital pressure and friction to release muscular trigger points. Trigger points are pea-sized restrictions in muscular tissue. Repetitive motion, injury, stress, and poor posture are some causes of trigger points. In these areas, circulation is restricted, meaning that nutrient delivery and cellular waste are limited. Through Neuromuscular Therapy and other massage modalities, Portland massage therapists can often alleviate lingering pain, weakness, and fatigue. Neuromuscular therapy doesn’t just consider issues in soft tissue, but rather examines multiple levels of the problem—not just where it manifests as a sensation, but also related body regions, overall posture, emotional health, allergies, neurochemical factors, and more. Part of the NMT process includes consideration of all muscles and structures that feed into the painful area. As such, NMT specialists can reduce referral pain, in which zones distant from the trigger point experience tingling, numbness or pain. Headaches and carpal tunnel syndromes are two examples of how trigger pain could present in a patient. Who Can Benefit from Neuromuscular Therapy If you experience physical pain, NMT can help! Trigger points are very common, and NMT can help relax them and alleviate irritating symptoms….  Read More »

Interview With Alumni Kevin Faris

Kevin Feris

Will you please introduce yourself? My name is Kevin Faris I graduated from East West in October 2013 What drew you to massage therapy? The Thing that drew me to massage was an old construction injury. I had some treatments and it was the most helpful thing. Why did you select East West College? I found East West by chance. I was searching good massage schools around the area and I knew some LMT’s and they said East West is the best. Since graduation what has been your biggest professional challenge? How were you able to overcome it? Since I have graduated from school my biggest professional challenge has been grounding. The way I have overcome it is by breathing exercises and stretching before each client and also making sure I eat enough food. What words of advice would you give future students at East West College? Some words of advice: while in school study everything that you can, ask as many questions as you can, and work on as many people as you can, and last but not least ask yourself how can you get better and what purpose it holds. For this reason you will succeed further in…  Read More »

Alumni Interview Mary Tindall

Mary Tindall

Will you please introduce yourself? I’m Mary. I’m an aerial silks instructor and massage therapist. I know the importance of regular bodywork to help with repetitive stress, as well as the everyday stressors of life. What drew you to massage therapy? The idea of working and connecting with people one on one really drew me in. Being able to help people live their lives with less pain. Why did you select East West College? I loved that it’s on the east side of the river. I walked in one day to check it out and get a tour, Erika was so friendly and I could tell it was a great school. I love the flexibility they offer for people’s schedules with classes, I was a night student. Since graduation what has been your biggest professional challenge? How were you able to overcome it? Finding the right balance of work, play, and the pursuit of regular bodywork! My first two years I wasn’t getting enough massages myself which was not helpful for my career. Now that I’m in my third year of doing this I’ve been making sure to get a massage at least once a month. It makes a tremendous…  Read More »