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


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 »

Improved Sleep & Massage: Portland Massage School on Catching more ZZZs

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Getting more sleep is a perennially popular resolution—and one that scientists recommend, as getting more sleep can help you achieve your other resolutions. Regularly receiving massage is an excellent habit for those looking to increase their shut-eye. Read on to discover research on massage and sleep. We also offer a few general tips on how to improve your sleep in 2018 (including making an appointment at our Portland massage school’s clinic). How Good Sleep Boosts Motivation Did you know that self-care (including getting more sleep) is the 4th most popular resolution among women in 2018? Research suggests prioritizing sleep is a smart move, as getting enough of it makes it easier to stick to other resolutions. For instance, ample sleep helps people avoid unhealthy food cravings. Too little sleep decreases the hormone leptin, which triggers the sensation of being full. The appetite-increasing hormone ghrelin is also increased with insufficient sleep. Ghrelin also spurs cravings for carbohydrates and salty/sugary snacks. University of Michigan sleep physician Cathy Goldstein, M.D. emphasizes, “We definitely take sleep as a luxury; it’s not.” Her research team has shown how improved sleep boosts motivation for multiple life improvements, from exercising more to quitting smoking. Bottom line? Sleep…  Read More »

Alum Interview — Vanessa Shumate

Please introduce yourself. My name is Vanessa Shumate, I was born and raised on a farm outside of Eugene Oregon. With constant manual labor in order to maintain the farm I found giving and receiving massage and body work to be vital in sustaining this lifestyle. What drew you to massage therapy? After years of interest in massage therapy, I started realizing how passionate I was about the intricate web that makes up the human body and the steps we can take to support our highest levels of functioning. Why did you select East West College? I was drawn to East West College due to the supportive community and greater level of training than required. One of the greatest challenges as an LMT is creating a sustainable successful business and East West College goes above and beyond to provide the resources and support that is needed to begin a career. Since graduation what has been your biggest professional challenge? And how were you able to overcome it? One of the greatest challenges as an LMT is creating a sustainable successful business and East West College goes above and beyond to provide the resources and support that is needed to begin a career….  Read More »

Massage & Self-Care: Marketing the Necessity of De-Stressing during the Holiday Season

Holiday stress: It’s so ubiquitous, it’s practically cliché. Yet few people actually fit in an extra wintertime massage or day at the spa. How can Portland massage therapists come to the rescue? By effectively marketing their offerings during this darkest, and often busiest, part of the year. We all know that the holidays are a time of stress. Consider a Healthline study which found that 56% of Gen X-ers, 61% of millennials, and 62% of Baby Boomers feel stress during the holidays. Yet few people actually set aside time to destress. The 2016 American Time Use Study found that, on average, a woman with children spends just 11 minutes per day on self-care activities such as exercise or recreation. Married men spend just 15 minutes per day on such self-care. The bottom line? Americans aren’t prioritizing self-care. And we’re betting that tendency is exacerbated during the holiday season. Yet this “most wonderful” (read: busiest) time of the year is exactly when we most need self-care to help us deal with skyrocketing stress levels. Massage: An Enjoyable Antidote to Holiday Stress Is massage a luxury? Or self-indulgent? Absolutely not! Holiday stress can rob us of sleep, increase our blood pressure, and…  Read More »