NUHS has a strong culture of supporting research by its faculty,
graduate students, and students in its massage therapy program. The
field of massage welcomes new research and case studies that track
the benefits and applications of massage for various health
One massage student, Lauren Camer, did research at NUHS that
culminated in a poster that she presented at a national conference
after she graduated. She presented her poster at the 2013 American
Massage Therapy Association National Convention in Fort Worth,
Texas in September. Her topic was "Massage Therapy for Balance and
Proprioceptive Deficits in a Juvenile: A Case Report."
Lauren Cramer presents her research at the AMTA National
The poster was based on the case of a boy with balance problems
who received ten 30-minute manual massage therapy treatments over
the course of five weeks. The therapist performed balance
assessments on the boy before, during and after the massage therapy
sessions. Lauren's case study on the boy showed that massage
provided a positive and lasting impact.
While working on her research project, Lauren appreciated
mentorship from her clinical supervisor, Dr. Patricia Coe,
as well as her co-author, NUHS clinical research coordinator, Jen
"They were always available to answer questions, and helped me
with the preliminary work I needed to do to get my research
proposal approved by the university," says Lauren.
Now that she has graduated from NUHS, Lauren Camer is currently
a licensed massage therapist in Illinois. She has a mobile massage
service in addition to providing corporate chair massages and
working in a chiropractic physician's office part-time.
National University is proud of its many of its faculty members
who are published in nationwide magazines and professional
journals. This includes our faculty who are experts in massage
therapy. For example, this November, you'll find our massage
therapy clinic supervisor,
Dr. Patricia Coe, quoted in O: The Oprah Magazine.
Also, one of National's research professors, Dr. Jerrilyn
Cambron, wrote an article on the topic of vetting good massage
research for the November/December issue of Massage & Bodywork magazine. Dr. Cambron
knows a great deal about massage research, as she is the current
president-elect of the Massage Therapy Foundation and a co-founder
Learn more about our massage therapy programs so
that you, too, can come learn with the experts!
In this video, you'll hear why massage therapy instructor Candy
Washington, LMT, feels that NUHS produces outstanding massage
therapists. Hands-on training, as well as internship experience in
an integrative medical clinic are key reasons. Read more about
Candy Washington »
Most people are great candidates for the relaxation and health
benefits of massage therapy. However, there are times when a
massage may not be the right choice.
"Certain conditions contraindicate massage, either because of
the risk it may pose to the client or to the therapist," says
Patricia Coe, DC, ND, clinic supervisor for National University
of Health Sciences' massage therapy
At NUHS, massage students learn how to communicate with clients
about their health conditions and assess whether a massage is the
right choice for them that day, which techniques are advisable, and
when a note or consultation with a client's physician is in
For example, if a client has a cold, flu, or other contagious
viral or bacterial infection, the therapist may decline to work
with them so that they don't catch a cold and risk passing the
infection to other clients.
"When a client has a cold or flu, a massage might seem
comforting," says Dr. Coe. "However, when someone has an infection,
their body is already working hard to fight it and recover. A
massage can be very stimulating internally and place certain
demands on the body during a time when your client should be simply
Another occasion when a massage should be postponed is if the
client is intoxicated. Many folks seek out massage while on
vacation or under stress. They may have also had a few cocktails to
relax as well. "Intoxication is a risk during massage," says
Dr. Coe, "primarily because it desensitizes the client. This makes
it hard for them to give the therapist reliable feedback. A massage
therapist needs to know what level of pressure is comfortable and
what is too much. If you're client is intoxicated, those sensations
""An acute injury is also likely to be a contraindication to
massage," says Dr. Coe. "Although it may seem like a great idea to
get a massage immediately after straining a muscle, if there is
damage to the area, massage may actually interfere with the healing
"A good therapist will guide the discussion on health issues so
that they can determine the right technique for a client and
whether or not a massage is contraindicated," says Dr. Coe. "In our
program we give students the tools to do this."
"The healing benefits of massage therapy are many, and it is
fairly rare to encounter situations where massage is
contraindicated for very long," according to Dr. Coe.
This month we have a guest blog from Ecktor Barrientos, a recent
Massage Therapy graduate:
Wow. This year came and went so quickly,
and it was a year that changed my life. I graduated from NUHS this
past Thursday with an Associate of Applied Science in Massage
Therapy. I couldn't have chosen a better career or a better
school. Now I'm moving to California in October and see what my
I noticed NUHS one day while driving down Roosevelt Road. I've
driven past it many times since I spent my whole life growing up
and living here in the Chicago area. But this time, I saw a sign
that said "Massage Therapy Intro Course," and something just told
me that I should check it out.
So I called the school to register for the next intro course. I
took it and fell in love! Something about the atmosphere of the
school just struck me that this is the place I needed to go.
Graduating from NUHS feels like such a privilege. I've met so
many amazing people, learned a lot more than I thought I was going
to (which is never a bad thing!), and met some of the best
instructors I've had in my entire school career! I know I'm going
to miss everyone I met at this school. It pretty much became a
second home for this past year. And now that I'm out, I have to
Before I enrolled for classes, I had the opportunity to go to
California. I had been to California with friends once before in
2011 and I fell in love with it. It felt like home. This second
trip was to actually see my significant other who lives out there.
He is the one that has stood by me this whole year and pushed me to
keep going. In October I will be moving there to be with him.
Since I've always known I wanted to go to California, he gave me
the reason to finally do it. And with massage therapy, I'll have
the means to support myself there.
I've always been in the health field, and I worked in a hospital
up until a couple months ago. I also am certified in Reiki and have
been doing that for a couple years. Now I have found my modality in
the healing arts. NUHS helped me make that dream a reality and I
cannot be more thankful.
Going for a degree in massage therapy was my dream. Now I'll see
what the future holds for me and take one step at a time!
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