Thursday, December 22, 2011

Welcome to the Swedish Institute's new web portal

Your Fall 2011 grades may be viewed through the student portal located at:


Your user name is:  full first name + full last name (all lower case and no spaces)
Your password is:   first initial + last initial + # + six digit id number (nine entries and all lower case)

Your email is:         full first name + full last name @ (all lower case and no spaces)
Security question:   What was the name of your first school?
Security answer:     swedish institute (all lower case with one space as noted)

You may then change your password and security question if you wish.
Once you are logged in, go to MY UTILITIES to see your grades.

Courses may appear out of order so please review all information carefully.  Grades are located in the section marked TRANSCRIPT.  Please check grades carefully as this is a new system.

If you think you notice an error, please contact the following people:

PDE (Professional Development)

Ellen Krueger (extension 316)
[email protected]

Off-Site I or III

Craig Kienzle (extension 404)
[email protected]

Off-Site II

Charles Pegg (extension 319)
[email protected]


Ericka Clinton (extension 135)
[email protected]

All other grades

Claudia Etienne (extension 110)
[email protected]

If you have any additonal questions or experience trouble logging in, do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail.

Jeff Namian

[email protected]

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Important Changes for Next Semester

At the end of this semester, Sunday December 18, 2011, website will be converted to handle SInews and Media only.

All student files previously located on can be accessed through Google Documents, using your account. (Note: This will not work with your personal Gmail accounts).

To access the documents please follow the link below and sign into your account. On the left hand side you will see a section called Collections Shared with Me. Click on Collections Shared with me and it will expand a "folder" called Student Files, keep expanding to see the different "folders" and documents".

Note, the first time you do this, it may take a while for Google to Synchronize the list of "folders" and documents, this is a normal Google behavior. Once it is synchronized fully, future updates should appear very quickly.

Important Links to remember:
Email -
Docs -
Calendar -
Moodle -

These links are available through our main website, and will be posted on the new website.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Congratulations to Michael Alicia, author and faculty member

Michael Alicia

Michael Alicia, LMT, faculty member of the Massage Therapy Program at Swedish Institute, has just published a book entitled The Massage Therapist's Handbook: A Practical Guide to the Business of Massage.

Mr. Alicia’s vision was to create a book that captured the practical wisdom that comes from experience and share it with professionals, whether they are just starting out or have spent years in the field. “The book is almost like a mentor for young therapists to turn to for guidance,” Mr. Alicia says, “but it is also a refreshing reminder for veteran therapists to reconnect with the simple focus of putting the client first and building their practice one client, one massage at a time.”

The Massage Therapist’s Handbook
The Massage Therapist’s Handbook looks at navigating the many decisions involved in starting and maintaining a massage therapy business. It explores basic questions such as: How do you get clients? What’s the secret to retaining clients? Should you advertise? What does the massage therapist need to do to stay healthy and balanced?

It also shares real-life stories from professional massage therapists with successful practices. “Throughout my years of teaching,” Mr. Alicia says, “I have found that students are always enthralled by discussions of my day-to-day experiences in starting and maintaining my practice. My real-life experiences of how I navigated through decisions—like how to advertise, how to set or raise my fees, how to maintain clear boundaries with clients—always hold their interest.”  This semester Mr. Alicia is teaching Swedish Massage I, Swedish Massage II and Introduction to Thai Massage.

The Swedish Institute community of faculty, staff, students and alumni congratulate Mr. Alicia on his accomplishment! The Massage Therapist’s Handbook is available at the Swedish Institute bookstore and online at AmazonBarnes and NobleiUniverse and Massage Space NYC.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Clinic Director a Guest on Martha Stewart

Ericka Clinton
Ericka Clinton, LMT, director of the Massage Therapy Clinics at Swedish Institute, will be a guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio on Thursday, December 1, broadcast on Sirius XM Satellite Radio at about 9:00 am. As a guest on the Morning Living show, Ms. Clinton will be talking about the benefits of massage and what people should know when they go to see a professional massage therapist.

Welcome the Dean of the Nursing Program

Niahm van Meines

The Nursing Program at Swedish Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Niamh van Meines as dean.

Niamh (pronounced Neeve) van Meines is a nurse practitioner with a specialty in oncology, as well as a licensed massage therapist and an alumna of the Swedish Institute Massage Therapy Program.

The Nursing Program is scheduled to begin January 2012. Graduates of the program will receive an Associate in Applied Science degree and be prepared for a career as a registered nurse. For details about the program, please visit our website.

The program, with its integrative approach to nursing, will enroll 20 students and is expected to fill to capacity quickly. Classes will be held on the fourth floor of 151 West 26th Street, which includes new classrooms, a modern Simulation Laboratory, study area and student lounge.

We welcome Niamh van Meines to the community of faculty, staff and students at Swedish Institute!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where do Runners go After the Excitement of the Marathon?

ING NYC Marathon

Hundred of runners put their weary body into the hands of students, faculty and alumni from the Massage Therapy Program at Swedish Institute after the ING NYC Marathon on Sunday, November 6. As part of their clinical training, supervised students provide massage therapy at this annual race, as well as at other high-profile sporting events. Alumni often join in as specialists who are part of SISTEM, Swedish Institute’s Sports Team and Event Massage.

Students practiced sports massage techniques for the benefit of runners from the FDNY and NYPD at Park Central Hotel and for runners from Fred’s Team at the Hilton Hotel. In addition, senior therapists were placed in medical tents at the finish line that served all runners in need. According to Charles Pegg, LMT, director of the Offsite and Executive Director of SISTEM, the massage therapists lend a valued expertise in athlete care at the medical tents, particularly with specific techniques for cramp relief.

About 150 students, faculty and graduate volunteers from Swedish Institute were scheduled to participate at various locations during and after the ING NYC Marathon, a very exiting event that attracts people from around the world.

Monday, October 31, 2011

SI Graduates High Pass Rate for Licensing Exam

Once again, graduates of the Swedish Institute Massage Therapy Program have an outstanding performance on the New York State Licensing examination.

On the test, administered in August 2011, first-time test takers had a pass rate of 87 percent, compared to 80 percent for all candidates. The combined pass rate for first time and repeat candidates was 82 percent for Swedish Institute alumni, compared to 67 percent for all candidates. We congratulate all of our successful alumni!

Massage therapy students are expected to be familiar with all of the content regarding massage therapy on the Office of the Professions website. Although the guidelines can be obtained in a hard copy, the State encourages students to visit the website because any updates are immediately made to the website.

For an overview of all of the licensed professions in New York State go to the Office of the Professions.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Reflexology Certification

Craig Kienzle
A new certification course offered through Continuing Education will provide LMTs with an opportunity to take three levels of Reflexology so they can offer this modality as either a stand-alone session or integrate it into a general massage. The three certifications offered are:
  • Basic Reflexology Certification
  • Structural Integration Reflexology Certification
  • Advanced Certification in Reflexology
The basic course will focus on learning the reflex locations for every organ, gland and system in the body and a one-hour sequence to alleviate stress and promote wellness. The second level will provide more instruction on structural problems of the feet, how these affect overall health and how to address them. The third level will look at specific populations and conditions and the creation of reflexology treatments that address the whole body.

The first course—Basic Reflexology Certification—consists of five classes that will be held on Wednesdays from 1:15-5:15 p.m., beginning September 21. Cost is $525.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Alumni Published in Acupuncture Today

Nicholas Sieben, LAc (’08) has had the distinction of being published in the August 2011 issue of Acupuncture Today. His article, “The Sinew Channels: A Lesson in Wei Qi”, focuses on a famous text entitled the Ling Shu. The Ling Shu suggests that the rich wisdom of acupuncture is at risk of being lost if it is not preserved. The full power of acupuncture, as a complete system of medicine, is said to be contained within its teachings.

Nicholas also writes about the historic use of nine needles in acupuncture, compared to the single style of needle popular today. “This is as an "ode" to the wisdom of the Ling Shu, as well as to my own teacher Jeffrey Yuen. I am committed to help preserve the art of the needle, as presented in its original form.”

Congratulations to Nicholas on his accomplishment.

Programs in Medical Assistant and Surgical Technologist Launch in October

Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant

Next month Swedish Institute will launch two new programs—Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant and Surgical Technologist. Eva Skuka, M.D., will oversee both programs as Dean for Allied Health.

One of the aspects that makes the Medical Assistant Program unique is its education in both clinical and administrative aspects of the profession. Surgical Technologist will focus on the technical knowledge needed in the modern operating room. However, both programs will include the empathetic interpersonal skills so important when helping people through what may be challenging situations.

Both programs lead to an Associate in Occupational Studies degree. For more information speak with an Admissions Advisor on the 5th floor.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Swedish Institute Certification for Professional Labor Assistants In Association with Niara Healing Arts

Friday - Sunday June 17 - 19, 2011

with Susanrachel Condon, LMT, LCE, LM and Richard Condon, LMT

This course is the introductory workshop for aspiring professional labor companions (doulas) who seek a comprehensive, hands-on, experiential and multimedia approach to learning. We will cover the physiology of labor, birth and the postnatal period, the needs of women in labor, massage and Shiatsu techniques, various approaches to support, challenging situations, professionalism, marketing and networking. Those who complete this training will be prepared to begin attending labors/births immediately. Ongoing mentorship from the instructor will be offered for those participants who wish to obtain certification. Requirements for certification completion are set forth by Niara Healing Arts in collaboration with Swedish Institute and are fulfulled through independent study.

Susanrachel Condon

Susanrachel Condon, LMT, LCE, LM  graduated from the SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn Midwifery Program in 1998. She was certified to teach childbirth preparation, newborn care and breastfeeding classes in 1996 by the Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York (CEAMNY) and served two terms as President of the CEAMNY Board of Directors. Susanrachel has been a licensed massage therapist since 1991. She served on the faculty of Swedish Institute for more than ten years and currently participates extensively in their continuing education program. Since 1994, she has taught Bodywork for the Childbearing Cycle, a nationally accredited certification course for massage and bodywork professionals. She and her husband Richard, a massage therapist and certified Advanced Rolfer, have produced an advanced techniques video on the subject in addition to a DVD for couples and childbirth professionals. She has lectured widely as a private consultant at conferences, hospitals, birth centers, schools and spas. Susanrachel holds a BFA in Art Therapy and has studied birth counseling with Gayle Peterson and counseling for pregnant survivors of sexual abuse with Penny Simkin.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Advanced Personal Training Program Launched

Vincent Metzo

Swedish Institute is proud to announce the launch of the Advanced Personal Training Program, leading to an Associate in Occupational Studies degree. Vincent Metzo, chair of the Science Department for the Massage Therapy Program, will be the dean for Advanced Personal Training.

Many people associate Swedish Institute exclusively with massage therapy, and we do have the oldest continuously operating massage therapy program in the United States. What is less well known is that we also have roots in the area of fitness.

Massage therapy, while part of the original curriculum, was part of a system of physical culture and medical gymnastics which Theodore Melander, our founder, learned in Sweden and brought to the United States. He originally founded the Swedish Gymnastics Institute around the year 1913, and taught a system of wellness and healing, which included medical gymnastics, massage and other forms of physiotherapy.

The school became known as the Swedish Institute of Physiotherapy in 1916 and operated under that name until 1954. At that time, it reached a crossroad in the educational process and the owner and director, Lillian Phillips, decided to exclusively pursue massage therapy as the focus of the curriculum at the Institute.

"A Senior Moment" Blog

Marie Judith Joseph

Aside from thanking God and my parents for carrying me through this tumultuous, challenging, arduous one year and a half while attending to my studies at Swedish Institute, I cannot thank enough my lovely Liz Jacobs for her maternal, incessant & eternal love & care for all of her students, giving her ALL to see to it that her students succeed and looking out for me when I lost her grasp; Vincent "Mr. Neurology of all Neurology Scholars'' Metzo, for his impeccable and amazingly infinite amount of knowledge he owns in that gift of a brain of his; Gary Williams - The Tools Whisperer - for believing in me, MJ, when I reached a point I lost hope in myself; Caren Messing for showing me that a Medical Massage Therapist actually exists within me when I couldn't find her in me; Charles Pegg for reminding me of that hard-working, multi-tasked researcher in me that once existed & bringing out the Sports Massage / SISTEM Cheerleader out of me; Mark Proctor for believing in my hands as a contributing gift in therapeutic massage & always making time to chat about career steps; Geoff Dawe for his wisdom and also the giggles to break the ice when learning became so serious & intense for me when I should have been a little more relaxed; Scott Dietsch for his patience and for his time even at his most busiest to take the time to make SURE I was really "getting it"; Thom Paul for the smiles, laughs & counseling; Lohk Min Lee for EVERYTHING!!!! Janine Strenta for not only laying down the path of faith for me but also lending me her shoulders to cry on when life outside of school became so overwhelming; and the one & only Russ Beasley, who brought to light my PURPOSE when reflecting on all semesters past. It is not an easy pair of shoes to fill as a student here at The Swede. I've learned an infinite amount of things never imagined before I enrolled in this school and I want you all to know you've marked yourselves permanently in my life.

With all my gratitude, love & cheers,
Your student & fellow Massage Therapy family member,
Marie Judith Joseph - aka "MJ"

Medical Massage Classes Filled to Capacity

Janine Strenta demonstrating
Swedish Institute’s new Continuing Education certification classes have been a big success. The Medical Massage certification course filled to capacity so quickly that a second class was created. That one immediately filled up as well.

Its popularity is due in large part to the knowledge and enthusiasm of the course developer, Janine Strenta. Janine, a massage therapist and acupuncturist, is an exceptional teacher. After more than 25 years of teaching, Janine’s love for the subject is undiminished. “I teach medical massage because I love it and because I know how effective it can be,” she said one afternoon during a break from supervising the Therapeutic Massage Clinic. “In my Continuing Education classes it’s wonderful to watch the light bulb go on for students who already have a knowledge base, as they learn the next level of care. They know they have something they can use immediately to help their clients.”

What is Medical Massage?

Janine Strenta

For Janine, medical massage means treating the body as a three-dimensional system in motion. “I like to address the body holographically,” she explained. “With the medical massage I teach, students learn to approach both sides of the body and to use physical movement at the same time. We’re not just doing effleurage to the quadriceps, for instance. Instead, we’ll work with the quadriceps while the leg is moving, so we can integrate all of the muscles of the terrain.

We work the muscular structures and the fascial planes. If a massage therapist just releases the “knot” in a muscle it won’t do much long term, because other muscles that are compensating for the tightness also need to be addressed. All of the aspects involved have to come into mediation on the table and learn how to ‘play’ together again.”

Janine created this approach from her experiences as a massage therapist and acupuncturist, as well as from her own needs to address pain. “After having an injury and experiencing pain, I would experiment with moving and working with my own body. A lot of my techniques grew out of creating ways to work on someone the way I wanted my body to be worked on.”
Though protocols for specific problems are given in the 6-session Medical Massage course, Janine hopes participants will gain a new way of thinking about the body. “I joke that students probably think there is some secret treasure book hidden in the teachers’ lounge that has all of the answers for every condition,” she laughed. “But of course there is no one answer. Students can use the protocol as a starting point, and if they understand the muscles and structural dynamics involved in their client’s particular problem, they will be able to figure out what to do for that individual.

“Although I teach treatment protocols, I hope students don’t feel ‘married’ to a protocol. They should be committed to the idea of thinking about the body and choosing techniques that will accomplish their goals. Really good massage work references the client’s body for them, so they can once again experience their body as healthy and comfortable. When you help a person with a chronic problem remember that his or her body can feel good, it’s important.”

Current students may have Janine Strenta for Swedish Massage I and Clinical Strategies East and West. After they graduate, if they have an interest in one of her Continuing Education classes, they may want to enroll right away to ensure they get into this popular teacher’s course.

Check out all of the upcoming classes on the Continuing Education website

Monday, February 7, 2011

Acupuncture Interns Participate in NIH Research Project

Over the past two years, students from the Acupuncture Program have participated in a National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) study being conducted at Montefiore Family Health Center (MFHC). Researchers are conducting a feasibility study looking at whether acupuncture can help alleviate chronic pain when used within a family practice setting. Though the study is due to end during the summer of 2011, preliminary data is expected to be published in an alternative medicine journal early next year.

To qualify for the study, participants have to have chronic pain due to osteoarthritis, back pain or neck pain.  Two hundred and fourteen patients are enrolled, and four sites are involved. Swedish Institute students were the first acupuncture interns to start seeing patients at an MFHC location in the Bronx. Several months later other sites were added, and they are staffed by acupuncture students from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.

Study Design
Giselle Campos, research coordinator at the MFHC site, says that the study is a mixed method design. “Data will come from patients, medical practitioners and the acupuncture interns who are providing treatments every week,” she said. “Patients were surveyed about the nature and intensity of their pain at the beginning of the study, and are being followed up throughout the study and afterwards.

“Supervising physicians will monitor the patients during their regular visits and note any medical changes, such as a reduction or increase in pain medication and services. Patients are advised not to change their medication use unless the physician advises them to do so.”
During their four-hour shift, interns typically see three or four patients. They assess each patient and document patient perception of pain based on a numerical scale and provide their own clinical impressions of any changes in the patient. Findings are written in SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan) notes, which include energetic evaluations of the pulse and tongue.

For instance, in one patient with severe arm pain, the intern and supervising acupuncturist agreed that in addition to the issue of pain, an energetic issue needed to be addressed. Supervising acupuncturist Wendy Whitman, LAc, pointed out that, “For this patient we have to needle locally and distally for pain, but we also need to address ‘Shen disturbance’, which is a way of looking at the emotional issues. Because in this case the person will not get better without treating the emotions.” Points selected for the patient that day included Heart 7, to help with sleep, Bladder 15, the Heart Shu point important for calming and soothing, and Spleen 6 to nourish blood.

A Change in Perspective
Wendy participated in early research studies on acupuncture conducted in the 1980’s. She was part of a CPCRA (Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS) study at Harlem Hospital and an NIH study on drug addiction at Metro-Dade Country drug treatment facilities in Florida. She says she has witnessed an important evolution in the way acupuncture is being studied today.

“In earlier studies, we didn’t have the freedom to create a model that was in the normal paradigm of Chinese medicine,” Wendy said. “Initial research in acupuncture had to follow the model used for studying drugs; we had to have a placebo control group and a treatment group. However, it’s very difficult to create a placebo for acupuncture, though it was tried.” Research used “sham” acupuncture (needles that did not penetrate the skin), or used acupuncture on non-points. Also, all patients in the treatment group had to receive the same treatments, rather than individualizing them, as is usual in acupuncture. Results were confounding.

This study is different. “The patients’ conditions are being compared to before and after treatments, so patients are their own control group,” Wendy explained. “And there is no placebo. It’s an indicator that sources that fund acupuncture research are starting to recognize acupuncture as its own system, which needs its own methodology for testing. They are letting acupuncture function in its own realm. It’s a beautiful project that wouldn’t have been funded 20 years ago.”

The principal investigators are Melissa D. McKee, M.D., a family physician at Montefiore, and Ben Kliger, M.D., a family physician at Beth Israel Hospital. The study is being conducted in collaboration with Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Francesca Biryukov, LAc, Dean of the Acupuncture Program at Swedish Institute, persevered in setting up the original internships with Montefiore Medical Center. Her initiative led to acupuncture interns working at a MMC pain clinic and later at a clinic for imuno-compromised patients. The success of students working in these prior clinics paved the way for participation in the current research project.

(1) Participating in the acupuncture study at Montefiore Family Health Center (MFHC) are, from the back row left, intern Katrina Bonoan, supervisor Wendy Whitman, LAc,  MFHC research coordinator Giselle Campos, and in the front from the left are interns Desiree Sale and Jeri Gargano.
(2) Katrina Bonoan checks the action of some acupuncture points while creating a treatment plan.
(3) Acupuncture intern Desiree Sale confers with supervisor Wendy Whitman, LAc.
(4) Jeri Gargano reviews her patient’s chart before providing an acupuncture treatment.