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