For Fourth of July, Offer Discounts for Veterans - by admin@mcb on June 11 2018

For Fourth of July, Offer Discounts for Veterans

This Fourth of July, offer special deals for those who have sacrificed to keep us safe. ©
This Fourth of July, offer special deals for those who have sacrificed to keep us safe. ©

Consider a Fourth of July Promotion

The Fourth of July is a celebration of everything that makes America great. From coast to coast we celebrate with parades, fireworks, cookouts, family, and friends. It is also the perfect time to remember and celebrate the veterans that have fought to keep our country free.

Offering a Fourth of July massage therapy promotion is an excellent way to honor veterans and active duty military personal and promote your massage therapy business at the same time.

Advertise Your Promotion Through a Press Release

Consider writing a press release to advertise your promotion. If you have never written a press release, here are some ideas:

  • Look professional. Do an online search to find the proper format for a press release.
  • Word it to be of interest to the readers, not to look like you are simply advertising yourself.
  • You can quote yourself as though it was written by a reporter.
  • Try to keep it to a single page. The real purpose is for the media to want to interview you for a full story.

Send your press release to local newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, and any other local media outlets.

If you are interested in more ways to improve your massage therapy business visit us online at the Institute of Somatic Therapy. We can help you discover innovative courses that are perfect for growing your massage therapy business and better meeting the diverse needs of your clients.

If you haven’t already, we urge you to take our free sample course. Click here:  Seven Mistakes Massage Therapists Make, and How to Avoid Them. This course will help you analyze your massage practice to find potential areas of improvement.

Institute of Somatic Therapy  is approved by the NCBTMB (Provider #280672-00) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by Florida (#MCE-326), and New York (#0019). Our courses are also valid for AMTA, ABMP, and most individual states.

What it Means to Be a Massage Doula - by admin@mcb on May 01 2018

What it Means to Be a Massage Doula

A doula has a special relationship with an expecting mother. Having a familiarity with massage can help make that bond even stronger. ©
A doula has a special relationship with an expecting mother. Having a familiarity with massage can help make that bond even stronger. ©

A massage doula is a certified massage therapist trained to provide support during the birthing process. The three-pronged definition of a doula is one who provides: 1) emotional support, 2) physical comfort, and 3) information. The doula is there specifically to meet the mother’s needs. A birthing women benefits from a doula by receiving focused care that  primary medical providers may be unable to provide.

Doulas have a unique opportunity to serve women during childbirth. Many times the mother depends on her doula more than the doctors and nurses in the room for support and advice. This is where a background in massage therapy is beneficial for doulas. As a massage therapist you understand the benefits of relaxation and can help a mother feel calm and focused during the birth. This is especially enhanced if you have been working with her by providing prenatal massage therapy for several months leading up to labor.

Becoming a Certified Massage Doula

Our team at the Institute of Somatic Therapy has developed a certified massage doula program. This online three-part course trains massage therapists to perform prenatal massage, doula labor support, and postpartum massage. The doula portion of the course teaches many topics. It focuses on how to provide physical comfort, explain the medical benefits of a doula, and. provide pre-labor and labor coaching. You will learn a variety of laboring positions and their purposes and benefits, and how to support your client through potential labor complications.

At the Institute of Somatic Therapy we also offer a variety of additional online massage therapy courses for all of your continuing education goals. Visit us online today to learn more.

Practice Safe Massage for Elderly Patients - by admin@mcb on July 20 2017

Practice Safe Massage for Elderly Patients

As part of our continuing education for massage therapy courses we encourage therapists to expand their business and begin taking on new patients. One of the quickest growing demographics for massage patients is aging adults. These patients are seeking massage to relax, rejuvenate, and help treat common medical issues associated with aging.

massage therapy business

Although every massage client is different we do suggest several general guidelines for working with elderly patients:

  • Reduce session length Treatment sessions for elderly patients are typically shorter than standard massage sessions. Aim for about 30 minutes. If time allows and the patient wants to continue you can extend the session based on specific needs.
  • Lighten up As people age their skin changes. This requires massage therapists to change their approach when treating elderly patients. Reduce the amount of downward pressure you exert and be careful not to apply too much sliding force.
  • Be aware Pay close attention to the patient’s body during the treatment session. Be aware that many patients prefer sitting or the supine position instead of the prone position.  Take care not to require too many position changes.
  • Remain flexible Understanding the needs of an elderly patient is important. Take time to talk to the patient about specific requests such as only scheduling during daylight hours, traveling to their home for the appointment, and using a couch or favorite chair instead of a massage table.

The Institute of Somatic Therapy is ready to help you master new skills and knowledge to take your massage practice to the next level. Visit our website today to learn more about the courses we offer in continuing education for massage therapy.


Baby Sign Language Has Many Benefits - by admin@mcb on April 11 2017

Baby Sign Language Has Many Benefits

Baby sign language is an idea whose time has come. Young children are great at mimicking. They naturally pick up cues and understand motions such as waving goodbye or clapping their hands when happy. Over the last several decades parents have discovered that they can put these mimicking skills to good use by teaching their baby sign language. Baby sign uses a basic set of signs, including those for thank you, more, drink, please, eat, and sleep, to help children communicate their basic needs and wants.

massage therapy business

Incorporating adjunct training into infant massage can help boost your value to your clients. As an infant massage instructor, the sessions can easily be about more than just massage. As a therapeutic professional you have the ability to help educate parents on a wide range of topics, including baby sign language.

Benefits of Baby Sign Language

The benefits of baby sign language include:

  • Increased communication: The primary benefit of baby sign language is that it helps children communicate their wants and needs. Before they can talk these young children have the ability to communicate and have their needs met.
  • Reduced frustration: When children have the ability to communicate with others their frustrations are reduced and they are better able to handle situations. For example, understanding the sign for “more” and “drink” can help prevent a meltdown when a child wants more water.
  • Parent/child connection: Baby sign language promotes a healthy parent/child connection. Communicating with one another in a happy and healthy way builds strong emotional bonds.

The Institute of Somatic Therapy offers a wide variety of online courses including those focused on massage for infants. We have a course to become a Certified Infant Massage Therapist/Instructor, and a research course on the proven benefits of infant massage. Our online massage therapy continuing education courses are valid for NCBTMB, Florida, Georgia, New York, and most states. Visit us online today to learn more.


How Fertility Massage Techniques Can Lead to Pregnancy - by admin@mcb on February 14 2017

How Fertility Massage Techniques Can Lead to Pregnancy

How Fertility Massage Techniques Can Lead to Pregnancy

Infertility is estimated to affect approximately 10-15% of couples who are within childbearing age. There are many causes to this condition, on both the male and female side of the equation. One of the common causes of female infertility is a blockage in the Fallopian tubes. Fertility massage has been found to be helpful in these cases.

When a woman has blocked or damaged Fallopian tubes, one of two things will happen. Either the sperm will not reach the egg, or the fertilized egg will not reach the uterus. Fallopian tubes can become damaged or blocked in a variety of ways, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or scarring from injuries or surgeries.

Benefits of Fertility Massage

The benefits to fertility massage are many.  By performing a specific set of bodywork techniques to the abdomen, some or all of the following benefits can help improve fertility.

  • Improves circulation to the reproductive organs. This improved circulation brings fresh oxygenated blood and nutrients to the organs, as well as to the ova.
  • Loosens scar tissue and clear blockages to the Fallopian tubes
  • Restores the uterus to its normal position and shape if it has become tilted or compressed by the intestines
  • Helps relax a stomach that is hardened from stress or digestive issues. Improves digestive health and nutrient absorption by promoting small intestine health
  •  Helps to achieve hormonal balance (Dr. John Lee, in his book Hormonal Balance Made Simple, says that hormonal balance starts in the digestive system)
  • Promotes liver health to process toxins from the body

Becoming Certified in Fertility Massage

Institute of Somatic Therapy offers a 16 CE course in fertility massage. Course topics include: Reproductive Anatomy, Causes of Infertility, Benefits of Fertility Massage, Contraindications, Outcome Based Evidence, Fertility Massage Steps (Routine), and the Impact on Fertility of Aromatherapy, Herbs, Diet, and Exercise.  Click here to get started today.

Deep Vein Thrombosis and Massage - by admin@mcb on September 16 2016

Deep Vein Thrombosis and Massage

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot develops deep in a patient’s veins, most typically in the legs. These blood clots can be caused by a number of different factors. Not moving for extended periods of time, being confined to a nursing home or hospital bed, and high blood pressure can all increase the risk of DVT.

massage therapy
Source: Freedigitalphotos

Risks Associated with Deep Vein Thrombosis

The most dangerous risk of deep vein thrombosis is the chance that a clot will break free, travel through your body, become lodged in your lungs, and block vital blood flow. Patients with deep vein thrombosis may not be aware that they even have a clot in their deep veins. Massage therapy significantly increases the risk of the clots being released and traveling to the lungs. This is why it is imperative that massage therapists recognize the signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis.

Massage CE for Deep Vein Thrombosis

The Institute of Somatic Therapy offers a massage therapy continuing education  course. This 2-CE course covers the risks for DVT and a variety of methods to reduce the likelihood of problems when treating a patient with DVT.  You will study the anatomy of the veins, causes for the development of deep vein clots, and symptoms of DVT. Most importantly, you will learn how a massage therapist should proceed if they suspect a client has DVT.

If you’re interested in continuing education for massage therapy visit us online at the Institute of Somatic Therapy website. You can view our available courses and learn more about our commitment to helping massage therapists as they learn valuable new skills and grow their practices.

Institute of Somatic Therapy (Judith Koch) is approved by the NCBTMB (Provider #280672-00) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by Florida (#MCE-326), and New York (#0019). Our courses are also valid for AMTA, ABMP, and most individual states.


Fertility Massage Benefits - by admin@mcb on December 30 2015

Fertility Massage Benefits

Fertility Massage Benefits

Fertility massage has been the subject of several different scientific studies. Several months ago we posted a blog about some of the research which supports  massage and bodywork techniques specifically targeted toward infertility. (You can see that post here.) There are many ways in which massage can help a woman become healthier and aid in her goal to become pregnant.

Reproductive Organs:

By improving circulation to the reproductive organs, massage brings fresh oxygenated blood and nutrients to the ovaries and uterus. By helping to loosen scar tissue and clear blockages to the Fallopian tubes, the egg and sperm will have a clearer pathway in which to unite and implant into the uterus.

Digestive System:

Fertility massage can bring relaxation to abdominal organs that have become hardened from stress or digestive issues. Massage can help the large intestine move impacted feces. The small intestine will benefit from improving digestive health and nutrient absorption. By helping to process toxins from the body, fertility massage can also promote a healthy liver.

Endocrine System:

Fertility massage can help achieve hormonal balance and help to relieve cramps.


There are times when a woman should not receive fertility massage. These include the presence of any condition which would contraindicate massage in general. Fertility massage should not be performed during menstruation or at any time the client is pregnant or suspects she may be pregnant. If she is currently trying to conceive, it is best to perform fertility massage only after the end of the menstrual cycle and leading up to ovulation. Post-ovulation, in case a pregnancy has occurred, it is best not to take a chance that deep tissue work over the uterus could possibly dislodge or otherwise negatively affect the newly forming placenta or embryo. Women who are not currently trying to conceive can receive massage any time other than during their monthly menstrual cycle.

Becoming Certified

If you have ever considered learning fertility massage, now is an excellent time. For the next month, Institute of Somatic Therapy is offering a special 10% off coupon special. Between today and January 31, 2016, use coupon code BABY to receive 10% off of our fertility certification course. Click here to enroll.

(Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

Massage Doula Impact on Traumatic Birth - by admin@mcb on December 01 2015

Massage Doula Impact on Traumatic Birth

Approximately 1 woman out of every 4 considers that her labor and delivery experience was a traumatic birth. With 4 million births in the US per year, that is one million women per year who experience traumatic births. (Source: Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth ( By having a massage doula with her during birth, a pregnant woman can increase her odds of not being part of these statistics.

Feelings of a traumatic birth tend to occur if the mother feels that she or her baby were in some type of danger during the labor process. These feelings can also occur if the woman feels that she was out of control and helpless during the labor. Having a massage doula helps to reduce both of those, due to the loving presence of a birth support provider.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not outside the range of possibility if the traumatic birth experience is not dealt with. As a massage doula, you should know the signs of birth PTSD. The signs are: nightmares, dwelling on the birth, avoidance behaviors, and reluctance to talk about the birth. Other signs are avoiding postpartum obstetric appointments, blame or negative feelings toward people who were part of the birth, anger, and sleep disorders. If these signs are present for more than a month after the birth, the mother likely has some degree of birth PTSD.

During labor support, if a massage doula believes that her client’s birth expectations are not being met, she needs to try to focus her client on getting through the moment and help her deal with the trauma as it happens, to help prevent long term negative consequences. After the birth, encourage her to get plenty of sleep, exercise, use some type of relaxation method (massage, yoga, etc), or seek counseling. You can also refer them to

To become trained as a massage doula, click here: Massage Doula Certification

To find a certified massage doula in your area, click here:

How to Use Infant Massage to Benefit Premature Babies - by admin@mcb on August 28 2015

How to Use Infant Massage to Benefit Premature Babies

Premature babies face a wide variety of health risks due to their early birth and reduced time in the womb. Doctors and nurses that specialize in caring for premature babies utilize diverse practices to help these babies overcome the challenges of their first days. Many of these medical professionals have come to understand the benefits of massage for infants.

A study at the University of Louisville School of Nursing focused on the specific use of massage in infants to reduce erratic heart rates. Massage professionals visited pre-term babies in the NICU to deliver regular massage therapy consisting of six soft-tissue compression strokes. The thirty day study showed noted differences in heart rates between infants in the control group and those that received the massage therapy. The infants in the massage group demonstrated improvement in their nervous system functions and reduced levels of variation in heart rates. Understanding these findings can help you deliver beneficial massage services to pre-term infants and contribute to their overall health and well-being.

At the Institute of Somatic Therapy we offer courses focused on the techniques specifically used in massage for infants. These courses will help you expand your massage therapy practice and better meet the needs of your littlest clients.

Aid in the Fight Against Addiction With Massage - by admin@mcb on August 21 2015

Aid in the Fight Against Addiction With Massage

Massage therapy can be a great aid to recovering addicts. © Gudenko
Massage therapy can be a great aid to recovering addicts. © Gudenko

The road to recovery for an addict is a long one. Even after the physical barriers of addiction are conquered the individual will face years of emotional hurdles that must be overcome. Recovering addicts often benefit from a wide variety of therapies that focus on connecting the mind with the body, including regular massage therapy.

Massage has been found to increase both serotonin and dopamine in the brain while decreasing the stress hormone cortisol. The change in these hormones is beneficial to an addict because levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain tend to drop while stress levels rise during recovery. Massage can work to combat these fluctuations in hormone levels. Additionally, massage therapy can be used to target the agitation, anxiety, pain, and sleep problems many addicts face during recovery. By stimulating the pressure receptors massage can also aid in lowering blood pressure and decreasing heart rate which is vital to helping addicts better control their urges and maintain their recovery. Understanding how massage improves your health can help addicts recover and face a more stable future.

Helping to fight addiction is just one way how massage improves your health. At the Institute of Somatic Therapy we are committed to helping massage therapy professionals offer a variety of services to meet all of their clients’ needs. Visit us online today to learn more about the courses we offer.