An online directory of graduates and instructors from Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics and Spirit of Yoga.


Can massage heal my illness/injury?

Seated massage can be performed in any normal clothing. Long skirts or very tight or bulky clothing can be uncomfortable and restrict the therapists access to key stress points. Large or sharp pieces of jewelry, belt buckles, etc. should be removed. Table massage can also be done clothed but is traditionally received in the nude or in underwear, and draped at all times. This is entirely based on your comfort level and the availability of privacy at your location or the practitioners licensed facility.

Do I have to wear special clothing for a massage?

Seated massage can be performed in any normal clothing. Long skirts or very tight or bulky clothing can be uncomfortable and restrict the therapists access to key stress points. Large or sharp pieces of jewelry, belt buckles, etc. should be removed. Table massage can also be done clothed but is traditionally received in the nude or in underwear, and draped at all times. This is entirely based on your comfort level and the availability of privacy at your location or the practitioners licensed facility.

How do I select a therapist?

Begin by contacting the practitioners on your list and gathering information. Feel free to ask them about their training, qualifications, licenses, and certifications. If you like, double check if the practitioner’s qualifications meet the standards for training and licensing for that profession in your area. You can request if it’s possible to have a brief consultation in person or by phone with the practitioner. This will give you a chance to speak with them directly and determine if they’re the right therapist for you. If you have a specific ailment or area of interest you want to focus on, ask the therapist if they specialize in that area and how frequently they treat clients with problems similar to yours. Ask if the practitioner believes the therapy can effectively address your complaint. Inquire if there is a brochure or web site to tell you more about their practice. Find out about charges and the cost of treatments. If you have insurance that covers massage and holistic healthcare, does the practitioner accept your insurance or participate in your insurer’s network? Even with insurance, you may be responsible for a percentage of the cost. Ask about the hours appointments are offered and if you might have to wait for your appointment. Ask about location, parking or nearby public transportation, if needed. If you require wheelchair or other special access, make sure it is available. Find out what will be involved in the first visit, arrival time, and length of the session. Once you have determined which practitioner is best able to best suits your needs, you may have one or a series of visits with them, or may want to set up a regular schedule.

How much should I tip?

As with most services, tipping is customarily based on the cost of service and how pleased you are with your session. Excellent service, above and beyond expectations: 20%; Good service, all expectations were met: 15-18%; Satisfactory service: 10%; Poor service: do not tip any service provider anywhere if they failed to meet your expectations. Communicate that you did not receive the service you expected so that appropriate adjustments may be made. A note: If you do not pay for the service you receive, if it is paid for by your employer or a vendor with whom you do business or if it is a gift, it is customary for tipping to be included in the price your benefactor paid. If you wish to show your personal appreciation please feel free, but know that it is not necessary. You may want to inquire before your session if the tip has already been taken care of.

Should I Tip?

Tipping a massage therapist is customary. While tipping is not mandatory, it is encouraged, and the tip should be accepted graciously when they are offered. Therapists should never ask for tips or hint that a tip is expected.

What if I want more or less pressure during my massage?

It is very important to remember that you are the one experiencing the massage. Therapists are trained to respond to your requests to adjust pressure. There may be a point at which they have no more to give and are already applying as much pressure as they can. If this happens, you may want to choose another therapist who can apply more pressure for your future sessions. It is equally possible that even light touch may be painful for you at times in certain areas. If this happens it may not be appropriate to receive massage at that time. If you have not consulted a physician or chiropractor about the pain, it may be appropriate to do so.

What is Aromatherapy?

The inhalation and bodily application of essential oils from aromatic plants is utilized to relax, balance, rejuvenate, restore or enhance body, mind and spirit. A basic principle of Aromatherapy is to strengthen the self-healing processes by indirect stimulation of the immune system. Aromatherapy is considered by some to be an ancient yet timely and modern approach to total well being that is in tune with nature.

What is Auriculotherapy?

This clinically effective treatment modality is utilized for the relief of chronic pain and the alleviation of substance abuse. The external ear has been shown to have a somatotopic organization where each part of the auricle corresponds to a specific part of the body. Detection tenderness from palpation can reveal specific auricular reflex points which can be stimulated to alter pathological reflex patterns in the brain, internal organs, and in different peripheral regions of the musculoskeletal body.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is an ancient wisdom of health and healing which dates back thousands of years. Ayurveda is the art of living in harmony with the laws of nature and bases its foundation that every aspect of nature, is composed of five essential elements, ether, air, fire, water and earth.

What is Cranial Unwinding?

This form of cranialsacral therapy utilizes gentle manipulation to facilitate the body’s inherent wisdom to balance and heal itself. Not only is this a powerful tool in creating structural balance in the body, it’s also useful for treating migraines, headaches, sinus tension, stiff neck, and has been shown to be beneficial for individuals with cerebral palsy.

What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral Therapy is a carefully developed method of normalizing the function of the craniosacral system, which is composed of cerebrospinal fluid that flows inside a membrane from the sacrum (low back) to the cranium (head). The therapy employs a gentle hands-on technique that reduces accumulated stress levels and enhances movement of blood and other fluids through the body tissues, thereby treating and increasing resistance to disease. Craniosacral Therapy is especially effective in treating neck and back pain, headaches, depression, stress related disorders, physical injuries, musculo-skeletal conditions, head and body trauma and connected emotional issues. Pediatric Craniosacral Therapy is the same work modified for infants and children.

What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep Tissue Massage is used to release chronic patterns of muscular tension using slow strokes, direct pressure or friction directed across the grain of the muscles with fingers, thumbs or elbows. It is applied with greater pressure and to deeper layers of muscle than massage.

What is Dream Yoga?

The practice of dream yoga deepens our awareness during all our experiences: the dreams of the night and the dream-like experience of the day. The practices of dream and sleep are powerful tools of awakening, used for hundreds of years by the great masters of the Tibetan traditions. Unlike the Western psychological approach to dreams where the content of the dream is interpreted for meaning, the ultimate goal of Tibetan dream and sleep yoga is the recognition of the nature of mind itself, or enlightenment.

What is Energy Healing?

Energy Healing addresses the ‘subtle energy body’ that governs the physical body. Working directly with the emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions of this energy body, the healer affects the healing and release of blocked and distorted energy patterns, enabling the innate intelligence to operate freely, restoring physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Truly a mind-body discipline, Energy Healing accelerates personal growth. Energetic techniques include: radiant healing, hands-on, Reiki, Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, and shamanic healing practices. Energy healers work with individuals, couples and groups. Energy Healing works in conjunction with and as an adjunct to medical and non-medical therapies.

What is Holistic Nutrition?

Understanding food as the source of yin and yang, or ‘life energy’, is an important aspect of holistic healthcare. Recognizing energy in each food and cooking accordingly to create wholesome meals is the focus. An appreciation for and understanding of organic and seasonal foods, and the harmful effects of condiments and sweeteners, and how to combine nutrients is key. Proper nutrition influences personal

What is Hypnotherapy?

In Hypnotherapy, a deep state of relaxation is achieved through focused attention. While in this trance-like state, the unconscious mind is highly receptive to new perspectives and ideas. The use of imagery and positive suggestions at this time can help a client imagine and actually experience herself in the future, as she desires to be. This makes the changes she wants in her life happen much faster and with less resistance, as a result of the hypnosis experience. Hypnotherapy is particularly effective for addictive habits such as overeating and smoking, as well as for stress control, behavior modification and resolution of personal conflicts.

What is Life Coaching?

Life Coaching is an on-going partnership that helps others produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life. Beginning with their desires, coaching uses reporting, exploring, and a consistent commitment to move the client forward. This technique provides greater focus and awareness of choice and helps accelerate the achievement of life goals. Coaching concentrates on where clients are today and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be tomorrow.

What is Lymphatic Drainage Therapy?

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is a well documented method of stimulating the lymph system to activate fluid circulation, detoxify, rejuvenate and strengthen the body’s natural defenses. Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is a very gentle hands-on procedure that will help eliminate fluid retention, cleanse the body and eliminate toxins and trapped proteins in the tissues. It is highly recommended for most pre and post surgical procedures.

What is Massage Therapy?

Massage Therapy uses basic mechanical hand movements to manipulate the body’s soft tissues, targeting muscles, tendons, nerves, and circulatory structures to facilitate the body to heal itself in a natural way. Massage therapy helps relieve pain, reduce stress and promote healing by improving circulation, deepening relaxation and providing an increased sense of physical awareness and emotional well-being. It specifically relieves discomforts such as headaches, muscle cramps & spasms, low back & neck pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and sciatica to name a few.

What tools or machines are used, if any?

No tools or machines are used during massage. Massage ‘equipment’ includes a massage table or chair, sheets, a face cradle cover, and cloths for cleaning the equipment between clients.

Will massage oil or lotion stain my clothes?

Some massage oils can be staining. If you are concerned about a specific piece of clothing, it is best to towel or shower off after table massage or to choose clothing that can easily be laundered. No oils or lotions are used for chair massage. If you prefer the therapist to use your own oil or lotion, ask if they’re able to accommodate you.