by Erin Lehn Floresca
The Center For Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy (CNW), in Albany, offers a comprehensive program of study which carefully balances the art and science of therapeutic massage. “We believe that a dynamic therapist is one who combines knowledge and excellent bodywork, while honoring the transformation energy of loving touch,” explains Admissions Director Alexandra J. Joseph. “I think we’re an ideal match for anybody seeking a healthy lifestyle career in bodywork, and we love helping them get started on this journey.”
According to Joseph, most of the students in their massage program leave an unfulfilling job or have a strong life event that changed their thoughts about the ways they could serve others. “They needed to help in a way that felt nourishing to them, and helping people can mean so many things. Do you want to help people recover from sports injuries, or are you called to help babies in NICU? End of life patients? Oncology patients? Stressed moms with postpartum depression? All of these are possibilities as a massage therapist, and we highly encourage our students spend time exploring all possible options.”
CNW’s mission, in addition to preparing students to meet and exceed the requirements of the New York state licensing exam for massage therapy, is to help promote health and wellness in the community. They accomplish that goal in a variety of ways. “We have both a full-time and part-time massage therapy program, along with an onsite massage therapy student clinic. One-hour massages are just $40, and we have discounts available for veterans, seniors and students,” says Joseph.
In addition, the school hosts classes and other events to promote a healthy lifestyle. “We focus a lot on preventative and self-care, while stressing the importance of taking care of yourself—especially if you’re injured,” notes Joseph. “We want people to realize it is okay to take care of themselves. For instance, is your back chronically hurting you? Why is that? Do you sit too long at work? Our classes promote light stretching, self-massage techniques and other ways to care for our bodies while we’re at work, home or play.”
She points out that many of us don’t think about making helpful accommodations in the way we perform a routine task or function such as sitting at our desk at work or doing dishes at home until it becomes a problem. “It’s rarely a consideration until you’re stuck in it. Once you’re in it, you need to figure out how to manage it. And we can help you discover ways to feel more comfortable and at ease doing the things you need to do,” says Joseph. “We highly encourage self-nourishing behaviors. We believe that the most effective bodyworkers and healers are the ones that are the most self-aware.”
Joseph affirms that there is a lot to love about the school, and she enjoys sharing the CNW story with the community, noting, “With our strong focus on self-care, the open environment where we’re constantly learning new things, the amazing staff and students, it’s just a wonderful environment.”
The school’s bimonthly Massage Exploration Evenings are popular events. “Did you know there are over 60 different recognized modalities of massage therapy? During these classes, we go into more detail about the style and philosophy of a particular modality, as each have their own benefits,” says Joseph. “Shiatsu, for instance, is a wonderful therapy for anybody managing injuries, as it works with the body’s meridians, helping to clear energy blocks and restore overall balance.”
CNW School of Massage Therapy will be co-hosting A Day of Natural Beauty with Natural Awakenings on November 4. “It’s just another wonderful way we can connect with the community and promote wellness,” says Joseph. “Our goal is that everybody who we meet leads a more healthy, positive life for themselves. Our busy lives can take a toll, and it’s time we turned the tables and made it acceptable to practice self-care. We only have one body! Let’s take care of it.”
The Center For Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy is located at 3 Cerone Commercial Dr., in Albany. For more information, visit cnwsmt.com.