Grad Chronicle: Kim Noll

Kim photo cmykby Kim Noll

Like almost yesterday I remember my childhood in Ohio as a dedicated gymnast. Practice, practice, and more practice as if each day were a new challenge. At the age of 10, I knew what it was to be persistent with my focus, diet, sleep, exercise, rest, and play. Balance was the key that enhanced my body, mind and spirit. Unfortunately, my physical health got beaten down with a case of bursitis (inflamed bunions) in both feet. I retired at the age of 17, knowing that I had already accomplished something so great in my life. It was time for college but my great-grandmother had been motivating me to look into Massage Therapy school. Nanan said, “I can see the future…Massage Therapy is going to be big…you will do great!” So in 2000, I jumped into my camaro Z28-LT1 with all my stuff and drove to my second home- Austin, Texas.

It was in the beautiful city of Austin that I found, The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School. I immediately felt like I was where I needed to be! “Take your shoes off at the door, we are going to stretch our bodies before we do the anatomy lesson today, then we will mold clay into muscles & attach them to our mini Mr. Bone skeletons”,said the teacher. That got my attention! I graduated from the 1st semester (300 hr) program, past the Texas exam, and opened my part time massage therapy practice at 12th Street Massage Therapy. I set my own hours, rates, and shared the space with other TLC graduates. I then attended the 2nd semester and 3rd semester (graduate program). This 750 hr advanced level of education was the stepping stone into a full time career as a licensed massage therapist in not just Texas, but Ohio.

Moving my license to Ohio was a challenging quest in the beginning. But with persistence, I was able to transfer all my work (750 hrs from Texas) to the Ohio where I then passed the State Medical Board exam.I started to work in a clinical setting at a local Chiropractic office. From the patients, I was told time and again that my techniques on the table were amazingly good from their previous experiences from massage therapists in the area. I knew that by integrating Deep Massage-the Lauterstein method, sports massage, and Sho-Shin Shiatsu that I was able to connect deeply with the needs of most people that were experiencing pain or discomfort. I had confidence in my work because I had confidence in my education at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School!

inspira wellness 2014 (59)In 2012, I took a big step toward building my business practice. Inspira Wellness, LLC was created out of love for humankind. I was ready to make a difference in a big way!

Located on a busy State Route in a very small town Inspira Wellness, LLC advertises, “Specializing in Advanced Structural and Integrative Bodywork, MediCupping Therapy, and Functional Fitness-Personal Training.”

I use important tools in my practice such as Young Living therapeutic-grade essential oil, and Kangen Ionized water to provide as retail to help my clientele live a higher quality of life outside of the treatment room. Public speaking and educational classes are helping Inspira Wellness, LLC build a coalition of health care professionals in the region. I gently balance my marketing of the business with the art of Massage Therapy. For myself balance still remains key while owning a successful business. I make time to celebrate my successes each day. I have a happy family life, practice yoga, and enjoy a long bicycle ride out into the scenic country side near my home. At the young age of 35, I feel as if I’m still that dedicated gymnast, Medical Gymnast that is!


Meet Our Teachers: Jason Hammond

Jason Hammond_smallThe teachers at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School have skill, experience, and a true passion for Massage Therapy. Let’s take a moment to get to know one of the 500 hour program instructors.

Q&A with Jason Hammond

Q: When did you start your career in Massage Therapy?

A: I began working in 2008 at a massage franchise in North Austin.


Q: Why did you decide to become a Massage Therapist?

A: I was enrolled in acupuncture school and felt that massage therapy would be helpful to me as an acupuncturist. I wanted to improve my knowledge of anatomy and palpation. Even more than that, I really wasn’t very comfortable touching other people. Touching, or palpation, is an important part of the Chinese Medicine examination. We take the pulse, examine injured areas and feel to accurately locate the acupuncture points.

I thought that I would only do massage therapy for a year or two. My plan was to do massage until I got my acupuncture license and then switch over. Once I started working, I fell in love with doing massage! Now I get to use both massage and acupuncture to help my clients. I combine the two approaches and switch back and forth depending on the situation. I love the flexibility that the combination of approaches offers me to help my clients.


Q: What training and experience do you have in Massage Therapy?

A: I graduated from the licensing program at Lauterstein-Conway in 2007. I later returned to learn more in the Advanced Clinical Training program. I attended AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine from 2006-2010. At AOMA I learned Tui Na, or Chinese Medical Massage and earned a Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree. I am excited to continue learning, and I am currently studying Zero Balancing and working towards becoming a Certified Zero Balancing Practitioner. I worked in massage franchises for seven years, and have just recently shifted into private practice.


Q: What was your favorite aspect of Massage School?

A: Definitely getting to receive massage on a regular basis! It was such a transformative experience to receive massage so often and feel the benefits directly. I really gained an appreciation of the power of massage therapy from being on the table.


Q: Do you have a favorite modality? If so, what is it?

A: Right now I am pretty fascinated with Zero Balancing! The work seems so subtle, almost deceptively simple, but the results are profound. So many clients get off the table and say something like, “That was awesome! What did you do?” It’s pretty rewarding to see clients have that kind of experience.


Q: What is your approach to Massage Therapy?

A: Meet the client where they are. I always want my goal to come from the client. I ask them, “How can I help you today?” I try to understand what they want to get out the session and then exceed their expectations.


Q: What is your favorite color?

A: Green- I love it when everything starts growing again in March! The color of brand new leaves sprouting is amazing!


Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Barbeque. Of course, I mean Texas Barbeque. I once moved away from Texas for five months, but immediately realized my mistake when I was unable to get a proper plate of Barbeque. Really.


Q: What kind of movies do you like?

A: I love science fiction. Anything with aliens and spaceships, I’m hooked. Big budgets and lots of special effects!


Q: Why do you think Massage Therapy is important?

A: Touch is so powerful, and yet we live in a world that is starved of it. Such a simple thing, but so powerful. Clients come in for an hour, and then they leave feeling better. I wish everyone could manage to get regular massage therapy!

upcoming 500 hour Program schedules.

Meet Our Teachers: Gretchen Cole


The teachers at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School have skill, experience, and a true passion for Massage Therapy. Let’s take a moment to get to know one of the 500 hour program instructors.

Q&A with Gretchen Cole

Q: When did you start your career in Massage Therapy?

A: I started at TLC in 1994, after having taken extension classes in a numerous alternative healing therapies including massage, in Seattle, WA.

Q: Why did you decide to become a Massage Therapist? 

A: I took the training because I was interested in feeling good, and in the information. I was intrigued with using the body itself as a ‘lens’ to understand healing. It wasn’t until classmates of mine in what was then the advanced training semester started talking about their wages that I thought “Why don’t I charge for what I’m doing, and earn a living that way, too?” So, I began taking private clients and taking jobs at massage establishments.

Q: What training and experience do you have in Massage Therapy? 

A: 550 hours of basic training from TLC, along with twenty years of continual private practice. Of course, I have taken myriad continuing education trainings through the years and have been introduced to Lymphatic Drainage, Reflexology, various orthopedic approaches, Zero Balancing, Zen Shiatsu, essential oil preparation and application, Cranio-Sacral work, Polarity therapy, Rosen technique, psych-K work, Ayurvedic massage, working with Bach Flower essences, and chakra work utilizing rocks and crystals. Current favorites to include in my working sessions are reflexology and the raindrop technique, b/c they both assist healing in so many different situations and on several different levels.

Q: What was your favorite aspect of Massage School? 

A: The magic wrought when you begin to trust yourself to listen, inside your own body.

Do you have a favorite modality? If so, what is it?

A: I’m a mixologist by nature – I enjoy drawing on ALL my experiences to see what might fit the totality of a client’s needs best, and mix and match these into the session. That’s really satisfying to me – I feel it’s kind of like fine art painting: even if you return to the same subject a different day, no two canvases will come out alike.

What is your approach to Massage Therapy?  

A: The Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.” This has come to extend in many different directions as I’ve changed and matured through the years, learning about myself and learning about others. I feel it’s the right way to approach bodywork and humans.

What is your favorite color?

A: I’ve been in a huge Purple/Indigo/Violet phase lately.

What is your favorite food?

A: Bacon. My family jokes that we all have a “pork chakra” :)

What kind of movies do you like?

A: Comedies, mostly. BritComs, RomComs, SciFiComs… There is enough real scary drama in our world that I prefer to use movies to enhance the lighter side of life – to try to keep myself emotionally balanced in what I take in. The more serious things happen, the more I turn to laughter.

Q: Why do you think Massage Therapy is important?

A: Due to its sociological and cultural history, I have come to believe that our country does not educate its citizens enough about their own bodies. I believe since this body is the sole & primary vehicle moving our selves around every day that more knowledge is certainly beneficial. From small things like how to enhance wound healing and how scar tissue works to large things, like how our bodies interact/respond to chemical, brain and psychological issues. When I grew up in the 80’s, my dad taught me how to change the oil, tires and wiper blades on my car, basic maintenance that proved extremely helpful in my life -– I endeavor to give similar information about our bodies to my clients. My bit of “practical parenting”, if you will.

upcoming 500 hour Program schedules.


What is Thai Massage?

by Robert Gardner

People often ask me about what Thai massage is and licensed massage therapists want to know how it’s going to benefit them in their practice. Thai massage is still working on a western identity and while I can’t speak for everyone else I can tell you that Thai massage is the most diverse and beneficial practice of massage and bodywork I’ve ever encountered. Much like massage itself it can be applied to a wide swathe of the population and when I say it’s effective I’m saying I’ve seen someone walk in on crutches and walk out carrying them after working with me.

Thai massage is:

  • more biomechanically effective for the therapist
  • saves your hands
  • allows you to use more pressure with less effort
  • means you can do longer sessions for larger fees
  • is more transformative for your clients
  • blends well with any other kind of work you do or on a table
  • allows you help common client complaints like low back pain easily

Watch my video with the MassageNerd:


Thai massage allows a deeper use of pressure than any other massage form I’ve seen while also creating the greatest potential for movement in a terrestrial environment. This pressure doesn’t always come from hands, thus saving them, but also from extensive use of knees and feet in session. Compared to what most licensed massage therapists practice my work feels like mixed martial arts. In session there are no rules, my opponent is pain and with every movement I’m doing my best to take out my opponent with any tool necessary while exerting the least amount of effort. It’s easy on me and remarkable to clients.

Students who observe my work have commented that it reminds them of Brazilian jujitsu or some other martial art. In effect, compared to what most are doing Thai massage done my way is the perfect balance of client communication, effective pressure and proper body mechanics. Intro to Thai massage and Table Thai are my starter courses to give you a solid foundation in the work. I look forward to working with you.

Learn more at the Introduction to Thai Massage workshop with Robert Gardner on April 24-25. CLICK HERE to register today!

Meet Our Teachers: Christopher Fritel

11.01.FacultyHeadshotChristopherThe teachers at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School have skill, experience, and a true passion for Massage Therapy. Let’s take a moment to get to know one of the 500 hour program instructors.

Q&A with Christopher Fritel

Q: When did you start your career in Massage Therapy?

A: I attended massage school here at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in May of 2000. I began as an instructor in 2002.


Q: Why did you decide to become a Massage Therapist?

A: I had just moved back to Texas after a year in New York City. I graduated the 4 month program at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School and worked for a family as a personal chef. I was still interested in working with my hands but wanted to have more diversity in my work. When I got back to Texas, a friend of mine had mentioned that she was a massage therapist and that I should be one too. She gave me a wonderful massage, my first, and told me that I should attend TLC rather than the place from which she had graduated. I moved to Austin and enrolled at TLC almost immediately.


Q: What training and experience do you have in Massage Therapy?

A: At TLC I was trained in Swedish, Stretches, Body Mobilization Techniques, Sports Massage, Deep Massage, and some Shiatsu and Structural Bodywork. Later I received training in Craniosacral Therapy from the Upledger Institute and Zero Balancing from TLC. I tend to use Craniosacral, Zero Balancing, and Deep Massage in my private practice.


A: What was your favorite aspect of Massage School?

A: I did not expect to learn so much about myself, especially my mind and body. I really enjoyed the meditation of giving massage and the way both my client and I would feel after a session. It was the most self-supportive job I had ever had in my life.


Q: Do you have a favorite modality? If so, what is it?

A: When giving and receiving, I definitely prefer more subtle massage modalities such as Craniosacral, Zero Balancing, and Deep Massage. They seem to approach a massage session from the perspective of facilitating and working with the client’s self-regulatory and self-resolving nature rather than imposing change forcibly on the “client’s problem”.


Q: What is your approach to Massage Therapy?

A: Listen to the client and find a way to facilitate his or her needs for that session.


Q: What is your favorite color?

A: Seriously my favorite color was been orange for a long time. The color that I am thinking if is like a plain-jane orange crayon.


Q: What is your favorite food?

A: I love a good smoothie and will never turn down Indian food. I am currently obsessed with authentic Chinese food from Asia Cafe – such as spicy honey comb, sliced beef tendon in pickled pepper sauce, stir-fried salt and pepper squid, Szechuan style pork intestines, stir-fried snow pea leaves, and Singapore noodles.


Q: What kind of movies do you like?

A: I love sci-fi and foreign films. A recent favorite that fits both categories was Snowpiercer, but it’s very violent so don’t watch it if you blood makes you queasy. It is in English but it was made in Korea. Closely related to this film is the original version of Old Boy. I love movies that are weird and surprising and have a little violence.


Q: Why do you think Massage Therapy is important?

A: Massage Therapy represents a healthy and beneficial experience of touch which is so vital to physical, emotional, and mental wellness.

upcoming 500 hour Program schedules.

6 Signs You Should be a Massage Therapist


1. 9 to 5 job just isn’t for you

You like a flexible work schedule where you can choose your hours. Massage therapy is the perfect fit – you can work as little or as much as you want at the hours you choose. You won’t be sitting at a desk all day – you will be working with people, helping them to feel better.


2. You like working with your hands

Massage therapy is a career that lets you directly interact with people and help them. How do you do this? With your hands! And elbows. And forearms. You get the satisfaction of feeling muscles release and knowing the relief this will give your clients.


3. You want to be your own boss

There are so many different environments to work in as a Massage Therapist. More and more are creating their own business and becoming their own boss. You get to make all the decisions – hours, location, specialty. You get to take control of your own professional life!


4. You like working in a low stress environment

Massage therapy is all about relieving stress and encouraging relaxation. Working as a Massage Therapist gives you the opportunity to be in this environment for the working hours of your day. As you help clients relax, you also relax.


5. You are curious by nature and constantly want to learn

The human body is complicated and amazing. As a Massage Therapist you will constantly be learning new techniques, specialties, and skills. You will never be bored or lacking in new knowledge to learn.


6. You like helping people

Massage Therapy is all about helping people. You help them relieve tension in their muscles. You help them feel more connected with their body. You help them relax and de-stress from their everyday life. Nothing is more rewarding than when you have a client come off your table remarking how much better they feel after the massage!


Start your new career as a Massage Therapist today!
CLICK HERE to check out our upcoming classes.

Structural Perspectives of the Head and Neck

ce.nancydailby Nancy Dail 

Picture a bowling ball balancing on a stick. This is similar to how the head, which weighs approximately 10-12 pounds, precariously perches on seven cervical vertebrae and disks and is supported only by a network of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The cervical vertebrae connect to the thoracic and lumbar spines, and the trunk lends its bulk to supply a base for the neck. The muscles work constantly to support the head in its many positions. The posture of the shoulders, neck, and head influences the condition and tonicity of the muscles. When the shoulders are rounded forward from slumping in a chair, the head tries to compensate for the posture by assuming a forward position not unlike that of a turtle sticking its neck out of its shell. This does, however; present a problem.

When located in front of the body, the head is perceived to weigh more than it does when balanced on top of the spine. Gravity assists the head-forward posture to cause more pressure on the cervical vertebrae and stress on the posterior cervical muscles. The results over time could be increased tension, headaches, muscular hypertonicity, trigger points, and postural acceptance of the head-forward posture.

Regardless of the head’s actual position, all the muscles connected to the head and/or skeletal structure participate in its actions. The head can flex forward, side bend or laterally flex, rotate, extend and hyperextend. Generally, muscles located anteriorly flex the head, and muscles located posteriorly extend the head. Muscles do not work alone; they work in collective groups. They are strategically placed to oppose each other perfectly to create balance, offset primary action, and support a strong structure.

Flexion is complicated by the weight of the head, gravity, and the position of the head as it flexes. For example, when a person flexes the head forward just a few degrees, such as when reading a book, and then extends the head back slowly, the posterior cervical muscles are hard at work. While the head is in flexion, the posterior cervical muscles are lengthened or stretched, acting as brakes to prevent the head from falling forward. Over time, while the head is in this slightly flexed forward position, the posterior cervical muscles play a continual tug-of-war with the head, building up tension in the muscles that work the hardest. In constant flexion, the flexors eventually get shortened in their contracted state. It takes more force or muscle power to extend the head and counteract the action of flexion and gravity in this sustained position. It is no wonder, then, that the posterior cervical muscles have so much tension constantly combating flexion.

The same principles hold true for lateral flexion. When the head laterally flexes, the opposite side prevents the head from staying in that lateral position. The muscles on the opposite side brake in their lengthened, or eccentric, state, already anticipating contraction, or concentric action, to return the head to extension or to laterally flex to the other side.

For these reasons, it is important to use massage techniques on all the head and neck muscles because they balance each other and are really part of the total joint action. Dimensional Massage Therapy methods look at the actions of the client and then examine the opposing muscles: Which muscles are being stretched or lengthened (eccentric contraction) by the action? Which muscles are synergists (concentric contraction)? What are the primary actors or agonists, assistants or synergists, and opposing actors or antagonists, and which muscles are constantly stabilizing the joint? Remember, there may not be a lot of action. The position of the head when it is resting on a pillow or when the person is reading or working at a desk may stress the muscles that need to provide brakes, stability, or action for the head and neck. This particular aspect makes the joints and soft-tissue structures of the head and neck more complicated than others in the body.

From Kinesiology for Manual Therapies by N. Dail, T. Agnew and RT Floyd, McGraw-Hill 2011. Chapter 14.

Learn more at the Dimensional Massage for Neck and Upper Extremity Pain workshop with Nancy Dail on April 17-19. CLICK HERE to register today!

Zero Balancing brings you back to center

by Tasha Snedaker

11.01.ZBThe modality is like a tree that just got out of a wind storm and is now… still.

It balances you like a pendulum, that, once it’s experienced the very edges of balance, and being unbalanced, it comes to center and… rests. This “center” enables the person to feel “lighter” and taller in their body. The person feels younger in their body with the weight of time appearing to have been lifted. It lends itself to allowing the body to be at ease on the earth rather than being weighed down by it.

I had the privilege of taking the Zero Balancing I class recently at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School and my world, as a bodyworker, has gotten a lot bigger, or deeper, as some would say. My world has gotten deeper in that the body isn’t just as deep as its muscles, stressors, and skin texture; but it is also its structure. That structure is what gives ‘ground’ to the muscles and the stressors. And when that ground can be aligned to its highest potential, then the muscles will naturally follow suit. A certain negative holding pattern may shift. A certain hindering physical tendency may go away.

I used the word ‘privilege’ earlier in reference to the way that the class was taught. The course proceeded in a very methodical manner, teaching each of the steps of the protocol in a variety of learning styles: a brief lecture and diagram, use of a skeleton to demonstrate the points. The instructor demonstrated the technique on a student. Students practiced on their partners and then a touch comparison was given from the instructor or assistant. This all culminated in a full ZB I practice session between 2 students. With one instructor and three assistants there was always a chance to get your question answered. The 3-1/2 days of the teaching were interlaced with full sessions by a trained “Zber” working on participants, many of whom had never received a ZB session before. These sessions brought life to the modality and clarified through experience why it’s so effective .

It was wonderful to learn Zero Balancing I at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School because of its diverse, thorough, and integrated teaching style. From the simple and in-depth look at its history to the practical approach of working with a variety of clients I highly recommend taking Zero Balancing 1 at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School.

Learn more at the Zero Balancing 1 workshop with David Lauterstein on March 26-29. CLICK HERE to register today!

Grad Chronicle – James Uhl

PastedGraphic-1 copyby James Uhl

After graduating TLC in 2011 I immediately began gaining experience by working on my own practice as well as doing chair and sports massage for different events around the city. In July, 2012 I received my NASM Personal Training certification in attempt to bridge two aspects of care to help my clients. Still trying to round out my practice I received an advanced certification with Precision Nutrition as a Fitness Nutritionist, an Upper Body certification with ART (I will be certified for Full Body by the end of the year), and my certification of Applied Functional Sciences.

After working beginning positions as a therapist I have now settled into a wonderful dual practice of massage as well as personal training. I currently work at the Austin Massage Company specializing in sports rehabilitation as well as the newly open Max Training facility as a personal trainer. I hope to bridge my skills as a therapist and trainer to provide my clients with unique rehabilitative strategies to recover from their injuries and achieve their goals.

In my spare time I have created a service project called One Touch Forward as a way to give back to the community with free massages to the inspiring individuals in and around the city. I am so thankful for my time at TLC as it provided me with a wonderful foundation to explore education in the healing arts as well as a form of expression to learn more about myself.

One year at Massage School can change everything!

11.01.AnatomyClass.MuscleModelingby Shannon Young

I have been working in school admissions for years. In that time one thing I have found to be true is that there is never a perfect time to go back to school. There is never the perfect amount of money, time, or energy to make the decision super easy. Thing about it – you will be adding a new responsibility to your plate… and that means change.

So, how do you make school work? First and foremost: choose a schedule that sets you up for success!

The Saturday Only class allows you to dedicate one day a week to your future success. This gives you a week between classes to be prepared for the following week of homework and study responsibilities that come with this outstanding education.

You get to focus your energy in a way that you can still give what you need to keep your outside life running smoothly. Yes, it is a commitment to dedicate your Saturdays to your education for  year, but you will wake up each Saturday excited and ready for your work ahead to achieve your goal of a new rewarding career.

If you have always wanted to go to massage school, it will be worth it to have one day in your week dedicated to reaching that goal instead of dreaming of it.

So, I ask you – what is loving what you do worth?

We want to answer your questions and offer guidance into the best schedule to not only help you start your training but to GRADUATE and begin your new career as a Massage Therapist.

One year can change everything!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Saturday Only class!

Paste your AdWords Remarketing code here