2009: Massage School reopens with new focus on Advanced Healing Arts

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James Ritchie will continue to teach acupressure, deep tissue massage and applied kinesiology. His specialized work is called BodyMind Clearing. He says that we hold patterns of fear and stress in our bodies by tensing our muscles in old patterns. Receiving massage is one of the ways we can change ourselves at a deep level. He says that the year off has been a good opportunity to rework the curriculum. He also had a chance to do six weeks of refresher courses that updated his skills and give him new material to bring into the classroom.

When asked where his students usually come from, he just laughs and shrugs his shoulders. “People call me from all over, I don’t even know how they find out about us.” One student in the new class is a Licensed Nurse moving from Kentucky. Chad has spent the last few weeks arranging his move and getting a nursing job in Taos or Santa Fe so he can attend school. James says quite a few people come to his school to change careers or deepen their ability to care for people in other settings like nursing, medical or counseling.

One recent graduate, Doug Gilnet, class of 2007, was voted Best Massage Therapist at El Monte Sagrado in his first year out of school. Doug expresses enthusiasm when he discusses the broad curriculum and the dynamic style the school used to teach him. He says it met his needs and he really felt listened to. He thinks that is why he is able to make a great connection with the clients when he sees them. He’s known for his great massages and his easygoing personality.

Mark Amoriello heads up the Spa program at El Monte Sagrado and he speaks very highly of Doug. “He’s so great to have around, personable and works well with other employees, we love having him here. Besides that, his last massage client of the day is just as happy as his first.”

Doug says he’s glad the school is reopening and he thinks the new emphasis will make it an even better program. He will be joining the staff as an Assistant Instructor, that is, when he’s not booked solid for massage! “There is so much more I can learn, I’m excited to have the opportunity to expand my skills,” he says.

Rebecca Goldston, class of ‘96 says she’s relieved the school is reopening. She graduated from one of the earliest classes the school held. Though it was in it’s formative years, she says she had a great experience. She’s since moved but continues to have great associations with Taos. Speaking to other graduates has given her an appreciation for her training with James Ritchie. She says grads from other schools don’t seem to have as much stamina as she does when doing many sessions in a day. She appreciates the yoga and stress relief skills she learned that help her enjoy massaging clients 12 years later.

The new class starts January 20, 2009 and James and his staff are looking forward to a great year. James says, “the energy is really building for the new class, it’s going to be a great year.”

For more information call James at (575) 758-2725.

By Robyn McKinnon

For information on workshops or private sessions, contact Fred at (575) 758-2725

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