Writer / Janelle Morrison
At a recent visit to the Carmel School of Massage and Healing Arts, I learned that the body could heal itself through techniques that are guided by the healing hands of Nicole Zollinger-Muench, CMT, owner and one of three instructors at the school. The school’s mission is to educate an exceptional Certified Massage Therapist who can consistently give high quality massage, is fully knowledgeable, competent, and adaptable in the field of massage therapy. Their instructors are Certified Massage Therapists, with time-tested massage skills and diverse experiences. They have successful massage practices for a combined 30 or more years and have medical or physiology backgrounds.
Zollinger-Muench has a B.S. in Psychology from the Purdue School of Science and has been an entrepreneur in the fitness & wellness industry since 1996 as a certified personal trainer, spinning instructor and BASI trained Pilates instructor. She has been a certified massage therapist, since 2000 and has an established a successful private practice in Carmel. Zollinger-Muench is currently the only person in Indiana who has a specialty certification in Neuromuscular Reeducation (NMR). She has achieved Associate Member Status in the Practitioner Training Program through the Society of Ortho–Bionomy (SOBI), along with Certified Level credentials from the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), state licensure and the City of Carmel massage permit. She was instrumental in working with the City of Carmel in establishing legislation for massage therapists, before the state had the licensing board.
Along with the credentials, she has studied extensively in the field of natural healing, including doing coursework toward a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition, self-study of herbology and iridology and earning continuing education credits in several massage modalities. Along with Zollinger-Muench, the school’s other two instructors, Keri Brown and Lisa DeLeon, each have their specialties and their own professional practices. Brown is the Director/Registered Practitioner Center for Ortho-Bionomy Indiana that was codeveloped with Zollinger-Muench.
“There is a benefit to relaxation therapy,” Zollinger-Muench explained. “It puts people in the parasympathetic state which is that state in which the body heals in. The body doesn’t heal when it is running around anxious all day. What sets us apart from other Certified Massage Therapists is that we incorporate the Ortho-Bionomy techniques. We allow the body to self-correct, as much as possible. If the joints are out of alignment the muscle strain surrounding those joints are going to be out of balance. We help the body to get into a state where it will self correct. Most people come to us seeking pain relief for some sort of pathology, muscular or skeletal dysfunction.”
The school’s small class size gives their students an advantage by getting through the entry level material, required for the state board exam, quickly and allows the instructors to add an advanced piece to their curriculum that isn’t readily available in other local schools. They currently have nine students enrolled in their flagship course, a 12-month course and 500 hours.
Their state accredited school opened in May in 2011 and they prides themselves in their immersion style program where their students start the first the day with hands-on skills. “We want hands on bodies from the first day of class to make sure that our students are really comfortable working on bodies,” Zollinger-Muench said. “We also start with medical terminology on the first day. We’re immersing our students in the program, into what they are going to be doing in this profession. The state does not require continuing education, yet, for massage therapists but many want to have that option so we created courses including a pregnancy massage certification course and reflexology continuing education course. Our courses target individuals who are wanting to add fulfillment in their lives, be of service to others and who wish to add goodness to the world through healing.”