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Our People: NHI Alumni Success Stories...


Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with wrist tendonitis; I was given a prescription for Motrin and told to ice my wrist. This helped a ltittle, but did not give me complete relief from pain. I also had a difficult time raising my arm without getting a pain in the neck. A co-worker referred me to a massage therapist in the area and, after my appointment I was impressed by the results, not only did my wrist feel better, but I felt better everywhere. I loved the music and the tranquil atmosphere. And of course I really loved the massage. I had always been a tactile person, and naturally massaged shoulders, feet, hands. After receiving a professional massage I was hooked. I started buying books about massage, & bodywork, and soon found myself wanting to take classes to learn more.

I contacted NHI in 1993, and during the orientation I was lifted to a new awareness that I did not fully understand until just recently. My passion started to really grow at NHI.

Massage therapy and its related fields, is a journey in which I am being led deeper and to higher levels of thinking & being. This is in part due to the fabulous teachers and curriculum at NHI. I finally felt connected with people, and alive within myself. What I learned at NHI continued to ignite my passion for learning more about the healing arts.

During the time I was attending NHI, I was working a full time job in corporate America. I had been there for over 20 years.

During one of the business classes at NHI, you are asked what your massage therapy goals are. At the time I wrote, in 7 years, I want my own practice.

Two years ago, my work group was surplused, and I retired early….I am now an independent contractor with A Corporate Knead performing massage therapy at the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs twice a week. I also have my own private practice in Walnut Creek. Who says you can’t re-invent yourself and follow your passion? I did and I’m 53, and I’m still learning, growing and enjoying the journey!

Valerie Thurston, CMT

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