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Industry News for Northwestern Health Sciences University

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Bloomington, Minnesota 55431-1602

School of Massage Therapy Celebrates a Decade with Record Symposium Numbers

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. The School of Massage Therapy at Northwestern hit the spot this weekend with record attendance at the 2011 Symposium. More than 230 massage professionals filled the University on March 5 and 6 to attend continuing education workshops, visit with old and new colleagues, check out vendor products and celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the School of Massage Therapy.

Dale Healey, DC, dean of the School of Massage Therapy, can't believe it has been 10 years since the beginning of the program. "To have that large of a group join us for the 10-year anniversary made the weekend especially great," said Dr. Healey. "All of our presenters did a wonderful job and they were very well received."

Attendees earned 15 hours of continuing education and had the opportunity to participate in a hands-on workshop with keynote speaker David Kent, LMT, NCTMB. Kelli Quist, a 2002 graduate, feels Northwestern's symposium is the best continuing education around. "This is a great networking event and I always get the most out of being here," said Quist. "The variety of topics covered is awesome."

The optional cadaver labs led by Kim Swineheart, DC, associate professor at Northwestern, were a huge hit with attendees. First-time attendee Kristin Wilz decided to come when a fellow massage therapist recommended it. "I am enjoying my experience here and the cadaver lab is by far my favorite part of the weekend," said Wilz. "I will definitely be back; my journey has begun."

On Saturday evening attendees enjoyed a dinner reception in the cafeteria at Northwestern where they listened to music by vocalist/guitarist Sasha Mercedes, reflected on the past 10 years of the School of Massage Therapy and danced the night away. "It's always great to see alumni come back after they graduate and meet the new attendees, as well," said Susie Biwer, assistant director of alumni, development & career services. "Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and have a great time. I would say the weekend was a success!"

Excitement surrounding the 2011 Symposium was caught on camera by the communications department with a video campaign, "Tell Us Your Northwestern Story." Over the course of the weekend attendees could record their Northwestern story and be entered into a gift card drawing. The gift card winners were: Barbara Jean Turner, $15; Kathy Nokleby, $25; and RondaKae Vainikka, massage therapy student at Northwestern, $50. "I felt kind of nervous, but I decided to just do it," said Vainikka on recording her Northwestern story. "I never expected to win!"

"It's incredible to look back on our history of 10 years and realize what an amazing journey it has been," says Dr. Healey. "This was a great year to celebrate what we have accomplished and look forward to what the next 10 years will bring."

Photos and video footage from the 2011 Symposium can be found on Northwestern's Facebook page.

Northwestern Health Sciences University offers a wide array of choices in natural health care education including chiropractic, Oriental medicine, acupuncture, therapeutic massage and human biology. The University has nearly 900 students on a 25-acre campus in Bloomington, Minnesota.

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