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Redefining Massage Therapy

Meet Danielle Kauka-Fain, Massage Therapist at Elite Massage Academy

Danielle Kauka-Fain’s past education was really different compared to that of EMA. Both of the schools that she went to were significantly different. In her other school, her main teacher was a massage therapist; she did demonstrate how to massage and use body mechanics but did not go in depth about how important body mechanics can be. Her human anatomy and physiology teacher, however, was not a massage therapist and they had their class online and Kauka-Fain didn’t learn much from it. At EMA their teachers are truly passionate about having students learn and retain the information. It is not uncommon to hear their students say that they never have learned so much with as little studying!

“They give students real feedback that can actually help us in the world of massage,” she said. “Specifically in kinesiology class we talk and learn about the different actions of the muscle, how to palpate the muscle and make sure we are able to feel and see the muscle. I felt like I learned so much more at this school than at my other school so much that I retook some of the same classes I took at my previous school and I learned so much more the second time around at EMA.”

A few things were lacking in Kauka- Fain’s previous classes before EMA. In her first education of massage therapy classes, Kauka-Fain and her class watched a lot of videos. Some days it would be hands-on but it wasn’t always guaranteed. The hands-on and expertise of EMA is second to none, with the program being 1100 hours. Enough hours to obtain a license in all 50 states!

EMA education prevents what is happening to Kauka-Fain as she is forced to re-enroll after completing her first program to meet the North Dakota requirements of 750 hours. It is a harsh reality for students to finish their education to learn that they must continue on to more schooling to actually get a license! But that’s not the only way in which EMA outshines other schools and programs.

EMA outshines other schools because you learn from actual massage therapists that know about the subject; you learn about the muscles and how to properly palpate them, and also learn how to be hands-on more than just constantly sitting on the computer or just sitting in class.

EMA has changed my massage career for the better. If people are interested in coming into EMA, know that you will be in great hands and they are an amazing school.

Danielle Kauka-Fain

The Revolution SynDaver

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EMA Campus Director and Co-Owner Shelle Hagen (R) and Education Director and Co-Owner Tiffany Taylor (L) next to the newly arrive Syndaver

Elite Massage Academy is proud to be the first and only massage program in North Dakota to utilize the revolutionary SynDaver. The SynDaver is a learning tool for massage therapists that works by looking at the muscles and where they are attached, how thick the muscle tissue is, and what nerves are surrounding which muscle. It helps massage therapists see what could potentially be a problem with a client and how to bring relief and healing through the power of massage therapy.

The cadaver experience has been described by students as extremely eye-opening. Seeing the body in a three-dimensional sense allows them to have a much firmer understanding

of muscles in relationship to surrounding structures such as the organs and the skeletal system they envelop. This approach to learning about the body is highly engaging for their students; they get

to actually see the layers of muscles and the relationship of connective tissue layers within the body.

The SynDaver brings many great learning benefits to massage therapy, including

being able to visually see what’s underneath the layers of the skin. “I feel like we
need the SynDaver in order to actually understand the human body,” said Kauka-Fain. “If we didn’t have one I feel like we as massage therapists are just guessing on the structures and not really knowing the body.” Working with the SynDaver allows the massage therapists to feel living tissue samples, as well as not be exposed to the harmful preservatives that you have with cadaver labs.

The SynDaver creates a perfect learning environment with many possibilities and opportunities to learn about the human body in a very unique way. Hands-on visual learning is the best possible way to learn and having the opportunity to see how each body part works with another allows massage therapists to understand what body parts to massage in order to help another body part function the correct way.

The SynDaver experience is open to high schools and other groups to come and utilize to learn! By calling 701.200.3285 visits can be set up!

Written by Josiah Kopp

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