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Wisconsin School of Massage Therapy

January 7, 2017
Message from the Director - 
Mary McCluskey

It's winter in Wisconsin and it's tempting to become blue and lethargic.  A long nap sounds enticing, and that, after a heavy meal full of fat and sugar.  Wooooooooop...rewind!  Let's start that again!  

It's winter in Wisconsin and the sun is shining, the air is crispy so that it wakes up your lungs and brain, and it feels good to pare back the rich food and move!  How about a bundle up and run around the block?  Your dog would love it too!  Grab the kids and play tag!  

Or maybe you're ready for bigger changes.  Maybe 2017 is THE year of getting your health together, FINALLY!  Imagine you are your ideal weight.  Your pants slide on easily and look good on you.  You have energy throughout the day, you sleep rock solid, and you feel good.  People around you get sick with colds and flu, but you sail through the season with a strong immune system that can resist anything!  Your joints work smoothly with ease and you are finally happy in your own skin.  Can't you just taste this life?

Where to start?  How to get there?  You've tried a lot of methods in the past and here you still are.  Is it hopeless?  No!  You are worth getting individualized care through your process of change to a healthier lifestyle.  Invest in yourself and everyone around you will benefit.  Why not check out personalized health coaching right here at WSMT?  We'd love to walk right beside you and help you on your way to a wonderful 2017 and beyond!

Want to learn more? Why not try our:
Introduction to Massage Therapy

Thursday, December 7, 2017 
5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Call to schedule your own private class at your preferred time!

$25 due the day of class.
Call or email to register: 
Give us your name and telephone number.  Bring a set of bed sheets (flat, fitted, and pillowcase)

Learn about the field: education requirements, licensing, job possibilities. Try out hands-on practice by learning a basic back massage. Use professional equipment and get real guidance from an expert! Find out if you might want to become a Wisconsin Licensed Massage Therapist.
Copyright © 2017Wisconsin School of Massage Therapy. All rights reserved. 
Wisconsin School of Massage Therapy
N112 W15237 Mequon Road Suite 400
Germantown, WI  53022

January 11, 2017
Message from the Director - Mary McCluskey
Discipline is NOT a Dirty Word!

Discipline is not a dirty word.  We fight it, though, don't we?  We want the big, quick payout right now.  A diet company years ago had the slogan, "Lose weight NOW, ask me how!"  It got attention from people who saw the consultants wearing this on a big button.  The wow factor is, "NOW" because  if it said, "LATER" people would laugh and walk on.  But the truth is that any aspect of health, in it's truest sense, including weight loss, can never be attained RIGHT NOW!

Choosing health, and it is a choice, will always be about developing disciplines that support this choice over time.  

Discipline - activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: 

That's not exactly as catchy and exciting as the slogan above, but it does flesh out this important concept.  To be healthy, we need to develop our health skills by choosing a regimen that we can adhere to day in and day out.  Mine?  Well, you see that woods up there in the picture.  It's a dismal day, but unless it is below 10 degrees, super slushy/salty on the road, or a downpour my dog and I are out there for 2 miles every day.  Another:  get at least 180 minutes of exercise beyond the dog walking per week.  Another:  Eat almost all whole foods, nothing prepackaged if at all possible.

Do I hit the mark flawlessly?  Well, I am human, but most of the time these disciplines have served me well.  When you have them in place you don't have to do a lot of self-struggling about whether you're going to do them or not.  It's a done deal.  If I'm not doing a 60 minute exercise session today, for example, then I look at my week and see where I am going to get it in.  If there isn't enough week left I'm doing it now!  

These disciplines are a way to strengthen in more ways than on the surface.  Don't you feel soft and weak sometimes?  Not when you have a discipline you are keeping.  You feel invincible and your health comes into line easily as these habits continue well past the typical first 2 weeks of January.  Here's to your new year health discipline!

January 21, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Challenges Work

How do you get to the top of that mountain in the picture above?  By accepting the challenge and conquering it one step at a time!  Are you already fading in your commitment to your New Year's goals?  

I experimented with a monthly goal for this month.  After the holidays I felt sugar overload so I decided to go dessert-free for the month.  I'm on day 21 here and I've kept to my decision and as of this morning I am down 5 pounds and I'm feeling lighter and happier than all of December!

I'm already thinking about what my challenge should be for February.  Melanie Schweder gave 5 possibilities from her article in the Oct/Nov 2016 Paleo Magazine:  

1.  Eat 1/2 a plate - of veggies, that is.  Start by always filling 1/2 your plate with vegetables, then fill with meat and the rest.

2.  Screen-free - 1 day per week no electronics!

3.  Blackout - get your bedroom dark, dark

4.  Sweet Swap - Every time you're going for a sugary treat substitute fruit or nuts instead

5.  Earthing - Get your bare feet on the bare earth for a few minutes every day (hmmm....this one could be tough in Wisconsin right now!)

I'm already doing #1 and #4 all the time.  I'm thinking about a daily yoga practice for February.  I started yoga once a week recently, but with the free videos on Youtube it would be easy to do a little every day.  

I encourage you to set a goal for just the rest of January and see what happens as you complete it.  You may be very impressed with your progress and then continue into the next month!

February 2, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Cara Cara Oranges are Worth the Extra Cost

Click on the picture of the orange to the right to view my 3 minute video about these luscious beauties which are available in supermarkets right now.  They hold a surprising health punch!

Are you ready to realize your professional dreams of helping others to get healthier through massage therapy? Our next professional training class will begin soon. Check out our calendars so you can find the schedule which works best for you. We offer a complete basic program in 6, 10 or 14 months! You will be amazed at how fast you can have an exciting new career (or steady side-job!)

Or maybe you are not quite ready. You don't feel that you have enough information. Then maybe you want to join one of our Introduction classes. Check out the information at the left. Try your hand at real massage work, coached by a real! I would love to meet you and show you the ropes.

Get all Mary's health videos by liking her Facebook page:  Mary McCluskey Health Coaching

For healthy insights on travel, food, health and more visit Mary's personal blog at
February 11, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
What the Heck is Celeriac?

Click on the picture of the celeriac to the right to view my 3 minute video about buying these unusual vegetables.  They are a bit pricey but they taste really good AND they are low in calories, excellent for your bones, brain and blood pressure as well as offering cancer protection.  They are full of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins B, C & K.

Are you ready to realize your professional dreams of helping others to get healthier through massage therapy? Our next professional training class will begin soon. Check out our calendars so you can find the schedule which works best for you. We offer a complete basic program in 6, 10 or 14 months! You will be amazed at how fast you can have an exciting new career (or steady side-job!)

Or maybe you are not quite ready. You don't feel that you have enough information. Then maybe you want to join one of our Introduction classes. Check out the information at the left. Try your hand at real massage work, coached by a real! I would love to meet you and show you the ropes.

Get all Mary's health videos by liking her Facebook page:  Mary McCluskey Health Coaching

For healthy insights on travel, food, health and more visit Mary's personal blog at
February 28, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Lots Happening at WSMT

It has been a busy start to the new year! We offered many continuing education classes for Wisconsin Massage Therapists who needed 24 hours of CEs to renew their licenses for the first time.  

Meanwhile, I have had MTs in North Dakota requesting a class on cupping in massage therapy. As a result, I am putting together an 8 hour training in September again. A cupping class is in the works for Wisconsin MTs also.  

We have also started a new day class, we are near graduating our current accelerated day class, and everyone at the school has busy massage practices as well.

Lastly, the health coaching at WSMT is currently focused on public speaking and social media-building. I recently had the privilege of addressing the mom's group at my church. Now a 6-session class is being planned there (Northbrook Church) for June and July. And I am soon to speak to the Mom's group of Germantown. I am finding I truly enjoy public speaking on health topics I am passionate about! Let me know if your group is seeking a speaker!

March 13, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Practicing Resiliency

No matter how consistently you practice healthy habits your health will fluctuate.  The healthy habits definitely give you the strong backdrop for quick recovery from the little ills that befall us as well as the power to prevent many devastating health crises.  This is called resiliency.  The power to bounce back. 

A strong mental attitude can often be the linchpin of the whole system.  Do you often feel defeated by daily challenges?  You can work on this and actually change it!  When things go wrong you can focus on your unhappiness or you can decide to approach it in a different way, as an opportunity to practice resiliency.

I have a picture of trap shooting above because, for me, this sport has given me ample opportunity for practicing resiliency!  Sports give you a laser focus to concentrate on.  When I miss a target I can just react or I can control my disappointment and practice shaking it off.  Often, being kind to one's self is the most difficult.  How I handle the disappointment of a missed target actually affects the rest of my game because it's a distraction to dwell on the setback and my full attention doesn't go to the next target.

That's exactly the way it is with health and mental attitude.  Learning to love yourself through the setbacks so you can turn your attention to the next healthy habit to practice is difficult, but really worth it.  So maybe you'll think of this next time you're challenged by a mistake or obstacle.  Decide it's a chance to practice resiliency and just see if it doesn't help your whole situation!

March 27, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Mom's Club Talk
I had the privilege recently to address a local Mom's Club about healthy family eating and also some self-care tips for stress management.  It was a lot of fun to connect with moms who have a great desire to bring up healthy kids.  

I told a story about a mom I met years ago.  She came to a class I was in and cooked us a beautiful Indian meal.  It was rich in spices, cooked with great care, and tasted delicious.  When I noticed this mom's small children sitting down to eat with us I asked her how she got her kids to eat such spicy and healthy food.  She explained that it is an ongoing education process.  When they want sugary breakfast cereal, for example, she does buy a box.  Then when they are eating it she lovingly says, "Now, is it really worth the taste of that to harm your body?  Do you like to be sick?"

Maybe these tactics sound harsh to you, but isn't it our jobs as parents to guide our children so that they learn to make good choices for themselves?  Have you ever thought about how to do this?  

Perhaps some coaching while they are trying an unhealthy food that they greatly desire isn't such a bad idea.  These kids did not want to keep eating the cereal after tasting it and considering the consequences of eating it.  Perhaps this is the crux of the matter.  How much consideration do you or your kids put into food choices?  Maybe we, as adults, need to really confront the fact that each and every food choice we make either adds to or detracts from our health.  When you understand this, it's natural to find ways to teach the kids you love to foster their health by choosing healthy foods.

It was fun to work with this group of moms.  I hope I gave them some new ideas for raising healthy kids!
April 17, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Always Learning!

Whew!  I've been busy learning lately!  What?  You might ask.  You're a school director and you are still learning?  Well, I'm here to tell you the human body is complicated and there is always more to learn!

One of the things I've really enjoyed about the field of massage therapy is that I will always be learning more.   There are new techniques, new research that refines techniques, even new anatomy clarifications.  Many of us in the profession find the 24 hour continuing education recertification requirement funny because we always have more hours than the minimum requirement!

Lately I've become certified in Cupping Massage.  I took a 6 hour class with Doug Nelson on the Golf Swing (amazingly complicated!)  And just last week I completed ACE Group Fitness Instructor Certification by passing my exam! 

Now I'm preparing for teaching cupping massage in North Dakota.  Miriam Mitchell is teaching it for us here at WSMT in May.  Maybe you'll want to join us!

April 26, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Cupping is Fun!

We have been doing a lot of cupping practice at WSMT lately.  Our instructors have been practicing together and we have all been using this new tool a little with our clients.  We are finding out it is a lot of fun and greatly appreciated by our clients!

Yesterday, Assistant Director, Robin Wenninger, and I tried fire cupping just for the experience.  We are not going to teach fire cupping nor use it with clients as it is not covered by massage insurance.  We found out that it's quite fumbly to manage all the pieces in addition to an open alcohol flame.  But the most interesting part of the experience was that we found these cups to be less effective for massage therapy cupping (which is quite different than the cupping in Traditional Chinese Medicine) because it is difficult to adjust the amount of suction.  We both much preferred the manual pump cups because they gave us a lot more variety in modulating that suction minute by minute.

The picture above is an example of a happy surprise.  We have discovered how delightful it is to have a cup gliding along the medial arch of the foot!

This kind of thorough background preparation is what you can count on as an MT who takes continuing education classes with WSMT.  In our class you will get to try different kinds of cups and techniques so you can get comfortable with this really fun new tool.  We hope you can join us when our Instructor, Miriam Mitchell is teaching it for us here at WSMT in May.  

May 2, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Health and Nutrition Conference

I'm enjoying the Health and Nutrition Conference in Phoenix, Arizona this week.  In addition to hearing about the latest science in nutrition, we are treated to healthy "tastings" and meals which are consistent with the findings of the science!

Above was our lunch yesterday.  It was a lovely salmon nicoise salad.  

I'll have lots to report in my next message!

May 9, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Healthy Woman Class

I'll be teaching a class this summer.  Maybe you'd be interested.  If so, sign up quick as there are only 20 spots available! 

Healthy Woman -
Relevant health topics for women of all ages.

Learn about improvements you can make to become a healthier woman. Topics include stress management, weight management, eating for health, fun exercise, restorative sleep and sickness prevention.

Wednesdays 7 - 8:30 PM, June 7 – July 19 (except July 5)
Location:  Northbrook Church
4014 Highway 167 W, Richfield, WI 53076  

June 6, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey

What does home mean to you?  Lots of people describe a good home as a sanctuary, a holy place, a place that is special and connected to the divine.  I reserve these descriptions for my church and my moving meditation prayer walks.  My home is my refuge.  It is the place to find solace and to refuel in every way after being out in the world that depletes me.  

I refuel my relationship to my husband with time spent home together.  I refuel nutrients for my body with food in my kitchen. I refuel my tired bones with blissful sleep in my bed.  I refuel with exercise after time away that is somewhat inactive.  I refuel with recreational gardening, painting, writing after mentally demanding professional work.  I recharge all my batteries at home where dog kisses, my space, and things the way I like them can be found.  

I once had someone tell me that she was afraid to go home. I referred her for immediate professional help for the situation.  I could not sleep that night because I could not imagine feeling unsafe in my own home.  How blessed I have always been with a good home.  

This past weekend WSMT volunteered at the Washington County Humane Society Rummage Sale providing chair massages with all proceeds going to the animals.  Some of these animals have never known what it is like to have a good home.  Shelters that offer a chance for a loving home are a Godsend in my book.  If you could provide that place for an animal who needs it I think you are a Godsend too and I would encourage you to visit a shelter near you.  

Home.  It's worth pondering what yours means to you.

July 8, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Cacao Pod

You just never know what you will find or who you will meet at your local farmers market!  This morning I was happy to meet Marcia who was in a booth selling cacao nibs and heavenly cacao paste in tubes.  She told me her story of going to Brazil and meeting the farmers who supply her company with raw material.  They gave her several fresh cacao pods to take home.  I was enthralled with her story and photos.  She had the paperwork to bring these into the US, but it was still a harrowing experience going through customs!  

I told her I teach classes about health and superfoods and I had just given a class about cacao.  I told her having one of these pods as a visual aid would be so great.  She had to think hard, but she graciously sold me one and then threw in a whole pile of the beans too.  Marcia also teaches classes about her products and we may be working together in the near future! 

Cacao is considered the raw material from which chocolate is made.  It is the fermented beans of the cacao pod, dried, then roasted, then ground into a paste with sugar and other ingredients to make the varieties of what we know as chocolate.  The raw cacao contains more than 300 different chemical compounds and nearly four times the antioxidant power of your average dark chocolate - more than 20 times than that of blueberries. Protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids are also present. This mix of elements have incredible benefits throughout the body, such as lowered LDL cholesterol, improved heart function, and reduced cancer risk.  Maybe you're getting the picture of why it is considered a superfood!

You MUST get to your local farmers market.  The most interesting people and products can be found there!

Get all Mary's health videos by liking her Facebook page:  Mary McCluskey Health Coaching

For healthy insights on travel, food, health and more visit Mary's personal blog at
August 15, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Continuing Education Classes Prep

Much is brewing at WSMT in the Continuing Education Department!  We have recently begun offering a Cupping in Massage Therapy class which is about to travel to our colleagues in North Dakota in September.  We are also offering North Dakotans a Therapeutics for the Lower Extremity class so I have been getting those classes ready.  In addition, things are brewing in a taping class and possibly an oncology massage class.  So, keep checking in on our Continuing Education Classes page.  Something is bound to pique your interest or meet a client need!

September 27, 2017
Message from the Director 
Mary McCluskey
Looking for Entrepreneurs

I am recently back from a trip to South Africa.  It was two glorious weeks observing animals in their native habitat, exploring Cape Town and Table Mountain National Park, and discovering a whole new continent of wonders.  It was spectacular!

When I researched the trip I discovered August/September is one of the best times to go because of the weather, the ability to see animals, and the amount of other travelers.  I am reminded of a time in my life when it would have been out of the question to take this trip.  I was a contracted teacher in a public school system and the start of the school year demanded I be in attendance, every single year.

One of the most highly prized benefits to owning your own business is the ability to set your own work schedule.  What a joy this trip was! It was possible in my schedule due to my ability to cross off two weeks in my calendar and rearrange my appointments and other commitments to free up this time.  Having this freedom was one of the big attractions for me to having my own business.

When you have your own business there is huge responsibility.  It takes a lot of time and effort to start and maintain a profitable business.  It also takes patience.  Getting to profitability takes time and then one must have the fortitude to weather the inevitable ups and downs of a business.  Some estimates are as high as 55% business failure by the 4th year in the services sector.  It's tough going.

But the rewards are there for those who understand the undertaking and put in the work required.  The rewards are certainly financial as the business owner takes the profits.  But there are so many more nontangible rewards and they often revolve around freedom.  There is freedom of schedule, freedom of how the business is run, freedom to set a tone to the business that becomes a known quality (we do the job right, we give you the best price, we deal fairly with our customers).  There are so many decisions and you get to be the boss and make them all!  

One of the things I love about massage therapy is that it lends itself to any work model.  You can be an employee, a private contractor, or you can actually start your own company.  Our program prepares you for any of these options.  I have a soft spot, though, for the entrepreneurs who are looking, as I did, for the freedoms business ownership offers.  So entrepreneurs, you are welcome at WSMT!