Kyle Hierholzer

Meet Kyle Hierholzer.

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Education: Hospital-Based Massage Therapist Certificate, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences

When team members from the Syracuse University basketball teams come off the courts, Kyle Hierholzer and his team from Hand in Health Massage Therapy are standing by to bring relief from pain. “We treat both (men’s and women’s) teams weekly on their recovery training days to assist with pain management, performance, injury rehab and orthopedic massage,” he says.

Hierholzer, who will be teaching many hands-on classes in Northeast’s new five-trimester Massage Therapy certificate program, founded Hand in Health in 2011 and currently works with a team of 26 providers at two multidisciplinary clinics that focus primarily on clinical massage.

“Many of our massage therapists are dual-certified fitness professionals who incorporate 1-on-1 training to help with pain management,” he says. “We offer a variety of treatments from general therapeutic massage to deep tissue, veteran massage, lymphatic drainage, and sports massage. Many of our providers have specialized training in scar tissue treatments, cranial sacral therapy, and Reiki.”

Hierholzer has been impressed by Northeast College’s facilities and resources to help aspiring massage therapists learn the tools of their trade. “From the on-site cadaver lab, anatomage tables, and faculty/student/public/community clinics, there will be amazing learning opportunities unique to this program,” he says. “I was also impressed with the student affairs office and seeing the many support resources they have available to assist students throughout their learning experience.”

Hierholzer is enthusiastic about his new role as educator and hopes to continue to grow his teaching career in massage therapy as the program itself matures. At the same time, he understands the value of professors who are also practitioners, with real-world knowledge that can be brought to the classroom and clinic. “I believe the best instructors still practice,” he says.

“Sports massage continues to be a growing reason many patients are seeking massage care. There is evidence-based research showing that massage helps athletes improve flexibility, recovery and performance.”

A few questions with Massage Instructor Kyle Hierholzer

Why has Northeast made it a priority to add massage therapy to its programs?

The CNY area has a high demand for massage therapy, and unfortunately fewer and fewer available therapists. I believe Northeast has seen this gap and has looked for a way to provide a unique clinical-based massage therapy program to an area that needs it most. Northeast is poised to elevate the massage therapy profession by sharing all the resources of its chiropractic program with soon-to-be massage therapists.

What advice would you give a new massage therapist just starting out in the field?

The top three pieces of advice I can give a new massage therapist starting their career:

  1. Get your hands on as many people as possible. Ask for on-the-spot feedback and just practice, practice, practice.
  2. Keep learning. The approved New York state curriculum just scratches the surface of what being a massage therapist means. Don’t wait to take as many continuing education classes as possible and keep learning and improving.
  3. Get as many massages as possible from the best therapists in your area. Forge relationships with mentors, trade massages and embrace their techniques and knowledge—massage therapists love to share.

What else would you like us to know about you?

I spent about 10 years with the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), N.Y. chapter in many roles on their education committee, government relations committee, communications chair, board member and secretary. I’m the happy recipient of many awards from the AMTA including the President’s Award and Meritorious Award. I currently serve as vice-chair for the N.Y. state Massage Therapy Board. We create the bi-annual massage therapy board examination, serve the legislature and assist with scope of practice issues and disciplinary cases. I’m a proud graduate of the Mayo Clinic College of Health Sciences Hospital Based Massage Therapy program. This program provided specialized training to massage therapists in an integrative, team-based approach to medicine by incorporating massage therapy throughout the hospital.