Janis Arlow LMT, MEd, received her basic massage training from the Virginia School of Massage in 1995 and went on to pursue a diploma in Visionary Cranial Sacral Work from the Milne Institute. Throughout her years in practice, Janis taught in various massage programs before pursuing a Masters in Adult Education from James Madison University. Combining her love of bodywork with her passion for education, Janis joins the ASIS Massage Education team at Flagstaff as an instructor and campus manager.
How long have you been practicing massage therapy?
Full-time practice since 1995.
What is your favorite modality to teach?
Connective Tissue Therapy/Massage. Although I love teaching all aspects of massage therapy, that moment when a student first feels a deep since of connection to another human being through the
body’s tissues excites me every time. Developing those connections creates a tremendous sense of joy.
What would you tell someone who is considering massage therapy school?
One, don’t hesitate, don’t wait; your life is going to be better than you can imagine. Two, plan and prepare your whole being; this will not be as easy as you might expect.
What is one thing you wish you had known before you became a massage therapist?
That my capacity for love and understanding would continue to grow and expand with every client that I touched.
Name one person who has had an impact on your life and explain why:
Hugh Milne has had a tremendous influence on my life for the past fifteen years. Although I was only in his presence as an instructor for several months cumulatively over a five year period, his impact continues to date. His demand for specificity in bodywork, along with his openness to outcome, allowed me to pursue my interests in science, while keeping the concerns of the client always at the forefront of my mind. Like a good parent, he created the right mix of acceptance of the individual student, while at the same time challenging each student for growth and transformation.
What is your favorite thing about teaching at ASIS Massage Education and why?
Students represent hope and belief in the future to me. To have the opportunity to share this profession with others, to give them the tools they need for a happier and more prosperous future, gives me great satisfaction. The best part of working at ASIS is that I get to teach with so many other talented instructors, making the work more stimulating and fun.
Vacation…beach, woods, desert, or mountains?
Mountains. . . the rest are beneath me.
Noosa coconut yogurt. It’s my lunch most every day; so yes, it is a meal.
“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. . . This is the inter-related structure of reality.” ―Martin Luther King Jr., from the infamous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
Describe your most significant interaction with a client or student:
My favorite client came to me in her late 80s after hitting her head during a fall in the middle of the night. Rose, as I refer to her, was frightened and in a lot of pain. I was amazed at how quickly her tissues responded to my touch. As I worked with Rose’s head I felt an opening, as if butterflies were lifting off a flower. In my previous experience, I’d never witnessed an elderly person respond so rapidly and completely to corrective measures. My love for Rose grew deep through many bodywork sessions over the next several years. Many of these sessions included discussions of death and dying, as she was ready to join her late husband. Although I was insistent that she stick around for her 100th birthday party, I promised I would be there for her when she felt it was her time to go. One very busy day, I decided it was time to drop the schedule and go to visit Rose. I arrived at the nursing home she had been placed in several months earlier to find her in extreme pain and emotional distress. We had our usual disagreement about the difference in her coming for an appointment versus my visiting and offering touch. I finally agreed to take a check when she got up. She laughed and said, “Oh, you are going to play it that way, are you?” From our discussion and the look in her eye, I knew this was one argument I didn’t want to win; yet, we both knew I had. The honor of laying Rose down, and bringing comfort to her in her final hour of consciousness is difficult to express in words. She brought me hours of joy over the years with her gentle nature and her great sense of humor. Our final conversation has stuck with me and carried me through the many transitions that I have faced without Rose. To know that I was there for her when she needed me the most has made dealing with her loss almost bearable.
Learn more about Janis here.