We have been hearing that people are doing well and this article in the NY Times confirms some interesting findings from spa industry leaders that supports what we have been hearing from our graduates. The bottom line is that the current levels of stress are sending people to spas and clinics for stress reduction and well being instead of just pampering. Whereas the benefits of the pampering were appreciated during good times, the realization that coping with stress was essential, is changing the way the industry markets to clients. It also holds powerful ramifications for the future. With the view that massage and spa treatments are a necessity instead of a luxury, the long term prospects for the industry take on new proportions. What has happened is a change in behavior on a fundamental level. Once behavior is changed, it is an enduring change. It also creates an even more loyal clientele who will be likely to refer others in the future. Because of the length and depth of the recession and the amount of money that has been pumped into the system, when the economy starts to increase again, it could be dramatic. I expect the pace will pick up even more and the stress levels will continue to increase dramatically. As people try to make up for lost time the pressure to succeed will be even greater and people will need even better support systems. And that is going to increase the demand for massage, polarity and spa professionals. Remembering that it is still a relatively low percentage of the population that realizes the value of this work is very exciting. It means there is still tremendous upside to the growth of the industry. And to see how well the industry has held up during economic stress is really exciting. It had never really been tested as severely as during this economy. But the word we still are hearing from many of our graduates (particularly those who have their own businesses) is that they are busier than ever. Again, this does not mean that there are not practitioners or companies that are not having problems. Recessions always expose the weak and reward the strong. When some companies are thriving in a down economy it highlights that it is not the industry that has a problem, it's the company or person who is struggling who needs to go to the next level. This is why the school offers this blog as well as many CEU classes, the Merit Scholarship, RYSE and a 20% tuition credit for all of our graduates so they can continue to improve their skills in all areas. We know that continuing to learn and grow is essential to retaining and attracting new clients. Self-care is also incredibly important since being healthy, positive and uplifting is essential to giving your clients the best possible experience. For people who have been thinking about becoming a massage or polarity therapist, aesthetician or cosmetologist, the future remains bright. The people who have been successfully doing this for 3 or more years are going to see their business expand dramatically in the coming years. They are going to need help. And the government has increased Federal Financial Aid because it knows that people need education to get better jobs. The really great thing about these industries is that they can never be replaced by the Internet or outsourcing. So keep up the great work, continue to increase your skills and you will continue to prosper and help others to do the same. Sincerely, Kris

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