Great Graduates from SWIHA, SWINA & SOY


Our mission is to inspire individuals to discover their gifts and graces, and support them as they share their talents with the world in a loving and profitable way.

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Ann Sherman- Caretaker, Nurturer, and Natural Beauty Advocate

Since graduating from Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics’ Advanced Skincare and Cosmetic Laser Program in 2014, Ann has begun a new adventure in her life with her own home day spa, Mindful Skin Spa, which is located in Chandler, Arizona. Ann practices what her friends call “holistic aesthetics”, meaning she uses all-natural, organic, and fragrance-free products, and educates her clients about the health aspects behind their skin.

“My mission is about educating my clients about skin health, revolving around the saying, ‘You are what you eat’. Whatever you put into your body gets dumped onto your skin. I use natural products because they all eventually make their way back to your liver, and using natural products reduces the chances of doing any damage.”

Much of this holistic approach comes from Ann’s medical background. Ann brings about fifteen years of medical experience to the table after graduating from nursing school in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in the eighties. Also certified in Oncology Aesthetics, Ann is able to provide affordable, relaxing, and rejuvenating services to Oncology clients suffering from changes to the skin due to cancer including dryness,

Topics: Great Graduates, Skincare, Blog

Kristin Apodaca – First I worked on myself – Now I’m fully prepared to offer my work to others!

Like many SWIHA students, Kristin Apodaca’s path to SWIHA was full of trials and tribulations. Nearly seven years ago, Kristin and her family moved to Arizona for her husband’s new job, leaving her family and old life behind in Boca Raton, Florida. On the outside, she had it all: a loving husband, four beautiful and healthy children, a large home and many friend -- and yet, as Kristin revealed, she felt like she had no idea who she was as a person. Seven years of being a stay-at-home-mom took their toll on her.She spent that time feeling very resentful towards her husband for having to work such long hours, taking him away from their family and herself. All of these factors led her to a breaking point. “I had lost my identity,” confessed Kristin. After briefly using anti-depressants to help cope with her anxiety and depression, she knew there had to be a more holistic route available.

“I knew I had to find an alternative to the medicine; I needed to deal with and explore the feeling of emptiness I felt so that I could be the best version of myself and be the best mom I could be for my children,” said Kristin. After beginning to look into self-help retreats, a friend of hers mentioned the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. She quickly logged onto SWIHA’s website -- -- and knew that this was exactly what she needed.

Topics: Great Graduates, Life Coaching, Yoga Teacher Training, Blog, yoga

Ravynn Rohner: Willing to Sit in the Seat of the Teacher

Ravynn Rohner is a graduate who has literally transformed her life and humbly taken space in the seat of the teacher. In 2011, Ravynn started doing yoga regularly in her hometown of Casa Grande, Arizona and her teacher was a Spirit of Yoga graduate. Having taken Cranial Unwinding at SWIHA in 2007, she was familiar with the school, and began thinking about taking the 800-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program.

Topics: Great Graduates, Yoga Teacher Training, Blog, yoga

Adrian Ealy: SWIHA Yoga Teacher Training & Massage Practitioner Graduate: Impacting His Community through Healing From the Heart

Adrian Ealy is a multitalented and equally meticulous practitioner who’s calling and current practice as an energetic bodyworker complements his strong background in Kung Fu and fitness. His approach to his own thriving health, as well as those he serves, integrates mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.   Thanks to a series of events, conversations and a strong sense of discernment on his part, Adrian’s journey is now very much in alignment with his purposeful calling.

Just before his studies began, Adrian worked for a corporate company, and began noticing signs of stress and strain on his body. His knowledge in fitness led him to pursue yoga as an additional means of healing physical discomfort, especially because the roots of Kung Fu stem directly from yoga.  Adrian chose to enroll in Yoga Teacher Training at Spirit of Yoga offered through Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) solely for the purpose enhancing his own personal practice.

Actively doing the work required in the Yoga Teacher Training program, Adrian was gifted a certificate to receive a massage.  He willing took advantage of the opportunity to receive as massage as he was still experiencing job-related discomfort.

Topics: Blog

Sandy Flores – SWIHA Online Holistic Nutrition and Hypnotherapy Graduate: Shares Healing and Hope to Her World

As her 50th birthday approached, Sandy Flores knew she wanted to do something special to honor the next stage of her life, now that she and her husband, Bill, had an empty nest. She always dreamed of completing her college degree and thought this would be the perfect time to focus on her and her passions.

As she looked at schools and curriculums, nothing seemed to fit her personality, interests, and goals. That is, until late one night, while looking at schools on the internet, she stumbled upon the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). Just reading the College’s name alone seemed to bring a stir of excitement. Each and every class she scrolled through sounded interesting and life-affirming, which was something she desperately longed for during her mid-life crossroads. She felt butterflies in her stomach as she read that the school offered online classes for distance students. She began to entertain the idea that perhaps finding SWIHA was no coincidence at all. The next morning, Sandy called and spoke with an online advisor and by the end of the week, she was fully enrolled to study Holistic Nutrition and Hypnotherapy. The most exciting affirmation to her decision came when the advisor told her the starting date for her classes – Sandy’s 50th birthday!

Topics: Blog

Finding Purpose in Life

Kristen Burkhardt-Hanson had always been a troubled soul; she spent most of her life addicted to substances, alcohol, and making poor life decisions. She worked equally as long in the spa and salon industry and was over-worked, under-paid, and stressed out. She was longing for a different kind of life that gave her a sense of meaning and purpose.

Leif Hanson always felt alone and disconnected from the world. On the outside he appeared to be happy and easy-going, however, on the inside he was miserable and lacked confidence. At times he found it difficult to make friends and maintain a social life. He liked his job as a software engineer but he longed to have purpose and live life in an exciting and meaningful way; he just didn’t know what that looked like yet.

After both of their divorces, Leif and Kristen met online. After dating for a few years Leif moved Kristen to Arizona with her two daughters for a chance at a new life. They both became sober in 2010, and while they had the best intentions to have a fabulous marriage, they quickly discovered their behavior and attitudes from their previous marriages and experiences were beginning to seep in.

Topics: Blog

A Wandering Mystic’s Ministry of Compassion

Tamira Burns says she got “The Call” around age seven, in the form of a profound angel encounter that many might label as “crazy”, or the imaginings of a creative, gifted child.

“My heart felt like it would explode from the love I felt! The angel opened my path before me and advised me to follow my father, as he was a true child of God,” Tamira says of her angel encounter.

Tamira’s father was what she describes as a “secular humanist and a naturalist, who loved the earth and cared for all the creatures upon it with a profound love.” Her father felt that “god” was an ego construct of humanity to control the masses, and that churches were no more than a place to be reprogrammed, which confused Tamira as a child, as she did not understand the very personal relationship her father had with what he called “spirit” until she was much older.

Her mother was an excommunicated Catholic, abandoned by the church and stuck in a “spiritual orphanhood.” As a child, Tamira’s family did not attend church, and did not have a bible in the house. Her home was filled with books on nature and culture, anthropological journals and magazines such as the Smithsonian, Omni, and National Geographic.

Topics: Blog

SWIHA Graduates use Hypnotherapy to Help Banner Estrella Patients Heal

Hypnotherapy, often referred to as guided imagery, is a powerful instrument for healing. It works within the subconscious mind of an individual, helping to resolve issues such as chronic anxiety, weight gain, fear and insomnia. It can also help change negative or addictive behaviors.

Bob Chamberlain, a graduate of the 100 hour Certificate of Excellence in Hypnotherapy

at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA), has an undeniable passion for hypnotherapy and guided imagery. Once Bob completed his 100 hours of training at SWIHA, he immediately took his skills and experience to Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix, along with SWIHA’s Hypnotherapy Program Director Linda Bennett.

In January of 2015, Banner Estrella launched a pilot program called the Guided Imagery Project. This is a volunteer based program in which Bob immediately began volunteering, along with a dozen other graduates from SWIHA’s hypnotherapy program.

Most traditional, or allopathic, doctors and medical centers have not previously used holistic or integrative therapies like hypnotherapy with patients. However, recently the use of more holistic therapies such as hypnotherapy, massage therapy and even yoga have proven beneficial for helping patients.

Topics: Blog

Giving You the Good Stuff: SWIHA Great Graduate Thrives with Natural Skincare Business

The recent awareness around ingredients in foods and products has practically caused a worldwide phenomenon. Conscious consumers everywhere are beginning to pay attention to what they are putting in and on their bodies. However, Lisa Kaiser has been reading product labels and looking at food ingredients long before it was making headlines. This attention to labels and ingredients was what inspired Lisa to create her skincare business, The Good Stuff, over 15 years ago with her daughter.
Lisa came to Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) years after launching her business with the intent to expand on her expertise. She enrolled in the online Associates of Mind-Body Transformational Psychology program, and was intrigued by the Urban Farming courses, due to her interest in reading labels and using ingredients that nature provided.

“The fact that Urban Farming was incorporated, along with the holistic nutrition classes, brought what I believe full circle,” Lisa explained.

Topics: Blog

Embodying a Full Time Career as a Massage Therapist

Like many students who attend SWIHA (Southwest Institute of Healing Arts), Elizabeth Brotherson came to the school looking for an alternative career path. She was hoping to supplement her income as a preschool teacher by earning a living doing something she was passionate about. Elizabeth had always been drawn to energy work and had a natural intuition for knowing when someone might need help or healing, so when she found SWIHA, she knew it was the perfect fit for her.

“SWIHA embraces the total embodiment of the healing arts, encouraging you to use your natural abilities, while giving you the tools to take it that extra step to make you a successful therapist,” she explains regarding what attracted her to SWIHA.

Elizabeth, or Beth, as she often goes by, enrolled in SWIHA’s Professional Massage Practitioner 750 hour program, and immediately began her journey to becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist. She says after starting her first myotherapy class she was hooked! She went on to take every myotherapy class SWIHA offered, as well as deep tissue, massage, trigger point courses, and sports massage, in addition to core courses such as anatomy and reflexology.

Topics: Massage Therapy, massage, Blog

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