After retiring from the Air Force and moving back to Arizona, Tom Kreienbrink found the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) through a Facebook friend. Throughout the duration of his Air Force career, Tom was in Graphic Arts and Multimedia, and for the last 10 years he was in leadership and management positions. “I worked in a design position for FEMA in Washington D.C. for a few years after retiring from the Air Force. Bottom line – I was ready to get out of the 'rat race,' and when I found SWIHA it was the second career I’d been waiting for.”
Tom shared how he’s always had a passion for learning about natural healing methods, nutrition, energy, and spirituality. “When I started studying at SWIHA, I found it was a school that offered practical holistic modalities and techniques that I could take out into the world and help people in my community and beyond.”
Tom graduated with his Associates of Occupational Studies Degree in Holistic Health Care – with a concentration in Mind-Body Transformational Psychology. The programs he completed with his degree included the 750-hour massage program, a Certificates of Excellences in Myofascial Energetic Massage, Transformational Reiki, Cranial Unwinding, Reflexology, and Hypnotherapy.
Tom went on to share how he uses all of the combined wisdom from each of his areas of specialization in his sessions. “Of the classes and programs I’ve taken, I love them all. I use them all. Even some of the required classes like Ayurveda, Western Herbalism – Foundations of American Herbal Studies, Life Coaching, and even Public Speaking offer me a lot to draw from when working with clients.”
After graduation, Tom decided to go into business for himself. He cited the fact that he’s an Air Force retiree, which put him in the unique position to start a new business and career at the same time. “Being an Air Force retiree, I have a certain amount of flexibility, and it was a good time to give it a shot and strike out on my own. My wife is also very supportive and I got so much support and assistance while in school as well.”
His business is named Holistic Therapy Solutions, LLC, and is located in Central Phoenix on 19th Ave, just north of Camelback. Tom specializes in Massage, Reiki, Cranial Sacral (Cranial Unwinding), and Reflexology therapies. “I am getting ready to offer Reiki I and II classes, along with some other holistic workshops. I provide therapy and workshops in my office or I can bring it to my clients. I also do chair massage and can provide this service at events or offices.”
He describes his massage therapy as strong and energetic with a therapeutic touch that helps his clients relax, heal, and feel good. His Reiki sessions help relieve pain, release stress, and assists with physical and emotional healing on all levels. Tom gets really excited about all of the modalities in his practice and he especially likes Cranial Sacral therapy. This is an energetic body work modality that works with the cranium, cerebrospinal system, and connective tissue systems of the body. By tuning in to the body’s systems, using palpation, gentle touch, and other therapeutic techniques, he can help clients release physical and energetic blockages, imbalances, and connective tissue holding patterns. Tom has found that Cranial Sacral therapy can be very helpful for people who have struggled with various forms of trauma and stress. This gentle energetic therapy can be very healing and can help clients to come back to place of balance in their body and life.
“I've worked with several military veterans who have suffered from post- traumatic brain injury and traumatic brain Injuries. This calming and natural therapy can be very soothing and help release the tension and pressure that remain long after the tour of duty.”
In terms of what a client should expect, Tom said, “they’ll receive both excellent customer service and some amazing therapy. As owner and therapist, I will do everything possible to assist my clients by helping them to relax, de-stress, to heal, and to attain and maintain a healthy balance.”
Tom sees all types of clients and to put it simply, they are people who want or need what he has to offer. “I do have a special place in my heart for those who serve our countries and communities,” shared Tom. He extends a 20% discount to veterans, teachers, and first responders.
When it comes to marketing tools, his favorites are networking and old fashioned word of mouth:
“Participating in business fairs, doing chair massage at various events, and just talking with people are my best ways of generated clients. I also have a website and a blog that get the word out. I promote the business on my Holistic Therapy Solutions Facebook page. Social media is a solid tool and can bring in clients, yet primarily word of mouth advertising is what brings people in the door- either from me, satisfied clients, or sometimes other therapists. I also offer specials occasionally (to give people the incentive to try my services and to tell others).”
Like most entrepreneurs, Tom admits to experiencing some challenges while growing his business. “The most challenging part of starting my business was staying positive and being patient.” Luckily, there were also easy parts! “I feel like I was equipped with a lot of support and tools from the on-campus SWIHA Success Center, instructors, plus fellow students and graduates for SWIHA. That made the transition smoother.”
Tom shared how great it feels to be able to take the knowledge he learned at SWIHA to help his clients and really make a difference in their lives. “I customize each session for each client I work with and do whatever they need at the time. If they need massage, I can help. If they need energetic work to release, unwind, or something of a more esoteric nature, I’m happy to assist as well. SWIHA gave me a full 'tool kit,' to be a massage therapist as well as a holistic therapist – I’m qualified to work with the whole person – body, mind, and Spirit.”
Tom offers these inspiring words to future or recent SWIHA graduates or anyone in the holistic health field:
“Be open. Be open to the amazing and incredible, and all the lessons and education available. I got that one very early on, at the Life Coaching weekend class. Being open served me well at school and still serves me well in life and my work. It makes me available to learn what I may have judged or discounted in the past. Learn what you can while in school and once you’re finished…keep learning. If you’re looking to make a difference in people’s lives, SWIHA is a fantastic place to start. Remember to have patience. Creating a successful business takes some time and some dedicated work. Don’t be discouraged. Keep working at it, stay present, and enjoy every moment.”
Tom was recently interviewed on Blog Talk Radio so you can learn a bit more about his journey and what he is up to by clicking on this link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theconnector2013/2016/03/16/tom-kreienbrink
Other ways to connect with Tom include his website, Facebook and his blog: