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Impact Makers June 2024

Introducing AMTA-Member Sandy Aquila of Omaha, NE, one of this year’s Nebraska Chapter's IMPACT MAKERS.

Here's is the info you should know about Sandy in her own words:

LMT years: 42 years

AMTA years: 36 years 

What Massage Modalities do you practice: 

Acupressure, Electro-Stim (Needless Acupuncture), Craniosacral Therapy, Five Element 

Body-Mind therapy, as well as emotional release techniques, nutritional and energy healing.

Where do you practice: Omaha, Nebraska. Initially, I practiced in physical therapy offices and then out of my home for many years. In 2001 I established OM Center (Omaha Healing Arts Center) in the Old Market area.  Additionally, my work has taken me across the United States and worldwide, touring with Grammy-award recipient Sting and for 28 years with Chip Davis of Mannheim Steamroller. 

In what ways do you participate in your community sponsoring healing and massage programs at the OM Center and throughout Omaha in addition to continuing education courses. 

I've been a guest teacher at The University of Nebraska at Omaha for Stress Management courses, presented educational programs on Massage Therapy for Cable television, taught massage at The BodyMind Institute, and a founding member of The Healing Arts Council, which promotes unique and educational programs here in Omaha.

How do you spend your time outside of work?  Immersing myself in nature, practicing photography, walking, enjoying time with my son and friends. Attending Sufi gatherings, which offer opportunities for reflection, music and moving meditations. I love studying the patterns and the interconnectedness of life in nature and people.  Exploring diverse world cultures through travel is a deep passion of mine. 

How do you promote massage therapy in your community?  Through the OM Center, and for years I’ve promoted, sought and engaged educators, artist's, and a variety of healing practitioners to create exposure to the Omaha area. 

Through various initiatives such as co-organizing The Omaha Health & Wellness Expo, sponsoring Tibetan monks fundraising tours for 35 years, engaging in legislative and lobbying work to advance Massage Therapy and Acupuncture laws in Nebraska, enabling licensed acupuncturists to practice in Nebraska, co-founding non-profits Compassion Omaha, Inc. and OM Healing Arts Foundation Inc., and being a member of The Healing Arts Council which promotes world culture and educational programs in Omaha.

Do you have any words of wisdom to share that have helped you in your career: Be present, show kindness, and listen with care.  Observe your own intuition, by feeling the stillness in-between the techniques. Study and practice what you are drawn to, what you love…  that is, your heart's calling.   

I could wall-paper my treatment room with the checks I've written for continuing education courses in holistic healing! 

Have you ever volunteered your time to the Nebraska Chapter and if so, roughly when and how long were you a volunteer?  Yes, by offering massage to the cyclists of Ragbrai and marathoners. I was the editor of The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) newsletter for the Nebraska chapter for two years. We assisted in diversifying our chapter by adding different committees in: History, newsletters, finance, continuing education, and legislative activity. 

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