Free Application for Federal Student Aid

April 23rd, 2012 by Bellus Academy

Guest blogger Summer Collins – Financial Aid Advisor

Have you ever wondered what FAFSA stands for? Well it is the free application for federal student aid. That is how many of our students are able to receive assistance for school here. As many of us may know, financial aid is always changing. In the upcoming fiscal year there are several anticipated changes but, it is not subject to change until July 1, 2012. It varies from interest rates, new regulations, and the ability to benefit test. Also, tax season is over which leads to the new regulation for the 12-13 FAFSA. It requires students to complete the IRS Data Retrieval tool. If students have not done so they should as soon as possible. If students are not able to use this tool they must request an IRS tax transcript because we cannot have tax forms in a financial aid file. In addition to the 12-13 FAFSA subsidized loans are anticipated to change. The interest rate is going up to 6.8%. It is also anticipated that as of July 1, 2012 students who have taken the ability to benefit test will not be able to receive financial aid any longer. Students without high school diplomas will have to obtain a GED or high school diploma to get federal assistance. If you would like more information on financial aid grants and student loans I strongly recommend making a PIN number used for many financial aid purposes at www.pin.ed.gov. After you have completed making a PIN number and It has become active complete Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov. This will give you a better understanding about student loans and grants.

Big things happening at Bellus Academy in National City

April 9th, 2012 by Bellus Academy

Its nine days into the month of April and we have just completed another successful new class orientation at the National City campus. This group included future professionals enrolled in Cosmetology, Make-up and the Spa nail program. The four class starting in 2012 have increased the overall population of the campus by 30% bringing the total number of students to
its highest point in several years. The caliber of students that are committing to Bellus Academy on a monthly basis are the driving force behind the success that we are attaining in National City.

With newly enhanced facilities and continued excellence to education, the increase has not gone unnoticed. Kalia White, a National City student, has recently become the first invitee from this campus to complete a 2-week externship with the Global icons Sonya and Christopher Dove at their beautiful studio in Santa Monica, CA. Joining Kalia are seven other future professionals currently preparing to be placed in multiple extern salons all-over the San Diego area.

The success of these students coupled with improving licensure and job placement rates have the word spreading about the changes taking place in the eldest of the four Bellus Academies. Through commitment to education, hard work and a tremendous amount of dedication big things are continuing to take place down south in National City.

“The Benefits of Massage: It Changes Lives!”

March 5th, 2012 by Amy Masini

Guest Blogger Joe Barbalaco, Director of Massage Programs

I’m sure by now you have heard that massage is for more than just relaxation and pain relief.   Receiving massage on a regular basis rebuilds a new you, mentally and physically.  It helps you embrace some lifestyle changes that may include:  nutrition awareness, physical activity, mental focus,  and a healthier outlook on life.

Through the work of a massage therapist, a person starts to feel differences in the body they might not have been aware of before.  These physical changes include: joints that are manipulated to its fullest range of motion which then allows the muscle tissue to be elongated.   This gives the person a sense of freedom in their body and is capable of moving better as they go through their daily activities.  The ability to move freely reduces the feelings of fatigue, sluggishness, and heaviness which lead to a feeling of being able to be more physically active. This new positive experience of physical awareness of their body may help them reach the next level of a regular fitness regime. When clients can move better they are more likely to try a yoga/stretch class, lift weights, begin a walking or light jogging routine.

Being that we explored that massage is more than just for relaxation or for luxury, we can make this statement, “Massage therapy can assist with producing energy to enhance both the body and mind.” Experienced massage therapist or holistic health practitioners will guide, educate, and provide a plan to wellness for the client who’s looking to improve their health. This is the responsibility of a Massage Therapist.  At Bellus Academy, every trained massage therapist is given methods to encourage their client to a path of wellness.

“Assessment, Treatment, Prevention – Promoting Health through Massage”

Joseph Barbalaco

Director of Massage Programs

Beauty Artistry

February 20th, 2012 by Bellus Academy

Guest Blogger Willliam Williams
Recently I was asked if I was a hairdresser. I wasn’t sure how to answer the question, considering I was holding a comb in my right hand and a section of hair with my left hand at that very moment. She wasn’t even being sarcastic. In fact, after I spoke with her, I realized that it was a genuine question. And my reply? No. I am not a hairdresser. I am a hair artist. Allow me to explain…

Working with photographers has been an absolute blessing. In fact, it has transformed my work from craft, into an art form. In fact, working with a challenging photographer (let’s say, “picky”), is one of the best hair classes that a beauty artist can have. That is because the camera can see far more of the light spectrums than the human eye can. As a result, talented photographers have eyes that are trained to see exactly what the camera will see. In fact,some of the best photographers that I know are also some of the best hair artists that I know. So the ability to work on set relies on your ability to artistically empathize with the photographer. It also relies on your own ability to have vision and a voice. This skill also depends on your ability to work with other artists and visionaries. When it comes to editorial work, it is important for all talents, voices and artistry to be recognized in the results. So to make an amazing photo, your artistic relationship with everyone on set is important. Depending on the set, you might have several artistic voices to empathize with.

So seeing the world as an artist becomes crucial to the work. I remember the night before my first editorial job. I stayed up all night dreaming of what I would do the next day. I had amazing plans. But at the end of the day, my plans didn’t work. There I was, with a craftsperson’s head surrounded by artists. I had to make a decision. Can I do this job? Then, I (finally) understood what we were making and I realized that they just wanted me to make the hair pretty. They just needed a pretty fabric for the camera to appreciate. I realized that I was in the middle of an amazing transformation; I simply wasn’t smart enough to know what happened to me just yet. In retrospect, I believe that this is the moment that I became an artist… This is when I made a decision. My work MUST improve.

With that experience, my artistic journey had begun. At the end of the day, it was all about being myself and finding my voice on set. Learning to work on set takes time, but the goal is to be you and simply make beauty. Everyone has his or her own style on set. My style is simple. Bring a lot of enthusiasm, alongside a lot of humor. I find that humor can make these stressful situations more fun for others on set. I believe that one of the unwritten job descriptions of a beauty artist on set is to keep everyone feeling happy and beautiful. The photographer has too much to think about to pay attention to the various personalities on set. So it falls to us to make sure that the model arrives on set looking and feeling gorgeous. More often than not, the model is very young and needs a little help to stay in the right space all day to do an amazing job. How you make others feel on set goes a long way towards your success on sets. The important thing is to be yourself and love what you are doing. Most of all, be an artist…

An artist is never satisfied. A craftsperson has measurements and develops a formula. In that sense, art is nothing more than a decision. I love the way St. Francis of Assisi said it. “A laborer works with their hands. A craftsperson works with their head and their hands. An artist works with their heart, head and hands.” See? Just a decision. Like all beauty artists, I was taught as a craftsperson and I learned a beautiful craft. As a craftsperson, I did my very best to create a great plan and follow through successfully. As an editorial artist, I had to make a decision to constantly be creating. In order for me to get more from my art, I simply had to decide to put more love into it.

I am so proud of the work that I am doing with Bellus Academies right now. Lynelle and Diego have invested in
programs that will teach working on sets to the artists that aspire to an editorial/advertising career. We are working with amazing photographers and designers. In the last year we have had several student/artists published in fashion magazines, including 2 covers. We have even had artists working on prestigious red carpet events, including the Oscars, Emmy’s and the S.A.G. awards. All this, before these artists even got their license. We are now preparing to take this to the pros. We look forward to bringing new opportunities to our partner salons and helping them take full advantage of them. Imagery has become so important in today’s social media. People need to see your work, more than to hear about it. Contact Bellus for more information on how to build your portfolio and grow as an artist. w.w.w.

Deep Tissue/Sports Massage Continued…

September 20th, 2011 by Bellus Academy

Guest Blogger: Joseph Barbalaco, Director of Massage Programs

For the second section of Deep Tissue/Sports Massage, I would like to express the benefits.

These specialized massages will help with:

1. Faster recovery from micro damage and trauma due to workouts.

2. Increasing range of motion keeping the overused joint mobile and free from joint structures binding together.

3. Rejuvenating fatigued muscles from repetitive overuse.

4. Preventing muscle strain by maintaining new resting lengths for muscles that are shortening due to weight overloads.

Scar Tissue is the problem:

Scar tissue is denser than normal tissue and because of this density; blood supply is limited to these areas.  (A good blood supply is necessary for growth and repair of damaged tissue.)  The function of scar tissue is to replace damaged tissue.  Unfortunately scar tissue is limited in functions that include movement, circulation, and sensation.  The problem with scar tissue is that it will never be as strong as the tissue it replaces.

Any person who has had past injury has formed scar tissue in those areas.  Those areas are considered weak spots which can cause further damage in the future.

Solution: A trained Massage Therapist will see the imbalances of the body such as the skeletal and muscular systems.  They will also know the difference between healthy tissues from scar tissue.  A skilled Massage Therapist will create a plan to reduce scar tissue.

A PLAN could involve:

1. RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation).  This may limit scar tissue to overused areas of the body.

2. Deep Tissue methods that will involve lots of friction and cross fiber fiction creating the scar to be flexible and pliable.

3. Neuromuscular Therapies to help create new resting lengths of shortened muscles affected by scar tissue.

4. Provide the client with home exercise to keep their body strong yet flexible.  This may help with preventing future injury and scar tissue build up.

Thank you for reading my BLOG about Deep Tissue massage.  Remember that Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention is something we all can do to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle.


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