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Veteran benefits at ICOHS College

Who is Eligible to Use the GI Bill?

By Financial Assistance, Military No Comments

What is the GI Bill?

The GI Bill created a range of benefits for veterans of military service. The benefits are meant to help make the transition from veteran standing to civilian life smoother. It was also used to attract bright young adults to join the military forces. Here at ICOHS College, you can use your GI Bill benefits to help fund your education. You might be wondering, how do I do this? We’re here to help you.

Soldiers coming home from sea duty
What Are My GI Bill Benefits?

If you are eligible, you can receive 100% of tuition for a four-year degree. You can also receive a housing allowance to help cover additional living costs. If you’re not committing to a four-year program, it also covers the cost of training programs and reimbursement for certification exams. ICOHS College falls into the latter category.

To be clear, the GI Bill is NOT considered to be Financial Aid. This is because the GI Bill is paid directly to you rather than the school. This means, in order to use your GI Bill benefits, you will have to apply for student loans and pay them with your GI Bill payments. This means that you are still eligible for student loans, scholarships, and grants on top of your GI Bill benefits!

Am I Eligible?

There are currently four major GI Bill programs:

Post-9/11 GI Bill – Served 30 days of continuous active duty service after September 10, 2001, and be discharged due to a disability-related to service OR – Served 90 days of active duty service and received an honorable discharge.

Montgomery GI Bill – Contributed $100 a month for the first 12 months of active duty – Have completed High School or have an equivalent certificate – Served at least 2 years on active duty – Received an honorable discharge.

Reserve and Guard Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB-SR) – Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve or Guard signed after June 30, 1985. – Complete your initial active duty for training – Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalent certificate – Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Program (VR&E) – Have received a discharge that is anything other than dishonorable – Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% – Submit a completed application for VR&E services

servicemen from different branches of the military
GI Bill Limitations

You must take advantage of your benefits within 15 years of being discharged from the military, otherwise, you will no longer be eligible. If you are using the Montogomery GI Bill, you have 10 years from your discharge date to use all of the GI Bill benefits or you’ll lose it. Also, the GI Bill cannot exceed $17,500 annually, so if your school of choice is more expensive, you must find other ways to fund the difference. Lastly, the housing allowance is only given to military members that are enrolled in school full-time.

In order to start using your GI Bill benefits, you have to apply for them online, in person, or with a VA certifying official. You can easily access the VA online website here. Each region has a VA office you can visit in person.

Required GI Bill Documents

You need documents that include your Social Security number, the bank account and routing numbers to receive your benefits, school transcripts, and any paperwork that shows your status as a veteran, etc.
Veterans must provide their discharge paperwork, a copy of DD Form 214. Those that are still serving will need to provide a copy of current orders and a letter from a supervisor showing that they are in good standing.

When Should I Start?

It can take at least a month for GI Bill benefit applications to be processed. It’s good to get the process started early, especially if you already know where you want to go. ICOHS College is a veteran-friendly college and can help you understand your benefits. Learn more about starting the process here: https://icohs.edu/va-financial-assistance-resources/

You can use your GI Bill for any period of time, even if you decide to take time off of your education. You can re-apply to use it any time within the 15 or 10 year time period.

References General GI Bill Information, Military.com, https://www.military.com/education/gi-bill/general-gi-bill-information
Hot Stone Massage Therapy

Hot Stone Therapy: Understanding This Massage Practice

By Fitness, Health No Comments

A Quintessential Complement to a Relaxing Massage

There are many known benefits of massage therapy, from improved circulation and reduced stress to stimulation of the lymphatic system and increased joint flexibility. Many medical resources encourage readers to get massages, including Mayo Clinic and WebMD, and the major reason why is because people seem to be noticing a difference.

As the practice of massage continues to expand throughout the Western world, many variations of the treatment have come to light. From deep tissue and sports massage to Swedish and Thai massage to craniosacral therapy, there is an extensive number of techniques along with qualified specialists who are skilled at their respective styles of bodywork.

One form of massage therapy, known as hot stone therapy, has become a restorative, relaxing, and rejuvenating favorite. In order to encourage a better understanding of this massage practice, in this article we discuss hot stone therapy, explaining what exactly it consists of, along with the potential benefits of this treatment.

What Is Hot Stone Therapy?

Hot stone therapy is the practice of using heat-retaining flat rocks, typically basalt, on specific regions of the body (often referred to as acupressure points.) Hot stone therapy often begins with deep tissue massage (such as Swedish massage) to loosen tight areas of the body. Then, flat river stones that have been warmed between 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit are aligned along the spine, palms of the hands, bottoms of the feet, and close to the toes. Your massage therapist may place them in other regions of the body as well, but usually, the spine is the most common region of application.

The stones are warmed in a specialized stone heater, which looks much like a crockpot. This is done to better control the temperature of the rocks in order to prevent any chances of burns or scalding.

Massage professionals do not use hot plates, microwaves, or ovens to warm the rocks, so to avoid injury, be sure to look out for any mispractice that might take place amongst inexperienced massage therapists.

Hot Stone Therapy: The Benefits

Due to the immensely relaxing nature of hot stone therapy, it possesses a number of benefits. The primary way in which this treatment helps is by loosening muscles, which is ideal for those who have aches and pains on the body.

Although many do receive hot stone therapy because of the benefits it might provide, their accounts of success are more so personal for research is seriously lacking. That is not to say, however, that it does not exist.

Moderate-pressure massage, which hot stone therapy does qualify as has been said to assist with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. A 2013 study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice reported that participants with arthritis felt less pain after a mere month of medium pressure massage.

In addition to physical pain, hot stone massage is also at times linked to potentially reduced stress, and in turn, reduced anxiety and an overall better mood. A study published Bowling Green State University in 1997 found that those who received a 15-minute chair massage during a break were reportedly less stressed than those who did not and merely rested on their break.

Although related specifically to the broad description of massage, a 2014 study published in the journal Sleep Science found that postmenopausal women who were dealing with difficult insomnia slept better after receiving a massage, expressing it is a promising solution for such applications.

In addition to potentially reducing stress or anxiety, improving insomnia, and lessening various aches and pains, receiving a hot stone massage is a pleasant experience, particularly for those who enjoy receiving rejuvenating bodywork and find it to be effective.

While these studies mentioned are all a start, they do not fully confirm that hot stone therapy is a treatment for any of the above referenced medical conditions. As always, communicate with your doctor first if you determine that massage or hot stone therapy is the right option for your medical needs.

 

How to Practice Hot Stone Therapy

The process of application throughout a hot stone therapy appointment is fairly straight forward and normally unfolds in the following steps:

You will arrive at your appointment and the receptionist will have you fill out a health questionnaire if you are a first-time client.

Someone will guide you into a dressing room where you can prepare for your massage by removing your garments. Begin to relax already, the massage will be soon.

Your massage therapist will greet you and have you get situated comfortably on the massage table.

The massage therapist will have heated basalt or smooth stones in a specialized stone warmer which will heat the rocks to 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit typically.

Your massage therapist will likely begin the massage by performing some type of deep tissue technique, for instance, Swedish massage. They may then refer to an anatomy chart for stone placement or simply place the stones on the acupressure points along the body that are most tailored to you.

Your massage therapist will likely ask you how you are feeling throughout the massage, but you should always remember to speak up and ask for any adjustments as desired.

The hot stones will be placed along the body and then rubbed into the tissues and muscles of the body to further stimulate healing, recovery, and rejuvenation. Because of the oils and application, the smooth rocks will slide with ease and the experience is often said to be comforting.

Some things to note:

Consider arriving a bit earlier to your appointment. Allow sufficient time to speak with the receptionist if need be, as well as prepare mentally and physically for such a relaxing experience. Spas often require you to fill out a questionnaire if you are a first time client, so you do not want to feel rushed or in a hurry right before your treatment. Arriving well in advance (10 minutes is plenty) will save yourself from any extra stress.

Communicate clearly with your massage therapist. Are you experiencing pain? Are the stones too hot? Speak up and let your specialist know right away! Hot stone therapy, although at times a little intense, should not be painful or uncomfortable. Although sometimes deep tissue massage can feel overwhelming, it should not leave you suffering. Your massage therapist wants your experience to be as pleasant as possible and this can be further achieved with a straightforward transmission of how you are feeling.

Drink plenty of water after your treatment! The heat from the stones can be at times dehydrating, and in general, it is important for the body to rehydrate after any form of bodywork. Opting for an herbal, caffeine-free tea is also a delightful and health-inducing way to unwind after a massage.

Use Your Discretion with Hot Stone Therapy

Hot stone therapy is not right for everyone. In fact, those who have heart disease, migraines, arthritis, decreased pain sensitivity, metal implants, tumors, diabetes, or high blood pressure should not agree to receive hot stone therapy. Please consult your doctor beforehand if you intend to get hot stone therapy and have a medical condition.

Understanding Hot Stone Therapy: Final Words

Overall, many clients experience hot stone therapy as a pleasant and refreshing body treatment that helps knots, aches, and pains release because of deeper applied pressure and increased heat. Although not the right option for everyone, those who are fond of deep tissue massage and intense application of pressure generally really enjoy hot stone therapy, and some claim the heat from the rocks is comforting and soothing.

Interested in becoming a licensed massage therapist? Searching for massage schools or career colleges in San Diego? ICOHS College is a non-profit vocational school offering a Professional Massage Therapist program. Our dedicated educators are passionate about supporting students on their journey towards reaching their career goals.

Reach out today and request more information to learn more about the Professional Massage Therapist program.

Help and Support Veterans

5 Tips on How to Help and Support Veterans

By Community, IT No Comments

Veterans Deserve Our Help and Support

After serving their country and returning back into civilian life, it can require quite a lot of adjustment for veterans to settle into a new environment. A lot can change in the time that a veteran is away and beginning a new career path or lifestyle comes with its ups and downs, especially at the start.

While there is still a long way to go when it comes to offering veterans the type of support and assistance they deserve, programs tailored towards vets are increasing in number. Best of all, there are ways that every one of us can help, volunteering time to be a source of encouragement for those recently returning from deployment.

In this world, it is vital that we all do our part to be in assistance to others, and for the brave souls who represented and fought for America, it makes sense that we should find ways to give back.

In this article, we discuss five simple ways to help and provide support to veterans, making their transition into civilian life that much smoother.

Here Are 5 Ways to Help and Support a Veteran

While some of these suggestions may be a bit larger of undertakings, there are options for both those that would like simple solutions, as well as complex, longer-term options.

1. Assist with Job Training and Employment Preparation

One of the most challenging parts of adjustment back into civilian life is, arguably, changing careers. For many veterans, being in service is all they have done since entering the workforce, which is why switching everything up might feel confusing or unfamiliar.

For this reason, it is often important for veterans to prepare accordingly not only in the selection of next career moves but also in how to present themselves at job interviews and at the office. Because of the strict organization and training the military and navy offer, discipline and determination is familiar territory for most veterans. This is why many of them are at an advantage already re-entering the professional world.

Organizations such as Hire Heroes work with vets, providing them with career training so that they have a strong resume, solid interview skills, and develop the skillsets they will need for their path of choice.

As civilians, we can do our part to better prepare veterans for new careers as well. Volunteer with Hire Heroes or other veteran job assistance programs and help vets prepare for new employment avenues. Assist with job searches, mock interviews, securing the right educational opportunities, and holding workshops.

Have a special skill set that you feel could be of benefit to veterans? Host a free training and pass your knowledge along to those who could really utilize the support. Take part in the 100 Entrepreneurs Project, an organization designed to help veterans and their families start their own businesses and gain the skills they will need to succeed.

2. Help a Veteran Get to a Doctor’s Appointment

Veterans can be of all ages, and for those who are elderly or disabled, getting to a doctor’s appointment can be a difficult challenge, especially in cities and towns where public transport is either non-existent or inaccessible.

Although driving a veteran to-and-fro takes normally no more than two hours of time, it can be of massive help to those who would not have been able to go otherwise. Regular check-ups and medical exams are a necessity for all individuals, and veterans especially should not be denied this basic human right due to lack of transportation.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (DAV) Transportation Network accepts volunteers to help transport veterans. You simply must be an adult with a valid driver’s license. Help out in this small but incredible way by getting in touch with the Service Coordinator at your local VA Hospital. Use this directory to gain more information.

Donate an Old Cellphone and Help Veterans Stay Connected

Want to help veterans and their families stay connected without having to pay a penny? An organization called Cell Phones for Soldiers assists in offering cost-free phone services to vets. Donated cellphones are rebuilt and refurbished and then sold, with the profits from this exchange being directly donated to not only keep veterans in contact with their loved ones but for the overseas active-duty military to do the same as well.

Phone bills to faraway places can easily extend into the thousands of dollars range, which is why giving both veterans and active-duty military free methods of talking with their families can make such a massive difference.

 

Assist in Building Homes for Veterans

Have a background in home building, carpentry, plumbing, painting, wiring, furniture building, or another equivalent skillset? You can apply your knowledge in charitable ways by assisting in building homes for veterans.

Two organizations, in particular, are developing mortgage-free homes for injured veterans to create greater stability and structure for them.

Homes for Our Troops focuses upon providing adapted housing for veterans that have served post 9/11 and were severely injured. By offering these brave individuals a home, they get to accomplish greater independence and freedom. Considering that they sacrificed their own lives to maintain the freedom of America, giving them a home to live in is just the tip of the iceberg.

Building Homes for Heroes is another organization that builds homes for injured veterans, specifically those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. They are always accepting volunteers who would like to offer their skills to help out and make a difference.

Help build a home and help an injured veteran rebuild their life.

 

Express Your Gratitude with a Letter or Care Package

Although not everyone is in a position to volunteer their time to help a veteran, there are ways to express your gratitude and thanks from the comfort of home. Sending a letter or a care package to a veteran is a special approach to making a difference in a vet’s life.

There are a variety of ways to approach expressing your appreciation through letters and care packages. Operation Gratitude organizes care packages, letters, and various gifts to be sent to veterans. Not only can you contribute by writing a letter or sending a package, but you can also volunteer your time to constructing care packages to be sent out to vets. The volunteer experience is in a group setting normally, which means you’ll also be able to connect with other individuals expressing their thanks to veterans.

Although letters and gifts of appreciation are a touching gesture towards the veterans that help Americans remain free, for active-duty military the best gift that can be given is the opportunity for them to write to their loved ones. Operation Write Home makes this possible by providing the active-duty military with blank cards that they can then send to their families and friends.

Conclusion: Small Ways to Make a Huge Difference

Aside from these five ways to make a difference and provide assistance to veterans, there are many other ways to get involved and create the change you wish to see in the world. From volunteering at VA Hospitals to providing resources and food to homeless veterans, the possibilities are endless.

At ICOHS College we fully support veterans and those volunteering their time to help vets. We want to encourage veterans to receive the best possible education they can get from career colleges in San Diego. Because of this, our non-profit vocational school offers financial assistance for veterans including veterans’ education benefits. In addition to supporting veterans, we also want to honor active-duty military, which is why we offer active-duty military education benefits and MyCAA for military spouses.

Offering courses as both an affordable school for IT, as well as a holistic health education center and a dedicated massage school, ICOHS College has many education paths you can take, with passionate instructors that are ready to help every step of the way.

Reach out to us today for more information about our programs and how to to get started.

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