Kathleen J. Holst

Joanie Holst
Associate Professor
Massage Therapy Programs

Personal Information


Currently Teaching (2017-2018)

I have been practicing and teaching therapeutic massage for more than 20 years. My undergraduate training in education and athletic training is where my curiosity about injuries and the mechanisms of soft tissue injury began. After graduation, my main career goal was to make a difference in massage therapy education within the state of Minnesota. I was honored when I was asked to help design and launch Northwestern's School of Massage Therapy in 2000.

The focus of my private practice and teaching is to address the soft tissue structures that are involved in chronic myofascial pain syndromes. In the classroom, I especially enjoy helping students understand the effect of distorted and dysfunctional movement on the musculoskeletal system, and of course, how therapeutic massage can effect change for those soft tissue structures. I hope to make a difference in every student’s educational experience and I want them to leave Northwestern with a renewed energy and passion for learning.

As a member of the Research Scholars program here at Northwestern, my current research interest lies in post-injury and post-surgical scar work.


  • Northern Lights School of Massage, 1990
  • Neuromuscular Therapist, 1991
  • Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, 2017
  • Bachelor of Science - Mankato State University, 1979
  • Master of Science - Capella University, 2008
Back to Top