What you know today as Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA), began modestly from the vision of one individual opening its doors with one classroom, one teacher, and six students. Born and raised in Colorado, KC Miller was destined to found this holistic healing, private college. After becoming a licensed massage practitioner in 1988, she taught at Phoenix Therapeutic Massage College (PTMC) for four years and developed a system known as Myotherapy and CLUB Massage.
After freeing up her future, KC decided to really invest in her vision, and founded Southwest Institute of Myotherapy (SWIM) on September 15, 1992. Word spread quickly and this tiny school flourished; it grew so rapidly in fact that they ran out of parking! After hearing that PTMC was going out of business, she bought the school over the weekend (literally), relocated, and the school grew even faster! After the relocation of SWIM, KC changed the name of the school to Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) and added hundreds of CEU classes, many diplomas and several AOS degrees. The mission was “Learn to touch lives, heal bodies, and Free Souls.”
After sustaining 9/11, the day the world stood still, and a downed economy, SWIHA stood still as well. However, in February of 2002, SWIHA matured after relocating to its current location. It was time to grow even more; in 2004 SWIHA began offering Title IV Funding thanks to the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET). Core values of SWIHA were established:
- Choice and Flexibility
- Diversity in Learning Styles and Delivery Systems
- Self-healing – Self-empowerment – Self-sufficiency
- Community centered
SWIHA’s mission evolved: “our mission is to help individuals discover their gifts and graces, and support them as they share their talents with the world in a loving and profitable way.” It was then decided that SWIHA would host “Gifts and Graces” the first Friday of EVERY month at 6pm, offering a complimentary ‘open house’ for anyone to attend, to get a feel for the college and what we are all about. In 2005, KC decided to buy the building next door, and Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA) began, providing education in natural beauty and skin care. After a laser program was added in November of 2008, SWINA moved to a beautiful location at 1460 E. Southern Ave. in Tempe, AZ 85282 on December of 2009. Soon to follow, right next door, was Spirit of Yoga. As the demand presented itself, SWIHA Online was created and is being shared with the world.
Many great strides have come along and keep coming:
- GreatTherapists.com was created as a professional directory for all SWIHA graduates
- KC wrote and published her book, Toe Reading: Are You Walking Your Destined Path?
- SWIHA is an annual cosponsor of Celebrate Your Life
- Online classes began in April of 2009 - online.swiha.edu
- SOY now has the second largest Yoga Wall in the state