Thursday, December 15, 2011

What's up with Rocky Mountain Institute of Healing Arts?

Rocky Mountain Institute of Healing Arts was what I referred to as a "massage school with heart" from 2001-2011.  The Durango, CO  massage and energy healing school has officially ceased operations. 

I almost feel as if I'm writing an obit because I have so many good things to say about the school and all the people who were involved over the years.  I (Rebecca Mauldin) founded RMIHA and had a feeling of great things to come.  I had no idea!!   From both professional and personal perspectives, owning the business offered me all the potential for growth I could have imagined.  We had some really amazing teachers and the students and I learned tons from them.  I could tell stories forever and maybe someday, we'll all get together for a grand reunion and do just that!  Many of the students will be in my life forever.  And if you feel you've lost connection and are reading this, add a comment and we'll reconnect!  Massage education was and is a passion for me.  I believe that body work and physical healing is an integral part of healing the whole of our lives, individually and collectively.  So it only made sense to me to create an incredibly excellent massage school where students could learn the physical elements the science of massage in detail, but could also explore the spiritual and emotional dimensions.  What a grand ride it has been.

Many people have asked why the school is closing.  Basically, it's that I'm being called to new ventures.  As fulfilling as RMIHA was, there are new things out there for me.  Running RMIHA as the sole owner, took a huge investment of time and energy from me and it's now time to open that up for something else. 

To all of you who've come to this post looking for RMIHA info, thanks for your interest.  To those of you who've been a part of it all, much love and gratitude.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Garage Sale on the Way!!!

Details to come, but be prepared for a great garage sale of RMIHA goodies.  Includes massage tables, stools & supplies, books, office furniture.  It'll be a great time and a good chance to pick up some bargains.  Next weekend in Durango!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

NCBTMB Announces Specifications for NCAP

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork has drafted specifications for their National Certification for Advanced Practice. The draft may be viewed online at their website. The specifications are being posted for review and you can post your thoughts and comments online as well.

The proposed certification is separate from the basic national certification you may already have. It is not designed to be an entry level certification that can be used for licensure, but instead is intended to reflect advanced knowledge and ability. Check it out!

NCBTMB Announces NCAP Test Specifications

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork has drafted specifications for their National Certification for Advanced Practice.  The draft may be viewed online at their website.  The specifications are being posted for review and you can post your thoughts and comments online as well. 

The proposed certification is separate from the basic national certification you may already have. It is not designed to be an entry level certification that can be used for licensure, but instead is intended to reflect advanced knowledge and ability.  Check it out!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What is It Coming To?????

Many of you readers have probably received the following notice from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. For those who haven't, I'm reprinting it below my comments. I read it with a combination of horror and resignation. I have been watching the changes in the massage education field with the same, I must say. I understand that change has to occur. It's inevitable of course. Back in the day, people learned to be massage therapists through books and apprenticeships. Then educators and state boards decided the process should be more formal and more appropriate for the profession. What I have noticed of late is the loss of many of the education providers who were in it for the love of massage therapy. I've witnessed the birth of massage education based on profit and not passion. That seems to be what we're witnessing all around us here in the United States. I do my best to support local businesses and avoid generic or mass produced items, but it's not always easy. I'd love to hear from all of y'all about the trend in products and services being driven by economies of scale. Or is it even a trend or just the way things are now?

I know it's not large, ethical corporations that are driving the incredibly unethical practices NCBTMB is addressing.  But I'm wondering if there's any correlation.  Haven't all MTs been taught about the massage school scandals that brought about the ill repute of massage therapy in the first place?  I guess I'm thinking what MT would allow anything like this to happen???  I know I'm rambling, but I'd like to get some discussion started here!'s the press release from NCTBMB:

As you are undoubtedly aware, there are ever-increasing issues of illegitimate massage schools, organized prostitution and alarming occurrences of human trafficking affecting the reputation of the massage profession. In order to do our part to restrict the ability of these illicit institution’s students to become nationally certified, NCBTMB has spent the past 18 months developing and implementing a national School Compliance Program.

The School Compliance Department at NCB works to identify and investigate institutions that give the appearance of operating in an illegitimate or fraudulent manner. The department conducts in-depth research when it finds inconsistencies and abnormalities in information submitted by schools, such as transcripts and attendance records or falsification of certificates and diplomas.

The outcome of these investigations has resulted in NCB imposing sanctions which, in some cases, have prohibited a school’s graduates from sitting for the National Certification Exams. NCBTMB then shares this information with state regulatory boards and local law enforcement agencies on a monthly basis, and it is posted on our website. This ultimately helps legitimate schools by protecting their reputations and underscoring the standard of excellence they uphold.

In order to help draw attention to the disgrace of human trafficking and its effect on our profession, we have created this brochure: Human Trafficking – What You Need to Know, which is being distributed to massage schools and other stakeholders nationwide. The brochure was produced in partnership with Polaris Project, a nonprofit organization that operates the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. You can order copies of the brochure online at We hope you will share them with your faculty, students and peers.

Together, let’s all work to raise awareness and help eliminate human trafficking in the massage therapy profession. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our School Outreach Department at or call us toll-free at 1-800-296-0664.

With kindest regards,

Paul R. Lindamood
Chief Executive Officer

Monday, April 11, 2011

NCBTMB News--Survey Results

from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork...

The Profession Weighs in on the National Certification for Advanced Practice
Dear Massage Professional,

Thousands of practitioners responded to NCBTMB’s call for input on the Advanced Practice Job Task Analysis (JTA) survey. The survey results will be used to develop the test specifications for the profession’s first advanced certification exam, a key component in the National Certification for Advanced Practice (NCAP).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

FSMTB to Establish New Continuing Education Program

a press release from the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards...

(Overland Park, KS, March 29, 2011) The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) announces the launch of a project to develop a new national program for the approval of both continuing education courses and providers. Once it is established, the program will provide state regulatory agencies with a centralized quality assurance process for all courses taken by massage and bodywork therapists for the renewal of State licensure or State certification.
            As the representative for the regulatory community, FSMTB has responded to requests from its Member Boards to create a unified system to ensure that continuing education courses are taught by qualified instructors, relevant to the scope of practice, and meet the needs of the regulatory community. Continuing education is a requirement in three-quarters of the States that regulate the practice of massage therapy; it is also the method used in most professions for demonstrating continued competence.
The FSMTB continuing education approval program is intended to provide a more streamlined alternative to the existing structure, which consists of a patchwork of individual State approval processes and a provider approval process administered by a private certification organization. This approach is inconsistent, requires continuing education providers to go through multiple approvals to offer their courses around the country, and is not focused on standards for licensure renewal.  The new approval program will be developed and administered by FSMTB, giving State agencies the necessary mechanism of ownership and control required by their legislative mandates. In this way, the program will be similar to the Federation's establishment of the MBLEx, a highly successful program that provides its Member Boards with a dedicated licensure exam for State credentialing.
FSMTB has invited the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) to collaborate on this project as a representative of the educational community.  And to ensure that the perspective of the learners is considered in the development process, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP) have been invited to provide input as the two largest massage and bodywork membership associations.
Once an initial draft of the continuing education approval program is completed, it will be made available for public comment. Other stakeholder organizations, as well as continuing education providers, schools and therapists will have the opportunity to give their feedback to FSMTB on this project before it is finalized. This step will ensure that all interested parties have a voice in the process.  The ongoing status of this project will be updated on the FSMTB website:
Overall, the FSMTB continuing education project is consistent with the FSMTB Mission, which is to support its Member Boards in their work to ensure that the practice of massage therapy is provided to the public in a safe and effective manner. Upgrading and consolidating the process of continuing education approvals will directly serve the regulatory community and deliver a valuable service for providers and consumers of continuing education alike.   

Saturday, January 22, 2011


We've moved "The Spirit of Massage Education" to a new web address. We're now at  Please check us out at our new location.  This site is changing to a resource guide and review forum for massage therapy continuing education.  Stay tuned for some great posts.

If you're a subscriber or follower, you can switch your information to the new blog.  Or, if you'd like to see what's happening with the new continuing education site, why don't you add your name to the new site but keep this one current too. 

Blog Make Over

Well I suppose it's about time for a new look!  And we've got more than that, a new name and url too.  The name change is minor "The Spirit of Massage School" from "The Spirit of Massage Education."  The url is now  RMIHA stands for Rocky Mountain Institute of Healing Arts.  The new look is our creative expression in action.  Hope you love it as much as we do. Please let us know how it's working for you!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Facebook It Is!

Based upon the reader poll and responses to our email, we've streamlined our presence on social networks to Facebook only.  Goodbye MySpace.  Goodbye Ning.  It was good while it lasted!  If you haven't checked out our Facebook page, come see it!  There's lots of photos and info and it's a good way to connect with graduates, faculty and other people interested in RMIHA.

Friday, January 7, 2011

In the Circle

At RMIHA, we sit in a circle for our non-lecture class discussions.  To me, it is an expression of unity, connection, and respect for one another.  In a traditional classroom set up, you can't look into the eyes of everyone in the class.   I think that makes the experience more solitary.  (Which I suppose could be valuable in some testing situations)!

Today in yoga class, our teacher started the class with everyone in a circle.  We closed our eyes and experienced a guided meditation and felt the energy of each other.  I realized since I've been on sabbatical, I've missed the experience of sitting in the circle.  I plan to be proactive in seeking out the experience of communing with a circle of friends, meeting round the metaphorical campfire (or literal for that matter!), and allowing the free flow of one person's energy unimpeded through the group. 

I recently started a personal blog and did another post about the circle and social networks


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Scholarship Update

I was checking up on scholarships and was pleased to discover The Spa Foundation Scholarship was being offered again.  It hadn't been available for a while, so that's great news! 

The JoyLife Therapeutics Chair Massage Scholarship continues to be active. 

Both of these links are available in the links section of this blog.

I offer up a huge THANKS to these organizations for supporting massage education.  For all of you who apply, I wish you the best of luck. 


Tuesday, January 4, 2011


When I've posted in the past, I've tried to talk more about themes, ideas, classroom experiences, and less about myself. But it's been ages since I've posted and I thought I'd bring a little of myself into the post today. The big thing going on in my life is I'm on sabbatical. Basically what that means, is I've suspended offering massage school classes for the 2010-2011 season and have moved out of state for a year. I'm spending time helping out a friend who needed some help and I'm spending time rejuvenating myself. (That's my horse and me in the photo, enjoying a trail ride). The staff seems to be finding plenty of self-supportive things to be doing in this time away also. From raising families, planning weddings, and nurturing practices, there's plenty to keep us all busy and focused on what we hope are the right priorities.

When I decided to go on sabbatical, I actually looked up the word. It comes from sabbath and, as the sabbath is a day of rest every days, a sabbatical is meant to be a year of rest every 7 years. Or maybe not exactly a "rest," but a break from the production emphasis of the other 6 years in the cycle.
Which brings me around to how longs it's been since my last post. I have to admit, posting to this blog is a lot of fun. I like writing down ideas or sharing something that happened in the classroom and making it available for people to read. Hasn't everyone who's read a blog experienced the kick of cyber-relating? But (here it comes)...when I make my typical priorities, writing a post is way down on the list below, uh say teaching, meeting with students, doing payroll, filling out compliance forms for the state, holding staff meetings, and so on and so on.

When the gas prices and the economy did their thing, RMIHA experienced a drop in enrollment. (All you guys who've been waiting 3 years to afford massage school know what I'm talking about!) For me, the owner of a purposefully small, intimate, quality focused school, this meant more work on my shoulders and less hiring someone else to help out. Which eventually led to the sabbatical decision!

I'm back to having time to blog and write, just not in the thick of an operational school at the moment. I'm curious to see where that takes this blog. I'm still writing questions for the MBLEx, still doing massage, still offering continuing education (if you're interested in something in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, check out this class), so there are massage education things to write about. But I'm just gonna be open to whatever expression takes place. I'm gonna start a new blog about my time away from my business, my spiritual practice, yoga, riding my horse, service to others and all that good stuff. I'll post the link once I get that going.

I still have lots of opinions about massage education and have seen so many changes in the field since 2008. I'm sure I'll be spending some time like a sports announcer, critiquing from the sidelines, so tune in again. I sincerely doubt you'll have to wait another year for the next post!

Love to all,