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"Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live." 
- Henry Van Dyke
Educate yourself about Humboldt County's abundant healing community.
Arcata School of Massage

145 G Street, Suite E,
Arcata, CA,
Telephone: 707-822-5223
E-mail: info@arcatamassage.com
Arcata School of Massage

650-Hour Therapeutic Massage Program

Our yearlong program will prepare your body, mind and spirit to become a confident and caring massage professional. Our Therapeutic Massage program is a completely fresh, inspiring, and practical approach to career training. The product of more than 30 years experience in massage and bodywork education, the program is designed for students who want to study in small groups, in a focused yet friendly atmosphere.

Our Educational Philosophy


Body-centered meditation serves as the foundation of the entire Middleway Method Massage training program. Every day of class begins with meditation based on awareness of the body and the breath, and we use moving meditation as a teaching tool for the study of the body.  Students practice mindfulness exercises as homework, and contemplate the connections between impermanence, grasping, and stress-related physical pain and dysfunction. Ultimately, a Middleway Method Massage Therapist works to show their clients how to consciously release held stress-tension, discovering the connections between open awareness and physical health.

Strength Training, Healing Chi Kung, and Body Mechanics

The work of a professional Massage Therapist is a dance – and not metaphorically – it is strong and graceful movement. Our strength training instructors are Certified Personal Trainers and Certified Massage Therapists, and training is focused on massage-specific movement.  Additionally, we use the Eight Brocade Healing Chi Kung practice to establish grace and ease, as well as internal awareness of body energy and vitality.  And finally, sophisticated principles of body mechanics are part of every massage technique class, ensuring that students learn how to work in ways that strengthen rather that harm their hands, arms, shoulders and back.

Boundaries, Ethics, and Professionalism

There are two layers to our approach to the study of boundaries, ethics, and professionalism.  On the surface, these are essential to maintaining the integrity of our work, and for developing and sustaining a thriving practice.  Massage therapy is only effective when clients feel safe, respected, and cared for, and it is essential that therapists feel safe and respected as well.  In lectures, class discussions, reading, and journaling assignments throughout the program, we teach functional boundaries, clear and unwavering ethical practices, and stable, caring professionalism.

We also contemplate humanitarian ethics from a broader perspective.  In general, Middleway Method students have come to the natural conclusion that there is no better way to spend one’s time alive than in the service of others, through thoughts, words, and actions informed by compassion and wisdom.  With that view, we explore our work as an opportunity to walk the Eightfold Path of right view, right action, right speech, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right knowledge.

The Path of Relaxation

Middleway Method students study relaxation through their own experience – in moving meditation, through receiving regular bodywork from peers and professional mentors, and in the practice of giving massage.  Throughout the training, students develop an embodied knowledge of the journey of relaxation, from the release of ordinary stress tension, to profound explorations of living with gentleness and strength.  It is upon the basis of their embodied knowledge that a Middleway Method Massage Therapist becomes a guide for their clients along the journey they’ve come to know so well. In concrete terms, this means studying the physical, mental, emotional, and energetic mechanisms behind stress and relaxation, along with specific massage and bodywork techniques to work with each client’s unique needs.

Skillful Means

Our approach to teaching massage and bodywork is unconventional.  Rather than teaching Swedish Massage to beginning-level students, we start with a slow and sensitive exploration of the body’s response to touch, pressure, and movement, through exercises derived from the principles of neuromuscular repatterning.  First understanding what relaxation really is, and how to facilitate it, and then studying specific techniques, our students learn massage and bodywork from the inside, out.

Ultimately, Middleway Method is a therapeutic bodywork technique that includes Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Lomi Lomi Hawaiian Massage, Myofascial Techniques, Neuromuscular Repatterning, Polarity Therapy, and Healing Chi Kung.  Rather than practicing these techniques separately, we create our treatments spontaneously as we go, always working in direct response to our clients’ needs and capacities. The path of relaxation is traveled by skillful means.

Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology

Our hands-on Anatomy and Kinesiology courses are taught in three sections.  The first course introduces the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and joints through hands-on palpation, cadaver dissection videos, and textbook study.  The second course builds upon your knowledge of Anatomy as we explore Kinesiology (how the body moves), and the connections and relationships between muscle groups.  The third stage of your study of Anatomy and Kinesiology happens in your Therapeutic Treatments course, where we study function, dysfunction, injury and treatment from a clinical perspective.

Acupressure and Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine

In this course, a Licensed Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor guides students in an exploration of the meridians, points elements, and core philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Hands-on work includes client assessment and Acupressure to bring balance through working with the natural energies of the body.

Therapeutic Treatments

Therapeutic bodywork is the fastest growing, most rewarding line of work in our field. The Middleway Method curriculum develops therapists who have the knowledge and ability to work with doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists, and to help clients with injury rehabilitation, lifestyle education, and stress reduction. While Middleway graduates are qualified to work in the spa setting, the ability to provide therapeutic bodywork services expands your client-base and increases job satisfaction. Our Therapeutic Treatments course provides comprehensive training in the assessment and treatment of many common problems and injuries.

The Human Body in Health and Disease

Our Pathophysiology course is a college-level human Physiology and Pathology course that gives you the ability to engage in educated discourse with your clients and their other healthcare providers with regard to diseases and injuries that are beyond your scope of work as a massage therapist.  While we do not directly treat things like Diabetes, Hepatitis C, or heart disease, because we understand those diseases, and the body systems that are affected, we can create treatments that support our client’s overall health, and do no harm.  Additionally, the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) expects a complete knowledge of the human body at this level.  Middleway Method graduates have a 100% pass rate on the exam.

Business Practices for the Self-Employed Massage Therapist

Our business course begins the process of long-term financial planning for success as a small business owner, complete with a full-scale working business plan, marketing plan, and training in customer service, bookkeeping, and chair massage.  The course also covers resume building and interview skills for standard employment.  The course is not hypothetical – students leave with a three-year plan and all the tools necessary for professional success.

Light-Touch Energy Work

Toward the end of your training we take you into the subtle world of light-touch energy work. Used for treating clients who cannot or should not receive circulatory massage for health reasons, and for clients who are interested in more subtle, more participatory bodywork, Middleway Method Energy Work is a based on Polarity Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Healing Chi Kung, and positional release work. Your Energy Work class is a time for you to explore the subtle senses that you’ve been developing during your training.

Prenatal Massage

Pregnant mothers benefit greatly from receiving massage. In this class, a Certified Doula and Massage Therapist teaches specialized strokes and postures, as well as awareness of the unique pressure points associated with pregnancy and birth. Students will learn the Anatomy & Physiology of pregnancy as it applies to each trimester, safety issues and contraindications to massage, how to position your client for comfort and safety, as well as how to develop a one hour side-lying routine.

Arcata School of Massage
145 G St. Suite E, Arcata, CA


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