College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center


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"You must be the change you want to see in the world."


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  Brief History of the Center  

Founded in 1996, the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center is the vision of our Owner, Founder, Director: Deb Elliott, RN, BS, LMT.

Deb had a nursing outfit at age 4 and loved to “play school” with her friends so ending up as a nurse with a school is not too surprising. But her path toward this school was less predictable.

Her journey of discovery related to healing had a relatively traditional beginning as she became a nurse in 1983. This training, and her life experience to that point, did not include any information about Alternative Healing Methods. That was the case until the next phase of her life when, in retrospect, everything seems both horrible and wonderful at much the same time.

Deb’s life led her through divorce, personal debt, and severe depression with limited success with traditional Western Medicine (including multiple medications and counseling). It wasn’t until a friend dragged her along to a Reiki workshop (just to get her out of the house for awhile), that she finally found some real relief of her own.

From there, massage and other methods helped Deb out of a six month bed-bound depression and into a “new life”. She started talking about her experience with anyone who would listen. This led her to teach Reiki classes out of her home which soon grew into larger weekend workshops with guest teachers of this and other methods she found along her own healing path.

What started as “just going along for the ride with a friend” grew into a dedicated life of self-discovery and passing it on to others to make a real difference in the world. This is how the symbolic ripples of this place began. When the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center began in 1996, in addition to offering Reiki and other classes, it was the only massage therapy program in central Iowa.

We had humble beginning, building-wise, but made the best of our small basement location. Moving to our current location in 1999 was a huge step forward and allowed us to dramatically expand the services we offered.

There have been various people involved at the Center as teachers and practitioners since it began. What seems common amongst them, similar to what Deb has modeled, is that each found the Center to be helpful in their own personal and professional growth and evolution as they offered services to others.

Over the years, Deb continued to explore different healing methods and to fine-tuning her touch. She was also involved in a 5 year intensive teacher training mentoring program. Each of these experiences shaped both the content and the style of training that has evolved at the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center.

People have asked Deb “if she was to do something else other than be at the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center, what would it be?”. “That’s an easy answer” she says. “I’d do the same thing out of my home or anywhere else. I only do what I would call “work” a couple hours a week. The rest of the time I’m learning, growing and sharing with others here at the Center. It’s an exciting and wonderful way to live. This is definitely what I want to be doing”.

Watch for more to come from Deb Elliott and the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center… as we continue with history in the making.


Next page: Roots & Foundation of our Philosophy



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