BTI Achieves Renewal of COMTA Accreditation

April 18th, 2015

At its recent meeting on April 9, the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) voted to grant Body Therapy Institute a renewal of its accreditation for a term of seven years. That is the maximum length of time the Commission can award a term of accreditation.

comta-logo-2015Accreditation is a voluntary process that requires a school to demonstrate its compliance with a comprehensive set of standards that represent a high level of accountability. BTI’s ongoing compliance with these standards assures that students receive quality education and the public receives quality services.

In the acknowledgment letter, COMTA Executive Director Kate Zulaski said, “The Commission appreciates the diligence, patience and grace that you and your staff have demonstrated.”

BTI was originally accredited by COMTA in 1999, and was the first massage school in the Carolinas to achieve this status. This is BTI’s fourth time through the accreditation protocol.

In the first stage of the accreditation process, the school had to document every aspect of its operations in a Self Study Report (SSR) – to demonstrate exactly how the school met the COMTA Standards of Accreditation. It included both the educational and administrative aspects of the institution. Once the SSR was submitted, reviewed and approved, COMTA sent a team of experts to perform an on-site visit at the BTI campus to verify that the standards were being met as described in the SSR.

It all went extremely well, and we’re grateful for the hard work by BTI staff and faculty members that led to a successful completion of this project!

Celebrating the grads of BTI Class 64

October 30th, 2014

Class64_pic650pxWe offer our heartfelt congratulations to the students of Class 64 at the Body Therapy Institute, who began their educational journey in the Massage Therapy Diploma Program in March, and who graduated on October 29, 2014. We acknowledge their diligent work, and wish them well as they move into this new phase of their lives and careers!

Front Row: Nikki Fallon, Jennifer Fisher, Elyse Ewald, Polissena Campitelli, Debbie Garner-Transou, Angie Dix, Scarlett Pell, Cathy Murphy, Heather George.

Middle Row: Jessica Tysinger, Sara Gebhardt, Chloe Leona, Katherine Ellestad, Rachael Ballengee, Susan Linn, Brooke Griffith, Jane Stolper, Robin Montunnas.

Back Row: Liam O’Neill, Tonya Mason, Byran Walker, Eric Rodriguez, Sandra Kay Jordan, Jennifer Warren, Lori Edmonds, Andrew Wilson, Shane Hawkins.

BTI Job Fair a Great Success!

October 6th, 2014


BTI students and graduates learned about employment opportunities at a special Job Fair held on campus on October 1.

Representatives were on hand from Massage Envy, The Grove Park Inn & Spa, Hand and Stone, Skin Sense Day Spa, Dragonfly Health & Fitness and Balance Day Spa.

Our students and grads are highly sought-after by massage employers. This event was specifically designed to bring them together, so that relationships could be forged that lead to new career opportunities.

Justin Smith, Director of Recruiting and Development for Massage Envy in North Carolina, said, “It’s always a pleasure to come to BTI. I find the students here to be engaging and highly professional.”

The 1st State Massage License “Club”

September 24th, 2014

first-state-licenseesAt the recent AMTA National Convention in Denver, a group of trailblazers came together who all hold Massage License #1 in their respective states.

This honor is generally given to the person who has spearheaded the effort to secure licensure in that state. This was a first gathering for this group (left to right):

  • Maureen Mulhall, LMT, Illinois
  • BTI Founder & Co-director Rick Rosen, LMBT, North Carolina
  • Jane Johnson, LMT, Georgia
  • Paul Weston, LMT, Idaho
  • Beverly May, CMT (who gets special credit for staying with the process for more than 20 years until California finally got state regulation)
  • AMTA National President Nancy Porambo, LMT, Pennsylvania
  • Deb Kimmet, LMT, Montana


All of these people still remain active, whether serving on their state massage board or holding other leadership positions in the field. 44 states plus the District of Columbia now have laws to regulate the practice of massage therapy. In each state, it’s taken a coordinated group effort to not only get a law passed, but to support the process of forming a new state board and developing the administrative rules that spell out the regulations for the board, schools and therapists alike.

Welcome to the students of Class 65 as BTI begins its 32nd Year!

September 8th, 2014

This September, Body Therapy Institute begins its 32nd year of training massage therapists. From the early days as the first school to offer professional massage education in the Carolinas, BTI has become a national leader in the field.

We welcome our newest group of students in our Massage Therapy Diploma Program who began Class 65 last week. Here’s a photo taken after they completed their first full weekend of training, in the course called Introduction to Embodied Touch:


1st Row: Diana Currin, Sarah Galfano, Carrie Iandola, Emily Gardner-Hill, Marisol Legaria, Paty Kelly, Augustina Pablo Baldwin.
2nd Row: Ryan Prather, Gabi Prohn, Jeff Fife, Nathan Toptine, Jillian Diffenbaugh, Jill Peden, Paula Wald, Kathleen Wyatt.
3rd Row: Kristin Posson, Kate Dallas, Julie Anderson, Chantee Antar-Joyner, Michele Edwards, Amy Purcell.
4th Row: Christy Porter, Gabriele Gambill, Morgana Moore, Alex Barbato.
5th Row: Cadie DuPaul, Melinda Hunt, Bill Wright, Haley Booterbaugh, Regina Marie Letonek.
(not pictured: Jenni Reiff)

Michael Shea: Working Heart to Heart in Craniosacral Therapy

July 8th, 2014

shea_michael_newMichael J. Shea, PhD is one of the preeminent educators and authors in the fields of somatic psychology, myofascial release and craniosacral therapy. He’s been presenting continuing education seminars and advanced training programs at the Body Therapy Institute over the past 25 years, and teaches throughout North America and Europe. He is author of the five volumes of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (published by North Atlantic Books), which is considered the definitive reference on both theory and application of this leading-edge approach to whole-person healing.

Dr. Shea will be returning to BTI July 31-August 2 to present a new seminar entitled Craniosacral Therapy: Working Heart to Heart. This work is based on a new paradigm in craniosacral therapy called cardiopathy. “Cardio” means heart and vascular system. “Path” means to feel. Thus, a cardiopathic approach is to feel the health of the heart and vascular system in one’s self and the client with Primary Respiration and stillness. Cardiopathy is about delicate palpation skills. In this class, students will learn how and when to blend all previous learning in craniosacral therapy for the most effective treatment for the client.

This course, which is designed for both new and experienced craniosacral therapists, builds the framework for the whole cardiopathic approach to craniosacral therapy. Students will learn to cultivate the perceptual-touch necessary for sensing both deep metabolism of the autonomic nervous system and cardiovascular physiology. A dynamic new palpation skill to contact the entire vascular tree will be taught.

cranial-handsHe received his master’s degree in Buddhist Psychology at Naropa University, and a doctorate in Somatic Psychology at The Union Institute. Dr. Shea was certified in 1986 as one of the first Full Instructors of CranioSacral Therapy by the Upledger Institute and was an advanced Rolfer for 20 years. As a formal student of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, his teaching style is grounded in his spiritual practice of developing compassion with the use of manual therapy. For many years he has also apprenticed with a medicine man on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. From these traditions, he brings a unique cross-cultural perspective to teaching health and healing.

You can get more information about Dr. Shea’s work from his website,

For a complete workshop description and registration, go to this page on the BTI Website:


BTI Grads Maintain 98% Pass Rate on the MBLEx

February 13th, 2014

The results are in… 44 of 45 BTI graduates who took the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) in 2013 passed that test! This 98% pass rate compares to a 2013 pass rate of 79% for all North Carolina massage schools, and only 72% for all schools in the country.

Since the inception of the MBLEx in 2008, BTI grads have maintained an amazing 98% pass rate, with 227 out of 232 students passing this important test for state licensure on the first try! What is the secret for this success?

It’s a combination of factors: superbly qualified teachers and academic support staff, a well-designed curriculum that exceeds the scope of the exam, and highly-motivated students. In addition, BTI only admits students into the Massage Therapy Diploma Program who are deemed to have the resources necessary to succeed in the profession.

We are extremely proud of our faculty, staff and students for maintaining such a high level of achievement. It’s all part of our commitment to providing Learning that Changes Lives!

FSMTB_newlogoThe MBLEx was developed, and is administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards on behalf of the state massage boards which comprise that organization. It is the only examination accepted for licensure by the NC Board of Massage & Bodywork Therapy.

Welcome to BTI’s New Website!

December 2nd, 2013

We’re very happy to share this new site with you! It features a wider page width for readability, and a streamlined navigation structure for ease of use. Every page has a main set of links in the header, along with a set of footer links. The links in the main nav bar have drop-down menus that will take you wherever you want to go within the site. You can see how it’s all organized by visiting the Site Map.

Here is a list of the main sections, and the pages you’ll find under each one:

DIPLOMA PROGRAM: Everything you need to know about BTI’s renowned Massage Therapy Diploma Program, including the Five Easy Steps to Enrollment, the BTI Introductory Massage Workshop, Financial Aid Overview, How to Choose a Massage School, and The BTI Difference.

CONTINUING EDUCATION: A complete listing of the continuing education workshops and advanced trainings offered at BTI. You can search for programs on two different pages: Workshops by Month, and Workshops by Category. There’s also a special section for Teacher Training, offered by the Center for Embodied Teacher Education.

Homepage-pic-for-blogClick on the workshop title to visit a dedicated page for each workshop, containing a complete course description and presenter bio.

Be sure to take advantage of the 10% Early Registration Discount for all 2014 courses at BTI (offer good through 2/15/14). You can register online using our secure page.

ABOUT BTI: In this section, you can see our Accreditation and Approvals, get the answers to Frequently Asked Questions, learn about the 30-year history of BTI, and watch some videos of BTI and massage techniques.

PEOPLE: Get to know our dedicated Faculty and Staff, read some very inspiring Testimonials from graduates of BTI, and see the composition of our Student Body and photos of past classes from the Diploma Program.

PLACE: Discover the beauty of our country campus at South Wind Farm, get a precise set of Driving Directions to our location, view two different Slide Shows on the school and campus, and see the diverse range of flora and fauna here through a Field Guide to South Wind Farm.

RESOURCES: Look here if you want to Contact BTI or book an appointment in our Student Massage Clinic. With the premiere of our new site, we are opening up the BTI Resource Bank for use by the entire massage and bodywork community. You’ll find information on Jobs, Treatment Spaces for Rent, Volunteer Opportunities and More! This section also includes an extensive page of Articles by some of the leading authors, educators and clinicians in our field.

CATALOG REQUESTS: If you want to receive a Diploma Program catalog, just fill out the form on the sidebar of the homepage or one of the pages under the Diploma Program section. You can request a catalog and application for The Spirit of Learning® Teacher Certification Program by completing the form on the sidebar on any of the pages under the Center for Embodied Teacher Education.

Be sure to update any Bookmarks or Favorites you have in your browser to the previous BTI website, as all page URL’s have changed. When in doubt, just go to our homepage at and use the new navigation links.

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For the tech-curious: our new site is built on a WordPress CMS platform. We worked with AS Designs & Services of Hilo, Hawaii on the site development. If you encounter any problems with the site, email a description to us at

BTI founder Rick Rosen attends Massage Leadership Summit

September 18th, 2011

BTI founder and co-director Rick Rosen attended a gathering of the seven primary organizations that comprise the massage therapy profession. This meeting was held in St. Louis on September 13-14, and was called to identify and focus on solutions to the most significant challenges that are limiting the ability of the massage therapy profession to move forward in its evolution.

Rick was there in his role as Executive Director of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education, an organization that serves as the voice, advocate and resource for massage schools, teachers and continuing education providers. The other organizations represented at this meeting were: American Massage Therapy Association, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, Massage Therapy Foundation, and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. It was the first time all seven of these groups have come together for a common purpose.

The meeting was positive, powerful and highly productive. This historic event took place just a few hundred yards from the iconic Gateway Arch on the Mississippi River, which commemorates the expedition of Lewis & Clark and the western expansion of the United States. The explorers’ spirit of “going where no one has gone before” was palpable during the Summit.

Left to right: Ruth Werner (MT Foundation), Shelly Johnson (AMTA), Rick Rosen (AFMTE), Glenath Moyle (AMTA), Randy Swenson (COMTA), Debra Persinger (FSMTB), Bob Benson (ABMP), Kate Zulaski (COMTA), Paul Lindamood (NCBTMB), Pete Whitridge (AFMTE), Les Sweeney (ABMP), Alexa Zaledonis (NCBTMB)

Carey Smith Inducted into Massage Therapy Hall of Fame

July 27th, 2011

Carey SmithBTI Co-director Carey Smith was recently inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame at the 2011 World Massage Festival. At the ceremony held in Cullowhee, North Carolina on July 16, Carey was honored and acknowledged for the many contributions she has made to the massage therapy field.

As a pioneer in the area of teacher training and professional development, Carey was the 2009 recipient of the AMTA National Teacher of the Year Award.

BTI’s students, staff and faculty are proud of Carey, and congratulate her on this much-deserved honor!