I am super excited to announce that The Naga Center is working in partnership with Lane Community College to offer my classes as transcripted pre-licensure education hours that can be applied toward applications for Oregon massage therapist licensure.
What this means
This means that students who are not licensed massage therapists in Oregon now have the option to focus their pre-licensure studies on Thai bodywork. In the past those who had fallen in love with Thai massage and knew that it was the modality they wanted to learn and practice, had to attend massage schools focused on western massage; now they can dive into their passion right from the start.
How it works
Starting in the fall of 2020 I will have a fully flushed out program that allows students to get all of their 625 pre-licensure education hours in about one year through a combination of classes at The Naga Center, online Naga Center classes, online Lane Community College classes, and either hands on classes at Lane Community College or participation in an alternate year Naga Center Thailand study abroad trip. This will all culminate in a deep immersion of study in Thai healing arts like no other.
What about right now?
Students registered in my Thai Manual Therapy Specialist Program for the 2019/2020 year who are not licensed massage therapists can use their hours of study toward licensure. The only difference is that it will take them two years to complete all hours needed as my current program is 317 hours and I will not start offering the full program until next fall.
Will students have to move to Lane county?
My classes will be in the same place, students do not have to live near Lane Community College.
Does this change things for licensed massage therapists?
Nope. My classes have always been designed to meet the needs of the most experienced Thai massage practitioners right alongside those who have never studied any kind of massage in their life. In fact I have often had students in my classes who are Thai massage instructors with 20+ years of experience in Thai studies and practice in the same class as complete newbies and everyone learns. I expect that the majority of my students will continue to be people who are already licensed massage therapists who want to dive deep into the waters of Thai healing arts. Licensed massage therapists will still be able to complete the Thai Manual Therapies Specialist Program as it has previously existed; their classmates who are seeking licensure will just be taking more classes than them.
Some things that are really special about all of this
There are some things that I want to share about this that make me really happy. Lane Community College has been just fantastic. As the only not-for-profit massage program in the state, their agenda in partnering with me has very clearly been for the benefit of students. It has been a delight to work with Kathy Calise, the Program Director at LCC. Her clear desire to provide options for students and to keep massage education affordable has been refreshing and heartening. It makes me happy that I get to work with the most affordable massage licensure program in the state and to know that we are harmonious in our desire to provide deep learning for the benefit of all.
When I first started The Naga Center in 2005 my original business plan (yes, I wrote a business plan) included a long term goal of turning The Naga Center into a licensure school. Over the years I have visited this idea many times, but have found that the process of doing this on my own would require that I grow my school in ways that I did not wish to. I love my small classes with mentorship style study. I love that I teach people in my whimsical somewhat messy yet beautiful space. And I didn’t want to create another $20,000 massage program, nor did I want to go into competition with the existing schools. It was only recently that I solidly let go of that old dream, realizing that what I have with my classes is exactly what I want. And of course, that’s exactly when Kathy approached me about partnering with LCC. Ah universe, aren’t you just like that? It’s perfect. I get to keep my classes small, stay focused on what matters to me, and offer my unlicensed students a path to licensure. Gratitude.