Best Massage Therapy school in Clevel...

Best Massage Therapy school in Cleveland?

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Since: Apr 07

United States

#1 Apr 4, 2007
I am currently researching schools specializing in Medical Massage in the Cleveland area. So far, I have visited Cleveland Institute of Medical Massage (Middleburg Hts) and Ohio School of Massage (Akron).

Any insight on these schools and which school is the best school in the area? Other schools I should visit?

Denton, TX

#2 Apr 16, 2007
I have researched many of the surrounding schools and I have chosen to attend the Garfield Hts school (National Institute of Massotherapy) It is in a less than pretty plaza but the school is terrific. They seem to have the best teachers and like-minded classes in my opinion. I was NOT AT ALL impressed with the Akron school when I went for an initial interview. The girl that interviewed me seemed to not have a clue.
Hope this helps

Since: Apr 07

Tucson, AZ

#3 Apr 22, 2007
Pam wrote:
I have researched many of the surrounding schools and I have chosen to attend the Garfield Hts school (National Institute of Massotherapy) It is in a less than pretty plaza but the school is terrific. They seem to have the best teachers and like-minded classes in my opinion. I was NOT AT ALL impressed with the Akron school when I went for an initial interview. The girl that interviewed me seemed to not have a clue.
Hope this helps
Hi Pam, Thank You for responding. I was unable to find the National Institute of Massotherapy in Garfield Hts online. The school under that name was listed in Akron as well as the Ohio School of Massotherapy. The Cleveland Institute of Medical Massage is located in a plaza in Middleburg Hts. Is this the same school or one that is different altogether?
Again, thank you for your insight regarding schools. I have not gone for an interview yet but hope to schedule one soon and apply in June for this coming fall.


#4 Aug 7, 2007
Hi! I actually am having the same problem finding the National Institute Of Massotherapy online also. I have heard that it is the best school to go to. Is there anyway someone could tell how I would get some information.Thank You very much.

Lorain, OH

#5 Aug 8, 2007
The best massage theray school in Cleveland is National Institute of Massotherapy. They have classrooms in Garfield Hts and Akron. Don't confuse the Akron NIM classrooms with the Ohio college of Massotherapy also in Akron. The website for NIM is .
Crystal LMT

United States

#6 Aug 9, 2007
I am an alumni from Ohio College of Massotherapy. I was very pleased with my education, and I would definitely go back. I will agree, the front desk girls are a lil' odd, but the instructors are fantastic! The course load is well rounded, especially if you are looking for an Associates degree, or even a diploma (both which allow you to sit for the State Medical Boards). The Associates degree program contains more classes, and it includes learning MyoFascial Release (which is part of deep tissue) and Precision NeuroMuscular Therapy (which is more area specific).

I have one friend who graduated from the Cleveland Instutite of Medical Massage, and she as well as numerous other students, did not pass boards the first time (which then entales another board sitting fee).

I have another friend who graduated from NIM, and she liked it. Personally, THE BEST SCHOOL IN NE OHIO IS Harmony Path is Rocky River. When you get into school, you will hear from other students about Frank Schwartz. He is the overall Massage/Anatomy/Physiology Genius for State Boards. 100% of his students pass at boards, and he runs an extensive review program before boards. Harmony Path is really a hidden treasure because of Frank. Really do your research, but the best bang for your buck will be studying under Frank!

Lorain, OH

#7 Aug 10, 2007
I had the misfortune of beginning my education at Ohio College of Massotherapy before luckily transferring to National Intitute of Massotherapy. OCM lures working adults to their school with a promise of evening classes, but the podiatrist (yes, podiatrist!) who teaches the final semesters refuses to teach at night, so guess what? No evening classes after the third semester! Five of us left OCM and were lucky to find NIM. Stephen, the founder and president of NIM, is a terrific teacher and only selects the best, medically competent LMTs to teach his classes. This isn't fluff-and-buff Mario's massage, this is the real thing. If you want to learn how to actually assess and treat disorders, there is no better school than National Institute of Massotherapy. Don't be fooled by fancy buildings in prestigious zip codes. Look beyond the building and see how many spine models, charts, body system models etc. are available for teaching. Ask if the president of the school teaches (or if he ever has). Ask if he ever practiced as a massage therapist in his own practice or if he just inherited the school from his mother. I'm sure that after asking these questions, you'll choose National Institute of Massotherapy.

United States

#8 Aug 13, 2007
The podiatrist at OCM is also a LMT. He has a duel license, but who better to learn from than an actual doctor? I'll agree, OCM has it's flaws. But the teachers are wonderful. As for the president, he is also a LMT, and so was his mother.

United States

#9 Aug 16, 2007
I went to OCM, and Dr. Ryan was fantastic! As was Carrie, who is a chiropractor. Dr Ryan and his wife are both LMT's, and by having an actual doctor teach the anatomy and physiology, it makes it so much better than being taught by a BSN. It all comes down to experience behind the teacher, and Carrie and Dr. Ryan are the best!

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

#10 Aug 17, 2007
Shanna, I remember you as one of the brightest students at OCM. You would have excelled even if a Candystriper had taught the course. Perhaps if I was given the opportunity to observe Dr. Ryan for other than the two evening classes that he reluctantly "subbed" for, I would now have a different opinion of his teaching. The two classes that I DID observe were full of his bizarre and inappropriate comments on old people (he can't stand being around them), animal cruelty (he enjoys running over animals) etc. I am a faculty member with priveleges at the medical school and an educator/administrator to physicians, and I found his behavior childish and very unprofessional. As far as "real doctors" being better than massage professionals to teach massage classes, I have to disagree. Remember, I administer the residency program for "real doctors" at a major teaching hospital. Most of them have long forgotten second-year anatomy and physiology, and never learned the physiological effects or techniques of massage. My previous statement stands: if the massage instructor has never worked as a massage therapist in his/her own private practice, assessing and treating disorders with massage, he/she is not a good choice for an instructor.

Walnut Creek, OH

#11 Aug 18, 2007
I happened to attend THREE different massage therapy schools before becoming licensed. There seems to be controversy between OCM and NIM, both in Akron, both of which I have attended. If you're a prospective student, please keep a couple of things in mind: First, everyone wants to protect their Alma Mater, so people who have only gone to one school are a little biased. Second, don't be fooled by silly statements such as "So-n-so's class was great!", or "Everyone really loved so-n-so as an instructor". Who cares?? How are the graduates' SKILLS!? Are they competent? Are they confident in what they can do for people? I just happen to be the BEST Therapist there is. Its all thanks to my education at NIM. If you don't believe me, come to my office for a massage!(OCM has every student take weekend seminars taught by all kinds of people from other states to make up for the massage techniques they don't know how to teach in the classroom) Let's face it, if you're going to spend tens of thousands of dollars for an education don't go to the school that "has its flaws". The best Massage Therapists in the world work for and come from NIM. Period.

Walnut Creek, OH

#12 Aug 18, 2007
Crystal is right. Harmony Path IS a great school! But don't forget that Frank was a student of Stephen Perkinson! Founder and head instructor at NATIONAL INSTITUTE!(why not attend the school that creates the Geniuses! How else can you expect to be the next Frank Schwarz?!)

Lorain, OH

#13 Aug 18, 2007
Meg, you are so right. It's pointless to argue graduate vs. graduate because we are all loyal to our Alma Mater. And, yes, I have some lingering resentment toward OCM because of the way I was lured into the evening program and the need for five of us to scramble to change schools in order to salvage our education. Now I can look back and compare the educational experiences from the two schools and be truly glad that I graduated from NIM. I feel confident and competent to assess and treat what LMTs should have the knowledge and skill to treat, and to refer what we should not treat. That was never taught at any of the massage classes that I took at OCM.

Walnut Creek, OH

#14 Aug 18, 2007
I have lingering resentment as well, Jan. Mine is toward OCM for the fact that I paid them close to 9 grand, and didn't get half the education I got at NIM. Talk about quantity vs. quality!

United States

#15 Aug 19, 2007
I wish I would have gone to Harmony Path. When Frank is considered overall Grandfather of Massage in Ohio, I would have must chosen to be taught by him. I work with a girl who went to OCM as well, and was taught by Frank (this was in 2000, before he opened up Harmony Path) and she raved about him.

Any students who are looking for school should just go to Harmony Path. It really is a hidden school, and more people should attend.

I found this on Frank's page. It's an overall performance rate for first time canidates for Medical Boards. It's quite interesting!

School Name Passing Failing Percentage
Academy & Clinic of Massotherapy 11 12 48%
American Institute of Alternative Medicine 334 134 71%
American Institute of Massotherapy 30 34 47%
Antonelli College 0 10 0%
Blanchard Valley Academy of Massage 38 33 54%
Butler Technical School 4 12 25%
Carnegie Institute of Massotherapy 24 15 62%
Cincinnati School of Medical Massage 335 161 68%
Cleveland Institute of Medical Massage 139 125 53%
Columbus State Community College 115 81 59%
Cuyahoga Community College 87 26 77%
Dayton School of Medical Massage 288 164 64%
EHOVE Career Center 5 7 42%
Everest Institute 7 45 13%
Harmony Path School of Massage Therapy 68 8 89%
Healing Arts Institute 99 30 77%
Hocking Technical Institute 47 29 62%
The Institute of Therapeutic Massage 73 25 74%
Knox County Career Center 46 6 88%
Lakeland Community College 31 10 76%
Mercy College of NW Ohio 9 4 69%
Miami Jacobs Career College 4 43 9%
National Institute of Massotherapy 161 112 59%
North Central State College 34 13 72%
Northeast Medical Training Academy 10 33 23%
Northwest Academy 80 11 88%
Oakes Massage Therapy College 12 24 33%
Ohio Academy of Holistic Health 6 6 50%
Ohio College of Massotherapy 201 63 76%
Owens Community College 3 0 100%
Sanford-Brown Institute 9 66 12%
Self Health Institute 367 64 85%
Spirit Creek Healing Arts Academy 5 3 63%
Stark State College of Technology 57 48 54%
Statzenberger College 44 44 50%
Tri-State College of Massotherapy 45 34 57%
Washington State Community College 2 4 33%
Youngstown College of Massage 50 58 46%
Self Health Institute 286 60 83%
Spirit Creek Healing Arts Academy 3 3 50%
Stark State College of Technology 33 41 45%
Statzenberger College 32 43 43%
Tri-State College of Massotherapy 30 30 50%
Washington State Community College 2 3 40%
Youngstown College of Massage 45 53 46%
source: State Medical Board of Ohio: 01/16/04, 07/16/04, 01/14/05, 07/15/05, 01/13/06, 08/11/06 (revised 11/28/06), 01/08/07, and 07/10/07

Lorain, OH

#17 Aug 19, 2007
Well, that proves you're not the same Shanna. She was bright enough to recognize a compliment when it was given. I intended to say (and I believe that I did say it fairly clearly) that the Shanna (or Shana) that I remember from my time at OCM was so bright that she would have been able to make up for most shortfalls of the instructor and excel (that means do very good) regardless of poor teaching. Do you feel better now?

Lorain, OH

#18 Aug 19, 2007
For the sake of those individuals who have come to this forum in search of the right school for their needs, I suggest that we focus on answering questions about the quality of teaching and the commitment of the school to the students' education. I apologize for unwillingly getting this discussion headed toward a (perceived) personal attack mode. Please, cease fire!

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

#19 Aug 20, 2007
One more comment on this perceived "personal attack" thing. You can't join a debate and demand that no one is allowed to disagree with you. Disagreement is not a personal attack. Calling someone the B word and dropping an F bomb is. Shanna, if I offended you by confusing you with another student and friend, I apologize, but I will not apologize for rebutting your statements in your post. You said that Dr. Ryan was "fantastic." I gave examples based on my personal observations, in the setting of his classroom, of behavior that tends to disprove this assertion that he is a "fantastic" teacher. You said that having an "actual doctor" teach the capstone massage theory course was a good idea and I gave examples based on my observations that tend to prove that being an "actual doctor" does not IN ITSELF qualify someone to teach the capstone massage theory course. Chiropractors seem to be absolutely fantastic anatomy instructors. They definitely know their bones and muscles! Nurses, for some reason, tend to make lousy A&P instructors. Even though chiropractors make great anatomy instructors, though, they should not be chosen to teach the capstone board-prep course in massage theory unless they have also practiced in their own massage practice for a few years.
As an example of a great rebuttal to an argument, look at Crystal's last post. She presented data to defend her assertion that Harmony Path is unsurpassed in preparing their students for the State Board. Wow. Great argument, Crystal! I have to agree with you on that.
So, let's move forward from here with a proper and respectful debate and quit taking offense just because someone disagrees with you.
Jennifer LMT Medina

Akron, OH

#20 Aug 20, 2007
I also started at OCM and transfered to NIM -- the best thing that happened to me! I spent this last spring helping other students at OCM study for their finals. We had all started together, & then because I worked FT & couldn't switch to days for advanced courses I found NIM ..... and what an incredible difference it was! Anatomy class was on the structures that we then focused on in massage practicals, and physiology actually made sense! I left NIM feeling confident and competent in my abilities as a massage therapist, able to deal with whatever clients brought in.
Also, the body mechanics focus that Stephen had in the massage practicals gives me the understanding of how to do this work for the next 20+ years, unlike some I know who are hurting after only a year!
Hands down, the best MT school is NIM -- and regardless of the aesthetics of the campus, Akron had the same quality instructors as Garfield.

United States

#21 Aug 20, 2007
We all here are going to defend our school, and I personally do not understand the rival between NIM and OCM, I personally think it is high school-ish. Sure, there are things I hated at times about OCM, but I overall enjoyed my experience, and I'm sure that there are things you guys did like about NIM at times also.

Point blank, the best way to find the best school is to look at the passing rates for Boards. It is non-biased, and better than fighting over who had the best experience in class. I'm sorry to jmkono for it turning into a simple question over a school, into fighting over "Alma Mater"s and personal attacks.

Interview with each school, look at the passing rates for boards, ask detailed questions (what are the rates for students dropping out, is there tutoring available). State Medical Board is intended to be difficult! And if you are not dedicated to learning Kellogg and Tortora, then you are going to hard time in class, you are not going to pass boards. Point blank!

What ever school you choose, stay on top of Anatomy and Physiology, because it will only build on older material. If you have not been in school for a while, pick up the book "The Straight A Student". I know it sounds like a hack title for a book, but it gives some wonderful advice on study habits and time management, and you'll need plenty of both with going back to school, for any type of study!

I hope this helps, and good luck in your endevours -


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