History of ITM: Innovators in Therapeutic Massage Education
The Institute for Therapeutic Massage was established in Pompton Lakes in 1994 by Lisa Helbig, LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist), and was quickly approved by the New Jersey Department of Education. Classes began in 1995; in April of 2001, the school became accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) – the only specialized accreditor recognized by the United States Department of Education (DOE) with a primary focus on massage education, and helping students become massage therapists.
Our Tinton Falls, New Jersey, Monmouth County location, was added in 1999, and our first hospital-based training program was started in 2000 at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ-Newark, Essex County). We have since opened 2 more hospital-based programs, with our Morristown Memorial Hospital location opening in 2002, Morris County and Community Medical Center, in Toms River, Ocean County, an affiliate of the Saint Barnabus Health Care System, starting in March of 2006.
In 2008, the Pompton Lakes campus moved to Haskell / Wanaque, New Jersey, Passaic County, in which we have classroom, clinic, and personal training space spread across 2 floors of the building for those who are interested in learning to become a massage therapist, personal trainer, or shiatsu practitioner. We also began offering classes at New Vista Rehabilitation Center in Newark, New Jersey, Essex County; as of 2011, those classes are being held in Newark Extended Care (NEC), which is our most recent massage school location.
With our core program in place, we then went on to develop a hospital-based Medical Massage Program with both the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey – Newark, and Morristown Memorial Hospital. This is an advanced program for massage therapists to master the art and science of medically based massage while working with doctors and nurses in an active teaching hospital. Participants in this program will gain valuable hands-on experience and learn to provide massage therapy to actual patients. Students were now able to learn massage in a true medical setting – one of the fastest growing and most important aspects of massage therapy.
Type of Programs
Along with our core Massage and Bodywork Studies Program, ITM also offers a Massage Therapy and Personal Training Program, an Eastern Bodywork Program, the Oncology Massage Certification Program (OMCP), a Clinical Massage Therapy Program, a hospital-based Orthopedic Massage program, and over 35 different continuing education classes, where therapists have the opportunity to earn CEU’s.
While the Massage and Bodywork Studies Program helps students learn Swedish, medical, and other hands on massage forms, the Massage Therapy and Personal Training Program adds another dimension by developing cross-trained health and wellness professionals. The Eastern Bodywork Program is designed to advance the knowledge and skill-sets previously learned in the Massage and Bodywork Program and place emphasis on eastern massage philosophies and Shiatsu techniques.
Who studies at ITM
The Institute for Therapeutic Massage is proud to see that students come to our massage school from virtually all walks of life to learn massage therapy. Students range in age from 18 to retirement, male and female, on job hiatus or with a full-time career. The atmosphere at the school is conducive to, and the staff is very much focused on, providing a well-rounded, supportive and gratifying learning experience for those motivated to achieve the highest standards of performance within the massage, spa, health & wellness profession.
As massage therapists, we know about the many rewards and potential challenges in being a part of the health and wellness industry, and strive to pass this experience along to our students; thus preparing them for their lives as bodywork professionals through lecture, hands-on, and real world applications. To do this, ITM maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio in the hands-on and didactic / live-lecture classes to give our students the maximum instructional effectiveness and individual attention and support that they deserve. While it is a trend in the industry to offer online learning to help lower costs, we feel that the live interaction, and ability to get questions answered immediately is part of what helps set us apart, or what we refer to as ‘The ITM Difference’.
We are also fully committed to developing advanced course-work and continuing education offerings so as to provide our students with the most current practical, theoretical, scientific, and ethical foundations of massage-based healthcare.