Classes meet every other weekend in Michigan at St. Ignace and Hancock

Hancock, Michigan: The main campus and administration building is located in the Keweenaw Historic National Park 4 miles North of Hancock in the quaint village of Paavola. We are about a 2 hour drive from the Northern Wisconsin counties. Quite unique, and historically significant, the building was constructed by the neighborhood Finnish Nouse Society in 1897. (Nouse was a communist/temperance society that shunned alcohol use.) Our campus also served through history as an Apostolic Lutheran Church, Unity Church and several other churches, a town hall, a village library, an actors club, a gym, and in 1994 was the Paavola Sr. Citizens club that generously donated the hall to I.N.T sharing the dream of a massage therapy school. We have an 80 acre wild life reserve that students may enjoy for, camping cross country skiing and discovering how nature heals.

St. Ignace, Michigan: We meet at the St.Ignace public library which was built on sacred ceremonial grounds of the Ojibwa. We are treated to glorious sunrise views of Mackinaw Island as we do our morning yoga and Thai Massage. Both campuses have full kitchen facilities and nice places to nature walk nearby.


Dogs Cats Kids and Babies

Our Hancock and St. Ignace facilities are baby and pet friendly. We have had 6 babies graduate from our program. One named Allyssa, who learned how to speak and walk during her time in class. If the mother agrees to hold the baby when it is restless this can work. Babies, pets, dogs, and young children are permitted on a trial basis in class providing they are well behaved, safe, do not disturb the class, and know how to go outside (animals of course). Animals must be non-threatening and non-shedding.


Classroom Environment

Being human we store a variety of energies, memories, subconscious and conscious emotions in our tissues. The classroom community provides a safe place to experience the therapeutic relationship. Together we tap into the power motivation of massage therapy allowing students the process of edification. We appreciate and respect our bodies, minds, souls and emotions which are the tools we have to explore and co-create our future professions. We accept each other and come together with a common vision of being the best massage therapist ever!

Live student feed back to each other is essential to learning, so students are required to work with and to partner exchange with everyone in the class frequently.

There are often potlucks, lunch outings, nature walks, campfires and fun. Frequently students tell us how much they look forward to the class weekends. They say it’s a perfect retreat from their normal lives, a “spa weekend.” Remember you are receiving great world class massage half the time you are in class!


Traveling to Classes

Most students tell us how much they like the “weekend get away”. Soon we make friends and it is easy to connect with a roommate. The Saturday nights become girls’ night out, karaoke fun and weekend study parties by the pool. Students enjoy hot tubs and sharing their dreams and aspirations while prepping for their new career and new life’s path. Of course plan for the extra time and expense, most students car pool and study review with each other while driving. Some will share 4 or 8 to a room and personal room cost can be as low as $8.00/night snoring included.

Both locations offer pristine wilderness trails for biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, ATV and sledding. Both locations have miles of great lakes shoreline, wildlife abounds, waterfalls, great fishing, downhill skiing, fun bars and restaurants. Hancock has several great inexpensive gyms one open 24/7.

It is 5 hours auto travel between Houghton and the St. Ignace Campus and 5 hours drive from Detroit to St. Ignace. Wisconsin students leave an hour early for the time zone difference. Houghton County Memorial Airport (CMX) is a 5 minute taxi ride to INT and out of state students do fly in. Indian Trails Bus Lines service Hancock and connect with most U.S. cities. We have lots of snow and snowy roads so please plan extra time to drive conscientiously safe, and slow in winter. If you live more than 2 hours away then please leave the night before so you can be in class on time. INT has been closed only 2 days in 17 years for snow days so plan on always having class. Rarely the Mackinaw Bridge may close for high winds even if the weather looks nice.



INT Students receive great rates at the following lodging establishments

At the Voyager and Copper Crown be sure to mention you’re an “I.N.T. massage class student.”

Most any hotels you ask give a good rate if you commit to stay regularly. Both campuses have previous INT grads who offer inexpensive rooms in their homes but this changes from year to year so please enquire after class starts.


Employment and Rents

Some students move to the area while attending INT. It is easy to find inexpensive rent and usually possible to find temporary/subsistence employment.

In Hancock we own 80 acres of wild life preserve just a 5 minute walk to school and only a 7 minute drive to town. Students may camp at INT’s rustic wilderness sanctuary for free. Includes electricity and well water. They have bon fire parties and cookouts. Many students camp during the June clinic week. Weather is too cold for most campers November thru March. Students are required to respect all wildlife and please feel free to converse with the beavers, bears, coyotes, deer and sacred trees. Sporting vehicles and hunting are not permitted on INT property. Camp at your own risk and the director’s permission is required for camping.

INT’s Hancock campus offers students a place for meditation, hiking, camping and skiing on an 80 acre wildlife preserve.

INT Students…

  • are 17-70 years old.
  • are nurses, physical therapists, or not in the medical profession at all.
  • have varing levels of education—from those who did not complete high school to professionals with a master’s degree, but all have the common energy of becoming the best therapist they can be.
  • have a passion for the pursuit of professional massage and the healing arts as a way of life.

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How to Choose a Professional Massage Therapy School

Ok so now you want to become a professional massage therapist. You are about to make a big investment of your money and time looking for a school that will prepare you to find the career you love and desired salary you deserve. There are approximately 1,700 massage schools in the United States. Your entry-level training will be the most important step of your new career. Here are some essentials you should know and ask when enquiring to a massage therapy school including some topics specific to Michigan.

Tuition Cost: Pricing varies from school to school. Do not just look at the price alone; look at what you are getting for your money.

Buyer Be Aware: As of 2009 Massage Therapy is now a licensed profession in Michigan. With years of no regulations it is easy to find owners of schools, educational program developers and massage therapy teachers who have had no formal massage therapy training what so ever. Is this who you would like to receive your entry level training from?

Check Teacher Qualifications and Experience Carefully: Ask to actually see certificates for the subjects they claim to have knowledge in. Are they “saying” they are certified? In what? Can they show you verification of training and experience in ALL the skills they have listed in their catalog? Ask to see.

Ask Curriculum and Class time Specifics: New Michigan mandated curriculum laws require 500 hours of in class core training with an instructor present face to face. For years many schools have advertised a 500 hour program that was somewhat misleading as most were not in a class room but on line. These schools are now scrambling to develop classroom training that they have never offered before. Be specific and ask how many years have they taught students in a class room with an instructor present for the entire 500 hours? Ask how much time in class is spent in “hands on” training verses lecture, watching learning DVDs? Will you be spending time in class watching webinars and such from other production companies or “hands on” learning from an experienced caring instructor?

Non-Biased Diversification: Massage therapist occupations are highly diversified and can range from working in a chick salon of up town Manhattan to a Neuro psychiatric outpatient clinics. Many schools are biased about a particular type of training as some schools offer more of an oriental acupressure approach, some more Swedish or spa styles. What do you see in a school’s catalog? Are you seeing a variety of diversified skills to meet the modern scope of practice? Are you just seeing a few lines not saying much more than a few words like “massage therapy” as a descriptive for the entire course? Ask to sit in on the schools classes before you enroll to get a feel for their professionalism. A fun way to investigate the quality of education is to receive a massage from several graduates from
several schools. Ask around the massage businesses of your Northern town. Who is working and can meet the scope of professional practice in the long run? Ask yourself, what graduates seem to go under after a year or so and what schools cultivate successful graduates?

There are many more options to consider and for more information please check out our web link listings. The AMTA site lists tons of schools info. The Massage Register at is a valuable resource. Find all Michigan massage schools at
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Career Opportunities at Your Fingertips

At the printing of this year’s catalog we delightfully discovered some of our graduates are employed as massage therapists at: Boyne Highlands, Grand Traverse Resort, Marquette General Hospital, Portage Health Systems, Physical Therapy at MTU, Bay Harbor Resort and a variety of private physicians, psychologists and chiropractic offices throughout the U.P. and other states. Some graduates have specialized in horse and pet massage or have worked massage in with other educational/consulting services. Job opportunities also include cruise ships, health spas, resort clubs, senior citizen homes and trauma relief centers. Many of our graduates enjoy the self-employed entrepreneur life style. Some have opened a business before they graduated and maintained them for 10 years to date. As nice as a propriety small business may appear it requires people skills and self responsibility. Please keep in mind average time to flourish in your own start up can take up to 3 to 5 years. The fact that 90% fail is an unsubstantiated myth, usually over 60 % are still open after 5 years. We especially encourage graduates in the rural areas (most of us) to start off independently.

Be sure your career school choice can offer you the skill level and business savvy you need not to just compete, but to become a successful leader in your therapeutic community.

Placement Assistance

Job opportunities do come into INT and are made available to graduates. Although we can not guarantee job placement there have been some years since the 2008 economic crash when over half a class found employment immediately upon graduation. We are happy to provide free consulting, interview and strategy planning. We like to visit your new business site or help you to plan and set up your own business as a free service to our students.

How Massage Therapy Licensing and Exams Work

In January 2009, governor Granholm signed house bill 5651 into law and massage therapist will be required to be licensed to practice massage therapy in the state of Michigan. This law is expected to be actively enforced sometime in 2012. Our program qualifies graduates to enter the licensing process for MI, WI and many of the states. We are not a licensing or regulatory agency and do not issue state licenses or state licensing test. It is graduating from our program that qualifies you to apply for test and license. After graduating you will be required to take either the National Certification Exam or the Massage and Body Work Licensing Exam. Then submit passing test results, copy of transcripts, applications and fees to the state to receive your massage therapy license. Many of the states have similar requirements also many of them have their own individual requirements. Occasionally counties, cities and other local jurisdictions may require different permits and licensing additional to a state license. It is the student’s responsibility to enquire into ordinances and laws in the state or local jurisdiction they choose to practice. For all states licensing requirements, to see state web sites, and contacts go to
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