A Letter From our Director

Dear Prospective Students,

I developed the Middleway Method™ in response to the need for compassionate, awareness-based health education, for students and clients alike. As a perpetual student myself, I am always asking, “What works best? What do students need? What do clients need?” I find the answers to these questions as I teach, as I work as a therapist, and as I witness the hundreds of massages that people give and receive in our clinic each month.

What works best? The therapy that works best is the one that feels great for the client, and has immediate and lasting benefits. I can’t say which therapy that is, because each client is so different from the next. Our job as therapists is to learn what works best in each new situation. I am not a proponent of only gentle bodywork, nor am I a believer in only deep bodywork. Instead, I recognize that “different strokes work for different folks.” That’s the Middleway Method. Not only do we teach many massage and bodywork styles, we also teach therapists how to determine the correct style to use. Year after year, our Health Educators report back to us that their clients tell them they have never received a better massage. Their clients ask, “What is that technique called?” and the therapists respond, “It is what your body needed.”

What do students need? Students of massage therapy need a warm, quiet, comfortable learning environment, where you are given many opportunities to learn how to deeply relax. The standard massage school format is not the most conducive to learning. I have tried it, and in exploring alternatives, I have found that students learn much more in a slower-paced, experience-based, exploratory format where instead of being told how to give massage, you are given the guidance and freedom to discover it on your own.

Because our job as therapists is to teach our clients how to relax and live healthy lives, first we must become healthy relaxation experts. As Middleway Method students, you begin with a deep and thorough consideration of your diet, rest, exercise, stress-factors, and attitudes toward hardship. As health educators, our clients come to us for treatment because they are tired, stressed out, injured, suffering from poor nutrition and lack of exercise. A Middleway Method Health Educator understands those things because she or he has lived them, and learned to moderate stress-factors and increase beneficial attitudes and activities in his or her own life. Put simply, we teach healing from within.

What do clients need? Our clients need to be listened to, cared for, and responded to in ways that feel great and produce immediate and lasting benefits. Applying singular modalities like Swedish Massage or Triggerpoint Therapy with every client, regardless of whether or not they are enjoying themselves or benefitting from the treatment is surprisingly common in the massage therapy profession. I have no idea why! A therapist must develop a new technique for each client, relying upon their tools and education, but never doing the same thing twice. Our clients pay $50-$150 per hour for a massage, and they expect it to feel amazing, and have direct and noticeable benefits. To achieve this, a therapist is like an improvisational musician, writing a song that speaks directly to a one-person audience. It is no easy task, and it takes committed, diligent practice and a genuinely warm heart.

Every Middleway class begins with either meditation or exercise. With a foundation in body awareness, mindfulness, and core strength, a Middleway Method Health Educator is a living example of the potential for whole-person wellness. Spending 10-months as a Middleway student is as much about developing those inner qualities as it is about learning how to do massage and bodywork. With a meditation practice at the center of our lives, we become increasingly aware of the positive and negative effects of our thoughts and actions. From that awareness naturally springs compassion for oneself, and compassion for others, as we realize the profound and direct responsibility we have for the circumstances in our own lives and the lives of those around us.

We do our work because we have decided that there is nothing more important to us than to use our vitality, creativity and care to improve the lives of others. It is amazing that there is a profession that is dedicated entirely to those precious things! As every day of work passes, and we see more and more lives change under our hands, it becomes clear to us that what we are doing is special. We are very fortunate to have discovered this thing called massage therapy, for not only does it sustain us financially, but it also fulfills the deep calling of the soul to care for others and make this world a better place.

I created the Middleway Method because I wanted to share this precious profession with others, and I wanted to make sure that because of my hard work, thousands of people would receive massage. Every time a group of students graduates, I think of all of the people that they will touch, and I feel proud to have helped bring that into the world.



Tobin Shenpen Rangdrol, LMT


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