Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Northwest School Of Animal Massage

Ep 43 Animal Massage With Lola Michelin Founder Of Northwest School Of Animal Massage

Lola Michelin founder of Northwest School of Animal Massage


Whats the difference between petting our dogs and cats versus offering them pet massage? Northwest School of Animal Massage founder Lola Michelin joins the podcast to discuss hands-on skills for working with animals, training, and contraindications. We also dip into communication strategies with our four-legged friends, as well as safety protocols. We finish by talking about marketing these services and what to charge.

Lola Michelin founded the Northwest School of Animal Massage in 2001. She has practiced animal massage for over 30 years and massage for people for 17 of those years. A graduate of the animal science program at Michigan State University, she has work experience in both the veterinarian and zoological fields. For more information, visit www.nwsam.com.

This episode sponsored by Anatomy Trains.

01:48 Lola Michelin: Hello, thank you for having me. I’m very excited to be here today.

01:52 KC: Well, we are very excited to have you with us today. We have so many interesting questions we wanna ask you about animal massage. Let’s dive right in. I think probably one of the most common questions you get, and I know animal, pet owners and also massage therapists have asked me about this so I’m sure you get it much more often, what’s the difference between petting animals and therapeutic massage for animals?

03:43 KC: That’s the perfect analogy.

03:47 LM: We all know that one.

03:49 DB: “That just wasn’t enough.”

24:24 LM: I know.

30:45 LM: Thank you.

Ners We Can Share Referrals With

NWSAM offers courses in Animal Massage, Animal Acupressure and other animal related therapies. Our courses are offered through our unique blended learning format. Study from the comfort of home at your own pace and with the help of our excellent distance learning instructors, then choose from among our many five day practicals to complete the hands-on portion of your training. Practicals are offered at our Seattle campus or at our partner campuses around North America. Financing is available. For a listing of our upcoming classes and workshops please click the Calendar link.

Northwest School Of Animal Massage

  • Course Length: 1 year – 3 years
  • Price: $2,000 – $2,000

All information on this page, including but not limited to price, cost, instructions, descriptions, and the content of a certification course, is presented for informational and promotional purposes only, is not legal advice, may be an approximation, is subject to change, and may have been generated by third parties. Nothing on the site is a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding any legal matter. Prior to enrolling in a course for a certification, please contact the proper school or certification administrators for information regarding certification requirements.

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The Products And Services We Offer

Kukui`ulaWho’ll claim the title? Vashon’s 2021 Local Business Person Of The YearLolaNorthwest School of Animal MassageSelf massage tools: love âem or hate âem? If you use them, which oneâs your favorite?LolaNorthwest School of Animal MassageWhat is the ONE secret ingredient that makes you ‘unique’ in your industry?LolaNorthwest School of Animal Massage

Meet Lola Michelin Northwest School Of Animal Massage

Kinesiology Taping Online Foundation Course

By Lola Michelin

Lola Michelin is the founder and owner of the Northwest School of Animal Massage on Vashon Island, WA.

Cattie: I first met Lola when I interviewed her on Animal Massage Guide . I had long been intrigued by her work with exotic animals and it was such a treat to get to know her further and hear how she came to go down this path. Lola has a vast abundance of knowledge and experience both as a practitioner and teacher and I am so excited that she will be sharing that with us here as a regular contributor.


Read posts by Lola

If you would like to submit a question for Lola, you can do so either by using the Ask a Question popup window below, or by using the contact form.

And dont forget to to make sure you dont miss any of Lolas posts!

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Northwest School Of Animal Massage: First Day Of Fundamentals

Christy Caplan

Vashon Island is where the Northwest School of Animal Massage is located.

This past Saturday was the first day of animal massage training and I couldnt be more excited to dive into my new life adventure.

A day in the life of an animal massage practitioner:

1) Learning the basic strokes is where we spent the majority of our time including Effleurage. This is the lightest of the strokes. This stroke familiarizes the animal with massage.

2) Passive Touch: This is exactly as it sounds and I intuitively do this with our dogs all the time! Anytime Shermie, our reactive dog, is anxious or struggling I simply put my hand on the base of his neck. So Im plugged into Shermies energy when I do this and believe me its helpful!

What I really learned though that this is indeed my calling. I love to write and enjoy what I do each day but after just a few hours with this class and instructor that life light bulb went off. Im ready for a new chapter with the NWSAM program and in July Ill be back on the right path.

Reviews For Northwest School Of Animal Massage

  • Mar 2020

    In 2006 I began the journey of learning how to massage Large Animals. I found Northwest School of Animal Massage. The home study course was fantastic, I could do it at my own pace and the 5 day intensive review and Practical test was so worth it. I continued on to take several more courses over the next 10 years. I am now certified in Large and Small Animal Massage. And I am approaching 69 years of age. So it’s never too late.

  • Mar 2020

    I switched careers later in life – a big leap – and after looking into various programs for animal massage certifications, landed on NWSAM. I will forever be grateful that I did. I now have a career as an animal massage therapist that I truly love. I was pleased with my instructors and the colleagues I met through NWSAM. I also appreciate the supportive environment fostered by Founder and Director of Education, Lola Michelin, who encourages students past and present, and who has a wealth of knowledge that she freely shares well beyond the classroom. I never stop learning. For those interesting in pursuing a career in canine or equine massage, I highly recommend enrolling!

  • Dec 2019

    I cannot speak highly enough of this school. The online materials were wonderful and the tutor very responsive and helpful, but the highlight was the practical. I travelled from Australia and it was wonderful. Lola is an amazing teacher, and we had the best canine teachers too. I definitely would recommend this school.

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Sunday October 6th 2013

Learn the benefits of massage therapy, basic massage techniques and safe stretching for your animals. This course is ideal for the dog lover and horse rider alike who wish to learn skills to support their animal’s health and longevity. If you are considering animal massage as a career and would like an introduction to the subject, this class is also for you.

Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Cost: $75.00

Small Animal Performance Massage Practical

Facilities dogs bring smiles to Jackson Northwest Community Schools


This 4-day practical provides the supervised hands-on training necessary to complete the Performance Massage certification.

PREREQUISITE: Completion of Small Animal Performance Massage Distance Learning course.

This 4-day practical provides the supervised hands-on training necessary to complete the Performance Massage certification.

This course focuses on performance massage for canine athletes, working dogs and breeding stock. Techniques learned include Myofascial Release Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy and Stress Point Therapy along with pre-event and post-event massage protocols.

Cost of this course is $500, which includes materials and a $50 registration fee.

Also Check: Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Massage Therapy

Large Animal Massage Distance Learning: Foundation Level

We believe you need to be well-versed in five basic areas of study. During this course you will be exposed to this information through these five subject areas:

  • Behavior and Handling
  • Massage Techniques
  • First Aid and CPR

Each area of study is vital to learning massage as taught by NWSAM. Our philosophy is fairly simple. We want to provide an experience for the horse that will help to optimize its performance potential from a physiological and a psychological aspect. We believe the physical and mental states are inseparable and the glue that binds the two together is the nervous system. Therefore, our massage techniques are designed not only to address the immediate needs of the tissues but also to educate the horses body and mind of a more flowing and efficient manner of movement. Providing this level of benefit to the horse requires understanding and applying these fundamental concepts.

Topics Covered in This Course

Swedish Massage

Range of Motion and Safe Stretching

Conformation and Gait Analysis

Business Practices and Ethics

Certification is awarded after completing this course, the 5-day practical and required case studies.


Lola Michelin, Director of EducationNorthwest School of Animal Massage

Lola Michelin, Director of EducationNorthwest School of Animal Massage

No part of the copyrighted course content, in any form, may be printed, copied, or shared for any purpose other than by the individual enrolled student for his/her studies.

Visceral Therapy For Dogs And Horses

Visceral Therapy builds on the general principles of osteopathy to include a special understanding of the organs , blood vessels and nerves of the body. Visceral Techniques can help relieve imbalances and restrictions in the interconnections between the movements of all the organs and structures of the body.

Kris De Ceulaer, DVM, Ph.D is a veterinarian in Belgium who specializes in osteopathy, acupuncture and Chinese Food Therapy. Additionally she holds a Ph.D in Veterinary anatomy.

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