Look into the Center

We invite you to “Look into the Center”…both literally and figuratively.

We “open our doors” here, with information and pictures, for you to get to know us and what we offer at the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center. We intend to come from the best place within ourselves, from our center with presence and clarity, to offer these services to you.

With these words “Look into the Center”, we also intend to honor that place in you, within the center of knowing yourself, to see if we have something to support you along your unique path.

Feel free to “look around” our website and call us if you have question or would like a personal tour. You can reach me directly at (515) 277-2126. I look forward to talking with you soon!Deb Elliott RN, BS, LMT | Owner/ Founder / Director

The Center At A Glance

Services available at the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center

Massage Therapy Evening Program
Affordable, flexible program that can change your career… and change your life. Flexible schedule of evening classes, full-time or part-time either with or without Saturdays, specifically designed for working adults. Everything in the Massage Therapy Course is included specifically to support one of the following:

  • prepare you for the exam for licensure
  • increase the potential for success of your future private practice
  • encourage your personal growth

Workshops & Classes
Classes for professional and/or personal development, many open to the public. Continuing Education credits granted for both Massage Therapist and Nurses for most classes.

Clinic Sessions
Massages are given in private rooms to the public by students, graduates, and teachers. Healing sessions also available. Call for your appointment.

Brief History of the Center

Founded in 1996, the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center is the vision of our Owner, Founder, Director: Deb Elliott, RN, BS, LMT.

Deb had a nursing outfit at age 4 and loved to “play school” with her friends so ending up as a nurse with a school is not too surprising. But her path toward this school was less predictable.

Her journey of discovery related to healing had a relatively traditional beginning as she became a nurse in 1983. This training, and her life experience to that point, did not include any information about Alternative Healing Methods. That was the case until the next phase of her life when, in retrospect, everything seems both horrible and wonderful at much the same time.

Deb’s life led her through divorce, personal debt, and severe depression with limited success with traditional Western Medicine (including multiple medications and counseling). It wasn’t until a friend dragged her along to a Reiki workshop (just to get her out of the house for awhile), that she finally found some real relief of her own.

Learn More about Reiki

From there, massage and other methods helped Deb out of a six month bed-bound depression and into a “new life”. She started talking about her experience with anyone who would listen. This led her to teach Reiki classes out of her home which soon grew into larger weekend workshops with guest teachers of this and other methods she found along her own healing path.

What started as “just going along for the ride with a friend” grew into a dedicated life of self-discovery and passing it on to others to make a real difference in the world. This is how the symbolic ripples of this place began. When the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center began in 1996, in addition to offering Reiki and other classes, it was the only massage therapy program in central Iowa.

Learn More about Massage Therapy Program


We had humble beginning, building-wise, but made the best of our small basement location. Moving to our current location in 1999 was a huge step forward and allowed us to dramatically expand the services we offered.

Learn More about Our Accomodations

There have been various people involved at the Center as teachers and practitioners since it began. What seems common amongst them, similar to what Deb has modeled, is that each found the Center to be helpful in their own personal and professional growth and evolution as they offered services to others.

Learn More about our Teachers, Practitioners & Support Staff

Over the years, Deb continued to explore different healing methods and to fine-tuning her touch. She was also involved in a 5 year intensive teacher training mentoring program. Each of these experiences shaped both the content and the style of training that has evolved at the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center.

People have asked Deb “if she was to do something else other than be at the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center, what would it be?”. “That’s an easy answer” she says. “I’d do the same thing out of my home or anywhere else. I only do what I would call “work” a couple hours a week. The rest of the time I’m learning, growing and sharing with others here at the Center. It’s an exciting and wonderful way to live. This is definitely what I want to be doing”.

Watch for more to come from Deb Elliott and the College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center… as we continue with history in the making.

Roots & Foundation of our Philosophy

College of Massage and the Healing Arts Center was built on the philosophy described in a quote from Nelson Mandela. We share them with you here, in gratitude and honor to the people who not only say them or display them, but live them… and pass them on through their example.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God this is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.Except from Nelson Mandela’s 1994 South African Presidential Inaugural Speech Inspired by Marianne Williamson

There are several reasons why this quote is especially meaningful for us. The words and message, in and of themselves, are clearly inspiring. But for Deb Elliott, our Owner / Founder / Director, there are other reasons this message is special to her. She first heard it at a pivotal time in her life, not long before the vision of the Center was born. But, again it wasn’t only the words that impacted her. It was also how she heard them.

Deb Elliott didn’t see them on CNN or read them in the newspaper. She didn’t find them surfing the web or get them in an email message. Actually, she heard them in her own living room from a friend, who had also heard it from another friend in that same way. Note that these words, spread world wide from Nelson Mandela, had originated from yet another individual.

For Deb, the way she heard this message symbolically added depth, significance, and meaning to the message. It was a demonstration that reinforced it did matter what we pass on to each other, person to person,… and that one person can make a far reaching difference.

It was a long way from South Africa to Deb Elliott’s living room in Urbandale, Iowa. The power of the intention behind the words and the momentum grew along the way and was part of the push and reminder she needed to support her… to continue, to trust, and to move forward.

To this day, we continue to strive to live our lives and support others with these words in mind. As a part of recognizing our 10th anniversary at the Center, we added a symbol of a drop of water that ripples out, as seen on our website and at the Center. This symbol is intended to visually remind us of these inspiring words and encourage us to consciously choose how we want to “ripple out” into the world.

Our Accommodations

In 1999, we moved to our much larger current location to be able to offer expanded services at the Center. We use our flexible space in different ways to meet the changing needs of our students, staff, and clients.

You will notice right away as you enter that care goes into every detail here. The interior is beautifully arranged including fountains, pleasant lighting, nature sounds, and peaceful music. Perhaps even more significant is the “feeling” inside. Most people who enter say “it just feels good in here”. The people at the Center are obviously happy being and with what they are doing at this place.

Here are general details:

  • Ample parking with easy access to the building.
  • Picnic bench and park-like green space with trees and grass near the entrance. Some discussion classes have been offered under the tree in the shade on especially nice day when the content of class lends itself to this change in environment and each participant in class is interested in doing this.
  • Lobby with comfortable chairs, special lighting, soothing music and nature sounds, beautiful fountains, crystal clear water, and written materials available for your leisure.
  • Handicapped access and bathroom facilities.
  • Student Lounge with refrigerator, microwaves, kitchen supplies for student use and coffee, tea, other items for students to share.
  • Pleasant spacious classrooms and versatile meeting room spaces.
    Student Massage Therapy Clinic space with individual treatment rooms where we can have up to 16 massages offered at the same time.
  • Linen room with student supplies and reference materials.
  • Library available to students, former graduates, and clients.
  • Professional Massage Therapy Session Rooms with extra touches to enhance the environment for established practitioners and teachers.
  • Front office area for administrative activities.

Private tours with Deb Elliott, Owner / Founder / Director, are available by appointment. Deb looks forward to the opportunity to show you around and discuss how you might get connected with the Center. Contact her directly at (515) 277-2126.