The following are questions often asked by individuals researching animal massage. If you have additional questions about our program at ITT, please contact us at wshaw1@bright.net and we’ll answer you by return email.

1. Some of the most frequently observed benefits of massage are as follows:
  • A general relaxation and sense of well being.
  • Bonding between the animal and owner can be enhanced.
  • Massage can educate the animal to the value of good touch/safe touch.
  • It promotes body awareness.
  • Massage provides a hands-on check for muscle imbalances and changes on the body.
  • It increases blood and lymph flow.
  • Massage removes metabolic waste products from exertion or injury.
  • Massage reduces muscle tension allowing for greater flexibility.
  • It promotes exchange of intercellular fluids at the cellular level.
  • And it provides timely insights for the need for veterinary care.

Click here to see an article on pet massage.

2. Do I have to have a license to perform animal massage?
Each state is regulated separately. To find out what your state's laws are, contact your state Attorney General’s Office and ask about the laws governing animal sports massage.

3. Do I have to have any experience or have to be a licensed massage therapist to attend classes at ITT, Inc.?
No, the only pre-requisite to attend our workshops is the willingness to learn and to be comfortable around the animals.

4. Should students take the Level 1 & 2 courses consecutively or is it best to take one level at a time?
The ideal way to take the workshops is to take Level 1, then go home and practice doing 25 – 50 massages. When you return you will have more hands-on experience and many questions to ask in Level 2. We do, however, offer them consecutively for those who cannot do this due to time constraints.

5. Do I receive a certificate after completing the class?
Yes, you will receive your certificate with the total of contact hours for the class. (See brochure or schedule for hours of completion for each class offered.)

6. Do I have to travel to South Carolina or do you have correspondence courses?
At the present time, we do not offer correspondence courses. Our workshops are hands-on only. You must travel to South Carolina to attend the workshop or you may arrange to hold a workshop in your area.

7. Do you offer a discount of any kind?
Sorry, we do not offer any discounts at this time.

8. How do you find out what the animal sports massage laws are in your state?
You can contact your Attorney General’s office and ask them what the state regulations are for animal sports massage.

9. After taking the class, will you be able to do the massage with confidence and start your own business?
After completing the workshop, you will be able to perform a relaxation and sports massage application. As you practice on different animals, you will gain more confidence in this bodywork. You will also receive information on starting your business, advertising, business ethics and safety during class.

10. How many students are in each class?
No more than 8 students per instructor.

11. Why choose Integrated Touch Therapy, Inc., over other schools teaching this type of bodywork?
Patricia Whalen-Shaw, MS, LMT, BTCMB, APP, and RCST® has been teaching canine, feline and equine massage here at her farm since 1992. She is a pioneer in this area of bodywork, training thousands of students about massage technique for animals and how to apply these techniques while honoring the animal. At ITT, Inc., we teach intensive, hands-on classes.

Maria Duthie completed her massage training through the Optissage program in Circleville Ohio. She has studied animal science at the University of Florida, exotic-animal management at the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo program, and animal behavior at Indiana University. She has owned horses for over twenty years and has worked as a stable manager, groomer, trainer, and exercise rider in a number of stables with a variety of disciplines.

She was a zookeeper for four years, during which she wrote several papers on behavioral enrichment. It was while in this position that she began to see the correlation between physical pain and behavioral problems first-hand. She then began to study several forms of healing touch and behavior modification.

In addition to exotics, she studied dog, cat, and horse behavior. The combination of behavioral knowledge, anatomical knowledge, and massage techniques in addition to several years of practical experience allows Maria to work with animals on several levels. Annisage promotes healthier animals from the inside out.

12. Will I be working on live animals? Can I bring my own?
Yes, you will be working on live animals. We encourage students to bring their pets but if this is not possible, we have dogs, cats and horses here at the farm that volunteer their services.

13. Do you help with job placement after completing the class?
We do not help with job placement directly; however when someone calls from your area needing an animal massage practitioner, we give them your contact information if you have given us permission to do so.

14. What are the guest lecture workshops, and who may attend?
We host workshops on related animal bodywork, different types of healing systems, skills related to observation of movement, communication, etc. Some instructors have prerequisites and other workshops do not. The information about each workshop is available on our guest-lecture series page.

15. What facilities are available if I bring my horse?

This is horse country! There are many options for renting a stall while you attend the class. Contact Maria and she will help you with suggestions.

16. Where do I stay when I come to the workshops?
There are a variety of Airbnbs in the area; if you contact Maria, she will be happy to help you find suitable accommodations.