A new and unique business has opened this week in Cape Coral - a branch of the Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage.
The local facility will offer training in canine massage and other alternative healing modalities to students who want to learn the art.
The school itself has been in operation for the last nine years in several locations in Colorado, with Cape Coral being the fifth location for instruction. The school has been in Florida for four years.
"We really love the community of Cape Coral and are excited to offer our classes at our K9 Development Center," said founder and executive director Lisa Speaker.
She said she feels the location's amenities and close proximity to Southwest Florida International Airport make it an ideal location for the school.
"The art is a specialized field, and our school has a great reputation," said enrollment coordinator Ginger Currie. On being somewhat close to the airport, she said, "A lot of our students come in to our locations from Canada, Brazil and even Spain."
If You Go:
What: Rocky Mountain School
of Animal Acupressure
and Massage branch
Where: 1110 S.E. 12th Court,
Graduates will be animal massage practitioners. RMSAAM is world-renowned and one of the first schools to be formally regulated by the Colorado Department of Education, she added.
The K9 Development Center there is 2,100 square feet and air-conditioned.
"It is the largest indoor dog training facility in the area," she said.
Kelly Legarreta is the canine massage instructor, and said in a prepared statement, "We are very grateful to have such an open space dedicated to training and teaching. The big, open, matted room is great for gait analysis, play breaks and being able to spread out for the hands-on massage portion of the day."
There are also quiet crating areas available for the dogs to relax during lectures.
She also takes students to the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Florida, where they have a chance to work on actual wolves as part of a hands-on segment of Canine Level 3.
Besides the airport proximity and structure they found, Currie said, "It's a good market area for canine massage services. There was a lot of interest for it in the Cape area."
The main headquarters are in Castle Rock, Colo.
"There are also campuses in Littleton, Colo., where we hold our equine massage classes, and also one in Longmont, Colo., where we have canine and equine acupressure classes. We have our enrollment office and our director at our Carbondale, Colo., office. The Cape Coral location is our fifth office. There will be three levels of canine massage and acupressure in Florida as well.
"We encourage students to network with veterinarians, encourage the students to work hand in hand with veterinarians."
They also have unique instructors.
"One on-site instructor in Colorado has her own aromatherapy business and and holds classes in alternative healing. She also uses crystals and Reike."
The address is 1110 S.E. 12th Court, about a mile off Del Prado Boulevard. The phone number, while in the Cape, will still be through the main number from Colorado, 303-660-9390.
RMSAAM is approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Continuing Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools and is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork as a continuing education Approved Provider.