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UPDATE Harbin School of Healing Arts does not plan to offer classes in 2018. Please visit our Facebook page or join our mailing list for updates.
  • Is Harbin School of Healing Arts (HSHA) a BPPE approved school?
    Yes. HSHA is approved by the state of California’s Bureau of Private Post-Secondary Education. Our Approved School number is 1700041.

  • Does Harbin School of Healing Arts (HSHA) have an Assigned School Code issued by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)?
    Yes. Our Assigned School Code is: 764564

  • Is Harbin School of Healing Arts (HSHA) an NCBTMB CE (Continuing Education) Provider?
    Yes. Our NCBTMB CE Provider Code is: 658

  • Is Harbin School of Healing Arts (HSHA) a Certified Board of Registered Nurses (CBRN) CE Provider?
    No. HSHA is not a CBRN CE Provider.

  • Is Harbin School of Healing Arts (HSHA) approved by the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC)?
    Yes. Training hours from HSHA have been accepted by CAMTC toward the CMT certificate since CAMTC came into existence in 2009. Beginning on July 1, 2016, CAMTC will only accept hours from schools that are DIRECTLY approved by CAMTC, a process that begin in the spring of 2015. HSHA applied for School Approval from CAMTC in 2015. However, the destruction of the Valley Fire prevented the school from completing the Site Visit portion of the approval process. CAMTC has agreed to continue accepting applications for the California CMT certificate from students with HSHA training hours, and will process those applications normally if submitted by June 30, 2016. CMT applications with HSHA training hours submitted AFTER June 30, 2016 will be held by CAMTC until HSHA is able to resume classes and complete the Site Visit portion of the School Approval process with CAMTC. HSHA must be Approved directly by CAMTC under the new policy before those CMT applications submitted after June 30, 2016 can be processed completely by CAMTC. For more detailed information on this policy in relation to HSHA’s current status, visit this page

  • How can I receive a California Certification as a massage professional?
    In the state of California the choice to become a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) is still voluntary, and requires 500 hours of training from approved schools and passing a national massage test such as the MBLEx. The CMT credential is achieved in California only by applying for the certificate with the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC). New policies will be going into effect after June 30, 2016. Please visit this page for more information on these policies and how they affect past and future training from our school. For more information about CAMTC or to apply for a California massage certificate, visit

  • What if I don’t have all the necessary training hours to become a CMT in California?
    The CMT certificate available from CAMTC is voluntary, and the only required number of training hours is still determined by each California city or county. The CAMTC certificate options were created by the state legislature to supersede most of the city and county requirements, providing a way for massage professionals to work around the state more easily. Check with the city or county in which you wish to work as a massage professional to see if you might already qualify to practice massage without a state certificate.

  • Can I transfer class credits to HSHA from another school?
    Yes. HSHA can only transfer classes from other schools whose subject matter is deemed equivalent to a class taught as an elective or part of a program at HSHA. HSHA will only transfer classes from schools with same approval level as HSHA (i.e., approved by BPPE in California, or accredited by an accreditation provider recognized by the U. S. Department of Education. Schools in other states must be public or private institutions of higher learning approved to operate by that state’s massage school approval organization, or accredited by an accrediting association recognized by the U. S. Department of Education). The number of class hours deemed eligible for transfer from another school to HSHA must meet or exceed the number of class hours of the HSHA class to be replaced. Transferring classes/hours into your HSHA student record is seldom necessary. For more details on transferring credits/hours/classes, please contact the school.

  • What is World Aquatic Bodywork Registry (WABA or WABR)
    This organization was created by Harold Dull, the developer of Watsu®. It helps to ensure that all persons practicing Watsu and WABA’s other forms of aquatic bodywork have been properly trained. It is also a registry used to locate aquatic bodyworkers in the US and throughout the world. Students of WABA or HSHA classes related to aquatic bodywork can join the WABA Registry, which gives practitioners access to a worldwide network of classes, other practitioners, pools and other information to help support your career. If you are an aquatic bodyworker or if you would like to become one, this registry may be of importance to you. Below is a link to WABA’s practitioner requirements.

  • Can WABA classes count toward a California state massage certificate?
    WABA is not a state approved or accredited school, so its courses cannot be counted toward a California CMT certificate (beginning Jan. 1, 2015). However, WABA instructors typically are all NCBTMB-approved CE providers. Some states (and some California city/county agencies) may accept those hours.

  • Can classes I’ve taken via WABA be transferred to HSHA?
    Because WABA is not a state approved or accredited school, WABA classes also cannot be transferred into a student’s HSHA records and/or counted toward an aquatic bodywork program certificate from HSHA. However, ALL classes related to aquatic bodywork training taken either via WABA or HSHA will be added to a student’s WABA Registry records.

  • Do I have to take an exam to receive the CMT in California?
    Yes, this requirement was added by CAMTC in 2015. There are two primary exams that are eligible toward the CMT and are the most widely used to determine credentials and ability among massage therapists. Completing the requirements to sit for these exams and then passing either one or both of them is not only a requirement for California’s CMT certificate, but will also add to a massage therapist’s list of credentials and achievements.
    These exams are administered by two separate organizations:
    Federation Of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) Exam Name: MBLEx – see FSMTB website for education requirements, exam application and fees. The only requirement to sit for this exam is to have taken and passed at least one massage therapy class. (Please note that there are other requirements necessary for credentialing by the CAMTC and there are other requirements for practicing massage in most California municipalities.)
    National Certification Board For Therapeutic Massage And Bodywork (NCBTMB) Exam Name: NCETMB – see NCBTMB website for education requirements, exam application and fees. There are requirements of 500 hours and 750 hours, depending on the credential a massage therapist would like to receive. The 500 and 750 hours of class time must conform to the specified areas of the study of massage therapy. (Please review the exact requirements in the candidate handbook, section 3, on the NCBTMB website.)

  • All Other States’ Certification and Credentialing
    Most states have specific requirements for practicing massage and bodywork on the public and charging a fee as a massage therapist. To find out what a state requires please visit one of the links below. Certain types of energy-work and bodywork may be exempt from state regulations. It is also a good idea to check directly with the state since regulations, laws, guidelines and exemptions are constantly changing, especially in “voluntary” and “unregulated” states. and When a state is “voluntary” or “unregulated”, it usually means that laws governing the practice of massage and bodywork in exchange for money are regulated by each municipality, meaning that the laws change from town to town. California massage certificates are voluntary, meaning that it’s not required, but having one can give you the legal ability to practice massage anywhere in California, regardless of city/county requirements.

  • What is Harbin Hot Springs?
    One of the oldest and most beautiful hot springs in California, Harbin Hot Springs is now operated as a non-profit retreat and workshop center. We are located north of San Francisco, above the Napa Valley wine region, near Middletown. Guests travel here from around the world to soak in the natural spring pools, sunbathe (clothing is optional), receive massages or Watsu®, practice yoga, attend workshops, hike the hills, or to simply relax in the embrace of nature. For more information visit the Facilities page or visit
  • What is HSHA’s teaching style and philosophy?
    We are not a typical urban or mainstream school, we don’t have “labs” though we do offer lots of hands-on experiential learning. Our students don’t wear “scrubs”, students wear comfortable clothing or bathing suits depending upon what class they are enrolled in. Our instructors are committed to going deep into the SCIENCE and MECHANICS of the body, while integrating the ENERGETIC and INTUITIVE aspects of massage and bodywork. One of our instructors explains it like this: When the scientific knowledge is deeply known, then the practitioner doesn’t have to “think” as much, allowing his or her intuition more freedom to develop a deeper understanding of the client’s body, thereby offering the client a true opportunity to heal. HSHA is not just about “rubbing” or massaging muscles to help someone to feel good and relaxed; while that may be the desired outcome, we also feel that it is of the utmost importance to teach students how to create and facilitate a healing environment to give the client every opportunity to heal in some way, be it physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually or a combination of these important elements of the human experience. Harbin Hot Springs itself, where HSHA’s main facilities are located, is an extremely healing natural environment. It offers those who visit the opportunity to go deep within themselves, create mutually beneficial relationships with others and to completely “unplug” and relax from the day to day life that most people experience in typical city or town living.

  • What is a typical class size at HSHA?
    Most of our classes range from approximately 8 to 18 students. Classes that have little to no bodywork included in the teaching, such as Essential Business Skills, Anatomy or Physiology may be slightly larger.

  • Do classes run every day, once or twice a week, or monthly?
    Our class schedule varies according to season and availability of classes and resources. Any one class is presented on consecutive days that can span from three days (two nights) up to 10 days.  We also offer programs, meaning two or more classes that encompass a body of knowledge and experiential learning. The spacing between the classes of a program may be as short as a weekend or any two days or as much as a few months apart. This timing is based on the availability of our instructors, any practical or hands-on work as required by a class and other resources. We do our best to keep a cohesive spacing between the classes in our programs.

  • Do I have to commit to a program and pay up front?
    No – our programs can be taken one class at a time, and not necessarily in a specific order (except for classes with prerequisites. If a student does wish to complete a training program, we are required by the state to have the student pay a non-refundable $100 fee and sign an enrollment agreement, which is a non-binding declaration that they will complete the program within a specific amount of time (usually students complete a program within a few months to a year). This is especially important for students interested in our massage therapy and aquatic bodywork programs. If too much time (more than two years) elapses between certain classes it may be required for the student to repeat a class or sit for an exam to determine if he/she still possesses the knowledge previously learned. A great example of this would be the timing between an anatomy class and a bodywork class that depends on a deep understanding of anatomy.

  • Does HSHA offer financial aid?
    No, HSHA does not participate in any Federal or private financial aid programs at this time.

  • Can I register and pay for classes online?
    Due to the fire of September 2015, classes will not be conducted until further notice.

  • Does HSHA offer payment plans?
    No, HSHA does not offer payment plans. Tuition is paid one class at a time, and must be paid in full no later than the first class session.