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CenterPoint’s History

A Brief History

CenterPoint’s founders have been actively involved in bodywork education since the 1980’s. CenterPoint was formed in 2001 when Northern Lights School of Massage Therapy (NLSMT) joined with the Minnesota Center for Shiatsu Study (MCSS since 1992) to form CenterPoint Massage & Shiatsu Therapy School & Clinic. The two schools united in order to offer a greater number of programs and services to students, and to better respond to this rapidly growing field by developing comprehensive training programs in both Eastern and Western therapeutic bodywork. CenterPoint is the first and only school in Minnesota to offer career training in shiatsu therapy. Most of CenterPoint’s students choose the East West Therapeutic Bodywork program, thereby gaining the most extensive training in the region.

Northern Lights School of Massage Therapy was founded in 1985. NLSMT was an early member of the American Massage Therapy Association’s Council of Schools. It was a registered school in Minnesota according to Minnesota Statutes 136A.61 to 136A.71 starting in 1985.

The Minnesota Center for Shiatsu Study began in 1992 under the corporate entity Motivations for Fitness. In 1996, MCSS became licensed as a private career school by the Minnesota Higher Education Services Office, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 141. Also in 1996, MCSS became a member of the Council of Schools and Programs of the American Organization of Bodywork Therapies of Asia.

In January, 2011, CenterPoint opened its doors at its new home in St. Louis Park. After more than 20 years in the Dinkytown area, the school expanded to larger space with modern classrooms and offices in a busy and popular area of the Twin Cities metro. The new space has been custom-designed to meet the needs of our students, faculty and staff, and to accommodate the school’s growth and expansion into the future.

CenterPoint Massage & Shiatsu Therapy School & Clinic, a Minnesota corporation under Motivations for Fitness, Inc., is owned by Jackson Petersburg, Cari Johnson Pelava and Ed Pelava. Jackson, a founder of NLSMT, is the Program Director for CenterPoint’s Therapeutic Massage Program. Cari, the founder of MCSS, is the Program Director for CenterPoint’s Shiatsu Therapy program. Jackson and Cari have practiced as professional therapists for over 25 years. Jackson, Cari and Ed are actively involved as instructors, administrators and owners. They receive great satisfaction in remaining close to the students, faculty, staff, and curriculum.

CenterPoint is committed to exceeding national standards in bodywork education. CenterPoint’s programs are accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation. CenterPoint maintains membership in the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) , Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), the American Organization of Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA) Council of Schools and Programs, and the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. In addition, CenterPoint has a number of alliances with organizations and businesses including various programs such as Fairview University Hospital, University of Minnesota Gophers Football Team, Park House (a clinic for HIV/AIDS), and the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

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