Academy of Natural Therapy approved for 7-year accreditation renewal
Written by Katrina Velazquez
For more information on the Academy of Natural Therapy, 625 8th Ave.,
or the massage clinic next door, go to
The Academy of Natural Therapy was granted a seven-year accreditation renewal by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation in November, and the school’s owners haven’t hesitated to brag about that.
The mom-and-pop massage therapy school, 625 8th Ave., opened in Eaton 28 years ago by Dorothy Mongan, but has been in its Greeley location for 10 years. Her son, James, now runs the show with his wife, Jennifer. They have about 50 teachers on staff.
This is the academy’s third renewal of accreditation, and they also received renewals from the Division of Private Occupational Schools, from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and from the U.S. Department of Education. COMTA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting agency and that acknowledges its expertise in ensuring quality education and allows programs to access federal student aid funds, according to its website.
“It’s a very rigorous process,” Jennifer said. “All of those different agencies have their standards, books and piles of paperwork, and regulations that we have to meet to get their approvals.”
Mongan said the renewal allows the academy — which sees about 50-70 students annually — to essentially keep its Title IV, which allows those attending Natural Therapy to receive federal financial aid for their schooling. That’s huge, she said, because massage therapy school is expensive — about $13,500 for Natural Therapy’s program — and she wants to ensure those who want the education can afford it.
Mongan also said the accreditation was an honor since COMTA holds its institutions to higher standards and that helps distinguish the academy from other massage therapy schools in the state and across the country. The Academy of Natural Therapy is one of two massage therapy schools in Colorado accredited by COMTA, and there are only 30 other schools in the nation that receive its accreditation, according to Mongan.
She said Natural Therapy is known nationwide for its top-notch 750-hour training program, and that students travel from across the country to receive a massage therapy education from the academy. Most other schools only provide 500-hour programs, and Mongan said that’s not nearly enough time to master massage therapy. She said students at the Mongans’ school can expect to learn the full ins and outs of the profession, and more, plus extended knowledge about why what they’re doing is important.
“I get calls saying ‘I’ve looked at every school, and I picked your school because you provide the most education,’ ” Mongan said.
Mongan also was thankful for the accreditation because that means teachers are able to continue teaching her mother-in-law’s generational practices. She said massage therapy is important because it is a natural way to help improve a person’s health.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, 52 percent of people receive massages for medical reasons, 32 percent receive them for relaxation or stress reduction, and another 19 percent utilize massage for pain relief and management. Massages also were noted as being used for soreness, injury recovery, wellness, pregnancy and for pampering.
Being accredited means she and her husband get to be one of the driving forces in providing that help to people who need it.
“We realize that the students we train are going to go out and literally save people’s lives by taking the pain out of their lives,” she said.