Great Massage Schools


Five Branches Institute of Massage in Santa Cruz, California

Training In Theory With Leading Masters Of Asian Bodywork And Qigong

World renowned qigong and bodywork masters are brought together in the Five Branches ABQ Massage Program. Of note are Sensi Tzvika Calisar and Master Mantak Chia. Sensei Tzvika Calisar has studied with some of the greatest Shiatsu teachers and practioners of Shiatsu in Japan, and has transmitted their knowledge and mastery through 12 centers worldwide. Master Chia created the Universal Tao system, a way to quickly access the essence of subtle practices that have been shrouded in secrecy for millennia. He is the author of dozens of books describing the theory and methods of these Taoist practices.

Hands-On Clinical Experience With TCM And Western Masters

The Five Branches ABQ Program directly immerses students at all levels of training in hands-on clinical work. The Clinician level of certification offers the highest level of clinical bodywork training available. Both TCM and Western faculty help students integrate both Eastern and Western approaches to the body into a successful system of bodywork and qigong for the promotion of optimal health care.

What makes Five Branches Institute - Santa Cruz, unique? Why should someone choose you and your program over another?
Five Branches Asian Bodywork and Qigong program creates a bridge between Asian and Western bodywork approaches. Intensive supervised practice coupled with assessment and documentation skills prepare our students for a successful career in both Eastern and Western clinical settings. Additionally, the program features student training for self-care, including Qi cultivation through Qigong and self-massage. Along with offering an advanced education in Asian bodywork and Qigong, Five Branches Institute takes students on a remarkable journey with direct exposure to master teachers from Asia, and the ability to study Asian bodywork modalities abroad. Our program meets eligibilty requirements for the ABT and the NCE.

How many students attend Five Branches Institute - Santa Cruz?
Our campus is home to 2 different programs. We offer a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupunture, and this program has over 250 students attending. Additionally, we offer 3 different certification levels within our massage program (ABQ). Currently, we have 27 students enrolled in our ABQ program. Generally, our massage classes have a maximum of 20 students in the core classes (Anatomy, TCM Theory, Qigong, Business &Ethics, etc). Bodywork seminars range from 14-20 students.

What modalities do you specialize in?
Our progam focuses on Asian modalities, including Shiatsu (both Floor and Table Styles), Thai Massage, ChiNeiTsang, and Tuina. Additional elective workshops include Watsu (Shiatsu in a warm water pool), Reflexology, LomiLomi, and warm stone applications.

What is/are the cost(s) of your program(s)?
$12.00 per hour

Does Five Branches Institute - Santa Cruz offer night classes?
Our program is geared to the schedules of our students. Currently night classes are offered during the week, usually 7-9:30 p.m. Classes are also scheduled on weekends as bodywork seminars.

How long does your program take from start to finish?
We offer 3 different levels of certification. Level I is a 200 hour program, which can be completed within 4 months. We also have a 500 hour certification program, which prepares the students to sit for the ABT exam given by the National Certification Commission of Acupunture and Oriental Medicine and a 650 hour program, preparing the students to sit for the NCE exam given by the National Certification Board for Theraputic Massage and Bodywork. Students can take up to 2 years to complete a given level, depending on their schedule.

What is your philosophical approach to massage?
Our goal is to help students cultivate internal awareness with practical bodywork skills that facilitate healing, growth, and transformation for themselves and for their clients. We maintain a supportive environment where students can learn the essential life skills that help fuel vitality, energy, and spirit.

What experience level do your instructors have? What are your requirements for instructors?
Our faculty is a team of experienced Western massage practitioners, trained not only in Asian bodywork modalities, but in TCM and acupuncture as well. Some also hold PhD's and Master degrees in other alternative healing modalities. Additionally world renowned master teachers from Asia offer classes within our ABQ program. Of note are Master Mantak Chia from Thailand and Grandmaster Weizhong Fu from China. Students also have the opportunity to study Asian bodywork modalities in the country of their origin from master teachers of these countries.

Do you offer any additional services?
We have a massage clinic, where students can practice under the supervision of our staff, an extensive library and computer lab offering wireless internet, and an herbal pharmacy. Additionally, our Santa Cruz campus and clinic is located 1 block from the beach and 3 blocks from the harbor. Our San Jose campus is situated on the corner of the culturally rich Santana Row community.
(Massage clinic, supplies store, etc.)

Do you have a video/audio showcasing Five Branches Institute - Santa Cruz?
Not right now..However, we are planning a shoot that would encompass students, classes, faculty and a brief presentation from our founder that we would love to have included with our listing.

Where are you located, and what is the best way for someone to contact Five Branches Institute - Santa Cruz for more information? Where can people find you online?
We are located at 200-7th Ave. in Santa Cruz, California....just 1 block away from the beautiful Montery Bay. Our website is
Find the link to ABQ (massage)program on this home page. You can email Brenda Anjali Bury, Director of ABQ Admissions at : or call (831)476-9424, ext. 48

Is there anything else that hasn't been covered in this interview that you would like people to know about Five Branches Institute - Santa Cruz?
After completion of our ABQ program, our students will be able to :
- understand basic Western and Asian theory applied to health and prevention of disease
- assess energetic imbalances through the paradigm of Traditional Chinese Medicine
- conduct clinical assessments for bodywork that encompass both Eastern and Western perspectives
- assess orthopedic and neuromuscular conditions
- provide skills in self-care education for clients
- develop self-care techniques and grow as a professional in performance and longevity
- utilize techniques to promote health and restoration of many energetic and physical imbalances
- understand the foundations of Asian forms of bodywork
- demonstrate skills necessary to perform various styles of Asian bodywork.

Post a comment about Five Branches Institute of Massage in Santa Cruz, California

(If you haven't left a comment on before, you may need to be approved before your comment goes live.  Thanks for commenting and thanks for your patience!  Also, all information posted on GreatMassageSchools is protected under our privacy policy.)

Search Page
Visit the search page

 Are we missing your School?
Please let us know!
 Simply click above and fill out the form.

Great Massage Schools

Great Massage Schools

site map     about    contact     Privacy Policy