History

The Santa Fe School of Massage was originally founded by Dr. Jay Scherer in 1979 under the name of Dr. Jay Scherer’s Academy of Natural Healing. In 1997, the school changed its name to the Scherer Institute of Natural Healing.  And most recently, the school became the Santa Fe School of Massage.

Dr. Scherer was a well-loved and respected naturopathic physician and massage therapist in Santa Fe for over 40 years. He was a great healer and teacher. Short and wiry, Jay was a strong man with huge warm hands. He had a wonderful sense of humor, a generous spirit, and a kind heart. His compassion for those in pain or need was boundless, and he never turned anyone away. Jay trained hundreds of students in his home on McKenzie Street in Santa Fe from the 1960’s until 1979, when he founded the school. Jay was also named one of the first “Living Treasures” of Santa Fe, and is quoted even today by Joseph Dispenza.

His love and passion for massage therapy was central to all his work. Even at age 84, he would come out of his massage treatment room doing a little dance, saying, “If you do it right, it gives you energy.” As a naturopath, Dr. Scherer also practiced homeopathy, nutrition, herbal medicine, color therapy, colonic irrigation, and spiritual healing. He was a pioneer in the naturopathic field, passionately committed not only to the healing process of individuals with whom he worked, but also to the living body of knowledge that is always evolving and could be passed down from teacher to student in a mentoring tradition.

After Dr. Jay passed away in 1990, the staff remained committed to meeting the modern day needs of the massage and healing arts professions, while remaining true to the core holistic principles Dr. Scherer valued. The curriculum evolved and grew through the input of the next generation of teachers and therapists.  Over the years, many graduates have returned to the school, assisting and eventually teaching the courses in which they excelled.

Today, the Santa Fe School of Massage is a leader in the education of massage and bodywork therapists. It is a well-loved resource for students, graduates, and the community of Santa Fe who attend the student clinic and use the school’s Outreach services. Lonnie Howard, the director of the school since 1985, brings an in-depth knowledge of the school and Dr. Jay’s legacy. Her heartfelt commitment to the school, and the dedication of the faculty and students, have sustained the school through many years of growth and change.

In 2007, the school was bought by Keith Spear and Cathy Black.  Cathy was an instructor and administrator for the school from 1991 through 2000, and together, she and Keith bring additional experience and knowledge in the fields of massage, education, and the healing arts to an already rich and well-established organization. As a small, independent massage school, they are able to honor and appreciate the time-honored holistic philosophy of Dr. Scherer, while also attending to the newest and most innovative developments in the profession. Coupled with the level of individual attention each student receives throughout the program, this is the school that will change your life. Welcome to the Santa Fe School of Massage!