What we offer

National Certification Exam

We offer certification exams in

  • Equine Acupressure

  • Equine Massage

  • Canine Acupressure

  • Canine Massage

Passing our exam confers upon you the title of Nationally Board Certified Practitioner in your discipline, and is required in the state of Washington in order to practice animal massage.

Networking for Practitioners, Students & Schools

We offer opportunities to network with a community of animal practitioners, instructors, students and schools. Through newsletters, forums, and member webinars, you can form a community with others that share your passions.

Legal Information

We are developing a database of state laws that affect animal massage and acupressure practitioners. We also support members in states that are feeling the impacts of those laws, or that wish to change them.

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Our Team

Exam Coordinator

Exam Coordinator tbd

Lora Hoopes, Web Master


Lora is an NBCAAM Certified Practitioner in Canine Massage, and has a small animal practice, Kneading Companions. She is a PetTech instructor.

Roxana Soler, Administrator


Roxana is certified through the Equine Institute in Equine Fascial Integration Therapy and I am the owner and practitioner at Balanced Equus, LLC.

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Our Board


Lisa Ruthig, Chair Person

Thompson, CT

Lisa has a small animal and equine practice, Lively Animal Massage, in CT and MA.  She is director of animal programs at Bancroft School of Massage Therapy (Doggone U).


Lola Michelin, Vice Chair

Vashon Island, WA

A founding member of NBCAAM, Lola is also founder and director of the Northwest School of Animal Massage.  She has practiced animal massage for over 30 years, and human massage for 17.


April Johnston, Treasurer

Kona, HI

April practices equine fascial integration in Hawaii through Equine Equilibrium, LLC, and co-founded the Equine Institute to train students in fascial integration therapy.


Kim Bauer, Past Chair

Parkdale, OR

Kim practices small animal and equine acupressure, massage and flower essence therapy through Animal Ease Therapies, LLC.  She is a past instructor for Tallgrass and is presently an instructor for Northwest School of Animal Massage.


Polly Klein, Co-Secretary

Issaquah, WA

Polly practices animal communication, Reiki, animal craniosacral therapy, and massage through Tonglen Healing Arts.  She teaches Reiki and animal communication, and is an instructor for Bastyr University and The Northwest School of Animal Massage.


Megan Ayrault, Co-Secretary

Kirkland, WA

Megan is the founder of Power of Touch for Animals, a learning resource for animal owners and professional practitioners of animal body and energy work. She is a former instructor at Northwest School of Animal Massage. She has a bodywork practice for small animals, equines, and humans, and is trained in a multitude of bodywork and energy disciplines.

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Megan Brady, Member at Large

Northern Virginia & Florida

Meghan is a human and equine bodywork as well as a equine business coach. She has been practicing human and equine massage and bodywork since 2006 through Equine Solutions.  She is based in Northern Virginia and Florida during the winter months but travels throughout the U.S. working with both horse and rider.


Kim Kizzier Sherrodd, Member at Large

Devils Tower, WY

Kim has been practicing both human and animal bodywork and alternative care practices  throughout the US since 1990. She founded The School of Applied Integrative Therapy, in order to share her experiences, excitement, skills, and knowledge with others who wish for an incredible career option in animal bodywork.

Advisory Board

Amy Snow

Founder of Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute, is the lead instructor for Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute Practitioner Certification Training Program, and, over the last 10 years, has taught throughout the United States, Canada, England, Israel, and Australia. She is a founding board member of NBCAAM.

Nancy Zidonis

Founder of Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute, is one of the pioneers in the field of animal acupressure. Over 20 years ago, she worked with a veterinarian and an acupressure practitioner to develop a system to use transpositional acupressure meridians and points for the benefit of horses and, a few years later, for dogs.

Suzanne Clothier

Suzanne has been working with animals professionally since 1977, with a deep background of experience that includes obedience, agility, puppy testing, breeding, Search and Rescue, conformation, instructing, kennel management and canine midwifery. She is well respected for her holistic Relationship Centered Training™ approach to dogs and the people that love them. Suzanne is an award winning author of videos, books, booklets, and numerous articles and has taught world-wide.

Dr. Julie Mayer

Dr. Mayer has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 20 years. She has dedicated most of her career to holistic medicine and rehabilitation. Dr. Julie owned Integrative Pet Care and operated Therapet, two rehabilitation and holistic centers in Illinois. Dr Mayer was named one of "Chicago's Best Vets" by Chicago Magazine and received the 2010 Iams Eukanuba AARV award for excellence in the field of Veterinary Rehabilitation.

Dr. Richard Pitcairn

Dr. Pitcairn founded the Animal Natural Health Center in 1986 as a clinical and teaching center for the understanding and use of homeopathic medicine in the treatment of disease. The use of excellent nutrition using home-prepared and raw foods was also emphasized. He has authored several articles as well as the book entitled Natural Health for Dogs and Cats which has long been recognized as a leading book in its field.

Linda Tellington-Jones

Linda founded the revolutionary Tellington TTouch® Training program which has helped the physical, mental, emotional and behavioral aspects of thousands of animals and humans around the world for decades.

Dr. Madalyn Ward

Madalyn Ward, DVM graduated from Texas A&M University in 1980. She worked in an equine practice until 1985, and then started her own practice at Bear Creek Veterinary Clinic in Austin, Texas. In 1989 she started seeking out information and training in alternative healing methods. She was amazed at the wealth of knowledge about true healing — knowledge largely ignored by conventional teaching institutions. Dr. Ward is trained in Veterinary Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Bowen Therapy, Network Chiropractic and Equine Osteopathy and has authored 3 books.

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