1995 Lonnie and Kathy Jensen, owners of the Mind & Body Connection and Mark Wepner, Independent Massage Therapist for the Siouxland Y decided after 60 years of combined clinical and professional educational experience, they would establish an educational Institute to teach and share their knowledge with others. The diversity in the backgrounds of these 3 individuals included Body-centered Psychotherapy, Martial Arts, Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Ministry, Commercial Arts, Somatic Education, Tradional Chinese Medicine, Medicinal Herbalists, Natural Therapeutics, Humanitarian work, and 18 different styles of Massage/Bodywork Therapies. Their passion for healing, and enduring curiosity for learning provided an exciting platform for students interested in Complementary Alternative Medicine and Integrated Health. Together they created the foundation of what is known today as The Bio-Chi Institute.
1996 BCI receives massage school approval from the state of Iowa and Nebraska. The first class was held on September 7 in the fire station on Floyd Blvd in Leeds. Qi Gong for body workers is developed by Lonnie Jensen and continues to be an integral part of our curriculum. Continuing education courses are added to BCI’s educational programs and a 68 credit hour Certified Instructor of Massage/Bodywork Therapy Program.
1997 Needing more clinical space, BCI moves to 1419 Hamilton Blvd. Sioux City Iowa. Graduates the first class of 520 students in the spring of 97.
1997 Due to the rapid growth BCI again moves. This time to its current location on 1925 Geneva Street, a spacious 10,000 sq ft building complete with clinic, lecture rooms, hands-on classrooms, equipped kitchen, and organic garden space for teaching whole foods and herbal studies. BCI graduates the first class of 1250-hour students in the fall of 97.
1998 Pam Bombei BSN joins BCI faculty as Pathology Instructor. BCI holds first day class and offers Certification as a Medical Qi Gong Practitioner.
1999 3500 square feet of hands-on and movement class space is remodeled and added to the already 4000 sq ft area. Student Massage Clinic is now open every other Saturday from 8-6.
2000 BCI adds 6-month intensive, body-centered psychotherapy training in combination with Hakomi Integrative Somatics Institute of Boulder Colo. to professional massage therapists, psychologists, and social workers. Kathy Awtry RN LMT joins BCI staff as Swedish Massage Instructor.
2001 BCI integrates Spa Specialties into its Massage/Bodywork programs. Offers Certification as Spa Specialist. Jennifer Frazee NCLMT joins BCI Staff as Clinical Supervisor and prenatal and infant massage instructor.
2002 BCI expands space for larger Anatomy & Physiology lecture room and now provides a resource and multimedia room. BCI is the first school to join Healing Arts Round Table (HART) to offer membership to all students and alumni.
2003 BCI integrates Medical Massage into its Massage/Bodywork Therapist II programs. Offers Certification as Medical Massage Therapists.
2004 The 14-station computer lab is networked and on-line for students use in research projects as well as a class resource. BCI students offer on-site massage to the organic food market. Kathy Jensen is appointed by Governor Vilsak as member and voted in as chairperson of the Iowa Massage Therapy Board of Examiners.
2005 BCI joins the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals as an ABMP Member School.
Kathy Jensen helps to establish the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, a regulatory organization that serves all states that have licensing boards overseeing Massage Therapy Practice. Lonnie Jensen, director of BCI creates the first on-line testing and pretest program for BCI students.
2006 The Bio-Chi Institute of Massage Therapy becomes accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology; the highest level of accreditation for a career school. A newly remodeled hydrotherapy/hands-on classroom is added. Rod Bartels NCLMT joins BCI Staff as Clinical Supervisor and Specifics of Medical Massage Instructor. Jennifer Gaspers B.A. NCLMT joins BCI Staff as Assistant Clinical Supervisor, and History and Theory Instructor. Kathy Jensen is elected as director-at-large to the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB).
2007 BCI is approved by the United States Department of Education for Federal Student Aid Funding for qualifying students.
Robin Freeman NCLMT joins the BCI staff as Ashiatsu, and Assistant Clinical on-site Supervisor. Maggie Backman NCLMT joins the BCI staff as Fijian Instructor, and assistant clinic supervisor. Karen King LMT joins the BCI staff as Reflexology Instructor and Hydrotherapy I Instructor. The new national exam for state licensure is launched by FSMTB.