Massage Therapy Program Curriculum
Classes begin quarterly, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter Semesters offer one full-time and one part-time class schedule each. When the student enrolls, he/she is given a predetermined start and end date. The course sequence is prearranged by the Director and ensures that all courses follow a logical progression. The student must be able to commit to this schedule for the entire length of the program. The two different class schedules offer options for either weekday or evening/weekend classes, allowing students to decide what works best for their current lifestyle. The different options for the predetermined course schedule are shown below. (Community Outreach hours will be scheduled outside of the normal class hours.)
History, theory, benefits, and techniques of Swedish massage are presented. Instruction includes massage movements, correct draping, hygiene, proper body mechanics, and the mind-body-spirit connection. Students learn fundamental massage movements and how to apply them along with stretching and range of motion techniques. Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to perform a full body massage.
Anatomy & Physiology
This course provides an introduction to the structure and function of cells, tissues and systems of the body and their relationship to massage and soft tissue manipulation. Special attention is given to the muscular and skeletal system. Lectures are enhanced with the use of skeletons, charts, videos and hands-on palpation skills.
The muscular system is studied in detail using the Maniken System to understand kinesiology, the study of human movement. Students build muscles from clay and attach them to the Maniken skeleton model. Relationships between individual muscles, groups and bones are visibly established. This three-dimensional approach creates a better understanding of the musculoskeletal system. Prerequisite- AP 1
This course will review the basic anatomy & physiology of each system. Pathologies that commonly occur in each system of the body will be discussed and applied to the practice of massage therapy. Indications and contraindications will be covered relative to the safety of massage for various conditions. Prerequisite-API
Reflexology is a safe and holistic way to treat the body. In theory, all reflex points on the feet correspond to specific areas of the body. History, proper technique, foot mapping, contraindications and a basic reflexology sequence are taught. Prerequisite- Swedish I
Developing professional ethics is an integral part of a successful massage practice. Discussion will focus on scope of practice, professional associations, boundaries, and dual relationships. A variety of potential scenarios are discussed, and role playing exercises provide comprehensive perspectives to the benefits of maintaining ethical interaction.
Students will learn how to perform seated chair massage with proper sanitation and body mechanics.
These new massage skills will then be put into practice as the students give back to the community in charitable events supervised by a staff member from the school in our Outreach program. Prerequisite-Swedish I
Learn about the historical practices and modern methods in the practice of aromatherapy. Our sense of smell impacts our emotional and physical centers. Aromatherapy relates to both benefits and therapeutic properties of pure essential oils. Learn methods of obtainment, selecting, storing and blending of essential oils. Application of common essential oils and the benefits or uses will be discussed in detail.
Learn the skills to safely and effectively massage a pregnant client. Massage helps to alleviate many common discomforts associated with pregnancy. Pre-natal exercises, proper draping, contraindications, and special precautions are discussed. Appropriate techniques to use during labor and postpartum are addressed. Prerequisite- Swedish I
CPR& First Aid
Students are required to complete a course in CPR and First Aid training that meets American Red Cross or American Heart Association standards. CPR certification is required to qualify for a certificate in Massage Therapy.
The theory, history and use of natural agents in therapeutic treatments are explored. Students learn to perform body wraps and exfoliations. The variety of treatments taught can be performed in a basic massage room setting. Combinations of full session treatments as well as “a la carte” treatments are practiced to diversify services. Prerequisite-Swedish I
Muscular imbalance creates postural distortions. Learn how to analyze posture and determine which muscles are responsible for causing a client’s inefficient postural pattern. Emphasis is placed on isolating individual muscles that attach to the pelvis. Locating and releasing trigger points is covered along with common referral patterns. Prerequisite-Swedish I
Working with athletes requires more extensive knowledge of the human body and the techniques used vary from that of a Swedish massage. Pre-event, post-event and maintenance sports massage are covered. Learn how to determine which techniques best address an athlete’s condition. Specific athletic injuries and treatment are discussed. The difference applications between heat and ice therapy are explained. Prerequisite-Swedish I
Myofascial pain is the most common type of pain experienced in the human body. Restrictions in connective tissue can cause pain and limit movement. These techniques cause relaxation of hyper-toned muscles and their connective tissue. Prerequisite-Swedish I
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine is at the foundation of massage and bodywork’s history. This course will introduce the concept of Yin and Yang as it relates to Eastern Philosophy, along with the 5 element theory’s two cycles of balance in health and nature.
Swedish II Massage
Students will be able to see how far they have come while massaging their classmates again and learn more advanced techniques. Prerequisite- Swedish I
State Certification/National Exam Prep
This course will provide the student with information on the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork(NCBTMB). It will also provide the student with the tools they will need to apply and be prepared to take the national exam that will promote their status and credibility as a massage therapist. The class will provide students with the information they need to know how to apply for state licensing.
The business aspect of massage is just as important to success as the technical portion. Understanding the fundamentals of business practices, licensing and regulatory law of both federal and state levels is a necessity and required for state certification. Advertising, marketing, promotions, bookkeeping, goal-setting, and employment opportunities are reviewed. Students develop the necessary marketing materials to assist with various employment opportunities.
In the clinic, the student practices and refines his/her techniques in a professional setting. The student works with clients in a supervised environment to develop technique, professionalism, communication skills, retailing skills, and self-confidence. Student evaluations are completed by the client after each massage to assist the instructor in evaluating the student’s progress. Prerequisites-Swedish I, API, Reflexology, Ethics, Maternity
The required Community Outreach hours must be completed outside of regularly scheduled class time and prior to the completion date of the program. Events are posted to accommodate various schedules. The student must satisfactorily complete the Swedish massage course and Outreach Preparation class before attending Community Outreach events. Prerequisites-Swedish I, Chair Massage, Ethics
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For more information on the Massage Therapy Program, click here.