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Curriculum

Massage School CurriculumMASSAGE SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Our 6-month, 600-hour Massage & Bodywork Therapy Certification Program is designed to take you through an extraordinary, evolutionary process of learning. We begin with setting a solid foundation in Swedish Massage and in Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology.

We then take our students on a journey through introductions to other exciting bodywork modalities, allowing you to explore a wide range of approaches.

It is our goal to provide you with hands-on experience in the most popular and sought-out modalities in the massage therapy industry so that you are best equipped to accept and maintain the broadest range of clients, as well as becoming some of the most desired professionals for potential employers.

We finish our program with a focus on education that will support you to successfully apply your new massage therapy & bodywork skills in a professional capacity: Business & Marketing, Professional Ethics for Bodyworkers, and North Carolina Laws & Rules (specific to this state but helpful anywhere). By Graduation, you will be prepared to enter the rewarding health care field of massage therapy and bodywork with confidence from the abundance of education and practical experience you will have received from attending our program.

Each course, including the sciences, assumes no prior knowledge and has no pre-requisite with the exception of our Supervised Clinical Practice segment, which requires successful completion of the previous course material.

Our teacher/student ratio is 16:1 for hands-on bodywork instruction and 32:1 for lectures. Our average class size is 16. NOTE: A clock hour is defined as a 60-minute block of time consisting of a minimum of 50 minutes of instruction (in the physical presence of a staff member) with appropriate breaks.

Course Description Hours
MASSAGE THERAPY & BODYWORK: THEORY & PRACTICE
We include in our massage therapy and bodywork courses the history, theory, and practical application of massage therapy techniques. We discuss the indications, contraindications, effects, and uses of individual modalities and techniques. You will learn how to collect information from a client, perform assessments, and, using clinical reasoning skills, create an effective treatment strategy. You will also learn how to document your findings, application of techniques, and client response. We cover proper draping practices, the use of appropriate equipment and supplies, standard precautions, proper body mechanics, and self-care techniques.
208 Total

Swedish Massage Theory and Practice (Spa Massage Therapy):
Swedish massage is the most popular and well-known massage modality in the United States and Europe. It includes long sweeping strokes, kneading, and friction techniques on the more superficial layers of muscles, combined with active and passive joint movements.

While we teach Swedish massage, we set a foundation for exploring and practicing any bodywork modality, providing you with tools to either focus on Swedish as your technique of choice, or branch out into other approaches.

80 Hours

Neuromuscular Therapy Theory and Practice (Medical Massage Therapy):
Neuromuscular Therapy (or NMT) is a strategic bodywork modality designed to relieve trigger points and chronic muscular pain syndromes.

This modality strives to locate a client’s sources of pain and help free them from that pain, restoring balance to the body. Our course covers specific assessment methods, NMT theory, and therapeutic techniques.

28 Hours

Sports Massage Theory and Practice:
Sports Massage uses techniques focused on improving athletic performance and preventing injury.

We outline basic Sports Massage theory, techniques, and approaches, including steps and strokes for pre-event, post-event, maintenance, and injury treatment.

12 Hours

Pregnancy, Infant, and Geriatric Massage Theory and Practice:
Providing therapeutic massage to clients in these special populations can be highly rewarding, especially because they are highly responsive to the simple offering of touch.

We offer this course to introduce you to the unique benefits, challenges, and skills/strategies of working with a wide range of clients.

12 Hours

Hydrotherapy: Integrating Water into Massage Sessions:
Water, in all its forms (solid, liquid, and vapor), has tremendous healing capabilities.

This course demonstrates how various hot and cold hydrotherapy techniques (including hot and cold packs, immersion baths, and ice massage) can be integrated into a therapeutic massage practice.

Then we visit a local pool to provide you with a fieldwork experience of the healing potential of water and aquatic therapies.

16 Hours

Spa Treatments and Aromatherapy: Integrating Applications into Massage Sessions:
This course transforms our classroom into a mini-spa and aromatherapy laboratory. We begin with covering the use of essential oils in massage therapy, including applying custom-blended oils, diffusers, baths, and compresses.

Then we introduce you to various spa treatments that can be performed in a small massage practice without specialty spa equipment, including body wraps, salt glows, and dry brush treatments. This tends to be one of our messiest and most invigorating courses.

16 Hours

Chair Massage Theory and Practice:
Performing massage on a specialized, adjustable chair is an exciting alternative to full-body massage on a traditionaltable. Because potential clients can quickly and easily see and sample your services, chair massage is known for its effective marketing opportunities.

Many practitioners also choose to regularly practice chair massage, enjoying its versatility, mobility, accessibility, and relative simplicity.

12 Hours

Shiatsu (Japanese Acupressure) Theory and Practice:
This Japanese bodywork method is one of the oldest forms of natural healing. Focusing strategic pressure on acupressure points and meridians, Shiatsu aims to unblock energy and restore healthy balance.

In this course, we show you this method to therapeutically apply the health/healing system we introduce in our Oriental Medical Theory course (see below).

12 Hours

Integrative Massage Theory and Practice:
Our Integrative course guides students toward performing treatment sessions combining several modalities of massage and bodywork therapy.

Professional demonstration and commentary are followed by students practicing the development of their individual treatment sessions while including many of the bodywork styles learned throughout the program. Our final class showcases demonstrations from a variety of specialty practitioners.

16 Hours

Clinic Orientation and Practice:
This class comes right before you begin your Supervised Clinical Practice. We provide an orientation to the processes and procedures of our Student Clinic, including effective greeting and interview techniques, using intake forms, clearly documenting treatment sessions, and receiving and reviewing evaluations.

4 Hours

SCIENCE OF THE HUMAN BODY IN HEALTH AND DISEASE

184 Total

The Musculoskeletal System:
Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology for Massage Therapists (Includes 16 Pathology Hours):
This course is a concentrated study of the human musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, and joints). Since understanding the structure and function of this system is essential to safely and effectively performing many massage therapy techniques, we focus extra time and attention on sharing it with you.

As we cover the muscles, bones, and joints in each section of the body, we detail common musculoskeletal disorders, and discuss indications and contraindications for massage therapy. Our instruction includes an introduction to medical terminology and the use of supportive health care research.

76 Hours

General Anatomy, Physiology/Pathology for Massage Therapists (Includes 24 Pathology Hours):
This course is an in-depth overview of the structure and function of the human body, covering all major body systems except for musculoskeletal (see above), including the cardiovascular, integumentary, endocrine, lymphatic, immune, digestive, urinary, reproductive, respiratory, and nervous systems.

As we cover each system, we detail common diseases and disorders, and discuss indications and contraindications for massage therapy. We include medical terminology, the physiological effects of stress and touch, as well as accessing and understanding supportive research.

92 Hours

Oriental Medical Theory:
Ancient Eastern Philosophy and Medicine has helped in the healing process of the human body for thousands of years. Completely different from Western practices, this system focuses on the body’s energy meridians and acupressure points.

Our course is an introduction to Eastern theory, the Five Element System, acupressure meridians and points, and treatment methods.

16 Hours

ALLIED HEALTH CARE MODALITIES

Knowledge of other natural healing modalities helps to supplement a massage therapist’s awareness, knowledge base, and practice. We provide instruction in Energy Work and Reflexology, two modalities that North Carolina law does not consider to be bodywork, but we believe to be an important aspect of any massage therapist’s education. We also include introductions to holistic nutrition and herbology, guiding you (and, in turn, your clients) toward improved health and healing.
36 Total

Energy Work Theory and Practice:
We uncover the effect of energy work on the human body, showing the subtle but profound energy fields that surround us, demonstrating how to move energy with our clients, and explain the Chakra system.

12 Hours

Reflexology Theory and Practice:
This course covers the maps of the hands and feet and their corresponding reflex points throughout the body, shares Reflexology techniques, and outlines how to administer a one-hour Reflexology session.

8 Hours

Diet & Nutrition:
Here, we provide an overview of the importance of nutrition in an individual’s life and a variety of reasons and suggestions for the health-promoting, practical use of whole foods, vitamins, and supplements. You will walk away with greater insight into holistic nutrition and, perhaps, a dramatically different approach to food.

8 Hours

Herbology:
We offer an introduction to the application of herbs for health and healing, offering knowledge and possibilities for utilizing herbs in your own life, discussing these options with your clients and community, and recognizing the opportunity to refer your clients to a qualified herbalist when appropriate.

8 Hours

Somatic Psychology:
This segment of our program is dedicated to the mind/body relationship and dynamics of the client/therapist relationship. We begin with exploring massage therapy’s mental/emotional effects.

Then, we move into demonstrating how to create a safe working environment for client and therapist, keep healthy boundaries, use effective communication and conflict resolution skills, and appropriately react to a client’s emotional response to bodywork. This course focuses on self-care principles and techniques.

20 Hours

PROFESSIONALISM

32 Total

Business & Marketing:
In this important course, we provide detailed information on how to start and maintain a successful massage therapy practice, whether you choose to work independently or for/with others. We highlight career planning, job-seeking skills, marketing strategies, and practice-building skills, preparing you to explore the many options that will await you upon graduation.

16 Hours

Professional Ethics for Bodyworkers:
Understanding and practicing excellent professional ethics will increase the success and joy you can experience in your career. We will present and discuss a professional code of ethics and uncover helpful approaches to common ethical issues.

8 Hours

North Carolina Laws & Rules:
Using a combination of careful detail-delivery, guidance, and fun, we inform you of the laws and rules relevant to North Carolina massage therapists and amply prepare you for North Carolina’s licensing process (including details on becoming a Nationally Certified Massage and Bodywork Therapist and the MBLEX exam).

8 Hours

PROGRAM ORIENTATION/EXAM REVIEW/FINAL EXAM

20 Total

Orientation:
On the first day of class, you and your new classmates will gather with our staff, to begin to know each other and to grow more prepared for the upcoming six months.

We will introduce you to your study materials and cover the logistics, policies, and procedures for achieving success in our program and in this career.

4 Hours

Exam Review:
In these classes, we review previously-taught material to prepare you for both our program’s Comprehensive Final Exam, the National Certification Exam and the MBLEX exam. We also encourage students to regularly review course material throughout the program, individually and in study groups.

12 Hours

Comprehensive Final Exam:
This exam covers all aspects of our curriculum and comes at the end of the program. Throughout your time here, we will give you study tips, quizzes, tests, and reviews to prepare you for this opportunity to proudly demonstrate your comprehension and mastery.

4 Hours

SUPERVISED CLINICAL PRACTICE

100 Total

Practicing on Real Clients at our Massage Therapy Center:
Our program includes 12 additional full days that are spent at our Therapy Center, where students practice on real clients under the supervision of a qualified faculty member. There, you will be able to practice important skills like interview techniques, assessment, timing your treatments, and proper documentation, continually incorporating the new bodywork techniques you are learning in class. Students meet individually with our staff to discuss the treatment process and receive guidance and support. Students are required to complete a minimum of 60 client sessions prior to graduation.

Professional Evaluations are also a component of your Clinical Practice. Students are required to give 3 complete massage therapy sessions to qualified massage therapy faculty members, for the purpose of evaluation and feedback. A written evaluation will be completed by the therapists and reviewed by the school as well as the student. The therapists will guide and support you in making subtle corrections in technique, fluidity and overall professionalism, as well as make suggestions for treatment plans for various desired outcomes.

Pre-requisite for the Supervised Clinical Practice segment requires the completion of Swedish Massage Theory and Practice and Clinic Orientation and Practice.

100 Hours

TOTAL PROGRAM HOURS:

600 Hours