550 Hour Essential Massage Therapy Program Course Descriptions

functional-linesAll courses listed are in clock hours which include lab and class hours. Refer to course syllabus for a breakout.

OR101 ORIENTATION
(4.50 training hours)

Students are provided with policies and procedures regarding enrollment, clinical lab hours, marketing and community service.

A101 MEDICAL TERMS
(6.75 training hours)

Topics covered in this course are medical terminology; anatomical position and planes; geographical terms and terms of position and movement; location of major organs, body cavities, and quadrants; and introduction to tissue types.

A102 BONES
(22.00 training hours)

In this class, you will learn the anatomical structure and cellular components of bone tissue, as well as the different types of joints in the body. You will learn how to identify and palpate bony landmarks, which is necessary to locate the muscles you will be treating within massage therapy. Prerequisite: A101

A103 STRUCTURAL KINESIOLOGY
(56.75 training hours)

The "meat" of the anatomy curriculum! The musculature of the body will be taught in this class, including origin and insertion sites of each muscle, fiber direction, action, involved joint, innervation, and associated muscles. This course is a fascinating journey into the movement of the human body and contains foundational knowledge for massage therapy. Prerequisite: A101 & A102

A104 FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY
(13.50 training hours)

This course covers cellular structure and function; tissue types and repair; lymphatic, immune and other body systems; cardiovascular anatomy and circulation. This is important background information since massage therapy affects these systems and functions of the human body.

A105 NEUROMUSCULAR PHYSIOLOGY
(18.00 training hours)

This course explores the relationship between the nervous system and the muscular system. You will be taught the anatomy and basic physiology of the nervous system; the structure, functions, and physiology of muscle tissue; the pathways and locations of important peripheral nerves; and the reflexes and pain theories that relate to massage therapy.

A107 PATHOLOGY
(13.50 training hours)

You will learn to identify causes, signs and symptoms, and suggested massage treatment plans for various diseases and pathologies within the body systems. Most importantly, you will be able to identify any cautions regarding these diseases and pathologies in order to develop a safe and effective treatment plan.

T102 FOUNDATIONS OF MASSAGE THERAPY
(15.75 training hours)

Here we will look at the history of massage in general, and define therapeutic massage and its scope of practice. The very important topics of therapeutic presence and ethics in practice are covered in depth.

T103 SELF CARE
(9.00 training hours)

This is an important area for the student massage therapist to explore. Topics include stretching and exercise, Swiss exercise balls, nutrition, massage tools and relaxation techniques for the therapist's self care.

T104 CLINICAL APPLICATIONS I
(6.75 training hours)

In this class, you will learn the effects of massage on the various body systems and the effects of specific massage techniques. You will be introduced to the Basic Routine protocol for massage treatment and ways to incorporate different types of care into your practice. You will learn how to take a thorough health history in order to determine advisability and course of treatment.

T105 PRACTICE BUILDING
(31.75 training hours)

This class is designed to provide a business introduction and foundation to compliment your massage therapy knowledge and skills. Information will also be presented on setting up your own massage business such as fees, scheduling and office protocol. You will have the opportunity to develop your own business plan, which is not only motivating but a lot of fun as well.

T106 SOAP NOTES
(6.75 training hours)

In this class, you will be taught the very important and necessary skill of writing progress notes to document your massage treatments and chart your clients' progress.

TC101 SWEDISH MASSAGE THERAPY
(78.00 training hours)

In this course, we will cover the basic principles and techniques of Swedish massage, which is the foundation for the rest of the technique curriculum. At the end of this course, you will know how to give a relaxing, full-body Swedish massage.

TC102 JOINT MOVEMENTS
(39.50 training hours)

Here you will learn how to improve a client's joint range of motion by using shaking, stretching, and isometric techniques, an invaluable tool in a massage therapy protocol.

TC105 INTEGRATIVE TECHNIQUES/SUBTLE TECHNIQUES
(49.00 training hours)

During this course, we will add various subtle techniques to your growing list of treatment techniques. These will include strain-counterstrain, pro-gravity, and neuro tap & stroke. Other techniques will be covered including deep transverse friction, which is a deep cross-fiber technique; muscle energy techniques; and cryotherapy, which is the use of cold application to treat injuries. This class will also introduce and prepare the student as to the state and national licensing examinations.

SP101 SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
(24.50 training hours)

Sports massage is a practical, specific application of Swedish massage. In this course, you will get hands-on experience at sports and marketing events.

COM101 COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
(4.00 training hours)

This course covers common communicable diseases, learning to identify symptoms and precautions in order to treat. You will learn the 5 biological laws of disease, body's defense, disease development, prevention and sanitation.

APPLIED TRAINING

STUDENT CLINIC
(90.00 training hours)

Students must fulfill 54 student clinic appointments over 18 weeks. Clinical work begins approximately the 18th week of the program.

The students work directly with the public in our supervised student clinic. Students will evaluate and treat clients, document patient records and develop professional protocol while in student clinic under the supervision of a Student Clinic Supervisor.

RELATED ELECTIVES
(60.00 training hours)

These elective courses are intended as an introduction to a variety of different modalities and occupational specialties. Courses are held on Saturdays from 8:30 A.M.-5:30 P.M.. Students must earn 56 elective hours prior to graduation. Some of the various subject matters covered may include:

  • Sports Massage (Required)
  • Hydrotherapy/Skin Diseases/HIV (Required)
  • Palpation Skills and Endangerments
  • Spa Massage Treatment (Additional $15 supply fee)
  • Marketing/Bookkeeping
  • Related Bodywork Therapies
  • Nutrition/Skin Diseases/AIDS
  • Aromatherapy
  • Interpersonal Communications and Psychological Aspects of Massage Therapy
  • Russian Massage/Integrative Swedish/Chair Massage
  • Foot Reflexology
  • Myofascial Release Technique
  • Acupressure
  • Body Mobilization Technique
  • Thai Chi/Herbal Healing/Yoga/Pilates
  • Canine Massage
  • Pregnancy and Infant Massage
  • CPR/First Aid (All students are required to obtain proficiency in Adult CPR/First Aid. Students must obtain a CPR/First Aid card which continues to be valid for 90 days after graduation.)

CLINICAL LAB HOURS

(training hours included in Technique course hours)
As part of the training program, students are required to complete a portion of their requirements in lab. This prepares the student for private practice of massage therapy by structuring a diversity of practice sessions and professional contact with the public. The clinical lab hours requirements consists of:

  • 10 seated massages
  • 36 full body massages
  • 4 preceptor evaluation massages
  • 10 sport event massages
  • 16 marketing event massages
  • Record keeping on each massage

Summary of Hours

Orientation 4.50
Anatomy and Physiology 110.25
Massage Theory 90.25
Massage Technique 166.50
Sports Massage 24.50
Electives 60.00
Student Clinic 90.00
Communicable Diseases 4.00
Total Diploma Hours 550.00
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