Massage Therapy Certificate Program Courses

Courses Include

Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) Review I & II

These courses are designed to prepare students for the MBLEx by integrating and reviewing content students have covered in their respective programs. Practice questions and exams will be assigned and reviewed. Study techniques and test taking skills will be covered as well. The other part of this course is to help develop mastery of skills learned in technique courses. The instructor will provide close observation, feedback, and technique review for students to gain refinement of their massage skills.

Students will review their technique through practice and the instructor will provide closer observation and more input and feedback to help students refine their skills. More than half of the time of these MBLEX review modules are designated lab and spent on hands-on practice.

Courses were designed to meet the minimum requirements and hours for massage therapy training. This program is prepares graduates to apply for California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) certification and National Certification (NCBTMB) as well.

Swedish Technique

Learn fundamental Swedish massage techniques and methods, along with proper biomechanics, posture, injury prevention, table management, and proper draping technique. The course will also address soft tissue physiology, response to massage, and benefits of massage. Chair massage will also be taught in this course.

Spa Modalities: Stone Massage

This course will provide students with training in the art and science of Stone Massage. Not only is it a favored modality amongst most spa and massage facilities, Stone Massage provides many therapeutic benefits as well. Students will learn techniques and methods, proper biomechanics, injury prevention, and equipment management to provide an effective and therapeutic session. Hands-on skill training are dispersed throughout and encompass more than half of the 500 hours.

Deep Tissue & Focused Techniques

Deep Tissue massage techniques including Trigger Point Therapy and Myofascial Release. Students will also learn various focused soft tissue modalities to provide additional tools when working on specific structures and musculoskeletal conditions of the body. Students will learn how to adapt their skills to a wide range of complaints by developing their ability to think critically and select appropriate modalities.

Practice Management: Business Planning & Employment Preparation

Students will learn goal setting, marketing tools, and entrepreneurship to develop the foundations of a business plan. This will include investigating the various steps required in setting up a practice such as facilities and equipment planning. Students will also be introduced to the CAMTC certification process as well different types of employment, city ordinances, and business license requirements. Resume and interview skill workshops will be integrated as well.

Practice Management: Ethics & Professionalism

Students will learn the vital principles of ethics and professionalism in the field of massage therapy. Scope of practice will also be discussed as well as working in an integrative healthcare paradigm. Issues regarding communication, customer service, patient care, therapeutic relationships, confidentiality, and boundaries will also be covered.

Wellness and Health

Principles of wellness, health, hygiene, and human nutrition. Students will also learn relaxation techniques, yoga and/or Qi Gong. The course emphasizes the importance of wellness, proper nutrition, and relaxation as components of optimal health as self-care for therapists as well as for patient education.

Anatomy with Palpation

This course is an introduction to musculoskeletal anatomy with an emphasis on the axial and appendicular skeleton, various joint structures and complexes, as well as major regional muscles of the upper body, lower body, head and neck. In the practical application, students will also learn palpation skills to identify major superficial muscles and body landmarks. Students will learn terminology and functional anatomical structures. The course may also include observation and palpation of human cadavers.

Hands-on training will also be found in the lab portion of the Anatomy with Palpation module. Hands-on palpation and identification of structures of the musculoskeletal system is integral to massage technique and skill.

Pathology and Contraindications

This course introduces students to common pathological disease and conditions that affect the various physiologic systems of the body. Research into the etiology, pathogenesis, morphologic changes, and clinical manifestations of each condition will be conducted as well as alternative and wellness focused treatments and preventative measures. Indications and contraindications for Massage Therapy will also be included.


This course will focus on the human physiologic systems and how they are affected by massage and bodywork modalities. Detailed attention will be given to the Central and Peripheral Nervous, Integumentary, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic, Immune, Respiratory, Digestive, and Urinary systems. The course may include observation and palpation of human cadavers.

Clinical Assessment & Procedures

This course is designed to help prepare students for their Clinical Clerkship in the University Health Center as well as develop clinical thinking and skills. Clinical procedures will be discussed including SOAP charting, patient intake and care, and professionalism. Assessment procedures such as gait analysis, postural analysis and history/interviewing skills will be covered. Musculoskeletal assessment procedures such range of motion, muscle palpation and testing, as well as various clinical manual therapy techniques will be covered as well.

  1. Students will identify pertinent assessment procedures that are appropriate for the role of a Massage Therapist.
  2. Students will demonstrate clinical skills and techniques used in assessment.
  3. Students will assess the indications and contraindications and determine massage or manual therapy techniques appropriate to a clients’/patients’ condition or situation.
Clinical Clerkship

The Clinical Clerkship will introduce the student to the clinical setting where the student will conduct general massage sessions as well as focused massage sessions. The goal of this course is to develop confidence in clinical decision making and build time management skills. The clerkship will provide a rich and diverse experience where the student will encounter clients with various conditions and treatment plans. Students will also be responsible for SOAP charting and demonstrate comprehensive patient/client care and skill.

Students will:
  1. Demonstrate proper set-up and use of equipment.
  2. Utilize correct biomechanics to prevent repetitive strain or injury.
  3. Apply appropriate draping techniques for various massage techniques.
  4. Identify patient chief complaint and structural/functional areas of concern.
  5. Construct focused follow-up questions that may elicit contraindications.
  6. Determine appropriate techniques and treatment plan.
  7. Examine decisions made and results for patients, post-treatment session.
  8. Demonstrate professional demeanor and patient care.
  9. Develop strong time management skills.
  10. Examine ethical issues in the patient care experience.
  11. Recommend specific at-home, self-care techniques and wellness support.
  12. Determine appropriate referrals for collaborative and integrative care.

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