Anatomy, Physiology, and Kinesiology: Basic knowledge of the human body systems, components, and structures will be studied. The form, function, and movement patterns of the human body will be explored through a variety of learning techniques. Core components of this class include identifying bony landmarks, muscle palpation, postural analysis, and evaluating muscle actions. Emphasis will be placed on developing a deeper knowledge and proficiency in these skills to train the future therapist to work with a variety of clients.
Aromatherapy Massage: The variety and properties of essential oils will be studied. A technique focus will be on the use of light massage strokes to help stimulate the lymphatic system to encourage the natural detoxification process of the body. Blending techniques and massage applications for specific conditions will also be emphasized.
Asian Bodywork: Thai Massage (Nuad boran) is the hands-on bodywork application taught in this course, although there are many styles of Asian bodywork modalities depending on the country of origin. Basic concepts of the five-element theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), doshas in Ayurvedic Medicine, sen lines and marma points in Thai Massage will also be highlighted.
Business Basics: Business and marketing tools essential to a successful massage practice will be examined. Policies and procedures, budgets, marketing materials, and social media marketing strategies will be developed. Interview skills will be practiced and liability insurance will be researched.
Deep Tissue Massage: Students will explore how to access deeper layers of fascia through deep tissue massage techniques. Students will be taught how to work specific muscles, in addition to active and passive movements, that allow for deeper unwinding in the body. The concepts and techniques of structural integration will be covered through site-specific sessions, and in full body deep tissue massage applications.
Energy Bodywork: Explored in this course will be the overall benefits of using the body’s energy fields to stimulate innate healing mechanisms. The theory behind the concepts of chakras and energy fields will be discussed, and hands on applications of energy bodywork techniques will be demonstrated and practiced.
Ethics: Studied in this course will be the necessity to uphold the massage therapy code of ethics which helps ensure the quality and professionalism of the practitioner. This course will explore the concepts of transference, counter-transference, dual relationships, and boundaries. Intervention models and scope of practice will be discussed in addition to the rights and responsibilities of a massage therapist.
Hydrotherapy and Spa Bodywork Applications: Students will be taught how to use various applications of hot and cold temperatures to increase the effects of a massage session. The basic principles and physiologic effects of hydrotherapy will be explored, in addition to creating treatment protocols. Practice sessions of body treatments will include salt/sugar scrubs, clay/mud wraps, hot/cold stones, hot towel compressions, herbal wraps, and combinations of multiple techniques.
Pathology: Students will be taught the diseases, disorders, and other various health conditions that can be positively affected by specific massage therapy techniques. Students will be taught how to assess the safety of a session for a client based on their unique health history with emphasis on contra-indications for treatment, as well as common cautions. The universal precautions necessary for a massage session will also be explored and practiced.
Reflexology: Students will be taught the reflex points on the hands and the feet that correspond to different organs, glands, and systems of the body. This class teaches the function of various body systems, the location of reflexology points, and specific stroke techniques for a therapeutic session.
Self Care for the Bodyworker: This course teaches how to use proper body mechanics during a massage session, which are essential for injury prevention. Students will be taught the components of a self-care program that nurtures and supports personal wellness. Relaxation techniques, core strengthening exercises, yoga, Pilates, and meditation techniques will be explored and practiced.
Swedish and Therapeutic Massage: This course will teach the history and basic strokes of Swedish massage including effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, vibration/shaking, and friction. Therapeutic applications and various stroke combinations will be discussed and practiced in depth throughout the program. This class includes a student clinic where students schedule appointments for sessions with the public. The student ‘therapists’ will be responsible for booking, confirming, and performing the massage, in a clinical setting with faculty supervision. This course culminates with a day of volunteering at the massage tent for the runners in the Burlington City Marathon.