Massage School Notes

Thinking about becoming a Massage Therapist?

Be sure to do your research on this career so you know what you are getting into before spending time and money on school.

You will want to know how much you can make, how to choose a massage school, and how to navigate the massage job market as wall as how to start your own massage business.

These are the classes you will be taking in massage school.  It is important to find a quality school that has implemented the Entry Level Analysis Project Data (ELAP www.elapmassage.org) into their massage courses.  This will ensure that your education will prepare you for what is ahead.

  • History of Massage Therapy  ELAP recommendation:1.5 hours of instruction on the evolution of massage and bodywork.
  • Anatomy and Physiology
    Chemistry, Cells, Tissues & Membranes, Endocrine, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic, Respiration, Digestive, Urinary, Reproductive, and Immune Systems, Metabolism, Nutrition, and Cadaver Studies.
    Bones, Muscles, Tendons, Ligaments, Joints, Postural Assessment, Body Mechanics, Biomechanics and Motion
    ELAP Recommendation:

    13 hours of instruction on an orientation to the human body
     5 hours of instruction on the integumentary system
    10 hours of instruction on the skeletal system

    6 hours of instruction on the fascial system

  • Kinesiology:  How muscles work.  Origins and Insertions of muscles and their actions
  • Pathology: Diseases and conditions and how to work with them.
  • Massage Theories :
    Swedish Massage
    Sports Massage
    Deep Tissue Massage
    Clinical Massage
    Benefits of massage
    Indications, contraindications.
    ELAP recommendations:  7 hours benefits and effects of massage
    4 hours of instruction on an orientation to palpation and movement

          13 hours of instruction in foundation principles and skills
          15.5 hours of instruction on massage cautions and contraindications
          2.5 hours of instruction on equipment and session environments
          5.5 hours of instruction on preventing disease transmission
          20 hours of hands on practice in massage and bodywork application methods classes
          13 hours of instruction on the muscular system
          16 hours of instruction on the nervous system
           4  hours of instruction on the cardiovascular system
          13.0  hours of instruction on the lymphatic, immune, digestive,respiratory, endocrine, reproductive, and urinary systems
          82 hours of instruction in the application of massage and bodywork
          30 hours of instruction in the massage or bodywork session
         9.5 hours of instruction on the shoulder and arm
         9.5 hours of instruction on the elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand
    9.5 hours of instruction on the spine and thorax
         9.5 hours of instruction on the head, neck, and jaw
         9.5 hours of instruction on the pelvis and hip
        9.5 hours of instruction on the thigh and knee
        9.5 hours of instruction on the leg, ankle, and foot
        11 hours of instruction on adapting sessions for the stages of healing
        50 hours of instruction and practice integrating application methods from a Western paradigm, including Swedish massage,myofascial   approaches, and neuromuscular approaches,
        50hours of instruction and practice integrating application methods from an Eastern paradigm, including shiatsu ,tuina, and Thai massage,

       50 hours of instruction in the student clinic

  • Ethics:
    ELAP recommendation:

    4.0 hours of instruction on the relationship of therapist and client
    18.0hours of instruction on ethics and the therapeutic relationship
     18.0 hours of instruction on boundaries in a therapeutic relationship

    Professional standards, ethics and legal practices: The therapeutic relationship, boundaries, dual relationships, transference, counter-transference, listening skills, physical/emotional self care, supervision, financial self care.

  • Therapeutic assessment: client interviews, physical assessment.
    ELAP recommendation: 6.5 hours of instruction on documentation and client files

    ELAP recommendation: 43.5hours of instruction on client assessment

  • Therapeutic application – skills and clinical work, charting
  • Massage Research Literacy :  ELAP recommendation: 3 hours
  • Hydrotherapy:General Hydrotherapy Applications, Temperatures, Effects of Hot and Cold
    Hydrotherapy Baths/Poultices
    Hydrotherapy Glossary
    Hydrotherapy Test Questions
  • Electro/Heliotherapy, Aromatherapy
  • Eastern, European and Western theory/methods
  • Specialized Populations such as: athletes, abused, elderly, children, infants, pregnancy, physically challenged, psychologically challenged, chronically ill, terminally ill
  • Connective tissue, Positional release, Reflexology, Sports massage, Acupressure, Shiatsu, Polarity, Myofascial release, Trigger points, Magnetic therapy (Energy Techniques), Massage in pregnancy, Baby massage, Iridology, On-Site massage, Skilled touch, and Deep lymphatic drainage.
  • Hygiene and Safety
  • HIV awareness and blood-borne pathogens
  • Massage Business and Marketing

    ELAP – 4 hours of instruction on massagelaws and regulations

  • Massage Jobs – Creating or finding Your Ideal Job in Massage
  • Supervision, Peer Groups, Mentoring
    ELAP Recommendation: 8 hours of instruction on personal health, body mechanics, and self care

    25hours of instruction on career planning

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