550 Hour Certification Program of Study

Program 550 hr and certified to operate by SCHEV – State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

In Anatomy, students learn about the structure of the human body in a
detailed study of the skeletal system, joints and major muscles, especially in
application to massage therapy. Physiology covers all body systems including
function and ability to carry on life processes in health & disease,
indications/contraindications of different pathologies and their relevance to
massage. Class presentation is through lecture (audio/visual aids), group
discussion and hands-on palpation using skeletal/muscular models.

In Pathology, the student studies medical terminology, signs and symptoms
of disease, indications and contraindications, as well as pharmacology
(medications). The student will gain confidence in their approach using
appropriate massage techniques and staying within their scope of practice.

This course examines the history of massage – from the beginning to the
present day. The course covers the theoretical aspects of Swedish Massage
including: psychological impacts of touch, self-care, hygiene, the benefits of
different techniques and the physiological effects of massage.
The practical hands-on aspects of massage include Swedish and Deep Tissue
Massage Therapy. Applicable aspects of providing a full body, one hour
wellness massage are taught while incorporating body mechanics, client
positioning and draping and client/therapist communication skills.

Students are required to give practical massages in our faculty supervised
student clinic. Client progress notes and feedback are kept in student journals
and need to be completed for grading prior to graduation.

ADJUNCT MODALITIES (Allied Massage Modalities)
These individual classes provide general study and applied hands-on techniques
including Asian body therapy, Ayurveda, polarity, chair massage, stones massage, prenatal massage, reflexology and spa. This course includes researches and collaborative projects. Through this in class research, students are able to review all the foundational knowledge, summaries experiences of student clinic, expand advanced skills, tools and strategies.

This class teaches the history, theory and practice of incorporating water
into the massage using applications of hot and cold, steam, saunas, packs and

Students learn all aspects of massage business from start up, office
practices, fees, insurance billing, record keeping and promotion. Success
techniques are also covered as well as ethics.

This course focuses on establishing a successful and ethical massage practice.
Topics include characteristics of a profession, education, body of knowledge,
scope of practice, code of ethics, and standards of practice. The codes of ethics of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage  & Bodywork (NCBTMB), the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), and the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) are presented, along with the AMTA’s Standards of Practice document.