massage therapy curriculum


Massage Therapy Program - Outline of Class Hours 

Length of Program: 756 Hours — Independent Study: 256 Hours
100 Hours of Independent Study In Thailand (Optional)

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    Level I

    • Traditional Swedish Styles & Classic Massage — 80 hours 
    • Thai Yoga Massage Kinesiology — 4 hours 
    • Intro to Anatomy, Physiology, & Pathology — 10 hours 
    • Intro to Pathology & Contraindications — 6 hours 
    • Total hours: 100 hours 

    Level II (Prerequisite Level I) 

    • CPR — 8 hours 
    • Deep Tissue Massage Therapy — 68 hours 
    • Structural Anatomy & Physiology — 16 hours 
    • Patho-Physiology Contraindications — 8 hours 
    • Total hours: 100 hours 
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    Level III

    • Neuro-Muscular Therapy Massage — 46 hours 
    • Traditional Chinese Massage — 10 hours 
    • Advanced Thai Massage — 25 hours 
    • Myofascial & Structural Massage — 15 hours 
    • Advanced Foot Reflexology — 4 hours 
    • Cranial Sacral / Subtle Energies — 5 hours 
    • Yoga & Kinesiology — 5 hours 
    • HydroTherapy Spa & Living Foods — 5 hours 
    • Advanced Anatomy & Physiology — 52 hours 
    • Living Anatomy Practicum Skills — 47 hours 
    • Pathology & Contraindications — 26 hours 
    • State Laws & Therapeutic Ethics — 10 hours 
    • Records, SOAPs, & Bookkeeping — 10 hours 
    • Student Clinic — 75 hours 
    • Total: 335 hours 
    continuing education in massage therapy

    Level I — III: 535 Total In Classroom Hours

    • Anatomy & Physiology distance study – 100 hours (independent study)  
    • Professional Supervised Externship – 100 hours
    • Public Presentation (w/ prep & practice) – 6 hours (independent study)
    • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) – Thailand Option – 100 CEUs

    Complete all continuing ed. classes and receive up to an 856 clock hour diploma

    An average of 4-6 hours of homework per week is required for all levels of our program. Graduates are also eligible for Michigan and Wisconsin State licensing requirements. After successful completion of Level III, students will receive a diploma in Theory and Practice of Healing Massage Techniques from the Institute of Natural Therapies.

    The I.N.T.Curriculum is in full compliance with many State Licensing Laws and the National Certification Board requirements for National testing. The first 535 hours is provided in a classroom, supervised with a licensed instructor present. There is absolutely no distance learning, online courses, or out of class video training, permitted in our State for the first core 535 hours of training. Our curriculum includes the specifics of this law as seen above; 200 hours of massage and body work assessment, 125 hours of instruction in on the body systems including anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology, 40 hours of pathology, 125 hours of related instruction which includes in that 125 a 75 hour student clinic of on the job training, 10 hours of business with 6 hours of ethics.

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    Program Descriptions: Levels I & II

    Differential Advantage Trainings

    You will benefit from world class training unique and exclusive from most schools Nationwide. We deliver a world classic venue of marketable massage styles. Then the student is inspired/required to develop their own personal technique from the styles presented in class for their level 3 final exam. Our goal is to give each student the tools and knowledge to create formulas of application rather than regurgitate memorized therapy recipes. We specialize in finding the student’s innate healing talents already within and teach you to customize your massage sessions specifically to enhance your client’s health and well being. Receive the unique ability to combine medical massage therapy techniques along with feeling good spa massage therapy styles. The in-class training hours are nearly all LIVE hands on training and minimal lecture. We never participate in prepackaged webinars or video trainings in the INT classroom. Early in the course the student’s perception, sensitivity, and transpersonal growth are stimulated using exercising touch skills that become the foundation to build on through their lives and careers. All instructors are Nationally Certified and have additional certifications and experience in every subject and technique they present.

    Level I Introductory Massage Therapist

    Together discover wellness massage, and Swedish Massage as developed by Pehr Henrik Ling in Sweden. We learn how to give a great back massage, and useful home remedies like how to help a sinus headache or relieve an aching lower back. Would you like to know how to leave your friends feeling relaxed and enveloped with a warm healthy glow? We learn table etiquette, proper draping, and the simple courtesies of massage therapy in the home and worplace. We combine yoga, movement, and kinesiology when applying in introductory massage of Thailand. We explore anatomy and physiology from cells through body systems of tissues, bones, and skin. Begin basic hygiene and pathology studies.

    Level II Intermediate Massage Therapist

    Prerequisite Level I. Transferees or students re-entering, see full catalog. Participate in effective skill building with a more medical massage approach. We probe deeper into the body tissues, apply range of motions, and helpful forms of complimentary kinesiology to add to your client’s health routine. We begin our introductory work with major syndromes including carpal tunnel, arthritic and joint conditions and refine our massage for neck and shoulder symptoms. Students will be ready to distinguish the difference between healthy tissues and fibrotic knots and not so healthy tissues with our excellent palipatory skills .We learn professionalism in the work place and study the cardiovascular and lymph symptoms, systems pathology. We touch on manual lymph drainage and digestive massage therapy. We make healthy green drinks and have a great Christmas party!

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    Program Description: Level III

    Level III Professional Therapueutic Level

    Prerequisites include Levels I and II, the Director’s permission, or be able to pass a written and practical exam of Level I and II curriculum. Transferees or students re-entering, see full catalog.

    This is our highest level of training leading to National Certification excellence. Completion meets elegibility requirements for Michigan and Wisconsin licensing and licensing reciprocity for most states.

    Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) with Deep Tissue Massage

    We learn tons of advanced medical and remedial trigger point therapies for a multitude of syndromes including; whiplash, sciatica, hip, knee, neck and shoulder pain relief, relief for headaches, frozen shoulder, TMJ, carpal tunnel, and various low back pain syndromes to name a few. We study the various pathologies apply a working knowledge of safety and epidemiology. No class time is wasted in unnecessary academics like studying muscle charts, or memorizing over impressive vocabulary. Learn by discovery in our living anatomy when we actually find and palpate living human structure. We shape and tape muscles to life size skeletons using a system developed here at INT with colored papers. Your instructor trained with Janet Travell who was president Kennedy’s physician. Dr. Travell also developed the first medical trigger point techniques which we employ in class.

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    Traditional Chinese Massage (TCM)

    We examine acupuncture points, meridians, yin and yang, the five element theory, Zang-fu theory. We explore Qi-gong and learn to feel the powerful yet subtle energies of TCM. We learn how to do hot cupping, use herbs for moxibustion and then lightly touch on the East Indian Ayruverdic chakra system. You will develop a world class acupressure massage combined with Thai table massage. Students will be able to treat the body using ear seeds on the auricle (Chinese ear points) for addictions. We will learn to treat smoking, over eating, alcohol and drug addiction syndromes. Your instructor is certified in acupuncture and was trained by the World Health Organization at Nanjing, China in 1990.

    Thai Yoga Massage therapy training

    Thai Yoga Massage

    The traditional massage of Thailand. We learn a basic Thai massage known in Thai education system as a Level 1 Thai massage. Thai massage was born in the temples of Thailand and is interwoven with traditional Thai medicine, yoga, osteo medicine, and marital arts to create a unique healing system of Thai massage. We guide the student through a series of massage moves, yoga positions, and along the sen sib energy lines to create a comprehensive full body Thai massage that eases tension, boosts the immune system and balances the body’s energy. Occasionally we offer on site training in Thailand. Your instructor has been trained in Thailand and carries multiple certifications in Thai massage and is certified as an accredited Thai Massage teacher by the Ministry of Education of Thailand. Trained in Chaing Mai years of 2003 to 2006.

    Myofascial and Structural Integration

    This is a special section which allows the student to develop sensory intuition and experience the body as a three dimensional being. We encompass a variety of connective tissue massage techniques focusing on the facial entrapments, compartments and sheaths that surround the muscles and organs. Techniques of regional myofascial involve unwinding of both deep and superficial layers. We learn postural analysis, proper walking and alignment in motion, how emotions may be stored in the fascia, how to work with stored trauma in tissues and what to look for. Your instructor is a certified Rolfer who graduated from the exclusive Rolf Institute in 1992.

    Auxillaries of Foot Reflexology, Cranial-Sacral, Qigong and subtle energies

    We learn to feel a basic cranial pulse and beginning but beneficial cranial manipulations. We will do a complete foot reflexology treatment combined with a stimulating hearbal foot bath and the reflex points that cause significant change. We will study hydrotherapy, learn how to give a clay mud pack, use hot towels and spend a little time looking at and tasting living foods with live enzymes. We will learn a little about digestive and colon health. Instructor is certified in Cranial Sacral, Reflexology and has a nutritional diploma from the Creative Health Institute a unique raw foods program.

    Anatomy Physiology in massage therapy training

    Anatomy Physiology and Pathology of Level III

    This will include thorough studies of the nervous system, digestive, hormonal, and respiratory along with the pathologies massage therapist should know. Students complete 100 hours of anatomy and physiology workbooks out side of class as well as additional 100 hours of in class studies. Plan to spend 4-6 hours/week out side of class. Instructor has a BS in Natural Science including a major in anatomy and physiology.

    State Laws,Clinic, books, records and ethics

    We learn the laws and some of the grey areas that govern our profession. We study ethics of the profession as some things that may be legal may not be ethical or understood well by the public. We learn record keeping for clients and how to make subjective, objective, assessment, and planning notes.

    Student clinic 75 hours

    We put this entire program together in our Student Clinic. Students demonstrate business organizational skills in the therapeutic environment. We Identify and design effective methods for time management and maintenance of the work place like having room ready, comfortable and inviting with adequate linens lighting, music, safety and pathology awareness of a clinic. Sharpen abilities to take a proactive approach to communication including listening and encouraging client feedback when conducting an intake interview. Oh yea and you have to give a great massage because the public clients grade your work. You will honestly see how the general public responds to you as a professional therapist. Clinic is mandatory attendance and you cannot graduate without attending this week. (There are no exceptions to clinic attendance.) Please see schedule for dates.

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    Student Progress

    We have carefully considered the non-traditional student and those re-entering school when designing our program. Peer study groups are encouraged and often attended by staff. Close tracking of students’ weekly progress is monitored by weekly quizzes. If a student’s weekly average grade falls below 70% for more than a two-class period, the student is put on academic probation. The student has four weeks to improve. During this time the student may be assigned a study partner, seek professional help, or take tutoring sessions from our staff. If the grade cannot be raised to passing by two class meetings, the student’s enrollment may be terminated. Students are required to give a one hour practical massage session to the instructor in Level III.

    Attendance Policy

    The strength and profoundness of the class requires 100% attedance. Plan to be on time and attend every session. A student may miss 2.5 days of class (25 hours). Any absence that exceeds 25 hours is required to be made up at the alternate campus at the very next scheduled class date. Excessive absence over 50 hours is considered a withdraw. Special considerations may be made for emergencies. Please do not plan to miss the first parts of Level I and Level III. Students with high absence during the beginning of Level I may be asked to withdraw. You absolutely cannot miss midterm week or clinic week.