Massage Therapy School Curriculum

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The general curriculum for a massage therapy program covers many different areas from both arts and sciences. You can expect to study such areas as:



This topic is a study in memorization. For example, the body's hundreds of muscles must become familiar to you, not just their names, but their insertion points, range of movement and impact on the body's other structures.


Manipulating limbs, joints and muscles can have profound implications for the entire body. The study of physiology will help students gain a holistic perspective on the ways in which ailments, aches and problems are treated.


You have to know movement in order to treat muscles and joints. Bodies are not static. In fact, massage therapy often seeks to make the body less static. If you are to enhance a person's movement, you have to know how that person moves now, and how they should be moving in the future.


Massage therapy won't always be the answer. A grounding in pathology can help a massage therapist recognize his/her limits - where massage therapy is an appropriate treatment, and where the expertise of other health practitioners is required.

Massage history and theory

Massage has existed for thousands of years, and many traditions and techniques used today have been around just as long. History and theory can help you recognize the folk origins of many modern practices, but can also help you recognize the profound impact modern science has had on the way we view the physical world.

Massage techniques and practice

You will learn how to give a massage - how to use your hands and fingers, even your elbows and feet. You'll also learn best practices, not just for clients, but for yourself; it would be a sad irony if your body became a casualty of trying to help other people's bodies.


This will teach you how to develop an action plan. When a client comes to you, they will often only provide you with vague verbally expressed information. From that information, as well as an assessment of their physical status, you will have to develop a hypothesis about what is plaguing them, confirm that hypothesis and develop a treatment plan.

Principles of treatment

These are the structures on which you hang your techniques. Your assessment of a client will progress to deciding upon principles of treatment, which will then be put into action through specific techniques.

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