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Compare 800-Hour to 1250-Hour Program

Core Massage Therapy

Our core graduates experience a wide variety of both eastern and western modalities, in addition to science and assessment skills, which make them incredibly versatile and ready for a variety of job opportunities in the field of massage therapy.

Eastern Skills:  Eastern modality training begins with a thorough training in Shiatsu Massage and the theory on which it is based: Traditional Chinese Medicine.

  • Skills in eastern anatomy and modes of assessment are enhanced with classes in specific applications of acupressure, and then broadened to include energy work and reflexology.
  • Advanced skills in Thai Massage round out this highly sought-after Eastern skill set.

Western Skills: Western modality training begins with a thorough training in Swedish Massage.

  • As students become more knowledgeable and experienced, advanced techniques such as Deep Tissue, introduction to Lymphatic Massage and Trigger Point Therapy, and therapeutic application of heat and ice are added.
  • Students also receive experience with many popular spa modalities, such as prenatal massage, hot stone massage, salt scrubs and the application of aromatherapy.

Science Skills: Throughout the Core Program, education includes a solid foundation of anatomy, kinesiology, physiology and pathology.

  • Understanding planes of movement and how joint structures allow the body to move through those planes.
  • Identifying how a muscle’s attachment sites determine how it will move the body.
  • Basic physiology of all body systems & physiological effects of massage on those systems.
  • Identifying when pathology or injury might be present, how that situation might affect the massage session, and when referral to another health care professional is most supportive of client health and safety.

Assessment and Strategizing Skills:  Application of kinesiology and physiology concepts along with key observational skills to understand how to cater sessions to specific client needs.

  • Recognizing basic postural asymmetries and dysfunctional range of motion patterns
  • Knowing how to target precise techniques such as Longitudinal Release, Cross-fiber, and basic Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation stretches to specific client needs.
  • Understanding basic cautions and contraindications for massage therapy around many common musculoskeletal issues and injuries, such as whiplash, carpal tunnel syndrome, piriformis syndrome, runner’s knee and sprained ankle.

Clinic and Externship: throughout the 800-hour Core Massage Program, our graduates experienced 160 hours of supervised, practical experience on clients, including proper S.O.A.P (Subjective, Objective, re-Assessment, Plan) Note session documentation, both in our on-campus massage clinics and off-campus externship sites.

Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy

Our Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy graduates begin with the foundation of our entire 800-hour Core Massage Therapy Program.  They then add to this skill set an additional 450 hours of education and experience.  With their advanced knowledge of functional anatomy and orthopedic assessment, as well as skills in collaborative communication, they are ready to be partners in the process of strategizing and supporting client healing and wellness.

Functional Anatomy: The foundation of study in this program is based on the understanding of bodily structure as it relates to function.

  • Conversation begins on a microscopic level in learning the physiology of muscle contraction and how the nervous system initiates this process.
  • Layer and dimension are then added to the body, taking into account all of the tissues affecting functionality: bones, joints, joint capsules, fascia, ligaments, tendons and nerves.
  • With these building blocks in place, study centers around how inert and contractile tissues work together dynamically to produce both movement and stability.

Orthopedic Pain and Injury Assessment: Our students engage in daily discussion of what can go wrong biomechanically to produce pain, dysfunction and injury.

  • With a strong understanding of forces that damage soft tissue, the physiology of soft tissue healing, and how pain patterns manifest in the body, graduates can apply a methodical H.O.P.R.S (History, Observation, Palpation, Range of Motion testing and Special testing) assessment process to build a multi-dimensional picture of what is happening within the client’s body.
  • Utilizing this information, they can create detailed short and long-term plans to support a client’s healing process in collaboration with other health care professionals.
  • To best track and support a client’s healing process, as well as to support collaboration with other health care professionals, graduates understand the importance of keeping comprehensive session notes throughout each session in the S.O.A.P. (Subjective, Objective, re-Assessment, Plan) format.

Neuromuscular Therapy: The understanding of H.O.P.R.S informs our graduates of how to apply the tools of neuromuscular therapy in a specific and targeted manner:

  • Applying Trigger Point Therapy to alleviate myofascial pain caused by spasm at the neuromuscular junction;
  • Deep Transverse Friction to decrease and re-align scar tissue throughout the healing process;
  • Lymphatic Massage techniques to decrease the edema and metabolic waste that can accumulate during healing;
  • Somatics and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation to help the nervous system communicate more effectively with the musculoskeletal system;
  • Understanding that sometimes the best “neuromuscular” approach might be a relaxing Swedish or Energy Massage until the client’s body is ready to receive more targeted modalities.

Advanced Topics in Client Care: An array of additional classes’ further support the ability of our 1250-hour graduates to work with clients and collaborate with other health care professionals.

  • These graduates attended 3 Cadaver Labs at local chiropractic and medical schools to deepen knowledge regarding specific anatomy and injuries learned in the classroom.
  • They have learned techniques in Corrective Actions and Somatics, which provide them with powerful tools to empower clients to become active partners in their own healing and increase awareness of how to best collaborate with a variety other health care professionals.
  • An awareness of pharmacology increases therapists’ mindfulness of a wide variety of medications clients might be on and how the physiological effects of these medications on the client’s body must inform and even alter a planned bodywork strategy.

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