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Massage School Programs

Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program

Massage Therapist Programs
Massage Therapy Schools
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Advance Your Career With Advanced Techniques

National Holistic Institute offers continuing education massage therapist classes at all of our campuses throughout California. The Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program is a 450-Hour course offered in five 90- hour modules, which can be taken separately or consecutively. These massage therapist classes are specifically for those who have already completed one or more massage therapist programs, and for NHI graduates of the Massage Therapy Training Program. The five modules are comprised of massage therapist classes that focus on the Shoulder & Thoracic region, the Head & Neck combined with a Virtual Cadaver Lab, the Lumbar-Pelvic region, the Lower Extremities combined with a Virtual Cadaver Lab, and the Upper Extremities.

FREE samplers of these California massage therapy courses in Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy are offered at various times during the year at all of our campuses throughout the state. The full Advanced 450-Hour Massage Therapy Program is offered year-round at seven of our campuses:

Our advanced massage therapist program will allow you to confidently evaluate and differentiate between myofascial pain and dysfunction as opposed to injury. Advanced techniques allow you to increase the value you provide for your clients.

Many of our advanced students are massage therapists, physical therapists & physical therapy assistants, chiropractors & chiropractic assistants, nurses, athletic trainers, and more.

If you have specific questions about the program feel free to connect directly with our Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program Manager, Kelly Martin.

NHI Graduates find work in a variety of settings:

  • Hospitals
  • Doctor’s Offices
  • Physical Therapy Offices
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • High-end Spas
  • Fitness Facilities
  • Sports Medicine
  • Sports Teams – Collegiate & Professional
  • Private Practitioner

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to learn more about the Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program


  • Massage therapists with a minimum of 500 hours of training, OR;
  • Training in other healthcare disciplines
Click on any class name in the graphic or list below to learn more.


ADVANCED BODYWORK OF HEALING PHYSIOLOGY ANATOMY GROSS CLIENT ASSESSMENT ADVANCED PROGRAM Myofascial Therapies Lymphatic Massage Orthopedic Techniques Trigger Point Therapy Clinical Sports Massage Advanced Deep Tissue Neuromuscular Therapy Biomechanics of Injury Orthopedic Testing Client Treatment Strategies Range of Motion Testing Building Collaborative Relationships Injury Prevention Injury Rehabilitation Pain Management Soft Tissue Healing Medical Massage Functional Anatomy Kinesiology Virtual Cadaver Experience

Advanced Deep Tissue
Done properly, “deep tissue” is about specificity of touch and angles of entry, not the compressive forces usually associated with this modality. In the ANMT the student therapist will gain an understanding of what it means to be more engaged while using less pressure and better body mechanics. The ANMT bodywork focuses on use of fingers, thumbs and elbows to palpate and identify bony landmarks and taut tissue. When the neuromuscular therapist finds a “knot,” this area will be hypersensitive for the client. As the therapist finds the appropriate angle of entry to focus touch on these areas, this will create a sensation of deep pressure for the patient/client. The client feels less pain than a traditional deep tissue massage and will experience better long term healing. Along with these new concepts and understandings of the bodywork come increased longevity in the field of massage and pain free work for the massage therapist.

Clinical Sports Massage
Commonly known injuries and pathologies can both occur during athletic endeavors as well as during every day activities. The familiar feeling of a pulled hamstring or a diagnosis of Tennis Elbow could be derived from playing tennis or repetitive work duties in a warehouse.

The Clinical Sports Massage therapist is able to understand the biomechanics of activity and mechanisms of injury that would contribute to pain and dysfunction for the patient/client. Utilizing that knowledge, along with an advanced understanding of functional anatomy, assessment protocols, and soft tissue healing, the therapist is able to strategize bodywork best suited for their patient/client for both preventative and rehabilitative treatments.

Though the title of “Clinical Sports Massage” may sound like every client is an athlete, the term is used to represent a focus on activity based injuries and pathologies. Clinical Sports Massage is not a singular modality. The practice encompasses a combination of advanced functional anatomy, kinesiology, and various types of stretching and soft tissue manipulation. In the ANMT program you will become adept at utilizing all of these concepts.

Critical Analysis of Client Needs
Learn to take the information clients give, assess it against your background of anatomy, and plan a customized session to address their concerns.

Injury Prevention
The massage therapist’s most important job is to work with a client’s pain and dysfunction before it becomes an actual injury. Often, patterns of pain and tension predispose an area to injury by causing inefficient or unbalanced movement.

For example, we work on Trigger Points and tension in the muscles of the lower leg before this pain and tension results in a more severe injury, like shin splints, stress fractures, or torn ligaments. We learn to explain this process to a client and then specifically plan out the appropriate bodywork and number of sessions needed to get the specific results.

Injury Rehabilitation
When a client comes to us with an injury, we can collaborate with other medical professionals to speed and compliment the body’s healing processes. Once a client has been diagnosed by the proper healthcare professional (ATC, PT, DC, MD, DO) with a particular condition, for instance sciatica, Runner’s Knee, or rotator cuff tears, we can collaborate with that medical professional to ensure that we select techniques, which will complement the recommended rehabilitation path. Our students learn the physiological processes the body goes through as it is healing, as well as the proper techniques to use to facilitate the healing and rehabilitation processes.

We learn to apply techniques that discourage the formation of excess scar tissue, apply proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretches, apply lymphatic techniques, deep transverse friction, and post-surgical massage. All of these skills can help speed up the rehabilitation of the injured area.

Longevity in the Massage Profession
Discover how to provide deep work without using much pressure, how to respond to client injuries, and achieve very real results.

Medical Massage
In order to collaborate with health professionals, an in-depth client assessment and a comprehensive strategy are necessary. Students will learn the medical terminology needed for these interactions, and become proficient in the skills that are becoming essential to succeed, as healthcare fields integrate. Students learn a detailed assessment protocol known as HOPRS (History, Observation, Palpation, Range of Motion testing, and Special tests). The thorough and methodical assessment provides the therapist insight and understanding of the patient/client medical history and how these factors have contributed to the “problem” being presented. Short term and long term goals for patient/client care and health are created in conjunction with other healthcare professionals as needed. The neuromuscular therapist applies techniques such as lymphatic massage, PNF stretching, DTF, myofascial release, and somatics, which complement the body’s own natural healing processes. This is an exciting field that is growing in awareness and acceptance by both clients and health care providers as they look for integrative therapies in today’s health care system.

Myofascial Therapy
Students will learn to apply techniques specifically designed to affect the relationship of the muscular and fascial structures comprised in the soft tissues, by increasing range of motion, improving posture, and/or aiding the rehabilitation process.

Neuromuscular Therapy
In Neuromuscular Therapy, one of our key areas of focus and study is Myofascial Trigger Points. Trigger Points are microscopic spasms that form at the neuromuscular junction, where the nervous system communicates with a muscle. We study the physiology of a healthy neuromuscular junction, what goes “wrong” to activate the trigger point, and then apply specific techniques to encourage the neuromuscular junction back to healthy function. A muscle with trigger points becomes weak, painful, and dysfunctional, and can pre-dispose a person to more serious injury. In fact, symptoms created by a trigger point can mimic other clinical conditions. For example, a trigger point in Pectoralis Major might feel like a heart attack, in Supraspinatus might feel like shoulder bursitis, in Pronator Teres might feel like carpal tunnel syndrome, in Gluteus Minimus like sciatica. Therapists learn a thorough assessment procedure known as HOPRS to differentiate between myofascial dysfunction and trigger points, and more serious dysfunction and injury. Techniques applied to re-create neuromuscular health include lymphatics, PNF stretching, deep transverse friction, myofascial release, somatics, and corrective actions.

Orthopedic Testing
You will learn specific assessment tools to determine if massage is appropriate for a certain condition, or if you need to collaborate with another healthcare professional to ensure proper and effective client care. This information is obtained through an assessment protocol known as HOPRS (History, Observation, Palpation, Range of motion tests, and Special [orthopedic] tests), a methodical and organized way to gather information about the client’s condition.

For example, a client comes in with low-back pain. It is important to determine if their low-back pain is due to a muscular problem, a nerve problem, or a joint problem. Using the HOPRS protocol of assessment and orthopedic testing, a massage therapist can assess for the likely origin of pain and dysfunction in the body. Massage therapists work with muscle and other soft tissue; when our testing indicates the possibility of a joint or nerve problem, we must refer the client to a qualified medical professional for diagnosis, and then collaborate with that medical professional for effective client care.

Pain Management
Obtain skills to assess if a muscle is the actual cause of pain, and apply appropriate massage.

Re-invigorating Your Business
Add exciting new dimensions to your professional work, to increase your business, by collaborating with other health care professionals and being able to work with clients with special needs.

Soft Tissue Injury & Healing
Students learn the physiology of soft tissue healing in order to discern where the client is in her/his healing process after an injury or surgery. Knowing this information helps to determine which modalities a therapist can apply to compliment and facilitate healing. Students also learn the likely causes of soft tissue injury, and how to help their clients avoid re-injury through client education.

Somatics training allows massage therapists to gain a better understanding of how movement and coordination goes from a conscious to an unconscious process. Students will learn how muscle guarding patterns create postural misalignments and dysfunction, as well as how to apply specific Somatic techniques to release the body’s chronic holding patterns. Through this knowledge, therapists will be able to provide client education in Somatic exercises, as a part of their own self-care.

Trigger Point Therapy
Your patients/clients can get better, even after years of suffering from chronic pain. Trigger Point Therapy is one very useful part of neuromuscular therapy. The techniques used help clients recover from pain associated with various injuries and illnesses. We will discuss different types of trigger points and look at what are called referral patterns. Many muscles can send pain to areas of the body that seem unrelated. In addition to pain, we discuss other symptoms, which the patient/client might be experiencing due to trigger points, such as watering eyes, runny nose, heartburn, or digestive issues. Dysfunctional muscles can also mimic other health conditions of the body. We discuss what “activates” or creates trigger points in muscles throughout the body. This knowledge is incredibly useful in educating the client regarding activities they can do or avoid to become a partner in the healing process. One of the main goals of trigger point work is to alleviate pain and the associated difficulties with movement and posture.

Virtual Cadaver Experience
Virtual Cadaver Lab experience has been described by students as extremely eye opening. Seeing the body in a three dimensional sense allows them to have a much firmer understanding of muscles in relationship to surrounding structures such as the organs and the skeletal system they envelop. This approach to learning about the body is highly engaging for our students. They get to actually see the layers of muscles and the relationship of connective tissues layers within the body.