Professional Massage Therapy Program – 550 Hours

Our curriculum has been designed to teach the art of massage therapy, while also teaching sound business practices which prepare our students for success in the marketplace.  Students learn massage therapy theory and technique through traditional Swedish massage.  We explore numerous body therapies which will enhance the student’s future practice.  From sports massage to medical massage to spa treatments, we continuously emphasize correct body mechanics and proper movement.

In order for our students to have a solid technical and scientific understanding and a way to communicate with other health care professionals, we teach anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, kinesiology, biomechanics, and pathology.

The International Spa Institute not only prepares our students to become a knowledgeable and effective massage therapists but ensures that the skills they need to become successful in the marketplace as a private practitioner, independent contractor, employee or entrepreneur are taught as well.

Graduates will find they are equally comfortable in settings which emphasize prevention and stress reduction as they are in settings which focus on rehabilitation of soft tissue injuries or dysfunctions.

Upon meeting all of the requirements for graduation, a Certificate of Completion in Massage Therapy is granted and students will be eligible to take one of three state-approved exams:  the National Certification Exam For Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCETMB), the National Certification Exam For Therapeutic Massage (NCETM), or the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx).  After successfully passing the chosen exam, graduates may apply for a license to practice massage in the state of South Carolina.

Curriculum:

 

Anatomy, Physiology & Kinesiology: 125 Clock Hours
Course Description

Courses are broken down into subject matter as follows:

Introduction to Online Sciences:  SCI-101

4 hours

This class will introduce students to our online Essential Science for Therapeutic Massage course.  In addition to viewing the course material online, we will discuss goals, methods of instruction, communication, schedules, grading and assignments.  Students may want to bring a laptop to this class.

Prerequisites:  None

Science for Massage Therapy 1; The Fundamentals:  SCI-1

This online module introduces the body as a whole, the mechanisms of health and disease and medical terminology.  Students will need to attend a science lab in order to complete the class requirements.

36 hours

Prerequisites:  SCI-101

Science for Massage Therapy 2; The Systems of Control:  SCI-2

In this portion of our online course, we cover nervous system basics and explore the peripheral and endocrine systems in detail.  Students will need to attend a science lab in order to complete the class requirements.

36 hours

Prerequisites:  SCI-101

Science for Massage Therapy 3; Support, Movement & Biomechanics:  SCI-3

The skeletal system, joints and muscles are studied in this online module as well as their role in the biomechanics of the body.  Students will need to attend a science lab in order to complete the class requirements.

65 hours

Prerequisites:  SCI-101

Science for Massage Therapy 4:  SCI-4

The integumentary, cardiovascular, lymphatic and immune systems are covered in the first part of this online module.  The final section covers the respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems of the body.  Students will need to attend a science lab in order to complete the class requirements.

24 hours

Prerequisites:  SCI-101

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Massage and Bodywork Assessment, Theory and Application: 262 Hours
Course Description

Course Description
Courses are broken down into subject matter as follows:

Intro to Massage Therapy:  MT-101

11 hours

This class introduces the student to basic anatomical terms and directions and the five Swedish strokes of effleurage, pettrisage, friction, tapotement and vibration.  We cover the fundamental theories of massage, practice parameters, ethics, scope of practice, boundaries, table draping and proper body mechanics.  A 3-hour ISI orientation is included in the total hours.

Swedish Massage 1:  SWE-1

70 hours

We continue our exploration into massage therapy by applying the basic Swedish strokes to the body.  Students will learn proper draping for each body area and focus on proper hand and body mechanics as they work around the table.  Basic assessment skills and a full body routine are taught to prepare the students for practice on the public.  Twenty 60-minute Student Spa sessions are required for this class.

Prerequisites:  MT-101

Swedish Massage 2:  SWE-2

70 hours

In this class, students will start to hone their kinesthetic skills and learn how to adapt massage to special populations.  We cover the physiological effects of massage on the body and explore boundaries and client communication.   Twenty 60-minute Student Spa sessions are required for this class.

Prerequisites:  SWE-1

Deep Tissue 1:  DT-1

37 hours

This class explores specific body areas in depth by correctly applying lengthening, broadening, stretching and myofascial techniques to the muscles.  Students will gain experience with common injuries and pain patterns through assessment, palpation skills, range of motion testing, health history and postural analysis.  DT-1 covers treatment approaches for injuries and dysfunctions of the neck and spine.   Ten 60-minute Student Spa sessions are required for this class.

Prerequisites:  MT-101

Deep Tissue 2:  DT-2

37 hours

Same as DT-1 but covers approaches for injuries and dysfunctions of the shoulder, arm and hand.  Ten 60-minute Student Spa sessions are required for this class.

Prerequisites:  MT-101

Deep Tissue 3:  DT-3

37 hours

Same as DT-1 but covers approaches for injuries and dysfunctions of the hip, leg and foot.  Ten 60-minute Student Spa sessions are required for this class.

Prerequisites:  MT-101

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Business Law & Allied Modalities: 70 Hours
Course Description

Business & Law:  B&L

20 hours

In our comprehensive business classes, we discuss the career opportunities available in this growing field, the pros and cons of each and methods of ensuring success in future business endeavors.  We also explore record-keeping for tax and insurance purposes, time management, professionalism, business ethics, setting fees and policies, start up costs, resumes, business card design, marketing, advertising and public presentation.

Students are required to design a business plan as a final project.  Ongoing support and consultation is offered after graduation to insure success in the business world.  In addition, we cover the laws governing massage therapy in the state of South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and other surrounding states.

Prerequisites:  None

Allied Modalities 1:  AM-1

16 hours

Chair massage is one of the best marketing tools for any massage therapy practice as well as a viable stand-alone business model.  In this class students learn a quick routine for promotional events and a longer routine for paying clients as well as marketing tips and potential venues for chair massage.

Prerequisites:  None

Allied Modalities 2:  AM-2

34 hours

This class is devoted to an overview of the most popular massage and bodywork modalities which can complement a massage therapist’s practice.  These classes will help the student find direction within the field of massage therapy and will further allow them to develop a style truly their own.  Students will explore the use of essential oils, muds and scrubs and create their own custom body treatments.  Five 60-minute Student Spa sessions are required for this class.

Prerequisites:  None

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Student Spa Internship: 185+  hours
Course Description

As part of their coursework, students will perform a minimum of seventy-five (75) 60-minute sessions in the Student Spa.  These sessions will be monitored by the Student Spa Supervisor.  After each session, the client will complete an evaluation form which will be reviewed with the Supervisor.  Student Spa Internship hours are included in each hands-on course in order to allow ample time for the student to complete their graduation requirements.

Intro to Student Spa:  Spa-101

8 hours

Once students have taken Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue or Allied Modalities 2 and the instructor has approved them for practice on the public, Spa-101 is the next step.  This class covers in detail the workings of our student spa and the student’s role in procuring and managing clients in order to satisfy their Student Spa Internship requirements.  Externship contracts and responsibilities are also covered.

Prerequisites:  Per instructor

Student Spa Internship:

In the Student Spa Internship, students develop professionalism by applying information they have learned in class and gain practical experience working with the public in a safe, supportive and supervised setting. In addition, the Internship allows massage and spa services to be experienced by people who would otherwise be unable to afford them. Students are given the opportunity to work on clients with a wide range of ages, cultural backgrounds and body types.

Spa Internship responsibilities include marketing, client intake and communication, appointment confirmation, client check-in, and room set up and clean up.  Students are required to provide a specific number of Swedish massages, deep tissue massages and spa treatments as directed by their instructor.

Prerequisites:  Per instructor

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Externship & Community Service: 45 Hours
Course Description

Externship:

30 hours

Each student will be placed with an extern site of their choice at the direction of their instructor and after completing SPA-101.  This opportunity to be of service in an area of interest will help direct the student and hone his or her massage skills.  Students will be supervised by the on-site employer as well as ISI’s Externship Supervisor.

Prerequisites:  Per instructor

Community Service:

15 Hours

The International Spa Institute is proud to schedule periodic events that require student participation to ensure success and good will.  We will announce these events well in advance and allow students to sign up as their schedules permit.  Most events are held on the weekend and most benefit a charitable organization.

Other events may include chair massage for teachers at various local schools and post-event sports massage at marathons or walks. We encourage students to join us as often as possible, as they are a great networking opportunity for their future careers as successful therapists.

Prerequisites:  Per instructor

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View the Professional Massage Therapy Program calendar.

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