Massage Therapy Program
A total of five courses, the Anatomy/Physiology/Pathology series offers an integrative approach to providing a basic foundation in anatomy, physiology, and pathology. By combining all three disciplines into one course, students are able to assimilate structure, function, and dysfunction in a single learning environment. Application of these concepts to the practice of massage, and the effects of massage, are emphasized throughout. These courses also introduce terminology, concepts of health and wellness, and tools of assessment. This series does have required textbooks.
Kinesiology - Lower & Upper Body
These two courses advance students' understanding of the principles of kinesiology – the mechanics of human movement. Students will study specific muscle actions and coordinated movements with an emphasis on either the lower or upper body. These courses do have a required textbook. Both Introduction to Palpation courses must be completed as a prerequisite.
Massage and Practical Application
Community Student Clinic
Community Student Clinic reinforces the massage skills learned in hands-on classes by offering students a chance to practice on varied populations, increasing confidence and allowing for networking with potential clients and employers. A variety of opportunities and options for community service are available, and required hours may be spread among a number of approved public agencies. Students will also take what they have learned in the classroom into a massage studio, where they will treat paying clients from the public.
Essentials of Acupressure
A survey of Chinese medicine and its application to massage, this class introduces traditional Chinese meridians, their functions and methods for treatment, and how to incorporate acupressure techniques into massage therapy. Other concepts explored include yin and yang, Qi, and the five phases. This class is the ideal starting point for students who are interested in learning acupressure and is highly recommended for students who plan to take the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork as their written exam for licensure.
Introduction to Communication
Communication is a key to being both a successful student and a successful massage therapist. In this class, students will consider their own communication styles and will discuss how to most constructively communicate with their classmates and instructors. Students will also explore the power of non-verbal communication and how it relates to the giving and receiving of touch. Materials are provided.
Introduction to Palpation - Lower & Upper Body
In these introductory, hands-on courses, students learn and practice palpation of bony landmarks and the origin and insertion of muscles. Anatomical terminology is presented and modeled, and students learn muscle actions and joint movements. This is a first term course and has a required textbook.
Laws and Ethics
This class asks students to engage with the particular ethical challenges faced by touch practitioners, and utilizes an emotional intelligence framework to encourage self-reflection in order to solidify boundaries and values. Students are also introduced to the laws that regulate the massage profession in Oregon. Students must have completed at least Massage II and Introduction to Communication as prerequisites. Materials are provided.
This course explores the history and principles of massage. The practical application of massage techniques is emphasized. Students will learn basic strokes, practitioner preparation techniques, and treatment procedures. Anatomical terms as well as the location of major muscles and bones are also reinforced. Students will need to bring sheets to the first class. Introduction to Palpation is recommended concurrent to this class. There is a required textbook.
This course deepens students' ability to develop and improve their massage skill and efficiency, both through new skill acquisition and through self-exploration. Students will be introduced to the practice of qigong as an avenue into embodiment and experiential learning that can bring new understanding to the therapeutic approach. Swedish massage skills will also be developed, adding nuance to use of pressure, rhythm, movement, and transition. Sheets are required for the first class.
Deep tissue techniques are the focus of this course, and several varieties are discussed, demonstrated, and practiced. Non-Swedish practices, such as and Thai massage and craniosacral therapy, are also introduced and explored. Students will need to bring sheets to the first class.
This course familiarizes students with new skills for taking client histories, and introduces evaluation with an emphasis on manual resisted muscle testing as well as the treatment and management of various injuries and pain. Mechanisms of injury, relevant anatomy, and treatment techniques – such as basic trigger point therapy and myofascial release – are presented. This class is not designed to train students to diagnose neuromusculoskeletal conditions. Students will need sheets and required textbooks for the first class.
This course introduces more advanced connective tissue techniques and presents real-world scenarios that engage students in problem solving and injury care strategies to help them create integrative sessions and well-developed treatment plans. Students will also further their evaluation, analysis, and intake skills. Students will need sheets for the first class.
This last course in the Massage series presents hydrotherapy techniques, pregnancy and pediatric massage essentials, and reflexology. At the end of the term, students will work together to make decisions about testing and prepare their exam applications. An American Heart Association CPR class (CPR certification is a requirement for massage licensure in Oregon) is included in this course. Sheets are required for the first class.
In this course, students learn a variety of methods for managing and promoting a successful massage therapy practice. Essential business tools are discussed, including: charting, insurance billing, bookkeeping, taxes, marketing, and networking. This course has a required textbook.
Other Courses offered for Massage Students
CPR for Massage Students
Students will receive the American Heart Association's two-year certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The Oregon Board of Massage Therapists requires all Massage Therapists to have current CPR certification at the time of application for initial license or renewal.
LMT Practice Lab
Practice Lab is available so that massage students can use school facilities to practice their hands-on skills outside of class time. Lab hours are posted the second week of each term and pre-registration is required. An instructional aide is available to answer questions and provide guidance. Students must bring their own sheets and supplies.
Practical Exam & Palpation Review Intensives - Lower & Upper Body
These intensive, end-of-program classes bring a hands-on focus to the most difficult-to-demonstrate muscles required by the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists for the practical exam. Students will review origins, insertions, and actions, as well as appropriate draping skills, taking turns as giver and receiver. Sheets are required. The Lower Body class also includes a practical exam review that offers students a chance to ask questions and strategize.
This Recommended Course of Study is a guide for completing the program in six terms.
For many students, the program may take longer to complete.