Asian Bodywork and Therapeutic Massage Diploma Program and Course Description (800 HOURS)

Course descriptions are comprehensive. Some variations may occur in course content.

Business, Law and Ethics (60 clock hours)

B101 Ethics (16 clock hours)

This course explores the importance of professional boundaries and complexities of ethical considerations in the hands-on healing service professions. Learn to establish a robust, appropriate framework for therapist and client professional relationships.

B102 Business Fundamentals and Law (36 clock hours)

This course focuses on the importance of a sound business practice and professional image. Legal aspects of clinical practice are discussed along with current regulations and state laws. Marketing, advertising, business plans, risk management, job seeking, and how to start a new practice are also covered.

B103 National Licensure Exam Preparation (8 clock hours)

This class prepares students to take the National Exam. Students can take either the NCETMB or NCETM exam. Passing either exam is required for National Certification and State Licensure.

Hands-On Integration Series (168 clock hours)

H101 Student Clinic (130 clock hours)

This course begins with a review and study of student clinic guidelines, policies, and procedures in preparation for required clinical hours. Students perform therapeutic and relaxation massage, and implement the techniques of Western and Eastern massage in a professional setting. Under instructor supervision, this real world experience helps students develop clinical massage skills, self-confidence, professional communication, and marketing skills. Prerequisites: S103 or W101, faculty massage.

H102 Community Outreach (28 clock hours)

This course begins with leadership and business fundamentals central to students’ success in massage practice. Students role play as well as discuss how to market the massage profession. Students perform massage within the local community, as well as special community events under instructor supervision. This practical experience proves to be successful in helping students to further develop their skills in communicating with the public while benefiting our community.

H103 TuiNa and Acupressure Internship (10 clock hours)

Gain invaluable first-hand experience in a real world setting. Participate in an internship designed to transform theory into practice. Experience the healing process through the application of Eastern theory and techniques. Analyze and evaluate a variety of medical conditions while observing and participating in client intake and treatment alongside acupuncturists and professional massage therapists.

Eastern Massage Techniques and Theory I (123 clock hours total)

E101 Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine (8 clock hours)

This introductory course explores Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a complete medical system that is used to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease, and improve well-being. Based on treating the root of a problem rather than just symptoms or disorders, TCM includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, TuiNa Chinese Medical Massage, Nutrition, and TaiChi Exercise. This course also will cover an introduction to Herbology and an overview of herbal medicine as it fits into the framework of TCM.

E102 TuiNa Techniques (61 clock hours)

TuiNa is a highly sophisticated form of therapeutic massage, developed over thousands of years in China as an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This vigorous massage modality includes many different techniques that are applied to various areas of the body and specific points of the meridians. In this class, students learn more than 50 TuiNa techniques such as rolling, grasping, pressing, rubbing, pushing, kneading, rotating, and stretching. This course includes Dr. Zhou’s Chair Massage Routine, highly practical for short, fully-clothed sessions at public venues. Students also learn the Whole Body TuiNa Routine and complete the Full Body Graded Practical Exam.

E103 Acupressure Point Location and Indication (40 clock hours)

This course covers the location, indications, energetic aspects, and regional anatomy of major acupressure points. Students will learn to precisely hands-on locate acupressure points according to anatomical musculoskeletal terminology. Students learn how to stimulate these points along the meridians using acupressure techniques. The course also covers the medical uses of 120 common acupressure points, 14 major meridians, their pathways, and the interconnection between the meridians.

E104 Movement for Asian Bodywork and Massage Therapists (18 clock hours)

Exercise and movement are integral parts of traditional Chinese medicine. This class introduces the basics of Asian movement forms including TaiChi, QiGong, and Yoga. Students learn how to increase body awareness. Students integrate body, mind, and spirit to continually refresh their inner sources of energy while performing the physically challenging work of massage. This class helps students understand physical and emotional balance, fitness, strength, and correct body mechanics while performing massage.

Eastern Massage Technique and Theory II (129 total clock hours)

E201 Advanced TuiNa Techniques (17 clock hours)

This course teaches students how to apply various accessory tools on specific acupressure points or medical conditions. These techniques will enrich students’ application of TuiNa. These techniques include Moxibustion, Cupping, and Guasha. Each technique is taught with variations, indications, and medical uses. Students will learn these styles to complement their healing routine while giving their hands and wrists a break from intensive hands-on work. All the necessary tools will be supplied including a water buffalo horn, cups, mugwart herb and moxa.

E202 Advanced Acupressure Point Location and Indication (24 clock hours)

Students perform hands-on review of acupressure point locations and applications. Students learn strategies to combine multiple acupressure points to treat specific conditions and methods to stimulate the points to create a therapeutic effect. Dr. Zhou’s Acupressure, Meridian, and Qi Balancing Routine is taught in this course.
Prerequisite to this course E103

E203 Theory of Eastern Medicine (56 clock hours)

This course explains theoretical and philosophical concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine including the inner connections between body, mind, and spirit. The classes cover numerous theories including Qi Balance, Yin Yang Harmony, the Five Phases, Six External Pernicious Influences, the Seven Emotions, the Eight Principle, and Internal Organ Equality Patterns, diet theory, the Eight Principle Patterns of Disharmony, coldinduced disorders, and warm disease theory. Additional study and detailed discussion is given to organ physiology and causes of disease in TCM.

E204 TuiNa and Therapeutic Massage for Medical Conditions (32 clock hours)

Expanding on a general understanding of TuiNa application and medical uses, students learn Dr. Zhou’s TuiNa treatment protocols for specialized treatment of many common medical conditions including headache, lower back pain, fibromyalgia, depression, and arthritis. This class also reviews Western pathologies and anatomy, Eastern medical theory, and TuiNa techniques.
Prerequisite to this course: E101, E102 and E202

Eastern Massage Technique and Theory III (36 total clock hours)

E301 Chai Qiao (4 clock hours)

Chai Qiao is an ancient Tuina modality. It is a type of walking-stretching deep massage by using toes, heals, and planter of the foot. The technique will give students another perspective of massage practice by using feet and entire body weight. This class covers specific Chai Qiao techniques by the foot on various acupressure points and large muscle groups. This technique allows the practitioner to work on meridians and various acupressure points.

E302 Zen Shiatsu (12 clock hours)

Shiatsu means “finger pressure.” Japanese bodywork is based on TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), using finger or thumb pressure to stimulate the meridians. Shiatsu integrates meridian therapy, point selection and corrective exercises to help improve overall well-being. The focus of Zen Shiatsu is on the meridian lines. This course covers various Shiatsu techniques on the specific acupressure meridians. Students begin class with warm-up exercises to open the meridians. This helps to develop a grounded and clear approach to bodywork.

E303 Thai Massage (12 clock hours)

Traditional Thai Massage, and Thai Yoga Bodywork incorporates elements of reflexology (pressure points on feet, hands, head, and face) with compression on energy lines by using palms, thumbs, elbows, and other parts of the body. Thai massage utilizes assisted yoga postures to stretch and relax the body, as well as to tone muscles and internal organs. This course covers varieties of Thai stretching-pressing techniques by using different part of the body. Students will learn treatment on padded floor mats as well as how to adjust techniques for the massage table.

E304 Foot Reflexology (8 clock hours)

This course consists of introduction to both Eastern and Western techniques in Foot Reflexology. Students will learn the theory and basic principles of foot reflexology. Commonly used foot reflex points and entire foot reflexology routines are covered in the course. This course allows students to learn basic foot reflexology techniques and to apply these techniques to the whole body massage practice.

Western Massage Theory and Techniques Series I (48 total clock hours)

Swedish Massage Techniques and Theory I (40 clock hours)

Techniques and Theory I provides an introduction to western massage through history, proper terminology, and effects of massage. Students develop skills for critical analysis in assessment and massage session planning based on client intake, histories, assessment findings, client goals, and client response to application of massage and bodywork techniques. Students explore Swedish and western massage techniques while learning self-care strategies and body mechanics to enhance bodywork and massage therapy skills.

W102 Psychology of Touch (4 clock hours)

Psychology of Touch explores how the psychological life of the body affects massage therapy, the therapeutic relationship, and how the massage therapist can offer a safe and supportive connection for the client. The purpose of this introductory class is to explore the inseparable Body/Mind matrix and the ethical stance this requires. Students acquire an understanding of the various responses clients may have to touch as well as how to appropriately handle these responses within the therapeutic massage session.

W103 Soft Skills (4 clock hours)

Skillful communication is the foundation of healthy relationships and thriving practices. Regardless of the technique used, it is done in relation with the other person. Good communication is a two way process that involves an exchange of ideas, emotions, and attitudes. This course highlights key communication concepts and explores how to offer simple and attentive presence to clients.

W104 Special Populations (4 clock hours)

This course gives an introduction of the benefits, effects, indications, and contraindications of massage to special population clients such as pregnant women and cancer patients. Specific massage techniques and methods related to special populations will also be covered in this class. Prerequisite to this course is W101.

Western Massage Techniques and Theory II (32 total clock hours)

W201 Deep Tissue (20 clock hours)

Theory of trigger points, basic muscle function, physiological laws, and anatomy palpation comprise the core of Deep Tissue massage. This hands-on course is subdivided into four body areas: Cervical and Cranial, Shoulder and Upper Extremities, Torso, and Lower Extremities. Each body area is given special attention, covering indications and contraindications for common malfunction in the muscle groups.
Prerequisite to this course W101

W202 Sports Massage (8 clock hours)

Students learn massage techniques and theories as they relate to sporting injuries, performance, and prevention. This course discusses practical skills for working with athletes. This class includes performing a 1 hour therapeutic session for an athlete. Prerequisite to this course is W101.
Prerequisite to this course is W101.

W203 Hydrotherapy/Spa (4 clock hours)

This class gives an overview of hot and cold hydrotherapy techniques. Indication and contraindications of the hot and cold therapy will be discussed in the class. Specific spa treatment techniques are also included in the class. This class will include a field trip to a local spa.
Prerequisite to this course is W101.

W204 Clinical Aromatherapy (4 clock hours)

Clinical Aromatherapy provides instruction and demonstration on the use of therapeutic essential oils for massage and bodywork, therapist self-care, and client home-care. The benefits, indications, and contraindications of essential oils are discussed in class.

Western Massage Techniques and Theory III (20 total clock hours)

W301 Integrated Craniosacal, Myofascial Bodywork (20 clock hours)

This course examines different applications of manual therapy and enhances knowledge of diverse massage techniques. Students apply techniques and learn the point that these techniques change. Students gain a basic understanding of the principles of Cranioscral system and Myofascial system and techniques for whole body treatment. Students are assigned a case study which employs the development of a treatment plan, use of relevant techniques and professional feedback.

Western Science Series (172 total clock hours)

S101 Musculoskeletal Anatomy (32 clock hours)

Musculoskeletal Anatomy overviews the muscle and skeletal system of the body. This course provides a functional education for the massage therapist. Lecture and demonstration are followed by students discussing, identifying, and palpating components of the human musculoskeletal system in class.

S102 Practical Anatomy (12 clock hours)

Practical Anatomy emphasizes the study of the most common anatomical areas of the human body which a massage therapist will analyze and treat through hands-on review of musculoskeletal anatomy. Students solidify their knowledge of muscle origin, insertion, and action in a practical working format, preparing students for clinical interactions with clients.

S103 Clinical Pathology (8 clock hours)

Clinical Pathology is an introduction to pathology covering common disorders a massage therapist may encounter in clinic and their practice. Massage contraindications and universal precautions are discussed.

S104 Kinesiology and Body Structure Assessment (40 clock hours)

Kinesiology is an introduction to the study of human movement. Classes include lecture, discussion, demonstration, and identification of the components of the human musculoskeletal system as it pertains to movement. The class combines kinesiology, theory, and hands-on practice. Students are given tools for posture and gait analysis. This in-depth body structure assessment allows students to begin analyzing abnormalities in body structure.

S105 Anatomy and Physiology (48 clock hours)

This course includes lecture, discussion, demonstration, and identification of the components of the organ systems that make up the human body. Students learn medical terminology while studying anatomy and physiology pertaining to individual organ systems and to the human body as a whole.

S106 Pathology (32 clock hours)

Pathology is the study of dysfunction within the body. Students learn signs and symptoms of various conditions encountered in the clinical setting. Building on knowledge and skills of anatomy and physiology, students learn to identify and analyze common conditions. Pathology provides the skills to assess the appropriateness of massage for the client.