Therapeutic Massage Practitioner

The world of massage therapy is growing in respectability as its therapeutic and restorative benefits are recognized.

PTI's Therapeutic Massage Practitioner program prepares graduates with a range of techniques, knowledge of anatomy, and hours of hands-on practice at an on-site massage lab, Saturday clinics, and off-site massage events. PTI students gain additional experience and confidence by completing an internship prior to graduation in preparation for professional licensure.

Key Benefits

  • Instructors who have worked or continue to work in the massage field provide up-to-date insight on industry trends, clientele attitudes, and new products.
  • An on-site massage lab simulates real-world settings complete with privacy bays, a private dressing area, massage tables and chairs and products.
  • A full schedule of Saturday clinics affords students the opportunity to practice clinical protocols and gain experience interacting with the general public.
  • PTI's program includes different modalities including chair massage, Swedish massage and deep tissue.
  • PTI's special focus on massage for special populations including pregnancy and infant massage instruction, geriatric massage, and palliative care, and an Aromatherapy class that covers oil basics, its effect on the skin, and ways to add this modality to massage service delivers broad-based massage training.
  • Students review theoretical skills and prepare for the MBLEX or NCBTMB national exams in Medical Seminar class.


 

More about this program

Key Skills
Certifications
Courses
Employment
Careers
Tuition, Loan Debt & Graduate Information
  • Key Skills

    • Adjusting massage routines to client schedules and needs
    • Applying stroke, touch, pressure, stretching, and movement
    • Assessing posture, soft tissue condition, muscle strength, and range of motion
    • Blending techniques for oil application
    • Identifying factors that cause and contribute to illness and injury
    • Keeping accurate records
    • Maintaining a safe and hygienic environment
    • Performing a chair massage
    • Performing a massage incorporating stone application
    • Sanitary hand washing and equipment cleaning
    • Table preparation, intake procedures, greeting customers, and handling payments
  • Certifications

    • PTI's massage program prepares students to take either the MBLEX (Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam) or the NCBTMB (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork) exam. Pennsylvania accepts both exams as part of its state licensure process.
    • PTI students will sign up and take one of these exams during their final quarter of the massage program to ensure they can apply for their license upon graduation.
    • If you plan on practicing in a state other than Pennsylvania, please check that state's licensure requirements as you may need to meet additional requirements.

    The pass rate for first-time PTI Therapeutic Massage Practitioner MBLEX test takers as reported by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) is 76.5% for the 2014 calendar year. For the same time period, the state and national pass rates for first-time test takers are 72.7% and 73% respectively.

  • Courses

    PROGRAM CONCENTRATION

    Anatomy & Physiology 1
    This course introduces the student to concepts of anatomy and physiology. This course includes an introduction to structural units of the body, cellular function, and basic pharmacological principles. Systems to be examined include: the integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, nervous, sensory system, reproductive system.
    Anatomy & Physiology 2
    This course is a systemic review of human biology with emphasis on homeostatic mechanisms that allow for normal anatomic and physiologic function. References will be made to pathological conditions when appropriate. Topics of discussion will include blood, cardiovascular, lymphatic and immunology, respiratory, urinary, digestive, and reproductive systems along with fluid/electrolyte and acid-base balance mechanisms. Prerequisites: Successful completion of NUR103, NUR108, NUR111 AND NUR113. Co-requisite: NUR119.
    Spa Modalities
    Students will continue the practice of Swedish massage strokes, touch, pressure and movement of the soft tissues of the human body. The history of spas, spa etiquette and spa treatments are included as part of wellness model. Students will apply various body masks, mud wraps and exfoliation treatments to enhance the health and well-being of the client. This course will introduce and develop the student’s ability to perform a chair massage routine utilizing massage techniques in varying amounts of time. Students will discover how to refine their body mechanics to allow for multiple chair massage treatments per day. Students will practice the external application of water, heat, and cold and other topical preparations. As an adjunct to the healing process, students will be introduced to aromatherapy, essential oil application, and blending techniques.
    Pregnancy and Infant Massage
    This course is designed to review the physiology and pathology related to the needs of infants and pregnant women. Students will be presented with proper intake procedures and a variety of modalities to meet those specialized needs. Prerequisite: TMP152.
    Clinic 1
    This course will provide students with practical hands on experience in a supervised public clinic setting. Students will utilize material covered in first quarter classes to perform support staff duties, such as cashier, table preparation, intake procedures, and greeter. Student clinics will be completed on 4 Saturdays throughout the quarter.
    Introduction to Massage
    This course introduces the student to the concept of professional touch. Included are the history of massage and the identification of the professional, legal and ethical boundaries associated with the therapist’s scope of practice. Students will gain knowledge in accurate record keeping, informed consent, intake and assessment procedures, massage indications and contraindications, endangerment sites and massage tools. Students will learn to create and maintain a safe and hygienic environment for the practice of massage, as well as, communication skills and self-care techniques.
    Clinic 2
    This course will provide students with practical hands on experience in a supervised public clinic setting. Students will utilize knowledge gained in the prior quarter to provide massage therapy services. Student clinics will be completed on four Saturdays throughout the quarter. Prerequisite: TMP152.
    Kinesiology
    This course introduces the student to the basic anatomy of the muscular system. Subjects to be covered include bones and bony landmarks of the body. This course incorporates muscle palpation as a direct approach to understanding the origin, insertion and action of the muscles of the body.
    Clinic 3
    This course will provide students with practical hands on experience in a supervised public clinic setting. Students will utilize knowledge gained in prior quarters to provide massage therapy services. Student clinics will be completed on four Saturdays throughout the quarter.
    Swedish Massage
    This course introduces the application of a system of structured Swedish massage strokes, touch, pressure and movement of the soft tissues of the human body. Students are introduced to proper body mechanics, table mechanics, sanitary hand washing and equipment cleaning techniques. Students will be introduced to the superficial musculature and bony landmarks encountered during Swedish massage. Students will be able to perform a Swedish massage in varying amounts of time to enhance the health and well-being of the client.
    Pathology
    This course will familiarize students with pathological conditions which are commonly encountered in the field of massage therapy. Students will identify factors that cause and contribute to illness and injury. Students will explore traditional treatment approaches, the benefits of massage, and contraindications for massage therapy. Students will utilize information learned to structure massage sessions accordingly into their practice.
    Business Ethics
    This hybrid course provides the student with knowledge of basic business and ethical concepts needed in the massage therapy profession. Topics include common business practices and structures; advantages and disadvantages of being self-employed; basic principles of accounting and bookkeeping; and federal, state, and local regulations as they apply to massage therapy. Written and verbal communication will be analyzed to enhance student professionalism. Students will learn essentials of writing resumes, cover letters, and thank you letters. Students will continue to explore the professional relationship, and legal and ethical boundaries associated with the massage therapy profession.
    Medical Massage
    This course is designed to review the physiology and pathology related to the needs of clients with medical needs. Students will be presented with a variety of modalities to meet the specialized needs of various populations. Populations explored in this course include clients diagnosed with cancer or HIV/AIDS, clients who are elderly or on hospice and palliative care, massage for clients with physical disabilities and massage for survivors of trauma and abuse. Prerequisite: TMP152.
    Clinical Massage
    This course is designed to teach students assessment techniques in evaluating posture, muscle imbalances, and movement dysfunction patterns. To reinforce the knowledge of kinesiology, students will learn to apply facilitated stretching techniques to muscles/muscle groups. This course will explore theories on stretching and muscle energy techniques designed to treat soft tissue manifestations of the human body. Students will analyze the physiological processes of soft tissue pathologies. Students will reinforce competence by integrating massage and assessment techniques to address soft tissue manifestations throughout the healing process. Prerequisites: TMP141, TMP152 and TMP246.
    Deep Tissue Massage
    This course will build upon TMP152 Swedish Massage and enhance massage therapy treatment outcomes and client goals. Deep tissue massage is a technique that involves the integration of a variety of techniques such as myofascial release, trigger point and neuromuscular therapy techniques. Students will apply anatomy, physiology and pathology concepts while practicing deep tissue techniques. Students will develop communication skills to understand and enhance massage therapy treatment outcomes and client goals. This course includes an introduction of deep tissue techniques used to treat the pain caused by myofascial and muscular dysfunction. Prerequisites: TMP141 and TMP152
    Massage Seminar
    This course is designed to explore the role of the massage therapist within the framework of the healthcare profession. This course will provide assistance to the student in the transition from student to professional massage therapist. The course will prepare students to take the certification or licensure exam. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all massage therapy courses.
    Steps to Career Success 1
    The purpose of this course is to acclimate students to the available resources to maintain their focus on achieving career goals. The course is scheduled for all students in the 1st quarter, one hour per week.
    Internship
    The Internship is a cooperative effort between the Institute and the professional community. It is designed to provide the students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learned in their major in a related working environment. This internship requires 240 hours work experience.
  • Employment

    PTI Therapeutic Massage Practitioner graduates are prepared for entry-level positions at:

     

    • Chiropractor Offices
    • Corporate Settings
    • Cruise Lines
    • Day Spas and Salons
    • Fitness Centers
    • Health and Wellness Centers
    • Hospitals
    • Hotels and Resorts
    • Outpatient Clinics
    • Physical Therapy Departments
    • Physician Offices
    • Private Clinics
    • Private Practices
    • Rehabilitative Clinics
    • Senior Care Facilities
    • Sports Organizations
  • Careers

    PTI offers a comprehensive Career Services Department with a dedicated staff who will assist you in your career search. Companies that have previously hired PTI graduates include:

    • American Back Center LLC
    • Body Bar
    • Brandon Lucas MT
    • Brennan Chiropractic
    • Dr. Webb and Associates
    • Esthetics Salon
    • Evolve Massage and Wellness Center
    • Gobbie Chiropractic
    • Health Alternatives
    • Ivywood Wellness Spa
    • Keystone Family Chiropractic
    • Osiris Wellness & Day Spa
    • Market Street Manor
    • Massage Envy
    • Natural Resources Day Spa
    • Russ Medical & Sports Massage
    • Scott Medical Center PC
    • Spa-Nique
    • Synergy Fitness & Spa
    • Wexford Wellness Care
    • Wheeling Spine Center

    Applicants for the Therapeutic Massage Technician program must pass a required background check. Some employers may require a background check and drug screening prior to employment.

  • Tuition, Loan Debt & Graduate Information

    For graduation rates and other important consumer information regarding this program, please click on the link below:

    United States Department of Education Gainful Employment Data


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