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Massage Therapy & Bodywork Program Certificate

Massage Therapy
Last updated 5/29/2014

Certificate Program Code: 5589

Program Contacts:
QC Campus
Jennifer Johnson, 309-796-5120, johnsonj@bhc.edu


Students planning to pursue this 40-hour college credit certificate program must follow the College curriculum. The completion of the course of study required will satisfy graduation requirements to obtain a certificate. After successful program completion, students will be eligible to take the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam or the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board’s Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination. Successful completion of one of these tests is required before applying for licensure in Iowa or Illinois. Students must achieve grades of “C” or above in all areas in order to receive a certificate.

Students in the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Program will be asked to fill out an application to grant permission to the State of Illinois and any affiliate acting on behalf of the State of Illinois to conduct a criminal history record check in accordance with the Uniform Conviction Information Act. Students must also successfully document and heed all health and background checks required by academic departments and/or clinical sites prior to admission to program and/or courses.

The curriculum for the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Program has been approved by the ICCB (Illinois Community College Board). This intensive program is conducted over three consecutive semesters and is held at the Quad-Cities Campus with a required clinical held off campus. The program prepares individuals for employment as a massage therapy and body work therapist. Students will develop an in-depth understanding of the human body and its interactions.

Designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of massage therapy techniques and bodywork modalities with an emphasis on traditional relaxation massage techniques, the curriculum combines lecture and hands-on practice.

Students will take classes designed to give particular understanding and skills in such areas as basic relaxation massage, chair massage, anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, medical terminology, wellness and stress management, introductory business and ethics. They will also be introduce to various bodywork modalities.

Each application must meet the following requirements:

  • 18 years of age
  • High school graduate or equivalent
  • Prior approval by the coordinator of the program or Academic Advisor
  • Take the COMPASS test or provide transcripts of successfully completed college level courses
  • Must complete Health Care Provider level CPR and complete the required medical information before enrolling in clinic

Massage Therapy & Bodywork Program Certificate
Certificate Program Code: 5589
Course of Study Outline – Suggested Courses (Credit Hours)
Fall Start – First Semester
MASG 100 — Therapy Theory I (10)
MASG 102 — Musculoskeletal Anatomy/Kinesiology (5)

Second Semester
MASG 103 — Human Anatomy/Physiology (5)
MASG 111 — Massage Techniques/Practices I (5)
MASG 112 — Massage Techniques/Practices II (5)

Third Semester
MASG 106 — Pathology (3)
MASG 109 — Therapy Theory & Practice (3)
MASG 110 — Massage Therapy Clinical (4)

Spring Start – First Semester
MASG 100 — Therapy Theory I (10)
MASG 102 — Musculosketeal Anatomy/Kinesiology (5)

Second Semester
MASG 103 — Human Anatomy/Physiology (5)
MASG 111 — Massage Techniques/Practices I (5)

Third Semester
MASG 106 — Pathology (3)
MASG 109 — Therapy Theory & Practice (3)
MASG 110 — Massage Therapy Clinical (4)
MASG 112 — Massage Techniques/Practices II (5)

Total hours required for certificate (40)

Courses for this program include: »

MASG 100 Therapy Theory I
10 cr. hrs.;
10 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: Minimum COMPASS reading score of 65 and instructor consent.
This class will instruct students on technical skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary to function as a professional massage therapist; history of massage therapy; massage and medical terminology; indications and contraindications for massage; hygiene, sanitation, and safety; pre-massage procedures; basic Swedish massage techniques; the dynamics of the fiduciary relationship; effective communication with clients; hands-on experience through trades with peers in the classroom; and the design of a massage therapy session.

MASG 102 Musculoskeletal Anatomy + Kinesiology
5 cr. hrs.;
5 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: Minimum COMPASS reading score of 65 and instructor consent.
Kinesiology is the study of movement of the human body. This course will familiarize students with the anatomy of the body that allows for movement; the skeletal system; the joints; and the muscular system.

MASG 103 Human Anatomy/Physiology
5 cr. hrs.;
5 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: MASG 102 “C” or better and instructor consent.
This course will present the eleven basic systems of the human body. The various structures, functions and pathologies of these systems will be introduced. The emphasis of the class will be on the relation of the systems to massage therapy.

MASG 106 Pathology
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: MASG 103 “C” or better and instructor consent.
The eleven basic systems of the human body and their pathologies will be discussed. Students will study the structure and function of the body in health and disease with an emphasis on how these relate to massage therapy.

MASG 109 Therapy Theory & Practice
3 cr. hrs.;
3 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: MASG 100 and MASG 102 “C” or better and instructor consent.
Students will continue with study and application of theories and techniques learned in the previous massage theory courses. Students will learn about business practices common to the massage therapy field including operating, marketing, and managing a practice. Students will continue to fine tune their hands-on applications. Review and preparation for the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork exam will be covered in great detail.

MASG 110 Massage Therapy Clinical
4 cr. hrs.;
0 lecture hours; 4 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: CPR (Healthcare Provider) background check, medical physical, and instructor consent.
Students will apply the skills learned in previous massage theory courses in a working massage therapy clinic environment. Students are required to complete fifty 50-minute full body massages to complete this course. These massages will be done in a supervised, scheduled environment. The massages are free of charge to the clients who participate, and students are required to do their own marketing and appointment set-up. Students are required to have completed Health Care Provider level CPR and must submit a physical prior to beginning clinic.

MASG 111 Massage Techniques/Practices I
5 cr. hrs.;
5 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisites: MASG 100 and MASG 102 “C” or better and instructor consent.
Students will learn advanced massage therapy and bodywork techniques through lecture and hands on experience through trades with peers in the classroom. Students will be introduced to a number of massage therapy complimentary bodywork modalities and ethical studies.

MASG 112 Massage Techniques/Practices II
5 cr. hrs.;
5 lecture hours; 0 lab hours per week.
Prerequisite: MASG 111 or instructor consent.
Students will continue learning advanced massage therapy and bodywork techniques through lecture and hands on experience through trade and peers in the classroom. Students will be introduced to a number of massage therapy complimentary bodywork modalities. Students will participate in a mock clinic in preparation for MASG 110.


Gainful Employment

Gainful employment is one important measure that students and parents should pay attention to as they examine colleges and programs. All non-degree programs must be designed to lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation in order to be deemed eligible for federal student aid. These programs are generally less than 2 years in length and result in a certificate.

Massage Therapy & Bodywork Program Certificate