Academic Calendar

MTST – Massage Therapy

MTST 108
Massage Therapy Foundations
2 Credits          Weekly (2-0-0)

Students gain fundamental knowledge about the massage therapy profession including history, standards of practice, adjunctive therapies, as well as current and future trends. Students explore the roles and responsibilities of a massage therapist and the importance of inter-professional collaboration. Medical terminology used in the study of anatomy, physiology, massage theory and techniques is also covered.

MTST 109
Palpation Lab
1 Credit          Total (5-10-0)

Developing well refined tactile abilities is an essential skill for a massage therapist. Palpation lab is kinesthetic course focusing on locating important anatomical landmarks including muscle, bone, joints, nerves, arteries and ligaments. Reinforcing musculoskeletal knowledge, this course develops the skills to accurately palpate and identify common anatomical structures of the human body as well as differentiate between normal and abnormal findings.

Prerequisites or Co-requisites: MTST 120.

MTST 115
Functional Survey for Massage Therapists
1 Credit          Weekly (1-1-0)

Information and techniques to provide a functional survey of the wellness status of clients seeking massage therapy are presented. Students learn to differentiate normal and abnormal findings and recognize clinical manifestations of abnormal findings. Hygiene and safety issues are addressed.

MTST 120
Human Anatomy I
3 Credits          Weekly (3-1-0)

This course is an in-depth study of the anatomical structures of the head, neck, trunk, abdomen, upper and lower extremities. The components of the musculoskeletal system and arthrology are examined in detail.  Palpation skills are developed through surface anatomy labs which involve exploration of major bony and soft tissue landmarks.

MTST 122
Human Anatomy II
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Students develop an understanding of the subcategories of anatomy including structural organization, body cavities, the cell, and tissues of muscle, nerve and bone.  Students explore the structure and function of the major systems of the body including: cardiovascular, lymphatic and immune, respiratory, nervous, endocrine, gastrointestinal, urinary, reproductive and integumentary systems.  Students are introduced to the special senses.

MTST 125
Physiology I
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

An introduction to the physiology of the body is provided. The nervous, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and protective systems are emphasized to explain the relationships between body fluid distribution, sensory stimulation, and the modulation of pain perception.

MTST 126
Physiology II
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

The physiology of the nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, and immune systems and how these systems co-regulate the functioning of the body is discussed in detail. Hormonal and autonomic control of the respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems are emphasized along with an examination of the special senses.

Prerequisites: MTST 125.

MTST 131
Techniques I
3 Credits          Total (30-30-30)

This course examines the principles, procedures and techniques involved in providing a wellness massage therapy treatment. Introductory massage techniques, draping, therapist self-care and the use of posture and body mechanics are presented. Students are introduced to SOAP notes, informed consent, hygiene, infection control precautions, indications/contraindications and the principles of massage therapy treatments. Furthermore, students develop and utilize palpation skills in identifying bony landmarks and soft tissues structures.

MTST 137
Developing Therapeutic Relationships
2 Credits          Weekly (2-1-0)

This course provides the student with the fundamental knowledge of ethics involved in the development of therapeutic relationships. The application of communication techniques and client/therapist responses to massage therapy are explored. Through discussion and experiential learning, the following topics are examined: professional boundaries, establishing trust, conflict management, interview skills, cultural differences, self-care, body image, transference and counter-transference and the management of the therapist's personal values in client relationships. This course also explores working relationships with the chronically ill, abuse survivors and emotional situations.

MTST 142
Techniques II
3 Credits          Total (30-30-30)

This course introduces massage therapy treatment principles and soft tissue / postural assessment skills. An in-depth study and practice of myofascial release, skin rolling, friction massage and muscle stripping techniques are developed in the context of a comprehensive massage therapy treatment. Students learn to work with greater tissue sensitivity and treat with increased depth. Prescribing appropriate home care, introductory thermal therapy and principles of therapist self-care are emphasized. Contraindications and fundamentals of professional documentation are also reinforced.

Prerequisites: MTST 115, MTST 120, MTST 125 and MTST 131.

MTST 143
Techniques III
3 Credits          Total (30-30-30)

An in-depth study and practice of thermal therapy, trigger point therapy, Golgi tendon organ, muscle approximation, and origin/insertion techniques are presented in this course. Students learn to recognize contraindications and indications of these treatment modalities as they relate to common pathological conditions. Through experiential learning, students further refine palpation skills required for effective application of these techniques.

Prerequisites: MTST 142, MTST 146.

Prerequisites or Co-requisites: MTST 122.

MTST 146
Body Movements
3 Credits          Total (35-10-0)

An in-depth analysis of the structure and muscle function of human movement and gait is explored in this class. Anatomy of upper and lower extremity joints is reviewed. The physical basis of movement and muscle function is examined. Basic movements and sport activities are analyzed.

Prerequisites: MTST 120.

MTST 151
Research Literacy for Massage Therapists
1 Credit          Weekly (1-0-1)

The basic components of research literacy are covered in this course. Students locate, evaluate and discuss research and professional literature in the context of massage therapy practice. The application of evidence-informed treatment practices and planning to enhance patient care is a major focus.

Prerequisites: MTST 108.

MTST 155
Assessment for Massage Therapists I
2 Credits          Total (25-20-0)

The basic theory of assessment related to the practice of massage therapy is presented. Assessment of the human body (musculoskeletal) including postural and gait assessment, palpation, range-of-motion, muscle testing, sensation and reflex testing is examined in detail. Assessment related to the cervical spine, thoracic spine and upper body are emphasized. Documentation and interpretation of assessment findings are integral components of the course.

Prerequisites or Co-requisites: MTST 120, MTST 146.

MTST 156
Assessment for Massage Therapists II
2 Credits          Total (25-20-0)

The theory and techniques from MTST 155 are expanded with emphasis on the lumbar spine and lower body. Documentation and interpretation of assessment findings are integral components of the course.

Prerequisites: MTST 155.

MTST 161
Clinical Practice I
1 Credit          Total (0-0-45)

This course introduces students to the practice of massage therapy in a supervised clinical setting. Working with the public, students have the opportunity to practice introductory massage therapy techniques and improve skills such as body mechanics, draping, interviewing, informed consent, assessment, recognizing contraindications and the ability to provide basic homecare recommendations.

Prerequisites: MTST 108, MTST 131, MTST 115, and Standard First Aid and Health Care Provider Level C CPR.

MTST 162
Clinical Practice II
1 Credit          Total (0-0-45)

This course builds on the practical experience gained in clinical practice I. In a supervised setting, students focus on providing massage therapy treatments to a variety of clients. This course offers an opportunity to practice advanced techniques, alternate positioning and sequencing, introductory assessment procedures, charting skills, treatment plan development and prescribe basic self-care. Chair massage is also introduced.

Prerequisites: MTST 161, MTST 146 and MTST 142.

MTST 224
Techniques IV
3 Credits          Total (30-30-30)

Peripheral joint mobilizations, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, static stretching and lymphatic drainage techniques are explained, demonstrated and practiced in this course. An in-depth understanding of the contraindications and indications of these techniques are explored. Techniques are practiced within the context of a comprehensive treatment plan and an understanding of appropriate assessment and technique treatment modifications.

Prerequisites: MTST 143, MTST 155.

Co-requisites: MTST 281.

MTST 225
Techniques V
3 Credits          Total (30-30-30)

The theory and clinical technique of therapeutic exercise and rehabilitation are presented within the context of massage therapy treatment planning.  Case studies are used to facilitate the development of appropriate therapeutic exercise intervention for patients with a variety of musculoskeletal disorders and movement dysfunction.  This course also examines the principles, assessment and techniques for lower extremity peripheral joint mobilizations.

Prerequisites: MTST 224.

Co-requisites: MTST 283.

MTST 226
Techniques VI
3 Credits          Total (30-30-30)

Facilitated by case studies, this course takes an integrative approach allowing students the opportunity to consolidate material learned in the program into comprehensive massage therapy treatment protocols for commonly occurring conditions. The focus is on evaluating research to inform clinical decisions about assessment, treatment planning, and therapeutic exercise components of a massage therapy treatment protocol. The benefits and indications of adjunctive therapeutic modalities are also presented.

Prerequisites: MTST 225 and MTST 283.

MTST 260
Clinical Practice III
1 Credit          Total (0-0-45)

This course involves the application of advanced massage therapy to clients in a supervised setting. The intent is to build on the practical experience and knowledge gained in clinical practice II. This course provides an opportunity to practice advanced techniques on a variety of clinical pathologies and special populations commonly seen by massage therapists. A focus is placed on advanced assessment, treatment planning, application of specialized techniques, and self-care customized to individual clients.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in MTST 162, MTST 155 and MTST 143.

MTST 261
Clinical Practice IV
1 Credit          Total (0-0-45)

This course is the supervised application of therapeutic massage techniques to clients in a clinic setting. Case conferences are conducted at which time students present assessment data treatment plans for individual clients.

Prerequisites: MTST 156, MTST 260, MTST 273, MTST 281, and Standard First Aid and Health Care Provider Level C CPR.

MTST 262
Clinical Practice V
1 Credit          Total (0-0-45)

This course is the final clinical experience in the massage therapy program. The focus of this course is on the application of therapeutic massage techniques to clients with special needs in a supervised clinical setting. Students have the opportunity to develop skills working as part of a health care team through an internship in a hospital setting. Case conferences are conducted at which time students present assessment data and treatment plans for individual clients.

Prerequisites: MTST 283, MTST 261,MTST 274, MTST 225 and Standard First Aid and Health Care Provider Level C CPR.

MTST 265
Business Management for Massage Therapists
2 Credits          Weekly (2-0-0)

An introduction to starting and managing a massage therapy business is presented in this course. Sustainable business practices are explored. From an entrepreneurial view, an emphasis is placed upon practice management, business plan development, marketing and service promotion. Creating a resume and developing interview skills is also addressed.

MTST 273
Massage Therapy for Special Populations I
2 Credits          Total (25-20-0)

The various stages of the human lifespan are studied in this course. Identifying and applying therapeutic massage techniques as part of a comprehensive treatment for healthy populations throughout the lifespan is focused on. The areas of consideration include pregnancy, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and geriatric. Breast massage is also introduced.

Prerequisites: MTST 162 and MTST 143.

MTST 274
Massage Therapy for Special Populations II
2 Credits          Total (25-20-0)

The theory and application of therapeutic massage intervention for clients with special needs is examined in this course. The areas considered include post-surgical conditions, psychiatric, chronic illnesses, deteriorating conditions, severe trauma and palliative care.

Prerequisites: MTST 273.

Prerequisites or Co-requisites: HLST 150.

MTST 281
Treatments and Planning I
2 Credits          Weekly (2-1-0)

Students explore evidence-informed approaches to treatment planning. The components of a massage therapy treatment plan and its relationship to assessment and desired clinical outcomes are explained. This course examines the principles for planning ongoing massage therapy treatment for individuals with various pathological conditions by using case studies for clinical practice.

Prerequisites: MTST 155, MTST 143, MTST 162.

MTST 283
Treatments and Planning II
2 Credits          Weekly (2-1-0)

Building on the knowledge attained in MTST 281, this course involves developing treatment plans for injuries or disorders that affect specific systems of the body. Assessment findings are utilized to make evidence-informed decisions in developing a comprehensive treatment plan. The ability to select appropriate massage techniques and modalities considering patient's stage of life and condition is also covered.

Prerequisites: MTST 281, MTST 224, MTST 260.

MTST 286
Sport Massage
3 Credits          Total (30-20-10)

The focus of this course is on the theory and practice of sport massage. The history of sport massage and role of the sport massage therapist is examined in detail. The indications and contraindications as they relate to sport-specific athletes are addressed as well as sport massage techniques, positioning, , stretching, pre-, inter- and post-event, and training/maintenance massage. A review of common sport injuries, including their assessment and treatment are also discussed in this course.

Prerequisites: MTST 142.

Prerequisites or Co-requisites: MTST 146.