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Subject Descriptions

The following provides a brief description of each subject in the Program. It is understood that the hours of class time may be adjusted to create added support in a particular subject area to meet the knowledge needs of each class. The objective is ‘overall competency’. Attendance is required for all scheduled classes.

Advanced Techniques

This course will enhance the student’s knowledge of specific techniques, which will include joint play, trigger points, pain referral patterns and stretching techniques.


A comprehensive study of human anatomy with detailed emphasis placed on those structures, which will be encountered on a day-to-day basis, in a massage clinical setting. This training includes a detailed understanding of the body’s structure, tissues, joints and muscles.

Business Skills

Provides a fundamental foundation for the management and operation of a successful small business within the focus of the health care profession. This course will cover Canadian business practices, legislation and how to set up a clinic and operate it from a practical perspective. The student will also learn the components of developing a viable business plan.

Client Assessment
This course will provide the student with the skills essential for accurate client assessment. The assessment will include neuromusculoskeletal problems, precautions, contraindications, treatment plan design, and evaluation. Discussions on accurate record keeping and the importance of timely referral to other health care professionals will also occur.

Clinical Participation – Skill Development

The International Academy of Massage is dedicated to graduating excellent massage therapists, who are able to determine the primary cause of client health complaints as they relate to the massage therapy scope of practice through their assessment capabilities and to subsequently design & execute a treatment plan, which has received the client’s informed consent.

This sector of study is highly challenging and encompasses the on-site teaching public clinics, corporate/hospital/community outreach clinics, sports events and special events.

Hands on experience will support the classroom presentation of all academics and massage related topics.

These clinical situations create the environment where RMT Faculty guide student learning, helping them hone skills in formulating valid clinical impressions, designing effective treatments to address client needs, alleviating client symptoms through the application of a variety of massage techniques and basic hydrotherapy modalities, as well as the charting of client records and record maintenance.

The ‘444’ Hour Plan

To help create a picture of the various clinical activities, which make up the requirements, the following is provided for guidance (these may be adjusted by the Program Director during the program, at his/her sole discretion, in order to meet identified needs of the class)

Clinical ‘444’

On-Site Participation:

Supervised On-siteClinics – 108*

Supervised Assessment Clinics – 20

Semester 4 – Client Case Study – 44

Semester 6 – Client Case Study – 44

Supervised Mentor Practicals – 12

Community /Saturday Clinical – 12

Sr.Student Wellness Clinic  – 12        252


Semester Class Off-sites – 144

In Semester 5 a student will participate in approx. 12 hours of Prenatal/Post birth practice

Sports Events – 24*

Treatments/Specialized Care – 24*

Total Supervised Hands-on Requirements:                       444

* Minimum hours – student may exceed, subject to availability, without additional tuition fees.

Clinical participation: A student will become eligible after semester 1and successful completion of an oral practical test. SR. Student Wellness Clinic eligibility will occur in Semester 5 & 6.

Communications and the Healthcare Practitioner

A professional health care provider, in today’s world, must be highly proficient in his/her communication skills and be mindful that they have a responsibility to be aware of and use expected standards for effective communication practices with clients, peers and other health care practitioners.

This course provides the foundation for students to build on as they engage their clients and work with their peers, in the public teaching clinic environment.

This course will examine all aspects of communication with emphasis on self-awareness and communication with others in specific therapeutic settings. It will also discuss Critical Thinking and how to use various problem solving techniques.

Ethics and the Healthcare Professional

This course is designed to introduce students to the professional role and commitment of practitioners as regulated healthcare professionals. The focus is on developing the student’s ability to understand the professional role and commitment necessary to meet the ethical requirements of professional practice and to aid in developing a skill in decision making.

First Aid & CPR

Course training allows participants to arrive & assess an injury at the first response and aid people in distress, to apply First Aid and CPR techniques. At the conclusion of this specific training, the student will receive a First Aid certificate at the Academy’s Graduation ceremonies


Presents students with knowledge of the effects, uses, constraints and contraindications of water therapy. Students will gain a thorough understanding of the physiological actions of applying hot and cold treatments and the most appropriate application of hydrotherapy techniques.

Law & the Regulations

This course will help the student to recognize and to analyze ethical issues encountered in his/her role as an RMT, and his/her role as a business proprietor. The program will impart an awareness of legal and ethical considerations and responsibilities beyond simply meeting the minimum legal requirements.


This course is directed towards regaining and maintaining health to maximize the benefits of massage. Students will receive an entry level of understanding of the bio-energetic and bio-chemical basis of a nutritional program. Students will study the characterization of the roles of macro & micro nutrients, the role of fibre and the application of integrative nutritional concepts.


This area of study will provide a general level of understanding of the pathological and alteration of normal physiological patterns of disease and injury states. Students will receive instruction concerning the clinical implication for massage therapists of pathological occurrences/conditions and when to refer and communicate such conditions to other health care professionals. Emphasis will be placed on providing information to the students on specific pathological definitions, etiology, signs and symptoms that are commonly encountered in clinical practice.


With over 144 hours of in-class discussion, the student will gain a sound knowledge of all aspects of human physiology with emphasis on both the neuromusculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems, nature of homeostatic mechanisms and gain an appreciation of the nature of physiological occurrences. This will enable the student to conceptualize the application and effects of massage techniques and modalities.

Professional Development

Attributes to successfully fulfilling the role of a health care professional. Proven formulas to help the graduate step comfortably into the role of a practicing massage therapist. The content is presented as complementary subject matter to Business Skills, Communication, Ethics, and Research 1/Interpretive Studies

Integrative Studies

Provides students with an insight into related health disciplines of health and an understanding of the importance for client-centered health care. The course will introduce the student to the broad picture of available health care services, so that the requests for information can be easily and effectively addressed.

Remedial Exercise & Kinesiology

This course will provide a basic level of understanding of human movements and biomechanics. Students will learn the various types of exercise plays in a massage treatment program.

Research 1/Interpretive Studies

The field of research in therapeutic massage is an important step in the professional development of massage in the modern contexts of health care. The subject matter will focus on identifying various types of research methods, the principal elements of statistical analysis and an understanding of how to access and evaluate research studies, general documentation and magazine or periodical articles. During the second half of the program, students will participate in small group research projects to be completed on a co-operative study basis. Each group will select a topic from a range of subjects and complete a qualitative & quantitative paper that exhibits a reasonable depth of research through the review of printed resources &/or mini-surveys &/or experiments.

Swedish Massage Techniques

The study of several Swedish massage techniques, in order to learn the proper performance and effective application with a broad repertoire of expertise. The student will learn chair massage table massage and sports massage techniques.


Communication in the Health Care environment is a vital key to high performance and recognition by others in the medical community and it creates a professional image. A significant focus is placed on the understanding, writing and pronouncing of medical terms as they relate to Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology, as well as, the value of understanding the use of prefixes and suffixes. These two modules are important attributes to those areas of study. Students will gain a working knowledge of terminology used in the profession.


This course presents a body of knowledge, which is the basis of the practice of massage therapy. It will function as a companion course to Techniques, Treatments and other Practicum subjects, providing a theoretical foundation of the practical training. It will examine the current understanding of the physiological effects of massage therapy, integrating academic subjects, clinical issues and practice. It is also designed to help students approach their work in a sensitive, reasoning manner and to consider the client as a whole person. Students will gain a working knowledge of terminology used by the profession.


Students will discuss the treatment of pathological conditions and occurrences, with specific focus on neuromusculoskeletal issues most commonly seen by massage therapists. The course will develop the student’s abilities in the design of treatment objectives, treatment plan, application of his/her massage expertise and related techniques to specific conditions.

This module also integrates Pathology and Theory, as well as Client Assessment, Remedial Exercise and Hydrotherapy courses. The process includes an outline of involved structures, treatment objectives, design of a treatment plan, its implementation and client self care. Emphasis on good record management is included with cross-reference to Business Skills, Professional Ethics, Professional Regulations and Clinic Outreach sessions.

Students, from time to time, may also be introduced to subject material that will enhance their overall knowledge, such as chair, infant and geriatric massage. Additionally, some emphasis is placed upon the student’s own health and his/her personal responsibility towards good health.

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