The Therapeutic Massage Program, which is approved by the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy (telephone number 334.269.9990; website www.almtbd.state.al.us) is a short-certificate (29 credit hours;720 contact hours) program that prepares students to become successful practicing bodyworkers by giving them broad knowledge of Western theories and techniques. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to apply to take the MBLEX (Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam; website www.fsmtb.org/mblex).
The philosophy of the therapeutic massage program is consistent with the mission and goals of the College. The program provides the curriculum to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for entry level employment in the therapeutic massage profession. The massage faculty embraces the following beliefs:
The teaching-learning process is a shared responsibility between faculty and students where faculty serve as facilitators of learning. The successful teaching-learning process requires an environment that promotes learning, considers the needs of the individual, and provides opportunities for student participation and educational goal attainment. The learning process is based on principles of critical thinking and is enhanced by the presentation of information from simple to complex. Learning is achieved when there is evidence of a change in behavior within the cognitive, affective, and/or psychomotor domains.
Therapeutic massage is a learner-centered process which combines theory and skills to prepare the individual for the practice of massage. Incorporating a program of learning, a variety of instructional methodologies, and available resources, therapeutic massage education fosters competency, accountability and continued professional development. Learning is a life-long process which promotes professionalism and is beneficial for the learner and society.
The mission of the Therapeutic Massage Program is to provide quality educational services that satisfy both the needs in the College service area for massage therapists and the needs of students seeking a relatively short term career education program. These educational services are provided while promoting the highest ethical professional conduct and abiding by the laws, rules and regulations under which the massage therapy profession operates and is regulated by the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy and the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. The faculty is dedicated to ensure that appropriate coursework, technologies and learning environments are available to students. The therapeutic massage program incorporates a curriculum and teaching methodologies that provide students with access to the knowledge, psychomotor skills, attitudes, professional ethics, communication and critical thinking skills and awareness to be effective and competent as entry-level massage therapists. Included in the mission is the provision for continuing education, professional development and personal enrichment for massage therapists as well as for other health care professionals and members of the community.
The educational outcomes of the Therapeutic Massage Program are for students to:
- Utilize knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, musculoskeletal kinesiology and pathology in the application of massage therapy appropriate for each client.
- Demonstrate knowledge in assessing, setting applicable goals, planning appropriate massage techniques and evaluating outcomes for each client.
- Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to perform massages using a variety of techniques applicable as an entry-level massage therapist in a safe, legal and ethical manner.
- Provide a safe environment for the client through recognition of potential hazards and standard precautions, and protecting the client’s privacy.
- Demonstrate principles of body mechanics while providing massages to reduce the risk of injury to self.
- Demonstrate effective communication skills and professional relationships with clients, coworkers, classmates and instructors.
- Demonstrate critical thinking skills required to make ethical decisions and sound clinical judgments.
- Develop a successful business plan.
- Assume responsibility for self-direction, life-long learning, and personal, professional and civic characteristics that promote professional growth.