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Continuing Education

Massage Therapy

Want to work in a thriving healthcare field, help people, and assist them in life changes through work as a massage therapist?  If so, this fast-track program is ideal for you! In just nine months, Blue Ridge Community College’s Massage Therapy Certification Training Program can prepare you to excel in this growing field.

Program Overview

Designed to provide a basic systems overview of the role of the massage therapist in a practical setting, this program focuses on transpersonal massage therapy dedicated to the whole person. In a nurturing environment - through didactic and practical instruction - you are invited to take the time and space needed for deep learning to occur. You’ll explore human anatomy and physiology, personal awareness and communications skills, along with a wide variety of massage modalities. Practical instruction provides hands-on training in the listed modalities, verified through a skills check-off system.

Outcomes and Objectives

After successful completion of this program you will be able to:

  • Identify and locate principal bones/muscles.
  • Describe basic function of each body system.
  • Use medical terminology in written and spoken communication.
  • Define medical conditions, skin pathologies, diseases, and disorders commonly treated or contraindicated in massage therapy.
  • Perform/understand procedures for client safety, charting, universal precautions.
  • Obtain a thorough client intake; design safe, therapeutic session.
  • Perform basic full body massage session.
  • Demonstrate proper positioning/draping of clients.
  • Demonstrate sufficient palpation skills of musculoskeletal system.
  • Demonstrate safe body mechanics.
  • Locate information for contraindications due to conditions & medications.
  • Demonstrate understanding of various massage modalities taught.
  • Identify and problem-solve ethical dilemmas.
  • Understand various psychological terms and concepts.
  • Successfully integrate modalities covered in the curriculum.

Other topics include:

  • Goal-setting, organization, note-taking, and test-taking
  • Communicating to achieve quality customer service
  • Listening, mirroring and parameter-setting in difficult conversations
  • Drafting a resume to clearly communicate your value to an employer

Supply List (items to be provided by student)

  • (2) Massage Table Sheet Sets [Set includes (1) fitted, (1) flat, (1) fitted face rest cover]
  • Blanket
  • Unscented Jojoba (8 oz)
  • Shea Butter (8 oz)
  • Massage Lotion (8 oz)
  • Fingernail Clippers
  • Small Crystal Glass Nail File
  • Bag to carry massage supplies/workbooks
  • Holster for massage lotion bottle

Employment Outlook

Massage Therapists assist with wellness, stress management, injury rehabilitation and health/fitness, and can pursue employment in healthcare, wellness, and spa settings, including private practice.  According to the US Department of Labor, the average national salary for massage therapists (while working 3/4 time) is $34,900. Employment (2010 to 2020) is expected to grow 20%, faster than the national average for most professions.

Program Fee

Included in the $6475 program fee are 636 hours of instruction (including supervised student clinic), textbooks, program materials, certificate of completion, and state certification preparation. 

Financial Assistance

Information on financial assistance >


A Certificate of Completion will be awarded after successful completion of the program and supervised student clinic.  Graduates are qualified to sit for the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) offered through the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.  The MBLEx exam is recognized by the Virginia Board of Nursing, which regulates Massage Therapist certifications.

Student Prerequisites

Minimum 18 years of age and high school completion or its equivalent. You are required to have internet access, printing capabilities, and an email address.  Clinic pre-requisite: CPR for Healthcare Providers (American Heart Association, BLS).

Instructional Units (includes Supervised Student Clinic Internship)

  • Fundamentals of Massage Therapy & Special Populations
  • Therapeutic Massage I & Student Clinic Preparation
  • Integrative Therapies & Supervised Student Clinic Internship
  • Therapeutic Massage II & Supervised Student Clinic Internship
  • Structure & Function of the Human Body for Massage Therapists
  • Kinesiology & Palpation for Massage Therapists
  • Communications, Ethics, Business & the Therapeutic Process for Massage Therapists

Total Hours: 636

Instructional Strategies

  • Lecture
  • Kinesthetic Practice
  • Demonstration
  • 1 on 1 Instruction
  • Individualized Study
  • Palpation
  • Journaling
  • Small Group Discussions
  • Large Group Discussions
  • Supervised Student Clinic
  • Methods of Evaluation
  • Class Discussion & Participation
  • Quizzes and Exams
  • Preparedness
  • Performance Levels Reports
  • Observation
  • Assignments
  • Self-Evaluation
  • Completion of Project with Critique
  • Attendance