Massage Therapy Certificate Program

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Program Advisor:Judith Gawron, 413-236-4604.

The Massage Therapy certificate program prepares students to become Massachusetts State Licensed Massage Therapists with the skills and knowledge to provide effective relaxation and wellness massage. Graduates are prepared to enter the healthcare field in various settings, including private practice.

Admission Requirements

Students must submit an application and a Massage Therapy Certificate Matriculation Form (click on the link for a printable form). Potential students who have met all admission requirements are accepted into the program on a space available basis at any time.

Applicants who do not initially meet the requirements may take courses to become eligible by enrolling in BCC's Health Science program. The sequence of courses begins in the fall semester.

Admission requirements include:  

  • Documentation of high school graduation or GED;
  • Completion of ENG 020 and ENG 060, if applicable;
  • Completion of high school college-prep Biology within the past five years, or a "C" or better in College Biology (BIO 105 or 101);
  • Documentation that the student has received one type of bodywork within the last two years.

Expected Outcomes

Graduates of this program should be able to:

  • Demonstrate current academic, clinical and holistic skills necessary for the professional practice of therapeutic relaxation massage;
  • Maintain professional, ethical, and client-centered com­munication with peers, faculty, clients, and other health care professionals;
  • Integrate college level knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, and pathology while organizing safe and effective therapeutic relaxation massages;
  • Identify various successful business practice strategies for massage therapists;
  • Recognize appropriate strategies for self-care and professional lifelong learning; and
  • Apply current research to organizing and implementing therapeutic relaxation massage.

Graduation Requirements To earn a certificate in this program, a student must complete all program credits and the additional requirements shown below.

Program                                                                                                        29 Credits
AHS 101         Intro to Complementary Care & Alternate Med   
2
AHS 131        Orientation to Musculoskeletal System         2
AHS 162        Applied Visceral Anatomy  
2
AHS 230        Pathophysiolog 3
BIO 105          Intro to the Human Body 4
COM104        Intro to Interpersonal Communication or   
 
ENG 101        Composition I   
3
MBW 110       Therapeutic Massage I 
5
MBW 120       Therapeutic Massage II 4
MBW 130       Therapeutic Massage Practicum (see footnote 1) 
2
MBW 131       Therapeutic Massage Seminar     1
MBW 150       Bus. Practice for Massage Therapy & Bodywork 1
Additional   
As Shown
Minimum Cumulative Average Overall       
2.000
Minimum Grade Required in Each Program Course
2.000

Suggested block for program completion

The following is a suggestion for completing this program in one year. The actual time to complete the program may vary according to each student's individual needs.

First Semester
15 Credits
AHS 101        Intro to Complementary Care (online) 2
AHS 131        Orientation to Musculoskeletal System 2
AHS162         Applied Visceral Anatomy     2
BIO 150          Intro to the Human Body      4
MBW 110       Therapeutic Massage I 5
Second Semester
14 Credits
AHS 230        Pathophysiology   3
COM 104       Intro to Interpersonal Communication   
ENG 101        OR Composition I 3
MBW 120       Therapeutic Massage II    4
MBW 130       Therapeutic Massage Practicum (see footnote 1) 2
MBW 131       Therapeutic Massage Seminar    1
MBW 150       Bus. Practice for Massage Therapy (online) 1
Footnotes:

1. Students must complete CPR and First Aid certification prior to enrollment in MBW 130 and maintain certification throughout the program. See also note below about immunization.

NOTE: MBW students must be immunized (or be in process) by October 1st of the academic year they are enrolled in the program (immunizations must remain current throughout MBW 130).

NOTE: Individual states vary in the number of course and clinical hours required for licensure. It is the students' responsibility to fully investigate the licensing requirements of any state in which they wish to practice. If further coursework is needed to meet those requirements, students should work with their advisor to plan specific additional coursework.

NOTE: Any prior criminal offense could hinder placement in clinical agencies and the ability to become licensed in this field.   See Criminal Offender Record Information to checks for details.

Essential Functions

Massage Therapy Certificate Program

Berkshire Community College seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. Therefore, to the extent practicable, the College will endeavor to make a reasonable academic adjustment for an applicant with a disability who is otherwise qualified.

The essential functions of a student enrolled in Massage Therapy Program requires that the student, with or without reasonable accommodations, must be able to accomplish the following:

1. Critical Thinking

  1. Integrate information from a variety of sources such as (knowledge content) text books, reference books, palpation observation, communication (verbal/non-verbal) to guide decision making.
  2. Evaluate and implement appropriate actions for self-care to prevent injury and burn-out.
  3. Interpret information from multiple sources (tactile, verbal/nonverbal communication, knowledge of physiologic effects), while maintaining massage flow.
  4. Recognize emergency or possible emergency situations and react in a safe and effective manner.
  5. Perceive signs of client discomfort by palpation, observation, and receiver's verbal/nonverbal response.
  6. Determine if massage is indicated, needs modification, is contra indicated, requires clearance from medical provider, requires referral (beyond scope of practice).

2. Communication

a. Maintain professional verbal/nonverbal communication.
b. Demonstrate active listening.
c. Develop rapport.
d. Understand and to respond appropriately to nonverbal communication.

3. Professional Presence

a. Demonstrate attributes of empathy, compassion, tolerance and respect.
b. Function autonomously, effectively and ethically in an intimate environment.
c. Align with professional ethics and standards.
d. Maintain mental focus for uninterrupted repeated periods of 60-90 minutes.
e. Ensure physical/emotional safety of the environment.

4. Physical

a. Maintain continuous standing and moving with periods of sitting for 60-90 minutes.
b. Perform repetitive gross motor movements of arms and legs for 60-90 minutes at a time.
c. Maintain appropriate body mechanics for 60-90 minutes at a time.
d. Assist a person on and off massage table.
e. Lift a person’s limbs while on massage table.
f.  Perform repetitive fine motor skills with hands to manipulate tissue.
g. Use sensation of touch to accurately respond to tissue changes.