Oct 27 2023

The Curriculum and Certification Process You Can Expect in Massage Therapy Training


Career advice

Massage therapy is a growing field that offers a rewarding career helping others through the power of touch. If you're considering becoming a massage therapist, you may be wondering what kind of education and training is required to enter this profession. In this article, we'll explore the curriculum and certification requirements for massage therapy training, so you can better understand what to expect on your path to becoming a licensed massage therapist.

Curriculum Requirements

Massage therapy programs vary in length, but most require between 500 and 1,000 hours of training. These programs may be offered through vocational schools, community colleges, or specialized massage therapy schools. The curriculum for massage therapy training typically includes a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on practice, and clinical experience. Here are some of the core subjects covered in most massage therapy programs:

Anatomy and Physiology 

Massage therapists need a solid understanding of the body's musculoskeletal system in order to provide effective massage therapy. Students will study the bones, muscles, organs, and other structures of the body, as well as the function of each system.

Massage Techniques

In addition to learning the basic strokes and techniques of massage therapy, students will also explore more advanced techniques, such as deep tissue massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy.


Massage therapists need to be able to identify and address common musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. Students will learn about common injuries, such as strains, sprains, and spasms, as well as more complex conditions like fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.

Professional Ethics and Communication

Massage therapists need to have excellent communication skills and a strong ethical foundation in order to establish trust with clients. Students will learn about professional boundaries, client communication, and other key ethical considerations.

Business and Marketing

Many massage therapists are self-employed or work for small businesses, so it's important to have a solid understanding of business and marketing principles. Students will learn about bookkeeping, marketing strategies, and other practical skills for running a successful massage therapy practice.

Clinical Experience

Many massage therapy programs require students to complete a certain number of hours of clinical experience, where they will work with actual clients under the supervision of an experienced massage therapist.

Certification Requirements

Once you have completed your massage therapy training program, you will need to obtain a license or certification in order to practice as a massage therapist. Certification requirements vary by state, but most require passing an exam that assesses your knowledge of massage therapy techniques, anatomy and physiology, pathology, and professional ethics. Here are some common steps to obtaining certification as a massage therapist:

Graduate From An Accredited Massage Therapy Program 

When selecting a massage therapy schools Edmonton or Canada, it's important to ensure that it's accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. Accreditation ensures that the program meets certain standards of quality, and that the education you receive will prepare you for a career as a massage therapist. The two main accrediting agencies for massage therapy programs in Canada are the Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation (CMTCA) and the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). If you're considering expanding your skillset beyond massage therapy, pursuing an acupuncture degree alongside your massage therapy education can offer a complementary approach to holistic healthcare, broadening your range of services and enhancing your career prospects.

Meet Province-Specific Requirements 

Each province in Canada has its own specific requirements for massage therapy certification, so it's important to research the requirements in your province before beginning your massage therapy training. Some provinces require a certain number of hours of training, while others may have additional requirements such as background checks or CPR certification. By understanding the requirements in your province, you can ensure that you're on track to obtain your massage therapy certification.

Pass the Certification Exam 

The certification exam for massage therapists in Canada is the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). It tests your knowledge of massage therapy techniques, anatomy and physiology, pathology, and professional ethics. You can prepare for the exam by studying the material covered in your massage therapy program and taking practice exams. Passing the certification exam is a crucial step in obtaining your massage therapy certification and becoming a registered massage therapist (RMT).

Obtain Liability Insurance

Many provinces in Canada require RMTs to carry liability insurance in case of injury or malpractice. Even if it's not required in your province, carrying liability insurance can provide protection in the event that a client sues you for injury or other damages. Liability insurance can be purchased through a variety of insurance providers and is an essential investment in your massage therapy career.

Maintain Your Certification 

In order to maintain your RMT certification, many provinces require RMTs to complete continuing education courses. These courses may cover topics such as new massage techniques, changes in provincial regulations, or business and marketing strategies. By staying up-to-date on changes in the field of massage therapy, you can continue to provide high-quality care to your clients and grow your massage therapy practice.

In conclusion, massage therapy training programs offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers anatomy and physiology, massage techniques, pathology, professional ethics, and business and marketing principles. Once you have completed your training program, you will need to pass a certification exam in order to obtain a license to practice as a massage therapist. By understanding the curriculum and certification requirements for massage therapy training, you can better prepare yourself for a rewarding career helping others through the power of touch.


Tags: Massage Therapy Training,Curriculum Requirements, Certification Requirements, Professional Ethics, Clinical Experience