Prepare for your new career as a Massage Therapist with the Massage Therapy diploma program at Robertson College. Combining theory with practical training, this comprehensive program covers everything that Massage Therapists must know, fully preparing you for a career in physiotherapy clinics, spas, chiropractic practices, sports injury clinics, fitness centres and wellness centres.
The Robertson College Massage Therapy program provides research and evidence-informed education that goes beyond the standards in the key areas of anatomy, physiology, therapeutic techniques, and research.
- Learn to properly assess client problems with an understanding of their specific issues
- Be introduced to orthopedics and learn how to perform orthopedic physical assessments to assess gait and posture
- Learn about the skeletal system, relevant ligaments, and the nerve supply of the upper and lower extremity so that you may have the proper foundation for professional practice
- Be able to design and implement appropriate treatment plans and to evaluate progress
- Gain an understanding of clinical massage treatments including how to treat postural dysfunctions, overuse injuries, neck and head conditions, systemic disorders and musculoskeletal injuries
- Apply the theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom in a 150-hour practicum arranged by the college
- Demonstrate and apply the knowledge learned in a research project
Our students are trained to start a career as a Massage Therapist or Remedial Massage Therapist.
Topics of Study
Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology [100 hours]
This course will provide an introduction to basic scientific methods and critical thinking, as well as anatomy and physiology. A key goal is to become familiar with normal superficial anatomy and basic physiology to improve the comprehension of more specific and detailed information as presented later in the program.
Musculoskeletal Anatomy I [75 Hours]
Gain an understanding of the skeletal system and its development and learn to identify bony landmarks. You will also study the articulations of the skeletal system as well as the relevant ligaments and the nerve supply of the upper and lower extremity.
All of the above will be taught in a manner that introduces and reinforces proper anatomical and medical terminology necessary for professional practice.
Musculoskeletal Anatomy II [90 Hours]
In this course, you will develop a detailed understanding of the muscular system of the upper limb, lower limb and skull. This will include a thorough examination of the location, origin, insertion, action, and nerve supply of each muscle. Along with the above, accurate palpation of accessible muscles will be demonstrated with guided practice of proper techniques.
Musculoskeletal Anatomy III [90 Hours]
In this course, you will gain a detailed understanding of the muscular system of the vertebral column, thorax, abdominal wall, abdominopelvic cavity and the perineum. This will include a thorough examination of the location, origin, insertion, action, and nerve supply of each muscle. Along with the above, accurate palpation of accessible muscles will be demonstrated with guided practice of proper techniques.
Pathophysiology I [90 Hours]
Gain an understanding of blood and its disorders. You will also learn about the immune system, its organization and components as well as its disorders. A key goal is to become familiar with normal physiology and then the pathophysiology association with the system.
Pathophysiology II [100 Hours]
This course will provide an understanding of systemic and/or orthopedic pathology as it relates to the muscular, skeletal, nervous, endocrine, respiratory, and circulatory systems. This course will also provide you with an understanding of the normal physiology of the endocrine and circulatory systems.
Pathophysiology III [110 Hours]
This course will provide an understanding of pathophysiology as it relates to the digestive, urinary, reproductive, and the integumentary and endocrine systems.
Physiology I [90 Hours]
In this course, you will learn about how cells, tissues, organs and the organ systems function together to create one organism. A key goal is to become familiar with normal physiology to be able to comprehend pathological conditions as presented later in the program.
Physiology II [90 Hours]
This course will provide an understanding of the musculature system as well as the nervous system including its organization and components, neurons, synapses and receptors, the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, and the cardiovascular system. A key goal is to become familiar with normal physiology to be able to comprehend pathological conditions as presented later in the program.
Clinical Massage Treatments I [110 Hours]
In this course, you will develop an understanding of postural dysfunctions and its treatment utilizing all manual therapy techniques including hydrotherapy and rehabilitation exercises. You will examine postural dysfunctions (fascial and muscle imbalances, ITB friction syndrome, patellofemoral syndrome, hyper/hypolordosis, scoliosis), overuse injuries (plantar fasciitis, periostitis and compartment syndromes, tendonitis, bursitis, adhesive capsulitis), conditions of the head and neck (WAD, torticollis) and joint dysfunctions (DDD, OA, RA, AS, and gout), as well as a review of musculoskeletal injuries. As well, you will learn to interpret assessment findings in order to formulate a clinical impression/differential diagnosis for conditions covered. You will learn to recognize conditions requiring urgent and non-urgent medical attention, and will how to respond appropriately to each. Class discussions will also cover when clients may benefit from community services.
Clinical Massage Treatments II [100 Hours]
This course will provide an understanding of CNS disorders including communication aids, ambulation aids, decubitus ulcers, seizures, hemiplegia, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, polio, MS, Parkinsons, respiratory conditions (sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma), systemic conditions (fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, dupuytren’s contracture, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes), circulatory dysfunctions (hypertension, heart failure), and compression and peripheral nervous system conditions. You will also learn about the treatment of CNS disorders utilizing all manual therapy techniques including hydrotherapy and rehabilitation exercises. You will learn to interpret assessment findings in order to formulate a clinical impression/differential diagnosis for conditions covered. As well, you will learn to recognize conditions requiring urgent and non-urgent medical attention, and how to respond appropriately to each. Class discussions will identify when clients may benefit from community services.
Clinical Massage Treatments III [85 Hours]
This course is the completion of Clinical Massage Treatments and will provide opportunity to review treatment and assessment (utilizing all manual therapy techniques including hydrotherapy and rehabilitation exercises) for all conditions learned to date. Additionally, there will be time spent addressing research, poster projects, and when required, board exam practice/prep. You will review how to interpret assessment findings in order to formulate a clinical impression/differential diagnosis for all previous conditions covered. As well, you will review how to recognize conditions requiring urgent and non-urgent medical attention, and will review how to respond appropriately to each. You will review situations where a client may benefit from community services.
Orthopedic Assessment I [100 Hours]
This course will provide the understanding of orthopedic physical assessment in a straight forward, systematic approach to performing a neuromusculoskeletal assessment and the rationale behind various aspects of the assessment. This course will provide an understanding of principles and concepts of assessment, gait and posture analysis.
Orthopedic Assessment II [70 Hours]
This course will provide an understanding of orthopedic physical assessment in a straight forward, systematic approach to performing a neuromusculoskeletal assessment and the rationale behind various aspects of the assessment. This course will provide an understanding of principles and concepts of assessment, as well as assessment of the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand, and hip.
Orthopedic Assessment III [70 Hours]
This course will provide an understanding of orthopedic physical assessment in a straightforward, systematic approach to performing a neuromusculoskeletal assessment and the rationale behind various aspects of the assessment. This course will provide an understanding of principles and concepts of assessment, as well as assessment of the knee, lower leg, ankle, and foot. As well a review of all orthopedic assessment studied thus far, as well as practice using orthopedic assessment with case studies.
Orthopedic Assessment IV [45 Hours]
This course builds on the foundation formed in previous courses, students continue to develop their knowledge of orthopedic physical assessment and obtain an even greater understanding of the concepts and principles of assessing the spine and peripheral joints.
Pharmacology [15 Hours]
This course introduces the student to the general principles underlying the use of drugs. In addition, the student is introduced to common uses and effects of drugs, implications of how medications are administered, and client safety guidelines to incorporate into everyday practice.
Communication and Ethics [60 Hours]
This course will provide an understanding of the acceptance of responsibility for professional communication, conformance to intraprofessional and inter-professional communication methods and standards, and use of conflict resolution and problem solving techniques. It will also provide an understanding of the establishment of professional client relations, formation of sound judgments about therapeutic vs. non-therapeutic boundary and trust issues, and the formation of sound judgments about sexual impropriety, boundary and trust issues.
Business and Legal Practice [40 Hours]
This course will provide an understanding of accepted business management concepts, the establishment of external business relationships, the development of adequate documentation and record keeping, conformance to common law, and participation in quality assurance program.
Introduction to Research [40 Hours]
This course will introduce you to the topic of research including what research is, the importance of research, and the various methods that researchers use to investigate problems. As part of the course, you will be challenged to develop a research proposal.
Clinical Rehabilitation and Kinesiology [50 Hours]
This course will provide an understanding of the application of general principles of kinesiology, general principles of therapeutic exercise, the application of range-of-motion exercises, and the application of resistance/strength exercises. As well, this course will provide an understanding of the application of cardiovascular exercise, application of static control, movement and functional rehabilitative applications, and design of an exercise program.
Exercise and Nutritional Physiology [50 Hours]
This course will provide an understanding of basic concepts of exercise physiology, the role of macro nutrients, the role of micronutrients, the role of fibre, and basic nutritional concepts.
Massage Theory and Practice [110 Hours]
This course will provide you with a brief review of the history and contemporary use of Massage Therapy, the application of various massage theories, the practice of appropriate client care, support of public health practices and the application and understanding of Swedish massage techniques.
General Principles and Techniques I [55 Hours]
This course will provide you with an understanding of general treatment principles, stretching, joint mobilization techniques, traction & nonspecific mobilization, lymphatic drainage, and hydrotherapy.
General Principles and Techniques II [145 Hours]
This course will provide an understanding of connective tissue techniques, neuromuscular techniques, and friction therapy. As well, it examines treatments for pain syndrome management techniques, gastrointestinal conditions (constipation and irritable bowel) and common musculoskeletal injuries (sprains, strains, cruciate and meniscal injuries, dislocations, fractures, plantar fasciitis, periostitis and compartment syndromes, tendinopathies, bursitis and adhesive capsulitis).
Public Clinic/Outreach [310 Hours]
Your clinical experience is structured to facilitate a dynamic learning process and students will need to attain “Hands-on Treatment Credits” under the supervision of Registered Massage Therapists. Gaining this hands-on experience is done during scheduled Clinic Days and through scheduled Outreach events. These are some of the most important aspects of your training for this program. It is with Clinic and Outreach that students combine all of the knowledge and skills from all of their other courses, and apply them directly to patient care. This will allow you to provide Massage Therapy services at our professional public clinic on campus, while still developing your skills at key points in your training program. The college will also provide group outreach opportunities, at carefully picked events that allow you to treat specific demographics, and gain experience treating a variety of conditions not often seen in a public clinic.
CPR / First Aid [10 Hours]
As part of your program, you will attain your First Aid/CPR certifications
Massage Therapy Practicum
This program includes 150 hours of practicum where you will be given the opportunity to integrate the theory from the classroom into practice in a massage therapy setting.
Andrew Anderson, B.A. History, RMT graduated in 2014 and shortly after began practicing at a well-established chiropractic/massage therapy clinic in Calgary where he still practices to this day. After university, Andrew had the opportunity to live and work abroad in Thailand. It was in Asia where he started seeing the benefits of massage therapy and began studying different techniques and applications. After his return to Canada in 2011, Andrew made massage therapy his focus. Being a male RMT in a traditionally female-dominated occupation has taught Andrew the importance of effective communication, ethical knowledge, and professionalism. Not only are the aforementioned traits critical in the application of massage to patients, but just as important to create a conducive learning environment. Andrew brings a strong passion for both learning and teaching to Robertson College.
Christa McKegney is the Instructor and Program Coordinator for the Robertson College Massage Therapy programs in Calgary. Christa received her BA Kin (Hons) degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2001 before entering into massage therapy. After graduating from the 2200 hr program, Christa became an active member of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) and started her own massage practice in London, Ontario. In addition, Christa also instructed massage students and taught courses in Kinesiology and Remedial Exercises, Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology. Christa relocated to Calgary in 2005 with her family and has continued practicing and sharing her passion for massage therapy with her students. In her role as Program Coordinator, Christa has played an essential role in developing the massage curriculum – ensuring it is delivered in a logical and progressive fashion that will enable our students’ success in the field post-graduation.
Sheila began her career working as an LPN in the Critical Care and Holding units of a large hospital in British Columbia. After moving back to Alberta, she decided to pursue a career as an RMT. She graduated with honors and a 97% average. To say she is passionate about Massage Therapy and its benefits is an understatement. Since graduating she has taken many courses to compliment her practice including Myofascial Cupping, Kinetic Massage of the Neck, Advanced Pregnancy Massage, Raindrop Therapy, Hot stone in both relaxation and therapeutic levels – which she also has been teaching for several years. Sheila looks forward to giving her best at Robertson College, in order to aid students to achieve their own very best in this rewarding career field.
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