Thursday, July 17, 2014

Massage Therapy Program Teaches Students Deeper Aspects of The Trade

There is a lot more to massage therapy than you may think. These professionals don't just rub aches and pains. They actually enhance function, aid in the healing process, decrease muscle reflex activity, inhibit motor-neuron excitability, promote relaxation and well-being. This is achieved in a number of ways such as:

  • Assessing clients' soft tissue condition, joint quality and function, muscle strength, and range of motion.
  • Inquiring about clients' medical histories and any problems with stress and/or pain to determine whether massage would be helpful.
  • Developing client treatment plans that specify which types of massage are to be used and the goals of the treatment.
  • Consulting with other health care professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, physicians and psychologists in order to develop treatment plans for clients.
  • Massaging and kneading the muscles and soft tissues to provide treatment for medical conditions and injuries or wellness maintenance.
  • Applying finger and hand pressure to specific points of the body.
  • Using complementary aids, such as infrared lamps, wet compresses, ice, and whirlpool baths in order to promote clients' recovery, relaxation and well-being.
  • Providing clients with guidance and information about techniques for postural improvement, and stretching, strengthening, relaxation and rehabilitative exercises.

At Centennial College's massage therapy program, students learn all of the above and much more in three years. The offering is a combination of massage therapy education and entrepreneurial business. As such, students are fully equipped to be self-employed or work in multidisciplinary healthcare facilities, hospitals, sports rehabilitation clinics and health spas as well as in on-site therapy, which is typically provided in the workplace by large companies as a health benefit to employees.

Among the specific courses that students attend are: Legislation, Standards and Professionalism; Introductory Concepts of Anatomy and Physiology, Clinical Anatomy, Massage Theory and Practice, Biomechanics and Orthopedic Assessment, Fitness and Remedial Exercise, Issues and Research Literacy in Massage Therapy and more.

A strong clinical component offers students the opportunity to enhance what they learn in their Massage Therapy courses through supervised practice. There are three "Outreach" experiences in total. During this aspect, students offer massage therapy to a variety of clients with diverse needs in a multiplicity of settings, making adaptations as required. The community outreach introduces clients to massage therapy and at the same time provides students with experiences ranging clients palliative care athletes. The performance expectations are individualized according to the setting, semester of study and the student. Integration of prior learning is expected.

Once they complete their massage therapy training, graduates who qualify may challenge the registration examinations administered by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) to qualify for Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) designation. Centennial College students have been known to have an excellent success rate at the CMTO entry-to-practice examinations.

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