Massage Course Descriptions

Swedish Massage

In the first five weeks of this massage program, ASIS students will learn the basic techniques of Swedish massage, which focuses primarily on the body's circulatory system to bring about balance and relaxation. In these beginning weeks, much attention is given to the development of healthful body mechanics, respectful use of draping, universal precautions, and fundamental therapist/client communication. This modality prepares students for subsequent modalities.

Connective Tissue Massage (CTM)

This modality addresses the superficial and middle layers of connective tissue (fascia) in the body and effectively promotes relaxation, vitality, and increased awareness of postural biomechanics. CTM enhances awareness of how posture and the movement are dynamic and influenced by environment, nutrition, emotion, and experience. Body reading, postural analysis, and functional assessments are discussed.


Craniosacral therapy is a holistic healing practice that uses very light touch to balance the craniosacral system in the body, which includes the bones, nerves, fluids, and connective tissues of the cranium and spinal area.

Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)

This therapy focuses on releasing acute or chronically contracted muscles and tendons by applying specific and direct point pressure to the myofascia of the body. The technique is similar to Asian acupressure (Shiatsu) with regards to methodology, yet different in terms of physiological influence. NMT is a simple and effective way to reduce pain, tension, and stress that can result from injuries, poor posture, and unbalanced nutrition. The method can also gradually re-educate the neuromuscular system so that habitual patterns of restricted physical movement are reduced.

Shiatsu & Asian Studies

Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork designed to promote health by influencing and improving the state of energy in the body. This modality addresses the client's energy (chi) through finger pressure on acupressure points along the meridians in the body. Various perspectives of Asian-influenced movements and stretching are addressed. Students at ASIS Massage will become familiar with basic Asian theory, the 12 meridians, the five elements, and many of the acupoints for muscular release and energy movement.

Polarity Therapy

The forms of bodywork taught in this modality deal with the concept and experience of life energy. Polarity therapy is based on principles drawn from chiropractic and osteopathic medicine, as well as the healing arts of China and India. The resulting unique synthesis addresses life energy as it manifests at the physical, emotional, and mental levels. The physical pressure of the hands-on techniques can range from very light to moderately firm, blended with rocking, vibration and stillness. The overall intent is to draw the client's awareness to the patterns of life energy that form the body/mind continuum.

Injury Rehabilitation & Sport Massage

Injuries can happen often to clients, whether it's caused by a sport or not. Students at ASIS will learn how to treat sports injuries through sports massage and rehabilitation procedures. Several sports massage techniques are discussed, including pre-event massage, post-event massage, flexibility programs, and maintenance massage, with an emphasis on repetitive motion injuries, injury assessment, and development of a rehabilitative protocol. Students will have the opportunity to practice on competing athletes at local events.

Integrative Massage

This modality is designed to provide students with opportunities to increase creativity, spontaneity, and refinement of existing skills, while exploring the interface between the body and the mind. These classes are used as an opportunity to practice the blending of the learned techniques, as well as a time to introduce the students to a variety of other massage modalities, ranging from infant massage to elderly massage. Ultimately, a holistic approach of this nature is aimed at supporting individuals in experientially knowing themselves and their work more fully.


Therapeutic applications of heat and cold, bodywraps, Kneip therapies, whirlpools, flower essences, essential oils, and other therapeutic tools and procedures are discussed or practiced. Students will learn how to incorporate these tools, used by naturopaths, physical therapists, massage therapists, orthopedic physicians and at spas, into their sessions while attending our massage school in Arizona.

Chiropractic Assistant Training

Interspersed throughout the program, students will receive training for becoming a Certified Chiropractic Assistant (CCA). These classes prepare therapists to work in a cooperative relationship within a chiropractor's office. To assist in chiropractic modalities, a CCA is required by the State of Arizona. Graduates from ASIS receive a CCA, with an emphasis in physiotherapy and acupuncture, record-keeping, charting, and client confidentiality upon completion of the 800 hour massage training. The ASIS Massage & Chiropractic Assistant Curriculum meets the requirements for Arizona's and most other states' licensure.

Student Massage Clinic

In addition to regular classroom hours students are required to complete a clinical course which provides hands-on training in a clinical setting. Clinic sessions are staff-supervised and supported. Students receive valuable feedback, keep detailed records of their work, and are assisted in reflecting upon their experience and progress. Emphasis is placed on professional preparation as students train to work in the massage profession.

COURSE TITLE/NUMBER Lecture Hours Laboratory Hours Externship/Internship Hours Total Hours
Fundamentals of Massage Therapy 45 53 0 98
Therapeutic Massage I 45 54 0 99
Asian & Energetic Therapies 59 50 0 109
Therapeutic Massage 2 40 58 0 98
Anatomy & Physiology 80 30 0 110
Kinesiology & Palpation 45 17 0 62
Communications/Ethics/Business 48 15 0 63
Therapeutic Process 41 20 0 61
Supervised Student Clinic 20 80 0 100
TOTALS 423 377 0 800

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