Massage Therapy Training | Course Descriptions | ASIS Massage

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.

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.


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.


Reflexology is a scientific art that deals with the principle that there are reflex areas on the hands, feet, and ears that correspond to every gland, organ and structure in the human body. By gently palpating or applying pressure using various techniques to reflex areas, a physiological change takes place in the body that promotes deep relaxation and enhances wellness. This natural healing art of stimulating the body’s own healing process allows for both physical and emotional well-being.

Lymph Drainage Massage

Lymph Drainage Massage is a gentle form of bodywork that aids the natural flow of lymph to improve immunity, remove toxins and reduce edema throughout the body. Hands-on work will cover techniques for working with the head and neck, trunk, and extremities. Students will learn the basic anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system, pathologies, indications, and contraindications for the work.

Thai Massage

In Thai massage, the entire body is pushed, pressed, rocked, vibrated and rhythmically compressed by virtually every part of the therapist’s body—hands, feet, elbows, knees, forearms and shins. A complete and traditional Thai massage incorporates a diverse combination of acupressure, energy meridian work and assisted stretching. This form of massage is practiced on a mat or pad on the floor, the client remains completely clothed and no oil is used.


Cupping is a dynamic and powerful type of bodywork that uses negative or reverse pressure to mobilize and hydrate soft tissue by increasing fluid exchange and opening lymphatic pathways. This class discusses the theories of negative pressure and how cupping affects different body systems, as well as the benefits, contraindications, and precautions for cupping as bodywork. Students practice hands-on application of cups, working with various pressure levels and techniques.

COURSE TITLE/NUMBER Lecture Hours Laboratory Hours Externship/Internship Hours Total Hours
Fundamentals of Massage Therapy 20 60 0 80
Therapeutic Massage I 17.5 49 0 66.5
Asian & Energetic Therapies 11 80.5 0 91.5
Kinesiology & Palpation (Muscles, Bones, Joints & Movement) 60 2.5 0 62.50
Therapeutic Massage 2 27.5 122.5 0 150
Anatomy & Physiology 50 10 0 60
Communications/Ethics/Business 52.5 12 0 64.50
Therapeutic Process, Chiropractic, Universal Precautions, Health & Hygiene 25 100 0 125
Supervised Clinic Practicum 0 100 0 100
TOTALS 263.50 536.50 0 800

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