Educational Learning Objectives of the Clinical Massage Therapy Program

Educational Learning Objectives have been designed to align with the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) Competency Model.  The Wellness School’s Clinical Massage Therapy Program will:

  1. For each student, demonstrate attainment of the following 6 Competencies of the COMTA Competency Model:
    1. Plan and organize an effective Massage and Bodywork session.
    2. Perform massage therapy and bodywork for therapeutic benefit.
    3. Develop and implement a self-care strategy.
    4. Develop successful and ethical therapeutic relationships with clients.
    5. Develop a strategy for a successful practice, business, or employment situation.
    6. Identify strategies for professional development.
  1. Prepare students for the MBLEx Licensure Exam and the Wisconsin Laws and Statutes Exam.
  2. Integrate complementary treatments of modern Western medical knowledge and traditional Eastern healing techniques.
  3. Prepare students to integrate their education and practice in a manner that is consistent with their roles as therapists and healers within the broader community.
  4. Prepare students to achieve these competencies and objectives within a Sustainability framework that highlights sustainable care of self, others, and the community.

Educational Outcomes of the Clinical Massage Therapy Program

The above Learning Objectives will guide and direct the Educational Outcomes below that have also been designed to align with the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) Competency Model.

By the end of The Wellness School Clinical Massage Therapy Program, students will be able to:

    1. Related to Structure and function of the human body in health and disease:
      1. Identify and describe the anatomical organization and general physiological principles of the human body.
      2. For all systems of the body, identify, locate, and describe the structures (anatomy), functions (physiology) and pathologies commonly encountered in the practice of massage therapy and bodywork.
      3. Define, identify, and describe the following elements of Asian anatomy, physiology, and pathology.
    2. Related to effects of touch, massage, and bodywork techniques:
        1. Identify and describe the physiological effects of touch and specific massage or bodywork techniques.
        2. Identify and describe potential emotional effects of touch and specific massage or bodywork techniques.
        3. Identify specific indications, contraindications, and precautions to touch, massage and bodywork, considering pathologies and various populations.
        4. Apply the concepts of Yin/Yang.
    3. Related to Healthcare and body work terminology:
      1. Use healthcare and bodywork terminology to communicate treatment findings and therapeutic results.
    4. Related to the Therapeutic environment:
      1. Define and describe the interpersonal and physical components of a therapeutic environment.
    5. Related to the Wellness model:
      1. Define and describe a wellness model.
      2. Identify the scope of practice of massage and bodywork in relation to a wellness model.
    6. Related to client assessment and data collection:
      1. Describe the purpose of assessment and data collection.
      2. Perform assessment and data collection.
    7. Related to Clinical reasoning and treatment planning:
      1. Develop a safe and effective initial session and on-going treatment plan, based on client goals, assessment findings, and understanding of effects of massage and bodywork.
      2. Write clear, concise, and accurate notes of client treatment sessions.
    1. Related to organization and management of the client session:
      1. Communicate the plan and rationale for a treatment session to the client.
      2. Obtain informed consent from the client prior to beginning a treatment session.
      3. Modify the plan and therapeutic approach used during a treatment session based on client response.
      4. Manage time within a treatment session.
      5. Develop and implement strategies to address challenging client-therapist interactions.
    2. Related to application of techniques:
      1. Demonstrate techniques that are within the scope of training and practice of commonly recognized massage therapy or bodywork disciplines.
      2. Identify and apply principles and protocols for massage and bodywork sessions.
      3. Vary the choice and application of techniques as appropriate to the client’s needs, including those of special populations.
      4. Demonstrate techniques that are appropriate for each body area, including endangerment sites.
      5. Identify and practice appropriate methods of sanitation and personal hygiene in the performance of massage and bodywork sessions.
      6. Describe and demonstrate standard precautions.
    3. Related to Equipment and Supplies:
      1. Demonstrate safe and effective use of equipment (such as massage tables, massage chairs, bolsters) and supplies (such as linens, products, gloves).
    4. Related to Hydrotherapy:
      1. Describe various hot and cold hydrotherapy techniques (such as hot or cold packs, immersion baths, paraffin, ice massage).
      2. Identify the indications, contraindications, precautions, effects, and uses of hydrotherapy techniques.
      3. Identify the physiological principles and mechanisms involved in the effects of hydrotherapy.
      4. Describe appropriate methods of hygiene and sanitation for hydrotherapy applications.
    1. Related to Self-assessment and stress management:
      1. Assess personal needs, behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge relevant to the practice of massage therapy and bodywork.
      2. Identify how personal and cultural values, attitudes, and ethics influence professional values, attitudes, and ethics.
      3. Identify the physiological and psychological effects of stress.
      4. Identify various stress reduction techniques and their benefits.
    2. Related to self-care and performance:
      1. Identify and describe the effect of physical fitness and lifestyle habits on the performance of massage and bodywork techniques.
      2. Define and describe the effect of centering, focusing, grounding, and breathing on the performance of massage and bodywork techniques.
      3. Identify and demonstrate biomechanical skills necessary for the safe and effective performance of massage and bodywork techniques.
    1. Related to communication in the client-therapist relationship:
      1. Define and demonstrate active listening, rapport, empathy, and feedback.
      2. Identify strategies to effectively deal with emotional and behavioral client responses to massage therapy and bodywork treatment.
      3. Describe the principles of conflict resolution and apply conflict resolution skills effectively in the client-therapist relationship.
    2. Related to Professional Boundaries:
      1. Identify the qualities and characteristics of boundaries.
      2. Identify cultural differences related to boundary issues.
      3. Define and discuss the differences between a personal and a professional relationship.
      4. Discuss the importance of professional boundaries.
      5. Define and discuss transference and counter transference.
      6. Describe techniques for establishing and maintaining safe and respectful boundaries with clients.
      7. Discuss and demonstrate the use of draping during treatment as a professional boundary.
    3. Related to Professional Ethics:
      1. Identify and describe the purpose of a code of ethics.
      2. Identify and describe the purpose of Standards of Practice specific to massage therapy and bodywork.
      3. Identify confidentiality principles related to massage therapy and bodywork practice, including requirements for HIPAA compliance.
      4. Identify common ethical situations in massage therapy and bodywork.
      5. Describe processes by which to effectively resolve ethical issues.
    1. Related to Basic Business Practices:
      1. Identify common business practices and structures in massage therapy and bodywork practice.
      2. Identify and design effective methods for time management, client scheduling, and maintenance of the work environment.
      3. Create a business plan or outline an employment strategy, including short and long-term professional goals.
      4. Identify the basic aspects of legal agreements, contracts, employment agreements and professional insurance.
      5. Identify basic principles of accounting and bookkeeping suitable for various business structures.
      6. Create, maintain, and identify legal requirements for retaining client, financial and tax records.
      7. Demonstrate knowledge of federal, state, and local regulations as they pertain to massage therapy and bodywork practice.
      8. Demonstrate knowledge of ADA requirements and their implication for massage therapy and bodywork practice.
    2. Related to Job Search and Marketing:
      1. Identify the elements of effective job search and marketing materials (such as resumes, brochures, business cards).
      2. Identify and discuss common methods of marketing for massage therapy and bodywork.
      3. Identify strategies to develop and maintain a client base.
    3. Related to Professional Referrals:
      1. Identify strategies for effective communication with other professionals regarding client care and referrals.
      2. Describe the process used to identify the scope of practice of allied health professions.
      3. Describe the appropriate use of medical release and consent forms.
    4. Related to Professional Relationships:
      1. Discuss the process for establishing and maintaining professional relationships in the workplace.
      2. Discuss strategies for establishing and maintaining professional relations with peers and with other professionals.
      3. Identify strategies for conflict resolution with other professionals, including the need for documentation.
    1. Related to History of the Profession:
      1. Describe the history of massage therapy and bodywork.
      2. Identify the role of professional associations for massage therapists and bodyworkers.
    2. Related to Continuing/Ongoing Education:
      1. Discuss the value of ongoing education and skill development as a professional.
      2. Describe methods for identifying advanced training programs to enhance performance, knowledge and skills.
    3. Related to Research Literacy:
      1. Explain the value of research to the profession.
      2. Identify sources of published research literature on therapeutic massage and bodywork.
      3. Critically read and evaluate a published research article in the field of massage therapy and bodywork.