Massage Therapy Overview
The ACC Massage Therapy program is designed to help you learn the basics of human anatomy as you study a variety of massage techniques that can improve people’s overall physical health and well-being. Upon successful completion of this program and the receipt of your diploma, you will know how to:
- Understand the needs of each client and draw on your skills and education to provide the treatment that’s best for them
- Use touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body
- Help individuals deal with stress or injury
- And perform many other important skills
ACC's dynamic curriculum also prepares you for the professional world by providing training in business ethics and the legal issues related to the practice of massage therapy.
The focus is on your success!
The goal of our program is to help you graduate with the confidence and qualifications to begin your career as a massage therapist.
The Massage Therapy program is available at the following campuses:
Careers After I Graduate
Once you have completed your ACC training and earned your diploma, you'll be ready to pursue exciting career opportunities as an entry-level massage therapist.
On the job, you'll use your hands, fingers, forearms and elbows to knead the muscles and soft tissues of your clients' bodies to treat injuries and promote general wellness. You may specialize in more than one style of massage requiring different techniques, such as Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, or sports massage.
As a massage therapist, your day-to-day responsibilities* may include:
- Talking with clients about symptoms, medical history, and desired results
- Evaluating clients to locate painful or tense areas of the body
- Manipulating muscles or other soft tissues of the body
- Relieving pain, rehabilitating injuries, reducing stress, increasing relaxation, and aiding in the general wellness of clients
- Providing clients with guidance on how to improve posture, stretching, strengthening, and overall relaxation
- Offering clients information about additional relaxation techniques to practice between sessions
- Traveling to clients' homes or offices to provide a massage
You'll be on your way!
As you begin your career as a massage therapist, the ongoing development of your skills can create increased opportunities for advancement. Even after you are employed, ACC's Career Services team will remain committed to providing you with the resources, support and personalized assistance you need to keep your health care career on the fast track.
What Will I Learn
This curriculum is divided into learning units called modules. Standalone core modules for the ACC Massage Therapy program include:
- Swedish Massage and Therapeutic Communication and Documentation – In this module, you will be introduced to the general concepts of massage therapy and the related structure and function of the human body. In addition to a demonstration of Swedish strokes utilized in a full-body massage session, you will also receive training in appropriate positioning, bolstering, draping and massage flow sequences for various body areas.
- Massage for Special Needs Populations – Coursework for this module focuses on techniques and modifications specific to pre and post-natal infant, pediatric, geriatric and lymphatic clients. The complexities of the psychological dynamics encountered in professional massage therapy, including the phenomena of emotional release, armoring, working with chronically ill and disabled clients are also explored.
- Acupressure, Shiatsu and Reflexology – In this module, you will explore specialized therapies in massage and bodywork, with attention given to Asian Bodywork Theory (ABT) and the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). You will also receive instruction in the anatomy and physiology of the endocrine system, pathologies of the endocrine system and kinesiology as it relates to the muscles of the leg and foot.
- Sports Massage, Personal Fitness, Self-Care and Nutrition – In this course, you will learn how to adapt basic massage techniques for sports massage applications, with pre-event, post-event, maintenance and restorative massage protocols addressed. You will also receive instruction in the anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system and kinesiology instruction as it relates to the muscles of the pelvis and the thigh.
- Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release and Neuromuscular Therapy – This module will introduce you to the Integrated Deep Tissue System. IDTS targets chronically contracted muscle groups and pinpoints dysfunctional conditions within the individual muscles in order to produce a manual alteration of muscular, facial and skeletal relationships.
- Spa Treatments, Aromatherapy and Stone Massage – Coursework in this module introduces you to the history of the spa industry and various spa treatments, including face massage, common aromatherapy treatments, dry skin brushing, salt/sugar glow, body wrap techniques and stone massage.
- Assessment, Treatment Plan and Clinical Massage – This module examines basic principles upon which clinical massage therapy is based. You will learn Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation techniques and basic Clinical Massage Therapy theory and application. You will focus on various regions of the body in order to affect musculoskeletal holding patterns that result in a balanced realignment of the body structure.
- Non-Traditional/Alternative Bodywork Therapies – In this module, you will study Reiki, Polarity, Ayurveda, Chakra Balancing and Chromotherapy. You will also receive instruction in Tai Chi, Qi Gong, stress management, guided imagery, visualization and meditation techniques. Additionally, you will be challenged to incorporate various non-traditional/alternative applications learned into your own personalized bodywork session.
- Ethics, Business & Professional Development/C.P.R. – This course is designed to introduce you to the daily business aspects of starting, operating and marketing a successful massage therapy practice. Emphasis will be placed on developing appropriate goal-setting, success strategies, boundaries and communication skills. You will also be instructed on how to perform Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation.
For a complete description of coursework in these modules, please refer to the ACC Catalog.
What Will I Do as a Massage Therapist
Many massage therapists choose to open private practices with offices that clients can visit. Others prefer to stay mobile and travel to their clients' homes or offices. You may also want to consider other exciting settings where the services of trained massage therapists are needed. With your ACC diploma in Massage Therapy, you can expect to qualify for entry-level positions in:
- Private Massage Practices
- Physicians' Offices
- Chiropractic Centers
- Holistic Health Clinics
- Physical Therapy Offices
- Cruise Ships
- Luxury Resorts
- Health Clubs
A few interesting statistics* about massage therapy careers:
- With the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, employment of massage therapists is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
- The number of spas, which employ a large number of therapists, has increased in recent years.
- Demand for massage therapy should grow among older age groups because they increasingly are enjoying longer, more active lives.
- The number of massage clinic franchises has also been increasing, many of which offer more affordable massages than those at spas and resorts, making them available to a wider range of customers.
- As workplaces try to distinguish themselves as employee-friendly, providing professional massages for employees is becoming a popular on-the-job benefit.
A few places where graduates from various ACC programs have been hired:
Many area employers are very familiar with the quality of ACC programs and our school's track record for preparing confident, qualified professionals for rewarding careers. Graduates of ACC's programs have been hired by:
- American Red Cross
- Cedars Sinai
- UCI Medical Center
- Harbor UCLA Medical Center
- Hoag Hospital
- Glendale Memorial
- Good Samaritan
- Hollywood Presbyterian
- Huntington Memorial
- Irvine Regional Medical Center
- Little Company of Mary
- Kaiser Permanente
- St. Joseph Hospital
- St. Jude Hospital
- St. Francis Hospital
- St. John's Medical Group
- Shriners Hospital for Children
- Newport Dental
- Pearle Vision Care
- SmileCare Family Dentistry
- Aetna Healthcare
- United Healthcare
- U.S. Healthworks
Program Information Disclosure
Select campus below to view disclosures:
To view outcome information for this and ACC's other programs, and to view state disclosure information, visit: americancareercollege.edu/disclosures.
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