Medical massage is defined by Massage Today Magazine as massage that “is performed with the intent of improving conditions or pathologies that have been diagnosed by a physician; a wide variety of modalities or procedures are utilized to focus the treatment based on the diagnosed condition."
In other words, medical massage is the usage of massage to treat a medical condition. At a medical massage school, the student is viewed as a true health care professional, and the curriculum is rigorous and medically-based. The Anatomy and Physiology classes are comparable to medical school level courses, and often there is a strong focus on treating injuries. Ideally there will be focus on injury treatment in the hands-on Clinical portion of the program as well, such as MTTI’s Externship treating real injuries on athletes at New Mexico State University.
Why is a medical massage curriculum important to a prospective student?
A medical massage program prepares students to treat injuries or medical conditions, so it opens doors to work in the health care industry. Massage therapy is more and more considered by insurance companies and medical professionals to be an integral part of a health care treatment plan. Massage Therapists with a strong medical massage background can work at hospitals, in wellness centers, Chiropractors offices, physical therapy clinics, and other health care settings. But to be an effective medical massage therapist requires thorough training in many different modalities, contraindications, and pathologies.
Questions to Ask When Comparing Schools:
- Is it a medical massage curriculum?
- What massage modalities are taught?
- Are advanced spa techniques taught?
- Are there opportunities for hands-on experience? How many hours?
- Does this school’s curriculum have an area of specialization or focus?