A female massage therapist standing behind a male patient and massaging his back with both hands.

Program Schedule

“The course material blends together and flows beautifully, so as you’re learning one thing in one class you are incorporating it into the next.”

– Becca, Full-time Student

A massage therapist student giving a massage to a person's back at the Institute for Holistic Health

Learn How to Heal Others With Massage Therapy Through Our Guided Program

The Institute for Holistic Health offers a comprehensive and hands-on massage therapist training curriculum taught by experienced professionals who are dedicated to helping new practitioners become well-established in the field.

All classes are held at our Hudson Valley campus on Monday through Friday. Each day there will be two class sessions, one from 9:00am until 12:30pm and a second session from 1:30pm until 5:00pm. Full-time students will attend both the morning and afternoon sessions, while part-time students will have a choice of attending either the morning or afternoon session.

Full-time students will take about a year to complete their education while part time students will take approximately two years to complete the program.

The massage therapy program consists of the following requirements in the following order:

    • One 5-week introductory class entitled Professional Development and Ethics. This class is required prior to the start of Block 1.  This class covers study skills, medical terminology, ethical principles, and communication strategies for the massage therapist.  This prerequisite course is designed to give the students the skills and tools necessary to be successful in the program.
    • Four 8-week blocks for full-time students, or eight 8-week blocks for part-time students.
    • Eight weeks are allotted for supervised on and off-site student clinics. 102 total hands-on hours of on-site clinic are required for the program as well as 6 off-site clinic hours.

Review classes will be held in the month prior to the NYS Board exams in both January and August.

“There’s a lot of space for learning in a different way that’s not like sitting in a classroom all day.”

– Esther, Part-time Student

The Course Descriptions of the Academic Curriculum

Block 1

M&K1 – Myology and Kinesiology I
M&K1 covers the bones of the axial and appendicular skeleton, their significant landmarks and functions, structural and functional aspects of joints, as well as their motions and locations in the body. The origins, insertions and actions, and nerve innervations of significant muscles will be explored. Specifically, the muscles covered in this course are among those likely massaged in a typical massage session.

A&P1 – Anatomy and Physiology I
A&P1 covers the levels of body organization, control of homeostasis, basic terminology, and principles of biochemistry, structure, and function of cells, the organization of tissues, the integumentary system, and the skeletal system, and the structure and function of muscle tissue.

WES1 – Western I
WES1 introduces basic massage therapy theory, terminology, and skills that will provide the foundation for study. Students will experience giving and receiving full body classic western massage with the following techniques: effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, vibration, shaking, compressions, rocking, joint movements, and stretches. The use and ingredients of topical substances used in massage are discussed, including liniments and lubricants such as powders, oils, gels, lotions, and creams. Effects and benefits and indications for massage are introduced as well as precautions and endangerments sites. The history and evolution of massage therapy are discussed.

EAS1– Eastern I
EAS1 serves as an introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Shiatsu theory. Concepts covered are: Yin/Yang, Creation, and Control Cycles, Five Element Theory, The Vital Substances, Causes of Disease, Functions of Organs and Channels, Cycle of Tides, and the Eight Principles. The Five Elements: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal will be discussed.

Block 2

M&K2 – Myology and Kinesiology II
M&K2 2 covers the origins, insertions, actions, and nerve innervations of the muscles not covered in M&K1.

A&P2 – Anatomy and Physiology II
A&P2 covers blood, the heart, blood vessels, and circulation, the lymphatic system and immunity, and the respiratory system.

WES2 – Western II
WES2 covers various topics such as: various effects of massage therapy, indications/precautions of Swedish massage and advanced massage techniques, and body mechanics for massage therapy. How to create a treatment plan will be discussed. Muscle review, including hands-on palpation, will be a large focus of this course.

COM1 – Complimentary Massage and Bodywork Modalities
COM1 introduces complimentary massage and bodywork modalities. Various massage techniques are taught including: joint movement, PNF- proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, PIR – post isometric relaxation, stretching and strengthening techniques, and trigger point therapy. Additional bodywork modalities taught include but are not limited to: reflexology, sports massage, chair massage, prenatal massage, geriatric massage, manual lymphatic drainage, aromatherapy, spa therapies, and hydrotherapy, and cryotherapy. The Alexander Technique, Craniosacral Therapy, Rolfing (Structural Integration) and the Trager Method, Ayurvedic Massage, and Polarity Therapy will also be discussed.

EAS2 – Eastern II
EAS2 will cover Hara diagnosis and the functions, physical and psychological imbalances, channel path, and important point locations of the 12 Primary Channels and 2 Extraordinary Channels. Students will learn to apply techniques for a 1-hour basic Shiatsu routine focusing on Hara diagnosis and the 12 Primary Channels.

Block 3

PATH1 – Pathology I
PATH1 covers conditions of the integumentary system, musculoskeletal system, and circulatory system and the related indications and/or contraindications and precautions for massage therapy.

MED1 – Medical Massage
MED1 covers contraindications, and precautions in the practice of massage. Also covered are advanced techniques for specific dysfunctions and conditions of the foot, ankle, lower leg, knee, thigh, hip, pelvis, lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spine, shoulder, forearm, wrist, and hand. Application of appropriate adjunct techniques such as hydro-and cryotherapy, strengthening exercises, and stretches will be explored. Attention will be paid to proper body mechanics for the massage therapist.

EAS3 – Eastern III
EAS3 will cover assessment and diagnosis according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, excess and deficiency of the Five Elements, and mat and table Shiatsu. A four-class clinical internship is included with this class.



The Institute for Holistic Health instructor giving class about massage therapist to students

Block 4

NEU1 – Neurology
NEU1 covers significant structures, divisions, and functions of nervous tissue and its’ significant structures. Divisions and functions of the spinal cord and spinal nerves and divisions and functions of the brain and cranial nerves are also covered. The autonomic nervous system and how it works to maintain homeostasis will be explored. Also discussed are sensation, perception, kinesthetic awareness, and the integrating functions of the cerebrum, as well as the special senses: smell, taste, sight, and hearing.

M&K3 – Myology and Kinesiology III
M&K3 is a review of the origin, insertion, action, and nerve innervation of the muscles covered in M&K1 and M&K2. The skeletal structure & function, and the joints and ligaments covered in M&K1 and M&K2 will also be reviewed.

A&P3 – Anatomy and Physiology III
A&P3 covers the endocrine system, digestive system, metabolism and nutrition, urinary system, electrolyte and acid/base homeostasis, reproductive systems, and development and heredity.

PATH2 – Pathology II
PATH2 covers pathologies of the lymph, nervous, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, urinary, reproductive systems, and miscellaneous conditions and the related indications and/or contraindications and precautions for massage therapy.

CLIN1 – Clinic
CLIN1 is a hands-on student clinic that is designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in a clinical setting. Each clinic session is staff-supervised and supported. Students receive valuable feedback, practice record keeping, and are provided with the opportunity to reflect upon their experience and progress. Emphasis is placed on professional preparation as students train to work in the massage profession.

BUS1 – Business Practices
BUS1 is designed to develop the skills necessary for career planning and how to establish, manage, market, maintain and grow a massage therapy practice. This course also reviews New York State laws and professional conduct. Maintaining accurate records to satisfy state, local, and federal governments will be discussed. Students will develop a business card, resume with cover letter, and learn how to construct a business plan. Preparing for the New York State Licensing Exam and Continuing Education requirements will also be discussed.

Your massage career is at your fingertips

Any Questions?

Call us at ‍845-475-0010 or email us at hello@massageschoolny.com