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How a Rigorous Massage Therapy Program Prepares you for the Profession

by Aug 8, 2018

Home » NUHS Blog » How a Rigorous Massage Therapy Program Prepares you for the Profession

The field of massage therapy today is about much more than helping someone feel pampered and relaxed. Successful massage therapists employ a variety of techniques that can not only help with relaxation but can treat health ailments too. Recent research has shown massage can effectively treat conditions such as high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, headaches, osteoarthritis, and several other types of conditions.

In a rigorous massage therapy program, you will learn how to treat these conditions as a health care professional. More importantly, this type of education will give you the skills you need to work in any environment you may choose.

Here are four additional ways a rigorous education can better prepare you for today’s massage therapy industry. 

An understanding of human anatomy and physiology will improve your treatment skills 

No matter what environment you choose to work in, you will encounter patients with a diverse range of health conditions. In order to better treat these patients, therapists must have a thorough understanding of human anatomy. This is why the best massage therapy programs don’t just offer training in massage techniques; a well-rounded massage therapy program with a comprehensive curriculum will also include intensive courses in anatomy and physiology.

At National University, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the human anatomy through instruction in a graduate-level medical cadaver lab. You will actually see the musculature, ligaments, and organ systems, not just learn about them in books or through diagrams. To help you succeed with this curriculum, National University offers additional state-of-the-art tools and resources.

Massage therapy students have access to the Anatomage Table, today’s most technologically advanced digital visualization system for anatomy education, along with a comprehensive Learning Resource Center, that houses a huge collection of books, print and electronic journals, ebooks, bibliographic databases, and more. In addition, you’ll learn from professors, instructors, and physicians with outstanding credentials. The majority of 
our faculty members are not only active in the profession, but are also researchers in the field of massage therapy

You will be able to work in a wider variety of settings or start your own business

Massage therapy is increasingly part of integrative care in hospitals, wellness centers, hospice care facilities, physicians’ practices, and in integrative care clinics. A rigorous massage therapy program should prepare you for these environments with hands-on experience at a real health care clinic. At National University, students receive thorough clinical training at the on-campus Whole Health Center under the direct supervision and guidance of expert clinicians. Because the clinic includes other health care fields such as chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, oriental medicine, and acupuncture, students get real-world experience working with a range of health care practitioners and patients.

As part of National University’s curriculum, business management courses will help you understand how to operate your own practice, as well. You will learn how to build a successful client base, keep accounting and tax records, and familiarize yourself with state and local laws. You will also learn to communicate with other health care professionals in classes like medical terminology, interpersonal communication, and ethics. Whether you plan to work at an existing practice or start your own, a rigorous massage therapy program will provide you with the skills you need to do both.

You will be more likely to pass board exams

In order to practice as a massage therapist, you must first pass a licensing exam. How students at the school perform on board exams directly reflects the quality of the program. National University prides itself on having graduates consistently score well above both national and state averages for these exams. This not only assists in getting the top jobs in the field but also enables you to be confident in your training for any work environment you choose.

You will be better prepared for the future of health care

Hospitals or integrative clinics where therapists often work with other health practitioners are becoming increasingly common. Therefore, it is important to look for a rigorous program that gives you experience in “integrative medicine.” This means a school where massage therapists train to work in collaboration with other health professionals, such as DCs, NDs, DOs, MDs, etc.

National University offers a campus dedicated to integrative medicine with students and faculty specializing in naturopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, acupuncture, and oriental medicine. This unique experience prepares you to understand and speak with a range of medical professionals when you graduate and make it easier to refer and co-manage patients. Even if you decide to work as an independent practitioner and don’t end up working in an integrative setting, your experience at NUHS will better prepare you to help your patients get the care that they need. 

A rigorous education might seem challenging at first, but it can help give you the edge you need to succeed in today’s massage therapy industry. At a graduate-level medical school like National University you will have access to academic support from our expert faculty and state-of-the-art facilities. When you graduate, you’ll be able to pursue a much wider variety of career options.


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About the Author

Dr. Jerrilyn Cambron

Dr. Jerrilyn Cambron

Jerrilyn Cambron, DC, PhD, is the Dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences and Distance Education and a professor in the Department of Research at National University of Health Sciences. She is past-president of the Massage Therapy Foundation and founder and principal investigator of (a practice-based research network for massage therapists). Dr. Cambron received her DC degree from National University and her Master in Public Health and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She completed a certification program in massage therapy at National University in 2006.


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