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What You Will Study in a Massage Therapy Training Program...

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What You Will Study in a Massage Therapy Training Program in Chicago 

Chicago massage therapy schools must follow strict guidelines set forth by the State of Illinois, as massage therapy is a highly regulated career. Students in these programs generally follow a similar course plan that covers the most important subjects in the field of bodywork. 

Typical Massage Therapy Classes 

One of the first classes that a massage therapy student enrolls in is a course on medical terminology. Students must learn these important terms before progressing further into a program. It may help if a student knows or studies Latin at the same time, as many medical terms stem from Latin words. 

Anatomy and kinesiology classes teach the students more about the human body and how it works. They must learn about the entire body, from the head to the feet, in order to provide competent massage therapy to clients. For safety reasons, they must also learn about physical diseases that affect the body. Professional ethics is another typical course found in Chicago massage therapy schools. Students learn how to conduct themselves professionally and interact with clients. 

Once these beginner courses are completed, students move into hands-on massage therapy training, broadly divided into two categories: Eastern and Western modalities. 

Western Massage Therapy 

In the Western modality, students learn about giving seated massages and sports massages. Not all schools teach these two topics, but they may briefly touch upon them. Students may also learn about cranial sacral therapy or Myofascial release. The last two classes are more advanced, and not all schools in Chicago teach them.

Eastern Massage Therapy 

Eastern-based massage therapy training covers major Asian philosophies of the body system, such as Yin and Yang and Meridian lines. Acupressure also falls under this modality. Practitioners of Eastern massage therapy are quite popular in many parts in the country, so many students are interested in learning it. 

The clinical portion of a massage therapy program is taught last. Students provide full massages to clients or other students to practice their newly-learned techniques. Student-run clinics often provide discounted massages to the general public. All of these sessions are conducted under the guidance of a school instructor. These clinics allow the instructors to see if the student has the correct posture, technique and professionalism. 

Sitting for the Exam 

Massage therapists in Chicago must be licensed by the State of Illinois. To get this license, a graduate must have completed a 500-hour massage therapy program, which includes passing the final exam. The only other way someone can get licensed is if he or she holds a license from another approved state or has passed the NCETMB exam. 

Continuing Education 

Massage therapy education doesn't stop after graduation. Bodywork professionals continue to learn new massage techniques and laws throughout their career. In fact, massage therapists in Illinois must complete 24 hours of classes related to their career in order to renew their license. At least two of these hours must be on the topic of ethics. This is a safety precaution for the public and for the bodywork therapist.

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