Effective massage therapy requires an intricate knowledge of the workings of the human body. The ability to thoroughly assess a client and formulate and apply a treatment plan is dependent upon the therapist’s understanding of complex systems, such as the nervous system and vascular system, to a patient’s care.
For that reason, massage therapy education focuses a large amount of attention on developing students’ understanding of the various sciences relevant in the Health Sciences field. OVCMT’s massage therapy program devotes a number of courses to musculoskeletal anatomy, anatomy/ physiology, pathology and neuroanatomy. This helps students better assess, critically think their way through treatment, and understand the rationale behind techniques they are applying. In addition, a strident presentation of integrated Sciences prepares the student for the registration exams required in BC and other MT regulated provinces .
Read on to find out more about some of the integrated sciences that are important in the field of massage therapy.
A solid foundation in human anatomy and physiology is essential to studying massage therapy. Anatomy is the study of the human body's structure and the systems within it. Students learn about cells, muscle tissues and organs, and how they come together to form the different systems in the body, such as the skeletal system, the lymphatic system and the circulatory system.
Whereas anatomy is primarily concerned with the structure of various systems, physiology is the study of the various functions of those structures and how they interact with one another. How human beings breathe, circulate blood through the body, walk, and talk are all based on physiology.
Two important aspects of anatomy for massage therapists, are musculoskeletal anatomy and neuroanatomy. In their musculoskeletal anatomy courses, students learn all the bones, muscles, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and joints of the body using a regional approach. Not only must students know the names and function of these components, they learn to find and identify each by palpation in their hands-on labs.
Advanced Neuroanatomy is a second year course in the massage therapy program which studies how the brain sends messages through the nervous system to control body movements and the musculoskeletal anatomy. The course includes such topics as higher brain function, learning, memory and more. Neuropathology is included and integrated with Neurological assessment and treatment from a Massage Therapist perspective.
Kinesiology is the study of the form, function, and biomechanics of human movement. This fascinating science integrates much of what massage therapy college students learn regarding the anatomy and physiology of the body, as well as studying how body parts respond to external force and stress, and how factors like posture and gait affect the body.
An effective understanding of kinesiology is invaluable when treating athletes or anyone suffering from soft tissue injuries, and also plays a crucial role in active massage therapy such as joint assessment, therapeutic exercise and muscle energy technique.
Experienced massage therapists know that a problem that seems straightforward can often be anything but, with many complex factors often coming into play. Pathology is the study of the nature and origins of disease and injuries. Understanding the principles of this science helps massage therapists examine various factors in a patient’s medical history, work and home environment to correctly identify and treat the root cause of an issue.
Massage therapy training provides MT students a foundation in integrated sciences to help them understand why and how the assessment and techniques work. This knowledge allows them to offer safer, more comprehensive and effective treatment to their patients.
Are you interested in massage therapy? Visit the OVCMT website to discover how you can complete your massage therapy diploma in just two years.