The Massage Therapy program consists of a combination of lecture, labs and clinical practice. You will begin the Massage Therapy program by learning about:
The history of massage
The basics of medical ethics and standards
Eastern and Western massage styles and techniques
Human anatomy and physiology as it relates to massage
After setting up the framework for massage therapy, you will have the chance to apply the theories discussed in class on faculty, sports teams and geriatric patients. Practice is performed in a state-of-the-art clinic featuring:
Hot and cold therapy
Hydraulic massage tables
Hydraulic massage chairs
Massage Therapy classes and hands-on clinical instruction are all taught at Broward College’s North Campus in Coconut Creek.
See the full Massage Therapy program.
Licensed Massage Therapists are health care professionals licensed by the state of Florida to administer massage for compensation to patients or clients directly, or by a physician’s prescription. An integral part of the national interest in wellness and alternative medicine, massage therapy is one of the most rapidly growing health care professions in the country.
The massage therapist skillfully applies therapeutic and/or relaxing techniques and modalities to alleviate symptoms, which requires knowledge of the individual’s condition.
A general assessment is made of the patient or client’s condition by an interview, palpation (touching), observation and consultation with other health care providers. Assessment is needed to determine treatment goals, contraindications and the need for referral to other health care professionals. Therapists can give an estimated duration of treatment or opinion regarding the client’s progress.
Massage therapists use a wide array of therapeutic treatment options, such as:
- Water packs
- Essential oils
- Electrical stimulation
Certificate holders who have been licensed by the state of Florida to practice massage therapy can find employment in a variety of settings. Some of our graduates have gone on to work in:
- Private spas
- Fitness centers
- Chiropractic clinics
- Sports medicine clinics
Due to the full-time eight month commitment required of the Massage Therapy program, you may want to make sure that this program is the right path for you.
The most successful massage therapists display characteristics like:
Genuine concern for the welfare of others
Passion for alternative healing and medicine
Excellent communication skills in a variety of settings
Willingness to continue their education by learning new techniques
The primary instructor for Broward College’s Massage Therapy students is Sandra Stone, a licensed massage practitioner with 15 years of experience as an independent massage therapist and 10 years of experience as an instructor. She is trained in aromatherapy, reflexology, Reiki, Table Shiatsu, sports massage, pregnancy massage and chakra balancing, in addition to even more massage techniques.
Massage Therapy courses are only available once a year, and equate to 25 credits or 750 hours (eight semesters).
A few of the massage techniques you will learn in your courses include:
Towards the end of the program, you will also learn the business side of massage therapy, such as:
Billing insurance companies
Calculating fees for your services
Best practices for accurate record-keeping
How to start and market your own massage practice
Some of the courses may require you to practice massage for community service.
As licensed Massage Therapists, graduates of Broward College's program pursue fulfilling careers in a variety of areas, including:
Health spas and resorts
Wherever you choose to practice your profession, our comprehensive program will give you a range of qualifications, expertise and hands-on skills to quickly build an excellent reputation and successful career.
Massage therapy provides a much-needed health care service to people from all walks of life in today’s high-stress culture. An integral part of the national interest in wellness and alternative medicine, massage therapy is the most rapidly growing health care profession in the country. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that massage therapists are delivering more than 100 million massage sessions annually.
Over the past decade massage therapy has achieved an unprecedented level of public awareness through extensive coverage in the national media, inclusion in world-class sporting events, acceptance by leading athletes and performing artists, and from growing recognition in the medical community. As massage therapy and other complementary health care professions move rapidly towards inclusion in the more traditional allopathic health care community, therapists can contribute to patient care in medical settings working in conjunction with other health care professionals such as MDs, PAs, physical/occupational therapists, chiropractors, nurses, and midwives.
- Therapists can expect to earn between $15 and $75 an hour depending on the work setting
- Average job salary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida was $40,000 as of August 4, 2010 (indeed.com job search survey)
- An increasing number of massage therapists are maintaining independent practices in professional offices, or as an on-site therapist in the work place
- Therapists can work full- or part-time as employees or sub-contractors; use massage to enhance an existing professional practice or to gain valuable skills for helping family and friends
“The physician must be acquainted with many things and assuredly with anatripsis (massage).”
~Hippocrates Aphorisms 400B.C.E.
Massage as a profession is both a science and an art. To use touch as therapy, there must be science to verify its efficacy. To use touch therapy, the therapist must trust their intuition (the ability to bring subconscious information into conscious awareness). It is important to maintain the art (craft, skill, technique, and talent) of massage by recognizing the validity of intuitional expression. The scientific art of therapeutic massage depends on the development of a concept or idea, the testing of the idea through research, and the use of skill and talent in applying the craft through its various techniques. These attributes make massage unique in today’s health care system.
The massage profession has these characteristics:
1. A specialized body of knowledge—Massage is the oldest form of treatment in the world. Massage methods are grounded in historical foundations and current research validates this body of knowledge. You could devote a lifetime to study all the many aspects of massage.
2. Extensive training—Current standards in Florida are 500 and 750 contact hours. Judging from data collected from actual job duties and current trends, 1000 contact hours is more appropriate for supporting professional development.
3. An orientation toward service—The dictionary definition of service that best applies is “to meet a need”. It is the motivating factor to become a massage therapist, and this desire to meet a need is felt in a massage professional’s touch.
4. A commonly accepted code of ethics—Generally expressed by our laws and scope of practice. Florida State Statutes Chapter 480, Florida Administrative Code Chapter 64B-7.
5. Legal recognition through certification or licensure by a professional association—National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTM), and the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). Licensure is through the Florida Board of Massage Therapy under the Department of Health.
6. A professional association—American Massage Therapist Association, Florida State Massage Therapy Association, International Massage Association, American Professional Massage and Bodywork Association, and others.
Sandra Stone: Massage Therapy Program Manager, Instructor
Vocational Certificate in Massage Therapy, Academy of Healing Arts
Florida License Massage Therapy #MA16663
Vocational Certificate in Esthetics, South Technical Educational Center
Florida License Esthetics #FB0713103
B.S., Occupational Therapy, Barry University
A.A., Pre-Occupational Therapy, Palm Beach Community College
A.A., Business Administration, Palm Beach Community College
A.S., Legal Assisting, Palm Beach Community College
I have been a massage instructor for 15 years in South Florida. I have extensive experience working in the massage field for over 15 years independently and in different settings: rehabilitation clinics with athletic trainers, chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and exercise physiologists; also in day spas, destination/resort spas, and private clinics. I am trained in Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Esthetics, Reiki, Table Shiatsu, Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue/Neuromuscular Therapy, Myofascial Release, Sports Massage, Chair Massage, Pregnancy Massage, Abhyanga (Ayurveda) Massage, Manual Lymph Drainage (Vodder), Touch for Health (Applied Kinesiology), Myotherapy (Trigger Points), Cranial Sacral Therapy, Chakra Balancing, Spa Services, Hydrotherapy, Ultrasound, Electric Stimulation, Muscle Re-education, Biofeedback, Hypnosis, CPR, First Aid, and Colonics.
My mission is to prepare competent and ethical massage therapists who are dedicated to lifelong learning.
As a student in our Massage Therapy Program, and later as a professional working the field, you will encounter a number of tasks, skills and personal qualities vital to success. If you are "cut out for the job," you must have:
Tactile ability sufficient for assessment of data such as pulse, temperature, texture, size, shape, muscle tone and other palpation data
Exhibit gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to move from room to room, to maneuver around massage tables or equipment, to provide safe and effective care including the ability to assist with positioning of patients/clients
Ability to perform therapeutic interventions and safely utilize equipment that requires sensory awareness, ability to perform palpation, possess fine motor coordination to perform proper massage techniques
Possess sufficient interpersonal skills to establish meaningful and effective rapport with patients/clients, families, and colleagues from a variety of different social, emotional, economic, cultural, ethnic, religious, and intellectual backgrounds as well as within all age groups
Practice is performed in our state-of-the-art clinic on the North Campus in Coconut Creek, Florida, which has hydraulic massage tables, massage chairs, and the best in spa products and equipment. We also have a rehabilitation clinic we share with the Physical Therapist Assistant program which is equipped with all the exercise and therapeutic equipment needed to develop skills in a medical setting such as electric stimulation, ultrasound, hot/cold therapy, and paraffin baths. We invite our faculty to our clinic, several sports teams, geriatric clients, and other special populations allowing our students the widest possible experience.
Our clinic is an integral part of our student's experience as they refine the skills they are learning. It is our mission as a school to bring the therapeutic benefits of massage to our community. We participate in many charitable events both locally and outside the community volunteering our services with both chair and table massage. Students gain valuable experience working in different venues and develop confidence as they become more flexible in their interactions with clients. They also learn the value of giving back to their community by sharing the gift of massage.
Students will have an opportunity to work on members of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association and the American Massage Therapy Association in our clinic. This unique experience will allow expert feedback as to each student's performance from practicing professionals in the community.
Students may also invite their friends and family members to the clinic to benefit directly from each student's transformation into a competent and accomplished professional practitioner.
Our clinic has always been dedicated to providing treatment with respect for client confidentiality. Protecting the public's privacy is fundamental in the course of our clinical practice. As required by law, we will maintain the privacy and confidentiality of all our health care records.
Our clinic is a teaching clinic, so the experience may be somewhat different than in private situations. Patient feedback and supervisor observations are important aspects of the clinic. Therefore, clients are expected to complete medical history forms, evaluation forms, and sign releases stating they are aware their service is provided by students. Clients and students should expect supervisor observation during some part of their session.
Practicing, observing, and receiving are the three ways our students develop their natural talents in the therapeutic art of massage therapy. One of the best things about being a student in our clinic is you not only provide services, you also receive them! Students are encouraged to work with each other throughout the length of their training.
Study Sites for State Board Exam
Massage Therapy Resources
Florida Massage Therapy Board
Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards1-913-681-0389www.fsmtb.org
National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork1-800-296-0664www.ncbtmb.org
Florida State Massage Therapy Association1-407-628-2772www.fsmta.org
American Bodywork and Massage Professional Association1-800-458-2267www.abmp.org
National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists1-800-262-4017www.nanmt.org
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCAAM)1-888-644-6226www.nccam.nih.gov
The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy www.whccamp.hhs.gov