The Core Curriculum: 500 Hours

Our Core Curriculum is designed to give you all the hands-on training for Therapeutic and Swedish massage that you would need in any massage setting; plus the sciences to meet the additional requirements of the State of Iowa and the MBLEx Exam.

The Core Curriculum consists of:

  • Therapeutic Massage Series: 150 Hours
  • Anatomy: Bones and Muscles: 50 Hours
  • Physiology: 50 hours and Pathology 40 hours
  • Kinesiology: 25 Hours
  • Business/Marketing/Essentials/Chair Massage: 58 Hours
  • Student Clinic in our Professional Spa: 127 Hours

Transfer of Credits

Please contact the Administrator of Student Affairs regarding a possible transfer of credit hours into our program and fees and details connected with the procedure.

Body Wisdom Massage Therapy School Requirements for Graduation:

750 Hour Program Satisfactory Completion of the following:

  • 500 Hours Core Curriculum
  • 250 Hours Career Track Electives (more optional)
  • **CPR and First Aid

(Note: CPR and First Aid training is taken by the student outside of class time and is required for graduation)

State of Iowa Requirements

Applicants desiring licensure in the State of Iowa must pass the MBLEx Exam.

Therapeutic Massage Level 1 (50 Hours)

Therapeutic Massage Level 1 presents a powerful and fluid massage sequence that integrates Swedish, Esalen and Deep Tissue techniques with stretching sequences and Polarity Therapy energy work. Comprehensive fundamentals of professional bodywork including evaluation, applied anatomy, proper body mechanics, and focused intention, sensitivity of touch and communication skills are integrated into each practice session.

Students are trained to use leverage through proper body mechanics and movement from their center to achieve deep pressure instead of effort, so that their work is as much a joy to give, as it is to receive. A rich foundation is laid that honors the intuitive and creative as well as an anatomically precise approach to therapeutic massage.

This course is NOT about memorizing a set routine but rather allowing the dance of your hands to evolve with confidence and grace. You will learn how to adapt a sequence to best meet your client’s needs from over two hours of innovative strokes and stretches.

With such a strong emphasis on hands-on skills, this course provides an outstanding foundation for the motivated beginner and will also provide inspiration to the practicing therapist.

A comprehensive manual covering all the course material complete with photographs of techniques is included.

Therapeutic Massage Level 2 (50 Hours)

Therapeutic Massage Level 2 continues to build on the approach learned in Therapeutic Massage Level 1 with expanded treatment options for neck, shoulders and lower back.

The advanced work in Therapeutic Massage Level 2 includes: advanced stretching routines, functional assessments and evaluations, range of motion techniques, and Deep Tissue. A key element of this course is the development of palpation skills, the ability to locate and assess individual muscles, as the basis for doing specific work on muscles, tendons and ligaments.

The course also deepens training from the previous course for effective communication and interaction with the client and other professionals.

A comprehensive manual covering all the course material complete with photographs of techniques is included.

Prerequisite: Therapeutic Massage 1 or equivalent

Therapeutic Massage Level 3 (50 Hours)

Therapeutic Massage Level 3 presents an advanced massage therapy sequence taught primarily in the side-lying position that gives you new tools to address your client’s most common complaints. The side-lying position is ideal for the neck/shoulder and hip/low back regions, for treating pregnant clients and for anyone who doesn’t enjoy face cradles.

This course continues to refine many of the techniques taught in Therapeutic Massage Level 2. Palpation, evaluation, assessment skills are taken to the next level and all of the Deep Tissue sequences from Therapeutic Massage Level 2 are adapted to the side lying position including specific work to release restrictions in neck, shoulders, lower back and hips. In addition, students are introduced to the most commonly used Hydrotherapy modalities as well as Trigger Point Therapy, Positional Release and advanced stretch techniques.

Near the end of the training, students will have the opportunity to fully integrate all the techniques learned in the Therapeutic Massage Series Levels 1 through 3 into custom-designed sessions. Assessment, evaluation, developing a treatment plan and choosing the best techniques and modalities will be the steps you will follow to meet the needs of your fellow “student” clients.

A comprehensive manual covering all the course materials, complete with photographs of techniques is included.

Prerequisites: Therapeutic Massage Levels 1 & 2

Anatomy: Bones and Muscles (50 Hours)

The State of Iowa requires 50 in-class hours of Anatomy Bones and Muscles.

At Body Wisdom you won’t be bored out of our skull studying and learning anatomy with a traditional “2-D approach” (only learning out of books and watching videos) like many schools.

This course is designed specifically for Massage Therapists and is taught in a highly experiential format, which is 80% hands-on palpation skills training that will transfer directly into your massage practice.

This method of learning allows your assessments to be more comprehensive and your hands-on work to become more precise and effective, which enables you to work more closely with other medical health professionals in clinical settings.

A comprehensive modern text book aids this course in addition to a variety of multi-media learning resources including a comprehensive DVD series covering all the bones, muscles, and nerves and additional multi-media presentations.

Kinesiology (25 Hours)

Simply put, Kinesiology is the study of human movement. Body Wisdom has created a course dedicated to addressing this vital area of massage education. A depth understanding of how muscles function as movers, antagonists, and stabilizers in the human body is critical to the clinical reasoning and assessment process as well as the application of advanced massage and bodywork rehabilitation techniques.

This advanced-level Kinesiology course provides an overview of clinical applications related to the concepts presented as well as an explanation of the anatomical and physiological terminology needed for work in the musculoskeletal field. Advanced concepts presented include an introduction to microanatomy and micro-physiology, such as sliding filament theory and the structure and function of fascia.

Prerequisites: Anatomy: Bones & Muscles

Physiology (50 Hours) and Pathology (40 Hours)

The State of Iowa requires 50 in-class hours of Physiology and 40 in-class hours of Pathology. In this comprehensive introduction to physiology you will learn about the systems of the body, how they function and how each relates specifically to your practice of massage. We have organized our training so, that after you have received an understanding of a particular body system, such as the circulation system, you then go on to learn the pathological conditions and disorders related to that system. You will learn about the various conditions, including the etiology and progression of the disease, signs and symptoms, the standard medical approach to diagnosis and treatment and the indications and contraindications for massage.

Included in your course books and materials is a complete home study workbook.

Student Clinic (127 Hours)

Students are required to participate in a minimum of 127 hours in our student clinic which is generally open 6 days a week, Monday though Friday 9:00 AM to 9 PM; and Saturday 10-5 PM, for your scheduling convenience. The clinic is run like a professional spa, allowing students to acquire a greater sense of confidence and proficiency, while fully preparing them for business procedures used in real-world work settings.

Massage Business, Marketing and Chair Massage Course (58 Hours)

This approach to massage business building is “values based” and students will be encouraged to explore their dreams and images of being a massage therapist. This class will also cover the essentials of starting and running a massage therapy practice.

Course Highlights:

  • Marketing and Promoting Yourself and Your Clinic
  • Tax Strategies and Money Saving Ideas
  • Insurance Billing
  • Personal Insurance
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Developing a Business Plan
  • Employment Issues
  • Licensure and Legal Issues (laws, examinations, renewals, and fees)

Ethical considerations in the practice of massage therapy will be explored as well as possible solutions to typical problems that occur in a massage practice.

Chair Massage and Promotion:

Part of every day will be devoted to learning a comprehensive chair massage sequence. You will practice massage techniques for seated massage and focus on developing a “style” and presence when providing promotional treatments with a massage chair.

Developing Your Vision and Promotional Materials:

Students will have ample time to explore their goals and aspirations with respect to their new career. There will be small group discussion time to help the students envision their perfect practice setting. The creation of a logo, brochure, business card, and other materials will be facilitated during class.

Creating a Business Plan:

Students will have the opportunity to work on their business plan in class and to get feedback from their classmates. Students can expect to leave class with a working plan for starting their business.

Prerequisites: “Your Commitment to Your Own Success”