Academic Program Overview 2017-08-03T10:58:47+00:00

MTIC Academic Program Overview

A breakdown of  MTIC course hours and credits, tracks and schedule information, and simple class descriptions.

Course Name / Hours / Credit Hours

  • Anatomy and Physiology / 160 / 14.00
  • Pathology for Massage / 75 / 6.00
  • Physical Assessment / 16 / 1.00
  • Kinesiology (Posture & Movement Lab) / 20 / 1.50
  • Tai Ji and Body Mechanics / 11 / 0.50
  • Business Management / 8 / 0.75
  • Allied Modalities: Hydro and Helio / 8  / 0.50
  • Ethics / 10 / 1.00
  • CPR / 4 / 0.25
  • Swedish Massage / 105 / 6.25
  • Deep Tissue Massage / 105 / 6.25
  • Neuromuscular Therapy / 100 / 6.00
  • Myofascial Therapy / 20 / 1.50
  • Reflexotherapy / 36 / 2.00
  • Acupressure and Meridian Therapy / 16 / 1.00
  • Motion Palpation / 16 / 1.00
  • Spa Technique / 16 / 1.00
  • Self Care / 4 / 0.25
  • Yoga Therapy for Self Care / 4 / 0.25
  • Complementary Massage Methods / 106 / 6.00
  • Basic Student Massage Clinic / 40 / 2.00
  • Advanced Student Massage Clinic 20 1.00
  • Total 900: 60.00

Academic Tracks

MTIC Track I

  • 11 Months 48 weeks, 48 weeks in class and (2) two-week breaks.
  • The track requires attending 2 full days per week for 48 weeks (total of 96 class days) and 60 hours of clinic (total of 12 clinic shifts of 5 hours each) for a total of 900 hours.


  • 15 Months 60 weeks, 60 weeks in class and (3) two-week breaks.
  • The track requires attending 2 evenings per week for 60 weeks (total of 120 evenings), one weekend a month (total of 12 weekends) and 60 hours of clinic (total of 12 clinic shifts of 5 hours each) for a total of 900 hours.

For more information about our program, policies, and procedures, take a look at our current catalog.


Massage Therapy Institute of Colorado Class Descriptions

The structure and function of the human body

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the CMT Program

Understanding the human body in health and disease is invaluable in the application of therapeutic massage.

The General Anatomy and Physiology course teaches the student the physical structure of the human body and how the different cells, tissue, and major systems of the human body function and interrelate to one another.

A practical style of instruction teaches students the required Anatomy and Physiology and how to effectively apply this knowledge in their practice. Discussions of body systems and their common ailments and treatments are included. Students gain understanding of when to refer unusual, contraindicated or difficult cases to the appropriate healthcare providers.

    The course emphasizes the study of:

  • Individual muscles
  • Identification of body landmarks
  • Location and function of the body organs and its systems
  • Concentrated study of muscular, skeletal, nervous, cutaneous and connective tissue systems

We use a combination of lecture, demonstration, discussion and lab work. Students will learn the Anatomy and Physiology of the main body systems.

Students will learn the main functions and organs of each body system and how these systems and organs work together to maintain homeostasis and sustain life and health. Effects and use of massage related to body systems is explored.

Students will learn detailed information about 140 major muscles, the 206 bones and the boney landmarks. Students will learn the major muscles of the body with emphasis placed on location, palpation, origin, insertion, and action of the muscles. Students will build the major muscles in clay on a sculpting skeleton model.

Understanding the human body in health and disease
Prerequisite: Anatomy & Physiology

A comprehensive course based on “The Massage Therapist Guide to Pathology,” which includes indications, contraindications and relevant information concerning various aspects of common diseases. Course prepares students to work confidently with clients facing health problems. We discuss disease process, clinical approach and referral parameters.

Students will learn about the pathology and indications and contraindications for massage.

Students will study the pathology of the Integumentary, Musculoskeletal, Nervous, Circulatory, Lymphatic, Immune,
Respiratory, Digestive, Endocrine, Urinary, and Reproductive Systems and miscellaneous pathologies and the indications and contraindications for massage and referral parameters and case histories and case management.

Orthopedic and functional evaluation

prerequisite: Myofascial Therapy & Kinesiology I

This course will cover a variety of orthopedic and functional evaluations that will help students assess clients and create treatment strategies.

This information will be used to prepare students for advance clinic so they are able to develop appropriate treatment plans and provide referral to other health care providers when indicated.

Orthopedic evaluation, functional evaluation, joint range of motion, palpation of joints and soft tissues, postural analysis, movement, analysis, ergonomic analysis and postural balancing exercises will be discussed and practiced. This course will add to the fundamental skills vital to advanced clinic and the practice of therapeutic massage.

Students learn to perform physical assessment tests for muscle, bone, ligament, joints, fascia, nerve and circulation so they can rule out contraindications, learn indications for referral and to develop massage treatment strategies based on assessment information.

Students will learn History, Observation, Palpation, Special Tests (HOPS) approach to assessment. Students will learn assessment skills for differentiation of muscular, ligament, joint, fascial, neural and circulatory problems.

Students will learn how to perform, chart and interpret several tests and how to apply this information for the purposes of referral when indicated and for safe massage treatment design.

Students will also study ergonomics of lifting, sitting and squatting and students will learn basic postural balancing exercises for the legs, pelvis, low back, spine, neck and shoulders.

Posture & Movement Studies

Prerequisite: Swedish Massage & first quarter of A&P

An introduction to the basic concepts of Kinesiology including: location, palpation and action of the major muscles, bones and joints.

Thorough discussions of muscles, bones and joint structure, along with basic instruction in postural analysis, body mechanics and range of motion studies.

This class information is integrated into the massage technique classes to relate the application of this knowledge directly to massage methods.

Studies in postural analysis begin with an idealized model of human posture. Being able to see and understand what
distinguishes healthy, functional posture from dysfunctional posture helps the student to identify patterns in the client contributing to postural dysfunction and pain.

The student will learn the muscular and bony alignment as well as the interaction of the neurological ‘righting reflexes’ which help to keep us upright in space. Massage Therapy requires healthy use of the body for optimum performance and the same holds true for everyone in all of their daily activities.

Healthy use of the body requires an inner sense of one’s own body and relationship to the ubiquitous force of gravity. As such the student explores basic concepts in human geometry for application to their own posture and movement and to their future clients.

With this as a basis, students will explore the basic physiology of the joints system, learning the details of the underlying body mechanics of the human body.

The adage which states “in movement there is life” is true. And more so, in optimum patterns of movement there is ease, which adds years of pleasurable pain-free existence to our lives.

Walking can be seen as the fundamental human movement. Almost every movement which involves the erect human posture
involves some aspect of the elements of walking.

MTIC utilizes observation of the gait of students to explore the elements and dynamics of the process of human walking. With these elements as building blocks, students can begin to understand factors involved in biomechanical dysfunctions related to pain.

Students will learn the Joint Range of Motion of the Body and how to assess for normal movement and joint function.

Students will learn how to evaluate posture and will examine each joint of the body for normal ROM. Students will learn how to identify abnormal posture, JROM and gait patterns.

Students will identify major movements of the joints and name the muscle groups responsible for flexion, extension, rotation, circumduction, elevation, depression, pronation, supination, inversion and eversion of the joints and which muscles function as agonists, antagonists, synergists and stabilizers.

Stance, posture and grounding

This course is based on the Chen Style Tai Ji Quan movements which act as a foundation for the solid body mechanics needed to perform massage.

Stance, posture, grounding, centered, movement coordinated with breath, leverage, joint alignment, fluidity, smooth transitions, power and weight transfer are key elements in conditioning for the advantage proper body mechanics offers the massage therapist. Ideally an integrated massage flows like the smooth and powerful dance that is Tai Ji.

Students will practice the movements at the beginning of massage class to develop focus, poise and balance and to prepare for the practice of massage. Tai Ji has been refined over many centuries and incorporates a deep understanding of proper application of body mechanics.

Students will learn to identify and use correct body mechanics for massage work and for assessment of clients.

Students learn how to use the body effectively for massage with correct posture, stance, and body positions. Chen style Tai Ji movements and exercises condition the student to use the body correctly. Students will learn to identify proper use of body mechanics for each other and how to apply body mechanic corrections for their massage clients.

This course introduces basic business practices, including effective use of appointment books, business cards, establishing clear business practices and payment policies, marketing techniques, insurance billing, basic accounting and tax systems and tax requirements typical to various types of massage practices.

Students will learn the fundamental business ideas, skills and practices essential for a massage therapy practice. Students will have a business workbook to complete that requires a resume, business plan, business card design, promotional and marketing materials examples of accounting and tax plans, state and federal requirements, etc.

Hot packs, ice packs, heat lamps and balms

  • Students will learn proper application of hydro collator hot packs, ice packs, TDK heat lamp, paraffin hand bath, hot hand soaks, liniments, ointments, and balms.
  • Students will have the opportunity to apply and practice these modalities in student clinic, massage class and in their practicum.

This course includes a handbook describing the actions of various liniments and when to apply them.

Students will learn about ethics and the professional ethical guidelines for massage therapists. Students will explore the use of conflict resolution, support systems, communication skills, and counseling for resolution of ethical dilemmas.

Students will learn about ethics and be able to identify situations where ethics may become compromised. Consideration will be given to the role of ethics in society, how ethics are shaped by social wisdom and experience.

Students will hold discussions on why each ethical guideline has been created and why it is important.

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation

This course teaches the basic American Heart Association adult CPR method and serves to prepare the student to administer basic CPR and how to handle CPR emergencies until help arrives.

Foundation of our Integrated Massage Instruction

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the CMT Program

Swedish massage introduces touch, mechanics and treatment of soft tissue by inducing relaxation, mobilizing fluids, and increasing circulation.

Swedish Massage techniques include:

  • Long, fluid strokes
  • Percussion
  • Muscle kneading
  • Friction

Benefits include:

  • Increased circulation
  • Reduced muscular tension
  • Induces overall relaxation

This therapeutic modality helps students develop their sense of touch, provide a foundation from which to build their massage education and prepare them for other modalities introduced throughout theyear.

The course includes history, theory, anatomy, pathology, kinesiology, indications, contraindications, as well as bodywork techniques and practicum to provide the essential instruction and experiential format necessary to learn and perform at a professional level.

Swedish Massage provides important elements of general massage training and is an excellent method for:

  • Touch therapeutics
  • Stress reduction
  • Relaxation and stretching
  • Range of Motion (R.O.M.)

Swedish Massage integrates well with:

  • Sports Massage techniques
  • Deep Tissue
  • Neuromuscular Therapy
  • Physio-emotive methods

In this course, students will become proficient in giving 60 and 90-minute full body Swedish massage routines. students will learn the function and application of the following specific massage strokes; effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, friction, traction, vibration, nerve stroke, basic touch, rocking compressions, fanning, stirring, shaking, jostling, variations,energy work, PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) passive and active stretching, passive and active JROM (joint range of motion).

Students will learn appropriate draping and bolstering techniques, application of appropriate lubricants for massage, table set up, body mechanics for Swedish Massage, indications and contraindications for massage, benefits of massage, effects of massage, basic client intake, history, interview, preparation for basic clinic, and considerations for ethics, professional conduct, professional boundaries, legal issues and special populations.

For Postural Imbalance & Chronic Pain Problems

Prerequisite: Swedish Massage and current with science class

A common problem for most people seeking massage are the “knots” which develop in the tissue as a result of stress, tension and postural distortion.

“Knots” are usually areas where muscles have contracted for so long that there is a lack of blood flow and sometimes an adhesion of the supporting connective tissue infrastructure. If neglected, muscles become shortened and ineffective in their job of moving the body.

Learning to work sensitively with these areas from the most superficial to the deepest layers of the body is the focus of the Deep Tissue Massage (DTM) segment. DTM increases the circulation, softens hardened tissue and lengthens and relaxes shortened muscles.

This segment is an opportunity for the student to increase their “palpatory literacy.”

Deep Tissue Massage (DTM) is used to eliminate areas of fascial adhesion and muscular contracture, which contribute to postural imbalances and pain.

DTM is a useful modality for treating postural imbalances and chronic pain problems. It integrates with Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) and Myofascial Release (MFR) treatments and is a potent therapy useful in initiating change on both physical and emotional levels.

The Deep Tissue Massage course includestheory, anatomy, pathology, kinesiology, indications, contraindications, as well as bodywork techniques and practicum which provide the instruction necessary for the correct application of Deep Tissue Massage. In this course students will learn how to perform Deep Tissue Massage as a whole body therapy for relief of tension, pain and postural distortion.

Students will learn detailed regional Deep Tissue Massage Routines for the Legs, Back Neck, Shoulders, and Arms that includes work on all the major muscles at Origin, Insertion, muscle bellies and the epimysial and perimysial fascia. Students will learn to identify and reduce areas of soft tissue dysfunction such as contractures and
adhesions. Students will learn to use Deep Tissue routines for fascial re-patterning and correction of posture while improving soft tissue health and function. Students learn how to assess for soft tissue problems and design clinical treatment routines to correct the same.

NMT identifies and eliminates trigger points.

Prerequisite: Swedish & Deep Tissue Massage and current with science

Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is the art and science of re-establishing balance between muscular and nervous systems.

NMT identifies and eliminates “trigger points,” the physiological manifestation of this imbalance. Trigger points are focal points of hypersensitivity in tissue which generate pain. They often occur in tissues which are stressed through injury, postural distortion or biomechanical dysfunction.

This segment includes history, theory, anatomy, pathology, kinesiology, indications, contraindications, as well as
basic and advanced bodywork techniques and practicum.

In this course students will learn full body examination techniques along with a variety of approaches to identify and treat trigger points and to recognize referral patterns and trigger point problems that generate pain and reflex dysfunction.

Students will learn detailed trigger point routines for the major muscles of the body by learning to palpate, identify and treat trigger points. Students will learn Neuromuscular theory, trigger point pathophysiology and trigger point routines for the treatment of common pain problems.

Students learn to identify and treat sprains, strains and other soft tissue lesions as well as identify and treat neurovascular compression syndromes such as carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, headaches, whiplash, joint pain, and back pain. Students will learn to perform trigger point assessment and design treatment routines for trigger point problems.

For Posture & Movement Integration

The connective tissue matrix is the universal environment for life. It surrounds and wraps every muscle, bone, organ, tissue and cell of the body. In this way it provides the organic substrate whereby everything in the body is related into a seamless whole.

Ida Rolf, one of the original myofascial theorists, described this matrix as a “three dimensional spider web.” Some theories hold that the fascial network is the conduit for the “life energy” described by healers since ancient times.

Postural imbalances are maintained by distortions in the structural matrix. Because of its continuous nature, soft tissue injuries, postural distortions and functional imbalances found anywhere in the body are transmitted throughout the entire system.

Myofascial Therapy works to re-establish balance in the connective tissue matrix by decompressing, opening and elongating the fascial membranes. This balance frequently manifests in the appearance of more balanced and erect posture and an increased sense of lightness or lift in the client.

Students will explore an integrated, three session approach to myofascial therapy designed to improve posture. Theory and technique will be presented as part of the Posture and Movement Integration.

In this course students will learn about fascial anatomy and how to apply a series of basic myofascial routines to improve posture and movement patterns and to relieve fascial restrictions.

Students will learn to palpate for fascial restrictions and will learn how to manipulate fascia through a series of specifically designed strokes designed to relieve common postural stresses and pain patterns caused by fascial restrictions.

A comprehensive, whole body approach to treatment Reflexotherapy differs from hand and foot reflexology in that it utilizes a comprehensive, whole body approach to treatment, rather than focusing solely on the hands and feet.

Manipulating reflex zones in certain areas of the body can stimulate reflex responses in the internal organs and other regions of the body. Multiple systems of reflexes are studied and integrated into a uniquely effective system of treatment.

The body is continually sending reflex messages about function and condition. Students learn how to read and respond to these reflex signals.

History, theory, anatomy, pathology, kinesiology, indications, contraindications, as well as bodywork techniques and practicum are all used to train the student in this method.

Students will learn to check for somatovisceral and viscerosomatic reflex irritation and how to design whole body reflexotherapy routines to help normalize somatovisceral reflexes.

Students will learn Neuromere spinal reflexes, tomal reflexes, Hand, Foot, Leg, Arm, Torso, Spinal Face, Scalp, Ear and Dermal reflex zones and how to assess and treat these zones and the associated viscera when signs of reflex irritation are present.

Students will learn to develop a treatment plan and treatment for somatovisceral and viscerosomatic reflex imbalances.

Movement and Sensation

Movement and sensation are interdependent, two sides of the same coin. In order to learn a new motor skill in our body we must first feel it. This feeling of movement is called “kinesthesia,” the kinesthetic sense. Once we know the feeling of something it becomes second nature.

A good example is how we learned to ride a bicycle by distinguishing balance. Once we acquired that sense of balance, we had the basic motor skill which we could refine over time.

We often think of muscular movement as being organized by the brain. However, to feel our movement, we use muscles as sense organs. In this way, the movements of the muscles organize the brain.

This interdependency of movement and feeling establishes patterns of muscular use within a “sensory matrix,” which become the building blocks of our movement. This sensory matrix establishes that familiar feeling in our movement.

However, if what feels right isn’t the optimal way to perform a movement, or is dysfunctional in a way that injures us, our body doesn’t know this, it only knows what feels familiar.

Once the familiar feeling is established, we must first feel something different to change the way we move.

Through the use of gentle, fluid, rhythmic movement, we touch the sensory patterns and coax the body into new, unique, pleasurable feeling states. These feeling states inform the body of new movement possibilities.

The student learns to attend to the client in a way that allows their motor state to inform the feeling state of the client and the feeling state of the client informs the motor state of the practitioner. This symbiotic relationship is the core of the work.

Integration of technique and approach with Swedish massage is explored. Students will learn to perform a full body motion palpation routine.

Students will learn motion palpation techniques for each body region, the joints of that body region, and how to integrate the techniques into a flowing full body routine that can be used either as a standalone therapy or integrated with other massage routines.

Hot stone massage is a specialty massage, offered by most spas and many private practitioners, where the therapist uses smooth, heated stones, either as an extension of their own hands, or by placing them on the body while they massage other parts of the body. The heat can be both deeply relaxing and help warm up tight muscles so the therapist can work more deeply, more quickly.

Students will learn history, hygiene, safety, temperature, benefits, indications/contraindications, set up, how to select and cure hot stones, types of stone heaters and how to use hot stones for therapeutic massage. Hot Stone Massage routines for the legs, back, and full body will be demonstrated and practiced. Students will also learn about the Spa Massage Industry, Employment Opportunities in Spas, other Spa Modalities, Adapting Hot Stone massage for special settings and special clients, integrating hot stone massage with other massage methods and more.

This course prepares students for and complements the Hot Stone NMT, Hot Bamboo NMT, Cold Stone Migraine Therapy, Allied Modalities, Spa Body Treatments (wraps & scrubs) and Japanese Foot and Facial massage courses.

This course teaches therapists the importance of proper rest , nutrition, lifestyle, stress reduction, exercise, body mechanics and allied modalities important for maintaining the health and wellness of the therapist.

Students will learn important self-care and wellness concepts and will also learn a method of self-massage using ball rolling.

Students will learn yoga postures that are designed to help develop sound body mechanics. Use of these postures will add strength and flexibility to the body. This class teaches the use of yoga postures for the correction of typical postural problems and how yoga practice can be used as a therapy to enhance postural stability and promote the mechanically efficient use of the body. This information is useful both for the massage practitioner for the performance of massage and knowledge of yoga therapy can help the therapist make appropriate suggestions and referrals for their clients interested in the benefits of yoga.


Client intake, evaluation & treatment design

  • Prerequisite: Swedish Massage. Held in MTIC Student Clinic.

Students are scheduled to have 3 – 1-hour massage appointments under supervision by an LMT teacher at MTIC for each 5-hour clinic shift.

Students also learn proper clinic protocol, greeting the client, doing history, interview, assessment and plan a massage. The plan is approved by the supervisor and the student delivers the massage. The supervisor will visit the room to observe and teach the student as needed.

The student will do SOAP notes and charting of the session, collect payment from the client, reschedule the client, discuss the case with the supervisor and prepare the room for the next appointment.

There are hydrocollators in each clinic treatment room and access to oils, liniments, and balms.

Students also work the desk, make reminder calls to clients, set up files and help ensure a smooth and successful clinic operation by helping the supervisor as required.


Integrating knowledge & skills for complex conditions

  • Prerequisite: Swedish, Deep Tissue, NMT, Physical Assessment and complete basic clinic

Assessment and a complete treatment is done at the MTIC Student Clinic. Students are scheduled for 2 clients with a 2-hour appointment. Clients for advanced clinic have a challenging case history and students do a thorough intake, history, assessment, observation, and special tests to determine the chief complaint and devise a treatment plan and then deliver the treatment plan. This is done under supervision by a qualified advanced clinic supervisor who guides the student through the process. Advanced clinic is an important preparation for professional Massage practice. Students follow up with the client with future visits and practice detailed charting and SOAP Notes to track the progress of the client.

Complimentary massage methods are presented throughout the year. These enhance the core massage methods of Swedish, DTM, NMT & Reflexotherapy, providing a wide spectrum of skills and techniques from which the student can draw in developing therapeutic treatments. These methods include:

  • Sports massage
  • Geriatric massage
  • Lomi lomi: traditional Hawaiian massage
  • Biofield: energy work
  • Thai massage: clothed bodywork done on a mat
  • Cold Stone Migraine Therapy: effective for treatment of headaches and migraines
  • Craniosacral:  a soft touch therapy to release restrictions in the craniosacral system
  • Liniments: an introduction into the use of Chinese salves and liniments as part of a treatment plan
  • Spa Body Treatments: using and making your own luxurious body scrubs, polishes and wraps
  • Pregnancy massage
  • Spa and Stone: using hot stones as part of a therapeutic treatment plan
  • Self-care: a variety of techniques designed to keep the therapist healthy and injury free
  • Heated Bamboo massage: treatment using heated bamboo tools to release tension from the muscles
  • Zoku Shin Do: an ancient Japanese foot massage technique
  • Asian Acupressure:and introduction to acupressure and its uses for bodywork