Jun 01, 2023  
2019-20 Gaston College Catalog 

Therapeutic Massage - Massage Practitioner I (C45750MA)

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Students must complete both Therapeutic Massage Practitioner I and Therapeutic Massage Practitioner II Certificates to be eligible to take the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam.

The Therapeutic Massage curriculum prepares graduates to work in direct client care settings providing manipulation / massage of the soft tissue structures of the body to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, muscle spasm, and stress, and to promote health and wellness.

Courses include content in normal human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic massage, ethical /legal issues, business practices, and psychology. Students should be able to perform entry level therapeutic massage with various populations throughout the lifespan.

Employment opportunities include health care facilities, chiropractors ‘offices, spas /health/sports clubs, and private practice.

Upon completing Certificate I & II, graduates may be eligible to take the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam. Upon passing this exam a candidate may apply for North Carolina State License for Massage and Bodywork. Licensure is MANDATORY to practice massage in the state of North Carolina. Refer to website: www.bmbt.org for details.

The Therapeutic Massage curriculum offers three options: a degree, diploma and certificate(s) program. Completion of the degree program is highly recommended as it prepares the graduate to be a practitioner with a broader knowledge base in the practice of Therapeutic Massage.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  1. Plan, organize and deliver an effective massage session.
  2. Perform within the ethical, legal and professional parameters set forth by the N.C. Board of Massage & Bodywork.
  3. Perform massage therapy and bodywork for therapeutic benefits.

Admission Information

Students applying to the Certificate(s) for Therapeutic Massage must meet all Gaston College admission requirements.  Admission to the general college does not guarantee admission to the Therapeutic Massage program.

  1. Submit a Gaston College Application
  2. Complete Residency Determination for in-state tuition
  3. Apply for financial aid
  4. Meet with an advisor / Attend an information session
  5. Submit official transcripts
  6. Provide proof of course placement requirements

Additional Requirements to be eligible to submit an application to the Therapeutic Massage Program

  • Complete an online application to the Therapeutic Massage Program.
  • Must have an overall grade point average of 2.0 or better in required college courses.
  • Must have grades of “C” or better in all related courses.
  • All completed required Biology courses must be within five(5) years from the date of application to the program or required Biology courses can be taken in program.
  • Interview with Therapeutic Massage Program Coordinator.

Additional Program Requirements upon admission into the Therapeutic Massage Program

  • Proof of receiving a one hour full body Swedish professional massage.
  • A completed Gaston College Health and Human Services Student Medical form documenting satisfactory emotional and physical health. This is required by the due date stated in the applicant’s admission letter.
  • In addition to maintaining a 2.0 GPA in the general education courses, students must earn and maintain a minimum grade of 80% in all MTH courses in order to progress in the program.
  • Hold a current Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers certification through the American Heart Association.
  • Students will be required to submit documentation of additional non-academic criteria such as, but not limited to, criminal background checks, urine drug testing, and proof of immunizations. If the clinical facility refuses to allow the student to do clinical at the facility based on said findings, the student would not be allowed to continue in the program.
  • Professional liability insurance (malpractice insurance). This insurance is arranged through the Therapeutic Massage program.

Clinical agencies reserve the right to deny a student access to the facility based on failure to meet the above requirements. If a student is denied access to any clinical agency, the student will not be allowed to continue in the Therapeutic Massage program. Detailed information regarding these agency requirements will be provided upon conditional acceptance into the Therapeutic Massage program.

Total Credit Hours: 14


Graduates from the certificate series are eligible to earn a future Diploma or Associates Degree in Therapeutic Massage. The additional course requirements will be completed after the certificates have earned.

Anatomy & Physiology: BIO 168/169 is not required for the certificate program. However, these courses are mandatory for students who wish to earn a diploma or associate degree from Gaston College’s Therapeutic Massage program after completing the certificate series.

Related Careers

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