Massage Therapy Certification

Cedar Stone School of Massage offers a Massage Therapy Certification Program that prepares students for employment in the profession of massage therapy. The program integrates several approaches to massage and bodywork including Native American and Asian techniques. Students study Swedish massage, deep tissue, mobilization, bodywork, hot stones, Neuromuscular, Sports Massage, Acupressure, and Tui Na in addition to Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology. Introductory classes are offered in various other modalities.

Educational Objectives

The Cedar Stone Massage Therapy Certification Program strives to prepare students to enter the field of massage therapy as a professional with strong massage and assessment skills, basic business knowledge, and a clear understanding of ethics and other professional skills. As such, the program seeks to assist students:

  • Acquire and demonstrate the many skills necessary to perform therapeutic massage.
  • Exhibit knowledge of anatomy and physiology as it applies to massage.
  • Understand ethical issues relating to massage.
  • Know basic professional business practices.

The program includes:

Semester Classes

  • Level I Massage
  • Level II Massage
  • Level III Massage
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Mobilization Techniques
  • Muscle Actions
  • Pathology
  • Track Class
  • Advanced Lab
  • Student Clinic

40 Hours – Electives

  • Cranial-Sacral
  • Aromatherapy
  • Prenatal Massage
  • Self Care for the Practitioner
  • Spa Treatments
  • Other electives TBA

Eight hours of CPR and First Aid
The program can be completed at your own pace. The minimum time needed to complete the program is 16 months. Upon completion of the program, students will be awarded a certificate and eligible to sit for the national MBLEX exam and apply for state licensure.

Level I Massage Therapy Class – 4 credit hours

Massage Therapy I provides students with the first level of massage education. Students learn a full-body relaxation massage in the Swedish tradition, seated massage, and introductory Stone techniques and theory. Learn basic anatomy and physiology focused on the musculoskeletal system and proper body mechanics. This class lays basic framework for the art of massage practice. It is appropriate for students pursuing a professional career in massage therapy as well as those who wish to share massage with family and friends.

Class hours include 23 hours in Massage Theory, 15 hours of Anatomy, 2 hours of ethics and 5 hours of Pathology. 45 supervised practice hours are required. Check the practice lab hours to schedule for practice times.
Total hours: 90

Level II Massage Therapy Class – 5 credit hours

Students learn deep tissue massage theory techniques. This class surveys muscle group anatomy, intermediate pathology, client interaction practices and assessment skills. Students will complete a lab project focused on treatment design, record keeping, and treatment delivery.   Upon completing this course, students can perform an initial client intake and offer a full body therapeutic massage. Completion of Level I Massage is required to enroll.

Class hours include 24 hours of Massage Theory, 22.5 hours of Anatomy, 1 hour of ethics and 5 hours of Pathology. 60 supervised practice hours are required. Check the practice lab hours to schedule practice times.
Total hours: 112.5

Level III Massage Therapy Class – 5 credit hours

This class focuses on the design and integration of healing techniques 5-Element Theory, Acupressure techniques and Tui Na. Students learn acupressure, Tui Na massage and Hara diagnostics while exploring western and eastern massage philosophy and modalities. Students will also begin an ethical exploration of the therapeutic relationship.  Students practice the integration of massage techniques and energy-work in treatments tailored to meet the needs and pathology of individual clients. Completion of Level I Massage is required for enrollment.

Class hours include 28.5 hours of related field theory, 14 hours of ethics, 5 hours of anatomy, and 5 hours of pathology. There are 50 supervised practice hours that can be done at one’s own pace.  Check the practice lab hours to schedule practice times.
Total hours are 102.5.

Anatomy and Physiology Class – 2 credit hours

An in-depth study of western anatomy and physiology, including understanding pathological processes as they relate to massage. Specifically body systems such as nervous, digestive, circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, and immune systems are studied.

37.5 Total Hours. Class hours include 30 hours of anatomy and 7.5 hours of pathology.

Pathology – 2 credit hours

An advanced study of pathology and the application of massage therapies and energy work. Students learn to design treatments based on the individual needs of the client. Completion of Level II Massage is required for enrollment in this class.

Class hours include 29.5 hours of pathology, 1 hour ethics and 3 hours of related field theory.
Total hours: 37.5

Muscle Actions – 2 credit hours

Broaden your knowledge of specific muscle function. Students learn and practice the actions associated with each muscle through movement. Review of origin and insertions and general anatomy with a focus on assessing muscular function via movement patterns and range of motion.  30 hours of anatomy.
Total hours: 30

Advanced Lab – 5 credit hours

Practice how and when to choose massage, mobilization and energy work techniques to facilitate muscle relaxation and release holding patterns in the body. Participate in a group process to review massage techniques, integration skills, treatment design, record keeping, pathology, and assessment. Examine business practices and marketing.

Class hours include 17.5 hours in business and ethics, 12.5 in theory application lab and 52.5 hours clinic hours.
Total Hours:  82.5   Completion of Level II Massage is required.

Stretching and Joint Mobilization – 4 credit hours

Take a three dimensional approach to delivering massage. Students learn to incorporate active and passive stretches for clients with common muscle and joint related complaints. Identify and examine the properties of muscular health in order to broaden massage practice to include stretching, breathing and mobilizing. The techniques for this work are derived from traditional Thai Bodywork, Yoga, Feldenkrais, Laban, and other modern movement theorists.

Meets 15 weeks, 3 weekly class hours or 45 class hours and includes 25 lab practice hours. 17.5 hours of massage theory, 22.5 hours of anatomy and 5 hours of pathology.
Total hours: 70

Track Class-5 credit hours

Students may select one of the following track topics to specialize:  Neuromuscular Massage, Sports/Movement Massage or Therapeutic Massage/Healing Principles.  This class will focus on the treatment modality theory associated pathologies and applications.  Students will learn techniques and advanced treatment designs to specifically address client symptom presentations.

Meets for 15 weeks, 3.5 weekly class hours or 52.5 class hours.  Class hours include 32.5 hours of massage theory, 5 hours of anatomy and 15 hours of pathology.  There are 60 supervised practice hours that can be done at one’s own pace.  The sixty hours are to be completed by the end of the 15 weeks.  Total hours are 112.5.

Student Clinic – 3 credit hours

Students will work in our clinic serving our local community.  Students will provide full session massages in a clinic setting.  The class will prepare students to make the transition from student to professional massage therapist.  Service delivery protocols including ethics, treatment design and record keeping are practices.  Students are required to work a minimum of 6 hours per week in the clinic.   Total hours are 34, 2 hours ethics and 32 hours of application.

Elective Training

During each semester, Cedar Stone offers a selection of one-day elective trainings which introduce topics and bodywork modalities directly related to massage therapy. The topics of the electives vary from semester to semester and include such classes as practitioner self-care, aromatherapy, Alexander technique, reflexology, successful business practices, and how to establish a massage practice. Other courses will be announced. Massage Therapy Certification students are to complete 20 hours of elective courses, 20 hours in Community Outreach events  and an 8 hour CPR class to meet the requirements for graduation.

Class Schedules and Registration

CSSM offers classes during the day or evening.  Students may select the class times  that best meets their scheduling needs.  Please see the Class Registration Form to see current semester course times.

Upon completion of the program, students will be awarded a certificate and be eligible to sit for the MBLEX state license exam (required) or the National Certification Board for Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers’ exam (optional). Upon completion of exam with a passing score you will be eligible to apply for Virginia state licensure as a Licensed  Massage Therapist.