Become a Berkana Trained Massage Therapist

Exclusive 5-month Intensive Program


Demanding, and worth it.

This unique program has been in development for over 18 years. It is not ordinary or normal, and it is not for everyone. Challenging is an understatement. Our students must be prepared to totally immerse themselves in the education and make the program their priority for 5 intense months. People who are working full-time are not eligible for enrollment.  Our students are serious, mature, and ready to up-level their lives. They understand the program demands total commitment and are ready to work hard while trusting the process.

If you are interested in Berkana because you think it will be short and easy, you will need to find a different school.  Our student candidates must navigate a thorough introduction to the program, followed by an application and interview process before acceptance.  

We are completely transparent about the demands of this program because we know it is not for everyone. We are committed to our student's success and are seeking to align with those who have the constitution for the intense delivery of this holistic education. We train some of the best massage therapists in the world and do not compromise our standards of excellence to accommodate everyone.

Anatomy of the 600-Hour Massage Therapy Program

Orientation - 5 hours: Berkana Institute Program Orientation.

Clinical Practicum and Clinic Orientation – 63 hours: Students provide massage therapy to the general public in a professional clinic setting with instructor supervision. Interview skills are cultivated. Documentation of sessions, including SOAP notes and session planning notes, are kept, and treatments are planned in consideration of pathologies and contraindications.

Required Sessions with Approved Provider – 4 hours: Students are required to receive 2 sessions with an approved provider over the course of the Certification program. These sessions are scheduled with the professional and provided at the professional’s location. Students write an essay on each experience.

Anatomy & Physiology - 40 hours: Intensive study of the systems, organization, and structure of the human body.

Musculoskeletal Anatomy - 40 hours: In-depth study of the skeletal, muscular, and articular systems of the human body.

Self-Care & Hygiene - 6 hours: Lectures cover proper self-care and hygiene for the massage therapist, including proper sanitation and appropriate hygienic practice standards.

Professional Inventory - 10 hours: Students begin to explore why they want to be a massage therapist and what responsibilities come with the profession.

Massage Therapy Foundation Level 1- 40 hours: Students learn the basic rules of engagement of massage therapy and how to provide a full-body Swedish Massage utilizing classic Swedish strokes such as petrissage, effleurage, tapotement, compressions and friction. This class in boot camp style.

Massage Therapy Foundation Level 2 - 40 hours: With a foundation in basic massage execution, Students are introduced to working with a diverse community, including adolescents, senior citizens, and expectant mothers. Experiential exercises help students cultivate more confidence and fluidity when providing a western style massage treatment. Intermediate techniques are introduced and practiced.

History and Benefits - 4 hours: Students learn the origins of massage and begin to understand the benefits of receiving therapeutic massage as defined by the AMTA

Introduction to Psychology of Touch - 10 hours: Students are introduced to psychological responses and conditions that massage therapists may encounter with their clients. They learn appropriate responses and when it is necessary to refer to a counselor or clinical therapist.

Introduction to Sports Massage – 20 hours: Sports massage is a special type of massage that is particularly helpful to athletes. It is used before, during and after sports events. Students learn the history, benefits, precautions and techniques to be able to provide a basic pre or post-event massage therapy treatment for athletes.

Ashiatsu Massage Therapy – 20 hours: Ashiatsu is a type of massage therapy in which the therapist walks on the client’s body, using overhead bars or other props for support to vary pressure and weight. This modality has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This course has a specific focus on indications, contraindications, advanced hygienic considerations, specialized equipment and marketing.

Cadaver Lab – 5 hours: This course takes place at the Colorado Learning Center of Human Anatomy in Longmont, Colorado. It is designed to educate the students to basic tissue types and general systems of the body through the art of dissection. The students will begin to understand the three-dimensional body and what’s beneath the skin. The exploration that takes place during the basic lab will allow each student the ability to palpate and differentiate tissue types and analyze existing thoughts into realities of the human body. The participants will be able to identify tissue depths and relate knowledge to clinical applications as needed.

Research Competency – 10 hours: This course covers fundamental concepts and basic analytic methods pertaining to the design, analysis, and interpretation of Massage Therapy Clinical Research Studies.

Business Development - 30 hours: The Business Development course covers a multitude of business activities, including marketing, promotion, tax strategies, and office policies.

Musculoskeletal Sculpture - 40 hours: Students learn the traditional anatomy of the skeletal and muscular systems of the human body by building the muscular system out of clay onto small skeleton models.

Mindful Expressionism® Introduction - 20 hours: Mindful Expressionism® is the exploration of Art and Meditation in your massage practice. Student Therapists discover how to use all of their new tools to create a massage experience that is unique to them and specifically designed to meet their client’s particular needs.

Body Mechanics - 10 hours: Client postural assessment, analysis, and healthy ergonomics are introduced. (Body Mechanics is the prerequisite to Kinesiology) Proper body mechanics around the massage table and in the student’s daily life is analyzed and modified to support a healthy lifestyle and longevity in the massage therapy profession

Hydrotherapy Workshop - 10 hours: Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of disease. Students learn the use of hot and cold packs in order to support and encourage healing. Indications and Contraindications of heat and cold therapy are emphasized.

Pathology - 40 hours: Students learn different pathologies of the individual body systems and how to identify contraindicated conditions and refer to health care professionals when appropriate. 3 hours of HIV and 2 hours of medical errors are included.

Structural Kinesiology - 20 hours: Kinesiology is the scientific study of muscular activity, anatomy, physiology, and mechanics of the movements of the body. Students learn how to create care plans to correct postural imbalances.

Deep Tissue Release and Myofascial Technique - 30 hours: Students learn the history, contraindications, indications, and basic techniques of Deep Tissue Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, and Myofascial technique. The student will learn and exchange techniques, all relevant terminology, and specific client considerations and approaches to these intermediate approaches modalities. The class is lecture, demo, and practice-based with an emphasis on a mindful approach to intermediate tissue manipulation.

Thai Massage Therapy - 20 hours: Students are introduced to Thai Massage Basics and learn the proper application of techniques, stretches, and the history of this modality. Proper body mechanics and the energetic principles of the style are emphasized. Students learn how to administer an hour-long Thai Massage session as well as creative ways to integrate appropriate Thai techniques to table work.

Board Preparation - 20 hours: Students are introduced to the process of registering for and completing the two National Board Exams. Students take practice examinations and review pertinent materials with an emphasis on Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology

Final Academic and Practical Examinations - 3 hours


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