The Berkana Institute’s Massage Therapy Certification Program is 600 to 675 Hours. The primary 600 Hours are pre-determined and required for Certification from the Institute. Students can take up to 75 hours of electives during the program. The Academic Dean strongly recommends that each student take at least 25 hours of electives in order to meet the new entry level recommendations.
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 Massage Sessions with Instructor – 4 hours – Students are required to receive 4 sessions with their instructors over the course of the Certification program. These sessions are scheduled every quarter for one hour.
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 how to give a full body Swedish Massage utilizing classic Swedish strokes such as petrissage, effleurage, tapotement, compressions and friction.
Massage Therapy Foundation Level 2 – 40 hours: With a foundation in Swedish Massage; 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. Advanced techniques are introduced and practiced.
History and Benefits of Massage – 4 hours: Students learn the origins of massage, and begin to understand the benefits of receiving therapeutic massage as defined by the AMTA.
Complementary and Integrative Healthcare – 20 hours: Students are introduced to the methods and benefits of several types of complementary medicines and holistic healthcare. Students also learn how the foods we choose to eat support or damage our health.
Communication Skills – 10 hours: Lectures and exercises include diplomatic, thoughtful, and creative communication skills. Scope of practice is emphasized.
Professional Ethics – 10 hours: This class clearly defines the professional ethics for the massage therapist as described by the AMTA and the NCBTMB.
Introduction to Psychology of Touch – 10 hours: Students are introduced to psychological responses and conditions that a massage therapist 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 – 20 hours: This modality is a deep tissue massage performed with bare feet. Using two parallel bars overhead, students will learn how to balance on a massage table while at the same time deliver deep, gliding, and skillful massage strokes to their clients with their bare feet. These techniques will encourage core strength, proper body mechanics and reduce upper body fatigue and/or overuse injuries while performing deep tissue massage.
.Cadaver Lab – 5 hours: This course takes place at the Peak Research Institute in Colorado Springs. 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 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 industry.
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, the anatomy, physiology, and mechanics of the movements of the body. Students learn how to create care plans to correct postural imbalances.
Deep Tissue and Myo-fascial Technique- 30 hours: Students learn the history, contraindications, indications, and basic techniques of Deep Tissue Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, and Myofascial Release. 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 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.