Therapeutic Massage General Information 

Massage Therapist


A massage therapist is a practitioner who is licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations, has received education and training in the theory and practice of therapeutic massage and is competent and qualified to practice massage for compensation.


Nature of the Work


Therapeutic massage is an excellent modality to assist clients to improve the quality of their life.  The foundation of massage is based on an understanding and sensitivity to the needs of both you, the therapist, and the client during a session.  The massage therapist must be able to respond to the moment and not just perform a set routine.  Massage techniques are utilized as tools, or a medium through which the therapist becomes involved in another’s life. massage10

The massage therapist is a facilitator, or catalyst for change and must learn to see the client’s “whole picture” since stress, injuries, and chronic illness are often related to the client’s lifestyle and personality.  The massage therapist must be able to be relaxed during the session, since the therapeutic massage is a two way flow of touch and response and any tension that the practitioner has may be transmitted to the client.  Good posture, stances and use of breathing are very important for the massage therapist in order to deliver a strong, flowing massage with minimum effort.  It is also essential for the therapist to know and be familiar with human anatomy.  Finally, the massage therapist will need to practice massage techniques he/she is learning.  During the program practice will occur in the classroom, at home, in clinics and in community outreach programs.


Although massage techniques have been practiced for centuries, the profession of therapeutic massage has grown steadily over the past two decades.  Surveys indicate that employment opportunities in this profession are also rapidly growing.  Massage therapists have a variety of options for employment regarding both the type of massage they may decide to do and the type of clients with whom they may choose to work.  The profession offers both full-time and part-time employment opportunities in:  healthcare, sports and athletics, perinatal, infant massage instruction, nursing homes, chiropractic offices, hospitals, hospice, on-site chair massage, spas, YMCAs, wellness centers, salons, and private practice.

The Program

The Therapeutic Massage Program at IVCC provides you with a curriculum designed for career success through education and training in Classical Swedish Massage along with specific techniques for soft tissue dysfunction.  It also provides education in the anatomy and physiology of the human body; specialized study of the Musculoskeletal System; clinical and community experiences; and business and professional/personal development.  Your education as a health practitioner will be grounded in holistic theory and techniques.  Graduating students will be prepared to sit for the National Certification Exam in Therapeutic Massage in order to become licensed in Illinois.


Pre-Admission Requirements 

THM 1200     Introduction to Therapeutic Massage

ALH 1001     Medical Terminology

BIO 1200      Human Body Structure and Function

 SFC 1000     Strategies for College

Professional Associations

Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals

American Massage Therapy Association

For Program information:

Therapeutic Massage Program Admission Requirements

Therapeutic Massage Certificate Program: full-time option and part-time option

AAS Degree Curriculum Overview