Currently, there are two mainstream avenues for the delivery of Massage Therapy education programs in Alberta – namely public and private institutions.
Public institutions housing Massage Therapy programs and courses will either do so under the ‘continuing education’ umbrella, meaning that the courses offered in Massage Therapy certificate programs are non-credit and non-transferable courses; or under the ‘Schools of Health’ umbrella, meaning that the courses offered in Massage Therapy may be considered as transferable to a Bachelor of Science degree.
There are also a number of private institutions offering Massage Therapy programs. Some private institutions offer a variety of programs, one being Massage Therapy, while others focus solely on Massage Therapy. Nearly every private institution offering Massage Therapy programs differ in length of programming and content. In Alberta, there are licensed Massage Therapy programs in private institutions ranging from 14 weeks to 104 weeks in length, as well as in-class and distance education options. Unfortunately, due to the unregulated nature of the profession in Alberta, almost every private institution offering Massage Therapy education in Alberta has varying courses, subject matter and outcomes that make up the credentials issued.
Secondary education pre-requisites are required for entry to the study of Massage Therapy. Applicants to Massage Therapy schools are typically required to hold a High School diploma, or equivalent. Secondary or post-secondary studies in the sciences (e.g., biology, kinesiology, anatomy, physiology) are helpful but typically not mandatory pre-requisites to studying Massage Therapy. Studies in other related areas such as physical education, communication, business, research, and psychology are also helpful for those wanting to become massage therapists.
Typically, graduates from a Massage Therapy Diploma program complete studies in: human anatomy and physiology, musculoskeletal anatomy, kinesiology, pathology, general nutrition, therapeutic exercise, hydrotherapy and thermal therapies, massage theory and techniques, clinical assessment and treatment planning, treatment of various conditions, ethics, research literacy, and business and practice management.
Individuals interested in the studying for the profession of Massage Therapy are encouraged to contact the schools directly concerning their entrance requirements and courses of study.