Therapeutic Massage

SJVC’s Therapeutic Massage program trains students in all aspects of providing body work therapy, including medical massage techniques, client relationships and business management. Graduates of this program are academically and technically prepared to pursue massage therapy in a medical or spa setting.

Therapeutic Massage Program Details

Skills Students Learn

Students in our Therapeutic Massage program learn:

  • Swedish massage therapy techniques
  • Spa therapies
  • Deep tissue and neuromuscular therapy
  • Business practice essentials

Students gain hands-on experience at an onsite clinic, working and learning under the supervision of a massage therapy professional.

Program Course Examples

Courses* taken by our Massage Therapy students include:

Massage Therapy Clinic 1
Massage Therapy Clinic 1 challenges the student practitioners to integrate all aspects of their education during an intense internship. This phase of training offers students the excitement and responsibility of applying the knowledge & skills they have learned to the treatment of clients from the community under direct supervision of their instructors. Graduates are offered their final preparation & transition for occupational certification into the professional Massage Therapy arena.

Massage Therapy Clinic II
Massage Therapy Clinic II is the training ground where student practitioners are challenged to integrate all aspects of their education during an intense internship. During this second phase of clinic, students will be required to apply deeper levels of their knowledge, assessment and technical skills and abilities during a series of different treatment sessions. They will treat, make recommendations, care for, and follow-up on their clinic clients presenting with various pathological conditions.

During Massage Therapy Clinic II, student clinicians are required to complete at least 25 one-hour, full-body treatments on no less than 4 individual clients and no more than 6, that are focused on the client’s particular problems, conditions, complaints or pathologies and which are meant to be therapeutic and remedial. It is recommended that when working on a particular client with a specific complaint or pathology that the client be given 4-6 consecutive, weekly or otherwise properly spaced, treatments. This affords the best educational experience for the student clinician providing enhanced opportunities for supervision and follow-up. It also allows for continued dialog about client symptomology, and experience in adjusting treatment protocol to better promote healing and the overall well-being of the client. During these treatment series the student clinician can integrate additional techniques and treatment modalities learned in the second term including integrated deep tissue, sports massage, appropriate spa techniques, points, strokes, stretches, exercises and recommendations as instructed during supervision.

Supervisors discreetly monitor students throughout the progress of their treating and are available at any time for regular conferences regarding treatment preparations, recommendations, documentation of treatments, the use of specific points and techniques, the progress of the individual client, or difficult situations that may arise. Students keep accurate records, participate in administrative duties and receive feedback from their supervisors in addition to written evaluations completed by the clients at the end of client-pathology series.

At the end of the term, students will submit a clinic term paper based on each of their clinic-pathology case studies during Massage Therapy Clinic II.

*Students will take additional program courses on top of the two listed courses. Courses may vary by program, credential level and campus.

Program Outcomes

Students can earn a Certificate of Completion in approximately 9 months, or an Associate of Science Degree in approximately 16 months.

Graduates also earn Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Certification, and are eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for Massage and Bodywork Therapy (NCBTMB), an exam used in 33 states across the country for licensure.

Program Availability

SJVC’s Massage Therapy program is available at the following campuses:

Career Opportunities

Massage therapists work in diverse professional environments including medical offices, private practices, spas, salons and sports clinics. Massage therapists also find employment in holistic health centers, working alongside nutritionists, acupuncturists and yogis.

On the job, massage therapists may:

  • Assess patient/client conditions
  • Create and adjust massage therapy treatment plans
  • Perform appropriate therapeutic treatments
  • Provide client education

Accreditation and Approvals

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at

San Joaquin Valley College is a private institution and is approved to operate as an accredited institution in the state of California by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). BPPE physical address: 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833; mailing address: P.O. Box 980818, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818; phone (916) 431-6959; toll free (888) 370-7589; fax (916) 263-1897; website: