Clinical Massage Therapist

What is Clinical/Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork?

Simply stated, clinical/therapeutic massage and bodywork is the application of massage techniques with more specific intent and purpose, emphasizing the treatment of myofascial injury and chronic pain, structural and postural distortions, and biomechanical soft tissue dysfunction. It is a fascinating, incredible experience as the advancements continue in the area of clinical massage and bodywork. Clinical massage therapists are becoming a vital part of the health practitioners' team with an invaluable talent to share. As the massage and bodywork profession continues to advance the training levels to include assessment and treatment of most soft tissue injuries, clinical massage therapists are becoming a crucial link to the team of medical practitioners including physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, athletic trainers, etc., who are accepting them as an asset to their work rather than a threat.

Clinical massage and bodywork is not limited in its techniques and application. It incorporates and utilizes an array of styles, methods and modalities to facilitate healing. However, clinical massage and bodywork does utilize the application of massage techniques that adhere to specific anatomical and physiological considerations. These applied considerations, along with knowledge of basic musculoskeletal evaluation, assessment and client education will produce positive results in musculoskeletal healthcare. Clinical massage and bodywork is a combination of massage, and a shared responsibility between the clinical therapist and the client. As clinical therapists, we must understand that we are not healers; we are facilitators of healing the body, mind and spirit. Even if we learn every modality of massage and do every technique correctly, the client must be the one to choose and claim the final result from our work. We can facilitate awareness, and a client's ability to release his/her own tension patterns so that he/she may live more physiologically, structurally, and biomechanically balanced.

While the clinical massage therapist recognizes that allopathic health care is, at times, necessary we realize that sometimes it may not be the best method of treatment (or possibly even ineffective at promoting health). In addition, conventional belief also tends to look at the symptom and the problem as one and the same, so that when the symptom has been eliminated it is presumed that the problem is healed. The clinical therapist sees a symptom as a signal that something is wrong. When a symptom alone is eliminated, it is most likely being suppressed. Unless the original cause has also been eliminated, the symptom may return later in a chronic form. Rather than looking at symptoms as entities in and of themselves which must be "fixed" the clinical massage therapist looks for the cause of dysfunction rather than just treating symptoms.

Clinical/therapeutic massage and bodywork is a multidisciplinary approach to chronic pain based on sound physiological principles and neurological laws. It is a form of bodywork that identifies and treats muscular imbalances, creating balance (homeostasis) in the neurological--muscular--skeletal systems. Most pain and injury is linked to imbalances in these systems.

In summary, clinical/therapeutic massage and bodywork has effectively integrated education from the profession's pioneers of massage and bodywork, the current leading structural body workers, exercise trainers, physical therapist, etc., to eliminate the most complicated pain conditions. It focuses on the entire body with emphasis on restoring pain free range of motion throughout the body and complete structural balance. It addresses chronic pain and injury conditions with emphasis on the underlying causes and pathology of each condition.

The knowledgeable and trained practitioner of clinical massage therapy and bodywork who can identify and treat musculoskeletal dysfunctions (the "tonus system") utilizing postural evaluation, assessment, muscle testing and hands-on palpatory skills is becoming increasingly accepted, and even in demand among mainstream medicine and therapies.

About the Program

The Clinical Massage Certificate is a ten month, 600 contact hour continuing education program that prepares the student to sit for the licensing exam and then to apply to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for state licensure. Call 803.732.5218 to schedule an interview. 


Anatomy & Physiology & Kinesiology 125 hours
Massage Therapy & Practice
(Massage & Bodywork Assessment, Theory & Application)
(Advanced Clinical Massage & Body Work)
200 hours
125 hours
Pathology 40 hours
Ethics/Business Practices 10 hours
Allied  & Adjunct Modalities

(Myofacial, Neuromuscular, Structural-Segmental Reflexology, Infant & Prenatal Massage, Sports Massage, Pain Relief, Geriatric, Energy Work, etc)

92 hours
CPR 8 hours
(*includes student clinic)
600 hours

Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma/GED or a college degree
  • WorkKeys Scores = Reading for Information:  4; Locating Information:  4; and Applied Math:  4
  • 2-step TB test
  • 5 Panel Drug Screen
  • Current SLED background check required
  • Successful interview with program committee
  • Ability to perform physical tasks

Tuition:  $7,995.00
(Required textbooks for the Clinical Massage Therapy Certificate Program are included in the tuition.)

Financial support opportunity:

For details about the Sallie Mae loan program and other payment plans, contact the registration office at 803.732.0432.   

Clinical Massage Therapy


Clinical Massage Therapy can take you into the world of healthcare and beyond. Sports medicine, chiropractic, neonatal, geriatrics and health spas have demand for these skills. Offered day and night, this 9-month classroom and clinical program prepares you to sit for the national certification exam and licensure in South Carolina. Major curriculum: anatomy and physiology; clinical massage theory and practice; allied modalities; statutes and history of massage; business practice, ethics, pathology, and CPR. Admission requirements: WorkKeys Scores = Reading for Information: 4; Locating Information: 4; and Applied Math: 4; a high school diploma/GED, or a college degree; complete student health form and current SLED background check required. You must be able to perform physical tasks. Program qualifies for veteran benefits. Acceptance into this program is contingent on an interview with the Program Director, Marion Davis. Call 803.732.5218 to set up an appointment.

  • Total Hours: 600.00
  • CEUs: 60.00
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Contact Us

Clinical Massage Therapy Certificate Program

JaMel Morant
Program Coordinator and Lead Instructor
Harbison Campus, Room IH-506

Fast Fact

89.4% of MTC graduates are employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.

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