Professional Massage Therapy Diploma

Accredited by the Massage Training Institute (MTI) and the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT)

Price: £1980 plus exam fees

Deposit: £500 – for terms see ‘Course Pricing  Details’ below.

Spring Start Date: 30th March 2024

Autumn Start Date: 30th September/ 1st October 2023

Duration: 9 months part time

Professional Holistic and Therapeutic Massage Training 

Midlands School of Massage and Bodywork strives to deliver accessible, high quality massage training.  Please contact us if you have any questions. As always, we look forward to hearing from you.

Why Holistic Massage?

Holistic means “to see as a whole” and work with the physical body, the mind and the emotional self as well as the more subtle energies. Holistic massage is not just a routine or a technique, it’s a way of feeling and of being. It gives us an opportunity to acknowledge an individuals’ differences, their uniqueness and also their essential beauty. It teaches us about trust, openness and working from the heart. It can be soothing, energising or calming. Physically holistic massage may release tight, tense muscles or stimulate muscle tone. It also facilitates making a safe space, encouraging an individual to rest and de-stress. On a deeper level, holistic massage may support an individual in finding release from the past and the present. It supports finding that place to simply ‘just be’. This is the art, science and love of holistic massage.

This year the course syllabus has been updated and we will now be combining our holistic approach with the biopsychosocial approach.

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Midlands School of Massage & Bodywork 

At the Midlands School of Massage & Bodywork there is a positive attitude to learning combined with a personal touch. Teaching is supportive recognising students as individuals, as well as members of the learning team, to share and learn from each other. The Diploma Course aims to create a balance between acquiring knowledge and understanding of the physical body and the development of our intuitive massage. It offers a unique path for your individual creativity, personal development and growth – mentally, physically and spiritually. At our school we are passionate about massage and learning.

Accreditation of the Qualification

The Practitioner Diploma in Holistic Massage is awarded by the Massage Training Institute (MTI). MTI is a national examining body and professional association specialising in holistic massage. It is a member of the General Council for Massage Therapy and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. It is through these organisations that MTI is actively involved in the process of setting accreditation standards in this country and ensuring that the qualification is in line with European developments.

The Holistic and Therapeutic Massage Therapy Diploma is also accredited by the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT). FHT is a large professional association that covers many complementary therapies in addition to massage therapy. Both accredited courses comply with the UK National Occupational Standards.

Course Structure

The course is part-time comprising of 26 days over a minimum of nine months consisting of regular weekend workshops. The course is held in Birmingham/Solihull in the West Midlands, with a maximum group size of 14. There is a variety of teaching methods, largely experiential and participative. During the course students will practice massage and bodywork on each other and there will be at least one supervised clinic practice session.

The time between workshops allows you to work with massage and complete written assignments. This work includes; keeping a personal development journal, completing short projects, delivering a minimum of 40 hours of massage and receiving a minimum of 10 hours of massage. Students are required to keep comprehensive clinic notes of massages experiences and practice.

Course Content

The course aims to equip you in theory, practice, and confidence to begin your journey as massage therapists to a high professional standard, with close supervision and support throughout. It provides a foundation for you to explore this fascinating area of self, life and work. It will include:

Theory of Massage, Body use and Self-awareness

  • benefits of massage and a historical context
  • appropriate conditions and environment for massage work
  • application of theory and practice from research
  • mindfulness, meditation, breathing and relaxation exercises for grounding and self-awareness
  • intention and intuition in massage
  • self-massage skills and the use of movement and rhythm to look after the therapist’s body whilst massaging
  • body posture in anatomical terms
  • acknowledging our own reactions and awareness when giving massage; our own personal development and growth.

Massage Technique

  • wide variety of massage strokes, soft tissue techniques, assessment of posture, stretches, passive movements and stillness; how to vary their use and combine them to meet different needs
  • use of oil and massage equipment
  • physiological basis of contraindications to massage
  • introduction to the human energy
  • developing sensitivity to client’s responses to massage
  • taking part in supervised clinical practice
  • completing a minimum of 50 hours practice outside the course

Professional Issues and Practice Management

  • assessment of individual client needs
  • developing, evaluating and adapting treatment plans
  • other complementary therapies and appropriate referrals
  • ethical and legal issues involved in massage work
  • setting up, managing, marketing and promoting massage therapy
  • business planning and pricing.

Relationship with Client

  • equality of opportunity issues and access to massage for all
  • developing rapport with clients, effective listening and communication skills
  • nature of practitioner/client relationship
  • understanding of the physiology of stress and techniques to aid stress management
  • understanding of mental health and mental ill health and supporting the client with massage
  • Treatment after care suggestions

Applied Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology

Taught in a practical and experiential way and related to your massage practice. It will include:

  • anatomical terms and language
  • terms of position and movement
  • physiological benefits/effects of massage
  • Basic chemistry of life
  • Cells, tissues and all systems of the body, i.e. Skeletal, Muscular, Skin, Nervous, Endocrine, Circulatory, Immune, Respiratory, Digestive, Urinary and Reproductive.
  • Exploration of common pathologies and application of massage

Examination and Completion Requirements

Internal assessment requirements: a demonstration of a full body massage; documentation of the 50 hours of massage practice and experience outside of training days; personal development journal; at least one presentation; successful completion of all homework assignments.

External assessment includes; a three hour applied anatomy, physiology and pathology written exam and a one hour practical exam assessed by a visiting assessor.

In addition to the internal assessments listed above and the formal examinations, students will be set homework from each workshop. The aim here, is to support student learning with informal assessments and comprehensive feedback from tutors and peers. We also encourage self-evaluation. During the course there will be at least one individual tutorial however, students will have plenty of opportunity to access the tutor on a one-to-one basis due to the small group size.

Suggested Reading List

Three texts are required reading and include:

  • Relating to Clients by Su Fox.
  • The Massage Therapists Pocket book of Pathology by Su Fox
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Therapists and Healthcare Professionals by Ruth Hull OR Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for Massage by Darien Pritchard. 

While there are many excellent books available on AP&P and massage the following have been highlighted by previous students:

  • A Massage Therapists Guide to Pathology by Ruth Werner
  • The Concise Book of Muscles by Chris Jarmey
  • Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology Colouring and Workbook for Therapists and Healthcare Professionals by Ruth Hull
  • A prescription drug book (e.g., BMA Guide to Medicines and Drugs) and medical dictionary (e.g. Concise Medical Dictionary Oxford Quick Reference) can also be useful.

Course Pricing Details

£1980 plus exam fees – this includes a course workbook, on-going student support and supervision throughout the course. The fee can be paid in full, quarterly or monthly. The deposit of £500 is non-refundable. Exam fees are £85 per exam and are payable one month prior to taking the exam. 

Students will need to register with MTI (currently £45 plus £15 for insurance with Balens) or with FHT (currently £55 which includes insurance). We do discuss each Professional Association on the first training weekend and suggest that you explore the respective websites to make an informed decision.

Course Schedule
Spring – Course Commencing March 2024: (Weekends 10.00am – 6.00pm)
Please be aware that this course will be delivered with a blended learning approach.

Professional Massage Therapy Diploma Spring dates 
*are Fridays 
March 30th 31st. 
April 13th, 14th.
May 10th (pm), 11th, 12th.
June TBC. 
July TBC.
August TBC. 
September TBC. 
October TBC.
November TBC.
*November 15th Theory Exam
*November 23rd/24th November, Practical Exam

Autumn – Course Commencing October 2023: (Weekends 10am – 6.00pm)

Please be aware the January dates are delivered via Teams.

Sep. 30th, Oct. 1st, 14th, 15th
Nov. 3rd, 4th, 5th.
Dec. 9th, 10th.
Jan. 6th, 7th.
Feb. 3rd, 4th, 24th, 25th.
Mar. 23rd, 24th.
Apr. 20th, 21st
May. 18th, 19th.
Jun. 8th, 9th, 22nd, 23rd.

Jun. 21st* Theory Exam
Jun. 29th* Practical Exam

Jun. 30th course ends.

Entry Requirements

Students must be 18 or over and must be able to perform the massage techniques listed in the syllabus. The course will be taught in English with considerable technical detail. The course is offered to men and women. Students are considered on their commitment, interest and enthusiasm. Previous massage experience is not essential. Sensitivity and respect for others is essential as they are central to massage.

All students must submit an application form.