Certificate in Therapeutic Massage/Shiatsu 

Students may choose their prefered course form the following courses to start their single or multiple courses certificate study. 

Human Anatomy

Consists of lectures covering the human body and incorporates adult human gross anatomical content. All content is presented using a case-based, integrated approach. Human Anatomy focuses on the structural and functional relationships within the back, head, neck, upper and lower limb regions. Anatomical content is closely integrated with that of other courses presented.


Teaches the physiology of body fluids, blood, and the cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, renal, and gastrointestinal systems. The function and control of all major organ systems are discussed, as are cell physiology and mechanisms at the cellular and subcellular levels. Muscle performance, training, and fitness assessments are also discussed. The course encourages problem-solving and the application of physiological principles to manual osteopathy practice.


In the kinesiology training course, students learn the kinesiology of everyday movement, occupations, and sports activities. Students will learn the actions of all the major muscles, how they work together to orchestrate movement. Students will also learn how chronic muscle tension can give rise to pain, postural and movement imbalances.

Kinesiology training will form a basis for students practicing superb session design tapered to the individual needs of the client.

Sports & Deep Tissue Massage

Sports massage prepares muscles and joints for athletic activity or assists in recovery from a specific sports activity. Students learn advanced circulatory massage techniques, how to apply them to improve sports performance and to help remedy overuse syndromes. Deep tissue is used to target specific areas of tension and pain using deep soft tissue manipulation. It works to release adhesions, rigid bands of tissue that can cause pain, chronic tension, and restrict motion.  Types of strokes include myofascial release, trigger points, compression and friction.

Swedish Massage

The Swedish massage training course includes history, contraindications, body mechanics, basic strokes (effleurage, petrissage, friction, vibration, tapotement and Swedish massage movements) and working with special populations (pregnancy massage, geriatric massage, etc.).

Our approach is to be precise and thorough in teaching soft tissue manipulation while cultivating mindfulness regarding the body, mind, and spirit of the client.

Myofascial Trigger Point

Myofascial trigger points are an extremely common cause of pain. Trigger points are painful when pressed on, cause a shortening of the muscle fibers, and have a special property called referred pain. Referred pain means that a trigger point in one muscle can create pain in another area.

Trigger points or muscle “knots” are sensitive spots in soft tissue, and too many of them is “myofascial pain syndrome.” They are usually described as micro-cramps, but the science is half-baked and their nature is controversial. Regardless, these sore spots are as common as pimples, often alarmingly fierce, and they seem to grow like weeds around injuries. They may be a major factor in back and neck pain, as a cause, a complication, or a bit of both.

Trigger Point Pressure Release involves applying pressure with a finger or other instrument to the trigger point and increasing the pressure as the trigger point “releases” and softens. There are a number of variations on this technique and a skilled practitioner will choose which is right for each patient and muscle treated.

Other techniques often used include Spray and Stretch which is a technique that uses a vapo-coolant spray (very cold because it evaporates the second it touches your skin) to distract the muscle into allowing a more complete stretch thereby helping to release the trigger point.


Our hydrotherapy training course addresses the theory and practical use of water at various temperatures, in solid, liquid and gaseous forms, for cleansing and vitalizing effects. Students participate in a cold water treading, a stimulating hydrotherapy technique in which the participant steps into a bucket of ice water and “treads” for 30-60 seconds.

In our hydrotherapy training students also learn contraindications and the specific physiological effects of the various hydrotherapy techniques, which include: dry brushing, herbal wrap, hot and cold applications and contrast baths.

Occasionally, classes are invited to participate in field trips to local resorts and day spas to see their hydrotherapy facilities. Advanced Hydrotherapy classes are taught through our massage continuing education courses.

Thai Massage and Techniques

Tai massage is a type of therapeutic massage using unique massage techniques. Students will learn entry level of muscle stretching, compression and yoga-like body manipulations to elongate the muscles and increase blood flow throughout the body. Students will learn to work the lateral torso and shoulder, backbend with feet on the back lines, knee press the glutes in folded leg position, foot press the posterior leg – locked position, and hands-on practice under teachers’ supervision.

Tuina Techniques

Tuina or tui-na (pronounced twee-nah) massage originated in ancient China and is believed to be the oldest system of bodywork. Tuina massage stimulates the flow of qi to promote balance and harmony within the body using many of the same principles of acupuncture. It’s similar to acupuncture in the way it targets specific acupoints, but practitioners use fingers instead of needles to apply pressure to stimulate these points. Tuina massage is often used in combination with acupuncture.

During a session, practitioners use oscillating and pressure techniques that differ in force and speed. Tuina massage can be done as a stronger deep-tissue massage or a more gentle, energetic treatment.

There are eight basic techniques used in tuina massage:

  • palpating (mo)
  • rejoining (jie)
  • opposing (duan)
  • lifting (ti)
  • pressing (an)
  • kneading (mo)
  • pushing (tui)
  • holding (na)

Foot Reflexology Techniques

In reflexology, pressure is applied to specific reflex points on the foot. These points correspond to organs and areas of the body. The treatment is said to induce a healing response, even alleviating some ailments.

Reflexology is one of the most popular types of massage. Beyond the feel-good effects of the treatment, the practice and purpose go deeper than the skin and muscles.

A good Reflexology Foot Massage is an incredible healing force that can help alleviate many symptoms such as headache, insomnia, chronic fatigue, dizziness, as well as help treat the underlying cause of many internal diseases such as Liver disease, Kidney disease, Heart disease, High blood pressure, plus virtually any disease known to man.

It is also one of the most enjoyable experiences that you can have, if the proper reflexology foot massage techniques are used. A proper foot massage is one of the strongest stress relieving treatments that I know of and is a great way to end a full body massage.

Communication & Interviewing

Teaching students to practice core interviewing skill in a safe, group-learning, experiential environment. Through cases students practice establishing rapport, collecting the history for each case, and attending to patient-centred concerns, such as family and genetic history, pain related history, trauma and injuries history, and diet and exercise history. Students learn to demonstrate respect for patients by introducing themselves and explaining their role in the interview, initiate the interview with an open-ended question and use focused questions to obtain specific information, value the patient’s narrative by giving the patient ample time to speak, respond directly and emphatically to patient concerns, check information with patient for correct understanding before ending the interview, and write a concise chart-style note that accurately portrays the standardized patient encounter.

Business Practice & Ethics

Because many massage therapists are self-employed, students will receive a strong foundation in business. Massage business training is one of the most important aspects of any massage school program. Often, how well a student does in this part of the training determines how well they do in the massage therapy industry.

The massage business training focuses on massage therapy laws and rules, business philosophy, ethics and values-based planning, how to set up an office, bookkeeping, taxes, budgeting, marketing, advertising, and interviewing skills. Students learn massage therapy laws and rules, business philosophy, ethics and values-based planning as well as how to set up an office, bookkeeping, taxes, budgeting, marketing, advertising and interviewing skills.  The goal is for students to become happy and successful in their work.

Clinical Pathology

Presents the basic mechanisms involved in cell death, necrosis, inflammation and repair, and neoplasia. Pathological principles of disease processes are discussed so that students may understand the clinical manifestations of disease and the rationale for treatment.

Clinicopathological correlations will be emphasized where applicable. This course also provides students with an understanding of disease processes. Specifically, the etiology and pathogenesis of the major diseases affecting each individual body system are presented. Where applicable, areas of current research into the etiopathogenesis of disease are highlighted.


This course provides an in-depth study of human pathological processes and their effects on homeostasis. Emphasis is on interrelationships among organ systems in deviations from homeostasis. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of pathophysiology. Course topics include the etiology, physical signs and symptoms, prognosis, and complications of commonly occurring diseases and their management.

Therapeutic Massage Techniques

Students will learn therapeutic massage techniques such as Longitudinal Gliding, Kneading, Myofascial Releases, Trigger Point Therapy, Deep Transverse Frictions, Compression Massage, Cross-Fibre Friction, PNF Stretches, etc. and practice under teachers’ supervision.

Soft Tissue Techniques

Study some of the manipulation procedures most commonly applied to the musculature surrounding the spine, which consists of a rhythmic stretching, deep pressure and traction. Its purpose is to move tissue fluids (edema) and to relax hypertonic muscles and myofascial (fibrous tissue) layers associated with somatic dysfunction.

Safety and Professional Ethics

Introduces the historical and contemporary approach to health emphasizing aspects unique to the osteopathy profession. The material on professionalism, informed consent and ethics introduce students to a practical understanding of professional ethics and the terminology, issues, and consequences related to this area of student and professional life. The unique ethical responsibilities of the health professional student and practitioner are explored.

Therapeutic Exercise

In this course students learn how to prescribe certain joint specific therapeutic exercises accomplish the following goals: Enable ambulation, release contracted muscles, tendons, and fascia, mobilize joints, improve circulation, improve respiratory capacity, improve coordination, reduce rigidity, improve balance, promote relaxation, improve muscle strength and, if possible, achieve and maintain maximal voluntary contractile force (MVC), and improve exercise performance and functional capacity (endurance).

Holistic Practice Regulations and By-laws

Businesses and practitioners which provide “holistic” services are required to be licensed under the cities’s regulations and by-laws, such as Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter, Licensing § 545-2. Examples of holistic services include holistic massage, shiatsu therapy, aromatherapy, reiki, etc. Holistic practitioners have to be familiar to the local municipal’s regulations and by-laws.

This course will use the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter, Licensing § 545-2 as main reference resource to explain all those regulations and by-laws topics.

Clinical Internship

As manual osteopathy interns, students assume patient care under the supervision of primary clinical faculty members within Loyola College’s teaching clinic, In addition to developing and maintaining a patient practice under the supervision of registered clinicians, the interns attend and participate in clinical rounds where special interest and topics and investigative research or issues are discussed. Clinical rounds provide opportunities for the intern to engage in enhanced critical thinking and application of the concepts of best practice. Complementary programs are offered, such as those associated with business skills.