Basic Massage

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  • Level: 4
  • Credits: 15
    • Directed Learning hours: 85
    • Self Directed Learning hours: 65
    • Total Learning Hours: 150


This course aims to develop the student’s competency in the practice of relaxation massage to the level required for registration with Massage New Zealand as a certified massage therapist (CMT).


  • None


  • Fundamentals of Massage

Learning Outcomes

At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Prepare for massage practice (environment, equipment and self)
  2. Identify client suitability for relaxation massage
  3. Establish informed consent before the application of massage techniques
  4. Select and apply a range of massage techniques for relaxation
  5. Identify the presence of injury or disease through observation of soft-tissue
  6. Identify the presence of disease, injury or dysfunction through palpation of soft-tissue at a basic level


  • Hygiene
  • Use of massage equipment and materials
  • Medical screening
  • Preparation for massage (environment & practitioner)
  • Swedish massage techniques – effleurage, petrissage, tapotment, compression, vibration, shaking, friction
  • Principles of massage therapy
  • Body-mechanics
  • Observation and palpation of soft-tissue
  • Self-care
  • One additional interesting new trend is people massaging their babies. You can read more about this on the Baby massaging page.

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Attendance Requirements

Students are expected to attend 90% of practical classes. If in the opinion of the programme manager students have a valid reason for non-attendance, their total attendance may be permitted to drop to a minimum of 80%. Non-participation in these classes is treated as non-attendance.

Completion requirements

Students must achieve competency in all assessment tasks for completion of this course. Students attendance and participation must also comply with the attendance requirements of the course.

Student Reading List

Required Reading Resources:

  • Fritz, S. (2004). Mosby’s fundamentals of therapeutic massage (3rd ed.).

Missouri: Mosby.

  • Premkumar, K. (2000). Pathology A to Z – A handbook for massage therapists (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Recommended Reading Resources

The course coordinator may recommend additional reading resources.