Therapeutic Massage/Integrated Health Care

The Degree

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Outlook

More and more people are turning to complementary therapies such as meditation and massage to cope with stress, recover from illness or injury, or to maintain a balanced, healthy outlook on life. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 23 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists.

Finger Lakes Community College's Therapeutic Massage/Integrated Health Care program is designed to meet the growing demand for trained professionals in this health care field.

The Program

The A.A.S. Therapeutic Massage/Integrated Health Care program is unique in the sense that it develops the knowledge and basic skills necessary for the practice of massage therapy while also providing a base of studies in life sciences and alternative therapies. This holistic approach is complemented with coursework in general education. The program introduces you to massage research. If you are looking to prepare for a new career in massage therapy, this is the right program for you. Professionals currently working in other health care fields may choose to seek further training in integrated therapies through this program.

The program combines massage and other forms of complementary therapies as well as a strong focus on research.

FLCC is one of a few colleges in New York State offering this type of program. This degree program is less expensive than private massage schools in the state. At the same time, if you are enrolled in this area of study, you will be taking credit bearing courses, which a majority of transfer into baccalaureate degree programs.

Admission to the program is competitive. Courses are completed over a two-year schedule.

A limited number of seats may be available for January admission. If you apply for entrance into the program for spring semester, you must have a minimum of 13 credits applicable to the program, including A&P I, by the December preceding admission. Total number of credits and GPA will be used as admission criteria. If you begin the program in the spring semester, you will complete it in three semesters from the time of your January admission. This requires enrolling in Massage 110, in addition to the other required massage courses, during the fall semester of your sophomore year. If you are a pre-massage student and are interested in being admitted for spring semester, you should contact the Admissions Office at (585)-785-1000 by December 1st.

Applicants with Anatomy & Physiology I and II coursework that will be older than 10 years at the time of enrollment into the program must repeat these courses with a grade of C or better.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Therapeutic Massage/Integrated Health Care degree, students will:

  • Evaluate clients to create appropriate treatment plans using massage and other bodywork modalities by synthesizing their scientific foundation with massage theory.
  • Apply hands-on therapeutic skills both in the classroom and in clinical settings.
  • Exhibit professionalism when interacting with clients, colleagues, employees/employers, and other health care professionals utilizing appropriate oral and written communication skills.
  • Exhibit knowledge of complementary therapies commonly used in conjunction with massage therapy to understand the massage therapist's scope of practice within the field of holistic and medical therapies.
  • Practice self-care techniques to maintain physical well-being and career longevity.

The Experience

Total credit hours required for this program is 64, which is equivalent to two years of full-time study. While enrolled in the program, you will take classes in subject areas such as:

  • Swedish Massage
  • Medical Massage
  • Connective Tissue/Neuromuscular Massage
  • Shiatsu
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Oriental Healing Arts
  • Yoga

Massage therapy research is also included in this program.

You may enroll in the therapeutic massage/integrated health care program on either a full-time (taking 12 credit hours or more) or part-time basis. With the exception of receiving special permission, massage therapy courses should be taken over a consecutive two-year period. If you wish to attend this program on a part-time basis, then the pre-massage sequence is suited for you.

The program meets the standard 1,000 hours of academic training in massage therapy that are now required for the NYS massage licensing exam. Graduates of the program will also be prepared to take the National Certification Exam for therapeutic massage and bodywork.

The Graduates

Upon completion of the therapeutic massage/integrated health care program, graduates will be prepared to seek employment in massage and integrative therapies at hospitals, health centers, resorts, corporations, clinics, and private practices.

Salary: According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for massage therapists was $35,970 in May 2012.

The Scholarships

As a Therapeutic Massage/Integrated Health Care student, if you meet specific award criteria, you will be eligible for the following scholarships:

  • Massage Therapy
  • Melissa Young (Hawk Child Wandering) Massage

For information on these scholarships, contact the FLCC Foundation.

The Faculty

The massage therapy program is composed of New York State licensed massage therapists who hold master's and doctoral degrees. The faculty possesses a wide array of educational backgrounds in eastern and western massage modalities, as well as current experience in private practice. Credentials include research, chiropractic care, nursing, and yoga. Individual faculty members have studied at the Ohashi Institute and one is a graduate of the Swedish Institute in New York City.

Continuing education is a high priority for faculty, with attendance at workshops throughout the country. Students have the unique opportunity to travel with faculty to professional workshops. One group studied abroad in China. High education standards for faculty have resulted in graduates enjoying an above-average passing rate on the NYS licensing exam.