500-Hour Certification Program

Course Descriptions

T102 Touch Dynamics

An introduction to the wide range of bodywork professions. Lecture topics cover the history of massage, bodywork and somatic therapies, a descriptive overview of massage, the physiological and emotional benefits of touch.  An introduction to the importance of touch, its dynamics, and the skills, knowledge and qualities necessary for the therapist to provide a safe and nurturing environment for touch therapy. The class focuses on the value of awareness, presence and intent in bodywork. Case histories will be provided for discussion, and students will explore their personal touch histories and how touch has impacted their lives. Lecture is combined with experiential exercises. 24 Hours.

Michelle Land, RN, LMT
Grade Evaluation: Participation, research paper,
touch history paper, final exam

T105 Therapist Client Communications

Designed to assist students in developing appropriate therapeutic behavior and professional boundaries through tests and activities to develop self-awareness, exercises in storytelling and listening, role-playing, and analysis of case histories. Students will also begin to learn how to develop the therapeutic traits of empathy, genuineness, self-disclosure, respect, warmth, immediacy, concreteness, confrontation, potency, and self-actualization. 22 Hours.

Jenny Emerson, LMFT, CMT
Grade Evaluation: Journal, participation, self evaluation, final exam
Course Texts: Becoming Naturally Therapeutic and Boundaries

T106 Massage Ethics and Tennessee Law

A course focusing on the special ethical circumstances of the licensed massage therapist within the greater context of the helping professions. The course covers 3 areas of the ethical decision-making process: legal, professional, and personal. Developing a working knowledge of current licensure rules and regulations, and industry-wide standards is central to the course. 18 Hours.

Co-Instructors: Steve Sommers, LMFT, LMT & Adam Whitehead, LMT
Prerequisite: Completion of one 300-level course
Grade Evaluation: Participation, 3 short papers, take-home exam on rules and regulations
Course Text: The Ethics of Touch

T201 Anatomy

A physical science course that educates the student to the three systems of the body most important to movement and structural function – the muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems. The lecture approach is collegiate-level and content specific to bodywork, including an introduction to medical terminology, and an overview of the physical structures progressing from cells, to tissue, to muscle groups, to the body in motion. 33 Hours.

Stacey Anderson, LMT
Grade Evaluation: Weekly quizzes, mid-term exams,
and final exam
Course Text: Applied Anatomy & Physiology for Manual Therapist 2e & Anatomy Coloring Book

T202 Physiology

A physical science course that educates the student to the following systems of the body – integumentary, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, and excretory. The lecture approach is collegiate-level and content-specific to bodywork, including an overview of the visceral organ systems. Additional focus is placed on bridging the western medical model with holistic approach of complementary and alternative models. 33 Hours.

Robin Green, CTA, LMT
Grade Evaluation: Weekly quizzes, mid-term exams, and final exam
Course Text: Applied Anatomy & Physiology for Manual Therapist 2e and Anatomy Coloring Book

Acupressure at Cumberland Institute

Mary Beth Crawford, LMT, leads lecture during Acupressure class.

T203 Kinesiology and Applied Anatomy

A physical science course that integrates review of the muscular, skeletal and nervous systems with advanced study of muscle origin, muscle insertion, nerve innervation, and muscle action. Experiential portion of the course teaches the student how to test individual muscles for strength, weakness or imbalance along with muscular balancing techniques. Also discussed are the function and analysis of motion, the bio-mechanics of anatomy, and structural assessment. 33 Hours.

Robin Green, CTA, LMT
Prerequisite: T201 Anatomy
Grade Evaluation: Weekly quizzes, mid-term exam, final exam and practicum completion
Course Text: Trail Guide to the Body

T205 Terminology, Pathology and Documentation

An overview of medical terminology, pathological conditions most commonly confronted by massage therapists, the anatomy and physiology of these disease processes, as well as charting and documentation of subjective, objective, action and plan of treatment (SOAP) notes. 22 Hours.

Adam Whitehead, LMT
Prerequisite: T201 Anatomy
Grade Evaluation: SOAP notes completion, weekly quizzes
Course Text: Mosby’s Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage and A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology

T302 Swedish Massage


Andrea Mindigo, LMT, demonstrates techniques during a Swedish Massage class.

A foundation course of massage technique in which the student will learn a sixty-minute total-body Swedish massage routine. Areas covered will include massage techniques, professional draping, lubrication, client positioning, client intake, practitioner posture, presence and intent. Students will also discuss issues that arise in practice sessions. 42 Hours.

Co-Instructors: Nick Phillips, LMT and Michelle Land, RN, LMT
Prerequisite: T102 Touch Dynamics and T201 Anatomy
Grade Evaluation: Practicum massages, technique assessment, weekly quizzes, final assessment
Course Text: Save Your Hands

T303 Advanced Techniques

Building on the foundation of T302 SWEDISH MASSAGE, this hands-on course adds stroke techniques to address specific muscles and muscle groups. Students will advance their knowledge of Swedish massage, improve palpation and location of anatomical landmarks, fine-tune body mechanics, and learn specific skills for stretching, range of motion, clothed bodywork, and side-lying position for pre-natal massage. 42 Hours.

Stacey Anderson, LMT
Prerequisite: T302 Swedish Massage
Grade Evaluation: Practicum completion, 5 quizzes, technique assessment, and final exam
Course Text: Trail Guide to the Body

T306 Acupressure for Massage

A combination lecture and hands-on introduction to meridian theory and the practical application of acupressure. The primary focus is teaching therapists to utilize acupressure as an integrative, adjunct modality in their massage practice. Students will be instructed in point location, both static and active acupressure skills. 42 Hours.

Mary Beth Crawford, LMT
Prerequisite: T201 Anatomy
Grade Evaluation: Practicum completion, quizzes and final exam

Massage-Therapy-Training-4T307 Neuromuscular Therapy

Neuromuscular Therapy is focused, specific work for locating and treating trigger points in muscles which are often the key factors in chronic pain and dysfunction. This course covers areas of the body which are common locations for client complaints, including neck, shoulders, and lower back. Techniques learned include trigger points, fascial release, and post-isometric muscle release. 42 Hours.

Nick Phillips, LMT
Prerequisite: T201 Anatomy
Grade Evaluation: Technique assessment, practicum, weekly quizzes, and final exam

T308 Integrative Therapy

This advanced hands-on course teaches the student how to assess the specific needs of a client visually, verbally, logically, and intuitively. Focus of technique integrates all mastered modalities by segmental regions of the body: back and chest, head and neck, hips and pelvis, knee and thigh, ankle and foot, shoulder, elbow, and hand. The approach is somatic and holistic, and includes discussion of the body-mind connection, the anatomy of injury, and sports massage technique. 42 Hours.

Mindy Oldham, RN, LMT
Prerequisite: T302 through T306
Grade Evaluation: Practicum completion, technique assessment, and quizzes
Course Text: Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage and Trail Guide to the Body


Students learning Physiology

T401 Business and Marketing for the Massage Therapist

A preparatory course for entering the marketplace. Topics include creating a business vision, identifying your target market, scheduling to balance personal and financial needs, developing a personal website, setting achievable financial goals for the first five years of practice, writing and designing a business card, composing a resume and cover letter, and an introduction to strategies for marketing and advertising. 32 Hours.

Teresa Greene, BS, LMT
Grade Evaluation: Design and Build your personal massage website, resume and cover letter, interviews, and participation in class discussion
Course Text: Business Mastery

T402 Clinical Internship

This course provides the student a venue for integrating the skills from all of the previous training, before the transition into professional practice. Internship offers an experience of operating in a group massage therapy practice. While working in the Cumberland Institute Intern Clinic, interns handle all telephone contacts, set and confirm appointments, conduct client intakes and create treatment plans, perform therapeutic massage sessions, summarize and document SOAP notes for client files, manage the daily books, and maintain and supply the treatment rooms. Internship integrates thirteen (13) hours of in-class supervision with sixty (60) in-clinic hours. Classroom hours and homework assignments include discussion of state licensure process and state licensure application preparation.  Cleaning of the intern clinic session rooms, check-in desk area and laundering of session linens is a shared responsibility for the interns each quarter. 73 Hours.

Mindy Oldham, RN, LMT
Prerequisite: T205 and T302 through T306
Grade Evaluation: Assessment of duties performed, phone log management, record keeping, client evaluations, faculty evaluations, intern summaries, documentation, attendance

T502 Craniosacral Therapy

A course of training in which the student refines the skill of palpation while learning the ten-step protocol of craniosacral approach, myofascial release, advanced unwinding, and somato-emotional release. Craniosacral therapy is a subtle-intent approach to releasing and balancing physical, emotional, and somatic imbalance within the body. 42 Hours.

Terry Scruggs, LMT and Assistant: Adam Whitehead, LMT
Grade Evaluation: Documented practicum, technique assessment, quizzes
Course text: The Heart of Listening II

E305 Lymphatic Drainage Massage

A combination lecture and technique course training the therapist when, why, and how to integrate lymphatic drainage into a massage session. Lymphatic drainage massage is indicated for detoxification of metabolic waste stored within tissue and fiber of the body and can be of benefit for post-operative recovery and other endemic conditions. Lecture will focus on review of the lymphatic system, as well as indication and contraindication. Technique will focus on palpation, stimulation, compressive pumping, and flushing of the lymphatic system. 42 Hours.

Denise Gleason, LMT, CLT
Prerequisite: T201 Anatomy and T202 Physiology
Grade Evaluation: Technique assessment, practicum completion, mid-term exam and final exam