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How Long Is The Course?

The course is spread over 21 levels. Courses are run one day a week, and the complete course including exams usually takes around 8months.

How Is The Course Taught?

Visual learning aids, lectures and tutorials are used to teach the theory side of the course. For the practical work students learn by giving treatments to each other.

Course Requirements

Students need to bring with them pens, paper, coloured pencils and an A4 book binder with plastic folders to put notes in. Neat and tidy notes are mandatory and are counted towards the final mark. A course uniform is also required. This consists of a white tunic top and white trousers, with flat white therapy shoes.


At the end of the course students sit a one hour holistic Massage Anatomy & Physiology paper, plus a 1 hour business studies examination paper They are also required to take a 1 hour practical exam, where massage techniques as well as client care and standards of hygiene are assessed. Students also need to submit written evidence of massaging 5 people a total of 4 times each.


On satisfactory completion of the course, students are presented with an ITEC Diploma in Holistic Massage.

Governing Bodies

You can apply to join The Complementary Therapist Association CThA


The cost of the course, including handouts and student workbook and examination fees is £1500.00. For your convenience this can be paid for by installments.

Holistic Massage Syllabus

Body Massage

  • History of massage
  • The holistic approach to massage
  • Classical massage movements
  • Physiological and psychological benefits of massage
  • Appropriate mediums for massage (oil, talc cream)
  • Professionalism ethics and client care
  • Contra-indications to massage
  • A look at other complementary therapies
  • Infra-red

Anatomy & Physiology

For more information on this section, please refer to Anatomy & Physiology section of this site.

  • Skeletal System
  • Muscular System
  • The Skin
  • Histology
  • Vascular System
  • Lymphatic system
  • Neurological System
  • Endocrine System
  • Respiratory System
  • Digestive System
  • Genito-Urinary System
  • Reproductive System

Business Studies Unit

Students must also study the following subjects:

Professional ethics

  • Operating within professional boundaries
  • Contra-indications to treatment
  • Building rapport with the medical profession

First Aid and Treatment Room Safety

  • Contents of a First Aid Box
  • Administering First Aid
  • Health and Safety Laws

Hygiene and Sterilisation

  • Personal hygiene for the therapist
  • Methods of sterilisation
  • Cross infections

Client Handling

  • Designing a consultation card
  • Ethics
  • Client modesty

Business Studies

  • Health and Safety at work
  • Insurance cover
  • Advertising


If you have any questions, or would just like an informal chat, please contact us via our enquiries page.



© 2011 York School of Complementary Medicine
Philippa James
Newton on Ouse
York YO30 2BU
01347 844088