Therapeutic Bodywork – Massage Therapy Program

We are the best massage school in Michigan. Develop your skills, become eligible to be licensed as a massage therapist and start a career in just one year! The Naturopathic Institute’s Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner program includes training in Swedish relaxation, deep tissue, lymphatic drain, pressure point, myofascia, reflexology, craniosacral, and more. Unique to our extensive program are classes in nutrition, advanced aromatherapy, flower remedies and light healing touch therapy, as well as emphasis on ethics, professionalism, and business-building skills.

The Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner program is a 12-month training program that meets two weekends per month and requires 625 hours of instruction and 100 hours of independent study. This meets the state-mandated educational requirements for those wishing to become Licensed Massage Therapists.

In this program you will learn:

  • Ethics and professionalism, equipment, hygiene, safety.
  • Holistic natural health practices such as the use of essential oils and nutrition to support your therapeutic bodywork.
  • A variety of massage techniques, including Basic Swedish Massage, Meridian Balancing, CranioSacral Bodywork, Reflexology, and more.
  • An understanding of physiology and anatomy.
  • How to apply what you’ve learned with hands-on experience through supervised lab hours.

Upon completion of the Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner program, students are eligible to apply for their license to practice as a Massage Therapist. This involves an application fee, fingerprinting, background checks, and the successful completion of the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).  The education you receive from NITE provides you with all the tools and skills necessary to fulfill the educational requirements to obtain the license.

With the completion of your 625 hours at the Naturopathic Institute and completion of the MBLEx, you will be able eligible to practice in the following states:

States Eligible to Practice in

Other states may require additional hours of instruction.

woman teaching class

Therapeutic Bodywork
Massage Therapy Classes

“Buyer Beware! Not all massage programs are the same. Be sure to do your research into the total hours, the length of the program, program format, tuition and fees and what is included with the tuition. Some classes are held on weekends, evenings, and just week days. Most importantly, ask yourself what you want to be: a general massage therapist, or someone that is skilled deeper into natural healing.”

-Dr. Bessheen Baker


Classes 1-6

These classes must be taken consecutively in this order.

  1. Beginning Bodywork & Ethics
  2. Therapeutic Techniques & Anatomy
  3. Anatomy/Pregnancy and Infant Massage
  4. Assessment and Advanced Techniques/Business
  5. Specialized Techniques
  6. Integrative Massage and Lymph Techniques

The foundation of this program, the first six classes include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • Basic Swedish Style Massage: Long, connecting strokes and techniques designed to relax and reduce stress.
  • Anatomy/Physiology: The base from which we expand into the therapeutic application of massage. Learn the location, position, and function of the bones, major organs, muscles, and nerves in the body.
  • Muscle Isolation: Positioning the client, and palpating landmarks.
  • Neuro-Lymphatic & Neuro-Vascular: Exploring pathways that supply and affect muscles and surrounding organs and systems.
  • Neuro-muscular: Contracting and releasing mechanisms accessed; helps provide longer-lasting results.
  • Fascia Alignment: Relaxing and moving connective tissue, which is primary to the foundational balancing of the body as a whole.
  • Manual Lymphatic Drain: Technique that encourages and directs lymphatic flow.
  • Pregnancy and Infant Massage: Proper positioning for pregnant client’s comfort, gentler strokes for infants to small children including premature babies.
  • Seated Chair Massage: To provide shorter duration massages; important for office and conference settings.
  • In-class Practical Experience: Actual supervised assessment and practice.
  • Supervised Lab Hours: Practice newly learned skills on classmates for the Beginning Bodywork Lab, and on public volunteers for all other Lab hours.
  • Ethics and professionalism, equipment, hygiene, safety.

Classes 7-13

These classes do not need to be taken consecutively.

  1. Advanced Oils
  2. Beginning Essential Oils
  3. Bodywork Systems/Anatomy/Physiology
  4. CranioSacral Bodywork
  5. Meridian Work & Light Healing Touch
  6. Nutrition
  7. Reflexology

These classes provide instruction in more specialized techniques, blending them into a highly effective method of addressing imbalances in the body and enabling the therapist to facilitate healthy change. These techniques include:

  • Continued practice in all Body Mechanics previously covered in classes 1 through 6.
  • Meridian Balancing: Effective method of working with and within the energy pathways of the body.
  • CranioSacral Bodywork: gentle pressure along spine, cranial, and sacral areas.
  • Essential Oils & Emotional Balancing: Subtle, highly effective, life-changing techniques.
  • Reflexology: Access reflex points on feet and hands to unblock, stimulate, and align energy pathways of the body.
  • Nutrition & Biochemistry: Information about food, vitamins and minerals that affect structural and overall health.
  • Additional therapies on injury techniques, myofascia, and more will also be covered.


Holistic Bodywork Class

This is the last class you will take before your Final Exam.

In this class, students will bring all their hard work, techniques learned, and skill sets together to perform a mock massage therapy appointment. Students will practice integrative massage, practice all advanced techniques, review all protocols and bodywork therapies including CranioSacral, Reflexology and Light Healing Touch. Students will also participate in a mock interview regarding essential oils, and review for the oral exam during finals weekend. Students will also be able to review muscles and terminology to prepare for the final exam.

Final Exam

There are three parts to the final exam: written, oral and practical. Students will be tested over all techniques learned during the course of their one year of study, including business and ethical questions. Students will need to know all the bones and muscles and will be tested using an oral exam. The written exam will be over all subjects learned during the therapeutic bodywork practitioner program.

Continued Education Credits for Licensed Massage Therapists

The Naturopathic Community Center provides weekend classes that allow you to keep up with stringent policies on getting your CEU’s while avoiding disruption with your busy schedule.

These classes are designed to not only help you get the hours needed to keep your license up-to-date but to help you learn the latest in education to provide the best possible service to your clients.

Request More Info or Enroll Today

The Therapeutic Bodywork Program tuition is $7,600 per one-year program, discounted to $6,840 if paid in full prior to the program start date.

We offer flexible payment to put down what you need now. Use our calculator below to determine what your monthly cost will be based on your down payment.

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Monthly Payments Not Due Until Classes Begin

The next deadline for applications is November 15th.

The Naturopathic Institute of Therapies & Education is the premier destination for Therapeutic Bodywork education and career prep. Learn more about what we offer by filling out our Request Info Form or secure your spot by Applying Online.