What massage course?


Choosing the right massage course can be a challenge as there are so many to choose from.

Massage can provide the therapist with a regular client base where clients return weekly, fortnightly or monthly for regular massages.





Hopefully this blog post will help to shed some light on the choices of massage courses you can book and which one might be right for you.


The massage courses we offer are:

  • Swedish massage accredited course

  • VTCT level 3 certificate in Swedish massage

  • VTCT Level 3 diploma in massage

So, what is the difference between these three courses?



Swedish massage course (accredited course)


Course Description:

This course in body massage will develop your practical skills in how to provide the relaxing and stress relieving treatment of body massage. You will learn about health and safety, client care and communications as well as anatomy and physiology.


Pre-requisite (entry level):

You are required to hold an Anatomy & physiology qualification, but this is included FREE with this course, and can be studied alongside.

What do I need to do to pass this course?

Here is what you need to do to finish and complete this course:

  • Practical training - Attend 2 days practical training at your chosen training venue (a list of venues this course is available at, is listed on the course information page on our website.) During your practical training you will learn how to perform a full body massage. The massage techniques you will learn, will include effleurage (superficial to deep, stroking, feathering, draining), petrissage (kneading, wringing, pulling, circling, knuckling, pressures), tapotement (hacking, cupping, beating, pummelling, tapping), frictions, vibrations (shaking, fine vibrations) techniques.

  • Online theory - Studied in your own time in the comfort of your own environment, you are required to study a series of course modules. Course material accessed via your own log in on our course platform - With this body massage course, you also receive the following FREE courses: (* Anatomy & Physiology Online course - FREE, * Listening skills for therapists online course - FREE, * Health & safety for therapists online course - FREE)

  • Case studies - Once you have attended your 1st practical training day, you can begin completing your case studies. These are completed in your own time, and you are required to complete 5 treatments as case studies

  • Once you have completed all of the above you will be emailed your certificate, to forward on to your insurers, and to print for your own records.

Who approves this qualification?

This course is approved and accredited by the following accrediting bodies, for professional practice once qualified.

  • The CMA - The Complementary Medical Association

  • PBD - Professional Beauty Direct

  • ABT - Associated Beauty Therapists

  • IICT - International Institute for Complementary Therapists

  • IPHM - International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine

What does accreditation mean?

Here is a further blog written to explain what accreditation means - https://www.holistictherapiestrainingacademy.co.uk/post/what-is-an-accredited-course


Will I be able to get insured once I complete this course?

Our answer to this is to please check your insurance companies requirements before enrolling on this course? (It is the students responsibility to check coverage with their insurers BEFORE enrolling on any course). The reason for this is each insurance company will have their own specifications and requirements (including pre-requisites) that they require their insured clients to have, therefore we strongly recommend you ALWAYS check with your insurer before enrolling on any course, whether with us, or with any other training provider. Not all accrediting bodies are insurable with all insurance companies. Mad I know, but we would hate for anyone to enrol with us only to find they cannot get insured with their current insurance company once qualified. There is always an insurance company that will insure you, but if you already hold insurance, you might be locked into a period of time or not wish to change.


If you are looking for an insurance company, 'here are some insurance companies you can try, some with introductory discounts - https://holistic-therapies-training.teachable.com/p/accreditation



VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Swedish massage course


Course Description:

The Level 3 Certificate in Swedish Massage is a qualification that has been specifically designed to develop your practical skills in how to provide the relaxing and stress relieving treatment of body massage. Underpinning this qualification you will develop a sound knowledge of health and safety, and client care and communication. You will also develop a knowledge and understanding of the practical skills learned throughout this qualification, such as anatomy and physiology. The purpose of this qualification is to develop your skills in providing body massage treatments to a high level of occupational ability, to enable you to provide your own services for clients.


Pre-requisite (entry level):

You are required to undertake the following qualification (this can be studied alongside this course, but must be completed prior to practical assessments) - Infection Prevention (Covid-19) for Beauty Therapy and Nail Services VTCT Level 2


What do I need to do to pass this course?

Here is what you need to do to finish and complete this course:

  • Practical training - Attend 5 days practical training at our Bideford, Devon approved VTCT centre. During your practical training you will learn how to perform a full body Swedish massage, you will get the opportunity for plenty of practice as well as carry out your assessments during these dates too. Effleurage (superficial to deep, stroking, feathering, draining), petrissage (kneading, wringing, pulling, circling, knuckling, pressures), tapotement (hacking, cupping, beating, pummelling, tapping), frictions, vibrations (shaking, fine vibrations) techniques. You will also receive tutor support via live zoom lessons online, as part of our blended learning course format.

  • Online theory - Studied in your own time in the comfort of your own environment, you are required to study a series of course modules. Course material accessed via your own log in on our course platform, you will have assignments to complete and submit for marking. You will also receive tutor support via live zoom lessons online, as part of our blended learning course format.

  • Case studies - Once you have attended your 1st practical training day, you can begin completing your case studies. These are completed in your own time, and you are required to complete 5 treatments as case studies

  • Exams - There are 2 exams to sit for this qualification, which will be carried out under exam conditions on the 5th day of your training.

  • Once you have successfully completed all of the above you will be posted your VTCT certificate.

Who approves this qualification?

This course is awarded by The VTCT (Vocational Training & Charitable Trust) This qualification is is mapped to the relevant NOS (National Occupational Standards), where applicable. This qualification is accredited on the qualifications and credit framework (QCF). This qualification is a VRQ (Vocationally Related Qualification.) VTCT are regulated by Ofqual and provide world class qualifications. You can find out more about who the VTCT are by clicking here - https://www.holistictherapiestrainingacademy.co.uk/post/who-are-the-vtct



VTCT Level 3 Diploma in massage course


Course Description:

The VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Massage is a preparation for work qualification that has been designed to prepare you for a career as a massage therapist/practitioner.

This qualification will develop your knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice and business practice for complementary therapies. Furthermore, you will learn about anatomy, physiology and pathology for complementary therapies.

You will also develop your understanding and practical skills to competently provide massage services. You may also choose to complete an additional unit which will develop your knowledge and understanding of healthy eating and wellbeing for the complementary therapy client.

This is a practitioner level qualification.


Pre-requisite (entry level):

You are required to undertake the following qualification (this can be studied alongside this course, but must be completed prior to practical assessments)

- Infection Prevention (Covid-19) for complementary therapies & sports massage VTCT Level 2


What do I need to do to pass this course?

Here is what you need to do to finish and complete this course:

  • Practical training - Attend 8 days practical training at our Bideford, Devon approved VTCT centre. You will also receive tutor support via live zoom lessons online, as part of our blended learning course format. During your practical training you will learn how to perform a full body massage as well as a seated back massage, you will get the opportunity for plenty of practice as well as carry out your assessments during these dates too. Effleurage (superficial to deep, stroking, feathering, draining), petrissage (kneading, wringing, pulling, circling, knuckling, pressures), tapotement (hacking, cupping, beating, pummelling, tapping), frictions, vibrations (shaking, fine vibrations), passive joint movements, muscle stretching techniques.

  • Online theory - Studied in your own time in the comfort of your own environment, you are required to study a series of course modules. Course material accessed via your own log in on our course platform, you will have assignments to complete and submit for marking. You will also receive tutor support via live zoom lessons online, as part of our blended learning course format.

  • Case studies - Once you have attended your 1st practical training day, you can begin completing your case studies. These are completed in your own time, and you are required to complete 30 treatments as case studies

  • Exams - There are 2 exams to sit for this qualification, which will be carried out under exam conditions on the 5th day of your training.

  • Once you have successfully completed all of the above you will be posted your VTCT certificate.

Who approves this qualification?

This course is awarded by The VTCT (Vocational Training & Charitable Trust) This qualification is is mapped to the relevant NOS (National Occupational Standards), where applicable. This qualification is accredited on the qualifications and credit framework (QCF). This qualification is a VRQ (Vocationally Related Qualification.) VTCT are regulated by Ofqual and provide world class qualifications. You can find out more about who the VTCT are by clicking here - https://www.holistictherapiestrainingacademy.co.uk/post/who-are-the-vtct



The history of massage

Swedish body massage is one of the oldest forms of healing in existence.

It dates back to 3,000 BC in China where the first known recorded writings of the practice were found in the Cong-Fu of the Toa-Tse and ancient civilisations of Egypt too. Athletes received massage prior to competitions as far back as 776 BC in Rome & in Greece.

Sigmund Freud used massage to treat his patients in the 18th century to help treat hysteria.

The Indians use massage as part of their Ayurvedic medicine lifestyle.

Modern massage techniques have evolved mainly from a Swedish physiologist and gymnast

called Per Henrik Ling (1776 - 1839). He developed massage movements known as effleurage,

petrissage, vibration, friction, rolling and slapping. These terms are still used by therapists

today, but have been adapted over time.


Massage therapy present day is used for a range of conditions and for pure relaxation and pampering. Massage, as with other beauty and complementary therapies are vastly becoming

regulated within the industry and qualifications are being mapped to the national occupational

standards (https://www.ukstandards.org.uk/).


A massage can help with the following:

  • Relaxation

  • Stress and tension relief

  • Lymphatic drainage

  • Postural improvement

  • A sense of wellbeing

  • Health management

The possible physiological benefits of massage includes:

  • It may improves blood circulation which quickens the interchange of oxygen, nutrients, carbon dioxide and waste.

  • It causes hyperaemia (the increase in blood) which temporarily increases heat in the area of treatment and warms the tissues.

  • It stimulates the skin which increases cellular function.

  • It causes desquamation, which is the body’s natural exfoliation of the dead skin cells.

  • It increases the sebaceous secretions.

  • It increases lymphatic circulation with aids the removal of toxins.

  • It stimulates or soothes the sensory nerve endings, depending on the massage movements used.

  • It helps to soften fatty (adipose) tissue deposits depending on the movements used.

  • It relieves muscular tension due to the removal of waste and relaxes the muscles.

  • The skin tone and elasticity is improved and it can loosen scar tissue.


I hope this blog post has shed some more light onto which massage course might be the one for you, and please do reach out to us if you have any questions at all.

Thank you for reading :-)


Karen xx

Holistic Therapies Training Academy





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