Massage & Hydrotherapy Career Information

Massage & Hydrotherapy in Ontario is a growing profession in health care, providing primary care to clients and the general population. And, massage & hydrotherapy professionals aid to those concerned with maintaining and enhancing their own health and well being. Massage therapists will assess and treat physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissue and joints of the body. This is mostly through hands-on manipulation. Assessment and treatment can include orthopedic and neurological testing, soft tissue manipulation, hydrotherapy, remedial exercise programs and client education programs.

Massage Therapists in Ontario are mainly self-employed health professionals. They work in a variety of settings, most often in massage therapy clinics and chiropractic offices. Other workplaces include health clinics, private practice, rehabilitation centres, health spas, health and fitness clubs, nursing homes, community health clinics, and hospitals. Clients may make appointments with massage therapists without being referred by a medical doctor.

Program Outline

As a massage & hydrotherapy student, you will be learning an understanding of the following sections:


In this course students learn the detailed study of the musculoskeletal system. The content builds upon the introductory material learned in Body-Mind-Spirit Connection I. Selected portions of the body will be studied region-by-region examining: the skeletal features, the muscular attachments, the nervous innervation and the blood supply. Concurrent laboratory experience will focus upon identification of landmarks, palpation of the muscle group(s), functional testing of each muscle and it’s contribution to normal range of motion.

Theory & Technique

For this module students learn to examine current understanding of the physiological effects of massage therapy. This section helps students learn how to develop the most safe and effective treatment plans. Futhermore, the student will develop skills in referral and consultation with other health practioners.


Hydrotherapy gives students an understanding of the physiological effects of hot and cold. Students will learn the effects, uses and contraindications of a variety of local and general of hot and cold applications.

Anatomy & Physiology

Students will gain a general understanding of the normal functions of the body systems with emphasis on neuromusculoskeletal function and cardiovascular system. In addition, students will gain knowledge of the interrelationship of the body systems and the nature of homeostatic mechanisms.

Introduction to Clinic

This section helps prepare the students for their “Clinic” shift. They learn how to keep a proper client file, how to complete a proper medical history, and how to take blood pressure. Futhermore, students will learn which questions should be asked and why when reading a health history form. At the end of this course students will walk through an entire massage appointment, from greeting a new client to ending the massage.


Treatments module will help students develop the ability to formulate treatment objectives and treatment plans, to encourage appropriate client self care. Student will also learn to treat various conditions with massage.


In pathology, students will study how the body works at the level of cells, basic tissues, and organs; pathology extends this investigation to examine the ways in which body tissues become diseased or dysfunctional. This course introduces the student to pathology of all of the body systems, the Student’s knowledge with Pathology will grow each term.


The neurology module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the entire nervous system along with an in depth understanding of the central nervous system. Students will also gain an understanding of the peripheral nervous system, concentrating on the cranial nerves and various nerve plexuses of the body.

Remedial Exercises

Students will study the use of exercise for prevention and rehabilitation of injury, including structure and progression of range of motion exercise, stretches, strength-building exercise, and stress reduction techniques.


The research course leads students to contemplate the opportunities for investigation of clinical findings in everyday practice and for cooperation in larger research projects in the future.


Assessments module provides students with the ability to define a logical structured approach to determining the etiology of a client’s orthopedic complaints and how they can relate to the function of related tissues and structures. Students will become skilled in assessment findings for common musculoskeletal disorders in preparation for clinical treatments courses.

Advanced Techniques

The advanced techniques course provides students with an opportunity to expand his/her repertoire of massage therapy techniques and explore additional therapies within the scope of Practice of a Massage Therapist. Using a case study approach, the student will have the opportunity to further develop critical thinking and decision making skills at an advanced level and demonstrate the competencies required for entry-to-practice in Ontario.

Business & Ethics

The business & ethics course will help students become familiar with basic business principles. Student learn how to keep in good standing with the CMTO, how to keep track of HST, and how to run a business. Futhermore, students will develop a working knowledge of the profession’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and a process for ethical decision making.

OSCE / MCQ Preparation

This important course is taught in the final term and will be a review for students. Students will have the opportunity to review and be tested on the Theory and Practical courses they’ve taken throughout the program. At the end of the course, students will feel confident in taking their board exams.

Clinic / Outreach

Clinic allows the students to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world. When the Student begins clinic they will be working on Clients who come to Canadian College’s public Massage Clinic. From here, students begin Clinic after completing Term 1 and will continue until they graduate, gaining working knowledge of how Massage Therapy can help people. Futhermore, outreaches provide students opportunities to practice what they have learned in clinic in various community settings via organizations, corporations and local events.

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