Richmond, Virginia (July 21, 2011): University of Richmond’s School of Continuing Studies will offer massage therapy studies, including coursework to prepare for initial certification and continuing education coursework in the burgeoning profession, beginning in September.

Accredited and approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), the program will enroll a maximum of 14 students each in separate part-time and full-time tracks to enable individual instruction and attention.

“Our 729-hour accredited program will prepare students to pass the national Certified Massage Therapist exam,” said Stephanie Bowlin, the school’s professional development program manager, “exceeding the 500-hour minimum requirement for national certification and most state licensing.”

The part-time program will begin each September and take 11 months to complete, with students attending classes four evenings a week and one Saturday a month. The full-time program will begin each January and July and take six months to complete, with students attending class four days a week and one Saturday a month. Either option costs $9,000.

Topics covered will include massage and bodywork assessment, theory and application, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, clinical massage, pathology, business and ethics and specializations, such as deep tissue massage, aromatherapy and prenatal massage. Students will practice massage techniques in student clinics and on their own with family and friends. They also will be required to complete 30 supervised massages during their studies.

“It’s the details that make a really good therapist become a great therapist,” program coordinator Jacqueline Gooding said. “So, we’ll employ a highly personal approach to help ensure our students become successful massage therapists with satisfied clients.”

Certified massage therapists (CMT) must complete continuing education requirements in order to recertify through NCBTMB every four years. The University of Richmond program will offer a variety of workshops and training opportunities throughout the year that CMTs may count toward recertification.

“From the newest bodywork and massage practices to specialized certification workshops, we will provide the best training to keep certifications up-to-date and keep knowledge fresh,” Gooding said. “We’ll also bring in instructors from other states, and sometimes other countries, to teach programs and topics that are not often available in central Virginia.”

The School of Continuing Studies will host two information sessions about the massage therapy program July 19 and Aug. 17, each from 6-8 p.m. at the university’s Jepson Alumni Center. Attendees will learn about massage therapy as a career, the curriculum, applying for admission, class scheduling and payment assistance. They will meet the program director and instructors and have the opportunity to apply on site.

Reservations for either information session can be made by telephone through the school’s automated reservation line (804- 287-1207) or online at