Massage Therapy

Master the knowledge, skills and techniques needed to thrive in a career in massage therapy. A diploma in Massage Therapy gives you the opportunity to earn a competitive salary and take this valuable skill-set anywhere in the world. Whether you choose to work in a chiropractic office, sports center or on a cruise ship, our Massage Therapy program will prepare you for real-life experience.

Complete courses in Medical Terminology, Intro to Swedish Massage, Anatomy and Physiology, Kinesiology/Anatomy & Movement for Massage Therapy and more. The Iowa Lakes curriculum is based on the guidelines set by the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy and the National Certification Board to meet the requirements for passing the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy licensing examinations.

The curriculum is challenging because of the emphasis on thoroughly understanding anatomy and body mechanics. Maintaining a 2.0 (or higher) GPA increases your chances of being successful in the program and passing the licensure exam.

As a licensed massage therapist, you have endless options when it comes to choosing your work setting. Start your career in massage therapy with the skills and experience of a professional.

Faculty Contact

Elizabeth Larsen
Massage Therapy Coordinator & Instructor
712-580-8625 |

Program Details


DEGREE: Diploma (40 credits)

CAMPUS: Spencer

Clinical Experience

Did You Know?

Starting Salary: $24,907

Average Salary: $40,027

Accreditation: Iowa Board of Massage Therapy

Special Certifications Available


Term 1

Credits: 4

Structure and function of the human body with emphasis on cells, tissues and all major organ systems. Anatomy and physiology are integrated at the cellular level and at the organ/system level. Lecture and laboratory.

Credits: 2

Refining of skills in reading, writing and listening as they apply to the student’s vocational needs.

Credits: 3

Studies medical terminology, including spelling and definitions.

Credits: 1

This course will provide self-care techniques to promote wellness for the Massage Therapist profession.

Credits: 3

Provides a basic foundation for the courses of study in the Mas­sage Therapy program.

Credits: 1

The course provides professional massage techniques of the head, neck, shoulders, arms, back and hips of a client seated in a special designed chair for massage. The student will be trained to do a highly visible branch of professional massage, which is done in shopping malls, airports, convention centers, supermarkets, and the workplace.

Term 2

Credits: 2

This course is the study of the nature and causes of disease as related to structure and functions of the body with correlation to the practice of massage therapy.

Credits: 3

This course is the study of body movement and anatomy within the musculoskeletal system, and the role it plays in assessment within the practice of massage therapy.

Prerequisites: MST 103 – Intro to Swedish Massage and BIO 163 – Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology

Credits: 3

This course will provide the skills and techniques to be used with Hydrotherapy, Hot Stone Therapy, Aromatherapy, and Spa Therapy.  The student will be introduced to the terminology and application of Eastern Therapies.

Prerequisites: MST 103 – Intro to Swedish Massage

Credits: 3

This course is designed to expand on the concepts of Kinesiology/Anatomy of Movement for Massage Therapy.

Credits: 2

Students will learn skills and techniques to adapt massage therapy to the needs of special populations including clients over 55, clients who are obese, clients who are children, pregnancy and infant, end of life, clients with disabilities, and athletes.

Prerequisites: MST 103 – Intro to Swedish Massage and BIO 163 – Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology

Credits: 3

This course is designed to expand on skills developed in Swedish and Intermediate Massage. Students will integrate new techniques including trigger point therapy, myofascial massage, polarity, and shiatsu in client-centered treatment planning.

Term 3

Credits: 3

Students are given the opportunity to apply human relations concepts and evaluate experience and observations. Social skills required in various occupational settings will be developed, emphasizing how appropriate personal attitudes lead to social and business success.

Credits: 1

This course includes the modality pertaining to zones and reflex areas in the hands and feet.The students will study how the reflexes corresponds to distinct parts of the body.

Credits: 1

This course is an introduction to business practices for the massage therapist as an independent contractor and as an employee.  Students will be introduced to business structures, professional organizations, business plans, bookkeeping, legal records, marketing, professional insurance, financing, and business law.

Credits: 1

This course assists students to understand and apply the Stan­dards of Practice established by professional massage organiza­tions. The course emphasizes ethical behavior in the massage therapy profession and teaches students to establish professional boundaries and acceptable standards of documentation.

Credits: 3

Massage Therapy Career Preparation will focus on the knowledge and skills necessary for the Massage Therapist to obtain state credentials, to prepare for the working world, and gain experience in advanced massage techniques.

Credits: 1

This course is designed for classroom lab supervised practical experiences in body massages application. The students will set up appointments for outside individuals to apply techniques for full body massages.

† indicates a course that fulfills the diversity requirement. This course may also fulfill another general AA requirement.

Licensure and Certification Disclosure Requirements by State: 

  1. Iowa Lakes Community College Massage Therapy program meets the educational requirements in the following states/jurisdictions: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
  2. Iowa Lakes Community College Massage Therapy program does NOT meet the educational requirements in the following states/jurisdictions: Hawaii, Nebraska, New York, Minnesota, and Puerto Rico.
  3. Iowa Lakes Community College has not made the determination if the Message Therapy program meets the state educational requirements for the following states/jurisdictions: California, Vermont, Kansas, and US Virgin Islands.

The Massage Therapy program is accredited by Iowa State Board of Massage Therapy.