HA-102: Western Massage I

Course Information

Course, prefix, number, & title: HA-102 Western Massage I

Hours (Class, recitation, Laboratory, studio): 1 hour lecture, 3 hours laboratory, offered in Fall or Spring semester

Credits: 2

Co-requisites (if any): BI-301 All prerequisites must be completed with a grade of C or better

Course Description in college catalog:

This course will focus on developing a firm foundation in Western, or what is most commonly referred to as Swedish style massage. The history of Western massage, its basic techniques, benefits and contradictions for their use will be discussed. Proper use of oils, massage tables, draping and bolstering methods will be introduced. High emphasis will be placed in the practicum on modeling proper body mechanics necessary to execute techniques efficiently and safely.

Academic programs for which this course serves as a requirement or an elective:

A.A.S. Massage Therapy

General Education Outcomes: Below is a listing of General Education Outcome(s) that this course supports.

  1. Communicate effectively through written and oral forms

  2. Use analytical reasoning to identify issues or problems and evaluate evidence in order to make informed decisions

Course-specific student learning outcomes:


At the completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in:

Student Learning Outcomes
Course Objectives Learning Outcomes
1. Using self-care practices Students will explore guided imagery, meditation, and physical movement practices throughout the semester
2. Practical skills in basic Swedish massage movements, including gliding, kneading, percussion, friction, vibration, and compression, also: palpation, proper body mechanics, proper draping and bolstering while client is supine or prone Students will demonstrate proficiency in the performance of a full-body massage
3. Identifying the effects of basic massage applications Students will consider research-derived evidence for treatment decisions
4. Describing the benefits, precautions and contraindications of Western massage along with basic therapist/client interactions necessary to maintain a safe and comfortable massage environment Students will interview their lab partners to determine the safety of their massage applications
5. Practicing proper hygiene Students will wear clean clothing, wash their hands before and after massage practice, and maintain the sanitation of massage tables and work space
6. Setting up, adjusting, taking down, and storing massage table safely Students will ascertain the proper table height for their body mechanics and put tables away properly at the end of classes
7. Differentiating among oils, lotions, creams, gels and powders in massage Students will compare and contrast various massage lubricants

Program-specific outcomes

Demonstrate knowledge of and proficiency in the art and science of massage therapy, within a holistic health framework.

Comprehend knowledge of and apply Eastern and Western Massage

Demonstrate a strong foundation in the biological sciences, together with a broad based general education in the liberal arts

Methods by which student learning will be assessed and evaluated; describe the types of methods to be employed; note whether certain methods are required for all sections:


Methods of Instruction will enphasize:

  • Demonstration
  • Lecture
  • Reading and journaling assignments
  • Supervised student practice
  • Exams
  • Practical massage evaluation

An important component of massage therapy practice is self-care. The course requirements listed above relate to body mechanics and personal comfort as well as to attitude. In HA 102, we also use contemplative practices and movement to cultivate self-awareness and compassion in preparation to offer touch therapy to others. Participation in these activities is required throughout the semester.

Students of the QCC Massage Therapy Program will provide and receive massage and other manual or verbal techniques or therapies to and from students or the instructor in an instructional or practice setting. It is the students responsibility to inform the instructor of any special physical conditions they may have to ensure safety, such as prior injury or pregnancy. Once conditions are made known or are discovered, the instructor may determine that participation in some class practice sessions or techniques is contraindicated for the student, and the student will be asked to observe only. You are encouraged to take a turn partnering with every member of the class in order to experience massaging various types of bodies.

Some students may have prior experience in a different field. The only techniques to be used in class are the techniques you have learned in the QCC Massage Therapy Program from your instructors. You may not use techniques learned for a different profession, or from your classmates who have prior experience in another field.

Methods of Assessment:

Table Methods
Assessment Item % Of Final Grade
Midterm 25%
Class Participation 25%
Final Written Exam 25%
Final Practical Exam 25%

Failure of the practical evaluation will constitute a failure for the course.


Academic Integrity policy (department or College):
Academic honesty is expected of all students. Any violation of academic integrity is taken extremely seriously. All assignments and projects must be the original work of the student or teammates. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Any questions regarding academic integrity should be brought to the attention of the instructor. The following is the Queensborough Community College Policy on Academic Integrity: "It is the official policy of the College that all acts or attempted acts that are violations of Academic Integrity be reported to the Office of Student Affairs. At the faculty member's discretion and with the concurrence of the student or students involved, some cases though reported to the Office of Student Affairs may be resolved within the confines of the course and department. The instructor has the authority to adjust the offender's grade as deemed appropriate, including assigning an F to the assignment or exercise or, in more serious cases, an F to the student for the entire course." Read the University's policy on Academic Integrity opens in a new window(PDF).

Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based upon the impact of a disability should contact the office of Services for Students with Disabilities in Science Building, Room S-132, 718-631-6257, to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. You can visit the Services for Students with Disabilities website.

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