We offer four different certification options. Click on any of these titles to go directly to the course details and enrollment page, or continue reading below for an introductory summary of each certification.
- Fertility Massage Therapist
- Prenatal Massage Therapist
- Massage Doula
- Infant Massage Therapist/Instructor
To earn the title of "Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist":
To earn the title of Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist, you will complete two steps: Prenatal Massage Fundamentals, and Prenatal Massage Techniques.
Prenatal Massage Fundamentals is the first course in the prenatal massage certification and doula certification series, and is a pre-requisite to taking the prenatal or doula certification courses. With it, you earn 12 CEs (classified as cognitive, valid for states like Texas). It lays the groundwork by teaching you the cognitive, conceptual aspects of prenatal massage so that you can:
- Explain how prenatal massage benefits the mother physically and emotionally.
- List and describe pregnancy related complications and their symptoms that would contraindicate massage therapy.
- Describe the physiological changes that take place in each system of a woman’s body during pregnancy, and how each of those changes dictate modifications in a standard massage routine.
- Successfully market and sell your prenatal and delivery services.
- Prepare suitable forms to use for release of liability and record-keeping.
Prenatal Massage Techniques is the second course in the prenatal massage certification and doula certification series. If you wish to move beyond the fundamentals to earn the title of Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist, after completing the prerequisite Fundamentals course, you next take the Prenatal Certification course (worth 12 kinesthetic CEs), which teaches you how to perform a full body massage during all three trimesters of pregnancy. You will learn techniques utilizing your forearms and elbows to reduce stress to your hands and thumbs.This course teaches in side-lying and modified supine positioning. You will also learn postpartum massage.
To earn the title of "Certified Massage Doula"
If you wish to earn certification for Massage Doula Support (Step Three), you must already have completed our Prenatal Massage Fundamentals (Step One) and Prenatal Massage Techniques (Step Two) courses. The Massage Doula Support course (Step Three) is worth 21CEs. In this course you will study how to:
- Provide physical comfort, information, and emotional support during childbirth.
- Describe and explain the medically proven benefits of continuous labor support services (also known as doula services).
- Provide a variety of useful pre-labor coaching suggestions to help prepare your client for delivery, physically and emotionally.
- Describe and understand the physical processes that make up the three stages of labor, and some of the possible complications that can arise.
- Describe a number of various positions for laboring that decrease discomfort and back labor, and promote more effective pushing.
- Complete the steps to become a Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist outlined above
- Complete the Massage Doula Course & Test
- Complete the required reading list: The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin and The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer.
- Attend three births as a doula intern. You do NOT have to have a supervising doula for your internship births. You will find the three laboring women on your own.
To earn the title of "Certified Infant Massage Therapist/Instructor"
Basic infant massage can soothe an anxious baby, and will provide all of the wonderful benefits that massage holds for adults. This home study continuing education course teaches simple routines for general massage, as well as exercises to stimulate muscle development and coordination. We also cover special situations such as colds, colic, hiccups, constipation, diarrhea, teething irritability and other conditions. This course focuses on teaching the parents to massage their baby, because most new parents cannot afford to pay you to massage their baby, and because they are the ones who need to have the bonding that massage can bring. Plus they need to have the tools to settle a fussy baby in the middle of the night. For this reason, the techniques are simple by design, meant to be used with confidence by non-massage therapists on their most precious asset - their new baby.
- Complete the Infant Massage Course & Test
- Submit documentation of teaching two infant massage classes to new parents.
- Complete the Fertility Massage Course and Test
- Complete the required reading (your choice of two books from a list of six)
- Submit documentation of performing three fertility massage sessions on a client who has been having fertility issues
Many other massage therapy continuing education courses available
The Institute of Somatic Therapy offers a full line of massage therapy continuing education classes, including topics like reflexology, aromatherapy, hot stone massage, massage research, ethics for massage therapists, pathology for some common conditions massage therapists encounter in their practice, and many more. You can view a complete list HERE.