The Essentials of Massage & Bodywork (Essentials) course is the foundation for learning at IPSB, for professional training, personal growth, or spiritual development. It is the prerequisite for the Massage Therapy Certificate program and the foundation for the College’s philosophical approach to learning. It gives the student a solid core of skills, knowledge, and experiential understanding of the integration of Body-Mind-Emotions-Spirit through the work of holistic body practices.
The coursework is based on a “three centers” concept: the physical, emotional, and intellectual centers. The physical center (legs and lower abdomen) relates to the physical instinct and the concept of being grounded and able to take care of one’s needs. The emotional center (chest) relates to the heart and the flow of emotions to the outside world. The intellectual center (head and neck) relates to being aware of the outside world, organizing the senses, and understanding what is going on.
The Essentials of Massage and Bodywork course is designed to create an opening and integration of these centers in the student and to give a format for balancing and opening these centers in others.
This course qualifies the student to apply basic massage techniques on family, friends, and others. Completion of this class does not ensure employment in most areas. Please refer to the “Massage Therapy Licensing” section for more information.
The Essentials course can be taken for continuing education and personal growth or as the beginning level of the professional academic training. Although some individuals may find work in the field (depending on state and/or local educational requirements), this course on its own does not meet the professional standards of AMTA, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, or the minimum levels of licensure in the City of San Diego.
Those students who plan to become professional massage therapists and bodyworkers are expected to continue their education at least through the Massage Therapy certificate program, and are strongly recommended to obtain the Holistic Health Practitioner certificate. The opportunity for more academic studies is available in the Associate’s degree program.
Besides covering theory and practice of circulatory massage (which includes both Swedish and Esalen styles), Essentials students are introduced to Sensory Repatterning, self-massage, and deep tissue massage. Tai Chi, Educational Kinesiology, and the IPSB Movement series are also taught as support work for grounding, body mechanics, and energy generation.
Lessons taught in the Essentials class include:
Anatomy, Physiology, Hygiene
Ethics, Business and Legal Issues
Practical application (Supervised Practice)
Support and Maintenance systems
Specific class dates and hours for Essentials and the Supervised Practice sessions are listed in each Quarterly Schedule of Classes. You can find this information here on the website:
For an online version of our Quarterly Schedule, go to:
At the top of this page there is a drop down bar called “Academic Resources and Forms” on the far left.
Move your cursor over that label, and click on the sub-tab “Academic Resources”.
That page has links that will give you our Quarterly Schedule, as well as posted information on updates/corrections to the schedule.