Holistic Massage and Alternative Therapies

ECTS Value: 4 ECTS

Contact Hours: 20

Self Study Hours: 48

Assessment Hours: 32


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This unit will allow participants to develop both practical and theoretical aspects of Holistic Massage whilst also introduce them to a variety of alternative therapies. Candidates will be taught all aspects of holistic massage and who can and cannot have this treatment, while also gain experience of researching and comparing the effects and benefits of a variety of complimentary therapies with regards to contra indications and special care. With regards to Holistic Massage, learners will also get an insight not only to the practical side of massage but also to: contra-indications, contraactions, client care, consultation procedures, Health and Safety and Professional conduct. Anatomy and Physiology will also be taught in a separate unit.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a) Develop understanding of the history and theory of Holistic Massage;
b) Perform massage using the correct techniques and movements mainly: effleurage, petrissage, percussion, kneading and understand the effects of each particular movement;
c) Develop a system to carry out an appropriate consultation;
d) Explain contra-indications and contra-actions that might prevent the treatment taking place;
e) Research alternative therapy treatments;
f) Evaluate effects and benefits of alternative therapies;
g) Submit findings and present in a report;
h) Devise lessons and resources that assure student motivation. 


a) Outline the component parts of Holistic Massage;
b) Demonstrate knowledge of massage movements and their effects and benefits;
c) Demonstrate knowledge of massage terminology;
d) Deepen awareness for the need for professional preparation and setup;
e) Set up a treatment plan according to the client’s needs; 
f) Develop knowledge of how to demonstrate full Holistic Massage of face and body using a variety of massage techniques in accordance with Health and safety regulations;
g) Deepen understanding how to adapt massage according to client’s needs;
h) Conduct a thorough consultation;
i) Provide client with aftercare/homecare advice;
j) Outline different Alternative Therapies offered within the industry;
k) Explain the benefits/effects of a variety of Alternative Therapies;
l) Develop knowledge of how to prepare for and carry out 1 alternative therapy (Indian Head Massage);
m) Elaborate on the effects/benefits/contra indications to Indian Head Massage and how it affects the systems of the body;
n) Take client’s feedback and present findings in a report;


a) Demonstrate continuity of movement, flexibility and good posture throughout massage;
b) Select relevant massage mediums for Holistic Massage and Indian Head Massage;
c) Create treatment plan for both treatments following consultation with client while considering timing, cost and client availability;
d) Ensure comfort and safety of client throughout the treatment;
e) Carry out treatment in acceptable timings, in accordance to industry standards;
f) Instruct others in the practical and theoretical aspects of massage and alternative therapies;
g) Provide students with comprehensive feedback. 

Mode of Delivery

This module adopts a blended approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website.

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
1. Tucker L. (2014). An Introductory Guide to Massage. UK: EMS Publishing.
2. Gould, F. (2004). Body Massage for Holistic Therapists. UK: Oxford University Press.
3. Beckmann, H, & Le Quesne, S (2005) The Essential Guide to Holistic and Complimentary Therapy. Cenage Learning.
4. Jachens, L (2008) Healing the skin: Holistic Approaches to Treating Skin Conditions: A Practical Guide based on Anthroposophic Medicine. Temple Lodge Publishing
5. Evans, M. (2020). A Concise Handbook of Alternative Therapies. UK: Anness Publishing.
6. Hart, L. and Dalgleish, M. (2014). Indian Head Massage – The Essential Guide. Createspace Independent Publishing Platform.
7. Anderson, R.B. (2018). Improving Body Mechanics Using Experiential Learning and Ergonomic Tools in Massage Therapy Education. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, & Practice, 11(4), pp. 23-31.
8. Baskwill, A. (2018). Developing Capability: Transforming Massage Therapy Education through Inquiry-based Learning. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, & Practice, 11(3), 10-14. 


Supplementary Reading List 
1. Tuchowska, M. (2020). Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Beginners. US: Holistic Wellness Project.
2. Evans, M. (2020). A Concise Handbook of Alternative Therapies. UK: Anness Publishing.
3. Kliegel, E. (2018). Holistic Reflexology: Essential Oils and Crystal Massage in Reflex Zone Therapy. US: Inner Traditions Bear and Company.
4. Keegan, L (2001) Healing with Complementary & Alternative Therapies, Illustrated. UK: Cengage Learning. 

Suggested Websites


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