Pharmacology for Massage


13 CE Hours

Course Options:

  • Fully Online Materials and Test


Learn the step-by-step process that will assist you in assessing the medications being taken by your clients in order to determine the cautions, contraindications, and effects of massage therapy and the best massage strokes to use based on these medications.

Massage therapists routinely have their clients complete a medical/health intake assessment prior to administering therapeutic treatment. Valuable information about a client's medical history as well as a list of current medications can be gained from this process. Questions often arise for the therapist as to how to give accurate consideration for the medications that are being taken and how to make corresponding massage technique adjustments.

This continuing education course was developed to broach the topic of pharmacology for massage therapy for massage professionals. Each chapter of the text is organized by body system and addresses key concepts such as pharmacokinetics (how the drug is absorbed, distributed and excreted from the body), pharmacodynamics (how the drug produces its effects in the body), and pharmacotherapeutics (how the drug is used to treat disease or symptoms). The text further highlights common names of drugs, with the generic and brand name, massage assessment and protocol implications, adverse reactions of drugs and case studies.

This course includes a handy easy reference guide for common medications, their related side effects, massage considerations and contraindications.

Course Reviews

A. Donofrio, LMT, NCTMB, AMTA

I think the course was wonderful! I really enjoyed the material and feel that the text was very thorough. I was amazed at all of the different drugs that were talked about, broken down, and felt that the massage implications and assessment boxes after each grouping were incredibly useful. I will be going back and reading through the text many, many times I'm sure, because I see lots of clients in a more medical-based setting, so the amount of different drugs I've seen listed could really make one's head spin! This course has made me more confident in the therapy I provide to my clients. I will absolutely be taking more of your home study courses. Thank you!

K. Broome, LMT, NCTMB

This was the most thorough course that I have ever taken! The main pieces of information are compiled into a wonderful summary that is easy to understand and apply to my therapy. No need to second guess my knowledge.

E. M. Hebert, LMT

I enjoyed learning about Pharmacology for massage therapy because most of the clients I see are taking some form of medication, and many are taking multiple prescriptions for multiple and varied issues. This was a topic that was NOT covered (with the exception of muscle relaxants and corticosteroids) in my education as a massage student. Now I will have the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions regarding my clients' sessions, the strokes that I need to use or avoid and any adverse effects that may occur. And, perhaps most important of all, because I am now an instructor in a massage school, I can pass my recently gained knowledge on to my students so that they will know how to work with their clients' medication lists. Your excellent course will be well used, and I will refer other massage therapy instructors (and, of course, my students).

S. Williams, LMT

This course opened my eyes to the importance of knowing what my clients are taking, and how massage could adversely affect them, if I don't know my contraindications.

J. Riehs, LMT

The reading was great. Very easy to understand and interpret... I give it 5 stars... and it was easy to be done in just a few, short weeks!

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  • Online Text - 320 pages
  • Online Reference Guide - Pharmacology Guide for Massage Therapy
  • Online Multiple-choice test
  • Certificate upon completion

Display Certificates suitable for framing are available for $10 in addition to the certificate included with your tuition. Click here to order a Display Certificate.


The Institute is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Approved Provider 049478-00.

Credits also accepted by the AMTA, ABMP and NAHA.

For information regarding your specific state massage license requirements and approvals, visit our Massage Therapy Continuing Education Requirements page by clicking here.

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