Course Descriptions


What sets our massage school apart from other massage schools? Our classes are inspired by the holistic science of Ayurveda and blended into the traditional, classic massage therapy modalities that can be found at other regular massage schools. Students get the best of both worlds at SAMA! The classes listed below are presented passionately and comprehensively by top notch experts. Students have the opportunity to receive specialty certifications in these modalities, which most other schools don't offer. To learn more about our Registered Ayurveda Health Counselor Program, click here.   All classes and descriptions are subject to change.

Essential Sciences (238 hours)

 The focus of this module is to provide each student with an understanding of the human body’s structure and function.  Emphasis will be placed on the relationships among muscle attachments, body landmarks, and prominent joint functions.  Also covered are related topics of hygiene, massage indications and contraindications.  These courses will introduce you to the fundamentals of the human body while you explore some of the most basic and essential therapeutic modalities.

  • Anatomy & Physiology (112 hrs)             
  • Principals & Practice (36 hrs)                  
  • Kinesiology Theory (45 hrs)                     
  • Pathology (45 hrs)                                     

Anatomy covers the structure of the body including cells, tissues and body composition.  Physiology covers the body’s systems including the Skeletal, Integumentary, Muscular, Nervous, Endocrine, Reproductive, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic, Respiratory, Digestive and Urinary.

Principals and Practice provide knowledge and skills relative to body mechanics, draping and exercises designed for learning muscles and bones, along with principles and modes of muscular extensions and flexions.

Kinesiology will focus on the specifics of the musculoskeletal system.  The aim of this course is for students to gain an understanding of the various muscles, ligaments, joints and how they relate to each other in the movement of the body.  This course includes identification of superficial and deep muscles acquired through demonstration, theory and palpation.

Pathology is the study of the nature and cause of disease.  This course is designed to provide students with information of disease and the pathological processes that occur within each system of the human body.  Students will learn about common ailments and diseases that they may encounter as massage therapists and examine common causes of pathological conditions, as well as methods to limit disease transmission. 

Concepts and Standards of Therapeutic Massage (122 hrs) 

This is a broad course providing students with knowledge relating to ethical client-therapist relationships, professional behavior, basic medical skills and preparation for licensing tests.

  • Ethics (30 hrs)                                                                    
  • Office Procedures & Professionalism (30 hours)       
  • Business, Law & Marketing (30 hrs)                              
  • First Aid & CPR Certification (11 hrs)                             
  • MBLEX Review (21 hrs)                                                   

Ethics and Office Procedures & Professionalism focuses on important issues such as therapeutic relationships, transference, professional conduct, boundaries and scope of practice.  Topics of discussion will also include implied/informed consent, HIPPA regulations, issues of confidentiality and working in a medical/hospital setting.  Critical thinking and decision making skills that will assist you in clear, concise and appropriate communication with clients, colleagues and employers will also be explored.

Business, Law & Marketing is designed to help students create a professional therapeutic massage business.  Students will learn about the local laws governing massage therapy, how to apply for required licensing, advertising and networking, and professional membership organizations.  This class will focus on the basics of planning, building and managing a successful massage practice. 

First Aid & CPR are of crucial importance for health care providers and are required by the state of Rhode Island.   Students are required to be certified in CPR for licensure. Although Newport Massage School does not award certification, we do prepare the student to pass the certification after graduation.

MBLEX Review is offered as a review for the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination which is governed by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).  It is designed to provide a standard examination for students of massage for entry-level professional scope of practice in gaining licensure.

Massage Theory & Technique (240 hrs)

This module presents massage theories and techniques across various modalities where students identify, describe and demonstrate necessary knowledge and skills including development of competencies in musculoskeletal manipulation, evaluation of pain levels and dealing with endangerment zones.  Students learn how to create tailored treatment plans which are safe and effective for each client’s needs.  Accurately documenting your client’s individual conditions, goals and progress are critical skills.  Emotional effects of touch and massage can be very strong and successful management techniques are presented.  Therapeutic environments are discussed relative to interpersonal interactions, physical components, sanitation and personal hygiene. The importance of self-care as it related to physical fitness, health and lifestyle are addressed.

  • Major blocks include Massage Theory Technique (78 hrs) and Bodywork (162 hrs).
  • Traditional Western Massage  (88 hrs)                                 
  • Chair Massage  (4 hrs)                      
  • Intro to Clinic   (12 hrs)                                 
  • Myofascial Release   (16 hrs)         
  • Ayurvedic Massage  & Eastern Bodywork Techniques   (120 hrs) 

Traditional Western Massage (Swedish Massage)

The goal is for the student to administer a complete systematic Swedish massage on the entire body using the 5 classic Swedish strokes. Students will learn the history and theory of massage, passive exercises and a continuation of the five classical Swedish strokes. 

Chair Massage

This course is designed to teach a basic 15 to 20 minute sequence of Seated/On-Site Massage using compressions, squeezing, and kneading to loosen the musculature in the head, neck, shoulders, arms, and back.  This treatment utilizes the specially designed massage chair and the client remains fully clothed.  Chair massage is gaining popularity in corporate work places as it enhances relaxation and reduces stress for staff, which improves their productivity.

Ayurvedic Bodybork & Massage Techniques: 

This module trains the student to become a Registered Ayurvedic Bodywork Specialist.  The courses offered are:

  • Abhyanga (Ayurvedic Massage)
  • Garshana (Friction Massage)
  • Marma Point Therapy
  • Sacred Stone/Marma Stone Therapy
  • Chakra Basti & Kati-Basti for pain management
  • Shidohara Therapy
  • Intro to Traditional Thai Massage
  • Intro to Eastern Cupping & Moxa
  • Intro to Reflexology
  • Intro to Shiatsu
  • Intro to Biodynamic Cranial Sacral Therapy


 Supervised Student Clinic   (150 hrs)

Students complete supervised massage to gain clinical experience, develop professional confidence and refine technical skills.  Clinical sessions will include performing massage during class workshops and sessions coordinated with private business.

Description of Ayurvedic/Eastern Techniques:


Learn the basic concepts, theory and history of Ayurveda and this fundamental massage technique.  Abyhanga is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘to rub the limbs’, usually with warm herbal oil.  This is a hands on class where the student is led through a guided practice of giving and receiving a treatment.  The medical science of Ayurveda recognizes the value of using warm, herbal oil during massage because oil is lipophilic, meaning it will dissolve toxic, fat like substances in the subcutaneous tissues, nourish the skin, remove impurities, stimulate both arterial and lymphatic circulation, and calm the central nervous system.  All of this will promote an intense, blissful sensation and abolish the stress that is stored in the body.  It supports the flow of prana (vitality) in the body.  Abhyanga is done in a specific, ancient sequence based on terminal clearance and techniques that work at the chakra as well as physical levels.


Garshana is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘dry brushing’.  This class starts with a guided presentation then the remainder of the class is hands on. This stimulating and rejuvenating treatment starts with fresh lemon & salt on the feet to encourage systematic cleansing, followed by a dry lymphatic skin brushing with textured silk gloves.  The brushing increases circulation, alkalizes the blood, detoxifies the liver, helps create negative ions (which are the good ones!) and cleans the skin so herbal massage oil can penetrate and nourish the skin deeply.

Marma Point Therapy

This class includes massage of the face, neck, shoulders, décolleté, hands and feet using herbal oils and potions. Students will learn to use chilled snow-quartz and warm granite mineral composite sea stones (harvested locally) as massage tools.  This class merges the principles of marma point therapy, hot/cold stone applications, crystal therapy, neem-coconut-lavendar oils, sinus clearing oils and raw honey mask.  Students will explore and experiment making their own oils and potions according to doshic skin types.  Stones are free- a portion of the class is spent at the local area beaches harvesting stones. 

Sacred Stone Therapy

This course teaches the integrated traditional/Ayurvedic hot stone technique.  The student will be taught healing stone layouts, gliding, spinning, edging and flipping techniques designed to induce healing and relaxation in the massage client.

Chakra/ Kati Basti Therapy

Ayurvedic Basti therapy offers a very effective approach using a topical oil retention dam for alleviating disorders associated with lower back and lower abdomen. It is an important and ancient therapy in Ayurveda.

 Shirodohara Therapy

This ancient therapy enlivens the ‘mind’ or innate intelligence that lives in every cell in our body.  Shirodohara therapy involves a controlled flow of warm oil poured over the forehead, the “Anja” third eye chakra.  It includes marma massage of the face, head, neck, shoulders and feet.

 Thai Massage

This modality is a modern expression of a 2,500 year old tradition.  Thai massage uses the whole body to treat the whole body.  It is more energizing and rigorous than traditional forms of massage. It works with the body’s movement potential and muscular strength.  It is used as a form of physical therapy to help increase range of motion and muscular strength.  Students will be introduced to the theory and technique before being guided through hands on practical work.

 Cupping Therapy

This is an ancient Eastern method of causing local congestion.  A partial vacuum is created in cups on the skin via suction, causing blood stasis & localized healing.  Students will learn the methodology and safety protocols associated with cupping technique.  


Reflexology is a therapeutic method of relieving pain by stimulating predefined pressure points on the hands and feet.  Theory and technique will be thoroughly discussed then students will spend the remaining class time on guided hands on work.


Shiatsu is a technique which uses gently finger and palm pressure on the Chinese meridian system.  This balances the energetic flow and reduces the incidence of disease/imbalance in the body.  A scientific explanation is that shiatsu calms an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which improves circulation, relieves stiff muscles and alleviates stress. Theory and technique will be thoroughly discussed then students will spend the remaining class time on guided hands on work.