The purpose of the conjunctive studies courses is to provide students with a variety of massage related skills and knowledge at the theoretical and experiential levels. Effectiveness in the field of massage therapy is grounded in solid technical skills, tactile sensitivity, compassionate presence and theoretical understanding. A substantial portion of the conjunctive studies format is devoted to the study of Anatomy/Physiology, Kinesiology/Palpation of the human body, and Therapeutic Process. The conjunctive studies curriculum is rounded out with communication skills, personal exploration, business practices, ethics, and law.
- Therapeutic Process classes are designed to interface what students are learning in the below listed sciences, with true case scenarios that arise during the student clinic.
- Hands-on Kinesiology classes incorporate book work, body painting, table side palpation, yoga, stretching, and other interactive teaching methods to help you learn and understand muscles, movement and the effect of massage therapy on the muscular system.
- Anatomy and Physiology classes taught by massage therapists in a fun, dynamic classroom setting provides the space for a discussion-style learning experience that gives you the academic foundation to understand human anatomy and how massage can change and interact with it.
The Anatomy & Physiology classes are an in-depth study of the structure, function, and pathologies of the human body, especially as these relate to bodywork. The Kinesiology & Palpation classes are the study of the muscular-skeletal system and how this is affected as we move through our lives. The intent of the “kines” class is to assist the therapist in being able to isolate and palpate individual muscles and the joints they cross, thereby elevating therapy to a more informed and intelligent level. In the Therapeutic Process portion of the course, students have the opportunity to weave together the didactic learnings with the actual experiential process, as it unfolds in the student clinic. The classes are a mixture of intellectual and body-centered learning. At this level of training the student is exposed to teaching methods based on the belief that learning is a multi-dimensional process. In addition to traditional lecture and discussion, the student is invited to participate in an ongoing dialogue between him/herself and others. This process can uncover and release patterns of emotion, thought, and belief, which may inhibit enjoyable learning. These patterns, while often stemming from educational environments of the past, are a rich and fertile ground of discovery when they arise in the present. What may initially be viewed as a stumbling block can, in an atmosphere of sensitivity and respect, become a great gift. Every effort is made on the part of the faculty to provide students with a safe, rich, and diverse learning environment that can be individually paced and tailored to the needs of specific learning styles. When various dimensions of personal experience are allowed expression, personal and collective development are enhanced. The conjunctive studies course content has been carefully selected and undergoes review on a regular basis. The faculty at ASIS have found the content and context of these classes to be invaluable parts of a wholistic approach to massage therapy and education.
ASIS Sciences’ Mission Statement
The Science Department builds a strong foundation by creating a dynamic environment that integrates the fundamental sciences and conditions of the body with a solid understanding of heath, and the practical application in massage and body work.
A Case Study for the benefits of Massage Therapy
Does a good massage do more than just relax your muscles? To find out, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles recruited 53 healthy adults and randomly assigned 29 of them to a 45-minute session of deep-tissue Swedish massage and the other 24 to a session of light massage.All of the subjects were fitted with intravenous catheters so blood samples could be taken immediately before the massage and up to an hour afterward.
To their surprise, the researchers, sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health, found that a single session of massage caused biological changes.
Volunteers who received Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. They also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system.
Volunteers who had the light massage experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment, than the Swedish massage group, and bigger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.
The study was published online in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.