National Qualification in Holistic Massage

Unlock your potential as a massage therapist.

Learn the fundamentals of massage, such as proper posture, draping, positioning, hygiene, and various massage techniques with part-time courses for those with busy schedules, or anyone looking to make a career change.


About our Holistic Massage Qualification Course

  • Dublin
  • On Site Learning
  • Evenings | Sundays
  • 6 Months | 8 Months

Holistic massage is a practice that approaches the body, mind, and spirit as interconnected parts of a whole, rather than as separate entities. The term “holistic” comes from the Greek word “holos,” which means whole. This type of massage therapy is based on the idea that the body has a natural ability to heal itself, and that by promoting balance and harmony within the body, it can function at its optimal level.

During a holistic massage session, the therapist works with the client to understand their individual needs and goals, taking into consideration their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. The therapist uses various massage techniques to help the client relax and release tension.

Holistic massage is a form of therapy that emphasises the importance of treating the whole person, rather than just a specific ailment or symptom. It promotes relaxation and balance within the body, mind, and spirit, helping clients to achieve a greater sense of well-being and vitality. The course has been meticulously designed to provide a well-rounded education that focuses on the therapeutic benefits of massage, as well as the technical aspects of the practice.

One of the key points of the course is that it is the only such course in Ireland which is accredited by the Association for Soft Tissue Therapists (SMA). This is a highly respected organisation that is dedicated to promoting high standards of education and practice within the field of soft tissue therapy. As such, students can be assured that they are receiving a top-quality education that meets industry standards and will equip them with the skills they need to succeed in the field.

Overall, the Holistic Massage course is an excellent choice for anyone looking to pursue a career in massage therapy. It offers a well-rounded education that is both technically sound and grounded in the therapeutic benefits of massage. Additionally, its accreditation by the SMA and recognition by the CNHC and Professional Standards Authority provide assurance of its quality and its adherence to industry standards.

What our gradutes say!

Some unsolicited testimonials from our graduates from over the years.
" I had the privilege of treating Sir Chris Hoy of the GB cycling team "

In April 2012 I completed the Certificate level Neuromuscular Therapy course. Since I completed the course I have had massive success and progression. I had several private clients that I attained from advertising in the gym that I was working in, and also worked on a referral basis with physiotherapist David Gardiner owner of Physiotherapyworks in Naas Co.Kildare.

In August 2012 I moved to Perth, Australia where I have enjoyed even more success. I spent 8 months working at Subiaco Sports Massage and while working in this clinic I had the privilege of treating several Olympic athletes including Sir Chris Hoy of the GB cycling team and also Western Force rugby team of the super 15s competition.

I really enjoyed my time at the NTC – we really had a great group and we all keep in touch.

Colin Cassidy
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" You will not be disappointed "

I have been in the Sports Massage and the treatment of occupational and sporting injuries profession for 26 years and have attended many courses to gain the necessary qualifications to give my very best to those in my care. I had read a book written by John Sharkey which was well written, extremely informative and an excellent reference source. I subsequently had the pleasure of meeting John and went on to register for a Neuromuscular Therapy programme.

It is an excellent course with lectures of the highest standard delivering essential information and first-rate techniques. Applying them in clinical practice I have seen very positive outcomes in patients of all ages. I highly recommend NTC for all therapists at any stage in their career. You will not be disappointed.

Steve Kirby
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" I will definitely recommend this course to a friend or a family member "

Thank you to John Sharkey and all the NTC tutors. The Advanced European Neuromuscular Therapy course has been an eye-opener for me because of my background in Personal Training and Sports Massage. I have learnt unique ways of treating pain and have been applying these techniques to my existing clients.

In particular, a long-term client of mine with knee chronic pain, after few hours of treatment her knee pain has reduced by 80 percent.

Once again thank you to all NTC tutors this would not have been possible without you. It is a shame the course has come to an end but I also can’t wait to treat people with chronic pain and do a diploma in Neuromuscular Therapy. I will definitely recommend this course to a friend or a family member.

Ismail Sina
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" The education you have given me is truly going to develop me as a practitioner "

Thanks once again for an inspiring and enlightening weekend (although my wife’s upper trapezius muscles may disagree!). Learnt loads and I am very excited about the future of my practice.

Although already incredibly busy I find treating people with pain much more interesting and fulfilling than a runner with a tweaked calf. The education you have given me is truly going to develop me as a practitioner in such a dramatic way.

Thanks, John. Sad the course is coming to an end but will thoroughly recommend to others and will look to do the Masters in the future.

Rob Date
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" My experience at NTC was an enjoyable and positive one "

My experience at NTC was an enjoyable and positive one. This is where I realised my interest in Anatomy, Physiology and caring for people and is the main reason I’ve decided to go back to studying Nursing.

I met some fantastic people during my time at NTC and what I learned has played a huge part in me getting a place on Nursing studies.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and tutors for guiding me to where I am now.

Eamonn Maher
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" Qualification that is recognised and accepted with high regard within the industry "

Can I pass on my sincerest gratitude to all the staff at NTC ? Once again you all have delivered another professional and enjoyable course that ensures a qualification that is recognised and accepted with high regard within the industry.

Alan Devine
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" You are a great team with wonderful tutors "

The good news is that I passed my Neuromuscular Therapy exams. I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to all the team in NTC for helping me in step one of a plan. You are a great team with wonderful tutors.

Liam Cotter
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate
" If it wasn't for Larry I would have let my nerves get the best of me "

I have just sat my NMT exams and if it wasn’t for Larry, one of my tutors who helped me out, I would have let my nerves get the best of me. I also wish to thank the rest of the tutors and staff for all their help over the past 18 months.

Nicole Dunne
Neuromuscular Therapy Graduate

This course is eligible for discount through the LHF Skillet for members of REPs Ireland and Ireland Active.

Schedule and Locations

Good Availability
National Training Centre, Dublin 7
Evening Course
January 29, 2024
Good Availability
National Training Centre, Dublin 7
Sunday Course
February 18, 2024
Good Availability
National Training Centre, Dublin 7
Intensive Day Course
April 8, 2024

Full details for the National Qualification in Holistic Massage Course

Get all the information about our Holistic Massage Course. (Remember there's even more info in the FAQ section below).


With over 30 years of experience in delivering health, fitness, and bodywork training, NTC is a trusted name in the industry. Our qualified tutors are experts in their respective fields and are dedicated to ensuring that your time with us is both enjoyable and informative. You will have the opportunity to learn from some of the finest tutors in the massage world, making your training with NTC an experience like no other.

Our National Qualification in Holistic Massage is the perfect starting point for those who want to offer holistic and relaxation massage. However, if you’re interested in advancing your skill set and learning to treat pain and injury, we offer a complete educational roadmap at NTC. This includes the National Qualification in Neuromuscular Therapy, the Higher Diploma in Neuromuscular Therapy (H. Dip. NMT), and the Masters Degree in Neuromuscular Therapy (MSc. NMT).

Another important aspect of the course is its recognition by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). The CNHC is a UK-based organisation that was set up by the government to protect the public by maintaining an independent register of complementary healthcare practitioners. This means that students who complete the course will be eligible to register with the CNHC, which can enhance their professional standing and provide an additional level of assurance to clients.

It is also worth noting that the CNHC holds an Accredited Register by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, an independent organisation that is accountable to the UK Parliament. This means that the CNHC is subject to rigorous oversight and that its standards are in line with those set by the government. As such, the fact that the Holistic Massage course is recognised by the CNHC and the Professional Standards Authority is a clear indication of its quality and the rigor of its curriculum.

Our National Qualification in Holistic Massage is both exciting and affordable, offering students a part-time method of weekday timetabling that makes it entirely achievable. Join us at NTC and start your journey towards a rewarding career in holistic massage today.


This comprehensive programme encompasses all relevant aspects including:

  • Classical Anatomy, Physiology, and Myology of the bodily systems
  • Introduction to Anatomy for the 21st Century, featuring tensegrity principles, embryology, and fascia science
  • Foundations of Holistic Massage and its Practical Applications
  • Myofascial Cupping techniques
  • Massage for special populations
  • Nutrition, Lifestyle Health, and Wellness considerations
  • Health screening and the consultation process, including face-to-face, TeleHealth, self-evaluation, and reflective practice
  • Health and Safety in the healthcare setting
  • Professional Practice, Business, and Ethics in massage therapy

By covering these key areas, our programme ensures that you have a well-rounded education and are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the field of massage therapy. Our curriculum includes cutting-edge techniques and practices in anatomy, physiology, and holistic massage, as well as practical skills in myofascial cupping and massage for special populations.

We also emphasise the importance of nutrition, lifestyle, and wellness in the context of massage therapy, ensuring that you have a holistic understanding of the interconnectivity of these factors. Additionally, our programme covers the crucial aspects of health screening, consultation processes, and health and safety in the healthcare setting, so that you are fully prepared to provide safe and effective treatments.

Our professional practice, business, and ethics curriculum prepares you for the practical and ethical challenges of operating a successful massage therapy business. Overall, our programme provides a well-rounded education that equips you with the knowledge and skills to excel in the field of massage therapy.


The cost of obtaining the National Qualification in Holistic Massage is €1,495.00. Places can be reserved by payment of a deposit of €495.00 with the balance of €1,000.00 due one week prior to the course start date.

A discount of €155.00 is available to individuals paying fees of €1,340.00 in full one calendar month prior to course commencement date.

The cost of the electronic programme manual and examinations is included within the course fee.

Places on this programme are available on a first come first served basis.


The National Qualification in Holistic Massage is an inclusive programme that welcomes everyone, regardless of their educational background. There are no formal education requirements for participation in this course.

Applicants are expected to have a keen interest in learning about the human body and the practice of massage therapy. As part of the course, you will have the opportunity to give and receive massage treatments with your fellow classmates, which involves using hands-on therapy techniques.

Our programme is designed to provide a comprehensive education in holistic massage, including the foundations of anatomy, physiology, and myology, as well as practical applications of massage therapy. By participating in this course, you will develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the field of massage therapy, regardless of your previous educational background.

Whether you are seeking a career change or simply looking to expand your knowledge and skills, the National Qualification in Holistic Massage is a great starting point. Our inclusive approach to education means that anyone with a passion for massage therapy can participate and succeed.


The National Qualification in Holistic Massage programme covers all relevant areas including:

Unit 1 Anatomy and Physiology

  • The cells and an overview of the skin
  • The skeletal system
  • The muscular system
  • The Circulatory and lymphatic system
  • The Respiratory system
  • The Nervous system
  • The endocrine system

Unit 2 Lifestyle and healthy eating

  • Benefits of a healthy lifestyle and physical activity
  • Nutrition and digestion
  • Short / long term effects of a sedentary lifestyle and it’s influence on health
  • Making the right food choices

Unit 3 Foundation of Massage

  • Theory History and benefits of massage therapy
  • Draping procedures
  • Contraindications and hygiene
  • Considerations for massage and special populations
  • Communication skills

Unit 4 Techniques

  • Practical Full body massage techniques for the following areas;
    • leg
    • foot
    • back
    • shoulders
    • arms
    • hands
    • chest
    • abdomen
    • face
    • head and neck
    • Use of lubricants and bolsters
  • Positioning of client
  • Posture of massage therapist

Unit 5 Ethics and professional development

  • Health Safety
  • Code of ethics and professional conduct
  • Business and self promotion
  • Professional responsibilities e. g insurance, taxes, ongoing CPD.


  • Theory Assessment (60 minutes)
  • Submission of learner workbook
  • Practical Assessment


Study is supported by full online documentation and demonstration videos (sample below) available to students of the course via the NTC Learning Portal.

Meet The Team

Only fully qualified tutors deliver the National Qualification in Holistic Massage, with each tutor having recognised industry and educational experience in their individual fields.

Frequently Asked Questions

The National Training Centre have been delivering respected educational programmes since 1985 and during that time we have had many questions asked by potential students before registration. Here you can find the answers to the questions we receive most often.

No. The National Qualification in Holistic Massage course is open to all individuals.

On successful completion you will be able to offer Holistic massage sessions to the general public.

Yes. The course is accredited by the Association for Soft Tissue Therapists (SMA) and is fully recognised by the CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council), UK.

CNHC were set up by the UK government to protect the public. They do this by providing an independent UK register of complementary healthcare practitioners. Protection of the public is their sole purpose.

They set the standards that practitioners need to meet to get onto and then stay on the register.

All CNHC registrants have agreed to be bound by the highest standards of conduct and have registered voluntarily. All of them are professionally trained and fully insured to practise.

CNHC investigate complaints about alleged breaches of our Code of Conduct, Ethics and Performance. They impose disciplinary sanctions that mirror those of the statutory healthcare regulators.

They make the case to UK government and a wide range of organisations for the use of complementary healthcare to enhance health and wellbeing.

They raise awareness of complementary healthcare and seek to influence policy wherever possible to increase access to the disciplines they register.

CNHC is also the holder of an Accredited Register by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.

Yes. Holistic massage therapists are free to offer their services worldwide. If you have a specific country in mind you should ensure that you check with the relevant authority in that country before embarking on any programme of education.

The average cost of a one hour relaxation massage session is approximately €60.

The number of sessions you decide to offer each week will be determined by your own commitment.

One of the best things about qualifying as a massage therapist is that you can decide how many hours a day you want to work and therefore regulate your own earning potential.

Holistic massage therapists generally offer treatment directly to the public or within fitness centres, spas or beauty centres.

It should be noted that as with all professional qualifications at all levels, individual success will be result driven and will be in proportion to the time, effort and dedication you are prepared to offer the profession. Many National Training Centre graduates have started their careers on a part-time basis and have seen this aspect of their professional life overtake their full time career to become their primary or only occupation and source of income.

The National Qualification in Holistic Massage lasts approximately six months.

The course is available in Dublin, at the National Training Centre.

Learners are assessed formatively throughout the course and are summatively assessed at the end of term. Summative assessments includes:

  • Theory multiple choice Examination (Anatomy, Physiology and Massage) 60 Minutes
  • Observed summative practical assessment
  • Submission of Learner Workbook
  • Submission of 50 logged practice hours.

Students will have to participate in self directed learning outside of class.

This will involve study and practice. NTC recommend that students allocate approximately 6 hours per week for this. The course requires commitment, time and effort in order to be a successful, knowledgeable and competent Holistic Massage Therapist.

Students must also complete 50 logged hours of massage treatments, record and file documentation and submit evidence as part of the learner workbook on completion of the course.

80% – to 90% of students participating on the course will successfully complete all of their final examinations on the first attempt. Of the remainder most will need to repeat one exam with a small number having to repeat more than one exam.

Every individual’s ability to succeed will be in direct proportion to the number of tutorials attended and the commitment and time and effort they are prepared to commit to their studies.

Students of all ages participate on the course. The minimum age for registration is 18 years old.

No – there is no installment payment option for the National Qualification in Holistic Massage. Course fees must be fully paid by the course start date.

It may be possible to make individual arrangements for those who request this. Call us on 01 882 7777 with enquiries.

Students of the National Training Centre regularly receive part funding through the Department of Social Protection’s Technical Employment Support Grant (TESG) scheme.

Individual students will need to contact their Local Employment Services (LES) facilitator to establish their eligibility.

For those who hold a recognised fitness instructor qualification which is recognised by REPs Ireland are eligible for up to 25% funding through the Leisure Health Fitness Skillnet. For more information contact Leisure Health Fitness Skillnet.


For assistance please contact the NTC office of administration on 01 882 7777.

The National Training Centre’s code of ethics requires that all NTC graduates who are actively working with the public, hold a professional indemnity insurance policy which covers them against legal action taken by a client as a result of an injury which was received by following the graduate’s professional advice. Graduates who are working on private premises may also need to hold public liability insurance if such cover is not held by the owners of the premises.

The National Training Centre have a customised insurance scheme with discounted rates available exclusively to those who have qualified with NTC. The policy is one of the broadest available including many important features that other policies may not offer.

The policy has been arranged through Balens Ltd and the insurer for the scheme is the Zurich and DAS Legal Expenses.

Balens are a very well established, fourth generation family-run business dedicated to looking after health professionals. They are built on solid roots going back to 1950 and are pioneers in the development of top quality cover for all types of health professionals with special rates and industry leading cover that has been developing and improving over 22 years in this speciality.

The scheme will cover thousands of other therapies/activities you may require cover for and many at no extra premium subject to suitable qualification held.

Some of the features covered in the policy consist of Medical Malpractice, Professional Indemnity, Public Liability, Product Liability, Loss of Reputation, Breach of Intellectual Property, Client Confidentiality Protection, Loss of Documents cover, First Aid cover as well as Good Samaritan Acts.

The indemnity limit is €4,000,000 per claim for the Republic of Ireland.

Unlike some other policies on the market, an unlimited number of claims may be made for any year and unlimited legal defence costs are also included.

Also included, at no extra charge, is retroactive cover to pick up any previous insured work.

Temporary cover abroad (excluding USA/Canada which is available on request) is available with no time restrictions and at no additional premium as long as you are a UK/Ireland resident.

If you cease to practice Balens include unlimited run off cover which means the policy will always be in place if a claim was made after you stop the policy running and this is also free of charge.

For further information or proposal form, please contact Balens directly on 00441684 580771 or e-mail- [email protected]

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