How It Works

All clinic instructors are registered massage therapists who meet or exceed the requirements for instruction as determined by the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia.

VCMT Students

Our instructors guide our students through the appropriate assessment and treatment planning, so that you can be confident you’re receiving safe and effective treatments from our students.


Our first year students provide a full-body Swedish massage, while second year students provide therapeutic sessions for specific conditions, including sports injuries, pregnancy, headaches, arthritis and other joint complaints, systemic disorders and more.

Here’s how our clinic process works:

The focus of the year-one student internship is to develop the ‘hands on skills’ when performing a full body massage. Year-one students will use general Swedish massage techniques to provide you with a nurturing and relaxing massage. The student is also required to begin to integrate the techniques learned in the classroom.

The focus of the year-two student is to use their advanced assessment and treatment skills to assist you in managing a specific concern or complaint. For example, you make be experiencing neck and shoulder pain, or lower back pain or even headaches.

Before the student therapist performs your massage session there are certain procedures they must follow. They must:

  • review your student clinic intake form with you
  • consult with the on-site clinic supervisor if needed
  • do an assessment (according to their stage of learning)
  • report to the clinic supervisor the results of the assessment and what your treatment goals are
  • discuss with the clinic supervisor a proposed treatment plan
  • get the session plan signed off by the clinic supervisor
  • get consent from you to perform the treatment

We ask for your complete cooperation during this time. The total assessment time for this procedure may take up to 15 minutes.

Your privacy and comfort in the student clinic is of the utmost importance and we will work with you to make you feel as comfortable as possible. After discussing the massage session plan and obtaining your consent to treatment, the student will give you the appropriate instructions on how to prepare for the session. Depending on the focus of the session, you will be asked to disrobe to a level that you are comfortable with. During the treatment, your body will always be fully draped, except for the area of the body the student is working on. The student will leave the room while you get ready for the session.

Depending on the goals of the session, the student may use hot or cold modalities to better prepare your muscles and joints for the session. This clinic is a learning environment and during the session the clinic supervisor will enter the room or cubicle area to check in with the student. The supervisor will discuss the details of your specific goals with the student, ask them questions about what they are doing and will demonstrate techniques that are pertinent to your treatment. On occasion, and with your permission, another student therapist who is doing rounds with the instructor may enter the room/cubicle.

When the massage session is over the student therapist will leave the room/cubicle so you can redress. When they re-enter the room /cubicle they are required to do a quick re-assessment with you to determine the effectiveness of the session. They will also be recommending a home care plan for you that may consist of exercises, stretches, breathing, relaxation techniques or hydrotherapy.

The home care recommendations are an important part of the treatment session and they are designed for you to continue taking care of yourself at home and before your next session. Your student therapist may recommend bath additives, certain massage creams/lotions etc. to aid with general muscular discomfort or exercise tubes or bands to aid in strengthening your muscles. Any exercises or stretches recommended should cause no pain and must be performed slowly as per instructions.

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