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Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
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4 hours $8.98
8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Manual Bodywork Healing Therapies

2.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the various types and benefits of manual bodywork healing therapies.
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Touch is one of the most primal needs of any human being. Manual bodywork healing therapies address the need for human touch, enhance health, and heal the body, mind, and spirit. Health care is evolving and integrating the worlds of alternative and allopathic practitioners, and these therapies are being integrated along with conventional health care in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers, and other health care facilities.This course describes somatic and musculoskeletal therapies (therapeutic massage, including Swedish massage, rhythmical massage, sports massage, hot stone massage, neuromuscular massage therapy, and Aston patterning); Eastern, meridian-based, and point therapies (acupressure, shiatsu, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and reflexology); energy-based therapies (Therapeutic Touch ®, Reiki, and Healing Touch); emotional bodywork (Rolfing and Hellerwork); and manipulative therapies (osteopathy and craniosacral therapy).

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the benefits of therapeutic massage.
  • Explain the somatic and musculoskeletal therapies of therapeutic massage, Swedish massage, rhythmical massage, sports massage, hot stone massage, neuromuscular massage, and Aston patterning.
  • Describe the Eastern, meridian-based, and point therapies of acupressure, shiatsu, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and reflexology.
  • Discuss the energy-based therapies of Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and Healing Touch.
  • Explain the emotional bodywork therapies of Rolfing and Hellerwork.
  • Describe the manipulative therapies of osteopathy and craniosacral therapy.
  • Identify the cautions and contraindications for manual bodywork healing therapies.

Both ancient and modern cultures have developed some form of touch therapy for healing that involves rubbing, pressing, massaging, and holding. All cultures understand that touch is essential to people of every age, including infants, children, and adults. Although attitudes toward touch vary from one culture to another, the widespread use of bodywork practices to improve health and healing indicates that these are natural manifestations of the desire to heal and care for one another.

Nevertheless, cultural differences have influenced the development of touch. For example, whereas the Eastern worldview is founded on the concept of energy, the Western worldview is based on the “reductionist” view of health (a view that proposes that matter can be reduced to specific components). These cultural differences have created a variety of different approaches to the use of touch, and the blending of Eastern and Western techniques has resulted in an explosion of new bodywork healing modalities. This may be due, in part, to a healthy response to the fast-paced technologic revolution and the desire to provide individuals with a sense of balance and caring.

Trivieri and Anderson (2002) define the term bodywork as “therapies such as massage, deep tissue manipulation, movement awareness, and bioenergetic therapies, which are employed to improve the structure and functioning of the body” (p. 119). They add that the benefits of bodywork include pain reduction, musculoskeletal tension relief, improved blood and lymphatic circulation, stimulation of lymphatic drainage to encourage the elimination of waste from the body, and the promotion of deep relaxation.

Both contemporary and traditional bodywork therapies are based on one or more of the following principles or techniques (Clay & Pounds, 2008; Trivieri & Anderson, 2002):

  • The individual is a whole organism (everything is connected).
  • Shortened muscle tissues are not as effective as long, relaxed muscle tissues.
  • The soft tissues of the body respond to touch.
  • Pressure or deep friction can be used to alter muscular and soft tissue structures.
  • Movement can be used to affect physiological structure and functioning.
  • Education and awareness can be used to change or enhance physiological function.
  • Breathing and emotional expression can be used to eliminate tension and change physiological functioning.

Most bodywork practitioners employ a combination of methods in their practice. Although the techniques for manual bodywork therapies vary among practitioners, the objectives are similar—to relax, soothe, stimulate, and relieve physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual discomfort.

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Occupational Therapy Process

Course Expires:

December 15, 2020

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.