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Clinical Rehabilitative Massage Specialty Certificate

Clinical Rehabilitative Massage

The Clinical Rehabilitative Massage training prepares practitioners with the essential clinical skills and advanced knowledge necessary for working with musculoskeletal pain and injury complaints. This program integrates clinical science with hands-on protocols through innovative hybrid online and classroom study.

“For decades, stakeholders and professionals in our field have been looking for some type of recognized credential that can validate the training and experience of massage therapists who treat pain and injury conditions,” explains Academy Director, Whitney Lowe. “This specialty certificate program has been uniquely designed to address this deficit.”

The program prepares professionals to work in settings that require advanced clinical skills.

Clinical Rehabilitative Massage Specialty Certificate

At the core of the training is Whitney Lowe’s highly respected Orthopedic Massage Online Program.

For the Clinical Rehabilitation Specialty Certificate, students must also take 2 hands-on workshops covering assessment and treatment from an approved instructor.

The Certificate is awarded after students take a timed, open-book test through the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

  • Online Core Program – 7 online courses with Whitney Lowe as your instructor. Each regional course covers the core clinical sciences, clinical reasoning, knowledge-based components, detailed assessment protocols, and advanced clinical treatment techniques. Total of 130 CEs
  • Hands-on Workshops– 2 hands-on workshops covering advanced assessment and treatment. 32 CEs; your choice of approved educational programs.
  • NCBTMB Specialty Exam

You get both the NCBTMB Specialty Certificate in Clinical Rehabilitative Massage and the Academy of Clinical Massage’s Orthopedic Massage Certificate!

  • Take courses and workshops in any order
  • Apply previously taken workshops.
  • Apply previously taken online courses from Lowe
  • Entirely self-paced.

To qualify please have a valid license in massage therapy. Also, you will need to have completed an entry-level massage training program of at least 500 hours.

The core educational program is the Orthopedic Massage Online Program. Lowe expanded this program to meet the curriculum needs of the Clinical Rehabilitative Massage Specialty Certificate. 


  1. The online component focuses on key cognitive and clinical reasoning facets of rehabilitation science: anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, pathology, kinesiology, assessment, condition problem-solving, and treatment planning.
  2. This core curriculum includes dynamic and engaged learning using unique exercises and activities.
  3. The program allows you to learn in a more accessible, less stressful, and more thorough way. There is no need to memorize a lot of technical information! Yet, due to the exceptionally designed learning methods and activities, you will retain far more than you would in a workshop.
  4. A key benefit is having direct access to Whitney Lowe, one of the nation’s top advanced massage educators. Whitney Lowe is your teacher and your support throughout the program.

The 7 Core Online Regional Courses:

  • Hip & Pelvis
  • Lumbar & Thoracic
  • Knee & Thigh
  • Cervical
  • Shoulder
  • ArmForearm/Wrist/Hand
  • Foot/Ankle/Leg

What are the Courses Like?

You will take each course online in an advanced platform that gets you actively engaged in your learning. Each dynamic, multi-media course has a variety of engaging and interesting learning opportunities. The courses are not simply videos and tests, or downloaded pdfs and tests.

Whitney designed these courses himself after over 10 years of learning advanced online teaching methods, techniques, games, and programs. You will not be bored!

Each course is designed to pique your curiosity and make learning fun and interesting!

They make learning sometimes complex content kinda easy.

How to Get Your 32 Hours of Hands-On Workshops for the Clinical Rehabilitative Massage Specialty Certificate

The Clinical Rehabilitative Massage Specialty Certificate requires 2 hands-on workshops in advanced therapeutic massage. There should be an upper-body focused workshop and one that is lower body focused.

Key Goals

  • Provide the learner an opportunity to put their new skills into practice.
  • Introduce other skilled providers’ ideas and techniques for treating pain and injuries

The hands-on workshop component must include:

  • 16 hours of Lower Body workshops – courses focused on lower body regions
  • 16 hours of Upper Body workshop – courses focused on upper body regions
  • Cost: Determined by provider of the hands-on course


Update! You now have more options in meeting the 2 hands-on workshop requirements.

Providers throughout the country qualify to meet this requirement. You choose the course and the provider and submit your selection for approval to Whitney Lowe.

What providers and programs are approved?
  1. The workshop must emphasize advanced therapeutic treatment and include assessment and treatment.
  2. The instructor must have experience and knowledge in pain and injury treatment and assessment.
  3. Get your workshops preapproved to save you money and time.
  4. Most nationally recognized providers
  5. Regionally located providers – if they meet our criteria
  6. NCBTMB approved only
  7. Educational provider must meet a quality standard
  8. Instructors/providers are approved, not organizations – tell us who is teaching
Already have workshops? You may already have met this requirement.
  1. Explore the workshops you have taken in the last 5-7 years.
  2. Send Whitney the information listed below.
Where do I find and take a workshop?
  1. Workshop listings are found on the local and national AMTA sites.
  2. Listings are also found in Massage Today, Massage Magazine, and Associated Bodywork and Massage websites.
  3. Local workshops may be listed by schools.
What is the process for getting a workshop approved?
  1. Get approval for the workshop either before or after taking.
  2. Whitney Lowe will review the workshops and instructors to make sure they meet the criteria.
  3. Send in the approved workshops’ completion certificates.

What information do I send in?

  • Instructor/provider name
  • Organization name
  • Instructor bio – no bio if nationally recognized
  • Website link
  • Workshop title and description
  • Dates of workshops
  • Copies of certificates (f already taken)

The National Certification Board of Massage Therapy conducts the Specialty Certificate exam online.

Simply email Whitney and ask to take the test. (All 7 online courses must be finished and the 2 workshops).

The “test” is more of a knowledge challenge. Don’t be intimidated! Your preparation was provided in all the activities you did in the online program. If you completed each of the segments in that program, you are good to go. Feel free to go back into the courses and remind yourself of some of the content.

It is open book but it is timed.

  • 140 questions
  • Multiple choice
  • Online at NCB website
  • Instructions & access provided by Whitney
  • Certificate provided by NCB
  • $99

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility requirements for the course?

To qualify for the program you must have a valid license to practice massage in your own jurisdiction and have completed an entry-level massage training program of at least 500 hours in length.

Is the Core Foundation only offered by the Academy?

The Clinical Rehabilitative Massage Specialty Certificate does not focus on technique. Rather it emphasizes a consolidated set of specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities involving cognitive activities such as clinical reasoning, anatomy, biomechanics, treatment planning, pathophysiology, and other facets of rehabilitation science. For that reason, the largest portion of this program is devoted to those core concepts of rehabilitation science which are consistent across a wide variety of treatment paradigms and methods.

Currently, the Academy’s online program is the most comprehensive program that meets this challenging core curriculum. However, in the future there may be additional programs that also meet the rigorous educational criteria that have been established for this Specialty Certificate.

Where do I take the hands-on courses?

There are many courses that qualify to meet the hands-on course requirements. You can send verification of your completed course to us or contact us to see if a particular course will qualify.

How do you verify completion of the hands-on courses?

Please request a signed copy of a certificate from the provider of the hands-on workshops you have taken; a CE certificate form is sufficient. It is preferred that you take at least one of the workshops after you have taken some of the online courses. When you have completed the online program and both of the hands-on course requirements you are eligible to sit for the final certification exam administered by the NCBTMB. Please send all verification documents to our office at [email protected].

Do I have to be online at a certain time for the online portion?

The online program is totally asynchronous, which means you can work in the program any time you want. You can do very small chunks of the program any time it is convenient. Why not login and do some study during that client appointment cancellation!

Do I get certified after completing the program?

There is a great deal of confusion in our field about the term “certification” in relation to CE programs. There is actually only one true “Certification” program in our field and that is the NCBTMB Board Certification credential. All the other programs are actually what is called an assessment-based certificate (ABC) program. Learn more about the difference by reading this post.

How long is the program?

The hands-on courses are a minimum of 16 hours each for an upper body course and a lower body course. The amount of time it takes to complete the online course is really dependent on how much time you devote to it. The program averages about 130 CE hours, but the amount of actual time spent in the course can vary with your experience.

How much does the program cost?

The cost of the hands-on workshops is determined by each presenter so consult their website page to find out how much each hands-on course will cost.
The full 130 hour online program is $750 (but you will find Academy specials and discounts at certain times of years and with certain promotions).
The final certification exam administered by the NCBTMB is $95.

Are there any payment plans?

You do not need a payment plan with the online courses part of the program. Online courses may be purchased individually, or as smaller bundles, spreading your investment out across several months. Click here to see the course pricing and package discounts available for the online course component.

I just took some of these courses. Do they count toward the certificate?

View the full eligibility requirements for qualifying courses on our course eligility page

I’m more of a hands-on learner. Why is so much of this program online?

This is a common question from people who have either never taken an online class with us or have had a bad experience with online learning previously. It is crucial to remember that treating pain and injury conditions is not simply about treatment technique. Success with pain and injury treatment is far more about integrating knowledge and skills across multiple disciplines (kinesiology, biomechanics, pathology, treatment planning, etc.). It is also about being able to think and problem solve.

This extensive knowledge is combined with your advanced palpation and client handling skills that you learn in the hands-on classes. I attempted to teach these complex aspects of rehabilitation science in the workshop format for years and found that there was simply too much information for people to process and integrate in a 2-day workshop. Students were mentally burned out and simply could not recall all the detail of what they learned in the workshop. I was convinced there had to be a better way to present this comprehensive material in a way that would stick and help people be more successful clinicians. Breaking the coursework of the online component into much smaller segments lets you learn when it is most convenient for you and it also allows us to use advanced interactive learning strategies that we can’t use in the classroom. Click the links below to learn more about why we’ve been devoted to raising the bar with online education in the massage field.

What previous courses apply from Lowe's training?

Answer: Any of the Orthopedic Massage 18-40 CE online courses may be applied. Any of Lowe’s Upper or Lower body Orthopedic Massage workshops may also apply.

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