Medical Massage Vs. Regular Massage


What’s the Difference?

This is a question one may have in trying to decide which massage school best meets their needs. The Medical Massage Therapist program offered at AIMM is designed for the student who desires to work in clinical situations with medical maladies. One who wants to practice massage that produces physical effects in their clients such as pain relief from ailments like arthritis, chronic migraine, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, or injuries such as whiplash, herniated disc, tendonitis, frozen shoulder; or help induce structural correction to relieve pinched nerve, bad posture, and skeletal misalignment, etc. It is more conducive for the graduate of AIMM to work in a medical setting, whether with a medical doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor, or if they open their own practice to gain the reputation as a medical massage therapist rather than a masseuse/r. If students desire to learn massage for the purpose of relaxation only and wish to work in a spa setting, or wish only to learn to give their family massages, this program will probably not be for them. Instead, a 250 to 500 hour course in massage will be adequate and won’t need a long and comprehensive course/program as the 960 hour medical massage course/program.

Many massage schools give small introductory classes in many modalities of massage, and many students profess competence in the modalities they were introduced to when all they acquired was some basic knowledge. We at AIMM believe comprehensive knowledge should be provided to produce excellent therapists. Our course/program is comprehensive in the modalities taught, and insures that a certain level of mastery is acquired in these modalities before graduating the student. This way the students can have confidence and legitimacy in promoting their craft after taking our course/program.

 Learn More – AIMM Catalog

Quality Instruction to help you succeed

AIMM provides our students with quality instruction in medical massage practices and tools for success in the workforce, to produce an elite caliber of successful medical massage professionals.

We believe that an innovative curriculum and peaceful environment are essential in producing excellent graduates. This is the philosophy at AIMM.

We believe that in order for practitioners to be effective in the art of massage, they must have a balance of body, mind, and spirit. To help our students achieve this balance, we teach techniques in guided imagery, quiet non-religious meditation, and therapeutic stretches. AIMM encourages following a balanced diet and receiving regular massage. Our students, faculty and staff comprise a comforting community that provides each person with an enriching experience, enhancing their personal lives as well as their careers.

American Institute of Medical Massage is a private school where the prospective student must go through an in person (or zoom) interview appointment with Gina, our admission officer who will explain the program, what is required and gather more information from you. Then, you will meet the Director, Alla Mia, after she reviews your application where you can discuss financial requirements and she will determine if you’re accepted into the program. This school is for the person that really wants to make Medical Massage a career, therefore we will ensure that the prospective student is a fit and not just take their money if they would not be a fit and not succeed. We do not make this determination on race, sexual orientation, gender identity or religious preferences. We determine this by making sure the prospective student is physically able and has the aptitude to succeed in the program.


Knowledgeable Instructors

Our instructors have countless hours of experience in the profession of medical massage. Train alongside the best in the industry! AIMM’s comprehensive program exceeds criteria for membership into most professional bodywork organizations, and sets the standard for massage professionals in California as well as many other states. 

At AIMM the students learn about 45 procedures in Medical Massage of taking pain away from maladies like menstrual cramps, constipation and sinusitis, to injuries like herniated disc, tendonitis, and trigger finger.

Comforting Community

AIMM’s harmonious student-oriented approach to learning incorporates a wide variety of teaching methods aimed at creating a positive and successful learning experience. We strive for safe and creative classrooms that allow for diverse learning styles to be addressed. Tutoring and counseling services are available to our students and graduates through their educational process as well as in their professional and personal metamorphosis. Our commitment to you does not end with your graduation. We will help you with job placement, and inform you of changes in California regulations and local ordinances.

Life Balance

In order for practitioners to be effective in the art of massage, they must have a balance of body, mind and spirit. To help our students achieve this balance, we teach techniques in guided imagery, quiet non-religious meditation, and stretches and encourage having a balanced diet and receiving regular massage. 

classes at aimm

Teaching Excellence


This course/program is designed for the student that desires to make Medical Massage a career. Upon completion of this program the student will be able to be classified as a Medical Massage Therapist. The student will have the ability to administer full body stress relief, Swedish massage procedures to the general public, and will also be able to administer shiatsu and deep tissue massage to help with specific ailments and disorders. The students will gain skills in business to prepare them to become integrated into the work force, either as employees, independent contractors, or self employed.

Some of the job opportunities are as follows:

  • Medical offices
  • Pain clinics
  • Massage Therapy Clinics
  • Open own office
  • Women’s clinics
  • Beauty Salons
  • Cruise Line
  • Spas
  • Hospitals
  • Chiropractic Offices
  • Physical Therapists Offices
  • Sports Medicine Clinics
  • Professional Sports Teams
  • Resorts/Hotels
  • Gyms
  • Nursing Homes

Please reread the catalog prior to your enrollment interview and orientation. All information on policy and expectations are written in the catalog. If you have questions regarding this information, please ask them at your orientation. The orientation is designed to get you acquainted with AIMM and what will be expected of you and what you can expect from AIMM.

Please note our holiday schedule in the catalog. AIMM takes a week off during the published holiday schedule, and therefore does not recognize the Monday holidays that are normally recognized by other institutions. Students are expected to attend all classes.


Instruction consists of Lecture, Practicum, and Internship/Externship.


Lecture This is where the theories are explained by the instructor. The students may take notes and may feel free to bring a tape recorder to class to record the lecture if they feel it would be beneficial. There may be classroom participation and open discussions during these lectures where the instructor feels it would enhance the learning process of the student. Lecture hours are 50 minutes with a 10 minute break at the end of each hour. A class time may consist of more than one lecture hour.


Practical lab is where the students acquire their “hands on” skills. Techniques are demonstrated and practiced under the supervision of the instructor. There may be some lecture involved in the classes, but the majority of the time is on practice. The lab hours are 50 minutes with a 10 minutes break at the end of each hour. A class time may consist of more than one lab hour (e.g. Anatomy and Physiology taught 2 class hours per week).


This is where the student can practice acquired skills in a real life setting. The student clinic at AIMM is open to the general public. The students when ready for their internship class, will coordinate their internship schedule with the clinic supervisor.

In the advanced half of the program, the students are required to practice their advanced skills on the general public at the AIMM student clinic.

Final BPPE Approval Pending


NOTE: When internship starts, each student is entitled to one free Student Clinic massage per month, as repayment for participating in Student Clinic.

American Institute of Medical Massage

2121 41st Avenue, Suite 102, Capitola, CA 95010

“AIMM provides quality instruction in medical massage procedures. We give our students many tools for success resulting in an elite caliber of successful professionals.”

American Institute of Medical Massage