Manitoba Massage Continuing Education Approval - by admin@mcb on April 19 2018

Manitoba Massage Continuing Education Approval

Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba Approval

Attention Manitoba massage therapists: The Institute of Somatic Therapy is pleased to announce that we have received another approval for our massage continuing education. Effective April 3, 2018, Institute of Somatic Therapy has several courses approved by the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba (MTAM) for continuing education. The MTAM is a not-for-profit association of over 1150 professional massage therapists in Manitoba. We look forward to serving Manitoba massage therapists with their continuing education needs. We are committed to providing the best online home study continuing education courses available to massage therapists.

Manitoba Massage Continuing Education Requirements

Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba members are required to complete 24 continuing education credits in a 2 year cycle due every other August 31. CE credits needed are as follows:

  • 18 CECs from Primary/Core Competency activities, and
  • up to 6 CECs from Secondary/Complementary activities.

All CECs can be from Primary/Core Competency coursers. Approved online course work is acceptable.

Manitoba Massage CE Course Approvals

The MTAM has approved the following online courses offered by the Institute of Somatic Therapy through 4/3/2020. (Click each title to go to course information page.)

Prenatal Massage Fundamentals – 12 primary/core competency credits.
Prenatal Massage Techniques – 12 primary/core competency credits.
Infant Massage – 16 primary/core competency credits.
Massage Doula Support – 21 primary/core competency credits.

Institute of Somatic Therapy plans to seek Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba approval for more of our courses in the near future. If you are a Manitoba massage therapist and are interested in more of our courses, please contact us. Let us know which courses you would like us to submit for approval next.

(MTAM Disclaimer: The approval of these courses for continuing competency credits by the MTAM Education and Competency Committee does not represent an endorsement of the course or any products or services promoted within the course.)

Additional Canadian Massage Therapy Continuing Education

Several other Canadian associations currently accept Institute of Somatic Therapy courses for continuing education. Our courses meet the criteria for College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) and Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC). We also have course approvals pending with the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia.

Laws can and do change, and your associations will hold you responsible for knowing the laws that apply to you. Please note that we provide this information as a courtesy, but cannot guarantee its accuracy because laws are continually subject to change.

United States Massage CE Approvals

Institute of Somatic Therapy (Judith Koch) is approved by the NCBTMB (Provider #280672-00) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by Florida (#MCE-326), and New York (#0019). Our courses are also valid for AMTA, ABMP, and most individual states. Some states limit how many hours can be done online or by home study. Please refer to our State Guidelines section for specific information about your state.


Father’s Involvement Reduces Obesity in Children - by admin@mcb on June 13 2017

Father’s Involvement Reduces Obesity in Children

Father’s Involvement Reduces Obesity in Children

Infant massage isn’t just for mothers. In fact, there are several reasons why fathers should be just as involved in childcare, including learning infant massage for their babies.

Infant massage has many benefits for children, as well as benefits to the parents, as prior articles on this blog have detailed. One more benefit can be added to the list: lowering the risk of obesity in children.

A recent analysis of several studies showed that increased participation in childcare by fathers lowered the likelihood of the child becoming obese by age 4 by 33%.

The study followed over 10,000 American children from birth to first grade. All of the children in the study lived in two-parent, heterosexual households where the father was not the primary caregiver. The fathers in the study worked an average 46 hours a week and mothers worked an average 18 hours a week.

Michelle S. Wong, leader of the study, said, “There is growing evidence of the importance of fathers’ involvement in raising children in other areas of children’s development, and our study suggests that there may be benefits to child health as well.” Obesity in children is of growing concern, and something that can reduce it by 33% should be promoted throughout the medical community.

The complete study can be found here.

Include Fathers in Infant Massage Classes

Infant massage courses teach simple, yet effective, techniques for relieving many conditions common to babies. It is simple by design, since it is intended to be easily learned by new parents with no massage therapy training or background. The infant massage certification course offered by Institute of Somatic Therapy also includes movements and stretches designed to stimulate brain development and muscle coordination. To become certified in infant massage, students complete the 16 CE online course, and perform two infant massage classes. For details about the course, click here.

Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the NCBTMB as a continuing education approved provider, #280672-00.

Maternal Migraines, Colic Linked - by admin@mcb on May 20 2017

Maternal Migraines, Colic Linked

Maternal Migraines, Colic Linked

Women with a history of migraines have a 50% greater chance of having a baby with colic, a new survey found. Fathers with a history of migraines, however, had a statistically insignificant lower chance of having a baby with colic (29%) compared to father without a history of migraines (31%). The study, conducted in February and March 2017, studied 1010 participants. Colic was defined as the baby crying for at least 3 hours per day for at least 3 days during the prior week. Fussy crying times were most common between 4:00 p.m. and midnight, with the heaviest crying between 8:00 p.m. and midnight.

Parents rated babies with colic as having increased sensitivity to loud noises and strong smells —traits often associated with migraine. Infants with a history of colic are also more likely to experience migraines in their adolescent and adult years.

Lead author Amy Gelfand, MD, director of pediatric headache at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), spoke at the American Headache Society (AHS) 2017 Annual Meeting. She stated that these results should be of interest to obstetricians and pediatricians. “For obstetricians, it’s worth counseling pregnant women with a history of migraine that they are more likely to have a baby with colic — and to let them know that colic is a time-limited phenomenon that isn’t their fault. For primary-care pediatricians, if you’re seeing a colicky baby with a family history of migraine, keep it in the back of your mind that these children may be coming back with headache or migraine at the age of 7 or 8 years old.”

Help for Migraines, Colic

Techniques that the parents reported as having a calming effect to the colicky infants included feeding, gentle rocking, making shushing sounds, and adding white noise.

Because increased colic is linked to maternal migraine, anything to mitigate migraines in pregnant women and mothers may be helpful. Massage therapy, both during pregnancy and postpartum, should help. Infant massage techniques can also be helpful to calm a colicky baby.

Massage Continuing Education Courses

The Institute of Somatic Therapy offers courses in prenatal massage certification and infant massage certification. Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the NCBTMB as a continuing education approved provider. #280672-00. Our courses are valid for most states. Click for information on becoming a Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist and/or a Certified Infant Massage Therapist/Instructor. For both certifications, see our package discount here.

Infant Massage Instructor Teaches Skin-to-Skin Benefits - by admin@mcb on February 21 2017

Infant Massage Instructor Teaches Skin-to-Skin Benefits

Infant Massage and Skin-to-Skin Benefits

Infant massage instructors know that skin-to-skin contact for babies is more scientifically and physiologically based than many people realize. There is a link between the skin and the brain that begins with the very earliest stage of human embryonic development.  Upon conception, the fertilized egg travels to the uterus where it attaches.  The next stage of development is the division of the cell into three “layers”, known as the endoderm, the mesoderm, and the ectoderm.

•    The endoderm develops mainly into organs.
•    The  mesoderm develops mainly into bone and muscle.
•    The ectoderm develops into the SKIN and the BRAIN, and the nervous system.

One way to look at this is to say that “the skin is the outermost part of the brain, and the brain is the innermost part of the skin”.

Because of the link of development between the skin and the brain, a relationship has been shown between skin-to-skin touch after birth and intelligence.  The more tactile stimulation a baby receives in its first months of life up through the first year can impact their brain development permanently.

Skin Contact and Breastfeeding

Uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth has significant impact on infant brain development, and also on breastfeeding rates and duration.
One of the earliest studies on infant breast self-attachment was published in the Lancet Medical Journal. Dr. Leonart Righard of Sweden studied the ability of a newborn to breast crawl if it was separated from its mother within the first hour after birth, or was medicated during the birthing process. The study involved 72 vaginally delivered infants. The babies were placed naked on their mother’s stomach and given the opportunity to crawl to the breast on their own. Of the unseparated, unmedicated babies, all 17 crawled to the breast and 16 sucked correctly. Of the separated, medicated babies, 4 made it to breast but all four failed to suckle correctly, while 15 failed to breast crawl at all.

Separation alone, and medication alone also interfered with breast crawling and suckling. Of the separated, unmedicated babies, 14 of 15 crawled to the breast, but only 7 of them sucked correctly. Of the unseparated, medicated babies, 11 crawled to the breast and 8 of them sucked correctly, while 10 failed to breast crawl at all.

For more information on the importance of uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact until after the first breastfeeding experience, visit

Become a Certified Infant Massage Instructor

To become a Certified Infant Massage Instructor, Institute of Somatic Therapy offers an online massage therapy continuing education course, approved by the NCBTMB for 16 CEs. Click here to enroll today.

Aromatherapy With Infants - by admin@mcb on May 24 2016

Aromatherapy With Infants

Aromatherapy With Infants

What is the best way to use aromatherapy with infants? There are safe ways to bring the benefits of essential oils to your newborn. There are also cautions you should observe.

Most aromatherapists suggest that no essential oils should be used with a baby under three to six months of age. When using aromatherapy with infants, avoid putting the oils directly on the skin, especially the hands and fingers. This is to avoid unpleasant sensations if the baby rubs its eyes or puts its fist in its mouth. Once the child is a bit older, you can add one drop of oils known to be safe for infants per one ounce of food grade oil, such as grapeseed or jojoba. Avoid potential allergens such as nut oils or chemically laden lotions or oils. Don’t put anything on their skin that you wouldn’t put in their mouth. Another option is to dilute the oils in breast milk (for dispersing into bath water or applying on baby’s skin, not given orally). A single drop of essential oils blended with an ounce or more of carrier oil or milk is plenty.

Aromatherapy With Infants Safety Precautions

Julie Cottle, a naturopath, breastfeeding counselor, and mother of four, has an article on aromatherapy with infants that can be found here.

She lists several safety precautions for using aromatherapy with infants:
• Never give oils internally or put them directly on the skin (essential oils can burn sensitive skin if not properly diluted)
• Don’t use oils in or too close to the eyes or other mucous membranes.
• If any irritation occurs, discontinue use.
• Always check for contraindications and make sure the oil you are using is safe to use on babies.

For dispersing aromatherapy near your infant, avoid using a diffuser until your baby is a bit older. A safer alternative is to put a drop of essential oil in a bowl of hot water and place this well out of reach of children. This is an excellent method when babies and children have colds.

Aromatherapy and Infant Massage Therapy Continuing Education Courses

Institute of Somatic Therapy offers online massage therapy continuing education courses related to infant massage and aromatherapy. To learn more, visit these course offerings:
Infant Massage
Aromatherapy for Massage

Photo: “Baby Bathes in Bathroom” by David Castillo Dominici.

Helping a Colicky Baby Through Infant Massage - by admin@mcb on September 08 2015

Helping a Colicky Baby Through Infant Massage

Learn more about the benefits of massage for both infants and their parents. Source: Pixabay
Learn more about the benefits of massage for both infants and their parents. Source: Pixabay

Colic is defined as a spasm in a hollow or tubular soft organ accompanied by pain. With infants, this is generally in the digestive tract. As such, the parent of a colicky baby can bring relief to their unhappy baby by performing gentle massage along the abdomen, in the direction of digestion.

A technique that can follow the massage is the “5 S’s”, developed by Professor Harvey Karp, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. The five s’s stand for: Swaddle, Side (or Stomach), Sway (or Shake), Shush, and Suck.

Begin by swaddling your baby tightly in a receiving blanket, which helps to replicate the tightness of the womb. If you don’t know how to swaddle your baby, there are numerous videos and diagrams available online by searching “How to swaddle a baby.”

Once your baby has been swaddled, hold your baby close to your body with him lying on his side (either facing your body or with his back to your body). An alternate option is a “football carry” (holding the baby on its tummy over your forearm) since this puts gentle pressure on the abdominal organs, which might be helpful.

Next, gently sway back and forth (or use a gentle shaking bouncing motion), while making a shushing sound. If you are comfortable in allowing your baby to use a pacifier, allow him to suck on it as you go through this process. This routine has shown to relax even the fussiest babies.

To learn more about infant massage, Judith Koch, Director of Education at the Institute of Somatic Therapy, offers massage therapists the opportunity to earn the title of Certified Infant Massage Therapist/Instructor by taking our infant massage certification training. Massage therapists will learn how to teach new parents how to massage their babies, and can earn 16 massage continuing education credits (aka CEs) valid for the NCBTMB and most states.

This course is also open to non-massage therapists. Since you will be demonstrating the techniques on a doll and not actually massaging the baby, no massage license is required. As such, related professionals such as certified doulas, lactation consultants, or pediatric nurses are invited to take this course.