Icelandic massage education
Massage has been taught in schools in Iceland since 1989. Before that massage was taught in the massage parlours where people just walked in and asked if they could become a massage student. It was a short training. So every massage place was responsible for the training of the masseur and there were no guidelines.
Now there is only one school in Iceland that is offering extensive massage education at time being. This school is Fjölbrautaskóinn við Ármúla, which is a state run junior college, with many different health tracks. Because it is financed by the state from tax money, tuition is very low and therefore it would be hard for anyone who wanted to run a private school to compete with it.
Applications are always more than we can take and students have to finish all their academic studies like, anatomy, physiology, pathology, ethics, nutrition etc. before being accepted for a hands on studies that are taught over two semesters (one year). Only 14 – 16 students are accepted into the hands on part every year. Students might therefore have to wait for one year before continuing their hands on studies after completion with the academics. If someone would enrol into the program with no prior experience it would take you three and a half year to complete the whole thing. But many students get some credits transferred especially the general studies like, English, Danish, math and Icelandic to name a few from other schools.
We have the vision of teaching both more traditional subjects here but also we have recently added things like yoga, mindfulness, more psychology, meridians and cranial sacral therapy that are not considered mainstream subjects. The curriculum has to be accepted be the ministry of health and it goes under revision by their staff.
After completion we grant students the professional status of health massage therapist, but it is unfortunate that the ministry of health do not want to accept it as something that would only apply to this education. We are working on that. The ministry of health accepts what they classify medical massage and grant licence to work as such. It can only be studied in certain schools in Canada and Germany.
Fjölbrautaskólinn við Ármúla