Online Course & Online Test

The online test for this course contains  30  multiple choice questions.

Massage Therapy CEs | Massage Concepts and Techniques

Fibromyalgia (Stop the Suffering)

Massage Therapy continuing education CEUs earned: 16

Course classification: Kinesthetic (course materials teach specific techniques to use on clients during a massage therapy session.)

Approved by: 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. Laws can and do change, and your state will hold you responsible for knowing the laws that apply to you. 

Attention Florida Massage Therapists: This course is approved by Florida as an approved distance learning course for required hours of "relevant to massage therapy" category hours for the 8/31/2023 renewal cycle. (Pre-COVID, hours in this category had to be "live", but as a COVID accomodation are also being accepted during this renewal as "anytime" hours. This course will show in CE Broker as "anytime" or "distanct learning" hours in the "relevant to..." category.)  Course # 20-798084

CE Broker Reporting:  Institute of Somatic Therapy will automatically report your hours to CE Broker in applicable states ONLY IF you have provided your license number in your online account with us. You can verify your license information by logging on to our website, and reviewing your account information. If your license is not shown there, please select “edit” to include it. We generally report to CE Broker weekly.

Tuition:$129. (This online course contains a number of streaming videos best used with high-speed internet connections.)

Testing: You complete your test online, and immediately upon passing, print your certificate. To see how our online courses and testing work, we invite you to take our free sample course.

Materials: Stop the Suffering: A Somatic Approach to Relieving the Pain of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue, course materials and video by Judith Koch

View sample video: To see samples of video from this massage CEU course, as well as samples of some of our other online courses, visit our You Tube site at 

Course Description: “Fibro” mean fibrous tissue (connective tissue such as tendons and ligaments), “My” means muscles, “Algia” means pain. Therefore, fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles and connective tissues of the body. Other names for fibromyalgia include fibromyitis, fibromyositis, fibrositis, and tension myalgia.

Who has fibromyalgia?  In North America, the estimates are that 5% of the adult population has fibromyalgia. As many as 90% of the patients are female. While fibromyalgia can start in childhood, the incidence of fibromyalgia is found to increase with age. One book estimated that eight percent of the school population exhibits symptoms of juvenile fibromyalgia.

Therapeutic benefits of massage have been proven in a wide variety of conditions, and fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are no exception.

In a study comparing massage therapy to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, the massage resulted in improved sleep patterns, decreased pain, less fatigue, fewer incidences of anxiety and depression, and decreased cortisol levels. In addition to being listed on the Touch Research Institute web page, this study was published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, volume 2, pages 18 – 22.

The European Journal of Pain published a recent study showing that massage relieved pain, reduced depression, and improved the quality of life in people with fibromyalgia. General studies on massage prove that it lowers levels of stress hormones, increases production of serotonin in the brain, and leads to improved sleep. All of these results benefit fibromyalgia patients.

The Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Volume 3, Number 3, 1997 included a study of massage which indicated that patients receiving one-half hour of massage twice a week for five weeks showed less depression, pain, cortisol levels, anxiety, stress and increases in dopamine levels and enhanced sleep. The patient’s decrease in symptoms began immediately after receiving the first massage, and continued to decrease throughout the duration of the study.

Techniques that are taught in this course are useful for most clients, since the 18 pain points of fibromyalgia are common areas for tension and pain, such as the neck, shoulders, and hips. This course will teach you:

  • Passive Neuromuscular Re-Education Strain/Counterstrain: These are a series of tension releasing techniques demonstrated on all 18 pain points of fibromyalgia. These are passive techniques, where the patient simply receives the treatment without muscular participation. These are excellent to use in patients who are experiencing extreme pain.
  • Active Isometric Neuromuscular Re-Education Exercises: These are a series of isometric/isotonic neuromuscular re-education techniques demonstrated on all 18 pain points of fibromyalgia. These are active techniques that are very effective for promoting the release of chronically tight muscles. With these exercises, the patient is actively involving the muscles. Use this technique for patients that are stronger and healthier.
  • Lymph gland work at major lymph drainage points: There are four major lymph drainage points in the body. The technique involves pumping motions designed to promote the flow of the lymphatic fluid through these points.
  • Abdomen: Working the abdomen will not only promote peristalsis, but also gently massage all the major organs in this region.
  • Mobilizations/Stretching: A series of passive stretches to promote muscle mobility.
  • Reflexology targeting PMS, a scientifically proven technique for combating a common ailment associated with fibromyalgia.

Student Feedback: "This is the best online training I have ever had. Thank you for creating it! It far exceeded my expectations. I liked your extra on TMJ, Morton's Foot Syndrome, Reflexology for PMS, and Aromatherapy, and all your wonderful tips in the Marketing and Sales section. Your video selections were all excellent and so helpful in effectively cementing the critical concepts you were teaching. I will be working with them to practice and assisimlate the techniques. And kudos for the way you brought in the main ones as a quick review during your closing comments! A special treat. I feel a level of confidence and enthusiasm that surprises me, and I look forward to integrating all I have learned into my practice. With utmost respet and appreciation, Rebecca". -- Rebecca Mimms,  Alexandria, Virginia

Are your online courses downloadable to my computer? No. You must be logged in on our website to view the course materials. Please feel free to take our free sample course to see how our online courses and testing works.

Will your online courses work on my phone, tablet, or other device? Since technology continues its rapid pace forward, it is impossible for us to provide a current and complete list of all devices on which our courses will work. We invite you to take our free sample course so that you can personally test if the online content and streaming video work on your device.

Can I print the online courses if I want a hard copy? Most browsers allow you to print screen shots of any web page you visit but often the formatting leaves much to be desired. If you prefer hard copies, you are much better off with the “by mail” version if that is available for the course you are taking.

Can I print the online test to work on it at my convenience? No. When you take the test, one question at a time will come up, and you must answer it before going to the next question. The test will be different each time you take it. To maintain the highest level of integrity with our testing process, with most of our online courses we have written more test questions than you are required to answer. When you click to take the test, the computer will randomly pick the number of question s that you have to answer. For example, we may have 50 questions banked and you only have to answer 30 for your test. The computer will pick 30 questions from the 50. The next time, it will again pick 30 questions from the 50, so some will be the same as before and some will be different. This way, if two students are sitting side-by-side taking the same course together, each one will have a different test.

What happens if I fail the test? Do I have to pay again? No. If you happen to fail our test, you can continue to retest until you do pass at no additional charge. With most of our courses, as noted above, the test will be different each time you take it. You can print out your test results to use as a reference for studying before taking the test again.

What is the difference between cognitive and kinesthetic courses? Cognitive courses are those that teach concepts related to massage therapy, but do not teach specific hands-on techniques. Courses such as ethics, pathology, anatomy, and research are classified as cognitive. Kinesthetic courses are those that teach specific hands-on techniques that you can use on clients during a massage therapy session. Some states limit how many kinesthetic courses can be completed in an online or home study setting. Refer to our state guidelines page for specifics about your state.

To contact the Institute of Somatic Therapy about this or any other massage therapy CEU course, please go to the "contact" link above. Thank you.