School of Natural Therapies launches advanced massage training

Clinical sport, remedial and soft-tissue therapy training will equip therapists to offer sport-related and therapeutic treatments for clients


By Mark Smith

31 August 2023

The School of Natural Therapies has introduced a series of advanced massage training to enhance the skills of spa staff.

The clinical sport, remedial and soft-tissue therapy training will equip therapists to offer sport-related and therapeutic treatments for clients.

Marc Innes, founder of the School of Natural Therapies, said he felt that there was a large gap in the market.

“My knowledge and experience of teaching within the spa and beauty sector highlighted to me that many spas tend not to employ the services of full-time sport and remedial massage therapists. They tend to use the services of an external therapist,” he said.

man smiling at camera

“The concept was to develop a bespoke programme that recognises the existing knowledge and experience of spa therapists, in order to develop these into skills that would achieve an industry standard accredited qualification.”

Marc Innes

Founder, School of Natural Therapies

Filling the skills gap

Innes also believes that there is a shortfall in the skill set of staff when it comes to catering for gym members, as well as hotel guest footfall, given the propensity of sports and gym associated injuries.

Designed to address musco-skeletal challenges, muscular dysfunction, loss or reduced range of movement, as well as nagging aches and pains, the team has introduced new training.

This includes a foundation level ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage and advanced BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Clinical Sport, Remedial Massage & Soft Tissue Therapy. These are designed to enhance the learning and skills of therapists.

spa treatment room with massage table
Aman Spa at The Connaught has introduced the new advanced massage training

New training from the School of Natural Therapies

One of the first spas to adopt this new training has been Aman Spa at The Connaught, part of the Maybourne Hotel Group. The team at the spa have completed the level-5 qualification to help expand their client base. Aiming to reach beyond traditional spa-goers, the spa is looking to appealing to a wider audience with various medical conditions and non-sports-related injuries.

“We partnered with the School of Natural Therapies in January 2022 to certify our therapist team in pregnancy massage. Since completing the training, we have received outstanding feedback from both guests and the press,” said Marion Kapellas, spa director, Aman Spa at the Connaught.

“After discussing a bespoke programme and thanks to the school’s flexibility in adapting to our business needs, I enrolled our team to complete the Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage and Level 5 Diploma in Clinical Sport, Remedial Massage & Soft Tissue Therapy.

“This course equips our therapists with the tools to safely provide firm and deep pressure treatments while preventing burnout and ensuring their wellbeing.”

Foundation Level – ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage


This course explores the principles and application of robust massage and therapeutic techniques. It includes sports orientated deep tissue massage covering consultation, postural and joint assessment.


It also examines the client’s presenting symptoms and considers strategies for improving health. This includes addressing muscular pain and dysfunction, loss of range of movement.


Health, fitness and nutrition are key components of the study. Underpinning all this knowledge and skill, is an in-depth re-cap of anatomy, physiology and pathology and the twelve recognised systems of the body.


Therapists will also gain an understanding of the theory behind pre and post event massage and the practical use of hot and cold therapy. This includes for  injuries and rehabilitation. The goal is to progress the therapist to advanced clinical and remedial massage and soft tissue therapy – Level 5 qualification.

man conducting sports massage
Advanced massage training in action
man massaging a leg
Practical experience at the School of Natural Therapies

Advanced Level - BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Clinical Sport, Remedial Massage & Soft Tissue Therapy

The advanced training programme looks at the principles and application of physiotherapy/osteopathy-based techniques, to gain improved and more sustained results than massage alone.


Examples of level-5 techniques would include soft-tissue release, muscle energy techniques, positional release, trigger-point therapy, myo-Ffascial release and advanced massage techniques. In this capacity, therapists would consider advanced joint assessment (knee, ankle, wrist, elbow, hip, neck and shoulder).


The therapist will be exposed to a multitude of manual therapy interventions, all of which build towards a toolkit for the assessment and handling of soft tissue presentations. These also benefit the client, in terms of working towards the recognition of, presentation and recovery of injury, alongside effective strategies for management, prevention and escalation of further injury and dysfunction.

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