Project Description

Understanding the Cardiovascular System

The heart and circulatory system is the lifeline of the human body, delivering blood to every tissue and cell. This course provides an in-depth exploration of the anatomy of the cardiovascular system and how certain pathologies can benefit from massage therapy.

LENGTH 3 hours

In this course, you will learn:

  • Detailed anatomy of the heart, circulation between the heart and lungs, and how oxygenation occurs.
  • The structures and location of arteries and veins.
  • Comprehensive workings of the systemic circulation system including the aorta, arteries, capillary exchange, and veins.
  • The circulation pathway of the brain, common stroke warning signs and contraindications and indications for massage therapy.
  • Pathologies of the cardiovascular system.
  • How to create a circulatory road map.

Continuing Education by CCMH submits courses for approval to regulatory colleges and associations across Canada. Timelines vary and courses are submitted on a rolling basis. As approvals are granted, this section is updated. Remember to check back often!

Certified Registered Massage Therapist Association (CRMTA): 3 Primary Credits

College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick (CMTNB): 1.5 Category A Credits

College of Massage Therapists of Newfoundland & Labrador (CMTNL): 1.5 Category A Credits

Massage Therapist Association of Alberta (MTAA): 3 Primary Credits

Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba (MTAM): 3 Core Competency/Primary Credits

Massage Therapists’ Association of Nova Scotia (MTANS): 1.5 Primary CEUs

Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS): 3 Primary Credits

PEI Massage Therapy Association (PEIMTA): 3 Category A Credits

Under the CMTO’s new Quality Assurance Program (STRiVE), courses are no longer granted approval by the CMTO. It is up to the learner to demonstrate that a course is relevant to their learning goals and the STRiVE competencies. We have provided the description below to help the learner link the course to the STRiVE competencies. A course is often related to more STRiVE competencies than those listed.

The competencies below are established in the CMTO continuing education guidelines. This course addresses the competencies in many ways, including those described below.

Function in a patient-centred manner.  This course reinforces awareness of the cardiovascular system and various disorders to enable the RMT to select the appropriate treatment and provide education to the patient.

Work within areas of personal knowledge and skills. This course provides the RMT with the opportunity to fill gaps in knowledge in order to effectively treat a patient with a cardiovascular system pathology. This knowledge involves recognizing common primary complaints and making appropriate treatment modifications within the parameters of the RMTs scope of practice. Additionally, the course highlights high risk conditions where the limits of the RMTs scope of practice are reached, indicating the need to refer a patient to a medical doctor and/or collaborate with other medical professionals.

Use an evidence-informed approach in your work. This course provides the RMT with up-to-date information and knowledge regarding the cardiovascular system and associated pathologies. The Continuing Education by CCMH promise is to evaluate every course on a biannual basis to ensure any developments or changes in the profession are reflected in course content. Thus, RMTs who take this course and adopt its recommendations can be assured that they are practicing in a manner consistent with current developments. A resource list is included in the downloadable guide to every course so that RMTs can conduct further research and/or confirm course findings. Any treatment recommendations are based on this research and the opinion and experience of the RMT who developed the course. All course content and recommendations have been evaluated by two additional RMTs to affirm the accuracy of the content. For more details, please see the Our Quality Control Process.

Practice in a self-reflective manner. This course enables the RMT to conduct a deep dive into anatomical and physiological information pertaining to the cardiovascular system. The RMT that takes this course has reflected upon their practice and their decisions, and recognizes where knowledge should be enhanced. Through taking this course, the RMT draws on external information to achieve continuous learning and quality improvement.


Benjamin Reid
Benjamin ReidB.Sc., RMT
Benjamin Reid is a Toronto-based Registered Massage Therapist with a focus on rehabilitation. Prior to his education in massage therapy at the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy (CCMH) in Toronto, Benjamin obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University.

Benjamin has always had a passion for education. During his schooling at CCMH, he enjoyed tutoring fellow students in his spare time. Ben graduated at the top of his class in September 2017. His interests include systemic anatomy, neuroanatomy, and orthopedic assessments.

He currently works at two clinics in midtown Toronto, both of which are multidisciplinary and rehab-focused. He particularly enjoys challenging cases that enable him to think beyond the textbooks and to apply a unique and effective treatment approach. He also has an interest in sports injuries, and as such particularly enjoys working with athletes.

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