With greater awareness on the necessity of preventative health care, many individuals utilise massage therapy on a regular basis for its numerous benefits. The local Dominican population and tourists seek holistic treatments delivered by qualified therapists. However at present there are only a handful of such professionals and the industry can not realise its maximum growth potential.

To address this issue the ITEC Holistic Massage with Anatomy & Physiology Diploma course is being established in Dominca to start on September 14th 2012 as a 9-month program that will offer participants the most prestigious training in the industry. ITEC, which stands for International Therapeutic Examination Council, is the largest multi-disciplinary international examination board and is based in London, United Kingdom. ITEC has been operating as an examination council since 1947 and their diplomas are considered to be one of the best professional qualifications in the complementary health field. Successful attainment of an ITEC qualification enables graduates to gain employment all over the world.

The Holistic Massage Diploma course will be conducted in Dominica from September 14th 2012 until June 2013 by Patricia Greenidge-Berry, Principal of the ‘Personal Body Health Care Clinic and School Of Holistic Therapies’ (PBHCCSHT) in Barbados. Patricia will travel to Dominica on four occasions to offer 4-day training intensives and conduct the additional components of the course via online programming and coursework. Thus the course is suitable even for those working full-time. The diploma consists of over 500 hours of practical massage training, case studies, business ethics and professionalism and Anatomy and Physiology. The final exams are conducted by the ITEC board with a UK examiner in Barbados.

The ‘Personal Body Health Care Clinic and School Of Holistic Therapies’ was the first ITEC accredited school in the Caribbean and are also registered as a Post-Secondary Tertiary Institution with the Ministry of Education, Barbados. The PBHCCSHT has gained a reputation as one of the most outstanding ITEC schools outside of the UK offering a wide range of courses at a high standard. Almost all of the students gain upper level distinction marks.

Dominica is well positioned to capitalise on the upsurge in the health and wellness sector with massage therapy being the industry leader. The primary tourism market of eco-minded hikers and divers are often keen to schedule in a massage treatment after an arduous day of adventure. Similarly the proposed expansion in the weddings and honeymoons market currently being undertaken by the Discover Dominica Authority offers a market of newlywed couples seeking relaxation with indulgent, yet healthy, treatments. Local clients are also significant consumers who have both the awareness and experience of the benefits of massage for a wide range of physical and emotional tensions. The course provides a gratifying and lucrative career opportunity.

Organiser of the course, Terri Henry, states that ‘I have been a massage therapist in Dominica since 2004 and have seen the industry grow, both locally and with international visitors. I feel that a course of this calibre is essential to the development of Dominica. This is a highly enjoyable vocation that has the power to heal people and contribute to an economy of wellness. I am overjoyed that we now have a group of students ready to take this industry into the future.’

The financial investment for the course is US$4000. The National Development Foundation of Dominica is offering loans to successful applicants of the program subject to terms and conditions and anyone interested should contact them immediately on 449 8825 to see if they qualify for assistance.

The course is receiving generous sponsorship from the following organisations: Disover Dominica Authority, Anchorage Hotel, Fort Young Hotel, Dive Dominica, Cocoa Cottages, KHATTS and Guiyave Restaurant.

More information on this course can be found at www.itecmassagedominica.wordpress.com or by contacting the course organiser Terri Henry by email: itecmassagecourse {at} onelovelivity {dot} com. Prospective students are urged to apply for this valuable opportunity immediately in order to be ready for the course to start on Friday September 14th 2012.