The Aging Brain and Massage Therapy with Debra Curties

Saturday, April 28, 2017
8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Approved for 7 Core Competency/Primary Credits
Course is limited to 32 participants

MTAM Members:


$337 +GST

Fee includes: course handouts and lunch



The second course in Debra Curties’ Aging series, The Aging Brain begins by exploring how memory works, including the important connections between touch and memory, then moves to concepts related to cognition, learning, emotional intelligence and personality. This is followed by considering the brain’s health needs, how brain tissue ages and how normal aging does/does not influence these functions. In the afternoon there is a major focus on dementia, what it is, how it differs from normal aging, and how it manifests as progressive destruction of these same functions. We will discuss the common conditions that cause dementia, with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s Disease – how it damages the brain, how it presents clinically in its major stages of progression, and how it creates various physical symptoms and vulnerabilities. We will then contemplate what the research literature offers us on massage therapy efficacy when the client has dementia. The final segment will be a pragmatic discussion of case management strategies, clinical thinking and treatment planning for the massage therapist working with individuals with cognitive impairments like dementia. As our population ages, this is something a massage therapist can increasingly expect to do.


– Understand the connection between touch and memory

– Understand the health needs of the brain and the effect of age on brain function

– Understand what dementia is and common conditions that cause dementia

– Understand how to adapt and apply a massage therapy treatment plan for individuals with dementia


Debra Curties, RMT

Debra Curties has been a massage therapist since graduating from Sutherland-Chan School in Toronto in 1984 and successfully completing registration requirements in Ontario and British Columbia. Prior to becoming a massage therapist, her work experiences included community work with homeless and troubled teenagers and instructing in Women’s Studies at the University of Toronto and York University. Her inclinations and interests found a natural integration in massage therapy education.

Debra has been teaching Pathology/Clinical Theory at Sutherland-Chan since 1987. She is currently also Sutherland-Chan’s Executive Director and a co-owner. Her love of teaching and the massage therapy profession have been reflected in many of the roles she has assumed in the past 25+ years, including president of the American Massage Therapy Association’s Council of Schools, trustee of the Massage Therapy Foundation and chair of the Leadership Development Committee of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. Debra has participated in numerous committees and projects on behalf of massage therapy education in Canada, for example, the committee that developed the original Ontario Core Curriculum Agreement, the expert panel that reviewed the CMTO Standards of Practice, the Ontario Tripartite Committee and the CMTA Accreditation Sub-Committee.

In demand as a continuing education presenter, Debra has taught workshops across North America. She is the author of two textbooks, Massage Therapy and Cancer and Breast Massage, the COPI Notebook Skin: A Manual Practitioner’s Overview of Functions and Common Disorders, and numerous articles in professional publications. She is also a founding owner of Curties- Overzet Publications.

Debra has been honoured as a recipient of the Ontario Massage Therapist Association’s Meritorious Service Award and the AMTA Council of Schools Meritorious Service Award.

For more information and course approvals with other professional organizations please visit the Registration Page.


Cancellations made by March 26, 2018 receive a full refund. Cancellations made from March 27 – April 6, 2018 receive a 50% refund on the full cost of the course. No refunds will be given on cancellations made after April 6, 2018 at 4:30 pm