Therapeutic Massage Schools

Therapeutic massage schools provide students the training needed to begin a career in massage therapy and the education to pass a state or national licensing exam. Although, online training and education in eastern massage practices are appealing to some, traditional schooling in massage still attracts many students.

To begin looking for a massage school, simply choose your state, then your city, then the type of school you are interested in attending from our list of schools.

There are 3 main types of training.

Types of massage schools

Traditional Massage School

Traditional therapeutic massage schools offer massage therapy courses and training in one building, giving students the convenience of traveling to one place for all their training. Classes are held 5 days per week for several months, or 2-3 days per week for a year or so.

Most are 500-800 hours of coursework, with at least half of your hours being hands-on clinical work.

  • Community College Massage Courses Community College training may consist of classes and bookwork in a college setting, and going out into the community for the actual hands-on clinical hours needed for licensure. Some colleges, however, do offer student clinics within the school. This type of massage school usually takes 18-24 months to complete and often offers an Associate's degree program as well. The advantage of choosing a community college massage education is that most of the time the credits can transfer to a higher education institute, if you are interested in furthering your education.
  • Online Massage Therapy Schools Online therapeutic massage schools provide a convenient way to learn massage therapy from the comfort of your home. Schools often write their curriculum around the areas that students will be tested on in national certification exams. Students cover the same courses studied in traditional massage school, except classroom courses are taught online. Lectures, assignments and discussions happen through e-mail, live chats and discussion threads, which can be viewed 24/7, with students meeting in person for hands-on clinical hours.
  • Most massage therapist education offers instruction in massage techniques, along with Anatomy, Physiology,Kinesiology, and Pathology. Hands-on, clinical hours are also part of the schooling and anywhere from 100-300 are usually required.

    You will study the structure and functions of the human body, along with how massage can effect change in both.

    Beyond this, each type of school may approach holistic healing differently. Some massage therapy courses actually teach classes on the mind/body/spirit connection.

    Specialty Schools

    Specialty schools focus on studying unique therapies that are available for very specialized treatments in bodywork. For some schools, a massage therapy training, certification, or license is required in order to apply for the course.

    Some of these include:

  • Equine massage therapy schools
  • Infant massage therapy schools
  • Sports massage therapy schools
  • Medical Massage Training

Each state regulates therapeutic massage schools licensure and the requirements associated with maintaining the license, for individuals who practice and for the massage therapy training institute or school you choose to attend.

The massage therapist education that a student chooses should also teach business courses on how to own and operate a massage practice.

These courses might include compiling a business plan, with marketing, accounting and tax preparation instructions.

In whatever type of massage school you choose, you will most often have to take a national certification test after you classroom courses are finished. Preparation and good study habits will help you pass that exam. This book, Pearson's Massage Therapy Exam Review will also provide a great advantage when you are preparing to sit for a national exam for massage therapy certification.

The massage techniques that you will learn in therapeutic massage schools vary from school to school, but will most often include Swedish, Pregnancy, Reflexology and Spa Treatments (wraps, scrubs and Hot Stone).

If you are searching for therapeutic massage schools that offer financial aid options, go to COMTA, Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation. They can provide you with this information.

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