A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy Schools in Boise

The population of Boise is growing, and so is the massage therapy industry -- in Idaho and around the nation. Quite a few massage therapists in the Boise area have managed to carve out their own niche and reach a population that benefits strongly from their expertise. Chances are there will be more in the years to come.

One of the functions of massage, here as elsewhere, is general relaxation. Some practitioners work for franchises or chains. Some work for practices that combine massage with spa or salon services. As a stress buster, massage has found its way into the mainstream – even in the corporate world. Boise has multiple businesses that provide chair massage for conventions, wellness fairs, employee appreciation days, and other events.

Boise State is among the many schools that offers massage therapy as part of its ‘finals week’ stress busters (https://www.kivitv.com/news/puppy-love-program-helps-boise-state-students-relax-during-finals-week). Massage therapy and puppy dog time having become two common ways of helping students who are worrying about grades or pulling all-nighters (https://www.kivitv.com/news/puppy-love-program-helps-boise-state-students-relax-during-finals-week).

Massage practitioners may also be stationed in settings that offer comprehensive services for specific populations. Nampa boasts a new cancer center that provides cutting edge treatments and integrative therapies (https://www.idahostatesman.com/latest-news/article219514535.html treatments). St. Luke’s cites better sleep, reduced nausea, and improved scar tissue mobilization among the potential benefits of integrating massage (https://www.stlukesonline.org/health-services/specialties/integrative-medicine-for-cancer-patients/massage-at-st-lukes-msti).

Massage therapists may be employees or independent practitioners. They may open their own studios or go into business with other massage therapists or health professionals. They can be found at chiropractic offices, physical therapy practices, and integrative health centers. Those employed in physical therapy typically use modalities that are very different than Swedish relaxation massage (e.g. trigger point). Boise massage therapists practices frequently offer health services beyond just massage; some stress exercise as well as passive modalities. Even corporate/ chair massage companies sometimes throw yoga sessions into the mix.

Hospices like First Choice employ massage therapists. One will even find Licensed Massage Therapists at work at the Idaho State University Health Services. There are many small markets, serving special populations. Massage therapists who are breaking into new areas, though, sometimes need to make people aware of the value of the service to a particular population.

Massage Therapy Schools in Boise

The Idaho School of Massage Therapy in Meridian offers students the choice of a 635-hour or 690-hour program. The combined Eastern/ Western curriculum includes Swedish massage, clinical massage therapy, reflexology, Asian bodywork, and geriatric massage. The 690-hour program adds connective tissue bodywork to the mix.

Carrington College holds accreditation through the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The Boise massage therapy program provides a foundation in common massage modalities such as Swedish and deep tissue.

The OZ School of Massage, a little further down the road in Eagle, offers a program that is organized in an innovative way to allow students to work while meeting massage therapy coursework requirements. The curriculum is taught in a series of three-day intensives over a 18-month period; the total training exceeds the 500-hour minimum.

Boise Massage Therapist Practices

The following are among Boise’s successful practices:

Boise Therapeutic Massage Center boasts 30 massage therapists. They work as independent contractors. Clients may select sessions from one to two hours. Two of the massage therapists are certified in prenatal massage.

PT 180 is a physical therapy practice. Currently there are six Licensed Massage Therapists on board. Their bios reveal diverse skill sets. One has a degree in dance and has pursued training in massage and movement modalities. One boasts craniosacral therapy and medical massage among her certifications.

Small massage studios reflect the vision of one or more entrepreneurs. The Idaho Press-Tribune recently reported on a new business that would combine massage therapy and yoga (https://www.idahopress.com/news/local/2cscoop/indigo-wellness-yoga-studio-coming-to-downtown-nampa-in-december/article_63da991f-77f3-527a-9148-2fdce6d879dc.html); it would also include a juice bar.

Some very small practices are well established and have developed strong reputations in one or more niche areas. Body Epiphanies Massage and Nutrition offers goal-oriented manual therapy as well as Swedish relaxation massage. At the helm is a massage therapist who is board certified as well as licensed; he has extensive volunteer and professional experience. He advises clients that insurance providers may cover certain techniques, including myofascial bodywork, neuromuscular re-education, and active release techniques. The business boosts partnerships with a number of organizations. Clients may receive referrals for other health services.

Hybrid Health Massage Therapy and Corrective Health has three massage therapists on board. The lead massage therapist has special training in myoskeletal alignment and corrective exercise and is pursuing a graduate degree in kinesiology. There’s even a bit of mindfulness thrown into the mix. The goal: to give patients the combination of services they need to alleviate their pain within a short period of time.

Massage Therapy Salary in Boise

The median hourly wage for a Boise City massage therapist was $19.31 in 2017. The figure rose to $37.85 at the 75th percentile and $47.89 at the 90th percentile. At the 10th percentile, it was $12.08: more than $2 above the national 10th percentile wage.

In short, the Boise City median is very close to the national median, but there are relatively more higher paid jobs here and relatively fewer low paid ones.

A Look at the 2019 Massage Therapist Employment Market

February 2019 finds multiple organizations hiring: physical therapy/ sports medicine offices, day spas, massage chains/ franchises, corporate massage. Businesses that posted an hourly rate often placed it in the $25-$30 range. Not all postings were for employment positions. Employers sometimes referenced contract work and/ or commission. Some positions, however, noted benefits such as 401K and medical coverage... as well as little job perks like being on the receiving end of an occasional massage.

For additional information see: Massage Therapy Schools in Idaho