A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Boston, Massachusetts

Boston can be an attractive city for a massage therapist! This is an area of the country where massage is highly respected. The Boston metropolitan area boasts several well-known integrative health centers which spread their influence beyond their own patient base. Therapeutic massage has a presence even in major healthcare systems. Wellness programs are big here, and even small massage studios often emphasis wellness or fitness – it’s what you'd expect, perhaps, from a state that's known to be among the nation's healthiest!

Massage therapists can be found in many settings. The major franchises are represented. One also finds quite a few self-employed massage therapists here. They may be on their own, working with a partner, or managing teams of massage therapists. Potentially there’s a lot of opportunity. A massage therapist’s training and clinical experience will help determine what career options are feasible at a particular stage of his or her career – and whether the time is right for self-employment.

Popular Massage Therapy Schools in Boston

The Spa Tech Institute gives students two options: a 650-hour therapeutic massage program or a 770-hour holistic massage program. Both provide a foundation in Swedish massage and in additional styles such as deep tissue, chair massage, myofascial release, and events sports massage. The holistic massage program includes polar realization therapy. It also includes an RYSE self-awareness program that may help the therapist avoid burnout.

The Elizabeth Grady School of Massage Therapy has 650- and 750-hour options. The 750 hour program also includes spa therapies. The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences (NACCAS).

The New England School of Therapeutics operates under the banner of South Boston Yoga. The school offers a 650-hour program.

Boston Massage Practices

Massage practices often have a small team whose skills complement each other and fit within the overall vision of the practice. The following is a look at some of the successful massage practices in the Boston/ Cambridge area.

Be Well Boston has six massage therapists onboard, two of whom are the co-owners. Practitioner bios note special certifications (e.g. orthopedic massage and stretching, myofascial release, cupping); they also note areas of experience or expertise such as athletic and recreational injury, chronic pain, and prenatal massage. There are some dually credentialed practitioners; a couple are personal trainers as well as massage therapists.

Joint Ventures Physical Therapy and Fitness has a dozen massage therapists onboard. They are part of a fairly large team that includes professionals with diverse skill sets; there are acupuncturists and Pilates instructors as well as physical therapists.

Relaxsation Station Nail and Massage Therapy lists six massage therapist practitioners. There are professionals here, too, that hold more than one professional credential. The adjunct credentials are of a different nature, though: nail technician and esthetician.

Massage Therapists in Healthcare

There are multiple options for patients seeking integrative services. There are multiple options for therapists as well.

The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine is a hub for research as well as a place where patients go to receive care. There are currently two LMTs listed as service providers. One of the “representative articles” listed on the website focuses on structural integration for nonspecific lower back pain.

The Boston University School of Medicine Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Care Disparities has onboard a professional with combined massage therapist and meditation credentials (http://www.bumc.bu.edu/integrativemed/about-us-2/team-1/). Among the stated program goals: helping the underserved access a blend of services, including complementary therapies. This organizational also carries out research.

North Shore Medical Center in Salem offers multiple types of massage: Swedish, deep tissue, and prenatal as well as a therapeutic massage intended for conditions such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

There are also a number of small wellness centers in the area.

Oncology Massage

Boston healthcare facilities are part of the growing trend of utilizing massage to help cancer patients live better with their diagnosis and their treatment.

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and North Shore Medical Center provide massage therapy and Reiki through the NSMC Wellness and Integrative Medicine program and the HOPES Program.

The Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living at Dana-Farber also counts massage among its integrative services.

Chair/ Event Massage Opportunities

When it comes to integrating massage into wellness programs, Boston is ahead of the game. Boston Chair Massage has been in business since 2002. The website indicates the team has grown to more than 45 LMTs. Chair massage is very different than spa or studio massage. The individuals receiving the massage are fully clothed; typically the sessions last just 15 minutes. Boston Chair Massage tells employers they’ll have their employees back at work and “at their best” after that short break! Services may be provided for events or as a regularly scheduled employee benefit.

There are a number of other on-site chair massage providers in the Boston area.

Massage Therapist Salary in Boston

The median hourly pay for a massage therapist in the Boson metropolitan area was $24.97 in 2017.The mid-range was from $19.33 to $33.85. Some make far more.

The Current Employment Market

Spring 2019 finds multiple hotels advertising for LMTs, including the Hyatt, the Marriott, and the Four Seasons. Add to this day spas and wellness and fitness centers! The area’s Massage Envy and Elements franchises are also looking for new practitioners.

Some of the positions advertised list pay that is far above the average figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017. However, not all positions are on a set hourly wage. The amount of money may depend on commissions and/ or tips. Some organizations utilize independent contractors.

Additional Resources

Massachusetts Massage License Requirements

Massage Schools in Massachusetts