A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Cincinnati

As Gateway Community and Technical College tells prospective students, massage is no longer considered simply a luxury; rather it has established itself as a way of maintaining wellness. In Cincinnati, services are delivered in many locations throughout the community. Massage can also be part of the treatment plan when a person is dealing with a serious health issue, ranging from an orthopedic condition to cancer. Ohio, the first state to license LMTs, has quite a history of viewing massage in a medical light. The Schools of Medical Massage, which has four Ohio campuses, notes that the state is unique in its definition of the discipline as a limited branch of medicine.

Savvy massage therapists like to stay on top of what’s going on on both the national and local levels; they find opportunities to educate and advocate as well as ply their trade. There are specific populations that some massage therapists have targeted (e.g. the elderly). Like many states, Ohio is grappling with how to tackle the issue of opioid misuse and overuse. There is research to back up integration of massage in the pain management plan, at least in some instances. Wellness programming helps introduce people to different practices that may help them feel better; Healthy Hamilton Day is an example of effective Ohio programming (https://www.journal-news.com/news/local/this-unique-hamilton-event-encourages-alternatives-pain-medications/19WfHUDPxNWCGNbgABEScM).

Top Massage Schools in Cincinnati and Vicinity

The Cincinnati School of Medical Massage is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. The Cincinnati School of Medical Massage boasts a 1122 hour program; students perform 75 hour-long massages in the student clinic. The school also has a Dayton campus.

SHI Integrative Medical Massage School in Lebanon touts its very high MBLEx pass rate and its long history of training professionals in the Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan areas. The curriculum introduces a number of massage modalities that have therapeutic and medical application, among them, myofascial therapy and craniosacral therapy. The school notes that prospective students can talk to current students, if they wish, when touring campus. The program lasts 19 months. The American Massage Therapy Association lists program hours as 807.

Students at Gateway Community and Technical College can opt for a certificate or associate's degree plan. Massage therapy courses are front-ended in the degree program; most general studies courses are taken in the latter terms.

ATA College has a diploma program in medical massage therapy that can be completed in just 12 months. The school holds accreditation through the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

Massage Therapy Work Settings

Jobs with the big name franchises can be among the easiest to get. Gateway Community College lists several well-known companies as potential employers and also notes chiropractic offices and fitness centers. Chiropractic-massage therapist has become a very common pairing nationwide, and there are many small offices in the Cincinnati area. Among the other options are locally owned spas and massage studios. Many, of course, have opted for self-employment with its greater freedom and earning potential and also greater risk.

Cincinnati Massage Therapists

Success can be a matter of belief and commitment as well as technical skill. Local news sources have profiled some Cincinnati-area massage therapists: the diverse paths they have followed and the steps they have taken to succeed.

Cincinnati.com profiled a massage therapist who selected the profession as a post-Marines pathway (https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/high-school/high-school-sports/2018/06/04/glory-days-roger-bacons-sica-has-had-stints-marines-and-fitness/669193002). She had been intrigued by the physical therapy and health services she had seen in the Marines. Her own college career as a runner – potentially a very promising one if one is to judge by her high school "glory days" -- had been cut short by injuries.

The Journal-News, meanwhile, described the formation of a multi-discipline acupuncture/ wellness center in Oxford, Ohio (https://www.journal-news.com/business/badin-grad-opens-acupuncture-business-oxford/YLWI3yhBq6zebsNihSQfEO). A recent graduate of a medical massage program contacted an acupuncturist who was moving into the area about getting a space in the same building. Both professionals saw it as a good match, and it was a matter of weeks before the massage therapist was setting up shop; she operates her own business. The proprietors were soon joined by a professional who uses movement to work with individuals with special needs. At the time of the writing, a Reiki energy practitioner was on her way in.

The Aberdeen News has provided a short question and answer session with another massage therapist, one credited with bringing a less common modality, Ashiatsu barefoot therapy, to her community.

Cincinnati Massage Therapist Earnings

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that massage therapists in the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area earn an average of $19.49; this is a 2018 figure. The median is $18.42. The mid-range is from $14.69 to $26.16.

Self-employment means the actual range of earnings is greater.

Occupational growth in Ohio is predicted to be high: 26.7% over the course of the 2016-2026 decade. The national rate is actually very near this level. An Ohio grad can take his or her education – which, in terms of training hours, will be above that required in many states – and carry out a job search in any of many places.

Massage Therapy in Healthcare

Massage has found its way into Cincinnati-area hospitals. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital recognizes that children with multiple conditions may benefit from services. They are available to young hospital patients free of charge (https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/service/i/integrative-care/services).

UC Health utilizes massage therapists in its integrative medicine service (https://uchealth.com/integrative/our-team/). Cancer patients are among those who are offered massage.

TriHealth has a fee-based fitness and health pavilion where people can select from a number of modalities. Some are specialized for particular populations: cancer patients and mothers-to-be. Others may have wide application. Medical massage is by doctor prescription.

Additional Resources

Ohio Massage Therapy License Requirements

Massage Schools in Ohio