A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Fayetteville

How much has massage entered the mainstream? Just look to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville! A 2017 article stated that University Recreation (UREC) was stepping up their massage therapy program. They noted that different massage therapists were adept were different modalities. The UREC website in 2019 includes information about scheduling therapeutic massage at their building or arranging for chair massage for events or wellness incentives.

Young adults are entering a world where massage is acknowledged for its role in promoting physical and mental wellness. Older people, too, are recognizing the benefits: Butterfield Trail Village, a senior living community, notes massage among the amenities available in its aquatic and wellness center.

People of all ages with serious illnesses are also increasingly turning to massage. Wellness Professionals, a local practice that combines, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage, notes there are two main types of massage: rehabilitative and relaxation. Some Fayetteville practitioners, though, have a hand in each world.

Fayetteville massage therapists ply their trade through healthcare organizations as well as spas, beauty shops, and small private practices. The Fayetteville area also has franchises like Massage Envy. It is common for massage therapists to share suites with rehabilitation professionals such as physical therapists. Some bring chair massage on-site. It’s not necessary for self-employed massage therapists to strike out completely on their own or make a big rental investments at the onset as there are multiple set-ups possible. The Edge School of Massage, for example, notes that they rent clinic space to their graduates. Then, too, there’s mobile massage!

Massage practices have different specialties and a unique vibe or feel. It will be a different experience walking into Competitor's Edge Massage than Solace Day Spa. The following is a look at some of Fayetteville's massage practices and the services they tout:

  • Serenity Massage Studio: Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal, hot stone
  • Good Will Massage: acupressure, integrative deep tissue, trigger point therapy massage, neuromuscular therapy, prenatal massage, sports massage
  • Better than Ever Massage: hot stone, cold stone, deep tissue, ashiatsu, ashi-thai, craniosacral, cupping
  • Solace Day Spa: hot stone massage, Himalayan salt stone massage, deep tissue massage, reflexology, sports and training massage

Some Fayetteville massage practices cite massage research on their websites. Websites frequently post practitioner bios. Many massage therapists describe how their life experiences have found their way into their massage practice. The founder of Solace Day Spa, one of many entrepreneurs in the massage industry, writes of the exhaustion she experienced in the wake of helping her mother battle a serious illness, of the exhaustion she observed in people who were involved in ministries, and of her desire to create a place where people could go to renew their energies.

Popular Fayetteville Massage Schools

Blue Cliff College boasts a 750-hour program – well above the minimum required in this state. The school has been assigned a code by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB); this status facilitates the process for those who want to become board-certified as well as licensed. Blue Cliff College is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).

The Black Brook School of Massage is also an AMTA member. Students have the option of completing a basic 500-hour curriculum with two day a week scheduling, whether weekday or weekend. The school offers many optional courses.

The Edge School of Massage provides a basic curriculum of more than 600 hours and gives students flexible start times.

Bringing Massage to Those Who Need it Most

There are organizations in the Fayetteville metropolitan area working to bring massage to those who need it most. Highland Oncology provides massage for cancer patients. Some students intern at Highland Oncology. Serenity Massage Studio and Revive Medical Spa both have on board Blue Cliff College graduates who interned there.

Massage at Highland Oncology is fee-based. There is support, though, available. The Healing Hands of Mercy Foundation helps oncology patients receive massage. The organization also supports the provision of massage at Circle of Life Hospice; additionally, it helps people who are receiving (and providing) care at home in Northern Arkansas communities enjoy the benefits of massage.

Massage Therapy Earnings and Career Outlook

The median massage therapy hourly pay is $23.45 in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers area: higher than it is in the state as a whole, also higher than the average wage in neighboring states. The vast majority of Fayetteville massage therapists (80%) have hourly earnings between $16.66 and $30.65. 10% fall below; another 10%, above.

While massage therapy is more established in Fayetteville than in many parts of the South, one doesn’t find as much as in some parts of the nation. Massage therapists may view this as an issue or an opportunity – there are plenty of niches still to carve out.

Massage Therapy Continuing Education

Continuing education can be an important part of honing one’s craft and building a client base.

The following are among the courses available from The Edge:

  • The 15 minute shoulder (protocol)
  • Soft tissue release for fibromyalgia
  • Massaging children with autism and cerebral palsy
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

The Ray of Light schedules two day trainings in Fayetteville and other Arkansas cities; among the 2019 offerings is muscle anatomy and assessment.

Additional Resources

Arkansas Massage License

Massage Schools in Arkansas