A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids massage therapists are in the business of helping people feel better. A trip to the spa can feel like a luxury, but massage is healthcare; so stated the co-proprietor of the Woodhouse Day Spa in an article for the Grand Rapids Business Journal (https://www.grbj.com/blogs/7-health-care/post/91463-the-health-benefits-of-massages). She’s scarcely the only one voicing this – the research is building.

These days, people don't just receive massage at spas. Some receive them at fitness centers or healthcare centers. Chiropractor/ massage therapist is a common pairing, but there are many possibilities. Some massage therapists also provide other supportive modalities. Massage therapy has been projected to see more than 28% occupational growth over the course of the 2016 to 2026 decade.

Popular Massage Therapy Schools in Grand Rapids

The Academy of Alternative Healing Arts is a school member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). The 648-hour program includes a broad curriculum. There are short courses in a variety of modalities, including geriatric, prenatal, and hot stone massage. Chinese massage gets quite a bit of emphasis. The program includes 50 hours of combined GiQong and acupressure, 16 hours of Gua Sha and Chinese medicinal oils, and 12 hours of cupping.

The popular Sanative Tranquility Spa is affiliated with a massage school, the Institute of Sanative Arts. It is also an AMTA school member. The Institute of Sanative Arts offers some less common modalities including bamboo and raindrop. Students gain a foundation in Vodder-style manual lymphatic drainage. AMTA lists the number of program hours at 800.

The Blue Heron Academy of Healing Arts and Sciences has a nearly 40-year history. The institution offers a six-month program designed to accommodate working professionals.

Grand Rapids Massage Practices

Urban Massage has a rating of 4.9 – this is based on 300 Google reviews. The organization has eight massage therapists onboard as of early 2019. They provide a wide range of massage modalities including cold stone, Ashiatsu bar therapy, and Thai massage. Lake Michigan Hot stone is a local take on a spa classic. A visit to the website provides a glimpse of the organization’s professionalism. One will find notations about the benefits of massage and also about the contraindications – and about some of the times when discussion with a healthcare provider is advised.

Sanative Tranquility also provides a number of specialty massages, including warm salt stone massage, mixed hot and cold stone massage, and an hour-long guided meditation massage. Meditation is another practice that’s gaining some attention in the medical community, but this type of pairing of guided meditation and massage is uncommon. The Sanative Tranquility website lists nine LMTs.

Simple Truth Chiropractic has two massage therapists onboard, complementing a team of three chiropractors.

Some highly rated Grand Rapids massage studios are very small. Professional Therapeutic Massages, with ten Google ratings and a 4.8 rating overall, lists just two massage therapists. A Healing Touch also lists two, one of whom began as an intern.

Going into Business as a Massage Therapist

Massage therapy is a career that tends to attract entrepreneurs. Some set up single room massage studios; they may opt to travel to clients. Some bring others on board. They may even add other wellness services. Some businesses combine massage and yoga. The Michipreneur featured Spa Nirvana and the vision that an experienced massage therapist was enacting as she prepared for the grand opening of her own practice, which would include sauna rooms and rooms that could be used for wellness classes (http://www.michipreneur.com/new-businesses-flourish-in-creston-neighborhood/); the LMT herself was also certified in nutrition counseling. She had gotten some financing from a very grateful client, one who had relied on therapeutic massage to help her cope with the effects of cancer treatments.

Massage Therapy in Healthcare Settings

Fox 17 recently reported that Mercy Health-Saint Mary's was now providing oncology massage free to inpatients (https://fox17online.com/2019/01/02/cancer-patients-now-offered-massages-at-mercy-health); the service was also available to outpatients for a fee.

Mercy Health was among those advertising in 2019. The organization noted that the hire would provide massage to patients of various departments. The ideal candidate would have more than the minimum 500 hours of education -- 1,000 was listed as preferred.

Among the populations that can benefit from massage is the elderly. Multiple organizations are working to create a massage-friendly environment for seniors, even when massage isn’t provided ‘gratis’. Majestic Senior Living at the Pines, for example, boasts a massage room where residents can receive services from their choice of massage therapists (http://www.majesticpinesmn.com/community-living)l

Massage Therapist Salary in Grand Rapids

Massage therapists in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area received median wages of $16.42 in 2017. The vast majority made between $9.08 and $29.03. Self-employment means actual range of earnings can be wide.

Massage Therapist Continuing Education

Continuing education helps massage therapists develop expertise in specialty areas. Some pursue a lot! Bios frequently list special trainings. The massage therapists at a Healing Touch, for example, tout the hundreds of hours of training they have pursued beyond the minimum required for Michigan licensure.

The Mid-Michigan Massage Therapy Institute, a nonprofit organization, offers coursework in marketing strategies as well as modalities like hot stone massage and positional release.

Additional Resources

Massage License Michigan

Massage School in Michigan