A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy Schools in Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu is 9th out of all metropolitan areas in the nation with regard to its massage therapist job concentration, and this may not come as a surprise. The state as a whole ranks #1. It’s partly the lively tourist industry, and it’s partly the general focus on wellness here in the United States’ healthiest state.

A Hawaii Business article describes some of the ways massage has found its way into Honolulu lifestyles and the Honolulu economy (https://www.hawaiibusiness.com/the-business-of-ahhh/). Massage therapy is noted as one of the perks that can help a company land a spot on the Hawaii Business annual list of top places to work. Sports teams like the University of Hawaii track and field team utilize massage to stay in condition. And of course spa service is part of what the clientele expect from a luxury hotel. (A very successful LA-based travel agent noted spa services were a part of how she sold those Hawaii vacations.)

Top Massage Therapy Schools in Honolulu

Kapiolani Community College offers a 598-hour program that introduces a wide variety of modalities, among them, Thai massage and Lomi Lomi. The program includes a course on provision of massage to individuals who are medically frail.

Hawaii Massage Academy is an economical option. Individuals should have a strong foundation in Swedish massage and be ready to seek licensure after they have completed phases 1 and 2 of their training. They can opt for classes in subjects like reflexology, hot stone massage, and seated massage.

Some massage is clearly medical; some mixes healthcare with other elements. A massage therapist can opt for a resort atmosphere, a medical one, or something different altogether. Practices have their own unique feel as well as varying areas of focus.

Physical Therapy Offices, Fitness Centers, and Sports Medicine

OrthoSport is a physical therapy-based clinic that also employs fitness and wellness professionals. Massage therapists practice a number of modalities, among them, neuromuscular therapy, trigger point, myofascial release, and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi. Relaxation may be among the goals, but often there’s more involved. Medical massage may be prescribed for doctor-diagnosed conditions. OrthoSport Hawaii notes that medical massage is very different than spa massage. Some clients receive massage as part of the post-injury rehabilitation process. Some treatments are covered by third party payers like worker’s compensation.

Another Hawaii business, Fit for Life, cites the role of massage in preventing carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive stress condition (https://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/blog/2013/04/fit-for-life-owner-says-exercise.html).

Anxiety and stress relief are also components of healthcare. Even universities are seeing the value of massage in helping students during high-pressure times. Massage therapy is part of the University of Hawaii-Manoa strategy for helping students through cram week (https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2018/12/05/cram-jam-2018). In winter 2018, students could receive free massage between 10 PM and 2 AM at the Campus Center during finals week, a nice support for those late night cramming sessions. (Other supports included dog therapy and midnight breakfast.)

Massage therapists serve people at all stages of life. Prenatal massage has become common around the nation. One will find massage therapists in Honolulu advertising geriatric massage: in-home as well as on-site. Here the value of massage at end of life is recognized. Hospice Hawaii offers massage therapy among its complementary therapies (https://www.hospicehawaii.org/our-services/complementary-therapies).

Honolulu Spas and Resorts

Spa treatments are a frequent component of that Hawaiian dream vacation. In Hawaii, the spa is about couples and family, not just individuals. Honeymooners choose to visit spas together. An article in Brides Magazine profiles three extraordinary hotels (https://www.brides.com/story/hotels-to-stay-at-in-hawaii spa). Massage services get a mention each time.

Resort massage is partly about atmosphere. At Disney’s Aulani Hawaii Spa and Resort, a guest can toss a stone with an inspirational word into water before settling in to enjoy his or her chosen treatment. Families can enjoy Lomi Lomi together and even learn how to use Lomi Lomi sticks.

In spas, too, massage may meet therapeutic needs. The co-owner of Red Earth Massage and Wellness that their guests tend to be people with fast-track lives and that part of what they're looking for is restoration; some vacationers come into the spa several days in a row. A hotel may even boast in-room massage therapy (https://www.hawaiimagazine.com/content/these-three-hotel-havens-are-waikikis-best-kept-secrets).

Medical spas have unique staffing needs. The focus tends to be on helping people improve their appearance, but services go far beyond the traditional facial. The proprietor of Helen’s Spa told Massage Magazine that she has multiple professionals onboard who hold dual licensing: esthetician and massage therapist (https://www.massagemag.com/massages-role-in-medical-spa-89747/).

Aquatic Massage

Aquatic massage is not quite uniquely Hawaiian. Therapy pools are scattered across the nation; massage therapists in other places use aquatic bodywork techniques to help individuals who suffer from issues like muscle spasticity. They are also helpful for those whose physical condition makes traditional massage positions untenable. One will find quite a few aquatic massage options in Hawaii, and individuals can self-elect the therapies for relaxation or wellness. They may even select spa packages that incorporate aquatic massage with other forms of massage. Spa Pure Waikiki, for example, offers salt water massage as a standalone treatment or part of a package.

Additional Resources

The Hawaii chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association is a professional resource (http://hi.wp.amtamassage.org/). One can turn to the website for information about occasional live training events (e.g. sports massage, orthopedic massage).

Massage Schools in Hawaii