A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City made the list of top ten cities to begin a massage therapy career. The two organizations making the determination – Thumbtack and SpareFoot -- were looking at supply and demand and at the economic side of starting a business: for example, the cost of studio space and the typical price commanded per session.

It’s a career with varied options. Kansas City massage therapists work for health and fitness centers, healthcare organizations, day spas, and franchises and, yes, a number of them do have their own massage studios - or spas!

The decision to become a massage therapist is often in part about lifestyle. When a practice lists a large team of practitioners, they’re not necessarily employees. Team members may be in business for themselves in a low risk way. Some massage practices list bios for each of their therapists and allow clients to make their own selection. In this instance, popularity tends to pay, though some massage therapists work limited hours by choice. On the other hand, some businesses do pay their LMTs as employees.

The clientele, too, is diverse. Many massage therapists serve primarily a clientele who is looking for relaxation or general wellness. Some provide services to people who are struggling with health issues or seeking to improve functioning; they may provide specialized services. Some receive referrals from healthcare providers.

Popular Massage Therapy Schools in Kansas City

The Wellspring School of Allied Health gives students the choice of a massage therapy certificate or a master massage therapist degree; the latter confers an associate's of occupational science. With either option, a student will explore a variety of modalities, including neuromuscular, perinatal, and hot stone massage. Advanced techniques taught in the AOS program include oncology massage, cranio-sacral bodywork, and corrective exercise, among others. Students have the opportunity to do a healthcare internship.

The Pinnacle Career Institute program confers a certificate. Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone massage, and reflexology are among the modalities covered.

Serving Special Populations

A portion of massage therapists have a special calling: to make life better for special populations. This may include the frail, the elderly, or individuals of any age who have life limiting illness.

Among the organizations advertising in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area in Spring of 2019 were a hospice organization and multiple organizations that place healthcare workers in geriatric settings. One noted the massage therapist would be providing services at “upscale senior communities”. One characterized itself as a provider of contract wellness and rehabilitation services.

Kansas City Massage Practices

Imagine Wellness Massage Therapy has a dozen massage therapists on its team. The organization touts a number of modalities designed for injury recovery and management of healthcare issues. The menu includes lymphatic drainage, sports and medical massage, and neural reset, among other offerings.

Total Bliss Massage and Float Spa offers a reflexology and full-body massage combo as well as a variety of other common modalities, including prenatal massage. Add-on options are varied, from sugar scrub to cupping.

Q Massage blends Eastern and Western massage. Among the offerings are Thai massage, foot reflexology, and Asian fusion massage.

Franchises active in the Kansas City area include Massage Heights and Massage Envy. In 2019, Hand and Stone describes itself as relatively new to the area, but it’s doing some advertising.

Franchises do a lot of business. They tend to have a lot of Google reviews and generally favorable ones, though typically not as high as the top local establishments. The Ward Park Massage Heights has a Google rating of 4.5. Franchises frequently advertise benefits.

In early 2019, one finds multiple franchises and spas offering signing bonuses or tuition reimbursement. A couple years may have passed since Sparefoot and Thumbtack passed their verdict, but some of the larger practices are showing they have high need!

Massage Therapist Wage Information

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides salary information as a unit for the Kansas City metropolitan area, spanning both sides of the Missouri-Kansas border. As of Spring 2019, data provided is from 2017. The range of wages was wide. Those at the 90th percentile made more than three times what those at the 10th percentile did ($24.69 vs $8.05).

Business Options for Massage Therapists

Kansas City massage therapists have forged their own paths. Sedona Healing Arts lists just one massage practitioner, an LMT who knows first-hand the healing value of massage. Massages are by appointment. While it may not offer the level of convenience of a Zeel or Soothe, Sedona Healing Arts has built a grateful clientele who recommends the services.

Nerdy Massage is another very small practice with studio massage and home visit options. The website notes a second therapy room is in the works.

The massage therapist behind KC North Massage, LLC describes her focus area as neck and back pain. Several services are available, including Ashiatsu.

The founder of Back and Bodyworks Massage and Wellness Spa is both an LMT and an RN. The team includes two other LMTs and a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine. At Back and Bodyworks, a hot stone massage is called Warm Buttered Stones; clients enjoy the luxury of essential oils as well as heated stones. The Back and Bodyworks team offers a face massage that they call Belavi Facelift Massage.

Massage therapists sometimes start businesses that offer not only massage but other wellness or beauty services. The owner of Greenleaf Massage and Day Spa is an LMT; the team includes five massage therapists and an esthetician. There are also a couple spa coordinators on the team. One will find infrared sauna among the offerings.

Additional Resources

Missouri Massage License Requirements

Massage Therapy Schools in Missouri