A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Lexington, Kentucky

Massage therapy can be effective for a number of conditions, and leaders in Lexington are taking note. For a sense of the possibilities, just look to the University of Kentucky and to Lexington’s academic healthcare facilities!

The Kentucky Pain Research and Outcomes Study was in the news a couple years back. A researcher from the University of Kentucky found evidence that massage had efficacy for individuals who suffered from lower back pain (https://uknow.uky.edu/research/uk-researcher-purports-massage-therapy-benefits-chronic-low-back-pain). This is good news as massage doesn’t carry the level of risk that some treatments do.

UK HealthCare recently expanded its Integrative Medicine & Health program. The UK HealthCare clinic is not just for patients but for a variety of people, including staff and faculty. Massage is one of multiple complementary therapies. Integrative health is a movement, and one that’s not limited to this campus, though it boasts an exemplary facility. Dr. Connie Jennings, Medical Director for the facility, sees the opioid crisis as part of the force behind increased interest in integrative health (https://uknow.uky.edu/uk-healthcare/uk-healthcare-opens-new-integrative-medicine-clinic-space-offers-services-patients). Complementary offerings are also about giving patients a measure of control over their treatment; they may be drawn to different therapies. Jennings notes that the UK program participates in research.

Health crises span the ages, and so do complementary treatments. Even infants can benefit from massage. At Kentucky Children’s Hospital, babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) can receive massage and Jin Shin Jyutsu bodywork (along with other adjunctive treatments such as music therapy, aromatherapy patches, and supported time with their mothers). A 2017 article describes a massage therapist at Kentucky Children’s Hospital calming a baby with NAS (https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/4345dg/pregnant-women-opioid-addiction-treatment).

Massage also has a lot to offer those at the other end of the age spectrum: seniors. Today’s seniors are looking for more from their housing communities, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader (https://www.kentucky.com/news/business/article74999422.html). Many are choosing to move into communities where they can be active in the present tense but also know that they can receive the care they need as they age and their health worsens. They want amenities! Communities like Highgrove-Lexington feature spas where residents can go for a massage or other pick-me-up.

As people grow more elderly and frail, their massage needs change. Geriatric massage is among the many areas where a massage therapist can pursue specialized training.

Top Lexington Massage Therapy Schools

The Lexington Healing Arts Academy is a school member of the American Massage Therapy Association. The school offers a 720-hour program that includes 108 hours of student clinic.

The Bluegrass Professional School of Massage program, also located in Lexington, is 650 hours and includes 100 hours of student clinic.

Lexington Massage Practices

The University of Kentucky may make the news more than the average employer, but there are plenty of massage practices out there seeking high caliber Licensed Massage Therapists. LMTs may be employees or independent contractors. Some businesses offer benefits while others tout lifestyle perks like flexible scheduling. Massage therapists may be employed at facilities that promote relaxation – a short retreat from the world – or at ones that treat pain and injury. Among those advertising in 2019 are chiropractic/ rehabilitation practices, spas, and franchises. One organization that advertised in March 2019 provided on-site massage at wellness events.

Franchises can be great places to launch a career. Massage Envy-Lexington made the list of Best Places to Work in Kentucky in 2018 (https://smileypete.com/business/best-places-to-work-kentucky).

Going into Business as a Massage Therapist

There are many entrepreneurs in the massage therapy business. They set up practices that reflect their own vision, whether it is to provide targeted therapy for athletes or create a particular ambience: relaxing, wellness-oriented, even spiritual.

A massage therapist featured in the Lexington Herald-Leader in 2017 opened a holistic wellness center that included massage and other healing practices like tai chi and special needs yoga (https://www.kentucky.com/advertise/advertorial/lipstik/article186339533.html). Her vision was to create a bit of nest: a place that would feel inviting and accessible to people from many walks, including those who, like her, had PTSD or were going through life transitions.

An experienced bodyworker, meanwhile, opened a practice that incorporated a salt water ‘float tank’ to provide clients with an effortless floating experience (and, potentially, relief from health symptoms. She has quite a few people on her team offering services like massage, Reiki, and Tai Chi instruction).

Circle of Light Massage is operated by a person who, in the wake of an accident, found relief through massage. The name reflects her desire to pay it forward – as does the career choice itself.

Of course there’s some risk in renting a facility even when one is highly skilled. Word of mouth is great, but many massage studios also maintain a web presence. Websites may include testimonials, information about the benefits of different massage styles, practitioner qualifications and special trainings. White Willow Massage maintains a blog that ranges across topics from massage-related continuing education to holistic health and lifestyle (http://www.whitewillowlex.com/blog).

The American Massage Therapy Association-Kentucky refers practitioners to the national AMTA website for marketing tools.

Building Expertise

Massage therapists hone their craft through continuing education. The 2019 AMTA-Kentucky Spring Conference was held in Lexington. Sports massage, craniosacral therapy, aromatherapy, and cupping were among the courses listed.

Lexington Massage Therapist Wage and Career Data

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that both the job concentration and average wage are higher than average in the Lexington area. The median wage for the Lexington-Fayette metropolitan area was $23.25 in 2017. Those at the 10th percentile made $16.76; this is well above the corresponding national 10th percentile wage. At the 90th percentile, earnings rose to $42.43.

Additional Resources

Kentucky Massage License Requirements

Massage Schools in Kentucky