A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Nashville, Tennessee

The Nashville massage therapy scene, like many other aspects of the city, is eclectic Here massage is about healthcare. Therapeutic massage is recognized for its role in managing pain, supporting injury recovery, and lessening side effects of cancer treatments. It’s also recognized as a healthy indulgence. For some, massage is the ultimate relaxation activity: a way to recharge. A destination spot, Nashville, not surprisingly, has its destination spas.

A mid-2019 job search turns up jobs at spas, hotels, franchises, chiropractic offices, and fitness centers. Employers can have very varying needs. One ad was posted by a "float spa" looking for a massage therapist who could not only give massage but help the massage practice take off. They were advertising quite a high pay rate.

Top Massage Therapy Schools in Nashville and Vicinity

The Mind Body Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges The institute touts its 2015-2016 School of Excellence recognition. Osteology and myology, Swedish massage, and lymphatic massage are among the courses offered. The course in the business of massage is fully 54 hours. The Mind Body Institute invites LMTs and employers for panel discussions with current students. The continuing education calendar for 2019 at the Mind Body Institute includes myofascial therapy and functional movement assessment and orthopedic assessment and treatment of the lower extremities.

The Nashville School of Massage Therapy offers an introduction to a wide variety of modalities. Kinesiology and research literacy are among the courses. Needs of special populations such as the elderly and the medically frail are addressed. The business course includes development of resume and online appearance.

The Cumberland Institute of Holistic Studies in Brentwood offers a 500-hour program that introduces Swedish massage, acupressure, neuromuscular therapy, and integrative therapy.

The Georgia Career Institute in Murfreesboro provides in-depth instruction in Western modalities like Swedish massage and medical massage. It also provides an introduction to Eastern modalities such as Thai massage and reflexology. The Georgia Career Institute is considered a beauty school; other programs include cosmetology, nail technology, and aesthetics.

Nashville Massage Practices

At the O.liv Body Bar massage oils are based off olive oil, customized through addition of herbal powders and essential oils.

Basic Kneads Advance Massage Therapy currently has 11 massage therapists, two of whom are designated as “lead”. LMTs offer a therapeutic massage which may blend styles. Also available are prenatal massage and cupping

Practical Massage Therapy has eight LMTs onboard. The business has a mid-2019 job posting. Among the things they're looking for are positive energy and weekend availability. Applicants provide basics like the school they graduated from and their Tennessee license number. A recent blog post informing patrons of price increases emphasized the need for LMTs to receive solid wages.

Give a better massage -- and a better experience -- and people may just broadcast it. Style Blueprint published a list of the best massages in Nashville (https://styleblueprint.com/nashville/everyday/best-massages-to-relax-during-the-holidays).

LMTs as Entrepreneurs

One will find LMTs in solo practice or managing teams. Some ultimately become more business owner than massage therapist. Practical Massage Therapy was started by a massage therapist. Getting her own studio wasn't the first step. She built her practice – and successfully made the transition from spa employment – by giving chair massage at Wild Oats. Practical Massage Therapy has a web presence. The website includes a blog with periodic detailed postings that let people know about modalities and team members (plus other tidbits like delaying massage when sick).

Massage for Pain Management

Nashville is home to one of the nation’s premier integrative health centers. The Osher Center for Integrative Health at Vanderbilt isn’t a big employer. It has just three LMTs onboard, but is taking a role in exploring the therapeutic potential and gaining buy-in.

The Tennessean has reported on a Vanderbilt doctor who is using integrative approach to treat patients who suffer from one or more serious pain issues such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or debilitating back pain (https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/04/22/opioid-epidemic-chronic-pain-vanderbilt-doctor-tracy-jackson-relief-retreats/924373001/). In addition to managing patients in a clinical setting, she hosts retreats for people whose lives have been crippled by a combination of pain and shame. Participants discuss pain and attend to their bodily responses as they listen to other's difficult stories; they become more aware of the ways emotional pain can increase physical tension, affect vital signs, and alter the level of pain. Much of the day is devoted to enjoyable physical experience. Participants walk (or shuttle) to a center where they can opt to use a warm water pool, experience massage and Reiki, and learn what they can do to experience more restorative sleep. The doctor states that insurance coverage is an obstacle to giving patients the type of comprehensive care they need (https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/07/06/chronic-pain-can-managed-without-opioids/86730156/).

The Nashville Business Wire reports that some Medicare Advantage programs are allowing participants to select massage as a benefit (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181001005112/en/Amerigroup-Enhances-2019-Medicare-Advantage-Plans). These Amerigroup plans allowed individuals to select one of six free benefits. Thus some could decide they wanted acupuncture and massage benefits while others opted for transportation to health appointments or healthy meal deliveries following medical events.

While change comes slowly, professionals from diverse professions are voicing their support. The Vanderbilt pain specialist is scarcely the only doctor in the area who recognizes insurance coverage as a critical link in maximizing the potential of integrative pain relief therapies. WMOT Roots Radio offers insights from Tennessee Medical Association director (https://www.wmot.org/post/right-thing-do-bcbstennessee-drops-oxycontin).

Local massage practices are doing their part to reach out to the portion of the population who is in pain. Nashville Neuromuscular LLC boasts several massage therapists who hold advanced certifications. The website states that a “great massage” relieves tension and sometimes provides temporary pain relief but long-term benefits depend on assessment and corrective solutions – something their advanced bodywork professionals can provide. Among the accolades is a Women Making a Difference award.

Wages

The median hourly wage for massage therapists in the Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro—Franklin area was $22.63 in 2018. The median is a little higher than the national median, though the 90th percentile wage is lower – there are not as many receiving really high wages. The job concentration is higher in the Nashville area than it is in the state as a whole.

Additional Resources

Tennessee Massage Therapy License Requirements

Massage Schools in Tennessee