A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Raleigh, North Carolina

Massage therapy in Raleigh is finding its way into mainstream healthcare. A case in point: Duke Integrative Medicine. Duke massage therapists treat a wide range of conditions including migraines, carpal tunnel, and rotator cuff symptoms. This very well-known integrative health center utilizes LMBTs who have specialized skill in areas like myofascial release, myokinesthetic treatments, Thai massage, pre- and postpartum massage, and scar tissue management.

Duke Integrative Medicine currently has four LMBTs onboard. They are part of a small group of well-educated and talented professionals who work for major hospitals and health centers. Where are the many massage therapists in the area actually working? A scan of job postings in 2019 turned up many options: chiropractic offices, wellness centers, spas, and franchises. XpresSpa airport massage and Incorporate chair massage were among those looking for massage therapists in early 2019.

Popular Massage Schools in Raleigh, NC

Wake Technical Community College has a therapeutic massage curriculum that includes outcome-based massage, advanced skills, and therapeutic massage management. The American Massage Therapy Association lists the therapeutic massage class hours as 688 and the clinical hours as 57. The program is offered for college credit and includes a small amount of general coursework. Students may be able to transfer in psychology and English credit.

Gwinnett College offers a diploma program in professional massage. Students learn several common massage modalities neuromuscular therapy, deep tissue massage, chair massage, and reflexology.

American and European Massage Clinic offers a 500-hour program that results in a diploma. The school has several professional affiliations including the American Massage Therapy Association and Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals.

Durham Technical Community College offers its massage therapist preparation through the continuing education department.

A Look at Raleigh Massage Practices

The landscape from Raleigh to Durham is dotted with small massage studios, spas, and wellness centers. Some practices have particular areas of focus like sports massage.

White Dahlia Massage and Wellness is among the larger practices. It boasts a number of massage styles with add-ons ranging from sugar foot scrub to cupping to sinus and allergy therapy. An April 2019 blog post informs readers that the company is experience growth and looking for new team members; they tell massage therapists who believe they’re among the best that they “knead you with us”.

Hands on Health in Cary has 11 massage therapists onboard. All have training in a particular in-house blend of neuromuscular therapy and myofascial release. Individual LMBTs also have their own particular skill sets; two, for example, do glide cupping. Clients can book with the LMBT of their choice. Hands on Health, too, is seeking new massage therapists in 2019. The organization likes to see expertise in orthopedic and medical massage, but it’s not mandatory at the time of application.

The Holistic Vitality Center has a diverse team of professionals from multiple disciplines: chiropractic, physical therapist, massage therapist. Massage therapists perform a wide range of modalities and serve special populations from infant to geriatric.

Wellville Massage and Healing Arts in Durham has more than a dozen bodywork professionals on its team. Here, too, there is a diverse blend of modalities, including raindrop technique, Ayurvedic massage, abdominal massage, and intra-oral massage. Children and adolescents can have Swedish massage with a parent present.

The area has a number of big-name massage practices, including multiple franchises that carry the Massage Envy name. Others include LaVida Massage, Elements, and Hand and Stone.

Entrepreneurs in the World of Therapeutic Massage

The Raleigh area has fostered a number of self-employed massage therapists, each manifesting his or her own unique vision.

Intuitive Balance Massage operates out of a single room in downtown Raleigh, in a building that has artists as well as other entrepreneurs.

Metamorphic Massager for Women has grown a little over the years. It was started by a professional who had worked as a recreation therapist and turned to therapeutic massage for something different. She has completed several advanced training including pre- and postnatal massage, breast cancer massage, and medical massage. In 2017, more than a decade after the practice began, another massage therapist joined the team; she also has prenatal skills.

Kala Sol Massage Therapy and Wellness Spa of North Raleigh counts among its offerings a style less common to this part of the country: Lomi Lomi. The LMBT behind Kala Sol got some introductory training here, but traveled far for more advanced training: all the way to Hawaii.

Raleigh Massage Therapist Career Outlook and Wages

The Sparefoot blog in 2018 placed Raleigh among the top cities for massage therapists -- one of two North Carolina cities to make the list. At issue: mean base salary, adjusted salary, cost of living, and job availability.

The median wage in the Raleigh metropolitan area was $20.62 in 2017. The vast majority -- 89% -- made between $10.27 and $27.34.

Continuing Education

Continuing education helps massage therapists hone their specialties and become more competitive. Specialized courses are available from massage schools and massage providers. American and European Massage also offers several continuing education courses including Russian medical massage. Sukho Thai Massage offers continuing education in several Thai styles.

Additional Resources

North Carolina Massage Therapy License Requirements

Massage Schools in North Carolina