A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in San Jose, California

For many in San Jose, therapeutic massage is a lifestyle choice: It’s part of their overall strategy for managing stress and achieving wellness.

The National Holistic Institute California School of Massage Therapy lists five main types of settings where massage therapists can work: athletic, holistic, professional, entrepreneurial, and luxury lifestyle. Professional settings include medical centers and physical therapy offices as well as corporate settings. The Silicon Valley has many massage therapists based in each of these domains. The balance is a little different than in some cities.

One will find a substantial population here who recognize massage therapy as something that can increase productivity and performance as well as quality of life. Notably, not all who opt for massage therapy services in this area are paying directly for them – at least not if their use is intermittent/ limited. California may not be quite at the level of its neighbors to the north when it comes to insurance reimbursement, but some of its top employers know the value.

Workplace massage is not just an occasional treatment. Massage has made inroads into the corporate world, and partly it's about keeping employees healthy. The Mercury News notes that many companies have on-site clinics where workers can go to have their little aches and pains taken care of before they become big ones; they can also help keep chronic issues at bay (https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/12/22/a-perk-thats-keeping-silicon-valley-workers-healthy-and-on-the-job). In some cases, workers receive referrals for services like massage. However, these services may be among the holistic services available on-site. Easy access to chiropractors and massage therapists can be among the benefits that a professional expects – indeed, they can determine whether the person is successfully recruited by the company in question.

There are multiple companies that send massage therapists to do chair massage, often in the corporate world. Even in this line of work, the clientele may have its particular favorites. Body Well Mobile Massage Professionals notes that a job with their organization is great for the person who wants flexibility in his or her own scheduling.

The Silicon Valley also has its share of sports massage professionals. Some students perform massage at sporting events as part of the school’s massage team. Some go on to work for sports medicine or sports massage businesses. Among their clientele: pro sports players.

What else is in the area? Luxury hotels like Four Seasons and plenty of day spas!

San Jose/ Silicon Valley Massage Schools

The National Holistic Institute has multiple California locations, including San Jose. The National Holistic Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). The school states that graduates are eligible to test for certification through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB); standards are a little more rigorous than they are for California state certification.

The San Francisco School of Massage and Bodywork is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Students can receive training in neuromuscular technique, lymphatic massage, and trigger point therapy, among others .

The McKinnon Body Therapy School (Oakland) offers 500 and 658 hour options. Either way, a student gets some elective options!

Cypress Health Institute Massage School (Santa Cruz) offers multiple options to earn one's California credential. A student can complete a 520 hour program or piece together the desired curriculum from the school's wide list of offering. (Cypress notes the particular courses that are required for certification.)

Finding One’s Niche in the Therapy World

Massage therapists carve out their own niche. Those who treat cancer patients may combine therapeutic technique with a bit of pampering – the spa touch – and they may view the atmosphere itself as therapeutic. An article in The Mercury News describes how gentle music and ambient lighting can complement treatment that goes far deeper (https://www.mercurynews.com/2008/10/23/spa-los-gatos-aids-cancer-patients-through-massage-therapy-treatments). Spa-Los Gatos has made a considerable investment in bettering the lives of those undergoing cancer treatment. The proprietor has paid for oncology massage training for several therapists. Treatment for oncology patients includes detailed intake as well as creation of a treatment plan. In The Mercury News article, professionals affiliated with the organization share their backgrounds and what makes them so passionate about the particular service they provide. One of their massage therapists notes there are indeed contraindications for certain treatments. For example, some oils may be unusable, and some of the more usual positions untenable. A knowledgeable therapist, though, knows the work-arounds.

The Violet J Spa also promotes itself as a place of luxury, but one where people with significant challenges can find the expertise necessary to provide them with much needed relief. This can be helpful whether bodies are adjusting to maternity or adjusting to life after cancer. The Violet J Spa is among the many establishments where massage is offered in combination with aesthetics/ beauty treatments. The organization touts its awareness of skincare practices suited to multi-ethnic skin, noting that the proprietor, Violet, is a woman of color.

Massage Therapist Salary in San Jose, CA

While many massage therapists are independent contractors or have their own establishments, others receive benefits as employees. Employment circumstances will vary some from industry to industry. Those who are employed with health and fitness centers may enjoy their own wellness perks such as club membership.

California is among the top ten states for massage therapist employment when figured on a per-population basis. San Jose is on a par with the state as a whole.

Median hourly wages in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area are higher than average: $24.76. The median in the San Francisco-Redwood City area is a bit lower but still above the national average.

Additional Resources

California Massage License

Massage Schools in California