A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Spokane, Washington

You can find quite a few massage schools in the greater Spokane area! This is not surprising because you also find quite a bit of massage – and will likely find more in the years to come. The state as a whole has been expected to see more than 50% massage therapy occupational growth in the 2016 to 2026 decade. Here massage is firmly established as healthcare. Massage may be prescribed for a variety of health conditions and covered by insurance. Massage therapists often provide potential clients with a long list of health insurance providers that will cover massage services when they are indicated for diagnosed health conditions (and when other policy conditions are met). Medical coverage is in addition to the more common accident-related coverage for motor vehicle accidents and work-related injury.

Local massage schools prepare massage therapists for careers in the healthcare sector. Job settings are characterized as chiropractic and physical therapy offices, franchised clinics, spas and resorts, and private studios. Carrington College notes that some massage therapists work out of their own homes or provide mobile massage services. Some schools – including those that go well above the minimum hours required for licensure – not that their programs are designed as preparation for entry-level positions. A small amount of continuing education is required for license renewal. Some massage therapists go well above this as they pursue advanced trainings.

Massage therapists may work with various special populations. Oncology massage is available through major health systems, including Summit Cancer Centers and Providence Health. There are also smaller providers offering the service.

Best Massage Therapy Schools in Spokane and Surrounding Areas

Inland Massage Institute offers a 750-hour program that is heavy on lab work. Students have orthopedic massage their second semester; this includes several modalities, including neuromuscular therapy and joint mobilization. The school has a more than 30 year history.

Therapeutic Connections School of Massage offers a full 750 hours of programming, with student clinic in addition. Students learn assessment skills and therapeutic applications. The school notes that it has been assigned a code by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

The American Institute of Clinical Massage in Post Falls, Idaho offers a 750-hour program that includes 57 hours of medical massage. Instructors come from both Washington and Idaho.

The Wellness Educational Center, self-described as an approved alternative Washington State program, offers a 608-hour initial training.

Carrington College represents another Washington-approved option. Swedish, deep tissue, and sports massage modalities are areas of emphasis (as is related content like human anatomical services and business concerns). The program concludes with externship.

Top Massage Practices in Spokane

Franchises are big here, including the LMT-founded therapeutic practice Elements. There are multiple branches of Elements in the vicinity: Spokane North, Spokane South, Spokane Pavilion, Wandermere.

There are a number of local practices. Whispering Falls is a local clinic that has seen considerable expansion over the years. The practice now has four locations in Spokane, Spokane Valley, and Liberty Lake. Whispering Falls therapists provide general and specialized modalities, including both prenatal and infant massage.

Massage therapists commonly work in chiropractic offices. Some offices in this area consider massage therapy such an important part of their service menu that they include a reference in the clinic name. Valente Chiropractic and Massage has four massage therapists on its team. There are three massage providers at Central Chiropractic Massage Therapy. Applied Health Associates lists fully nine massage and rehab therapists and is (in mid-2019) hiring.

One will also find physical therapy offices with massage practitioners on their team. Practices that include multiple services may be termed sports clinics; such practices may provide pain relief services as well as sports-related services.

Practices that combine therapy types may have different areas of emphasis. Youthful Horizons provides various therapies for infants and children as well as adult patients. They currently have two massage therapists on a team that includes a number of physical therapy, pediatric occupational therapy, and pediatric speech therapy professionals. Youthful Horizons is one of multiple healthcare practices in the region that offers aquatic therapy.

At the opposite end of the age continuum, there’s senior massage. Among the mid-2019 job postings is a part-time job at a retirement community.

While the explicit focus in the Spokane area is on healthcare to a greater degree than it is in some parts of the nation, there are massage practices and spas that provide more than just what the doctor orders. Spinal and Sports Care Clinic offers a number of massage modalities including prenatal but notes one -- hot stone -- that can't be billed to insurance. Practices may combine massage with luxurious body/ skin treatments. There are multiple spas in the area that combine massage and body wrap services. Valley Massage Clinic, for example, offers a Brazilian nut butter wrap and massage.

The Brickhouse Massage and Coffee Shop brings in an additional element: one of the region's favorite beverages! Patrons can upgrade their service and have a seasonal package with a latte, truffle, and take-home gift. Spa parties typically include short massage sessions as well as services such as foot treatments and paraffin hand dips

The Davenport Hotel caters to some who seek only a quick getaway; they have packages that include spa credit and overnight accommodations.

Small studios may have unique areas of emphasis, for example Ashiatsu. Qualifed practitioners incorporate Reiki and even meditation.

Massage Therapist Wages in Spokane

Massage therapists in the Spokane-Spokane Valley area enjoyed a median hourly wage of $24.62 in 2018. Even those at the 10th percentile are making $19.73, on a par with the median nationwide. Those who travel west into the smaller Wenatchee and Yakima metropolitan area will find some of the highest average wages in the nation, though there will be fewer jobs.

Washington State has the fourth highest massage therapist job concentration in the nation. While it may not be Seattle or Olympia, the Spokane area has a job concentration above the average for the state.

Massage Therapist Continuing Education

Continuing education is available from massage schools and other approved providers. The Space, for example, offers continuing education in Ashiatsu.

Additional Resources

Washington State Massage License

Massage Schools in Washington State