A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Massage therapy in Saint Paul has an interesting past and a promising future.

Some massage therapists have been instrumental not only to their individual clients but to the massage therapy profession -- and to the larger world of healthcare. Saint Paul, Minnesota boasts at least one: Sister Rosalind Gefre, a nun who believed in the healing power of massage at a time when it was viewed as suspect (and not just for a nun). In the years – and decades – since, the profession has grown up. Most states now license massage therapists. While Minnesota doesn't have a statewide license, Saint Paul licenses massage practitioners (https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/safety-inspections/licenses/business/massage-practitioner-license).

Massage therapists may be stationed at spas, franchises, locally owned massage studios, athletic clubs, chiropractic offices, and wellness centers. One will even find some in conventional healthcare settings. The level of training influences work opportunities. There are different roles. Massage therapists may maintain working relationships with healthcare providers even when they’re self-employed. Medical massage for accidents or work injuries may be covered by insurance.

While some massage therapists work in traditional employee roles, some work as independent contractors. Some have studios in their own name or in a name that calls to them.

Demand is high enough in 2019 that one will even find businesses advertising incentives like license reimbursement.

Popular Massage Schools in St. Paul

Saint Paul College boasts two pre-credentialing programs: a certificate in massage and an Associate of Applied Science in sports massage. Individuls who already have 600 hours in massage may opt for a certificate in sports massage. Students at Saint Paul have the opportunity to learn some specialized modalities: myofascial release, manual lymphatic drainage, neuromuscular therapy, even proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) and travel trigger point therapy.

The Massage School St. Paul offers a 600-hour program. Students get 200 hours of supervised experience. The program is a relatively economic option.

The Minnesota School of Cosmetology offers a 700-hour diploma program that can be completed in short order -- as little as five months. The school holds accreditation through National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences (NACCAS).

Sports Massage Opportunities

Sports massage is big here. In a St. Paul Pioneer Press article, a sports commentator and retired player speculates about the effects of player injury on the Minnesota United soccer team and whether the new sports medicine – including massage – would have bearing on the age when players move past their prime. “Is 33 what 30 used to be?” he asks (https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/sports/soccer/4579004-minnesota-united-begins-season-new-spine). Researchers may not be ready to tackle that particular question, but sports massage is well established as a way of helping athletes stay in the game, at least for the short term.

Sister Rosalind herself worked as massage therapist for the Saint Paul Saints for some years. Her practice, Sister Rosalind Massage and Wellness Centers, continues to provide the team’s sports massage services.

There are sports teams (and enthusiasts) at all levels, and quite a few massage therapists in the Saint Paul area count this among their specialties. Massage therapists can sometimes make contacts through health fairs and events like the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. The 2018 expo was quite a big event!

Massage Therapy in Healthcare

Some massage therapists provide services through hospitals or health systems.

Children’s of Minnesota includes massage therapy among the services provided for young oncology patients (https://www.childrensmn.org/services/care-specialties-departments/cancer-blood-disorders).

Regions Hospital incorporates massage therapy in multiple ways. Massage is one of the options a woman can choose for managing pain near the time of delivery (https://www.healthpartners.com/hospitals/regions/specialties/birth-center/care-options).

Regions even recognizes the value of massage for its own employees. Massage therapy is among the services offered at the Center for Employee Resiliency (https://www.healthpartners.com/hospitals/regions/careers).

Chiropractic offices and physical therapy offices represent additional options. Boulevard Chiropractic, Physical Therapy Consultants, and HealthWorks Chiropractic Clinic (Edina) are among the offices that utilize massage therapists.

Individual massage therapists may pursue advanced training that helps them meet specialized healthcare needs. Examples include oncology massage and geriatric massage. Massage therapists often publish their special trainings on their websites.

Local Massage Practices

Avivage Massage has a fairly large massage team, comprised of the owner and a dozen other massage therapists. Customized massage is on the menu here. Avivage is among the many that provide bios of their team members; bios list the styles the particular therapists are proficient in and the special trainings they have had. Avivage was among those advertising in the Saint Paul area in 2019. The business was looking for someone who had the skill set to meet varied customer needs and had some weekend availability; they stated that the professional would be well paid and would enjoy some wellness perks, including one free massage a month.

Healing Elements Wellness also provides a blend of massage, bodywork, and energy work services. Private yoga is among the offerings. Among the highlights advertised for the spring of 2019 is a free community crystal singing bowl sound bath event. The website currently lists seven massage therapists, along with practitioners in other disciplines.

Of course there are franchises and chains in the area! The Woodhouse Day Spa was, in 2019, advertising a paid training program and paid employee vacation time. Zeel, a well-known provider of in-home and in-hotel massage services, was also advertising for new talent in 2019; in this case, the massage therapist would be working as a contractor but at a potentially eye-popping rate.

Some massage therapists here do quite a bit of business on their own. (Some massage studios that have dozens of Google ratings are in fact private practices.)

Massage Therapy Wages

Massage therapists in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area made a median wage of $24.05 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 80% made between $11.32 and $45.48 an hour, though there were outliers on both ends.

Additional Resources

Minnesota Massage License Requirements

Massage Schools in Minnesota