A State by State Massage Therapist Licensure Guide

Massage Therapy School in Tampa, FL

Tampa health professionals are no strangers to massage! Therapeutic massage is used to promote relaxation, meet fitness goals, and respond to specific health challenges.

Massage has been in the news here a lot recently. Articles in the Tampa Bay Times have portrayed some of the myriad ways massage is being incorporated into healthcare and fitness. A 2018 article profiled an experienced massage therapist who had opened a holistic wellness center in order to support people in meeting the challenges of cancer (https://www.tampabay.com/news/hillsborough/city-times/massage-therapist-and-cancel-speciallist-opens-haven-massage-and-wellness-center-in-south-tampa-20181011). A 2017 article introduced readers to another massage therapist with a mission, albeit a different one (http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/massage-therapist-opens-south-tampa-office/2334309). In a prior career as social worker, this massage therapist had encountered many people with depression and been struck by how often physical pain played a part in creating their mood symptoms. He decided to touch people’s lives in a more direct and physical way, through therapeutic massage. After accruing years of massage experience, he set up his own practice. He had the goal of adding other services, like stretching classes and nutrition and health programming.

More people are interested in massage as pain relief than when this massage therapist first earned his credential. Healthcare professionals have been talking a lot about non-medicinal pain treatments these past few years; this is because they recognize unmanaged pain as part of the genesis of the current opioid crisis. While they recognize narcotic drugs are needed in some cases, they don’t want to overprescribe. There is evidence that different types of pain respond to different types of alternative or complementary treatment. A contributor for Creative Loafing: Tampa Bay states that if a person visits a chiropractor for pain, they're more likely to see this type of therapy prescribed as a first line of defense. Notably, chiropractic offices are among the places where massage therapists often take up residence.

Top Massage Therapy Schools in Tampa

The Center for Neurosomatic Studies in Clearwater is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA). Students who select the school can come away with an additional credential to supplement their LMT licensing: Certified Neurosomatic Specialist. The combined program includes more than 1,200 hours of study and practice. There is a research component that one won’t find in a lot of programs.

The Cortiva Institute in St. Petersburg is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSCT). The program is 750 hours and offers preparation in a number of modalities, including trigger point, myofascial, sports massage, and chair massage; it can be completed in as few as 32 weeks.

The Florida Massage and Beauty Institute is a school member of the American Massage Therapy Association. Spanish speakers may well want to check this school out!

Innovative Health and Fitness Centers

Other healthcare centers are also bringing in massage. Inspiration Place is among them. This clinic offers a range of health services for women. It also offers spa services. A woman can, for an example, schedule a massage appointment to follow her imaging appointment. The massage can promote relaxation and whole body wellness. It can also be an added draw to get people to the wellness center. One can look at stress from multiple angles: how stresses and scheduling challenges can make it difficult for women to get into the healthcare office and follow through on their recommended tests… how touch and aromatherapy can provide some level of relief from the anxiety that accompanies the visit.

Massage, working in tandem with fitness, can also be about being proactive about long-term health. Among those that stand to benefit are the elderly. Assisted living facilities like Grace House of Tampa are choosing massage among their amenities.

Driven Health and Fitness, winner of a 2018 MINDBODY Visionary Award, has among its goals helping workplaces and other communities work collectively toward improved health (https://www.prweb.com/releases/driven_health_and_fitness_wins_mindbody_visionary_award/prweb15703414.htm). The business has added personal training to the chiropractic/ massage therapy amalgam; there are also some yoga instructors onboard. The business has helped put quite a few wellness programs into place. A visit to their website reveals various projects they’ve worked on: an apartment complex with onsite massage therapy and yoga instruction, multiple businesses that have been able to bring chair massage to their associates. Individual massage services are also available.

Other Massage Settings

Tampa of course has many popular spas (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g34678-Activities-c40-Tampa_Florida.html). Early 2019 finds the Hyatt and the Marriott both seeking massage talent; the list of potential workplaces also includes a number of day spas and a master-planned resort-style community.

Massage can be many places, even the airport. Terminal Gateway Spa is celebrating its new Tampa locations -- not one but four (http://terminalgetawayspa.com). After all, one can't easily get from place to place in an airport!

Career Outlook and Earnings

The mean hourly wage for the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area is $21.96; this is based on data from 2017. The median is $17.90, with the middle range spanning from $13.34 to $31.72. It’s quite a jump from the 25th percentile to the 50th. What this means is that there are quite a few well-paying massage gigs in the Tampa area. Like the majority of Florida’s major metropolitan areas, the Tampa area has a massage therapy concentration above the national average.

Additional Resources

The Tampa Bay area boasts a local chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; represents Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough Counties (http://tampa-bay.fsmta.org). Interested individuals can check the website for news – for example, upcoming events of the massage therapy sports team.

Massage Schools in Florida