Massage schools in the United States are rapidly growing in popularity due to the rising demand for massage therapists. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of massage therapists is expected to grow 19 percent. Massages are believed to reduce stress, relax tired muscles, aid painful ailments and rehabilitate injuries. United States massage schools are teaching aspiring massage therapists how to execute a variety of beneficial massages for people and animals, and providing licensed massage therapists with the opportunity to gain specialized certifications and enhance their skills.
California Healing Arts College
California Healing Arts College is a massage therapy institution established in 1988 by Dr. Paul Schwinghamer, a chiropractor. This West Los Angeles, California college instructs students about the fundamentals of massage therapy. California Healing Arts College provides students with accredited programs such as Massage Therapy Technician, Massage Therapy Practitioner, Massage Therapy Professional, Massage Therapy Advanced Professional, Massage Therapy Master, and Massage Therapy Advanced Master. The Massage Therapy Practitioner and Massage Therapy Master are approved as training and certification programs. California Healing Arts College's Massage Therapy Practitioner program introduces students to massage therapy by teaching the basics of anatomy and physiology, and providing students with hands-on experience. Different massage techniques covered include Swedish, reflexology, deep tissue, and sports massage. Classes for the Massage Therapy Practitioner program is limited to eight students. The Massage Therapy Master program is designed to prepare a student for necessary licensing requirements in California and for employment in health facilities. This program offers additional training in deep tissue therapy, sports massage, oscillation, shiatsu and massage theory. Class sizes for the Massage Therapy Master program is limited to 24 students. California Healing Arts College also offers financial aid to those who qualify, and both day and evening courses.
Boulder College of Massage Therapy
In 1975, Boulder College of Massage Therapy (BCMT) was founded as an independent, non-profit institution. Its founders are Honora Wolfe, David Chernikoff and Christina Hammond. The BCMT campus is located in Boulder, Colorado. On January 7, 2011, BCMT was named by the World Massage Festival and Massage Therapy Hall of Fame as the 2011 Massage School of the Year. BCMT offers a Massage Therapy Certificate Program that teaches courses such as Swedish Therapeutic Massage, Zen Shiatsu, Integrative Therapeutic Massage, Normalization of Soft Tissue and Practitioner Skills. BCMT also offers other accredited programs and courses like a career track program (a program for practicing massage therapists to enhance their skills and learn new ones), continuing education courses and courses available to the general public. Certified massage therapists can earn an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree (AOS) at BCMT. Financial assistance in the form of federal student aid, PLUS Loans and scholarships are available to qualifying students.
Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage
Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage (NVSTM) is currently offering individuals located in the Northern Virginia, Washington D.C and Maryland area an opportunity to become a Certified Massage Therapist in six months. NVSTM offers a massage therapy program that focuses on areas such as anatomy and physiology; kinesiology; ethics and business; massage theory and practice; deep tissue; sports massage; traditional Chinese medicine; chair massage; muscle energy technique; hydrotherapy and spa; and reflexology. This institution also provides continuing education workshops to certified massage therapists who want to better current bodyworking skills. All programs are accredited. According to the NVSTM website, graduates of the institution will be well prepared for the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Employment assistance is available to graduates. At NVSTM, students who need financial assistance can apply for student loans, financial aid, or use the zero percent interest payment plans.
Florida School of Massage
Founded the the 1970s, Florida School of Massage, located in Gainesville, Florida, teaches students the art and science of massage therapy. The program features six modalities: Swedish Massage, Neuromuscular Therapy, Reflexology, Connective Tissue, Sports Massage and Polarity Therapy. Other sample classes taught at the school include Anatomy and Physiology, Communication Skills, Hands-on Kinesiology, and business courses. Florida School of Massage offers continuing education courses through weekend workshops and advanced training. Students and licensed massage therapists can participate in advanced training programs, which offer certifications in traditional Thai massage and ayurveda, aromatherapy and integrated massage, and personal training. Students can gain experience and put massage techniques to work in the student massage therapy clinic. Financial assistance is available to qualifying students through grants, loans, scholarships and payment plans.
- U.S. Department of Labor; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Publications; Occupational Outlook Handbook; Massage Therapists
- California Healing Arts College; Programs
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy; Why BCMT?
- Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage; Massage Therapy Program
- Florida School of Massage; Continuing Education
- Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
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