Massage Therapy Schools in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

The Midwest may not have the concentration of massage therapists that some parts of the nation do, but massage here is on the rise! Iowa, in fact, has been projected to see more than 28% massage therapy occupational growth in the 2016 to 2016 decade. The area around Cedar Rapids may prove inspiring to future bodywork professionals. It’s a place of innovation and entrepreneurship – and an area where one can get a good education.

Popular Cedar Rapids Massage Therapy Schools

Carlson College of Massage Therapy in Anamosa is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA). Carlson offers 700- and 775-hour programs. Lymphatic massage and craniosacral therapy are among the modalities introduced; other courses include postural analysis and pregnancy/ side-lying massage. Among the many continuing education opportunities available from Carlson: bridging the research to practice gap.

Capri College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC ). The program is 720 hours; it introduces a variety of modalities including Thai massage, deep tissue, reflexology – even infant massage.

Dancing Prairie in Coralville offers a 777-hour program that is based on Coalition of National Massage Therapy Organizations standards. This is a relatively new program but one that is taking advantage of cutting edge knowledge and methodologies. Dancing Prairie students participated in a class with medical students from the University of Iowa (

The East West School of Integrative Healing Arts in Iowa City also offers a 650-hour program. Students will find a rich mixture of modalities from different parts of the world.

Cedar Rapids Massage Therapist Entrepreneurs

One will find plenty of Cedar Rapids massage therapists who are in business for themselves. These entrepreneurs are fulfilling their own personal visions, whether their dream is to treat particular types of health condition or to combine the various elements of healing and inspiration that call to them personally.

One Marion LMT combined massage therapy and yoga — a not uncommon pairing — and then decided to purchase a florist shop and bring nature into the mix; she currently has two other LMTs helping provide wellness services. Another Cedar Rapids massage therapist approaches movement and wellness from three angles; he teaches dance classes, conducts private and semi-private yoga sessions, and provides massage and bodywork sessions (

Some LMTs accrue experience in multiple settings before setting up their own massage studio. The entrepreneur behind Seasons Massage Therapy and Wellness was a solo practioner at the start but went on to work at a popular massage practice, Hands in Harmony, and then a medical spa before refining her vision and opening Seasons ( Seasons currently has one other LMT on board.

Successful Massage Practices in Cedar Rapids

Hands in Harmony Massage Specialists and Spa has more than 30 massage therapists on their team. Practitioners can provide some very specialized “master massages”, including raindrop therapy (incorporating aromatherapy and energy work), Thai Yoga massage, manual lymphatic drainage, and Chi Nei Tsang (Tao abdominal massage). Patrons also come for other wellness services: energy work, float tank therapy, infrared sauna, even amethyst biomat. The business participates in the Hands for Heroes program, offering discounts to veterans. The organization notes that massage can help with multiple issues from injury-related pain to post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Sanctuary Spa currently has 10 LMTs on board as well as professionals in other disciplines such as aesthetics. Modalities include hot stone, lymph, pregnancy, sports massage, and chair massage, among others. Clients can re-connect on a human level; the Sanctuary Spa hosts spa parties and is big on couples massage, allowing couples and friends to enjoy their choice of modalities as a shared, same-room activity.

Performance Therapeutics provides a number of therapeutic massage modalities, among them, orthopedic massage, post-injury rehabilitative massage, prenatal massage, myofascial release, neuromuscuar therapy, and sports massage.

Table for One may indeed have one at the massage table, but the practice now has seven LMTs on board; one is also owner. LMTs practice a variety of therapeutic massage modalities: bamboo, prenatal, neck and shoulder, migraine relief. Patrons can “warm up” beforehand with infrared sauna or add services such as hydration boost.

Truly Mobile Massage brings massage services to the client; it serves the area between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

The owner of Synergy Massage spends most of her time providing reset massage therapy; the practice now has two other LMTs providing bodywork services.

Massage as an Integral Component of Healthcare

Massage is beginning to find its way into conventional medicine. Mercy Women’s Center notes that massage can loosen tight muscles and provide relief from physical pain as well as psychological stress; it can even have positive effects on blood circulation ( Mercy Women’s Center massage services are extended to the male population as well as the female one; patients can purchase sessions ranging from 15 minutes to an hour.

An article in the Gazette profiled the massage therapy coordinator for Mercy’s hospice service; she is one of several who travels the area, providing therapeutic touch to individuals who are nearing the end of life (

Sound Modalities

It is common to incorporate music in massage therapy sessions, but you’ll find multiple practitioners in the Cedar Rapids area going deeper in their use of sound. Anahata Massage and Wellness Center, for example, has a bodywork modality that utilizes therapeutic singing bowls (

Pursuing Specialized Massage Training

Licensed Massage Therapists complete specialized training so that they can treat unresponsive conditions, provide more efficient treatment, and reach populations who may be fragile or sensitive to other forms of bodywork. Different specialized and trademarked bodywork modalities have gained traction in different parts of the nation. Two out of nine of the trainers for neural reset therapy who are credentialed nationwide live in or near Cedar Rapids. Not surprisingly, one finds more than the usual number of practitioners in this little pocket of the mid-west; a client can even have sessions at home.

LMTs may also want to take advantage of continuing education opportunities from providers who are just in the area for a weekend. They may, for example, want to participate in conferences sponsored by the Iowa Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association. The Spring 2019 convention features a leader in soft tissue therapy and sports massage who heralds from Colorado.

Additional Resources

Iowa Massage Therapy License Requirements

Massage Therapy Schools in Iowa