Massage Therapy School in Charleston, South Carolina
South Carolina isn’t known as massage country, but the Charleston-North Charleston area is a little different. The job concentration here is higher. LMTs can compete for positions at innovative practices – or, if they prefer, start their own!
A mid-2019 job search turns up many companies looking for massage therapists. A significant portion of the postings are in healthcare. Included are chiropractic and physical therapy offices. Of these, the chiropractic office is the more common setting locally and nationwide. A job seeker can find both day spas and hotels and resorts hiring. Not surprisingly, there are several well-known franchises seeking talent: Massage Envy, Elements, and the Woodhouse Day Spa.
Top Massage Schools in Charleston
The Southeastern Institute offers a 900-hour clinical professional massage therapy program. Included are four 25-hour student clinic courses. Institutional accreditation is through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
Trident Technical College offers a 500-hour program that prepares students in neuromuscular techniques and spa techniques. It can be completed in just five months. In addition to the basic certificate, the school offers courses in prenatal care and TMJ dysfunction.
A bit further down the road, one finds the Technical College of the Lowcountry, which boasts COMTA accreditation and a 750-hour curriculum.
Charleston Massage Practices
The following are among the diverse settings where individuals in the greater Charleston area go for massage services:
The Heart of Charleston is a luxury spa. It offers therapeutic massage as well as massage geared toward general relaxation and easing of muscle tension. Patrons can opt for warm stone, raindrop, or “tandem” (two LMT) relaxation massages. A focus sinus massage is among the add-on options.
Urban Nirvana is a South Carolina brand, with the greatest portion of its locations right here in Charleston. Here, too, a range of massage services are available. The integrative massage may blend modalities and give more attention to particular places; “intensively therapeutic” massage provided by the master therapist is charged at a higher rate. The whiplash massage is an hour-long neck and back that utilizes paraffin treatment and includes acupressure among the massage strokes. The website includes an application form for those interested in joining the team.
Family Chiropractic and Massage of Charleston, a multi-branch practice, informs the public that massage can be performed as a component of medical care. One outcome is hastened injury recovery. Family Chiropractic and Massage of Charleston has a team of three LMTs at each of its locations.
Many practices advertise services for special populations. Method Health Center, a chiropractic office on Daniel Island, offers geriatric massage as well as the now very common prenatal service (https://methodhealthcenter.com/meet-your-chiropractor).
Massage franchises do a significant amount of business. Some of the area’s massage franchises are quite popular. The Woodhouse Day Spa in Charleston has a 4.9 Google rating based on fully 260 Google Reviews. Elements Massage in Mount Pleasant has a 4.7 Google rating based on 80 reviews.
Some patrons receive massage by outcall. The Post and Courier recently provided a brief write-up of Zeel on-demand massage (https://www.postandcourier.com/business/innovative-ways-to-make-money-online/article_2490af00-f265-11e7-90db-2328c2b8f39a.html). The writer notes that the organizations has implemented structures to make outcalls safer and more comfortable for massage therapists.
Mobile massage is often performed at sites other than private homes. Chair massage has become popular. The massage therapist sets up at a corporate worksite, event, or other business and performs a number of consecutive short massage sessions.
Massage Therapists in Business for Themselves
There are lots of self-employed massage therapists in the Charleston area. Often they have a fairly high profile with many positive online reviews. Some solo practices have names that you might imagine belong to a practice with multiple employees and treatment rooms. Bees Knees has, at the helm, an LMT who began working from home after spending some time working in clinical and spa settings. Her decision to become a massage therapist was inspired in part by the Korean bathhouse/ spa culture she was introduced to during time spent teaching abroad.
Some LMTs identify themselves with just the basics like name or area of focus and license number. LMTs who are in practice may have specialties like sports massage.
Some practices that start out as solo operations become much larger. Longevity Wellness is an example. The owner notes that she began her practice solo in 2014. She had to add to her team and move to a larger site. The website in mid-2019 states that the owner is currently unable to accept new clients. There are five additional massage therapists onboard, however, most of whom are accepting new clients. Therapist bios provide details about special trainings and certifications they’ve had, for example, manual lymphatic drainage, pre- and postnatal massage, oncology massage, and corrective exercise.
Nurture Massage Therapeutic Spa has an LMT at the helm and two additional LMTs providing services.
Massage studios promote themselves in the community as well as on the web. Community events are a chance to promote one’s own practice and massage in general. Relax and Renew Massage-Aiken, for example, participated in the recent Aiken Technical College health fair (https://www.aikenstandard.com/education/aiken-technical-college-s-community-health-fair-is-wednesday/article_eb12748a-e39e-11e8-9825-7f68548b0757.html). The Healing Gallery celebrated its one-year anniversary with hors d’oeuvres as well as discounts – and received a pre-event blurb by the Charleston City Paper.
Integrative Care: A Charleston Contribution
There are many nationwide who are working to get doctor-prescribed medical massage coverage by insurance; this is seen as part of a multi-faceted approach to safely manage chronic pain. A Charleston startup has an interesting approach to helping individuals who have serious illnesses (and compelling stories) receive treatments not covered by insurance: a crowd funding platform (https://www.postandcourier.com/business/charleston-startup-helps-people-pay-for-alternative-treatments-when-nothing/article_dbcbf3c0-e9ca-11e8-8830-cf0bcf52b3f7.html).
Massage Therapist Salary in Charleston
The median wage for massage therapists in the Charleston-North Charleston metropolitan area was $18.01 in 2018. Those at the 90th percentile made more than three times what those at the 90th percentile made ($27.22 vs $8.77).