Massage Therapy School in Fort Smith, AR

Among the proponents of a good massage is Sparks Health System in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The organization cites improved range of motion, chronic pain management, injury recovery, stress reduction, relief of tension headache, and general sense of well-being among the potential benefits; it notes massage is “fast becoming a way” of dealing with life’s stresses (

Massage is on the rise nationwide. So why Fort Smith? It has a lower than average cost of living, particularly with regard to housing. It is one of Arkansas’ major population centers, with a population base that extends into Oklahoma. There’s a population that stands to benefit, and an adept massage therapist can make a difference in the lives of with conditions as diverse as chronic pain, cancer pain, and anxiety. Therapeutic massage has made inroads into the healthcare community here. There are niches left to develop, and there are multiple massage schools in the vicinity to help professionals develop the expertise they need.

There are some challenges. Arkansas has a lower-than-average job concentration. Massage Envy has a presence, but many of the major franchises haven’t made it here yet. On the plus side, more than 30% massage therapist occupational growth has been predicted for Arkansas between 2016 and 2026. Still, a Fort Smith LMT may want to be proactive in building his or her client base.

Massage therapists around the nation forge professional relationships. They set up shop with likeminded professionals. These may be fellow massage therapists or people who teach yoga or provide holistic services. Massage therapists maintain referral relationships with healthcare providers who may or may not be located at the same worksite. Some massage therapists visit places in the community like health fairs and nursing homes. They let people know about the benefits massage may have. Massage therapists also hone their own skills with specialized modalities and special populations.

Top Massage Therapy Schools in Fort Smith and Vicinity

A person doesn’t have to go far to get a license-qualifying education. The Arkansas School of Massage is located right here in Fort Smith. The school touts small classes and solid results, with a more than 90% first-time pass rate on the national licensing exam over a four-year period. The Arkansas School of Massage has been assigned a test code by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

The Black Brook School of Massage in Fayetteville offers a basic program as well as continuing education opportunities. The school will host a two-day event in 2020 in which massage therapists can learn soft tissue release and assessment and treatment of shoulder pain (among other subjects).

A Servant’s Hands School of Massage in Smithville offers a 600-hour curriculum that can be completed over a one-year period. A Servants’ Hands is a school member of the American Massage Therapy Association.

Massage Therapist Work Settings in the Fort Smith Area

An LMT potentially has many work options. He or she can work as an employee or contractor, rent space in a chiropractic office or wellness center, or have his or her own studio. Some LMTs provide mobile massage services at workplaces, nursing homes, or other sites.

Local chiropractic offices help people access massage. They also inform them of the benefits. Advanced Chiropractic Care is one such practice. Whatever the name suggests, it t is more than just chiropractic. The website lists five massage therapists. LMTs here are able to provide medical massage. Advanced Chiropractic Care states that massage and chiropractic services can be synergistic in promoting recovery. They note that30 minute medical massage sessions are sometimes reimbursable through insurance.

The Healing Point Alternative Health Center offers chiropractic, acupunture, massage, and herbal healing services. Among the conditions noted as commonly treated are sciatic pain and fibromyalgia.

Major health systems are also working to make massage more accessible. The Marvin Altman Fitness Center, part of Sparks Health System, utilizes Licensed Massage Therapists. Baptist Health-Fort Smith, meanwhile, features massage at its hospital gym, the Marvin Altman Fitness Center.

Fort Smith Massage Therapists Enacting their Visions

Massage training is a way of enacting one’s vision. The LMT behind Positive Energy Massage states that she was interested in natural healing from way back in her childhood. She performed a precursor to massage (a foot rub) and earned a bit of spending money (a quarter). She had the experience of helping her father, who still felt the aftereffects of polio, recoup after a day of work. Later she pursued the standard curriculum of human sciences and bodywork techniques and earned her credential. She provides not just the basics but some less common modalities, including a variant on Ashiatsu. Positive Energy Massage has 25 Google ratings and an average 4.9.

There are a number of small practices with unique visions. Inner Peace Massage and Body Studio lists seven massage therapists, each independent. Web bios tell what each has to offer from experience in clinical post-partum massage and infant massage instruction to a background in geriatric care. One Inner Peace LMT boasts training in aromatherapy, essential oils, and rainbow technique; another, training in in craniosacral technique. Clients can schedule with their preferred massage therapist.

Intuitive Massage Therapy and Bodywork is a two-person operation. Both therapists value ongoing education and research. Precision Neuromuscular Therapy is among the specialized massage modalities offered. Clients can go the other direction and add spa services to a basic massage. With two people onboard, the facility has the human resources for couples massage, an experience that they note can be shared two-by-two with people in different types of relationship, including mother-daughter and sister-sister.

Additional Resources

Arkansas Massage License Requirements

Massage Schools in Arkansas