Massage Therapy School in Hilo, HI

Massage therapy is big on the Big Island. Massage is a part of the tourism culture, a culture that includes health-focused travel and special events. Massage, too, is part of the local health scene. There are plenty of residents who are looking for a general wellness boost or help with specific conditions. Sometimes, for example, they seek massage to recover from accident- or work-related injuries. Injury-related massage services may be covered by third party payers.

The state as a whole has the highest massage therapy job concentration of any state. As the principal city in Hawaii’s second largest metropolitan area, Hilo has a sizeable massage clientele. One will find massage, however, spread along the island’s coasts.

A Top Massage School in Hilo

Vive Academy at Big Island Academy of Massage offers a two-part program: 150 hours of core curriculum followed by a 420-hour apprenticeship program. The core program takes about six weeks; the apprenticeship, an additional 6 – 12 months. The core program offers preparation for Swedish massage. Apprentices learn some advanced techniques. Advanced modalities are also available as continuing education; hot stone massage and prenatal massage are among the offerings.

Massage Practices on Hilo and the Big Island

The following are among the Big Island’s successful studios and day spas:

Body Harmony (Hilo) offers relaxation massage, sports massage, Hawaiian hot stone massage, and reflexology. It also offers therapeutic modalities designed for injury recovery. Injury relief modalities mqay include contract-relax techniques, trigger point, and myofascial release, among others. The Body Harmony hot stone massage is uniquely Hawaiian because the stones come from Hilo. They may, depending on one’s belief system, be imbued with something a little extra.

Hawaii Island Massage (Island County) specializes in Lomi Lomi, chair massage, and special events. The Lomi Lomi incorporates Hawaiian oils. Here Lomi Lomi is viewed as something more than just a modality. It’s also a pathway. Multiple modalities may be practiced “within the context” of Lomi Lomi.

Big Island Massage Therapy provides clinical services. Medical massage addresses clinical issues and is performed according to doctor prescription. The mom-to-be program provides regular massages at a discounted rate (every two weeks before the third trimester, weekly during the third trimester).

Among the other successful studios are Spa Vive, a day spa, and Awakening Hilo Massage. Spa Vive has an apprenticeship program. (Hawaii allows massage therapists to be licensed on the basis of 150 hours of in-class education and 420 hours of apprenticeship that meets a very specific set of requirements.)

Chiropractic Offices, Naturopathic Clinics, and Wellness Centers

In Hawaii, as in other states, massage therapists frequently work alongside chiropractors. Hawaii is among the states that licenses naturopathic doctors; thus one will also find massage therapists in naturopathic clinics.

Hilo Natural Clinic is a naturopathic clinic that boasts several LMTs on its team.

Klein Natural Health and Wellness Center provides both naturopathic and chiropractic services. Massage therapist bios list specific areas of advanced training, for example, kinetic chain release.

People travel a long way for their health. The Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat caters to those seeking general wellness and those seeking recovery from specific conditions.

Hotels and Tourist Attractions

The Big Island’s major hotels and resorts include spa services as part of the draw. The following, all noted in USA Today’s list of the 10 best Big Island spas, illustrate the reasons (

Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows offers quite a few massages that are carried out in the water: aquatic reflexology, lava watsu, and in-water prenatal massage.

Spa Without Walls in Fairmont Orchid offers a variety of massage modalities in oceanside huts; the sound of the water helps create the experience.

Hale Ho’ola in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers massage for all age groups, from children’s massage (performed with an adult present) to Kūpuna Lomi elder massage; the latter uses a special body support system. The Lomi Hula incorporates massage and dance. The Lā‘au Hamo allows the client informed choices about aromatherapy options. The Spa and Healing Center incorporates locally sourced ingredients.

The Hualalai Spa caters to a clientele who are seeking to improve their physical condition. This spa offers multiple physical and wellness treatments in addition to massage. Among them are physical therapy and yoga therapy. Massage styles are varied, including a “Sweet Dreams” massage with quartz singing bowl and a mat or table Thai massage.

The Kohala Spa counts oceanside massage, Wikiwiki (focus) massage, and Naupaka white flower massage among its bodywork options; the white flower massage incorporates local essential oils.

Brides Magazine wrote up three “extraordinary” Hawaii hotels ( each one, massage gets a mention. Westin Hapuna Beach Resort was their pick of the Big Island hotels. They noted a “Fire and Ice” massage with hot stones and cool gel.

Massage Therapist Salary in Hilo

The cost of living can be high here. Fortunately, so are the charges for massage – and the amounts that businesses pay their workers. The mean hourly wage in the Hawaii/ Kauai nonmetropolitan area, which includes the entire Big Island, was $36.14 in 2018. There’s a huge range in this area, with those at the high end making unusually high figures. The 10th percentile wage was just $11.71. The 90th percentile wage, though, was $58.13.

Self-Employment as a Massage Therapist

Self-employment is very common. An LMT may work independently or in partnership with others. Some self-employed massage therapists have additional LMTs on their teams. Banyan Massage (Hilo) is co-owned by two LMTs but has quite a few others on the team. The team offers a number of different massages, including a focused shoulder/ neck/ back massage and a restorative massage that blends Swedish, Lomi Lomi, and Shiatsu. They provide injury rehabilitation for conditions such as whiplash and carpal tunnel syndrome and can accept auto insurance or worker’s compensation.

Additional Resources

Hawaii Massage Therapy License Requirements

Massage Therapy Schools in Hawaii