Massage Therapy School in Huntington, WV
The Charleston and Huntington metropolitan areas may not be traditional massage hot spots, but there is interest. Massage is among the interventions that are being used to tackle some of the area’s biggest problems. There are laws and policies in their favor, and big name healthcare centers are coming out in support. There are also individual practitioners highlighting the potential of massage. The state has been projected to see more than 24% massage therapy occupational growth between 2016 and 2026.
Right now, this area can use massage therapists who have a high level of skill and a degree of marketing savvy. While some will go to work for established practices, others will need to create buy-in to establish their client bases. It may prove helpful to establish referral relationships with chiropractors and other healthcare providers.
Popular Massage Schools in Huntington, WV and Surrounding Areas
The Mountain State School of Massage in Charleston is COMTA-accredited and has been assigned a code by the NCBTMB; graduates are prepared to test for national certification as well as achieve West Virginia licensure. The program is 775 hours and will take 32-42 weeks, depending on the option selected. Students learn Swedish massage, deep tissue, neuromuscular therapy, and fragile care massage, among other topics.
Mountwest Community and Technical College in Huntington offers students an associate degree option. The program includes multiple lab courses and an integrative massage clinical. The program provides a range of perspectives, including instruction in Eastern theory, spa theory, Shiatsu, and deep tissue. Students take receive 61 college credits.
Triad Tech in Huntington offers a 500-hour massage therapy program that prepares candidates for examination and licensure.
LMTs in this area may wish to travel into the Morgantown area or into Ohio for occasional continuing education.
Massage Therapy in Pain Management
A law that went into effect in West Virginia in 2018 requires physicians to make an attempt to manage pain with remedies other than opioids.
The WVU Medicine Center for Integrative Pain Management strives to manage pain, using a range of opioid and non-opioid treatments. Massage therapy is among the integrative services that may be employed, as is acupuncture. The Center stresses that pain is both physical and mental, involving the nerves and spinal cord and also the brain; learning and memory play a role.
An article in the Times West Virginian featured a Fairmont massage therapist, proprietor of Appalachian Massage Therapy (https://www.timeswv.com/news/therapist-fights-pain-opioid-epidemic-with-massage/article_4dbc2f70-d808-11e7-a35b-2f851244aa88.html). The LMT calls attention to the different purposes of massage (relaxation, therapeutic physical effects) and how different techniques are used. He wants to achieve an additional advanced certification: medical massage. A client, meanwhile, states that she comes to him for weekly sessions because it helps with headaches, a symptom brought on by a car accident. At first, she thought the recommendation, which had been made by a chiropractor, was silly, but she became a believer.
One new West Virginia requirement is that insurance providers cover, at minimum, 20 chiropractic visits. Nationwide, chiropractor-massage therapist is a common pairing.
LMTs make other professional affiliations. Nautilus Fitness Center has an LMT onboard. Here, too, the website informs patrons of the pain-relief potential.
Other Massage Benefits
Massage therapy has other therapeutic uses, from preparation for athletic events to management of pregnancy-related symptoms. Other massage therapy practices and healthcare offices are spreading the word. Marshall Sports Medicine Institute in Huntsville offers sports massage in addition to sports nutrition, sports chiropractic care, and sports psychology services. Marshal notes a range of potential massage benefits, including injury prevention, muscle relaxation, increased endurance, and restoration of normal function.
West Virginia has gained national acclaim for treatment provided to infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Lily’s Place in Huntington first Medicaid-approved NAS treatment center. Lily’s Place takes a multi-pronged approach; it counts newborn massage among the non-pharmaceutical interventions.
A Look at Some Popular Local Practices
Spas combine wellness and beauty services. Spa Bliss, for example, has a range of spa and beauty treatments, from paraffin dips and sugaring to eyelashes. The ranges of massage modalities is itself extensive, including hot bamboo, hydrothermic, Thai yoga massage, essential oil-infused ‘raindrop therapy’, and targeted massage for specific parts of the body, among others. Chair massage services are available. Spa Bliss has four LMTs on its team.
Healing Haven Massage Center boasts a variety of massage styles, including pregnancy massage. Clinical massage is sold by the 15-minute unit for those with insurance coverage.
Self-Employment Opportunities for Massage Therapists in Huntington, WV
LMTs who dream of starting their own business may just find a home here! The Herald-Dispatch profiled one LMT-owned business, Whit’s End Massage Therapy, located between Huntington and Charleston. The proprietor caters to a varied clientele. Some seek relief from chronic pain. Some want to combine massage with spa treatments (https://www.herald-dispatch.com/relax-the-day-away-at-whit-s-end-massage-therapy/article_f03aff8c-1042-5445-9322-aa858b2374a5.html).
Range of Motion Therapeutic Massage is another LMT-owned business. There is another LMT onboard. The studio also offers movement classes (yoga and Zumba).
Massage Therapist Wages in Huntington, WV
Massage therapists in the Charleston metropolitan area averaged $15.24 an hour in 2018. Those at the 10th percentile made $10.48; those at the 50th percentile $13.90; and those at the 90th percentile $22.40. Both wages and job concentration are a little higher in nearby Huntington. Massage therapists in the greater Huntington area (which includes bordering tri-state communities) averaged $17.65 with a 50th percentile wage of $15.88 and a 90th percentile wage of $30.23. Only at the 10th percentile — sometimes thought of as entry-level were wages lower: $9.28.