Massage Therapy School in Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin is a very livable city. In fact, placed it at #7 on their 2018 list of best places to live. Yes, this college town is a good place to make a home – ranking particularly high in the health category – and it’s also a good place to begin a massage therapy career if one is so inclined. There are multiple massage schools in the area. The pay is a little above the national average. The city has got a well-educated, health conscious population, organized around a major university, and is considered business-friendly.

Whether a business is focused on being “green”, emphasizing the mystical or spiritual elements of its practices, or incorporating the latest medical research about pain relief or sports recovery, there’s a clientele!

A mid-2019 job search turns up positions in the following settings: spa, franchise, chiropractic office, massage studio.

Best Massage Schools in Madison, WI

The East-West Healing Arts Institute program is 800 hours. The largest portion of the technique and theory coursework is devoted to Asian approaches: fully 292 hours. Students get a lot of acupressure and Tui Na preparation; Chai Qiao and Thai massage are among the other modalities covered. Western massage techniques and theory comprise 108 hours; among the topics are Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, myofascial and craniosacral technique, and massage for special populations. Human sciences and clinic/ outreach are the other major components; students also spend a little time preparing for examination and licensure. Madison is one of two East-West branches; the other is in Milwaukee.

Madison College offers an 800-hour program that confers a technical diploma. Among the modalities and approaches covered are Swedish massage, chair massage, sports massage, trigger point, and adaptations for special populations such as cancer patients and the elderly. Here coverage of Asian modalities is foundational; the school strives to introduce many massage styles with the intent that students will seek continuing education in those that most interest them. Some attention is given to developing research literacy. Madison College holds institutional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.

Aveda College offers a 750-hour program. Shiatsu, Amma, lymphatic drainage, and neuromuscular therapy are among the diverse modalities covered. Students develop their clinical skills as they analyze case studies. Among the highlights are the prenatal and “Mommy and Me” workshops – a massage therapist here can learn infant massage!


Many in the area are in business for themselves, either solo or as part of a team that includes professionals with similar or complementary skill sets. Some start massage practices and later bring others on board. Their businesses may include other amenities, like salt caves.

Self-employed massage therapists have their own particular strengths, from subtle ones like mindfulness to advanced skills in specialized sports and pain relief modalities. One self-employed Madison massage therapist notes site-specific deep tissue massage as a specialty. He offers other services, including reflexology and Reiki.

Diverse Massage Therapist Opportunities

LMBTs can pursue advanced training in a wide variety of modalities and techniques. For many practices, practitioner diversity is a strength.

Sol Escape Healing Arts has more than a dozen LMTs on its team. The practice is able to offer a wide variety of modalities: Fijian massage, Usui Reii, Lomi Lomi, pre- and post-event sports massage, Ashiatsu barefoot massage. Practitioners bios indicate advanced trainings – Ashiatsu, craniosacral therapy, Reiki, prenatal massage – and other tidbits about what they bring to the table. One, for example, worked as a backstage massage therapist.

Renu Massage, Energy and Bodywork has six massage therapists on its team. The website includes quiz to help prospective clients find the LMT best suited to meet their needs.

Haven Spa and Wellness center boasts a dually credentialed esthetician/ massage therapist and two additional massage therapists.

There are local establishments and franchises in the area that have built a loyal clientele, with high web ratings and, in some cases, additional honors. Bergamot Massage Therapy and Bodywork was among those advertising for LMTs in 2019. The organization touts its locally owned status and its bronze award in the Best of Madison competition.

Elements Massage in Fitchburg, a franchise, has an impressive 4.9 Google rating, Elements Massage-Sun Prairie and Elements Massage-Middleton are both at 4.8.

Massage in Healthcare

Massage has a healthcare presence here. For many, it’s part of their wellness or mind-body regime.

Therapeutic massage is offered through integrative health services at major healthcare centers. The Integrative Health Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at UW Health has a fairly large team of Licensed Massage Therapists: ten.

Currently, two massage therapists provide services at Mercyhealth Complementary Medicine at Janesville. Among the areas of focus is oncology massage.

Massage therapy has the respect of major healthcare systems even if they themselves employ only a small portion.

Individuals who operate outside major health systems may also provide oncology massage. One of the two massage therapists onboard at the Seventh Heaven Massage Studio, for example, specializes in oncology massage (as well as other therapeutic massage). She notes the program she attended for her oncology massage training.

Here, as in many parts of the country, massage therapists are often stationed at chiropractic offices. Some Madison LMBTs work alongside acupuncturists. Isthmus Wellness is a fairly large practice with five acupuncturists and a team of LMBTs practicing Asian bodywork, Maya abdominal massage, and energy work. Some small wellness centers bring onboard professionals from even more varied and diverse disciplines

Organizations in the area are working to make massage more accessible to seniors. Sometimes this means bringing services onsite. Tennyson Health & Wellness Center offers health and wellness services to older adults; among the amenities is a massage studio. Spa Massage on the Go brings massage therapists to the homes of the elderly and disabled. Economic issues also come into play. There are some Medicar Advantage programs that allow enrollees to opt for acupuncture and massage therapy.

Massage Therapist Wages

Massage therapists in the Madison area enjoyed a median wage of $22.58 in 2018.The range was wide, with those at the 10th percentile making $8.70 but those at the 90th percentile making $37.17.

Additional Resources

Wisconsin Massage License Requirements

Massage Therapy Schools in Wisconsin